Chris,

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 2:22 AM, chris peck <chris_peck...@hotmail.com>wrote:

> Hi PGC
>
> With respect, you've embarked on a fools errand there, PGC.
>

Always, but people's positions can change over time, even if it sometimes
takes awhile or a second. That's how it is with me, so why not?


> Given the way John has framed the task any contribution made by xyz will
> end up not being a contribution in philosophy. Take Charles Pierce who
> pretty much founded semiotics and made contributions in fields as diverse
> as psychology and chemistry; or Frege who invented predicate logic; or
> Descartes work in mathematics,  or Leibniz's invention of calculus; the big
> punch line has to be that either these people were not philosophers or
> their important contributions were not in philosophy.
>

Which is why I picked a fictional author commenting non-fiction. This is
plausibly philosophy by John's measure, as it cannot be argued that Huxley
is expert in some hard science field, nor that he is writing fiction. And
the result was to publish widely that first person subjective experience of
mystical states is not superstitious legend and that it is orders of
magnitude removed from effects of relaxation, stimulation, lowering of
inhibition, and the usual candidates for intoxication: there exists a first
person experience matching certain kinds of mystical descriptions across
cultures in front of modern context.


>
> Whats needed is a defense of philosophy. John's task is based on an
> unjustified assumption that he made in his opening post. He argues that
> philosophers are just reporters; that in, for example, the field of method
> they just report on what scientists have always done. Thats just uninformed
> garbage. Firstly, there hasn't ever been a method scientists have always
> employed. Secondly, there is always an argument between scientists over how
> to proceed correctly.
>
> This is particularly evident in the cognitive sciences where there is an
> acute difficulty in equating some objective measurement to some subjective
> experience. The benefits and pitfalls of quantitative over qualitative
> methodologies is argued about within neuroscience departments the world
> over. Students are preached to about Popper and falsificationism in one
> lecture and in the next they are told that this methodology is inherently
> should be abandoned.  Even in physics, the 'hardest' of hard sciences,
> there is trouble afoot with string theory, and a debate rages as to whether
> it is falsifiable, and then whether that matters. You take your stand and
> you argue your case and in doing so you engage in: philosophy. So, even if
> it is a scientist arguing that qualitative methods are (or are not) worth
> persuing, he is making a philosophical argument.
>

I guess he'd say that this relativizes philosophy to defending just
chatting around. But chatter is far from that simple.

For me in crude shorthand for this thread: Christianity went nutts in our
cultural flux, too many crusades -> over-secularization -> persistence of
the "hard science myth" in the last 200 years and "no soft stuff!"

Thus, it appears we need philosophy to cover a potential god gap in the
name of humanist knowledge encoded by natural languages, because otherwise:
"for what?"-teleology problem; which will then be, by definition, too soft
to be hard (because we fight about that) and therefore soft b.s.

Remove that layer and you just have, I agree here, "you take your stand",
the taboos of belief, theology, and various mysticisms. Negations and
viagra myth included ;-) "but viagra exists! YOU CANNOT DENY THAT..."

Still, I'd want to know why Huxley doesn't count. Also because John says
"just altered perception, we know this" and Huxley philosophized "No! This
is new to and not expected by modern western secularized thought. It is
better than the things that we alter our perception with + science and tech
furnish us with tools to make them less harmful and places us in front of
these engineering questions..."

And the cultural meme of engineering new molecules, "finding new doors" as
Huxley's philosophy calls for and inspired chemists like Shulgin to explore
chemistry-wise, is being accelerated, albeit in a harmful sense, by
prohibition. That secular philosophy had results, the publication
influenced people and their workflows. In "hard domains" like chemistry to
this very day.

