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Old 09-25-2010, 12:30 AM   #47
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,556
United_States
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Re: Breaking the will of the ego.

Dr. Goldsbury...

Lovely to see you posting.

Yes, I am quite familiar with Austin as "How to do things with Words" was one of my favorite books when I was an undergrad. I spent a great deal of time reading Austin, Wittgenstein, and Ryle. I even managed to catch a few lectures from Searle later on. Great stuff. I ended up doing an Honors Thesis in epistemology with an emphasis on many of these guys although I mostly focused on some rather dry and boring details from Carnap.

Honestly I still think about it all and "roll it around in my head" 25 years later. As a matter of fact a few months ago I went back to rereading the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Or at least trying to. It seems so easy, such simple sets of concepts. It becomes mind boggling so quickly. Amazing work...

I had thought of quoting the very same (very famous) Wittgenstein gem, but since I'd already apparently gone too far I felt I should probably toggle it back a bit. I've always thought the critique of a philosophy degree being useless was clearly incorrect. I found the work of people like Austin, Wittgenstein, et al gave me a tremendous advantage in later on dealing with the analysis and interpretation of statistical data for the large scale studies I ran. So many traps, so much subtle nuance. And I remember one day in a meeting with a bunch of psych/stats people I brought up the phrase "truth values" as I was trying to explain a problem I had with an interpretation of some data. Most of them had no idea what I was talking about. I was channeling Austin...

Regardless, after I posted my quick post above I started to regret it. I'm not exactly sure how to get any further in this sort of thing and I think you're quite right to say that the original post can just stand as it is. I would suggest that those interested might want to search the web for articles on signs of cult-like behavior. And Dr. Marc already went through much of it point by point well before I ever posted originally. His extremely insightful and relevant comments and how they were essentially misunderstood and/or swept aside really were what inspired me to post the video of the cute zombie-faced kid uttering the completely sincere but total non sequitur that he liked turtles.

Anyway, I'm really not sure there is much more to say in the context of a forum like this.

And as an aside I'm glad you picked up my Platonic reference as it was really more of an inside joke to myself. I recently reread Plato's Gorgias dialogue as a result of some of the incredibly silly political discussions we've been having here in the US. Ironically enough it also seemed somewhat relevant to this discussion. An interesting convergence of coincidence.

And I will admit to being vastly more sympathetic to the Aristotelean point of view myself.

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