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Out of the armchair and into the lab

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dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#1New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 09:14:38
As a spin-off from another thread, here are some interesting views from a book I am dipping into, "Galileo's Error".

There is a worry that the “Get out of the armchair and into the lab” approach can lead to an oversimplistic conception of what science is, as though science were simply a matter of setting up experiments and then recording the data. In fact, certain crucial scientific developments have involved radically reimagining nature, dreaming up possibilities—perhaps from the comfort of an armchair—that nobody had previously entertained.

Popular myth tells us that Newton was the first person to realize that apples fall to the ground. Of course, he wasn’t. But he was the first person to entertain the idea that what makes apples fall to the ground is the same thing that keeps the moon in orbit around the earth. It had not previously occurred to anyone that a single force might be responsible for both of these phenomena. What now seems to us so natural was at the time an inspired leap of the imagination.

In the years when he was developing special relativity, Einstein wasn’t busy conducting experiments; rather he was staring into space wondering what would happen if you rode on a beam of light.

When we neglect the role of deep thought in science, we close off options.



As I say, interesting to me if not to others. I have no gripe at all with science, more with what could be called "Scientism" wherein "all" is explained - or will be - by application of a method ; even that eventually "all" will be reduced to and explained by algebraic formulas describing matter in motion (or is it "energy in motion" these days? It's difficult to keep up) Is that the "Theory of Everything" now being sought? And if and when "found", exactly what? Learn how to boil an egg?

Anyway, what was Galileo's error? According to the author of the book, Philip Goff, it was to concentrate purely upon quantities and ignore qualities. Therefore:- size, shape, location, and motion. And exclude:- color, smell, taste, sound, the sensory qualities. These latter were "of the soul", not "out there" at all. This has all led to much of what Richard Tarnas speaks of, as quoted in another thread that no one is interested in.

Well, the book is about "conciousness" and exactly what and where it resides. In Buddhism, the Yogacara philosophers/thinkers/monks take up the question, as usual in a soteriological manner, seeking "the end of suffering" and the "unshakeable deliverance of mind" that is the goal of the "Holy Life". But here we have Philip Goff, having a go.

Best wishes to all my readers.

dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#2New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 09:29:43
Here is Mr Goff, kicking off.......

Physical science has indeed been extraordinarily successful, but we need to bear in mind that its success began when Galileo took the sensory qualities (sounds, smells, tastes, odors) out of its domain of inquiry: by reimagining them as forms of consciousness residing in the incorporeal soul. The fact that physical science has been extremely successful when it ignores the sensory qualities gives us no reason to think that it will be similarly successful if and when it turns its attention to the sensory qualities themselves, this time as forms of consciousness.


mrmhead 14 minutes ago




NE, Ohio
#3New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 12:11:00
So a green apple falls to the earth at t different rate than a red apple?
Does the tart Granny Smith have more momentum than the sweet Delicious?


The Sensory qualities are also explained by science.

Color is dependent on the electromagnetic wavelength reflected or emitted.
Smell and taste is dependent on receptors that detect particular chemical properties.
mrmhead 14 minutes ago




NE, Ohio
#4New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 12:19:36
What a coincidence!
My Daily desk calendar has a match game today:

Match the scientist with their famous contributions

Contribution
Law of Gravity
Theory of Relativity
Discovery of radioactivity
Discovery of the moons of Jupiter
Design of electrical supply system

Scientist
Marie Curie
Nikola Tesla
Isaac Newton
Albert Einstein
Galileo Galilei
darkman666 0 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#5New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 15:48:14
@mrmhead Said

So a green apple falls to the earth at t different rate than a red apple?
Does the tart Granny Smith have more momentum than the sweet Delicious?


The Sensory qualities are also explained by science.

Color is dependent on the electromagnetic wavelength reflected or emitted.
Smell and taste is dependent on receptors that detect particular chemical properties.


two apples fell from the moon, hit the earth at the same time, and hit the ground in the same place. it would make apple sauce. everybody know that!
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#6New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 16:32:01
@mrmhead Said



The Sensory qualities are also explained by science.

Color is dependent on the electromagnetic wavelength reflected or emitted.
Smell and taste is dependent on receptors that detect particular chemical properties.



