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Navel cam

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Navel gazing, although of no direct benefit, is nevertheless physically awkward.

In order to navel-gaze effectively, it's necessary to (a) be shirtless and (b) to crane forward. Both of these can interfere with the daily process of living.

MaxCo has thought about this problem long and hard and, after much introspection, has developed the Navel Cam.

The Navel Cam looks rather like a cufflink. To use it, simply remove the appropriate button from your shirt, and make an additional buttonhole in its place. Then use the Navel Cam to fasten the shirt.

The inner part of the Navel Cam contains a high resolution, short focal-length camera, and LEDs for illumination. The outer part houses the replaceable battery and wireless transmitter.

Using our app, you can arrange for your navel to be electronically gazed non-stop. The video streams to your computer, where it can be viewed at your convenience. We will also, shortly, be introducing our Premium Service, wherein professional navel gazers will view your videos for you, thus saving you the trouble.

***LATEST OFFER***

Is your navel, to be frank, dull? Has endless gazing failed to produce a single insight? If so, you may suffer from Dull Navel Syndrome.

Thanks to the MaxCo. Navel Cam App, for a somewhat small monthly fee, you can receive directly streamed live video of the navels of some of the world's greatest thinkers.

The MaxCo. Navel Cam - let's get out there and introspect!

(If anyone wants to make any puns based on the similarity of the words "navel" and "naval", please feel free not to.)

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013

Navel gaze into your alma mater's navel gazing http://www.cser.org
[rcarty, Nov 16 2013]

other peoples navels The_20See-Thru_20Burkha
[Voice, Nov 16 2013]

The Sokal Affair http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair
[hippo, Nov 18 2013]

[link]






       Do whales have navels?
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       //Do whales have navels?//   

       They do. They are vast cartilaginous buttons about a metre in diameter. Yet, despite being amply provisioned in the navel department, whales have so far underaccomplished.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       Now that the important matters are out of the way, the meaning of this metaphor, and its relation to contemplating existentialism. Obviously contemplating existentiualism is a lot like the navel, because rhe navel is like the tunnel of life from which we all were synthesized materially. Contemplating this through staring is an existential undertaking. However, I disagree with the connotative aspect that, it is a futile undertaking. I understand Cambridge has started a department for studying Existential Risks. This is not the same thing entirely, but it is on the level of contemplating not our origins, but indeed how it is all going to end, when it may indeed end, and how to stop it. Without contemplating the void into which we all will one day plummet, forestalling the inevitable will be as impossible as indefinitely preventing it. Navel gazing, indeed!   

       *existentialism in the sense of existence and not free will and determinism.
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       //because rhe navel is like the tunnel of life from which we all were synthesized materially. //   

       I think we've hit a problem already.   

       // I understand Cambridge has started a department for studying Existential Risks.//   

       From their webpage: "The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) — a joint initiative between a philosopher, a scientist, and a software entrepreneur — was founded on the conviction that these issues require a great deal more scientific investigation than they presently receive."   

       Well, given their conviction, I'm pretty sure I can see how they can save 33% of their salary budget.   

       I'm sorry if I appear to be trivially and frivolously dismissing philosophy - that is not my intention. I should make it clear that I actively believe it is a waste of time which people should pursue as a hobby rather than being paid for.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       Ridiculous. Everything from scientific methodology, to conclusion is discursive, and subject to philosophical analysis. Philosophy is literally the meaning of life and everything, not just the contemplation of it. It is truth. Anything you do in science takes place inside philosophy. Draw the venn diagram, get the tattoo.   

       Believe me I'm in a Ministry of Education approved university.
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       // Anything you do in science takes place inside philosophy.//   

       Fraid not - you have an odd but perhaps common misunderhension of what scientists actually do. The stuff I'm doing at the moment in science is finding the optimum set of conditions and choice of enzymes for a reaction aimed at detecting single nucleotide molecules. My colleagues are variously working on hydrophobic, non- protein binding coatings for PDMS microfluidics; real-time tracking of microdroplets; and on pinpointing the source of contaminating nucleotides amongst our reagents. Philosophy has not yet made an appearance.   

       More broadly, I can look back over thirty years spent doing science (with greater or lesser success), and can state categorically that I have not once had the remotest inkling of a hint of a suspicion of needing any philosophy at all.   