Still too soft for viagrans I suppose... ;-) PGC


>
> Even John, right now, is doing the very same thing. He is engaging in
> philosophy. He is expending all this effort on what he has argued is
> worthless. He is one big hypocrite whose very position defeats itself. The
> position that the only things that have value are tangible scientific
> results is of course not in itself a scientific result. John is an
> unwitting positivist who falls into the same logical trap all positivists
> do.
>
> All the best
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:58:21 +0200
>
> Subject: Re: What gives philosophers a bad name?
> From: multiplecit...@gmail.com
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy <
> multiplecit...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > deep, clear, precise, unexpected, and true + discovered in the last 2
> centuries by philosopher who is "not scientist" by John Clark's arbitrary
> standards? Ok. Aldous Huxley, writer and philosophical mystic, not
> "scientist" in your book,
>
>
> But I loved his book Brave New World, I first read it when I was about 10
> and reread it just a few months ago.
>
> > discovers and articulates to the broad public that mescaline is
> effective at eliciting a subjective experiences that harmonize with the
> following kinds of philosophies, observations, and mysticisms:
>
>
> People have been drinking alcohol for at least 7000 years because it
> alters their perception of the world, and they have been eating Peyote,
> who's active ingredient is mescaline, for almost as long. I like Aldous
> Huxley, and like his grandfather and brother even more, but I don't see how
> reporting on something that people have known for thousands of years is new
> or unexpected.
>
>
> I am corrupt at times, but not this cheap John! Articulating
> philosophically the overlap between a first person experience and mystic
> traditions in "Doors of Perception" with "altered states of perception
> throughout the ages" generally, is pure John Clark philosophy; a philosophy
> in which 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine and ethanol are just "altering
> user's perception of the world".
>
> This implies a logic wherein a person getting shot, going to a store,
> shooting heroin, enjoying a piece of cake and a cup of coffee, doing
> nothing, pursuing a career, taking mescaline or having a beer are all just
> simply "altering their perception". This is so vague and general it is
> "philosophical" by your own standards: not deep, not clear, not precise,
> and not true by any measure I can affirm. Children eating ice cream and
> consuming mescaline are just doing the same thing, just "altering their
> perception"?
>
> I await your explanation, even just on the level between alcohol and
> mescaline, as they seem to a) be different chemically and b) elicit
> different effect profiles both on metabolic levels and on subjective levels
> of experience.
>
> Your equivalency statement is disputed by the Huxley in Doors, who
> outlines the difference many times, like so:
>
> *Ours is the age, among other things, of the automobile and of rocketing
> population. Alcohol is incompatible with safety on the roads, and its
> production, like that of tobacco, condemns to virtual sterility many
> millions of acres of the most fertile soil. The problems raised by alcohol
> and tobacco cannot, it goes without saying, be solved by prohibition. The
> universal and ever-present urge to self-transcendence is not to be
> abolished by slamming the currently popular Doors in the Wall. The only
> reasonable policy is to open other, better doors in the hope of inducing
> men and women to exchange their old bad habits for new and less harmful
> ones. Some of these other, better doors will be social and technological in
> nature, others religious or psychological, others dietetic, educational,
> athletic. But the need for frequent chemical vacations from intolerable
> selfhood and repulsive surroundings will undoubtedly remain. What is needed
> is a new drug which will relieve and console our suffering species without
> doing more harm in the long run than it does good in the short. Such a drug
> must be potent in minute doses and synthesizable. If it does not possess
> these qualities, its production, like that of wine, beer, spirits and
> tobacco will interfere with the raising of indispensable food and fibers.
> It must be less toxic than opium or cocaine, less likely to produce
> undesirable social consequences than alcohol or the barbiturates, less
> inimical to heart and lungs than the tars and nicotine of cigarettes. And,
> on the positive side, it should produce changes in consciousness more
> interesting, more intrinsically valuable than mere sedation or dreaminess,
> delusions of omnipotence or release from inhibition.*
>
> No chemist would buy this equivalency. No biologist either. Liberals would
> disagree with you, even drug warrior fanatics disagree with you as well as
> the philosopher/writer you love(d), who thinks this reductionism itself is
> harmful and your equivalency false.
>
> I have trouble seeing anybody, even fanatics of all kinds taking seriously
> such an equivalency proposition. Scientific proof certainly fails to equate
> the two. What is left is faith in John Clark. PGC
>
>
>
>
>    John K Clark
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *By 12:30 pm, a vase of flowers becomes the "miracle, moment by moment,
> of naked existence". The experience, he asserts, is neither agreeable nor
> disagreeable, but simply "is". He likens it to Meister 
> Eckhart<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meister_Eckhart>'s
> "istigheit" or "is-ness", and Plato <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato>'s
> "Being" but not separated from "Becoming". He feels he understands the
> Hindu <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu> concept of 
> Satchitananda<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satchitananda>,
> as well as the Zen <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen> 
> koan<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koan>that "the dharma body of the Buddha 
> is in the hedge" and Buddhist
> suchness <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tath%C4%81t%C4%81/Dharmat%C4%81>.
> In this state, Huxley explains he didn't have an "I", but instead a
> "not-I". Meaning and existence, pattern and colour become more significant
> than spatial relationships and time. Duration is replaced by a perpetual
> present.
>
> *
> Mescaline had been discovered and isolated by Hefter, or your
> understanding of "science" in 1898, but without the above link. This,
> thousands of years later (at least 5600 to be precise) than Huichol and
> other Native American tribes had intuitively and via bioassay verified the
> assignment of 1person pov mystical experience through cactus.
>
> Huxley verified that this class of subjective state is real, not merely
> tribal superstition as "science" has held up to that point (and because of
> prohibition/corruption/cowardice still does to large extent), gave a clear
> dosage, and described the unexpected link between ingestion of some
> molecule or plant and a set of mystic positions and experiences of various
> cultures on the globe throughout the ages.
>
> Aldous Huxley is not a personal hero of mine. But I do admire the step:
> "YO wait just a second! This isn't just some provincial superstitious
> nonsense. 400 milligrams and funky 1st person effect is real."
> Your version of "Science" did not uncover the 1 person reality of such
> states in any shape or form for the last few hundred years. It didn't even
> do so in the last hundred years. It took at philosophical mystic to state
> this connection. PGC
>
>
>
>
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