Philosophy of mind A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind–body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as one key issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body, such as how consciousness is possible and the nature of particular mental states. Mind–body problem Our perceptual experiences depend on stimuli that arrive at our various sensory organs from the external world, and these stimuli cause changes in our mental states, ultimately causing us to feel a sensation, which may be pleasant or unpleasant. Arguments for dualism
How imageboard culture shaped Gamergate Image: Yotsuba&! Vol 7, by Kiyohiko Azuma Anonymous image boards are a continuous froth of simultaneously earnest and ironic hostility. What the anonymous denizens of these boards consider polite discourse is indistinguishable from open attack. The flagship English-language anonymous imageboard is 4chan, founded by Christopher “moot” Poole in 2003. These anonymous imageboards have their own idiosyncratic culture, despite the lack of permanent identity. Without identity, every anon is whoever they want to be at the moment. The atmosphere is that of a paradoxically jovial angry mob. Everyone’s anonymous, so a poster can just join the winning side of an argument, cheerfully mocking their own older posts. Anon culture is a decentralized echo chamber, but one that can produce interesting things through the work of many hands. One toxic belief common to many anon imageboards is a love/hate relationship with so-called tripfriends. GamerGate inherited these tenets of anon culture.
Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. All of this is a symptom of our over-diagnosing and overmedicating culture. According to the DSM-IV, the diagnosis guidelines for identifying oppositional defiant disorder are for children, but adults can just as easily suffer from the disease. When the last edition of the DSM-IV was published, identifying the symptoms of various mental illnesses in children, there was a jump in the diagnosis and medication of children. Sources: www.naturalnews.com
Thomas Szasz Thomas Stephen Szasz (/ˈsɑːs/ SAHSS; April 15, 1920 – September 8, 2012) was a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990 he had been professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. He was a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. Szasz argued that mental illnesses are not real in the sense that cancers are real. His views on special treatment followed from libertarian roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the "Free World" as well as the communist states for their use of psychiatry. Life Szasz was born to Jewish parents Gyula and Lily Szász on April 15, 1920, in Budapest, Hungary. The rise of Szasz's arguments Szasz's main arguments
Reductionism Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homine, 1662. Reductionism strongly reflects a certain perspective on causality. In a reductionist framework, the phenomena that can be explained completely in terms of relations between other more fundamental phenomena, are called epiphenomena. Often there is an implication that the epiphenomenon exerts no causal agency on the fundamental phenomena that explain it. Reductionism does not preclude the existence of what might be called emergent phenomena, but it does imply the ability to understand those phenomena completely in terms of the processes from which they are composed. Religious reductionism generally attempts to explain religion by boiling it down to certain nonreligious causes. Types Richard H. Theoretical reductionism Theoretical reduction is the process by which one theory absorbs another. Methodological reductionism Ontological reductionism In mathematics
Cambrian explosion The Cambrian explosion has generated extensive scientific debate. The seemingly rapid appearance of fossils in the “Primordial Strata” was noted as early as the 1840s, and in 1859 Charles Darwin discussed it as one of the main objections that could be made against the theory of evolution by natural selection. The long-running puzzlement about the appearance of the Cambrian fauna, seemingly abruptly and from nowhere, centers on three key points: whether there really was a mass diversification of complex organisms over a relatively short period of time during the early Cambrian; what might have caused such rapid change; and what it would imply about the origin of animal life. Interpretation is difficult due to a limited supply of evidence, based mainly on an incomplete fossil record and chemical signatures remaining in Cambrian rocks. Key Cambrian explosion events Gaskiers glaciationArchaeonassa-type trace fossils History and significance Dating the Cambrian = Basal node
Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece Dr. Strangelove in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview—and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol”—to Lionel Mandrake, a dizzy-with-anxiety group captain in the Royal Air Force. Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water? Mandrake: Ah, yes, I have heard of that, Jack. Ripper: Well, do you know what it is? Mandrake: No. Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face? The movie came out in 1964, by which time the health benefits of fluoridation had been thoroughly established, and antifluoridation conspiracy theories could be the stuff of comedy. In a sense all this is not surprising. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division Photo: Bettman/Corbis
Pre-industrial society Pre-industrial society refers to specific social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which occurred from 1750 to 1850. It is followed by the industrial society. Some attributes of the pre-industrial societies Limited production (i.e. artisanship vs. mass production)Primarily an agricultural economyLimited division of labor. See also Bibliography Daniel R. Grinin, L. 2007.
A New Kind of Science A New Kind of Science is a best-selling, controversial book by Stephen Wolfram, published in 2002. It contains an empirical and systematic study of computational systems such as cellular automata. Wolfram calls these systems simple programs and argues that the scientific philosophy and methods appropriate for the study of simple programs are relevant to other fields of science. Contents Computation and its implications The thesis of A New Kind of Science (NKS) is twofold: that the nature of computation must be explored experimentally, and that the results of these experiments have great relevance to understanding the natural world, which is assumed to be digital. Wolfram introduces a third tradition, which seeks to empirically investigate computation for its own sake, and asserts that an entirely new method is needed to do so. Simple programs Generally, simple programs tend to have a very simple abstract framework. Mapping and mining the computational universe
You're a Criminal in a Mass Surveillance World – How to Not Get Caught Sometimes you just get lucky. I was in Amsterdam when the Snowden story broke. CNN was non-stop asking politicians and pundits, “Is Edward Snowden a traitor?” Those who said he betrayed America also said something else: Mass surveillance is only an issue if you’re a criminal. The Snowden story hit me upon my return from – of all places on earth – the Secret Annex of the Anne Frank House. The “Anne Frank House” — then and now I say I was lucky because the cosmic unlikeliness of my Secret Annex visit coinciding with Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations led to some revelations of my own. It turns out we’re all criminals in a mass surveillance world. What Makes a Criminal? Merriam-Webster defines crime as “activity that is against the law.” The law as a whole is an ever-expanding collection of rules that politicians (“lawmakers”) decree and occasionally repeal. Simply put, laws are the rules politicians make up, and criminals are people who break them. The American Crime Complex Miep Catch-22
Why Life Does Not Really Exist | Brainwaves, Scientific American Blog Network A native bee in my backyard (Credit: Ferris Jabr) I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. Growing up in northern California, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors among plants and animals. Some of my friends and I would sneak up on bees as they pollinated flowers and trap them in Ziploc bags so we could get a close look at their obsidian eyes and golden hairs before returning the insects to their daily routines. Sometimes I would make crude bows and arrows from bushes in my backyard, using stripped bark for string and leaves for fletchings. Moments like that—along with a number of David Attenborough television specials—intensified my enthrallment with the planet’s creatures. A K'Nex contraption (Credit: Druyts.t via Wikimedia Commons) Recently, however, I had an epiphany that has forced me to rethink why I love living things so much and reexamine what life is, really. Allow me to elaborate. It’s almost too easy to shred the logic of such lists. I disagree.