       It's also a long-held piece of tombollockry that "scientific methodology" is philosophically founded. Of course, you can _apply_ philosophical analysis to scientific methodology, just as I can apply feathers to a piano. It just doesn't help much, is all.   

       (The correct philosopher's response at this point will be extend philosophy to include either mathematics or cognition, thereby embracing all activities.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       Do you not use scientific method? I remember reading an interesting philosophical paper on that by a Huxley. The basis for the scientific method is a philosophical matter about establishing truth. My worldview is (philosophy (science)) or philosophy >science >navel gazing.   

       Or (philosophy (empiricism (objectivism (science))))
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       Philosophers have long commented on, and even formalized (incorrectly, as it happens) the so- called scientific method. Practising scientists generally couldn't give a toss, and I doubt if they ever did.   

       There's a popular myth that the "scientific method" was somehow invented by philosophers. Alas, that is bollocks. The "scientific method" was invented, slowly, by people such as ropemakers who figured out that comparative testing was a smart way to see which rope was stronger; by metalworkers who eventually realised that it was a good idea to compare different alloys in fair tests; and by a million other unsung practical people.   

       Philosophers then waded in, a bit late in the day, and described what they thought they understood of this "scientific method". But their actual contributions (beyond telling everyone else how science ought to work) were, frankly, fuck all.   

       One of the smartest things that philosophy ever did was to take all the early scientists and call them philosophers. However, we scientists have a cunning plan to turn the tables - we are constantly inventing new omics, starting with genomics and then proteomics, metabolomics, neuromics and so on. In about five years, we'll invent philosophomics, and then all your base are belong to us.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       So is the navel the tunnel of life through which we were all synthesized materially, and is there any way to go back through it?
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       Actually, or philosophically?   

       Actually - no and no. The navel is a scar, not a tunnel. And almost every atom in your present body has come from either MacDonalds or Waitrose, depending on your income bracket (if you're a professional philosopher, I'm guessing MacDonalds).   

       Philosophically - who knows? Who cares?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       Well I don't really, I have a sociology degree, and taking my sweet ass time to do a masters because I've got nowhere to go with it.   

       You're doing philosophy but only one narrow specialization see above Ph.d PHD   

       Doctor of philosophy in science of biology
rcarty, Nov 16 2013
  

       Now, you see, that's what pisses people off about philosophers. They do bugger all, and then they just claim that anything anyone else does is philosophy. Airline pilots, welders, burger- flippers, chemists, mathematicians, doctors, typesetters - they're all actually doing philosophy even if they don't realise it, right?   

       I have to hand it to you lot, though, it's a damned good ploy. The only risk is that people will realise that, if everyone is a specialist in one area of philosophy, then it's clearly not as difficult a discipline as you would have us believe.   

       Of course, there is what I would call "hard core philosophy", undertaken only by trained philosophers. That involves spending a long time thinking about bleeding obvious questions, and then failing to answer them in various elaborate ways.   

       And don't get me started on sociology. At least you had the decency not to call it social science. Still, you're probably young enough to learn something useful.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2013
  

       Concerns about security- are you using navel identification software? Are you sharing bellies with the various government agencies?
tatterdemalion, Nov 16 2013
  

       //Are you sharing bellies with the various government agencies?   

       Aha, now we really know what the N in NSA stands for...
not_morrison_rm, Nov 17 2013
  

       //Concerns about security//   

       We share your concerns - MaxCo. values your privacy.   

       It has recently come to our attention that a group of Cambridge philosophers have hacked into the system, and are actually gazing into the navels of a group of Oxford philosophers, rather than into their own.   

       We have also found evidence that these Cambridge navel-hackers may have developed advanced concept recognition software, which flags up all of the potentially interesting segments of navel videos from the Oxford group. As a result, each Cambridge philosopher is able to skim data from not just one but several Oxford navels, giving the Cambridge team a clear advantage in insight acquisition.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 17 2013
  

       Actually, I have a suspicion that all navels have wrinkles and folds that positively identify the individual in the same way as other eye, finger and facial systems.
Ling, Nov 17 2013
  

       Before iris, retinal and fingerprint recognition were widely implemented, there were a bunch of other more bizarre biometric approaches.   

