In response to:

A Racial Revolution?

Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:06 PM
The view that demography or biology is destiny is a part of late-modern conventional wisdom that informed the work of Karl Marx and behaviorist psychologists, among others, and is a cornerstone of collectivist, farm-animal ideologies. It stems from a misunderstanding of empirical method, which necessarily objectifies, aggregates, and averages what they observe. These methods are great for generating knowledge about rocks and molecules, and rocks and molecules aren't much diminished by being objectified and stereotyped. When applied to humans, though, the result is a decapitated depiction.
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:55 PM
It's philosophy. Admittedly, it's a far remove from practical thought and activity. But science was natural philosophy, and highly speculative, before it was an accepted intellectual tool and institutionalized. Socrates' intuitive discovery of the force of contradiction was seen as an almost mystical power in his day.
-- Perhaps if you read more carefully, you'd see that there isn't much that's esoteric in what's above, which is one of the more common vehicles of the intellectually pretentious. There's paradox, but it's presented in accessible terms.
Ann272 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:44 PM
Translation for us peasants: "The clear clearness of objectification hints at all things being interdependent"
Surprising that this poster doesn't quote R. D Laing or Dr. Brian Sykes.
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:29 PM
-- But the unambiguous distinctness of objectification implies a negation of causation, since the ability of one thing to affect another entails a kind of existential dependency of one thing on another, violating existential distinctness. Though in practical thought, we simply skip over this problem, the negation of causation, and hence, the attractive connectedness that holds ordinary-sized material things together, was the basis of Hume's radical skepticism, and via Husserl, the basis of "post"-modernism.
Ann272 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:25 PM
You are insufferably pretentious; most of the posters on this forum are undoubtedly more intelligent and better educated. The old saying is true: "The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.".
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:25 PM
gravity be viewed as a separate entity, an "invisible force," thus enabling him to quantify it and do the math. He didn't argue, BTW, that he was providing a "neutral" description of reality, but that it would be fruitful to view gravity through a mathematical lens (in the opening passages of the Principia). The means of empiricism rely on objectification, and this treats objects as unambiguously distinct from one another, and hence countable and mathematizable. What Newton did was to objectify gravity, and this led to much empowerment of modern science.
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:18 PM
Most of them were about the limitations of empiricism-- not to refute it, but merely to recognize its limited scope. A small example concerns gravity. Newton refered to gravity alternately as an invisible force and as a property of matter, and by the usual criteria for properties of things, it qualifies as a property of matter-- it's always and only present in the presence of matter, and its location is closely associated with the location of matter, etc. But gravity extends to infinity (diminishing in "density" with distance), and it makes for a messy universe if every material thing, with respect to "its" gravity, extends to infinity and in a sense "occupies" the same space as other material things. Newton's genius was to stipulate that
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 3:11 PM
I believe that we're at the point of diminishing returns of the modern intellectual paradigm, and that so-called "post"-modernism is an emperor's-new-clothes intellectual movement that merely highlights the skeptical baggage that empiricism conteined from the start (Descartes' subjectivism, Locke's moderate skepticism on which he based his argument for toleration, Hume's more radical skepticism). Empiricism is an intellectual power tool, and does not yield "neutral" descriptions of reality, but means to ends. It's time for a broader perspective that subsumes empiricism, one that's persuasive enough to motivate an abandonment of modern, collectivizing trends. The rest is too complicated for this forum.
Ann272 Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:51 PM
Whoo-boy! I'm glad I never had to grade his papers.
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:26 PM
-- Though it may seem quaint today, the architecture of ancient morality and religion intuitively embodied a quantum-like understanding of human freedom, self-determination, spontaneity, and creativity. Freedom and spontaneity are presupposed in the notion that a person CAN be viewed as "owning" enough of his own behavior to call him responsible for it. Objectification and stereotyping efface freedom and spontaneity in rendering inherently finite and quantifiable objects. The notion of personal reesponsiblity is founded on what is, to empirical methods, an absurdity and a self-contradiction. Basing policy decisions solely on the empirical perspectives of social science is how modernity nudges human society toward socialism and communism.
aknowles Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:22 PM
What a lecture! So, Professor, you have suggestions to better this dismal situation?
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:16 PM
Not only are their depictions of human persons inaccurate, their practices also entail a methodological elitism. Empirical knowledge is the knowledge that is power, and social science theorists and implementers of their theory are empowered over the sheep-like masses they objectify. This empowerment is further enhanced by the negative self-fulfilling prophecies engendered by convincing the people to view themselves as they are defined by those theories-- mechanistically passive, amoral, collectivized, and ruled by passions, sensations, and conditionings.
Bob4419 Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:12 PM
The social-science depiction of a human person is objectified, rendered stable, predictable, finite, and quantifiable. It is also a stereotype of a person. We have these quantum computers between our ears, yet in human behavior as in quantum physics, the spontaneity and indeterminacy of individual quantum phenomena cancel out in the aggregate. This is why the macroscopic material world is relatively stable, despite the wildness at the sub-atomic scale. This is also human populations are more predictable than human individuals.
-- Yet the theorizing activity of the social scientists themselves violates their decapitated portraits of human persons, in the creativity and freedom they employ in the process.
Surtr Wrote: May 19, 2012 2:11 PM
So it's a grand idea to flood ourselves with millions more of the types who are failing miserably? A centuries worth of psychometrics are to be discarded because you don't like the averages?

Are Blacks, Hispanics, and Polynesians suddenly going to stop committing crimes, joining gangs, and using welfare?

It's you who don't understand empiricism.

Now that census data show -- for the first time in American history -- the number of white babies born exceeded by the number of babies born to non-white minorities the question is: What does this mean for the future of American society?

Politically, it means that minorities who traditionally vote overwhelmingly for Democrats can ensure that the country veers ever further to the left over the years, making America more like the welfare states of Europe, whose unsustainable spending led ultimately to financial crises and widespread riots.

But this is not strictly a matter of whites versus non-whites....