forum 11: week of 26 March - knowledge and accomplishment

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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Three quotations from two individuals with accomplishment: [1] No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

[2] Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

[1] and [2], General George S. Patton

[3] The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

[3] Winston Churchill

04:47, 27 March 2012

The reference to accomplishment in the preceding quotations is DR. Morton’s paper titled Accomplishing Accomplishment, page two, last paragraph, on success: “I have in mind getting what you want because of your efforts.” To me, Patton and Churchill are strong examples of accomplishment by human effort. In the Hollywood film titled Patton, General Patton is portrayed as the only general the Nazis were afraid of. Patton successfully led the US Third Army across France in World War II, to attack Nazi forces. Churchill led Britain to fight the Nazis, no matter what happened. Churchill’s effort earned a year for the United States to prepare to enter WWII. Do the quotations of Patton and Churchill achieve philosophical knowledge, because of the accomplishments of Patton and Churchill.

07:24, 28 March 2012

It seems to me that, at any rate, all this talk of accomplishment seems to be a certain unspoken assumption of freewill. It seems somehow silly to suggest that anything could actually be accomplished without freewill, in that accomplishment seems different from a success event occurring. You have to mean it, and to have effectuated an outcome based on your intentions. What if your intentions are not your own, or at least pre-determined by causes and events before you were ever before? If that were true, does it still make sense to talk about accomplishments, aims, reality, desires in the way that we have used them in class? How are our desires different from a rock's desire to fall down a cliff, or from the universe's desire for max entropy and min enthalpy? Are those cases different? If so, how?

10:33, 29 March 2012