       One of these involved looking at the pattern of hair follicles on a small area of the scalp (nice, because it gives you a pattern of dots which can be compared to a reference). Another looked at finger- and toe-lengths. And one, pioneered by Reading University, used navels; the rationale (and I use the word loosely) was that the folds and scars of the navel depend on both accidents of birth and on the surgery of cutting and sealing the umbilical cord, and were therefore likely to differ between people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 17 2013
  

       //I actively believe it (.i. philosophy) is a waste of time which people should pursue as a hobby//   

       I disagree with this statement.
pocmloc, Nov 17 2013
  

       I presume you mean "I disagree with the foregoing statement." To say "I disagree with this statement" would put us in a bit of a bind, [poc].   

       Note that I'm not disparaging philosophy as a recreation. I am sure it's great fun and very satisfying. Indeed, everyone (even I) sometimes muses over the meaning of life, free will and so forth.   

       I'm just arguing that it is not something for which people should expect to be paid. And I wish they'd stop blathering on about how they invented the scientific method - that's just a case of 'whys after the event'.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 17 2013
  

       [Marked-for-tagline]"I disagree with this statement" [marked-for-tagline]
rcarty, Nov 17 2013
  

       I've used a few of my ideas to remind me of important values I hold. For example "The Noise!". Is antipragmatic, and "the energy!" Is antiadaptive. These discourses are tied to mental health, and the problem in the current age is that if you start marginalizing cognitive behaviours they start becoming sorted into mental illnesses by the those who relate to everything on the level of meat, and not philosophers who relate to everything on the level of Idea. The purposeful noise is the ethos that categorizes everything "impractical as crazy". Look in any good dictionary and you"kk find this attitude represented. People literally make a noise when someone says something impractical or antipragmatic, which I call the purposeful noise. It's related to the energy that pervades everything and forces us to adapt. People who are acting philosophically are transcending the material into the real of idea, not situating themselves in objects outside the mind , but doing somthing very Leary (as in Tim Leary) and suubjecting their own brain waves to brain waves or Idea with Idea, or thesis with antithesis, or subject with predicaate, or context with subtext, they are in the quantuum of material esssences, that are represented by Idea. This is not to be discounted. It is in *there* in the backgroud radiation of the universe that all attainable knowledge resides, and only a transcendental person who is analytical of the ethereal can obtain it.
rcarty, Nov 17 2013
  

       I don't really have a dog in this fight but...   

       // // Anything you do in science takes place inside philosophy.//   

       Fraid not - you have an odd but perhaps common misunderhension of what scientists actually do. The stuff I'm doing at the moment in science is finding the optimum set of conditions and choice of enzymes for a reaction aimed at detecting single nucleotide molecules. My colleagues are variously working on hydrophobic, non- protein binding coatings for PDMS microfluidics; real-time tracking of microdroplets; and on pinpointing the source of contaminating nucleotides amongst our reagents. Philosophy has not yet made an appearance.   

       More broadly, I can look back over thirty years spent doing science (with greater or lesser success), and can state categorically that I have not once had the remotest inkling of a hint of a suspicion of needing any philosophy at all.   

       It's also a long-held piece of tombollockry that "scientific methodology" is philosophically founded. Of course, you can _apply_ philosophical analysis to scientific methodology, just as I can apply feathers to a piano. It just doesn't help much, is all. //   

       I don't, to use your word, underhend [MB].
To wonder about the "why" of everything can only lead to the development of physical sciences due to the mind-set of feeling a need to explain things, while emersion in hard science which, by your definition; to be caught up in examination and categorization, can not lead to, and does not need philosophy.
  

       Science did not come before wonder. Only one of these things can beget the other.   

       Where is the uselessness of philosophy? Without wondering about the "yet" unknowable, wouldn't hard science alone just stagnate in it's own data?   

       My subject, me, is named rcarty. I would never say "I am a philosopher", philosophy is really just recursive thinking, thinking about thoughts etc. I don't like to hear people making a claim of beeing a philosopher unless they have espoused a known theory, that allows them to be sorted amongst known philosophers and their ideas.   

       Philosophy is not about making uneducated guesses, although guessing could be one method of reaching conclusions. Philosophy is really that recursiveness I mentioned thinking about thoughts. The name philosophy means "liking reason", so it's all about reasoning and reasoning some more.   

