Answers for Aristotle: Science and Philosophy - Meeting 5 Part 5










Join us to discuss Massimo Pigliucci's latest book.
Please read up to page 231 and be prepared to share your ideas and insights triggered by the reading.

See reviews at Amazon.

Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to get your bearings and feel settled in, as we will begin at 7pm. Dinner, snacks, dessert, and drinks will be available.

Since we have room for only 8, if you RSVP and don't show, you may have deprived someone who would have come had there been room.

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  • Richard A.

    Another great session.

    August 26, 2013

  • Juan B.

    We tried to grasp the main ideas in the three short (summary) chapters on politics, fairness, and justice. Pigliucci does a good job of brief treatment of complex issues.

    August 23, 2013

    • Gary F.

      The whole book is an appeal for rationality, using the tools of science and philosophy. On the other hand, he informs us that we are less rational than we think, we are influenced by our biology and often think irrationally. We are motivated originally by emotion and appetite, not reason. So how can we humans, inherently to some degree irrational, become more rational? At the beginning of the book he says we can make use of the book assuming "that you are interested in using reason and evidence to guide your life and make it better." And he refers to the "Bayesian updater" approach, which is to assimilate new evidence, as rational. So we only have hope if we have an initial desire or interest in being rational. Not everybody does, making rational political discourse very rare...

      1 · August 24, 2013

    • Gui

      At the deepest level, our behavior is informed by our genes. Social conditioning provides the next layer that programs our behavior. Then, our personal, subjective reactions lay a foundation for conscious individuation. Our ability to engage in objective analysis is a great tool for packaging the above as an ego, adding to, trimming, or moving things about, rationalizing, and throwing out what doesn't make sense.
      If we don't learn to value and practice updating our multi-informed world view with an eye toward integration/integrity, we lose our inherent fluidity and objectify whatever that crusted over self-opinion is that floats to the surface and pretends authenticity.

      August 24, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    Political philosophy dominated the discussion with Rawls ideas foremost. This was an opportunity for some of us who have avoided the subject to learn something new and interesting.

    1 · August 24, 2013

  • Gary F.

    Shermer’s lawyers have sent Myers a warning letter demanding that he take down the blog entry and apologize by tomorrow or legal remedies will ensue including “injunctive relief and monetary and punitive damages necessary to compel you to cease and desist”. “Mr. Shermer denies any and all allegations in the Entry, as he has never coerced any woman into sexual intercourse, at a conference or anywhere else…Mr. Shermer has no idea why he is being accused of such repulsive and criminal conduct as he has never conducted himself in the manner described in the Entry.” So far the blog entries are still up and Myers is looking for a pro bono attorney. Is he a hero or “internet vigilante”? His blog is being closely watched now!

    August 12, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    After the fact it is extremely difficult if not impossible to protect yourself. There are some men and women from whom I would never be alone without witnesses present. The circumstances are not limited necessarily to sexual advances but include abuse and harassment. With others around the best protection is a loud sentence or two warning the assailant to stay away. When other heads turn in the right direction, few if any aggressors will persist. The only rights we have are the ones we can defend. I also say yes to outing the rapist and be prepared to pay the price. Praying the others will follow your lead doesn't hurt.

    August 11, 2013

  • Gary F.

    Here is a current ethical dilemma. A well known blogger is told by a trusted friend that a famous person raped her and 5 women she knew told her they were also raped by him. But the victims want to remain anonymous. Should the blogger name the famous person publicly? Well, he did:
    Ethical or unethical?

    August 10, 2013

    • Juan B.

      Yes, an answer to the ethical dilemma is difficult. But knowing what women have to deal with when it comes to situations in which they feel trapped and not likely to get much help or sympathy from those in power, I'm inclined to say that Myers was not entirely unethical to publish the story. But who knows what the right thing is in this case.

      August 11, 2013

    • Juan B.

      I attend conferences at which both of these characters have spoken, and have actually met both of them. I found Shermer more likeable than Myers, but found that both of them were awfully full of themselves --- so to speak. Not much surprises me any more. If priests, teachers, politicians, and others who should know better falter in their moral behavior, why not stalwarts of the skeptical community too? But I don't know the facts.

      August 11, 2013

  • Katherine B.

    I love philosophy discussions and I will attend the meeting.

    1 · August 9, 2013

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