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29.6.13

The day of the philosopher as isolated thinker--the talented amateur with an idiosyncratic message--is effectively gone. ” —Nicholas Rescher, "American Philosophy Today," 'Review of Metaphysics' 46 (4)


Campbell, James: " No longer could the [philosophy] professor function as a defender of the faith or an expounder of Truth. The new philosopher had to be a leader of inquires and a publicizer of results. This shift was made obvious when certified (often German-certified) philosophy Ph.D.'s replaced theology graduates and ministers in the philosophy classroom. The period between the time when almost no one had a Ph.D. to when almost everyone did was very brief. [...] The doctorate, moreover, was more than a license to teach: it was a certificate that the prospective philosophy instructor was well, if narrowly, trained and ready to undertake independent work in the now specializing and restricted field of academic philosophy. These new philosophers functioned in independent departments of philosophy [...] They were making real gains in their research, creating a body of philosophic work that remains central to our study even now. These new philosophers also set their own standards for success, publishing in the recognized organs of philosophy that were being founded at the time"

This seems to me to be the reason that philosophers with a message like Hegel are ignored and marginalized.
This is sad because it means that people with a message are never trained in philosophy an could not tell you the difference between an a priori and an a posteriori if it hit them in the face.
People with a message nowadays are in general cult leaders and charismatic idiots  the assorted Eastern cults



And it also means that professional philosophers in general have no idea of what they are talking about when they venture outside of trivial philosophical word puzzles.
Certain professions do not take well to become professions.
Some people  think that professionals know what they are talking about, and talented amateurs are just plain ignorant. It does not matter what profession it is.  What ever the professionals say is true. Period. 
I, on the other hand, am a pure bred Californian. To me anything any professional says is suspect until proven true. I would rather the talented amateur over the professional; the very word "professional" leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Using Torah as a profession is by definition against the Torah. 

But there certain professions where in fact the professionals are better than the talented amateurs. Math and Physics and the other natural sciences come to mind. 

 But in the field of Philosophy the professionals seems to be fairly good at word puzzles and that is all. When they start to talk about Physics I run the other way. The repeat clichés they think are true because they heard them from someplace.






26.6.13

In order to print my booklet on Bava Metzia--- open gmail.Download file table top. Then push on the right mouse button. You will see "help" in Russian.. Push on Help. Choose program. To "observe" To "local disk". Go to"Soft" then to  "Portable". Go to "Microsoft Office Word 2007." Then "save as" "Document Word." Then send tomy computer then to HDD disk. then to popka polzavit
Otherwise the letters all come out in Russian script.

25.6.13

The problem with women is not that they care too much. It is that they don't care at all.

I figure that a young woman who flirts with me would be considered flattening to most men of my age.
But personally I am finding it annoying. While it is true I have no wife, that still does not mean my time or attention is free.
I know young attractive women can command center stage when they want to. I am just trying to figure out in my own case how to say "No" politely.
The problem with women is not that they are too emotional. It is that they are not emotional enough. They think men are at their becking and command. The problem is not that they care too much. it is that they don't care at all.

21.6.13

The Trouble is that Islam as a group has declared war on Israel and use daily any and all means to destroy it.

Americans' news feeds are overflowing with images of domestic scandals, protests in Turkey, and war in Syria. But the real story is Iran. By year's end, we may be confronted with a choice: Accept a nuclear-armed Iran, or support a military action to delay the program.



President Obama's policy on Iran has failed. Diplomacy has fizzled. And even The New York Times' news page and Obama's former advisors agree that sanctions aren’t working. And this is why Obama’s reaction to the recent Iranian election is so troubling.


My own feeling about Iran is I admit the hard line. It is not that i am in principle against Muslims.. I have known many fine and upright Muslims. Especially in the North of Israel. But also in the areas around Jerusalem i have had know many fine Muslims. I have nothing against them as people. And even as a religion my only complain against Mohammad as a highly immoral person. But i admit there were many great philosophers in th Islamic tradition. The Trouble is that Islam a s a group has declared war on Israel and use daily any and all means to destroy it.And their war on America is undeclared but real nevertheless.They will not launch a nuclear device against the USA At first. thy will try other means of stealth. Biological weapons, chemical weapons, forest fires, random attacks by knifes. Then when the timing is right they will go in for the kill..





