Re: Gettier Problems

From: Immortalist (
Date: 10/21/04

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:36:50 -0700

"danti" <danti@att.netnospam> wrote in message
> "Immortalist" <> wrote in message
> >
> > "danti" <danti@att.netnospam> wrote in message
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Therefore you are conceding that there is a practical
> >> >> > application
> >> >> > of
> >> >> > pondering
> >> >> > the thought of influential philosophers?
> >> >>
> >> >> firstly let me apologize for the way the type is flowing in the
> >> >> appears to have a will of its own....bunching up
> >> >> without
> >> >> my permission....should i ponder the impractical?? and why the
> >> >> term
> >> >> "influential philsophers"? one may recieve a worthy thought from
> >> >> the
> >> >> next bum you give a quarter to.....(i have) wisdom is
> >> >> everywhere....
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> > Gettier is an attribute of the class, influential philosophers,
> >> > juxtiposed
> >> > against some comments about only referring to classical
> >> > philosphers,
> >> > and the
> >> > point need not exclude hobos as a source of knowledge.
> >>
> >> life in the streets can make a philosopher out of a bum or a bum
> >> out
> >> of a philosopher.....let us say you see a group of bums in huddled
> >> in
> >> a circle some 200 yards off....but you did not know that a
> >> sculpture
> >> realistically made them (there are such here in the city) and you
> >> mistook them for the real???....question....what great philosphical
> >> answer can we cull from this?.... now if you are inquistive you
> >> would
> >> go over and discover the illusion and publish a pamplet warning
> >> others.....the illusion unmasked and no further impact applies....
> >>
> >
> > That hyperactive agency detection systems are like noise on a radar?
> nothing to detect .....

Thunder in the sky run for cover, that shape in the bush, a monster or dinner?
Agency attribution is the default and justifies religious experience as a
naturally selected survival tool.

> >> >> yes it would assuming the shapes are poisonous....
> >> >
> >> > The quirk to walk around squiggly objects or objects with "S"
> >> > shapes
> >> > could have
> >> > mutated by chance with no knowledge of the quality of being
> >> > poisonous. Natural
> >> > selection could have rammed those who didn't into the jaws of
> >> > death.
> >> > The walk
> >> > around mentally retarded seeming quirk would just leave
> >> > survivors.
> >> > So we have
> >> > this strange fear of snakes and spiders with no computation about
> >> > poisons.
> >>
> >> the ability of life forms to transmit non verbal dangers to their
> >> future offsprings is well known.....and how birds, frogs and humans
> >> survive.....
> >> >
> >
> > But I was talking about genetic mutations that kept some alive and
> > others who
> > didn't have them died.
> ok.....but these dangers of which you were speaking refers to the
> transmission of data to offspring's and plays an important role in
> survival.....genetic changes also occurred when the environment
> demanded it...alaska for instance was once warm..but as it shifted
> northward the feet of some birds (one example) developed a thickening
> so as to walk on ice...mammals developed fur etc....those that failed
> to change died.....or those that changed for some reason or other not
> suited to the change of climate also perished.....most cases changed
> with the pressures of the environment.....where are we headed with
> this?.... philosophy?? this particular topic is complex and needs to
> be addressed directly.....
> >

What you are left with are humans that can adapt to about any Earth environment.
But how could we have over two hundred discovered instincts and still be
adaptable to so many environments? Of course each of the instincts is adjysted in
strength for the particular enviornment is comes about in at "critical stages of

The cat experiment that has its sight messed with at a particular critical stage
last a week can then never learn to see certain things. How a child developes a
life long accent.

So evolution influences the range of our instinctual biases and how far they can
be adjusted and acccented.

THere is conflict withing science right now about this very topic and the
argument is very heated.

