If evolution is true, isn't it likely that our capacity for understanding the world is limited to what is necessary for survival? And if Christianity is true, isn't it likely that we can know only what God wants us to? It seems a reasonable bet, at least considering only these two world views, that there is cognitive closure at some point, and that McGinn, for instance is very possibly right that the hard problem of consciousness will never be solved (not that we should stop trying to solve it).
I am a psychologist, and have to introduce my Introductory Psychology students to consciousness. Is there an acceptable, concise definition of "consciousness"? Most psychology textbooks seem to fall woefully short. For example, David Myers defines consciousness as "our awareness of ourselves and our environment." ACK! Thanks for any feedback you might provide for me and my students.
What is the history of the belief that representation requires an intentional stance? I am a neuroscientist and we regularly use representation in what I believe is a very different sense: something like a 'token realization.' For example, I show you a bar of a particular orientation and a neuron in your cortex fires. Other bars fail to evoke that response. A typical neuroscience paper might say something like: that neuron's activity represents a bar of that orientation. Is there a difference here? I think this concept of representation as a 'token realization' (maybe a bad term) is central to the description of brain function by practicing scientists.
I have always been wondering whether the behaviours of philosophers in daily life are greatly influenced or even somehow dominated by their study, e.g. when he/she is buying a T-shirt, will he/she keep thinking this shirt is not red as people normally think but some kind of colour that could never be discovered and described or will he/she think of whether all the things still exist inside of the room everytime he/she leaves the room and closes the door? These may not be good examples but I hope I have made myself clear. Thanks!
Problem with the Problem Of Evil
I've read here a few references to the Problem Of Evil and it brings to mind a small philosophical statement which I hold dear - Beauty in all things.
To use the Katrina example for sake of continuity, is it not a short term and narrow view to say people have suffered? Let's assume anybody who has died in the event is not suffering. Those left behind probably are suffering but ultimately their life and those of onlookers may be bettered because of the experience; they may continue to lead more fulfilled lives than what they otherwise may have appreciated. Happiness comes from within and is not determined by what we have, what we've lost, or what we've been through.
I concede that beauty in all things is partly just a psychological state, but I also believe rationally that positives can be found in the seemingly most negative situations. We have all experienced this in life first hand.
Btw: wonderful website, thanks to all who contribute.
What if two politicians are running for office and neither is qualified? Is there an ethical duty to vote for the lesser of two evils, even if doing so results in putting a stamp of approval on an unqualified candidate? Or is there an ethical duty not to vote for either of them, since doing so would give them legitimacy?