A Mind for Madness

Musings on art, philosophy, mathematics, and physics

Philosophical interests

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So I guess I’ll just do a single post on each of the four topics that this blog is on to give an overview of my interests in that area. Here goes for philosophy.

I have lots of interests here, since I believe this is probably the main way in which each of the subjects cross-over. First off: Philosophy of Consciousness. This is a sort of minor philosophical interest with major intersection potential with physics/quantum mechanics. Is consciousness necessary to collapse a probabilistic wavefunction?

A major interest would be Philosophy of Language. How does language affect how we perceive things and think about things? Is mathematics a language? Do different languages make it easy to understand certain concepts in math? Does changing the language of math make it easier to solve certain problems? I think even the uninitiated would answer definitive “yes”s to these last two questions, but why and how? This leads to my next interest.

Philosophy of Aesthetics. Technically this is what my undergrad thesis was in. It is definitely the most elusive of my interests (we’ll see why in the next paragraph). This clearly is about how philosophy and art coincide. Can mathematics be considered an art form? Combining the phil consciousness, language, and aesthetics: how does changing the language of math affect how we think about problems and how we perceive the beauty of problems. Eventually I’ll post either all of or parts of my thesis which is a gigantic exploration of that question.

Finally, I’d like to point out that I started as an analytic philosopher. This is essentially philosophy done solely on clearly defined terms and logical manipulation/arguments using these terms. I have since become more of a continental philosopher . This is more of showing artistically why things must be true. Terms are usually considered to be more ambiguous, and arguments not as logical (hence a “lower” form of philosophy).

Here is why I not only think that continental philosophy is not “lower”, but is actually a much higher form of philosophy. Suppose you want to argue for Wittgenstein’s view of language. You could do this in a 300,000 page rigorous logical argument, but you probably wouldn’t convince very many people. In fact, even those that you do convince would probably still not know why it is true, just that it is true from a logical perspective. Compare this to reading David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System. Not only would you become convinced of the truth of Wittgenstein’s argument, you would see why it must be true in your life.

Ah…This is a rant for another day, though.

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Author: hilbertthm90

I write about math, philosophy, literature, music, science, computer science, gaming or whatever strikes my fancy that day.

One thought on “Philosophical interests

  1. I look forward to reading more of your philosophical and thoughtful posts. You seem to have very original ideas that you are pondering. Anyway, I also do not think that what you call continental philosophy is lower than analytic philosophy. Although, I do think it is easy to replace logic with mere rhetoric that does not seek to find truths but rather convince people of ideas regardless of the ideas’ accuracy. So no matter how we go about it, I think it is important to remember the goal of genuine philosophy. I think both the philosophical approaches–continental and analytic–can be used for genuine philosophical goals. Well, I guess I’m just rambling myself now.

    Anyway, I also want to invite you to my Philosophy Forums. Even though they are particularly about philosophy, I think you will find they are also a good place to discuss your other interests–physics, art, and mathematics.

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