Philip Goff is speaking of how Galileo originally divided phenomena up, excluding the sensory and relegating them to experiences of the "soul". Now, there is a seeking to explain them and integrate them into some complete understanding of the relationship of brain, mind and consciouness. The understanding of "conciousness" is the key. At the moment, there are various theories upon which there is no final agreement. It seems to be just how the sensory qualities are related to consciousness/mind/brain that is the issue, rather than "explaining" them as such, as being the product of other things.

(By the way, my spelling is actually atrocious. I often have to google big words - and sometimes small ones - to check and amend my posts)
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#7New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 16:39:39
@mrmhead Said

What a coincidence!
My Daily desk calendar has a match game today:

Match the scientist with their famous contributions

Contribution
Law of Gravity
Theory of Relativity
Discovery of radioactivity
Discovery of the moons of Jupiter
Design of electrical supply system

Scientist
Marie Curie
Nikola Tesla
Isaac Newton
Albert Einstein
Galileo Galilei



1 & 3
2 & 4
3 & 1
4 & 5
5 & 2

(Madam Curie's contribution was a "default" from knowing the others)
darkman666 0 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#8New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 16:53:53
@dookie Said

1 & 3
2 & 4
3 & 1
4 & 5
5 & 2

(Madam Curie's contribution was a "default" from knowing the others)


i know your signature's quote: The birds do not know they have names

because the birds sit on branches and look through bedroom's windows, and they said:

hey lady, you are going to be naked, pull down the blinds , i have children up here with me!
Jennifer1984 On about 4 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#9New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 17:37:09
Interesting biography of the author of Dookie's reference work.

Philip Goff; Philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University, UK. His specialism includes how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview.

So.……………. One would expect a philosopher and consciousness researcher who makes his living from focusing how to integrate consciousness into the scientific world view, to write a book (earn his living) about....well, focusing on how to integrate consciousness into the scientific world view.

OK.. so that gives us something to start with.

I admit I haven't read it and have no intention of doing so. But that's me. My following comments are based on reviews of his book written by people who review books for a living, and lay people who have bought the book and read it.

Before I go any further, I agree that Mr Goff is perfectly entitled to justify his beliefs and put them out there for all to read and draw their own conclusions. The Guardian book review already has. Among it's comments are:

Philip Goff’s engaging Galileo’s Error is a full‑on defence of panpsychism. It’s plainly a difficult view, but when we get serious about consciousness, and put aside the standard bag of philosophical tricks, it seems that one has to choose, with Wallace, between some version of panpsychism or fairytales about immaterial souls.

Another comment from the review:

Goff’s historical remarks about panpsychism are misleading, however, in giving pride of place to Arthur Eddington and Bertrand Russell with no mention of Alfred North Whitehead’s panpsychism, or of WK Clifford, or the American panpsychists CA Strong and Durant Drake, whose writings from 1918-1925 were certainly known to Russell and Eddington. He also perpetuates the myth that David Chalmers “swept away decades of evasion” of the question of consciousness in 1995 and “forced us to confront the real mystery head-on”. This is wholly untrue in philosophy (as has been said before), and it’s a weird kick in the face to all those who thought so very hard and well about the problem for several centuries before 1995. There was a great surge of outstanding work in precisely the decades Goff dismisses,

And there's more:

Goff is also wrong to identify materialism, the ancient and overwhelmingly plausible view that everything in the universe including consciousness is wholly material, with the obviously false and hyperscientistic view that everything in the universe, including feelings of pain, sexual joy, experiences of colour, and so on, can be “exhaustively described” (ie described in such a way that its nature is fully conveyed) in the language of the physical sciences. I don’t know any materialists who think this, and it’s certainly not true of Thomas Hobbes in 1651, or the electrifying materialist panpsychist Margaret Cavendish in 1666, or Joseph Priestley in 1777, and thousands of others since.

So much for the Grauniad review.


An ordinary member of the public reviewing the book on Amazon (it's there if you want to go look)

Copy and paste:

Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lots of talk, little content, gave me philosophobia
Reviewed in the United States on 28 January 2020
Verified Purchase
I thought the idea of panpsychism was fascinating. I wanted to read about it. Turns out Goff began actually talking about the subject on page 113. The discussion lasted only a few pages. The book before and after that point did speak of some things tangentially related but I found it mostly to be a lot of fluff and not much actual content.

