For amusement

Now I know most of the frequent readers and contributors to this site are not fans of philosophy, that is, the play of words as it has been adeptly described, but that my friends will not stop us from time to time sharing philosophical musings.

Here Schopenhauer is talking about love or rather here specifically sexual relationship, if I can call it that. He writes

First of all we have to remark here that by nature man is inclined to inconstancy in love, woman to constancy. The love of the man sinks perceptibly from the moment it has obtained satisfaction; almost every other woman charms him more than the one he already possesses; he longs for variety.  The love of the woman, on the other hand, increases just from that moment. This is a consequence of the aim of nature which is directed to the maintenance, and therefore to the greatest possible increase, of the species.  The man can easily beget over a hundred children a year, the woman, on the contrary, with however many men, can only bring one child a year into the world. Therefore the man always looks about after other women,  the woman, again, sticks firmly to the one man; for nature moves her, instinctively and without reflection, to retain the nourisher and protector of the future offspring.
Accordingly faithfulness in marriage is with the man artificial, with the woman it is natural.

In his book, the monogamy myth, David Barash looks at extra pair copulation among animals and reports it is prevalent in almost all species. He reports that among birds, when and if a bird pairs with a different male, it does so secretly so as not to jeopardise the relationship with the regular male.

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Stirring the hornets nest

In his magnum opus, World as will and idea, on the topic of heredity, Arthur Schopenhauer claims a person’s character is inherited from the father and intellect from the mother.

He further argues, that for a while women had not the opportunity for intellectual pursuits thus depriving the world of monuments/ literary works by women. Were it for this restriction, he argues his claim about intellectual inheritance would be much more pronounced. He proposes as proof that you look for examples around you.

Is there any truth to his claims? I will do an audit of my family and report in future.

SOS

My previous post was on immortality. The contributions have been interesting but they got me thinking about a broader topic.

1. Why is metaphysics treated with apathy? Does it have any useful application?

2. What is time? Does it have a real existence?

3. What is space?

4. Does life has a beginning?  Does it end? Or put differently what is life?

ex nihilo nihil fit

Now that I have your attention, we can continue with this discussion.

The question for today: is there immortality?

The followers of the Abrahamic religions have no stake in this discussion. If they believe their god created life out of nothing and further that birth is the beginning of life, it would be a contradiction for them to assert there is life, in any form, beyond the grave. Death to them must be the end of life.

So my godless friends, do you think there is immortality and f not why?

On improving societies we live in

There are all sorts of people on the internet, then there is IB and her crew of supporters. This is a strange group of people. I try not to engage with them. For this post, we can lay it on the door of determinism.

She wrote this as an explanation to a query by  Violetwisp. She offers the following great solutions. When I find myself almost agreeing with her suggestions, I console myself with the saying even a broken clock is right twice a day. Without further delay, here are her solutions

  1. Don’t tell poor people they are poor. They are better off not knowing. Keep off with pitiful descriptions of depravity, inequality and what else the left has in mind. They are better off not knowing they are poor;
  2. Pray till the hens come home. It wold be terribly unkind to stop people from praying. It is not like god didn’t see them born in poverty, inequality and depravity. That’s the way god can show them s/h/it doesn’t give a damn about their condition but it is good for the image of the church;
  3. Reduce the size of government, don’t force insurance on them and by all means don’t give them food stamps. Now I must say here we don’t have food stamps. Someone may have to explain them to me. I know for all persons formally employed, your employer must make a contribution to the national health insurance fund. And you are doubly lucky if you have a good employer, then you will have a medical cover paid for by the employer. I don’t know why anyone would object to this but maybe it is peculiarly American. Does reducing the size of government include reducing military budget too? I have heard a lot on the size of government, what extent of government involvement is being proposed?
  4. Don’t tell us about your degrees. Now I am not about to dispute that everyone needs to have a degree to succeed in life though I have seen those who succeeded by selling peanuts have toiled to take their children to get a degree or equivalent. So the argument in itself isn’t an argument against college degrees. There is a joke this side of the Sahara that those A students end up working for the C students, but are we going to stop people from getting As? Let us have technical schools, but we must keep our colleges. They should encourage research, innovation and growth in new ways of doing things.
  5. Families. Well yes. In the words of Count Leo Tolstoy, all happy families are alike, all unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways. There are many dysfunctional families that are not good for the children born in them, nor for the society in which they are found. I have nothing against those who want to get married. I have nothing against those who want to get married and don’t want to have children. I have nothing against those who don’t want to get married. To claim marriages are good for the society is to be blind to the many homicides reported daily or the abuses suffered by most people in these unions. I prefer a healthy society for all.

death

what is it?

some say death is the greatest evil, some the greatest good, which is it?

is all religion and philosophy, at bottom concerned with death, fear or overcoming of it?

are we immortal?

why should non being concern us if there was infinite time before we were?

is there a rational reason to fear death?

is the death of a human being different from that of a brute?

postscript: or is death extended sleep?

on the value of history

I like Schopenhauer. I think he put a lot of thought in his work. He was wrong on occasion for example on his view of women but in general, I like to think he was a great thinker and that he needs more recognition than he got during his life and probably even after his demise. He built a monument that should be admired, devoured and understood.

In World as will and representation Vol 3 on the subject of history, he writes

What reason is to the individual, history is to the human race. By virtue of reason, man is not, like the brute, limited to the narrow perceptible present, but also knows the incomparably more extended past, with which it is linked, and out of which it has proceeded, and only thus, has he a proper understanding of the present itself, and can even draw inferences as to the future.

[..] Only through history does a nation become completely conscious of itself. Accordingly history is to be regarded as the rational consciousness of the human race, and is to the race what the reflected and connected consciousness is to the individual who is conditioned by reason, a consciousness through the want of which the brute is confined to the narrow perceptible present.

Therefore every gap in history is like a gap in the re-collective self-consciousness of a person, and in the presence of a monument of ancient times which has outlived the knowledge of itself, as for example the Pyramids, or temples and palaces in Yucatan, we stand as senseless and stupid as the brute in the presence of the action of man, in which it is implicated in his service , or as a man before something written in an old cipher of his own, the key to which he has forgotten.

History is to be regarded as the reason, or reflected self consciousness, of the human race and takes the place of an immediate self consciousness common to the whole race, so that by virtue of it does the human race come to be a whole, come to be a humanity.