Knowing An/(O)ther

Almost as if on cue, Alva Noe has a new post about whether it is literally possible to know what is going on inside another person – this time from the realm of medical science. This picks up right where “Is Being the Same for Everyone?” left off and I think together they point out that the answers to these questions are not just philosophical but are both political and medical – and by extension there, ethical. And to me, that is what ToK is about – as our conceptions of knowledge grow, shift, expand, what do we then do? what knowledge do we create/construct out of these new formulations? These concerns affect directly the kind of knowledge we have and the kind of knowledge we will create. I guess what I am saying is that these questions are imminently practical, applicable, and timely.

via Can Consciousness In Brain-Injured Patients Be Restored? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

Happy Saturday morning to you.


Articles and links for the Culture Project

This is the list for starters – I’m going to keep adding to it, so keep coming back.

For use with “Gut hack” you might consider:

Excrement Experiment

Say Hello to My Little Friends

For use with thinking about the interaction between science/knowledge, the community, and the individual, consider these:

Public Perception of Science

Why we believe untruths

The Knowledge Illusion

Descartes and indigenous thought

For thinking about scientific method(s):

Research Integrity

Flawed research

Sharing science

Science and ethics

Broken science?

Billy Collins On How To Become A Poet, And Why Poetry Can Be A Game : NPR

He is a gift, a national treasure. Any chance you get to read, listen, or spend time in any way with Billy Collins, you should. And if he speaks at wherever you go next year, you MUST go. It’s an assignment.

My favorite moments:

want to be taken seriously as an intellectual/good poet? read. Lots of it. Difficult stuff like Milton and Wordsworth.

want to be a success? fail. Learn to fail and to keep on. Learn how to fail. Do it lots.

via Billy Collins On How To Become A Poet, And Why Poetry Can Be A Game : NPR

6am and the ToK Essay

This morning as I was doing some reading I came across this passage which I thought was a pretty adept way to think about the ToK essay, not to mention ToK itself.

“Gaining knowledge is recollecting, Plato said. And what this statement means, here, is that it is not a matter of gathering new data, it’s a matter of seeing how the data you already have – your own experiences, observations, beliefs, etc. – hang together. Plato puts our thinking, asking, arguing – the fact that we are lost in the complexity of our own activities of thinking – on display and in doing so offers us a way to find ourselves, a way to get found where we were lost. The result isn’t positive knowledge, or settled agreement, as such. Rather, the result is something like understanding, where this means, roughly, knowing your way around.”  (pp16-17)

The above is from a fascinating book titled “Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature” by Alva Noe. He is a professor of philosophy and neuroscience at UC Berkeley as well as an NPR contributor (which is how I found him).