Goff introduced me to the word philosophobia. I had heard hints of this among physicists and thought it was a silly notion. After all we all just want to learn right? But Goff's book proved to me that there is sound reason for this unexpected antagonism and actually infected me with a strong case of it myself. From now on I will have a good look inside before paying for a book with a philosophical angle to check for actual content.

For the 95% of the book that was not directly talking about panpsychism I felt (using the style of the book) as if I was in a closed room with a dozen people, all Dualists, Materialists and such arguing about whether or not it might be raining outside. One man, Galileo, tries to open the door to see for himself and Goff jumps up and points saying "There he is, he's the one who got us all into this mess". The book was a rambling discussion about schools of philosophy devoid of even hints of supporting evidence for the main ideas.

Great idea that might be the beginning of a solution, little said about it, lots of peripheral babble.



He uses, as a pillar of his argument, the false allegation that scientists believe "everything can be explained scientifically", as if everything is already being explained. But it isn't and nobody in the scientific community makes that claim. We explain what we know, and then go out in search of what we don't. That is NOT the same as claiming a hyperscientific view of all-encompassing knowledge.


From reading these two reviews (among others) it seems that Mr Goff appeals very much to other philosphers and philosophy students who seem to find him engaging and erudite. I'm sure he is in his chosen field. But in the reviews I scanned, it seems his argument is very narrow focused, doesn't really enlighten anybody to anything and most of what he does say has been written a hundred times before.

Sure, he goes out of his way to justify panpsychism….. a lot of the book is devoted to that...… but hardly anything addressed the core issue..... and without much in the way of supporting evidence or genuinely provocative argument.

The feeling I'm getting is that he's trying to justify his profession as a serious subject rather than offer a new insight into an old debate.





Footnote: Some other reviewers have seen Mr Goff's work in a more positive light, particularly those reviews written by other philosophers. That's cool. They too have their opinion.

Those reviews that I selected were chosen because a) they were written by people not too close to having a vested interest in the subject, and b) made comments regarding the relevance of the book as an academic work those who concentrated on its justification of panpsychism.

I do like the sound of his band "Number and Number" though..... Guitar explorations of the human condition...…. It might be worth logging onto "Ultimate Guitar" to see if they've put any tabs on there. I'm partial to a bit of experimentation with my guitar too (not too many barre chords, I hope. I struggle a bit with some of those)
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#10New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 17:37:14
@darkman666 Said

i know your signature's quote: The birds do not know they have names

because the birds sit on branches and look through bedroom's windows, and they said:

hey lady, you are going to be naked, pull down the blinds , i have children up here with me!


Hey, that's an interesting theory! Alas, wrong!

(It actually comes from the Journals of Thomas Merton. The little phrase was spoken by Mark Van Doren, a friend of Mertons, when he visited him one day. Merton had said that some unidentified red flower that he had found on a bud the day before had said so much more than words. And Van Doren said "the birds don't know they have names."

Merton then mused onwards, and related it all to the ultimate "Nameless One".....which sadly, many seek to give just one name)
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#11New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 18:01:42
@Jennifer1984 Said

Interesting biography of the author of Dookie's reference work.

Philip Goff; Philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University, UK. His specialism includes how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview.

So.……………. One would expect a philosopher and consciousness researcher who makes his living from focusing how to integrate consciousness into the scientific world view, to write a book (earn his living) about....well, focusing on how to integrate consciousness into the scientific world view.

OK.. so that gives us something to start with.

I admit I haven't read it and have no intention of doing so. But that's me. My following comments are based on reviews of his book written by people who review books for a living, and lay people who have bought the book and read it.

Before I go any further, I agree that Mr Goff is perfectly entitled to justify his beliefs and put them out there for all to read and draw their own conclusions. The Guardian book review already has. Among it's comments are:

Philip Goff’s engaging Galileo’s Error is a full‑on defence of panpsychism. It’s plainly a difficult view, but when we get serious about consciousness, and put aside the standard bag of philosophical tricks, it seems that one has to choose, with Wallace, between some version of panpsychism or fairytales about immaterial souls.