> >> > ...Researchers in the human sciences have begun to flesh out the
> >> > hypothesis that
> >> > the mind evolved with a universal complex design. Some
> >> > anthropologists have
> >> > returned to an ethnographic record that used to trumpet
> >> > differences
> >> > among
> >> > cultures and have found an astonishingly detailed set of
> >> > aptitudes
> >> > and tastes
> >> > that all cultures have in common. This shared way of thinking,
> >> > feeling, and
> >> > living makes us look like a single tribe, which the
> >> > anthropologist
> >> > Donald Brown
> >> > has called the Universal People, after Chomsky's Universal
> >> > Grammar.
> >> > Hundreds of
> >> > traits, from fear of snakes to logical operators, from romantic
> >> > love
> >> > to humorous
> >> > insults, from poetry to food taboos, from exchange of goods to
> >> > mourning the dead,
> >> > can be found in every society ever documented. It's not that
> >> > every
> >> > universal
> >> > behavior directly reflects a universal component of human
> >> > nature-many arise from
> >> > an interplay between universal properties of the mind, universal
> >> > properties of
> >> > the body, and universal properties of the world. Nonetheless, the
> >> > sheer richness
> >> > and detail in the rendering of the Universal People comes as a
> >> > shock
> >> > to any
> >> > intuition that the mind is a blank slate or that cultures can
> >> > vary
> >> > without limit,
> >> > and there is something on the list to refute almost any theory
> >> > growing out of
> >> > those intuitions. Nothing can substitute for seeing Brown's list
> >> > in
> >> > full; it is
> >> > reproduced, with his permission, as an appendix (see p. 435).
> >>
> >> how the behavior of any given group comes about may be in some
> >> cases
> >> then becomes a part of a system of beliefs
> >
> > I agree that some behavior is a result of learning but other
> > behavior is biased
> > by human instincts.
> yes....and what is human instinct? whence does it come?? may i suggest
> "dangers transmitted to future generations" there was a time when few
> animals feared most will run away when man is
> spotted.....instinctively...a few unruly bears may not expecially if
> they feel they are being deprived of food....

The similarities between the early civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India,
China, Mexico, and Central and South America in these major features are
remarkably close. They cannot be explained away as the products of chance or
cultural cross-fertilization. It is true that the archives of ethnography and
history are filled with striking and unquestionably important variations in the
details of culture, but it is the parallelism in the major features of
organization that demands our closest attention in the consideration of the
theory of the dual track of human social evolution.

In my opinion the key to the emergence of civilization is hypertrophy, the
extreme growth of pre-existing structures. Like the teeth of the baby elephant
that lengthen into tusks, and the cranial bones of the male elk that sprout into
astonishing great antlers, the basic social responses of the hunter-gatherers
have metamorphosed from relatively modest environmental adaptations into
unexpectedly elaborate, even monstrous forms in more advanced societies. Yet the
directions this change can take and its final products are constrained by the
genetically influenced behavioral predispositions that constituted the earlier,
simpler adaptations of preliterate human beings.

On Human Nature - Edward O. Wilson 1978

Beside look at dog breeders, they can breed an aggressive line from peaceful
dogs. Since genes direct the assembly of all parts of the brain then mutations
and changes to the genes can change about anything in us, including inborn

> >
> > Simple versions of Machiavelli's conception of human nature may
> > readily be
> > elicited from The Prince. It is easy to find textual support for
> > claims that
> > appear to presuppose or be equivalent to some version of
> > psychological egoism. He
> > says, for example, that "men in general . are ungrateful, voluble,
> > dissemblers,
> > anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain; as long as you
> > benefit them, they
> > are entirely yours," but their "love is held by a chain of
> > obligation which, men
> > being selfish, is broken whenever it serves their purpose." (Prince,
> > xvii, p. 61)
> > Again, speaking of a prince's counselors, he says "[they] will all
> > think of their
> > own interests .. for men will always be false . unless they are
> > compelled by
> > necessity to be true." (Prince, xxiii, p. 89)
> ...this is a good as any description of men as culled through close
> observation...there are always as you know exceptions...he was
> speaking of course as he indicates, "men in general" and how to
> effectively rule order to rule effectively one must know
> those who are to be ruled...what strings to pull and what not to
> pull.....sun tzu in the "art of war" has similar advice....i have a
> copy of "the prince" and found him interesting...he was as one writer
> called him an "idea man" for the italian politicians of his
> day....iow's a power analyst
> >

I pointed to him since it appeared you like older versions of newer philosophies
that are turning out to be true. He wanted to design society around human nature
and didn't believe it was all moldable to make people learn anything they want.