       Although I don't think MB means he doesn't like reasoners, those guys who are always reasoning. He doesn't like impractical ideas, but namely he wants to read science ideas, or as I would rather say only one specific area of philosophy. So by definition he is perhaps not a philosopher because he doesn't love all reason, but just science, which by my reasoning still makes him a philosopher because that's philosophy too. Therfore he isn't and is a philosopher at the same time, that probably accounts for the difficult position he is trying to argue.   

       As an example look at the navel gazing idea I posted that he rebuked. An hourglass game called existential crisis. This in his opinion is the philosophy he doesn't like. But where is the "reason" in it. It is not "existentialism" which is all about free will and determinism. It's about contemplating the metaphor of life through an object. This too is reasoning because it is analogical. Exploring analogy is philosophical because it ironically puts something into better perspective by making it something else. Ultimately, analogy allows Idea to become reified into something concrete that can be examined, especially by others to appreciate.   

       So, when you are programming computers, are you doing philosophy? I don't know a great deal about it, but I would assume you are doing some reasoning. But perhaps you are not, maybe you're doing something by rote. Music too is by rote so is not philosophy. Although a composer may be doing philosophy. Lots of things are not philosophy, but any time you have to put your hand to your chin to think out a problem you are doing it. But perhaps if you don't like doing it you are not doing philosophy. Obviously there are those who prefer to think and there are those that rather do something practical with thought, although some thought is practical in itself.
rcarty, Nov 17 2013
  

       I did not see your anno above mine [bigsleep], I was typing my own.
I do not understand what you mean by "programming philosophies".
Why can philosophy not span all subjects?
Is there not a 'why' to everything?
  

       I only ask because my own thought processes tend more towards the 'why' than the 'how'. Thinking this way invariably leads to a need to discover the 'how' of things, yet definitively figuring out the 'how' first makes determining the 'why' afterward seem like an unwanted chore.   

       The study of philosophy is not useless... it just awaits the next paradigm shift where enough 'hows' get figured out to determine the next set of 'whys'.   

       Same 'old, same 'old.   

       //Where is the uselessness of philosophy? Without wondering about the "yet" unknowable, wouldn't hard science alone just stagnate in it's own data?//   

       Now, you see, that's what I resent about philosophy - it claims any aspect of thought that it wants to.   

       Wondering about the unknowable is not philosophy except by a stretch of definition. I am not a philosopher (and don't tell me I am), yet I have a huge drive to find things out - be they in science or outside it. The reason that's not philosophy is that I believe there's an objective world out there to be understood, and that pedanticising recursively over my own thoughts is just pissing in the wind. The tree falls - does it make a sound? Who cares - it does what it does, move on.   

       Yet time and time again, philosophy claims every aspect of human endeavour as its own. When maths gets interesting, philosophers say "ah yes, well, that's really philosophy". When logic gets interesting "ah, that's philosophy too". When we put a man on the moon, I expect there were philosophers around saying "look where philosophy has got us!".   

       So, philosophy is either useless ("when a tree falls and there's nobody there to hear it...") or parasitic ("all your disciplines are belong to us").
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       Yes, just because science (or some bits of it) used to be called 'natural philosophy' it doesn't necessarily mean that modern philosophers have anything interesting to say about science.
In my own field, computer science (another naming error - it's more of a craft than a science), clever people thinking about computer science concepts (such as Turing machines) have caused vaguely philosophical questions to be asked, but not the reverse.

[Philosophy/80's music joke: "When Milli Vanilli fall over in a forest, does someone else make a sound?"]
hippo, Nov 18 2013
  

       What about postmodernist critiques of science that examine scientific mandates that are apparent in the purposes and the conclusions they work towards? For example in the ongoing conflict between indigenous knowledges and the project of modernity.   

       You don't have to repond, but I like to look at science as a part of philosophy and don't mean to be totalizing. Although your rejection of philosophy may be to burn the paper trail in order to limit unproductive but meaningful critique. So yours in fact is purposeful noise that tries to destroy the meaningful history through a nihilism of the impractical.
rcarty, Nov 18 2013
  

       //What about postmodernist critiques of science that examine scientific mandates that are apparent in the purposes and the conclusions they work towards?//   

       Whot? Well, I've never encountered or felt the need for whatever that is. It's more usually a case of "This disease kills X people/this could be done better/we need an X that does Y - now go to it."   

