Fruit Of The Loin
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(Source : therealandycohen)

Page 419
Shoket: Deliberating and deciding and second-guessing? Agonizing and regretting? My synapses don't know from such things!
Agatha: But you do.
Shoket: Maybe I just *think* that I do.
Agatha: And can you find your just *thinking* that you do any better down there among the synapses?
Shoket: I can find patterns associated with confabulation and rationalization in the orbitofrontal and ventromedial cortices.
Agatha: And the self that's doing the confabulating and the rationalizing?
Shoket: No such thing.
Agatha: So there are confabulations but no confabulator? Rationalizing but no rationalizer?
Shoket: You got it.
Agatha: *Who* got it? There's nobody here but us synapses!
quoteWhatever can be known by one person can, in principle, be known by everybody, just so long as they master the techniques for knowing that are most appropriate to a field. If it can’t be generally known, if it is irreducibly embedded in a single and singular point of view, then we can have no good reason to accept it. This is the Epistemology of the Reasonable, and it is one side of Plato’s divided soul and informs not only most of philosophy (with a few kinky exceptions like, possibly, Heidegger) but all of the sciences. Philosophy-jeerers who argue from science are unaware that they are epistemological allies with the bulk of philosophers, and depend on the Epistemology of the Reasonable that philosophers have hammered out for their convenience.quote - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, pp. 375 - 376 Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
quoteThere will always be the elements of the haphazard in eros. It is for this reason that eros is often portrayed as an irresponsible child let loose among us with bow and arrow. Our desires for another aren’t the conclusions of reasoned arguments, though often enough we wish they were, with premises entailing the beloved’s worthy attributes. Were it otherwise, we would all fall in love with the same estimable subjects.quote - Character of “Plato,” p. 276 of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
quoteGreek drama was, of course, brimming with violence, and there is a kind of quiet violence in philosophy’s work. Philosophical thinking that doesn’t do violence to one’s settled mind is no philosophical thinking at all.quote - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, p. 41 Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away

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quoteEven if we could get our hands—or rather our minds, which is to say our brains—on those masses of numbers, could they ever absorb the masses of meaning and mattering, the standards of reasoning and behaving to which we submit ourselves in order to live lives that are not only coherent to ourselves but coherent to one another—and coherent to ourselves at least in large part because they are, or we know how to go about making them, coherent to one another? All of that and more goes into constituting the shared world in which we do our living, and without which there is no life that is recognizably a life.quote - Character of “Plato, p. 417 of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
quoteSocrates knew how—in both his opinion and Plato’s—to live a virtuous life, but he wasn’t able to render that knowledge as a set of propositions. In other words when it came to living virtuously, Socrates thought he knew how, even if he knew that he didn’t know that. How did he manage this trick? By appealing to the supernatural. Between his “knowing how” and “knowing that,” there was a gap, and filling this gap was his own personal oracle, his oft-mentioned daimōn, silently warning him whenever he was about to do something wrong.quote - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, p. 367 Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
quoteThe Abrahamic religions powerfully address the problem of human worth, as do other religions that have demonstrated their millennia-long staying power. In the case of the Hebrews, the phrase bi-tzelem elohim, meaning ‘in the image of God,’ provides an answer to the question of human worth … As the King James Version translates it: ‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.’ The implication is that God’s impressing his image on man confers worth sufficient to make the shedding of blood prohibited. The Abrahamic religions have, in their turn, so impressed themselves on ethical thought that it is sometimes hard for adherents, even now, to fathom how humans could have worth without this divine impression.quote - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, p. 230 Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
quoteThe naysayer’s view of philosophy as failed or immature science denies it the possibility of progress, as does the yea-sayer’s view of philosophy as a species of literature. But neither conforms to what philosophy is really about, which is to render our human points of view ever more coherent.quote - So I just finished reading Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex, and I found it informative, informed, & pretty darn enlightening. So did apparently The Chronicle of Higher Education, which gave Goldstein the space to answer the question, "Is Philosophy Obsolete?" Read the book, and read this article! She’s a terrific writer!
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