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Thread: Hobbes: Main is a Machine

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    I just want to read. chrisvia's Avatar
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    Hobbes: Main is a Machine

    Philosophical reading is a recent endeavor of mine, and perhaps the most fulfilling choice I've ever made as regards my love of literature.

    Anyway, I am currently reading Hobbes's Leviathan. I'm struck by his notion that man is a machine, and life is but a motion of limbs.

    For there is no such thing as perpetual Tranquility of mind, while we live here; because Life it selfe is but Motion, and can never be without Desire, nor without Fear, no more than without Sense.
    From this he goes on to show that a commonwealth, a state, is but an artificial man; a larger, stronger machine; in short, the Leviathan.

    It's a finely composed theory, but I'm struggling with how he explains the myriad thoughts and emotions that occur psychologically, mentally in each of us. Sure, the first book of his opus, "Of Man," is packed with definitions, which are important to him in the manner of the Socratic method; but it is merely a rumination of how he defines imagination, dreams, temperament, etc.

    What are your thoughts on Hobbes' theory of man as machine? The Leviathan?
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    I just want to read. chrisvia's Avatar
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    Can't figure out how to change the thread title, but, yes, it should say "Hobbes: Man is a Machine."
    "J'ai seul la clef de cette parade sauvage."
    - Rimbaud

    "Il est l'heure de s'enivrer!
    Pour n'être pas les esclaves martyrisés du Temps,
    enivrez-vous;
    enivrez-vous sans cesse!
    De vin, de poésie ou de vertu, à votre guise."
    - Baudelaire

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    Hobbes is a philosopher, and obviously Platonic at that. But I could say that my foot has five toes and I don't need a wise philosopher to confirm that.

    That men are machines is not a philosophical issue. It is a fact. That man does not occur in three dimensions is not a philosophical issue. It is a fact. That he does in the two dimensions of imaginary existence is a Platonic piece of cave bologni. Essential at max, and as such a lie.

    You see the different machines when you speak about men. When you speak about "man," you have gone nuts over a bridge into nonsense.
    Last edited by cafolini; 01-30-2012 at 02:05 PM.

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    Man is a 4d animal.

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    From the point of view of being and existence, man can be an xd animal just like any other one. But time as the 4th is Einstenian nonsense. Time occurs without being, without existence, and without sense. It occurs as what it takes for any event to take place. The confusion always arrived from it being a variable of motion. But never had any bearing on equations. Of course, if you discover a velocity that's decreasing for whatever motive, you can always fantasize on the interpretation of an equation so as to ascribe the motive to time dilation. Ridiculos.

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    That men are machines is not a philosophical issue. It is a fact.
    Yes, because we all know how machines feel love, pain, joy, loneliness, regret. How they have imaginations. How they grieve. How they have mystical experiences. How they possess taste buds and are capable of orgasms. How they can stand before a painting and be moved to tears. Oh yeah, we're just machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy88 View Post
    Yes, because we all know how machines feel love, pain, joy, loneliness, regret. How they have imaginations. How they grieve. How they have mystical experiences. How they possess taste buds and are capable of orgasms. How they can stand before a painting and be moved to tears. Oh yeah, we're just machines.
    Men are not inorganic machines. Sorry about your interpretation.

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    Men are not inorganic machines. Sorry about your interpretation.
    Even with the advent of computers and nano-tech a machine as complex as the human brain has not come close to being achieved. What I said in my prior post still stands. Men are not machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy88 View Post
    Even with the advent of computers and nano-tech a machine as complex as the human brain has not come close to being achieved. What I said in my prior post still stands. Men are not machines.
    Every single aspect of a person's body of which we have any knowledge is machinelike in its behaviour; completely predictable and in a precise way. This case is closed as far as I am concerned. It bores me to death.

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    What Hobbes meant was that human behavior is predictable if you can figure out how to do so. Not that we were automatons with no emotions.

    Now the modern neurobiological approach to human psychology would likely agree with Hobbes.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    What Hobbes meant was that human behavior is predictable if you can figure out how to do so. Not that we were automatons with no emotions.

    Now the modern neurobiological approach to human psychology would likely agree with Hobbes.
    Yes OrphanPip. But the machines have variations and the variations are known. Men and women are not the same in many ways; a major one. The point I was making is that there occur many many different machines in saying "men," while the philosophical "man" doesn't tell us but a philosophy and doesn't occur as machine.

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    Every single aspect of a person's body of which we have any knowledge is machinelike in its behaviour; completely predictable and in a precise way. This case is closed as far as I am concerned. It bores me to death.
    Its not completely predictable. The variables are too numerous. Yes, we are physical specimens that function in accordance with cause and effect. But stating that "man is a machine" fails to take into account his rich world of imagination and subjectivity. When machines start forming religions and writing poetry, then I'll agree. And if it bores you to death then don't make categorical claims on the matter being discussed.

    Stating that man behaves LIKE a machine is not the same as declaring that he IS a machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy88 View Post
    Its not completely predictable. The variables are too numerous. Yes, we are physical specimens that function in accordance with cause and effect. But stating that "man is a machine" fails to take into account his rich world of imagination and subjectivity. When machines start forming religions and writing poetry, then I'll agree. And if it bores you to death then don't make categorical claims on the matter being discussed.

    Stating that man behaves LIKE a machine is not the same as declaring that he IS a machine.
    Ha! How doyou know the variables are too numerous? Your head might burst with so many being considered.

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    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafolini View Post
    Ha! How doyou know the variables are too numerous? Your head might burst with so many being considered.
    If they weren't too numerous then you'd be able to sit down now and chart out the course your behaviours and experiences and thoughts will follow tomorrow, next week, and onwards into the indefinite future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    What Hobbes meant was that human behavior is predictable if you can figure out how to do so. Not that we were automatons with no emotions.

    Now the modern neurobiological approach to human psychology would likely agree with Hobbes.
    But that sounds like behaviourism. Isn't behaviourism kind of dead?
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