People acknowledge that a "sweet nothing" is a "nothing"; it has no content. So how can it be considered sweet?
We may not know how to answer [the questions above], but their significance--and, what is more, their fundamental importance--can scarcely be open to doubt.And another on page 452:
I think I know that our situation is at least roughly as I have described it up to this point.BTW, what is he so sure of? That realism is false! He's so sure that we have "selves" that are not part of the natural world. He's so sure that looking into a person's eyes is not a physical process. He's so sure that his favorite school of philosophy (German Idealism) is correct. How sad and parochial!
Throughout my life I have believed that I knew when I was doing wrong. The problem in those cases has not been knowing what was right but doing it.Throughout the book Magee makes one thing especially clear: he loves philosophy. He is curious. He has questions and he wants answers. He loves to learn new things. He cares about creating knowledge.
According to the laws of physics nothing comes out of anyone's eyes at all. Light rays go into the eye, and cause all sorts of things to happen inside a person, such as seeing and headaches, but there is nothing at all that comes out of the eye into the surrounding space. According to all the scientific knowledge we have, what I see when I look into someone's eyes is the light from the surrounding air reflected back to me from the surfaces of the person's eyeballs, and that light is outside the person, the light in the air around us coming back at me again. If it is dark I cannot see the person: it is only by the surrounding light that I see the surfaces of his eyeballs, with whatever degree of clarity that allows. And that, according to science, is the whole of the situation. But who actually believes it? Who can believe it? The truth of which most of us have indubitable experience every day is that when I look into another person's eyes I am in what is for the most part a reliable degree of contact with multitudinous things going on inside that person--and he with multitudinous things going on inside me: feelings, moods, thoughts, intentions, hesitations, doubts, fears, hopes, and a host of other highly variegated inner states, together with attempts to conceal or dissemble any or all of those, most of it fleeting and flashing past in flickering instants of time, and the whole of it nuanced and inflected in subtle and sophisticated ways. Is there anyone who believes that this staunchless two-way flow of information is physically encoded on the surfaces of our eyeballs in a way that changes multitudinously instant by instant like a flow of orchestral sound (if so, how is it encoded?) and read off in the surrounding light by observers who instantly and accurately decode it in what is at both ends an essentially computing process? I have yet to hear of such a person.I am such a person.
most people tend either to believe that all reality is in principle knowable or to believe that there is a religious dimension to things. A third alternative--that we can know very little but have equally little ground for religious belief--receives scant consideration, and yet seems to me to be where the truth lies. Simple though it is, people have difficulty getting their minds round it.
[Bertrand Russell] believed that mathematics was a body of knowledge about reality until the young Wittgenstein convinced him that mathematical truths were tautologies.
if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.Myth of the Framework page 125:
Avoidance of war is ... the overriding problem of public policy ... In this context it should be stated very clearly that one of the most disturbing aspects of recent events is the cult of violence. We all know that one of the most horrible aspects of our entertainment industry is the constant propaganda for violence, from allegedly harmless Westerns and crime stories to displays of cruelty pure and simple. It is tragic to see that this propaganda has had its effects even on genuine artists and scientists, and unfortunately also on our students (as the cult of revolutionary violence shows).
"I wish I could do something like that."Girls don't obsess about their appearance all on their own initiative. If they ever waver they'll get plenty of reminders. In this scene the girl wants to be good at something important that could land her an intellectually respectable job, and she meets with resistance. The guy says she's smart as an empty platitude and then brings up her looks twice.
I knew a plea for attention when I heard it ... so I closed the book. "You have other talents."
"Seriously," I said. "You're really smart. And pretty, too."
"Pretty isn't a talent. Besides, it's not like I can get a job because of it."
"Well, you know about current events and stuff."
"Great," she scoffed. "Another useful skill."
"I dunno, maybe somebody'll hire you to be smart and pretty and talk about current events."
"Hey, you never know."
"Seriously, though. What kind of guy are you looking for?"There isn't anything very demanding on this list. How many people *wouldn't* qualify?
She stopped and gave it some thought. "Someone smart... funny... cute... cool. Interested in politics... TV... music." She thought for a moment and then went on, "Tall... well-built, but not all muscles... a cute smile... nice teeth"”no braces, ugh." Another pause. "Dark hair... kinda wavy... not too hairy otherwise... knows how to treat a lady... can talk about his feelings..."
"All I really want is a guy I can trust," she said with a shrug.
Only a womanThey are teasing guys who have such impersonal taste in personal relationships that any woman will do.
Can brighten up my day
Only a woman
Can touch me the right way
Only a woman
Is allowed to touch me there
All I ask is that you're a woman
I like rain, I like hair
I like you
You're around, you're right here
So you'll do
Men are not gods and they ought to know it. We shall never dominate nature. The mountaineer is to be pitied who sees in mountains nothing but adversaries he has to conquer -- who does not know the feeling of gratitude, and the feeling of his own insignificance in the face of nature.Popper's idea that men are insignificant compared to nature applies to himself: Popper is insignificant next to a zebra or a pile of dirt.
Schopenhauer believed, along with a great many other people then and since, that Kant's most important insight was that what we human beings can think, perceive, know, experience, or be aware of in any way at all depends not only on what the reality is with which we have to deal but also on the apparatus we have for doing those things -- our human bodies with their senses, nervous systems and brains.From this I have concluded that Schopenhauer is worthless (which I already suspected). It also confirms that Kant is worthless. Why?
In practice this meant [Popper] was trying to subjugate people. And there was something angry about the energy and intensity with which he made the attempt.And on page 198:
Emotionally, Popper understood little if anything of this. he behaved as if the proper thing to do was think one's way carefully to a solution by the light of rational criteria and then, having come as responsibly and critically as one can to a liberal-minded view of what is right, impose it by unremitting exercise of will, and never let up until one gets one's way. "The totalitarian liberal" was one of his nicknames at the London School of Economics, and it was a perceptive one.
... discussions with me were carried on by him in a kind of rage ...
... the angrier he got ...
In later years [Popper] said that in those early meetings I was frequently rude to him, but I do not believe this to be true ... The truth, I think, is that I stood up to his intellectual bullying and hit back hard, and that he was taken aback by this, coming from someone half his age, and he resented it--and then, because he resented it, saw it as offensive.
I became uninhibited about hitting him with all the artillery I could muster ... [Popper] turned every discussion into the verbal equivalent of a fight, and appeared to become almost uncontrollable with rage, and would tremble with angerDavid Miller contradicts Magee:
[Popper] said that I did a good job as his assistant, and later he trusted me with his writings in a way that he rarely trusted others; nonetheless, I was amazed, and endeared, by the meekness with which he so often accepted my suggestions and emendations.I am inclined to think Miller is correct. There are hints in Magee's story that he himself was not calm during those discussions and may have misinterpreted what was going on. Popper's view was that Magee was rude and Magee, by his own report, "hit" Popper "hard" which supports Popper's view. Magee interpreted their discussions as fights, but that does not mean that Popper did too.
I never really managed to quarrel properly with Popper in all the years that I knew him. We disagreed on many issues, of course, philosophical, technical, stylistic, tactical, and personal. But far from being overbearing, he was patient and tolerant. If there was difficulty in resolving disagreements, it was not tiresome confrontation ... Sweet in argument, Popper was as often as not the one who gave way.