Also I need to put together some kind of essay for the Internet about Musar of Israel Salanter and the problem that faced the Musar movement--There is no no second order ethics (I.e. no justification for ethics).  So they could have gone to the Medieval sources themselves for the issue of second order Ethics--like the Guide for the Perplexed. But instead went to the Kabalah of the Ari'zal. The Ari'zal's system is a powerful and amazing system but it is has two problems. No argument. No justification for statement that are laid down by Fiat-decree. Also I have another problem with the Ari'zal. He is based on the Zohar. I dislike the Zohar so much that yesterday as i was walking to the local synagogue I walked by a Zohar that was in the trash on the street and i did not even pick it up. It is not that I don't like what it says. But I dislike the fact that it is a forgery.

Also ethics is a big deal. The Musar movement approach to ethics is this: no one has had anything to say about ethics besides Jewish orthodox people. Muslims barely count and Christians are of course much worse as being idolaters. So the movement automatically cuts itself off from the basis of Musar: the books that were written during the Middle Ages by Muslim and Christian scholars.

In the view of the Musar movement (and Chasidut also) there has not been any legitimate thinking about morality outside the Jewish world. It is all just convention.

It would be difficult to support this contention by attention to the history of ethics.

Perhaps this will help:  Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Augustine, Maimonides, Aquinas, Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche, Hegel, Bradley, Sidgwick, Moore, Prichard.(4)

 I do not think anyone  with them would argue that Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Aquinas, Butler, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Bradley, Sidgwick, Moore, or Prichard--any one of them--thought that ethics was
 convention.


On the other hand Musar is important. People need some sort of a moral guide through life. Many may think that they can get by without one but chances are that they are egoists and do have a principle which is guiding them. "If it makes me feel good, if it makes me happy, if I like it and can live with it then it is all right for me to do it." That may seem like an attractive principle by which we can make decisions until one starts to think about it. As a guide for all people that principle would lead and does lead to many conflicts.  





19.6.13

My impression of the original people that opposed secular education is that they were dealing with a situation in which their community supported them.


However he was a person that was respected by his community. and he was talking to people that could have sat in the local beit midrash and learned Torah and their father in laws would have supported them. They had little problem finding a wife or parnasah.

What would happen I wonder if suddenly the whole community returned against him? There can be such things. We know in the Torah of episodes of what you could call miracles of the Sitar Achra. We know many cases in which whole communities turned against Tzadikim. Moshe Rabbainu was not the first and not the last. [Korah seems safely far in the past but I know that he shows up even nowadays in rabbinical garb.

But let ups say for the sake of argument a tzadik would find himself with out a wife, with no parnasha wherever he would go in the Jewish world people would hound him out of town. Not just no one would hire him but they would actively try to bring blood libels of today the equal of sexual abuse libels against him.

I ask you --would not collage seem to him to be better option than what he had originally thought? It is not possible he would rethink his opinion?

In such a case a tzadik would think thus:
If A then B. A= the community is righteous. B I= am a wicked person.
I find A plausible. But I find B to be highly plausible. If I would accept A I would have to accept B. But B seems highly unlikely. Therefore I reject A. This is the type of Logical thinking a tzadik would do in such a case. Further he would reason further:I find not B to be the most plausible of all the propositions. Therefore not A


The problem of the Rambam.
The problem is that it looks like that if you take the Rambam together with the Gemara you get a different halachic decision than if you take him on his own.


This seems to be the problem that Reb Chaim Soloveitchik is coming to answer.
An example is the Rambam in laws of forbidden sexual relations. In the case a person jumps into a mikvah before his is dipped for the sake of avdut (slavery) then he becomes free- but only if he was bought from an Akum (gentile). The problem is that the Rambam says if he is bought from an Akum the Israel still has kinyan Haguf (possession of the body). To put in arbitrarily the distinction of a mikvah like the Kesef Mishna does does not seems very much like it according to the simple peshat in the Rambam. But Reb Chaim makes a distinction here that makes sense. If the Israel buys the Akum from himself he has Kinyan Haguf completely because the akum can sell himself. But buying from another Akim he buys the kinyan Haguf that gives him the right to dip the akum into the mikvah for the sake  of advut.

So the Rambam comes out exactly like he says. The simple peshat (explanation) in the Rambam is the true peshat (explanation) and yet it is accord with the Gemara also!

This is according to my basic impression that the Rambam wanted to be able to be read on his own without looking at the Gemara.


In spite of the fact that the Rambam wanted to be learned on his own still people that read the Rambam without the proper Gemara background have just enough knowledge of Halacha to mix everything up without knowing they are doing so. And it is easy reading. A million times easier than the Talmud. So people can pretend to understand and fake their way.
Perhaps the Rambam was addressing an audience of people that already had basic Gemara concepts. and could read Gemara simply and plainly as opposed to the general Baal teshuva today.