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Category: rationality

Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

“Arendt anticipated the destructive potential of behaviorism decades ago when she lamented the devolution of our conception of ‘thought’ to something that is accomplished by a ‘brain’ and is therefore transferable to ‘electronic instruments’: The last stage of the laboring society, the society of jobholders, demands of its members a sheer automatic functioning, as though individual life had actually been submerged in the over-all life process of the species and the only active decision still required of the individual were…

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Contributions of embodied realism to ontological questions

Contributions of embodied realism to ontological questions

This article fortuitously popped up in my email this morning, as we discussed this topic in our online discussion yesterday.  An excerpt from the introduction will explain its relevance. “Emancipation is very much about reducing what Bhaskar calls the demi-real–beliefs and conceptions that do not correspond well with reality.  […] It is not enough to point out the demi-real or systemic biases in reason.  Ameliorating demi-reality involves identifying its sources, i.e. the causal and structural mechanisms that produce it. […]…

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Partisan Innumeracy

Partisan Innumeracy

In his memoir, China in Ten Words, writer Yu Hua recalled an event following the end of the cultural revolution. Literature had been banned for many years but the memory of its joys had lingered in much of the population. Hua’s formative years had been during the intellectually desiccated period. Emerging from a time when being seen with any book other than officially sanctioned volumes of or about Chairman Mao could have grave consequences, he and many others craved stories…

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How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

link.medium.com/YRFzoB3Xr5 This article is relevant to our recent discussions and Zak Stein’s (see Edward’s recent post) suggestion that great destabilizing events open gaps in which new structures can supplant older, disintegrating systems–with the inherent risks and opportunities.

The Neural Basis of Human prosocial behavior

The Neural Basis of Human prosocial behavior

A new Frontiers in Science ebook here. The blurb: With the rise of laboratory and field experimental economics, the famous prisoner’s dilemma, public good, dictator, ultimatum, and trust games have become the classical paradigms of studying prosocial behavior. Due to the increasing use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with human subjects playing economic games, the neural basis of prosocial behavior has been uncovered by a large amount of neural…

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Mental rigidity in both Parties

Mental rigidity in both Parties

Another one of those studies comparing political identification. The study is about extreme attachment to a Party. What about those who strongly identify with humanity with high cognitive complexity and flexibility who don’t identify with a Party? Are their nuanced arguments that account for numerous factors and their interplay ‘extreme?’ Is the Green New Deal extreme? If a living wage extreme? Is corporations paying their fair share extreme? Is addressing the climate crisis extreme? Is transitioning from fossil fuels to…

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Divided brain, divided world

Divided brain, divided world

I was reminded of the video below, and this longer examination of the ideas therein. Here’s the blurb from the latter: “Divided Brain, Divided World explores the significance of the scientific fact that the two hemispheres of our brains have radically different ‘world views’. It argues that our failure to learn lessons from the crash, our continuing neglect of climate change, and the increase in mental health conditions may stem from a loss of perspective that we urgently need to…

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ai will never conquer humanity

ai will never conquer humanity

From this piece located at the publications page of the International Computer Science Institute.   “Mathematical models help describe reality, but only by ignoring its inherent integrity.” Computers work on binary logic and the world is full of  ‘noise.’ Hence computers, and mathematical models for that matter, can only approximate reality by eliminating that noise. “Can a bunch of bits represent reality exactly, in a way that can be controlled and predicted indefinitely? The answer is no, because nature is…

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Gibbs on Haidt’s righteous mind

Gibbs on Haidt’s righteous mind

From Gibbs’ Moral Development and Reality: “Haidt’s new synthesis leads to recognition of at least three serious limitations: descriptive inadequacy or negative skew; unwarranted exclusion or studied avoidance of prescriptive implications; and moral relativism” (33). He then goes into detail on those inadequacies. From the section on moral relativism: “Haidt’s (2012) sentiment that liberals and conservatives should share meals and narratives and ‘get along’ is helpful, but missing is any call for rational dialogue or moral progress. Nor did Haidt…

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