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Thread: Individualism, Autism, scientific minds and North European cultures

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I am more than familiar with Western Philosophy as I studied it at university. Bertrand Russell is actually one of my favourite philosophers. Empiricism is a theory of knowledge and not an alternative current to idealism or materialism. However, empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from sensory experience, and is much more compatible with materialism, and even goes again most forms of idealism.
    Not at all. Matter is an un-empirical notion. What we have direct and certain knowledge of, according to empiricism, is purely sense data. This sense data need not inhere in any substance, such as matter, nor can we do such things as induce causality as there is no necessary connection between things. Therefore, from a purely empirical matter, we can only speak of our sense data and the non-causal semi-uniformity we witness in this data. For Hume, nature could simply be chaotic at its core, whereas for Kant our empiricism must transform into Transcendental Idealism where the uniformity is a condition of our thought.

    These arguments owe their origin to Locke who first began to critique substance, were then vastly expanded upon by Bishop Berkeley, still expanded by Hume, given further thought by Kant, and have persisted till the present day through such figures as the aforementioned Russell.

    Materialism is nothing but a sad mistake in empiricism. It cannot be justified under empirical knowledge alone, but must derive in some sense from inductions beyond what is given purely by sensory report.

    There is, of course, another, more "spiritual" trend in Idealism following after Hegel. There is also religious Idealism which finds its greatest exemplar in Hindu and certain Buddhist doctrines.

    Plato and Aristotle may have laid some of the grounds of Western Philosophy, but their philosophy is just as dated today as ancient technologies. Actually, quite a lot of "modern" philosophers can be discarded too (Descartes, Leibniz, Hegel...) in my eyes.
    Hardly. This seems merely like your dismissal is a result of argumentum ad novitam (argument from novelty). What is new is not inherently superior to that which is old.

    The figures you mention have remarkable stable ideas in philosophy and their works in other related disciplines are foundational. Clearly, not everything that they wrote on various other topics is still useful today, but their work was crucial in leading to future discoveries that refine it over the progress of science. That being said, mathematically they are incorporated into modern mathematics. Examples: Descartes was the man who united algebra and geometry and Leibniz created modern calculus (independently of Newton). For a figure you didn't mention, Kant was the first to hypothesize the existence of galaxies.

    Oh, and if you want a really good foundation for civil society and the state, I would recommend Hegel's "Elements of the Philosophy of Right". Reading that work you will see a fine justification of the modern nation state and its legal roles, even moreso than the less extensive works of (the also brilliant) English philosophers.

    I don't have the time or envy to discuss this at length now. Let's just say that I have learnt about all major philosophers, chosen my path, and have thrown away all philosophers whose views were not compatible with atheism, hence my reaction.
    How unphilosophic AND unscientific. Closing your mind to any but which fit into a pre-established paradigm. That's not very proper of you, Maciamo. I would highly recommend you expand your horizons less you hamstring yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Northern European cultures (including other English-speaking cultures like the USA) are known for their individualism and masculine characteristics. It is not an accident of history that Scandinavian women were the first to become emancipated, and the first who wanted to get rid of gender roles to behave like men - including taking positions of power. Northern European, and especially Germanic cultures, have always been more masculine than say Mediterranean, African, South Asian or East Asian ones.
    Coming back to the topic of northern europe, feminism, science and individualism, here is a famous video made by Harald Eia, which eventually lead to the ending of the norwegian gender "science" in 2011, which was funded before by 56 million EUR per year.

    "The Gender Equality Paradox"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2xrnyH2wQ

    Essence of the video is, that paradoxically the women in Norway are those who mostly choose typical female professions like nursing and kindergardening while avoiding typical male professions like engineers and constructors. In other countries with lesser gender equality, women are paradoxically more likely to choose typical male professions. I think this contradicts the association of northern feminism with individualism or masculinity. Feminism in northern europe was not a folk movement but rather an imposed social democrat agenda, which the majority was just following without thinking too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It was not a generalised trend in society like later in northern Europe.
    Scandinavia, which I consider northern european, was rather backwards until 20th century. The uptrend during 20th century was due to welfare among others. I highly doubt that the whole population genetics has suddenly changed that much since 100 years. Scandinavians became more progressive in the early middle ages, when they travelled far. They were great seafarers indeed. But the later middle ages were really dark in northern europe.

