Monday, September 26, 2005

Synchronicity Journal September 26, 2005

Just the other day Utenzi came to my blog and mentioned the Cartesian Mind-Body Problem. Then later, as he was reading a novel called _The Rule of Four_, the Cartesian Mind-Body Problem was briefly mentioned.


utenzi said...

I started Sophie's World last night, Stacey but I didn't get very far. I'm on page 31. So far it seems like an intro text to philosophy but slightly fictionalized to make it more palatable. I'm sure it'll fill out more as I go along. So far I take exception to only one thing--philosophers being folk with the sense of wonder intact. That's not what I've noticed in my life. To me the commonality is more that philosophers are always questioning. The old "question authority" thing that harkens all the way back to Socrates himself.

Sophia said...

Hi Utenzi,

I think the book is meant to be an intro-to-Philosophy type book, mainly for those of us (like me) who have had no education in Philosophy. It's probably an excellent primer for first year Philosophy students. What I like about it is it speaks at my level. Maybe after I've finished this novel I can then move on to something that goes into Philosophy a bit deeper.

My regrets at this point is that I never took any Philosophy in either high school or college. I crave the learning structure that only a professor can provide, but I find that this book is a great substitute, with the exception that I'm not being assigned homework. :( (Yes, I loved homework when I was in school.)

You've not yet reached the chapter on Socrates, so you will find a little of what you're looking for.

But my, at your rate you'll be ahead of me in two days. I need to take more time out of life to read. I spend way too much time on the computer and not enough time reading. I could have been halfway through this book by now if I had spent more than ten minutes a day reading. There was a time in my life when I hardly got my nose out of a book. I think that's one sad thing about my life that has changed. It has nothing to do with growing older. I know lots of older people who are always reading.

But I still carry this book around with me everywhere in the hopes that I'll have 30 seconds or more to read a page or two. :)

The mysterious philosopher is quite the character. :)

Castor said...

"I think , therefore I am."
The thinker exist only when he thinks.
When he stops thinking, he inevitably disappears.
The thinker is the thought; the thought is the thinker.
When he observes without thinking, he disappears.
There is only the observed.
This is enlightenment!

Change said...

Carry on, Stacey, go on reading, although it may seem boring at times. You are quite right, it is an intro-to-philosophy book.

You know, there are numerous levels of enlightenment, each level requires it's own set of knowledge and awareness.

The more aware you are, the more you know about human thought, the easier it will be to find your true level of enlightenment (although philosophy is only a part of what you need to go through). But, don't worry about all the details, all the comlicated discussions and matters, its your awakening awareness that count.

Enlightenment is not something that just happen, you have to deserve it.

utenzi said...

Gaardner's gotten one thing wrong though it's one that is often screwed up in intro texts. The instruction to Sophie indicates that Anaxagoras and his concept of atoms turned out to be correct. Of course it wasn't and given the knowledge of the times it was impossible for anyone to guess the underlying nature of reality. Anaxagoras included. More often than not intro texts do treat Anaxagoras this way, saying that he was correct in his assumptions.

utenzi said...

That's a very interesting journey through history, Castor. From Syracuse, to France "Je pense, donc je suis" and up to England for Berkeley's conundrum. Nice trip.

Sophia said...

Hi Change,

The book hasn't seemed boring to me yet in any spot. You would think it was my security book the way I carry it around with me, hoping for a second to find out what Sophie and her philosopher are up to next. :)

You know, I bought this book used at a library book sale. Then it sat on my shelves for months. I can't believe I let it sit that long. I don't think I can go back to normal novels after this one. They will all seem too mundane. :(

But, I wonder how one can deserve enlightenment? How hard does one have to work and what do they have to do? Any ideas?

Sophia said...

I didn't quite grasp that the philosopher was indicating that Anaxagoras was correct, he was simply pointing out to Sophie what Anaxagoras *thought* to be correct. For instance, Anaxagoras thought that the moon got its light from the earth. We of course now know this is not the case, but in Anaxagoras' time, who knew any better? The philosopher was just pointing out the belief of Anaxagoras of that time.

utenzi said...

My apologies, Stacey. It was Democritus that Gaarder was referring to in the section I was thinking of. Just goes to show, always check your sources before writing!

Sophia said...

Do you mean by there being particles even smaller than protons, electrons and neutrons? I am by no means a science buff, but has science shown that all particles can be broken down to nothingness? Or energy?

I hope this question does not make me appear to be ignorant, which I guess I am, considering I didn't have any science education beyond chemistry in high school and biology in college. I've never had physics or advanced-level chemistry.

utenzi said...

It's not that, Stacey. It's that since the general language used by Democritus fits into our modern understanding of the natural world, many philosophical textbooks ascribe more technical understanding to Democritus than he should have. And that's taking nothing away from him--he just didn't have the framework to understand. As it was, his apparent contributions to natural philosophy as well as mathmatics and cosmology were amazing. Unfortunately very little of what he wronte survived past the early Middle Ages so we can only infer his contributions.

As for your question, Stacey, E=mc2 illustrates how all matter can be converted to energy so in that sense everything is reducible to non-matter. But I don't think you meant it in that way.

Sophia said...

While Democritus didn't have the scientific understanding that we have today and couldn't use all the technical mumbo-jumbo terminology, he still had a basic understanding that things were made-up of tiny indivisible particles that couldn't be seen by the eye.

The book says that his theory was "more or less correct", and that in our own time we have discovered "smaller 'elemental particles'".

utenzi said...

But Democritus' theory wasn't right. It just looks good in hindsight.

Castor said...

E = m times c raised to the power of two.
m times c raised to the power of two = E.
This means energy is matter.
Or reality is both matter and energy. Wave and particles.
It depend on how you see it.
Something like Heseinberg's uncertainty principle comes in.
The observer must be taken into consideration.

Castor said...

I went further or farther.
This is my own interpretation.
Not quite original.
It's what I think enlightenment is all about. It's not a big deal.