Topic: Philosophy

You are looking at all articles with the topic "Philosophy". We found 164 matches.

Hint: To view all topics, click here. Too see the most popular topics, click here instead.

๐Ÿ”— List of Cognitive Biases

๐Ÿ”— Lists ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Business ๐Ÿ”— Psychology ๐Ÿ”— Cognitive science

Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.

Although the reality of most of these biases is confirmed by reproducible research, there are often controversies about how to classify these biases or how to explain them. Some are effects of information-processing rules (i.e., mental shortcuts), called heuristics, that the brain uses to produce decisions or judgments. Biases have a variety of forms and appear as cognitive ("cold") bias, such as mental noise, or motivational ("hot") bias, such as when beliefs are distorted by wishful thinking. Both effects can be present at the same time.

There are also controversies over some of these biases as to whether they count as useless or irrational, or whether they result in useful attitudes or behavior. For example, when getting to know others, people tend to ask leading questions which seem biased towards confirming their assumptions about the person. However, this kind of confirmation bias has also been argued to be an example of social skill: a way to establish a connection with the other person.

Although this research overwhelmingly involves human subjects, some findings that demonstrate bias have been found in non-human animals as well. For example, loss aversion has been shown in monkeys and hyperbolic discounting has been observed in rats, pigeons, and monkeys.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Moravec's Paradox

๐Ÿ”— Computer science ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of science ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of mind

Moravec's paradox is the observation by artificial intelligence and robotics researchers that, contrary to traditional assumptions, reasoning (which is high-level in humans) requires very little computation, but sensorimotor skills (comparatively low-level in humans) require enormous computational resources. The principle was articulated by Hans Moravec, Rodney Brooks, Marvin Minsky and others in the 1980s. As Moravec writes, "it is comparatively easy to make computers exhibit adult level performance on intelligence tests or playing checkers, and difficult or impossible to give them the skills of a one-year-old when it comes to perception and mobility".

Similarly, Minsky emphasized that the most difficult human skills to reverse engineer are those that are unconscious. "In general, we're least aware of what our minds do best", he wrote, and added "we're more aware of simple processes that don't work well than of complex ones that work flawlessly".

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Boltzmann Brain

๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Metaphysics

The Boltzmann brain argument suggests that it is more likely for a single brain to spontaneously and briefly form in a void (complete with a false memory of having existed in our universe) than it is for our universe to have come about in the way modern science thinks it actually did. It was first proposed as a reductio ad absurdum response to Ludwig Boltzmann's early explanation for the low-entropy state of our universe.

In this physics thought experiment, a Boltzmann brain is a fully formed brain, complete with memories of a full human life in our universe, that arises due to extremely rare random fluctuations out of a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Theoretically over a period of time on the order of hundreds of billions of years, by sheer chance atoms in a void could spontaneously come together in such a way as to assemble a functioning human brain. Like any brain in such circumstances, it would almost immediately stop functioning and begin to deteriorate.

The idea is ironically named after the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann (1844โ€“1906), who in 1896 published a theory that tried to account for the fact that we find ourselves in a universe that is not as chaotic as the budding field of thermodynamics seemed to predict. He offered several explanations, one of them being that the universe, even one that is fully random (or at thermal equilibrium), would spontaneously fluctuate to a more ordered (or low-entropy) state. One criticism of this "Boltzmann universe" hypothesis is that the most common thermal fluctuations are as close to equilibrium overall as possible; thus, by any reasonable criterion, actual humans in the actual universe would be vastly less likely than "Boltzmann brains" existing alone in an empty universe.

Boltzmann brains gained new relevance around 2002, when some cosmologists started to become concerned that, in many existing theories about the Universe, human brains in the current Universe appear to be vastly outnumbered by Boltzmann brains in the future Universe who, by chance, have exactly the same perceptions that we do; this leads to the conclusion that statistically we ourselves are likely to be Boltzmann brains. Such a reductio ad absurdum argument is sometimes used to argue against certain theories of the Universe. When applied to more recent theories about the multiverse, Boltzmann brain arguments are part of the unsolved measure problem of cosmology. Boltzmann brains remain a thought experiment; physicists do not believe that we are actually Boltzmann brains, but rather use the thought experiment as a tool for evaluating competing scientific theories.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Mรผnchhausen Trilemma

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Epistemology

In epistemology, the Mรผnchhausen trilemma is a thought experiment used to demonstrate the impossibility of proving any truth, even in the fields of logic and mathematics. If it is asked how any given proposition is known to be true, proof may be provided. Yet that same question can be asked of the proof, and any subsequent proof. The Mรผnchhausen trilemma is that there are only three options when providing further proof in response to further questioning:

  • The circular argument, in which the proof of some proposition is supported only by that proposition
  • The regressive argument, in which each proof requires a further proof, ad infinitum
  • The axiomatic argument, which rests on accepted precepts which are merely asserted rather than defended

The trilemma, then, is the decision among the three equally unsatisfying options.

The name Mรผnchhausen-Trilemma was coined by the German philosopher Hans Albert in 1968 in reference to a trilemma of "dogmatism versus infinite regress versus psychologism" used by Karl Popper. It is a reference to the problem of "bootstrapping", based on the story of Baron Munchausen (in German, "Mรผnchhausen") pulling himself and the horse on which he was sitting out of a mire by his own hair.

