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What I tell you three times is true

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by atanu, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Daniel Dennet in his Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: says “Perhaps the most misguided criticism of gene centrism is the frequently heard claim that genes simply cannot have interests. This . . . is flatly mistaken. . . . If a body politic, or General Motors, can have interests, so can genes.”

    It is a joke or is it philosophy or is it science?

    It is the duo of Dennet and Dawkin, who, imo, have taken the idea expressed in the title as their mantra and using an utterly unscientific concept of 'meme' have extended the very rigorous Darwin's findings with regard to 'Origin of Species' to unsubstantiated 'Origin of life-consciousness'. They have also, imo, tried to impose a presupposition that that all social phenomena must have an evolutionary basis and that it is legitimate to attempt to explain every phenomenon solely in terms of the benefit it may confer. These two who reject the fact that human attention/intention can change the environment and brain, however, spread the mythical idea that social structure are result solely of natural selection.

    They and some others have imposed TOE on cultural realities like art, religion, and morality that have no genomic sequences to unfold or exhibit no material causes and effects and propagated opinions as if those are rigorous scientific conclusions. I think that some unsuspecting masses have fallen prey to charm of Dawkins et al.., they parrot those ideas on social platforms, as if they are speaking science.

    I expect harsh posts in reply.
     
    #1 atanu, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  2. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    Then please accept my apology as I have no intentions of being harsh : )

    I agree that some take extreme views. That is true whatever the subject , on both sides. To be fair, it is not unheard of for religious notions to impose TOE on cultural realities like art, science and morality.

    For many, those secular and usually atheistic notions are a bridge from the TOE religion with which they were indoctrinated, or which they find oppressive.

    For others, the exact opposite !

    I think the good news is that those ideas won’t corrupt a good-hearted person anyway.
     
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  3. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    Do you have any links? The reason I ask is because I've listened to Dennett and Dawkins many times, and they are seldom as black and white in their conclusions and theories as you're painting them here. That doesn't prove that they haven't been black and white on this topic, but it does seem out of character for both of them.
     
  4. atanu

    atanu Member
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    The passage I quoted appears in the second para.

    Darwin's Dangerous Idea
     
  5. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    I don't have enough information to be able to respond. You have isolated a small quote from a book. Perhaps you've correctly captured the essence of the general claim in this one quote, or perhaps it's a mischaracterization?
     
  6. Howard Is

    Howard Is Lucky Mud

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    IMO that is semantic juggling at best.
    Reification.
    There is no living entity called GM.
    There are people associated with a system called GM.
    Those people have interests.

    If there is a meaningful metaphor there at all, and genes “have interests” in a similar way to GM, then it implies that there are volitional sources of those interests, employing genes as a method.

    That is as mystical as any religious notion.

    I’m surprised that anyone with an academic background and a basic grasp of philosophy would fail to see that.

    In effect, Dennet has presented an argument which supports a mystical, inexplicable volition in genes.

    I guess it all hinges on a slippery variable - “interests”.

    If he had said “tendencies”, that philosophical problem would have been sidestepped.

    As it stands, he is echoing the Bhagavad Gita, and saying that there is prakriti (structure/energy/movement) and paraprakriti (intention) in genes, making him a mystic in the guise of an objective materialist.

    I hear this same “split personality” philosophy whenever I hear the word evolution used as if it describes an intention to survive.

    Whenever intention is invoked, a mystical proposition is being made.
     
    #6 Howard Is, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  7. atanu

    atanu Member
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    I agree. It seems to me that in order to avoid terminology such as "Word and Logos' or 'Prakriti and Purusha', the duo use some new terminology. The fact remains that GM as an entity has interests because its stakeholders have interests.

    Interesting point though is that 'Prakriti' of Gita is material and inert. It appears intelligent by reflection of consciousness -- the Purusha. This, I think, becomes problematic for atheist-materialist.
     
  8. atanu

    atanu Member
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    :)

    Great Dennet brushes away the direct personal experience as illusion — forgetting that illusion too is experience.

    Philosophy That Stirs the Waters

    “The elusive subjective conscious experience — the redness of red, the painfulness of pain — that philosophers call qualia? Sheer illusion.”
    ...

    As per Dennet no one has ever suffered any pain (or joy for that matter). He could be a Vedantist of the ajAtivAda school. But alas.

    For Dennet the experience of pain is unreal since according to him there is no consciousness. But conveniently for him the third party records of the brain of the person experiencing the pain are real.

    This is mAyA, I believe. Dennet denies the consciousness, very thing that allows him to deny it. He accepts the third party data as real, rejecting the first party conscious experience, the source of all knowledge, as an illusion.

    If Dennet was correct, he himself would be an illusion.

    ...
     
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