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22

The second premise is false unless "heinous crime" and "insane" are defined to make it true by definition, in which case the definitions are question begging. But because people committing heinous crimes are convicted despite the insanity defense, premise 2 fails at least on the legal definition of "insanity". The third premise is also false; otherwise ...


17

I think the fallacy is something along the lines of: Because we cannot provably apply rational thought to what motivates every insane person, every time, we can never apply rational thought to the insane in any situation. It also presumes that an explanation one's actions has to be necessary and sufficient, rather than merely a way to convey information. ...


10

There are multiple problems with these statements. First, insane is not a boolean state. Sanity is a spectrum. Second, I don't know of anything that says that everyone who commits a heinous crime is insane (even by this very liberal application of the term). There are many heinous crimes committed where the criminals are not insane. Gang murders, rapes, ...


9

I actually would not say that One of the oldest questions is "What is the meaning of life?" It is true that people have been asking for a long time how they fit in and what they should do, but it is only recently that people have understood the question in personal and existential terms. More classical questions are: "what does it mean to be a good ...


7

Freud has written one text, known as the "Unheimlich" (uncanny). This term refers to something that seems to be unfamiliar and familiar at the same time, and this would create discomfort, because the person cannot respond rationally to it, so the person would retreat and avoid it (possibly could try to eliminate it as well, e.g. killing it). Possibly the ...


6

The general behavior would be described as selflessness or altruism. But you're talking specifically about being selfless or altruistic to the extent that one's own needs suffer. In that case, the behavior would be a negative one. And in clinical psychology, that is often denoted by the use of the word "pathological". That indicates that such behavior has ...


6

Skinner, of course, believed that free will is an illusion, so there's nothing to take away. (Hence this conditioning is not immoral.) His book Walden 2 describes a society in which social engineering techniques (like you describe) are used to create a utopia. Your question is timely because a popular ethics book called Nudge has recently promoted some of ...


6

I suspect Cody's comment is somewhat out of context - certainly philosophers should care about emotions, if only to not be labeled a sociopath! Notably, an entire branch of philosophy (aesthetics) is devoted to the study of "sensori-emotional values" (at least as defined by wikipedia). Emotions are also clearly relevant in philosophy of mind and ...


6

I am wondering if any philosopher has considered the rationality of suicide and wrote in great detail about it. Suicide is a theme, explicitly, for some philosophers. For others, it is implied by their other statements. For example: if one is a Christian or Buddhist philosopher, then suicide is explicitly rejected in advance according to be doctrine, and ...


6

Richard Feynman summarized modern science with this statement: In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare ...


6

Attaching a scientific-sounding name to something it doesn't apply to by a long shot, such as "quantum psychology" or "quantum leadership", waving around images of fractals with no apparent reason, and dragging into the picture the Schroedinger's cat by its tail - all these are typical signs of pseudo-scientific bullshit that, alas, engulfed American ...


6

I'm not sure this is really a philosophical question, it's more a matter of scientific process. However, the issue Feynman is talking about is controlling the variables in an experiment. If you do X and the rats do A, and I do Y and the rats do B, we don't know that X to Y is the cause of the change, because there are different rats, a different lab, a ...


6

I believe that would just be petitio principii, mistranslated as "begging the question." And doing it twice. First, you assume the insanity after the fact, based on the evidence of the act, which is defined as insane. Likewise for conflation of "insane" and "inexplicable." But I am not good at naming fallacies, so there may be a more precise attribution. I'...


6

This answer is almost entirely opinion, if it will be permitted. Whose morals, whose ethics, whose values do you believe should be passed down to children, taught to them? Should the government just decide what people should believe because it saves on propaganda? The discussed situation is not justifiable unless you allow any means to justify an end and, ...


6

Misanthropy could simply be an expression of frustration - or a perception of reality. Most people in our culture are taught to respect authority. We're taught that man was created in God's image, blah, blah, blah. When a person suddenly discovers that authority can be extraordinarily corrupt, that people have a dark side, humans have been trashing the very ...


5

Logic alone can neither prove that god exists, nor that you should commit suicide. Perhaps he realized that logic can't prove that he shouldn't commit suicide, and drew the wrong conclusion. But seriously, this is more a psychological question than a philosophical one. For one thing, his age (15) indicates that he reached puberty. But it might generally be a ...


5

This isn't a philosophy question per se, but I find it interesting because it can be addressed from a cognitive perspective that targets reasoning, which is on-topic. I don't see a paradox, strictly speaking, but I see three ways (and combinations thereof) in which the inconsistency that you mention can be dissolved: The belief that I have an Impostor ...


5

I am currently pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology, so perhaps I can shed some useful light here. Psychology is a huge, sprawling discipline that covers almost everything in some way or another. It is also a very young discipline in a rapidly developing world. This means that some of psychology is science through and through, and that some of psychology ...


5

You will need to strike a balance. If you can't enjoy today, or tomorrow, or they day after that, or the day after that, ... you can't enjoy anything. You should think about foreseeable long term consequences of your actions, so that your actions today don't negatively affect your happiness tomorrow. But there are many things that you can't foresee - it'...


5

It's hard to find spot-on literature. This is connected with what you are interested in : BEHAVIORIST THOUGHT EXPERIMENT Possibly if we had absolute control over food, sex, shelter, if we had some great reconditioning laboratory where the individual could be brought for a year for rigorous study and experimentation, we might be able to undo ...


5

Consider Plato's idea for how (Guardian) children ought to be raised in the kallipolis and all the objections Socrates' interlocutors find with it. Without a nuclear family, Plato thinks children develop familial attachments to their fellow citizens instead, binding individuals to each other and the state in new ways. The myth of the metals serves not only ...


4

First of all, philosophers do care about the color of the sky. Or perhaps it would be appropriate to say that they care about what it means that something is colored, how color concepts function, what it would take for something to be colored, whether there are examples of colored things, and so on. For instance, some people would argue that there are no ...


4

I don't dispute your statement that people tend to ridicule the unfamiliar, but you have chosen two particularly poor examples--in fact, they serve to illustrate an alternate phenomenon, which is that people ridicule things that are known to be wrong or not make sense. In your Bigfoot example, we know that we have observed pretty much the entire surface of ...


4

Baker and Kennedy list several causes. Among them: The more drastic the change in a current life role, the more nostalgia, or symbolic reflection, will occur. The more satisfied individuals are with their perceived quality of life in the past, the more nostalgia, or symbolic reflection will occur. The more direct the experience, the more vivid the memories. ...


4

When presented with scientific evidence and logical reasoning, he slams it as being conspiracy theories, inventions of loonies, and nonsense like Ancient Aliens. Is there any way to pry open this person's closed mind? Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance can account when belief is held with lack of, in spite of or against reason and evidence. ...


4

The answer is simpler than you think. "Fashion" is the effect, not the cause. Combine two separate concepts: First, that pleasure resulting from a certain aesthetic fades over time. So yes to your first question, it is the aesthetic value that changes. You can only eat ice cream so long until you get tired of eating it, even though nothing changed about ...


4

As a sociological phenomenon, people probably seek the meaning of life because we're social primates and as such it is important for us to occupy the socially-appropriate role in our tribe. Thus it isn't at all surprising for us to have feelings that there is something we "ought" to do be doing. This doesn't tell us anything about its coherence as an ...


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