Another comment from the review:

Goff’s historical remarks about panpsychism are misleading, however, in giving pride of place to Arthur Eddington and Bertrand Russell with no mention of Alfred North Whitehead’s panpsychism, or of WK Clifford, or the American panpsychists CA Strong and Durant Drake, whose writings from 1918-1925 were certainly known to Russell and Eddington. He also perpetuates the myth that David Chalmers “swept away decades of evasion” of the question of consciousness in 1995 and “forced us to confront the real mystery head-on”. This is wholly untrue in philosophy (as has been said before), and it’s a weird kick in the face to all those who thought so very hard and well about the problem for several centuries before 1995. There was a great surge of outstanding work in precisely the decades Goff dismisses,

And there's more:

Goff is also wrong to identify materialism, the ancient and overwhelmingly plausible view that everything in the universe including consciousness is wholly material, with the obviously false and hyperscientistic view that everything in the universe, including feelings of pain, sexual joy, experiences of colour, and so on, can be “exhaustively described” (ie described in such a way that its nature is fully conveyed) in the language of the physical sciences. I don’t know any materialists who think this, and it’s certainly not true of Thomas Hobbes in 1651, or the electrifying materialist panpsychist Margaret Cavendish in 1666, or Joseph Priestley in 1777, and thousands of others since.

So much for the Grauniad review.


An ordinary member of the public reviewing the book on Amazon (it's there if you want to go look)

Copy and paste:

Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lots of talk, little content, gave me philosophobia
Reviewed in the United States on 28 January 2020
Verified Purchase
I thought the idea of panpsychism was fascinating. I wanted to read about it. Turns out Goff began actually talking about the subject on page 113. The discussion lasted only a few pages. The book before and after that point did speak of some things tangentially related but I found it mostly to be a lot of fluff and not much actual content.

Goff introduced me to the word philosophobia. I had heard hints of this among physicists and thought it was a silly notion. After all we all just want to learn right? But Goff's book proved to me that there is sound reason for this unexpected antagonism and actually infected me with a strong case of it myself. From now on I will have a good look inside before paying for a book with a philosophical angle to check for actual content.

For the 95% of the book that was not directly talking about panpsychism I felt (using the style of the book) as if I was in a closed room with a dozen people, all Dualists, Materialists and such arguing about whether or not it might be raining outside. One man, Galileo, tries to open the door to see for himself and Goff jumps up and points saying "There he is, he's the one who got us all into this mess". The book was a rambling discussion about schools of philosophy devoid of even hints of supporting evidence for the main ideas.

Great idea that might be the beginning of a solution, little said about it, lots of peripheral babble.



He uses, as a pillar of his argument, the false allegation that scientists believe "everything can be explained scientifically", as if everything is already being explained. But it isn't and nobody in the scientific community makes that claim. We explain what we know, and then go out in search of what we don't. That is NOT the same as claiming a hyperscientific view of all-encompassing knowledge.


From reading these two reviews (among others) it seems that Mr Goff appeals very much to other philosphers and philosophy students who seem to find him engaging and erudite. I'm sure he is in his chosen field. But in the reviews I scanned, it seems his argument is very narrow focused, doesn't really enlighten anybody to anything and most of what he does say has been written a hundred times before.

Sure, he goes out of his way to justify panpsychism….. a lot of the book is devoted to that...… but hardly anything addressed the core issue..... and without much in the way of supporting evidence or genuinely provocative argument.

The feeling I'm getting is that he's trying to justify his profession as a serious subject rather than offer a new insight into an old debate.





Footnote: Some other reviewers have seen Mr Goff's work in a more positive light, particularly those reviews written by other philosophers. That's cool. They too have their opinion.

Those reviews that I selected were chosen because a) they were written by people not too close to having a vested interest in the subject, and b) made comments regarding the relevance of the book as an academic work those who concentrated on its justification of panpsychism.

I do like the sound of his band "Number and Number" though..... Guitar explorations of the human condition...…. It might be worth logging onto "Ultimate Guitar" to see if they've put any tabs on there. I'm partial to a bit of experimentation with my guitar too (not too many barre chords, I hope. I struggle a bit with some of those)



Quite a good hatchet job!

