Top current philosophers?

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Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 07:40 am
@Charos,
Charos;128701 wrote:
I read his Animal Liberation which I was pretty iffy about...I remember he drew some fire for arguing that babies within the first year of life are cognitively comparable to worms and, if their death would increase the overall happiness of the parents then we should allow infant euthanasia...the idea that he'd make an argument like that and yet still be all up in arms over animal rights rubbed me the wrong way. No problem with questionable philosophies but his just seemed bordering on self-sabotage.

...



It was probably intended to be shocking to get your attention. If people object to babies being killed, upon what basis can they justify killing cows and pigs and other such animals? Of course, people simply don't have good philosophical justifications for their views on things, and are often inconsistent in how they approach such matters. In this case, it is likely that was is at work is "speciesism", so that people are simply bigoted about these matters, very much like some people are bigoted about race and other such things.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 08:39 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;128947 wrote:
It was probably intended to be shocking to get your attention. If people object to babies being killed, upon what basis can they justify killing cows and pigs and other such animals? Of course, people simply don't have good philosophical justifications for their views on things, and are often inconsistent in how they approach such matters. In this case, it is likely that was is at work is "speciesism", so that people are simply bigoted about these matters, very much like some people are bigoted about race and other such things.


Yes, and it ought to be that way. It's not practical to hold concern for every single species. Let the birds eat the worms and us eat the birds, I say.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 11:03 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;128957 wrote:
Yes, and it ought to be that way. It's not practical to hold concern for every single species. Let the birds eat the worms and us eat the birds, I say.


By: "It's not practical to hold concern for every single species.", what do you mean? And do you regard what is practical as the same as what is ethical?

And is it practical to care about other people? Should we adopt A Modest Proposal as well? It would certainly help deal with overpopulation, so it seems like it would be a very practical idea.

As for your last sentence, do you regard birds as a model for how we should behave?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 07:07 pm
@Phredderikk,
Pyrrho wrote:
By: "It's not practical to hold concern for every single species.", what do you mean?


I think the better word here would be reasonable.

I mean that even walking on the sidewalk has the potential to cause death to small insects, and if we held the same concern for all species of insects as we do for humans, we wouldn't be able to function normally. Therefore, relating to the normal, daily life of a human, it is not reasonable to have to hold concern for every species of insect.

Quote:
And do you regard what is practical as the same as what is ethical?


It depends. But in general, no.

Quote:
And is it practical to care about other people?


Sure, there are many practical uses for caring for people, or at least acting like you care. For instance, caring for someone may make it more likely they will care for you back, or help you during a time of need. Having someone care for you has been shown to benefit mental health, so this may be a good reason to want someone to care for you.

Quote:
Should we adopt A Modest Proposal as well?


You interpret what I've said as that I have no problem selling Irish children for money?

Quote:
It would certainly help deal with overpopulation, so it seems like it would be a very practical idea.


It may be a practical* idea. But it would be an unethical one also. I hope you are not advocating selling Irish children for money simply because it may help overpopulation. I personally think we should attempt to resolve the problem in another manner.

Quote:
As for your last sentence, do you regard birds as a model for how we should behave?


You mean, do I think we should all fly (or attempt to), chirp, make nests out of twigs, and eat worms? Oh, the answer is no.

*I am using practical here to mean useful in practice. I am holding it distinct from ethical.
 
Ahab
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 07:53 pm
@Zetherin,
The list of current philosophers that I consider very good would include the following:

P.M.S. Hacker
Bede Rundle
H.J. Glock
Anthony Kenny
Wolfgang Kunne
Bernard Williams
 
Derek M
 
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 03:53 pm
@Phredderikk,
As far as the philosophy of consciousness is concerned, I'd say David Chalmers is the top dog. It seems like every other paper cites that guy.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 04:49 am
@Derek M,
It is better to rank for particular arguments, or positions on a given subject.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 07:07 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;128947 wrote:
It was probably intended to be shocking to get your attention. If people object to babies being killed, upon what basis can they justify killing cows and pigs and other such animals? Of course, people simply don't have good philosophical justifications for their views on things, and are often inconsistent in how they approach such matters. In this case, it is likely that was is at work is "speciesism", so that people are simply bigoted about these matters, very much like some people are bigoted about race and other such things.