    Obviously there is some political bias in Nobel prizes. But even if Nazi Germany or the former GDR were under-represented, that would only strengthen my argument about Germanic countries. We could look at only at recent Nobel prizes in science, but the trend is still an overwhelming dominance of Germanic countries.
    No, GDR was actually the only germanic country whithin the eastern block.

    That is why I explicitly wrote : "Germanic people (except the British) are also known for their outspokenness".
    Ok.

    Russia is a big country. If the type of people you refer to are more common in Northwest Russia, then that may be part of their Viking heritage.
    No, they are from Siberia and Moscow. On the other hand, viking influence stretched far to south-eastern russia, before Russia started expanding into asia.

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    rs1858830 (C;C) 2x risk of autism
    i'm from italy
    what's your genotype about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Witch-hunting is a reaction to fear, and when scared people tend to stick together more.



    I have already explained at length in this thread that socialism has nothing to do with collectivism. Actually, the generous welfare system of northern European countries (not just Scandinavia, but also the UK, Benelux, Germany and France) is more likely to work well in an individualistic society than a collectivist one.

    Actually, collectivists can be broadly divided into two categories: the tribal/clannish collectivists (most common in Europe, Middle East and Africa), and the nationwide collectivists (like in East Asia). Social welfare can work well in nationwide collectivist societies like Japan or China, but not in clannish ones, like in Mediterranean countries. The reason is that clannish societies always seek the good of their own extended family or small village community rather than of the whole nation or country. With such a mindset, people hate to pay taxes to a distant central government and are therefore much more likely to hide their revenues, so that there will never be enough money in the system for a generous redistribution to take place. That is essentially why countries like Greece (or most of the Balkans) are in trouble financially.

    Nationwide collectivists like the East Asians place the definition of "group" at a much higher level (all the compatriots, which in East Asia usually means all the people who speak their language and share their culture and ethnicity). A welfare system can easily work because individuals feel that the greater good of their homogeneous society is important enough to pay taxes and contribute to the system.

    Individualists may prosper in either system: a strong social welfare state like in northern Europe, or a fend-for-yourself system like in the USA. The main difference between these two types of societies is ethnic homogeneity. Small North European countries are far more homogeneous in every respect than the huge melting pot that are the USA. Individualists will have more faith in the system if they know that most of the other contributors are similar to them, especially if like in Germanic countries people have a generally good reputation for trustworthiness and honesty. The problem comes when too many different people (untrustworthy and dishonest) come into the system and try to get as much benefit from it while contributing as little as possible. This is the most fundamental cause of the present uproar and frustration of North Europeans against African immigrants in their countries.

    Eventually, if too many cheaters infiltrate the system, North Europeans countries will have little choice but to adopt a more American-style system that benefits the most capable and industrious people and neglects the rest of the population.

    In short, socialist/welfare states tend to benefit individualists in countries where most people are individualistic and honest, but fails to work in mixed societies. This is where the link with autism because interesting, because autistic people are both more individualistic and more honest than the average. This is probably because these two traits go hand in hand. Honesty is essentially the quality of not deceiving or hiding things. Autistic people don't lie (hiding the truth or facts), don't play mind games (hiding one's true feelings), and don't have hidden agendas (hiding one's intentions). These are all what constitute honesty. Honest people are almost inevitable more frank and direct too. That is a direct consequence of honesty. And we all know that very sociable people are rarely frank and direct, because it is easier to alienate people when you tell the truth to people's faces all the time than when you use white lies and insincere compliments (like the "pleasers"). That is also why politicians are almost never honest, because the democratic system is made in a way that rewards the most sociable and mass pleasing individuals. This may also be why in mixed societies like the USA, people descended from clannish collectivist societies (like South Italy or Ireland) tend to make the best politicians (I mean best at campaigning and getting elected, not necessarily best at governing).
    My honest‚Äč compliments for this post.

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