       Perhaps if you could give a concrete example of how postmodernist critiques have actually had a practical impact on, say, medicine or something tangible like that?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       (Postmodern critique of scince linked)
hippo, Nov 18 2013
  

       Well, it approaches an intangible because he has had an effect of mitigation, but Foucault's critiques of Health Science have likely had an immeasurable impact on the tendency of healthcare to be overy disciplinary in achieving maximum results ie better health in subjects. This is in the social domain that I study, not very familair with the hard sciences, but heath science including pschyiatry extends into education institutions as well as corrections. The impact is immeasurable.   

       Crititiques of positivism are part of the ongoing "project of emancipation".   

       Critiques of the project of modernity, have empowered indigenous peoples and communities building esteem and legitimacy.   

       Etc.   

       In the hard sciences rhyzomic ontology has informed product engineering, and communications systems developers in the information age.   

       In health science legitimizing of indigenous knowledges have led to many natural remedies and plant based pharmaceutical products.
rcarty, Nov 18 2013
  

       //tendency of healthcare to be overy disciplinary in achieving maximum results ie better health in subjects.//   

       If you mean that healthcare is becoming too specialized, then I would comment that (a) in most cases, this is of necessity and, despite the negatives, tends to give the best outcome in terms of patients still being alive afterwards and (b) the fact that healthcare needs to be joined up is well-known to many medics, and I doubt if any of them have ever read a philosophy text.   

       //rhyzomic ontology has informed product engineering, and communications systems developers in the information age. // I have no idea what rhyzomic ontology is, unless it literally refers to the growth of roots. As for communications systems, my limited knowledge suggests that complex network optimisation has come out of some pretty fancy maths (with borrowings from biological systems, for instance) rather than philosophy. Of course, you can always play your trump card and say "all your mathematics are belong to philosophy", but that's underhand.   

       //legitimizing of indigenous knowledges have led to many natural remedies and plant based pharmaceutical products// Undoubtledly. And, as I work with some of the scientists who do just that (evaluating traditional remedies to see if there's anything useful in them), I can tell you that none of them have read much philosophy. Their attitude is generally "these people have a traditional remedy for X; let's do some controlled studies to see if it works and, if it does, let's see if we can find the active compound and make it more available".   

       Look ma, no philosophy!!
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       Ok fine you're right , of course, philosophy developed into its pinnacle apex empiricist, objectivist, reductionist biological science that you study irrelevating itself to this bastard child, science, that denies its own parentage.   

       Anyway, final comment here, I have some sort of new useless thing to think of.
rcarty, Nov 18 2013
  

       Wow, an entire discourse on philosophy and not even one mention of 42.   

       This thread was meant as a honeypot, wasn't it?
RayfordSteele, Nov 18 2013
  

       Well I am still at a loss.   

       Was Einstein daydreaming about riding a beam of light not philosphicating before becoming a part of science?
Stephen Hawking stretching his mind to try to understand singularities and time itself wasn't philosophy?
  

       If philosophy isn't wondering about as yet unanswerable questions and giving these thoughts definition... then what is it?   

       // then what is it? //   

       Ask a philosopher. They're sure to know.   

       // you would never a claim 'this is a huge advance in philosophy' as a result. //   

       Actually, that claim can easily be made; substantiating it may be a little more challenging.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2013
  

       Well said, [bigs].   

       //this bastard child, science, that denies its own parentage.//   

       I dispute that. 500 years ago, people thought "gee, how does light work" - that may have been philosophy; it may have been science; it may have been chicken soup. What of it? Science as such did not exist - if you want to call all forms of enquiry "philosophy" then that's fine.   

       When Einstein thought about what it would be like to ride a beam of light, he _wasn't_ "philosophizing" insofar as the term means anything. He wasn't wondering whether riding beam of light was right or wrong, nor about whether it meant anything to "ride" light, nor whether it was a hermeneutic solipsistic approach to the problem.   

       When Einstein thought about what it would be like to ride a beam of light, he was (as far as we can tell) thinking about the physical implications thereof. That, in turn, led him to a whole bunch of very non-philosophical equations, and ultimately to the even less philosophical atom bomb.   