> >
> >
> >
> >> ...herodotus, a greek historian, relates a story of a king who i
> >> imagine also wondered...and so he asked some greeks he knew, how
> >> much
> >> money should he give them if they would eat their fathers?.....all
> >> turned in horror and said no amount of money would entice them to
> >> eat
> >> their fathers......he then posed the question to a tribe other than
> >> greek who lived not too far off....."how much money shall i give
> >> you
> >> if you bury your fathers (as the greeks did) and they turned in
> >> horror
> >> and said "no amount of money" was their custom to consume
> >> their
> >> fathers upon death since the attributes of the father would become
> >> theirs......where these customs originate is a matter of
> >> thought.....someone thinks about it and others find it
> >> good....people
> >> are people but are subject to the push and pull of the environment
> >> and
> >> ideas of an influencial member.......the lack or the abundance of
> >> intelligent observations or any number of factors....all of the
> >> human
> >> family have something in fact all of life have
> >> something
> >> in common since we *all* are descendants of the same one cell life
> >> form............
> >>
> >
> > Seems that to be able to eat fathers is a capacity that is adaptable
> > in extreme
> > situations. Reminds me of people that are rough with their dogs ate
> > a young age
> > and how mean those dogs turn out to be.
> theirs was not an extreme situation....a flow of thought allowed some
> to consider that it is good to eat had no effect on their
> survival but this is what they believed...they were not mean or a
> particularly rough group.....

Most of us mammal species seem to have some instinct that biases us towards not
killing our own kind for the same reasons we kill other species.

But you remind me of;

The gods' thirst for blood is perpetual. It drives the universe. Without it,
everything stops. Sacrifice humans or the sun will fail to rise the next

The bloodletting sacrifices of animals and humans were used as a
transformation ritual between spirits and matter, and many Aztec rituals
depended upon the shedding of some blood. It was almost a ritual duty. They
felt that the gods had made great sacrifices to create the sun, and set it
in motion by giving their hearts and blood. Since the sun was a necessity of
life, they felt that they needed to give back to the gods, and they did this
in the form of sacrifice. If they didn't do this, the universe would no
longer be in balance. (Markman 179) Although prisoners were used as victims
for many rituals,other ceremonies required blood of a higher class. Next to
being slain in battle, being chosen as the sacrificial object for a major
ritual was the ultimate honor for an Aztec warrior. Killing on the
battlefield was also another way Aztec warriors could make sacrifices to the
"blood thirsty" Aztec gods.

The god that needed the most blood was Huitzilopochtli, the war god. They
thought that if he didn't receive the nourishment that he needed he would
not be able to perform in battle with the forces of the night. This would
cause the sun to fail to rise the next morning.

When the gods decided it was time for a new creation, they assembled
themselves at Teotihuacan to decide who should receive the task of becoming
the sun. After some discussion, it was decided that two of them,
Tecuciztecatl and Nanauatzin, should sacrifice themselves to bring light to
the world. The two gods then began to do penance by fasting for four days
while the fire was built in the hearth. Tecuciztecatl, a wealthy and proud
god, did penance with costly and extravagant items such as fir branches of
quetzal feathers, grass balls of gold, good incense, and coral. Nanauatzin,
a poorer, sickly god, could only afford to do his penance with fir branches
made of green water rushes, grass balls of dried pine needles, and his own

A typical anthropological explanation is that the religion of the Aztecs
required human sacrifices; that their gods demanded these extravagant,
frequent offerings. This explanation fails to suggest why that particular
form of religion should have evolved when and where it did. I suggest that
the Aztec sacrifices, and the cultural patterns surrounding them, were a
natural result of distinctive ecological circumstances.

The Aztec religion would take a 'book report' type paper itself, and that
would only be a cursory overview. The important element in relation to human
sacrifice, very briefly, is that the universe was thought to run on an
energy called tonalli, "animating spirit". This word comes from tona, "to
make heat or sun". It nourished the gods, and kept the sun moving.
Throughout Aztec religion there is a great emphasis on motion, and motion is
driven by tonalli. In humans it is located in the blood stream. When a man
is frightened, it concentrates in the heart. The gods' thirst for it is
perpetual. It drives the universe. Without it, everything stops. (Graulick,
1988. Ingham, 1984)

> In some environment tuning the dog
> > instincts to aggression to violence could be more adaptable that a
> > peacefully
> > brought up dog that would think of biting a thing. Of course the
> > latter degree of
> > this capacity could be helpful in some environments too.