12 thoughts on “Get Fuzzy tackles free will

  1. About as helpful as the standard portrayal of scientists in movies as dangerous be-labcoated nutters who need to get a life. Meh.

    1. Better than when you have a “scientist” who does nothing but inventions, and yet is still called a scientist.

  2. Ha ha!

    Yeah, I got that joke too, just a few years ago. Makes me feel like such an empty satchel, what was I thinking before?

  3. I once saw a somewhat strange (and a touch risque) take on the “tree falling in a forest” schtick on the Linux version of the fortune program, reproduced here in its entirety:

    “An Academic speculated whether a bather is beautiful if there is none in the forest to admire her. He hid in the bushes to find out, which vitiated his premise but made him happy.
    Moral: Empiricism is more fun than speculation.”
    — Sam Weber

  4. ‘If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’

    In Philosophy this is supposed to be taken seriously as a ‘thought experiment’, but it is utterly risible. The notion of a forest with no one around to hear a falling tree is ludicrous. Forests are full of beings.

    1. As is Einstein’s the notion of someone riding on a light beam. If you think that the formulation in terms of a tree is significant then you have spectacularly missed the point. Substitute a meteor falling on a totally uninhabited planet orbiting a star in the Andromeda galaxy.

      The question is usually raised as a problem for various idealist or phenomenologist philosophies, for instance: Ayer’s logical empiricism as adumbrated in Laguage, Truth and Logic. One of the tenets of logical empiricism was that the external world is a logical construction out of sense data. The obvious problem for such a theory is “What about events for which there never has and never will be any relevant sense data?”

      1. Humans are very egocentric. If the event doesn’t affect us or is unobserved by us is a non-event. Therefore dinosaurs never existed & god just strew a lot of specially constructed clues, like bones & footprints, around just to confuse us.

        1. Interestingly Ayer was at one time committed to the proposition that the meaning of the statement “dinosaurs existed” precisely is that we have fossils and footprints. I am at a loss to understand why anyone ever took his version of logical positivism seriously and why anyone thought there was something especially scientific about it, but then I can’t get into an early twentieth century mind set. He changed his mind after being given, metaphorically speaking, a good drubbing by Karl Popper. He rather humorously admits that the ideas of L.P. were nearly all wrong in this famous interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cnRJGs08hE&feature=relmfu but he doesn’t seem to have ever admitted the indebtedness of his later philosophy to Popper.

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