Anyway, my own attitude towards most books is "take what you need and leave the rest"......which is a line from Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."

At the moment I'm quite interested in "consciousness" and how such relates to ultimate Reality. Having just finished a fine little book by Annaka Harris, "Conscious" which introduced many of the current theories in an undogmatic way, I moved onto "Galileo's Error". It has added panpsychism to my vocabulary, to join a few other "pans". Nowhere near finishing it, but being interested in the Scientific Revolution I find the start entertaining.

As you say, there are many many reviews, by all sorts. Many good. How much they may have been paid to write them I have no idea. Or maybe they simply thought the book was good? Who knows?
darkman666 0 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#12New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 18:03:14
@dookie Said

Hey, that's an interesting theory! Alas, wrong!

(It actually comes from the Journals of Thomas Merton. The little phrase was spoken by Mark Van Doren, a friend of Mertons, when he visited him one day. Merton had said that some unidentified red flower that he had found on a bud the day before had said so much more than words. And Van Doren said "the birds don't know they have names."

Merton then mused onwards, and related it all to the ultimate "Nameless One".....which sadly, many seek to give just one name)



or you look this way, " a rose by any other name " shakespeare
darkman666 0 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#13New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 18:35:59
@dookie Said

Hey, that's an interesting theory! Alas, wrong!

(It actually comes from the Journals of Thomas Merton. The little phrase was spoken by Mark Van Doren, a friend of Mertons, when he visited him one day. Merton had said that some unidentified red flower that he had found on a bud the day before had said so much more than words. And Van Doren said "the birds don't know they have names."

Merton then mused onwards, and related it all to the ultimate "Nameless One".....which sadly, many seek to give just one name)



most of my old dates, they called me, " nameless one ". they tell their friends after our dates, it take few hours, with booze to forget my name!
dookie On about 1 hour ago
Foolish Bombu





, United Kingdom
#14New Post! Sep 02, 2020 @ 20:33:38
@dookie Said

How much they may have been paid to write them I have no idea.


Just to add, I myself, me, yes folks, I......under yet another screen name, write reviews on Amazon. Well over 300 at the last count, and I stand about 3300th on the Amazon reviewers league. This results in being invited by emails to post reviews of various items, with freebies offered on posting a favourable review. I haven't kept count on how many emails I have received but would hazard a guess at about 200. I delete them immediately, being a distinguished English gentleman as well as a morally upright Pure Land Buddhist.

Jennifer1984 On about 4 hours ago
Returner and proud





Penzance, United Kingdom
#15New Post! Sep 03, 2020 @ 07:02:39
@dookie Said

Quite a good hatchet job!

Anyway, my own attitude towards most books is "take what you need and leave the rest"......which is a line from Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."

At the moment I'm quite interested in "consciousness" and how such relates to ultimate Reality. Having just finished a fine little book by Annaka Harris, "Conscious" which introduced many of the current theories in an undogmatic way, I moved onto "Galileo's Error". It has added panpsychism to my vocabulary, to join a few other "pans". Nowhere near finishing it, but being interested in the Scientific Revolution I find the start entertaining.

As you say, there are many many reviews, by all sorts. Many good. How much they may have been paid to write them I have no idea. Or maybe they simply thought the book was good? Who knows?



Loving "Hatchet Job"....

Seriously though.... I appreciate that I must appear hostile to your position on philosophy. Please know... I do respect your views and I read all your posts with interest.

I think I'll just make my own position clear one more time, that I have no antipathy towards philosophy, but adhere to the tenet that, at a certain point, the path of enlightenment splits into two and after that, the two only come together again, and only for as long as science needs to refresh itself with new wonder before diverging again.

Can we allow philosophy to impede science...? Well, actually, we do. We have ethics. Pure science, unrestrained by ethics could lead to the darkest elements of human endeavour becoming unrestrained. Ethics keeps us on the straight and narrow of beneficence to humankind.

Philosophy goes off on its own wanderings and good luck to those who wander. It seems that Mr Goff does exactly that - and as I freely admitted, I have not read his book - I'm content to leave him to his meanderings. If he is on the different part of the path to me, then fine.
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