PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, April 28, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: What am I missing out on because of my character?

Dear friends,

The topic for this Sunday is: What am I missing out on because of my
character?

There is no doubt that sometimes we can be our worst enemy. We can be
our own enemy because of the mistakes we do in our life and because,
maybe, of our misjudgement in not taking advantage of opportunities.

From a philosophical perspective we have issues like personal identity,
self awareness, consciousness, self deception and subjectivism. All
these issues should lead to an interesting discussion.

But no doubt the worst aspect of this question is, knowing we are
missing out on something and we have no one else but ourselves to blame.
Hence, the most basic of philosophical issues about this topic is guilt.
And the worst kind of guilt: doing wrong to ourselves.

All the best

Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------





from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: What am I missing
out on because of my character?

Friday, April 22, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Being a Woman

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Being a Woman.

My position on the topic is that this is not about feminism but
precisely being a woman, i.e. 50% of the human population. In my few
paragraphs below I try to outline and address the philosophical issues
behind this topic. Understanding the fundamentals of the topic should
free us to put the issues in ethical and social contexts.

Being a woman

There are many ways we can interpret this topic.

What is it like to be a woman? Can we really understand what women
experience? And is there a difference being a man or a woman, or at
least a difference that matters?

The seminal paper on the topic is "What is it like to be a bat?" by
Thomas Nagel a paper that includes two key ideas prompted by
reductionism: consciousness and the mind-body problem. Basically,
because consciousness is a subjective experience we cannot explain
consciousness by the component parts of the brain (body).

I am however, not totally convinced that Nagel's paper is that relevant
to our topic. Women are no less human beings than the rest of humanity.
Nagel addresses the issue of a conscious being that is completely
different from us: bats. But half the population of humanity is similar
to being a woman and as I said the other half are also humans. Thus, all
the human population have something in common with women, unlike with bats.

The other more general problem I have with this paper is that talking
about "being a bat" or "bats in general" (or woman / women) is that this
is a linguist extrapolation from experiencing individual bats. And
basically, as Nagel argued, we are locked out of the individual
consciousness, so how can we extrapolate or generalise about a species
when we don't even have access to an individual of the species? My point
is that there are only individuals and any extrapolation to generalise
about the species is a human ability to express our thoughts into a
communicable language. In our context, there are only individual women
like there are only individual men or bat for all that matters.

Daniel Dennett (see Wikipedia link below) finds a way round the impasse
in Nagel's arguments. Basically, scientific investigation can still give
us access to the subjective aspect of living entities. Thus whilst we
cannot become a bat, we can still say and understand a lot about bats.

Similarly, whilst half of the population cannot become the other half,
science gives us a reasonable methodology to understand or at the very
least come close to understand, at the human level, what life is like
being a woman. This achievement is a huge step forward from ignorance
and prejudice that dominated the topic for a long time.

Best Lawrence

"What is it like to be a bat?" by Thomas Nagel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_it_Like_to_Be_a_Bat%3F)


tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------





from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Being a Woman

Thursday, April 14, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Privacy vs Security + NEWS

Dear friends,


This Sunday we are discussing: Privacy vs Security.

This has always been a central topic in Political Philosophy. Indeed the
social contract owes its logic in security of the individual and authors
like Thomas Paine in his book the Rights of Man argued that the state
cannot safeguard the rights of the individual.

Today the balance is more focused of state security against the
individual; today we are supposed to believe that the state is
threatened by the individual rather, say, by other states or pirates.
And the security of the individual depends of loss of privacy.

But as Paine and many other authors have proven is that the state is in
danger when the social contract stops functioning. The real danger for
the state and the individual is not threats of force but collapse of
economic stability.

The French revolution, the Russian revolution and the Second World War
confirm that individuals turn against the governing classes when the
economic fabric of society collapses. Incidentally, WW2 and the rise of
the NAZIs in Germany were a reaction to the economic collapse in Germany
as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles.

The lesson from history for the modern state should be that whilst fear
is cheap and effective, hunger is a real motivator for human action!

In the meantime Miguel has sent us news of a Maths tertulia.

Estimado tertuliano:
Te anunciamos las conferencias siguientes:
Título: Matemática y movimiento en el siglo XIV
Conferenciante: Juan Tarrés Freixenet (UCM)
Fecha: Miércoles 20 de Abril de 2016, 13h.
Lugar: Facultad de Ciencias Matemáticas, UCM, Aula Miguel de Guzmán
Saludos cordiales,
Tertulia de Matemáticas
https://sites.google.com/site/tertuliadematematicas/




Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Privacy vs Security
+ NEWS

Friday, April 08, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Globalisation

Dear friends,


This Sunday we are discussing: Globalisation.

Unfortunately, I couldn't write an essay for the topic but it is
certainly fertile ground for our discussion. The theoretical idea of
globalisation is of course that trade and commerce is practically open
to everyone and every business in the world.

This is well and good, but what are the basic rules by which such an
ideal should work? Is it a free for all lawlessness? And who gets to
share in the benefits of such endeavours?

What we know is that globalisation does not benefit everyone and as the
Panama Papers seem to show; only a small section of the world population
seems to benefit from the free flow of wealth in the world. But the idea
that the world is open for business and talent is not something to be
dismissed very easily. After all we are all human beings, and that
should mean something.

One issue we can discuss is the relationship amongst: international
politics, international business and wealth distribution.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
<http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
914457935
Metro: Bilbao
-----------Ignacio------------
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h
http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/
<http://sites.google.com/site/tertuliainenglishmadrid/>
----------------------------



from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Globalisation

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