Author Topic: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?  (Read 69 times)

andie

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Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« on: June 28, 2017, 03:59:12 pm »
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/opinion/has-trump-stolen-philosophys-critical-tools.html?_r=0

Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?

"Truth is pliable in Trumpland.

In March, the president fired off a tweet accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower. Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, dismissed the claim. But the Trump team doubled down, writing off media reports and insisting that evidence of wiretapping would soon surface. It didn’t.

We’re used to this pattern by now: The president dresses up useful lies as “alternative facts” and decries uncomfortable realities as “fake news.” Stoking conservative passion and liberal fury, Trump stirs up confusion about the veracity of settled knowledge and, through sheer assertion, elevates belief to the status of truth.

Trump’s playbook should be familiar to any student of critical philosophy. It often feels like Trump has stolen our ideas and weaponized them.

For decades, critical social scientists and humanists have chipped away at the idea of truth. We’ve deconstructed facts, insisted that knowledge is situated and denied the existence of objectivity. The bedrock claim of critical philosophy, going back to Kant, is simple: We can never have certain knowledge about the world in its entirety. Claiming to know the truth is therefore a kind of assertion of power."

Read rest at link.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 08:52:03 pm by Rustie »
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mikemarshall

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 11:14:23 pm »
As someone who used to make my living teaching philosophy and is currently writing a book of philosophy, I find the idea that somehow Kant is responsible for the idea that we cannot 'know' reality or that truth is somehow 'unknowable' a laughable caricature which, even worse, displays an utter ignorance of the history of philosophy.

To begin with, the ancient Greeks - particularly Protagoras, Leucippus and Democritus - adopted the view that our knowledge of the world was limited and that truth was hard to attain.

Socrates - at least in theory - his practice was not always consistent - also adopted a broadly similar attitude.

Then 'belief' came to be mistaken for 'knowledge' and 'truth' as Plato, the Neoplatonists and early Christians began to erect vast metaphysical edifices on highly dubious premisses.

During the Middle Ages some at least of the Nominalists - particularly William of Ockham - put forward ideas very similar to those you mention.

Descartes began creating his entire philosophical system on the basis of dogmatic doubt.

Now there are two ways of obtaining knowledge about the world. One is through logic and the other through empiricism. In other words, through sense experience.

Both have their defects; it is possible to formulate a logical proposition that is not grounded on fact and induction by simple enumeration has long been shown to be at best only a provisional method of enquiry.

Deconstructionism is more of a game than serious philosophical enquiry.

And the anti-Kant comment clearly comes from the inaccurate propaganda of Ayn Rand.

Kant's philosophy has many flaws but it is anything BUT an attack on truth.


andie

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 10:25:59 am »
May I stand corrected.

Though I was quoting an article on the subject I am still responsible for its views.

I have not had the time I would have liked to study philosophy with direction.

I bow to someone who was professor of philosophy and is writing on book in that field.

I understand the law...American law, math and science and and studied and performed classical music.

The truth is none of us can know but a very tiny fraction of what there id to know.

What is important is to always know how to learn and to have intellectual curious.

IMO what is the point of living without those 2 attributives.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 09:12:32 am by andie »
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mikemarshall

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 10:34:45 pm »
Andie, I did NOT mean to put on my lecturer's hat!

My comment was directed at the article which showed a clear failure to grasp either the history of philosophy (which is forgivable!) or the specific topics it mentioned.

You know I am sure far more about numerous areas of life in which I am a veritable dunce!

andie

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2017, 12:30:35 pm »
mike...

I did not think you did.

I apologize if I conveyed that.

I always look forward to your posts here and elsewhere.

You are extremely educated, articulate and always have very thoughtful, cogent posts that are a pleasure to read.
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mikemarshall

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 12:53:20 am »
 :-[

andie

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Re: Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 09:15:13 am »
You are a sweetie mike.

That part about how everyone only knows a tiny fraction of what is there to be known I read a long time ago.

I do not know where I read, who said it but it has always stayed with me.

Maybe because it makes me feel less stupid then I am. :)
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