How much of what a philosopher says we can believe if we don’t understand a part of his argument .
The way a question is framed depends ,not all the time,upon what one seeks to know . For example ,in this question ,it is difficult to believe that the questioner actually wants to know how much one can believe of what the philosopher says.Probably he wants to know how one should evaluate the effectiveness of a philosophical argument if a part of the argument is incomprehensible.
The point this gentleman makes is there could be defects or patches of logical inconsistency or the philosopher’s own obscurity in an argument .Should one take the overall drift of the argument if conforms to a pre-conceived thought even if there are occasional holes ,real or perceived, in the argument .An interesting thought. A reading of the Hindu philosophy (Vedanta) will give you such a feeling . The basic argument remains the same while the words go on .There is hardly a difference in thoughts and words as though words cease to be vehicles for thoughts and have a purpose of their own apart from conveying meaning.Words themselves are meaning.The gaps that happen are mere semantics where instead of the mind proceeding with thoughts they struggle with words.
“something resembling the handle of a pan,” 1851, especially in ref.to geography, originally Amer.Eng., 1856, in ref. to West Virginia(Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma also have them). Meaning “an actof begging” is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuckout like a panhandle; verb panhandle “to beg” is from 1903.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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I have just learnt that “panhandle” is an Americanism for begging. I am fascinated by the beauty of the expression, especially the image of the arm of a sitting beggar stuck out like the handle of a pan. The expression contains an entire word picture of a beggar who sits on a crowded sidewalk extending his begging arm towards the passers by. In India the beggar sticks his hand at you from out of your car window.
I’m more interested in a photography that is ‘unfinished’ – a photography that is suggestive and can trigger a conversation or dialogue. There are pictures that are closed, finished, to which there is no way in.” Paolo Pellegrin
This man has said the right thing.Why do we want to make well-rounded pictures which leave nothing to be discussed , nothing to argue about. There are several things in a photograph which occur much later than when the click takes place .The endless possibilities that exist for juxtaposing different worlds to derive newer meaning and beauty can actually occur after the event ,not during the composition and clicking. Let us leave our pictures unfinished.
A comparison is made between a computer programme and our own mind’s working.Here it is not even a comparison but assuming that the mind works like the computer an attempt is made to understand the possibility of the mind suffering from a similar limitation that a typical computer programme suffers from.We are talking about the “error out” situations when the computer sometimes embraces the blue screen of death and terminates the programme that is running at that moment. In such situations what does the mind do ? Does the mind get into endless loops refusing to move ahead with the job on hand ? Of course whatever happens has necessarily to be a short term phenomenon and the termination of the programme may not lead to a permanent inability to run the programme but the current job is lost.
We may talk about the availability of different modules and that the temporary incapacitation of one module will limit the damage to the particular module or lead to another module taking over its functioning.
Here is something that comes to my mind . I am involved in a series of short term dialogues with different people and all the while I am wrestling with the inner logic to arrive somewhere .I pursue a train of thought aided by words and going along in uncharted areas of thought not knowing where the argument is ending up.I come into fascinating new areas the existence of which I have been entirely unaware .I keep hearing the drone of the inner logic entirely mesmerised and go on undisturbed by the tiny inconsistencies creeping up with the hope that the bigger wave of logical totality will come and wash away the tiny pebbles .Very often such a thing happens on conclusion but some times I do get into a loop or a freeze of thought I have necessarily to cover up in order to make sense to the audience. Here I am confronted by something like a creative block , a paralysed state of mind which refuses to proceed further.
In such situations the argument gets cut short and no conclusions are drawn -something like what the computer programme does in “error out” situations
How do we characterise the unconscious as distinguished from the conscious ? Neural pathways which run with automaticity -are the same as unconscious ?
Actually automaticity does not mean unconscious necessarily. Only unconscious states are representations -that is they are about anything while automaticity means neural pathways running without being about anything. As an example ,the blood flow goes on with automaticity but it is not a representation or about anything.The unconscious means neural pathways running automatically but they are not about anything.
(Peter Lipton’s response)
Have you heard silent heart attacks?
Yes ,I have heard of them
No ,have you heard them,I said.
No ,they are silent.I can’t hear them.
Nor can the person who has the attack.
They are absolutely silent.