       A "Philosopher" might well think about what it's like to ride a beam of light. But he stops short of doing anything worthwhile, and instead moves on to consider how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, in much the same tenor.   

       Science is the "bastard child" of philosophy in much the same way that mechanical engineering is the bastard child of poetry - i.e. not very much.   

       It may say something about philosophers and scientists when you realize that philosophers are always telling scientists how science depends on philosophy.   

       The scientists generally don't go around claiming that philosophy depends on science. (Except, of course, when the philosopher has a bacterial infection.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       Philosopher: "I have developed a world-changing hypothesis".   

       Biologist: "Really ? Would you like to try some of this foxglove tea ?"   

       Chemist: "Or maybe come and have a close look at this really interesting stoic exothermic reaction ?"   

       Physicist: "It's getting dark ... just go and push those two lumps of metal together, will you ? It makes a lovely blue light ..."   

       One or all of the three latter options really will change the universe for the philosopher, on varying timescales of effect, and not necessarily for the better.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2013
  

       This must be one of the longer semantic arguments on the halfbakery. Well played everyone!
calum, Nov 18 2013
  

       // semantic arguments//   

       <looks suspicious; reaches for club> that's not like philosophy, is it? <\ls;rfc>
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       Interestingly, if you put two 21Quests in the room together, they add up to the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately they kill eachother before the output is known...
RayfordSteele, Nov 18 2013
  

       So, um... Isn't this just a button camera worn inside the shirt instead of outside?
In No Particular Order, Nov 18 2013
  

       Uh, no - it's an entirely different thing. It comes with a special customisable label.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 18 2013
  

       //when reading 'philosophy' do you come across references to Einstein and Hawking as great philosophers of a time ?//   

       No I don't. I wonder what they would say on the subject though. I also can't help but wonder how any one of those ancient philosophers would fare in modern society, how quickly they would grasp the science.   

       //But he stops short of doing anything worthwhile, and instead moves on to consider how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, in much the same tenor.//   

       But that's an easy one...
...all of them of course.
Next!
  

       Hey, has anyone ever done any innie vs. outie belly-button correlation to introvert/extrovert personality trait study?   

       "Imagination is more important than knowledge..."
RayfordSteele, Nov 19 2013
  

       //So, philosophy is either useless ("when a tree falls and there's nobody there to hear it...") or parasitic ("all your disciplines are belong to us").//   

       I suggest, [MaxwellBuchanan], that the "all your disciplines are belong to us" attitude is a fairly new one, which philosophers have only been flaunting since the baby-boomers took over the subject.   

       Setting that aside, I have found philosophy useful, provided that you accept that it doesn't offer any new facts - only ways of re-arranging facts you already had so that they make more sense to you.   

       When I watch intelligent non-philosophers dabbling with the meaning-of-life questions, it seems to me that they often waste a lot of time grappling with questions that have been thought about quite thoroughly already (take Scott Adams on Free Will, for example). Such people might derive some benefit, occasionally, from a professional philosopher. The difficulty lies in the high risk that any qualified philosopher you come across nowadays is merely an arrogant clown like Bernard-Henri Levi who will, given half a chance, pull the "all your disciplines are belong to us" thing on you.
pertinax, Nov 20 2013
  

       //When I watch intelligent non-philosophers dabbling with the meaning-of-life questions, it seems to me that they often waste a lot of time grappling with questions that have been thought about quite thoroughly already//   

       That may be the case. But as far as I know, speculation about the meaning of life over the last 2000+ years has still failed to come up with an answer, even with the assistance of philosophers.   

       Don't get me wrong - I approve of long-term research projects. But this one doesn't really seem to have gotten anywhere.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2013
  

       Yes I hardly think that the Free Will thing has been nailed by philosophers yet, has it?
pocmloc, Nov 20 2013
  

       Nailed? No, but extensively duct-taped. You don't want to waste good duct tape.
pertinax, Nov 21 2013
  

       [MB], your complaint is a bit like a complaint that you have too many clubs in your golf bag, and why can't someone make a putter that's also a sand wedge? Did you really have only one question?
pertinax, Nov 21 2013
  

       I have many questions. None of them, alas, seems to have been answered by philosophy. But yes, a sandwich would be nice, thanks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 21 2013
  
      
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