People eat animals. They don't eat babies (I hope).
 
pondfish
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 07:13 am
@Phredderikk,
ME ME ME!

I do not exist though. Smile
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 07:43 am
@kennethamy,
Charos;128701 wrote:
I read his Animal Liberation which I was pretty iffy about...I remember he drew some fire for arguing that babies within the first year of life are cognitively comparable to worms and, if their death would increase the overall happiness of the parents then we should allow infant euthanasia...the idea that he'd make an argument like that and yet still be all up in arms over animal rights rubbed me the wrong way. No problem with questionable philosophies but his just seemed bordering on self-sabotage.

...


Pyrrho;128947 wrote:
It was probably intended to be shocking to get your attention. If people object to babies being killed, upon what basis can they justify killing cows and pigs and other such animals? Of course, people simply don't have good philosophical justifications for their views on things, and are often inconsistent in how they approach such matters. In this case, it is likely that was is at work is "speciesism", so that people are simply bigoted about these matters, very much like some people are bigoted about race and other such things.


kennethamy;141856 wrote:
People eat animals. They don't eat babies (I hope).



Why do you hope that? Do you think that babies are more intelligent, or more capable of feeling pain, than other animals that are killed for food?

Or to ask differently, what is wrong with eating babies? And does that answer apply to other sorts of animals? Does the answer amount to "speciesism", simply a prejudice in favor of one species over others?

The mere fact that people do one thing but not another is no reason to suppose that there is a good reason for people doing the one and not the other. There may be a good reason for it, or it may be that people are making an irrelevant distinction. But if there is a good reason for this distinction, I have never heard it.
 
Emil
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 10:02 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;101638 wrote:
Not only that. It is true.


Not entirely true. There are people that think Dennett is an idiot/fool/etc.
 
mickalos
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 10:13 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;142172 wrote:
Why do you hope that? Do you think that babies are more intelligent, or more capable of feeling pain, than other animals that are killed for food?

Or to ask differently, what is wrong with eating babies? And does that answer apply to other sorts of animals? Does the answer amount to "speciesism", simply a prejudice in favor of one species over others?

The mere fact that people do one thing but not another is no reason to suppose that there is a good reason for people doing the one and not the other. There may be a good reason for it, or it may be that people are making an irrelevant distinction. But if there is a good reason for this distinction, I have never heard it.


People laughed at Swift's A Modest Proposal, but who's laughing now! I certainly am.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 10:20 am
@mickalos,
mickalos;142209 wrote:
People laughed at Swift's A Modest Proposal, but who's laughing now! I certainly am.


Yes, thank you. I was just about to mention the Swift satire too. Actually, I expressed the hope that people don't eat babies because they are mostly saturated fat.
 
Emil
 
Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2010 01:56 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142210 wrote:
Yes, thank you. I was just about to mention the Swift satire too. Actually, I expressed the hope that people don't eat babies because they are mostly saturated fat.


lol


2394723423234535345
 
Martinus
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 08:07 pm
@Clydesdale,
Clydesdale;124999 wrote:
I really like Dennett and Sam Harris right now, thanks for the other reccommendations!!


Harris wonders whether morality may be neurological. A true Humanist looking beyond atheism understands that cultured character underpins morality completely, and thereafter completely defines the terrain.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 06:08 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;78082 wrote:
Owen Flannagan
Peter Singer
Daniel Dennet
Richard Rorty
Jonathan Westphal
Ken Wilbur

These guys are all good reads, and I think they are all still alive.


Not Rorty. Good reads need not be good philosophers. I would add Thomas Nagle to the list.
 
 

 
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