It is also known as Agrippa's trilemma or the Agrippan trilemma after a similar argument reported by Sextus Empiricus, which was attributed to Agrippa the Skeptic by Diogenes Laรซrtius, as well as Fries's trilemma after German philosopher Jakob Friedrich Fries. Sextus' argument, however, consists of five (not three) "modes". Popper in his original 1935 publication mentions neither Sextus nor Agrippa, but attributes his trilemma to Fries.

In contemporary epistemology, advocates of coherentism are supposed to accept the "circular" horn of the trilemma; foundationalists rely on the axiomatic argument. The view that accepts infinite regress is called infinitism.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Brandolini's Law

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Psychology

Brandolini's law, also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, is an internet adage which emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit: "The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Simulacra and Simulation

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophical literature ๐Ÿ”— Books

Simulacra and Simulation (French: Simulacres et Simulation) is a 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard, in which the author seeks to examine the relationships between reality, symbols, and society, in particular the significations and symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing an understanding of shared existence.

Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no original, or that no longer have an original. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Nicomachean Ethics

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophical literature ๐Ÿ”— Politics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ancient philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics (; Ancient Greek: แผจฮธฮนฮบแฝฐ ฮฮนฮบฮฟฮผฮฌฯ‡ฮตฮนฮฑ, ฤ’thika Nikomacheia) is the name normally given to Aristotle's best-known work on ethics. The work, which plays a pre-eminent role in defining Aristotelian ethics, consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes from his lectures at the Lyceum. The title is often assumed to refer to his son Nicomachus, to whom the work was dedicated or who may have edited it (although his young age makes this less likely). Alternatively, the work may have been dedicated to his father, who was also called Nicomachus.

The theme of the work is a Socratic question previously explored in the works of Plato, Aristotle's friend and teacher, of how men should best live. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle described how Socrates, the friend and teacher of Plato, had turned philosophy to human questions, whereas pre-Socratic philosophy had only been theoretical. Ethics, as now separated out for discussion by Aristotle, is practical rather than theoretical, in the original Aristotelian senses of these terms. In other words, it is not only a contemplation about good living, because it also aims to create good living. It is therefore connected to Aristotle's other practical work, the Politics, which similarly aims at people becoming good. Ethics is about how individuals should best live, while the study of politics is from the perspective of a law-giver, looking at the good of a whole community.

The Nicomachean Ethics is widely considered one of the most important historical philosophical works, and had an important impact upon the European Middle Ages, becoming one of the core works of medieval philosophy. It therefore indirectly became critical in the development of all modern philosophy as well as European law and theology. Many parts of the Nicomachean Ethics are well known in their own right, within different fields. In the Middle Ages, a synthesis between Aristotelian ethics and Christian theology became widespread, in Europe as introduced by Albertus Magnus. While various philosophers had influenced Christendom since its earliest times, in Western Europe Aristotle became "the Philosopher". The most important version of this synthesis was that of Thomas Aquinas. Other more "Averroist" Aristotelians such as Marsilius of Padua were controversial but also influential. (Marsilius is for example sometimes said to have influenced the controversial English political reformer Thomas Cromwell.)

A critical period in the history of this work's influence is at the end of the Middle Ages, and beginning of modernity, when several authors such as Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, argued forcefully and largely successfully that the medieval Aristotelian tradition in practical thinking had become a great impediment to philosophy in their time. However, in more recent generations, Aristotle's original works (if not those of his medieval followers) have once again become an important source. More recent authors influenced by this work include Alasdair MacIntyre, G. E. M. Anscombe, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martha Nussbaum and Avital Ronell.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Against Method

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophical literature ๐Ÿ”— Books ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of science ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy

Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge is a 1975 book about the philosophy of science by Paul Feyerabend, in which the author argues that science is an anarchic enterprise, not a nomic (customary) one. In the context of this work, the term anarchy refers to epistemological anarchy.

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— IKEA Effect

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Psychology

The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created. The name derives from the name of Swedish manufacturer and furniture retailer IKEA, which sells many furniture products that require assembly.

The IKEA effect has been described as follows: "The price is low for IKEA products largely because they take labor out of the equation. With a Phillips screwdriver, an Allen wrench and rubber mallet, IKEA customers can very literally build an entire home's worth of furniture on a very tight budget. But what happens when they do?" They "fall in love with their IKEA creations. Even when there are parts missing and the items are incorrectly built, customers in the IKEA study still loved the fruits of their labors."

Discussed on

๐Ÿ”— Gรถdel's ontological proof

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Logic ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of religion ๐Ÿ”— Christianity ๐Ÿ”— Christianity/theology ๐Ÿ”— Military history/European military history

Gรถdel's ontological proof is a formal argument by the mathematician Kurt Gรถdel (1906โ€“1978) for the existence of God. The argument is in a line of development that goes back to Anselm of Canterbury (1033โ€“1109). St. Anselm's ontological argument, in its most succinct form, is as follows: "God, by definition, is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding. If God exists in the understanding, we could imagine Him to be greater by existing in reality. Therefore, God must exist." A more elaborate version was given by Gottfried Leibniz (1646โ€“1716); this is the version that Gรถdel studied and attempted to clarify with his ontological argument.

Gรถdel left a fourteen-point outline of his philosophical beliefs in his papers. Points relevant to the ontological proof include

4. There are other worlds and rational beings of a different and higher kind.
5. The world in which we live is not the only one in which we shall live or have lived.
13. There is a scientific (exact) philosophy and theology, which deals with concepts of the highest abstractness; and this is also most highly fruitful for science.
14. Religions are, for the most part, badโ€”but religion is not.

Discussed on