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Michael Starks [67]Michael R. Starks [5]
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  1. Review of Religion Explained The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought by Pascal Boyer (2002).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    You can get a quick summary of this book on p 135 or 326. If you are not up to speed on evolutionary psychology you should first read one of the numerous recent texts with this term in the title. One of the best is " The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology " by Buss, but it is big and expensive. Until about 15 years ago, ´explanations´´of behavior have not really been explanations of mental processes at all, but rather vague and (...)
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  2. Review of 'Wittgenstein and the End of Philosophy-by Daniel Hutto 2nd Ed. (2006).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 259-270.
    One of the leading exponents of W's ideas on the language games of inner and outer (the `Two Selves' operation of our personality or intentionality or EP etc.) is the prolific Daniel Hutto (DH). His approach is called `Radical Enactivism' and is well explained in numerous recent books and papers (see my review of Radicalizing Enactivism) and a new one is appearing as I write (Evolving Enactivism). It is a development of or version of the Embodied Mind ideas now current (...)
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  3. Review of The Blue and Brown Books by Ludwig Wittgenstein 2nd Ed.(1960).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    “Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer questions in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics and leads the philosopher into complete darkness.”(BBB p18). -/- “Many words then in this sense then don’t have a strict meaning. But this is not a defect. To think it is would be like saying that the light of my reading lamp is no real light at all because (...)
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  4. The Most Profound Spiritual Autobiography of All Time?- a Review of "The Knee of Listening" by Adi Da (Franklin Jones).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    A brief review of the life and spiritual autobiography of the unique American mystic Adi Da (Franklin Jones). The sticker on the cover of some editions says `The most profound spiritual autobiography of all time` and this might well be true. I am in my 70´s and have read many books by spiritual teachers and on spirituality, and this is one of the greatest ones. Certainly it is by far the fullest and clearest account of the process of enlightenment I (...)
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  5. The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Wittgenstein & Searle.Michael R. Starks - 2016
    I provide a critical survey of some of the major findings of Wittgenstein and Searle on the logical structure of intentionality(mind, language, behavior), taking as my starting point Wittgenstein’s fundamental discovery –that all truly ‘philosophical’ problems are the same—confusions about how to use language in a particular context, and so all solutions are the same—looking at how language can be used in the context at issue so that its truth conditions (Conditions of Satisfaction or COS) are clear. The basic problem (...)
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  6.  94
    Review of Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett (2003).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    ``People say again and again that philosophy doesn´t really progress, that we are still occupied with the same philosophical problems as were the Greeks. But the people who say this don´t understand why is has to be so. It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions. As long as there continues to be a verb´to be´that looks as if it functions in the same way as´to eatánd´to drink´, as long as (...)
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  7.  67
    Review of Sex, Ecology, Spirituality by Ken Wilber 2nd Ed. 851p (2001).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 509-519.
    It is both amazing and fitting that this huge, jargon-laden (this book really needs a glossary!), heavily academic work has become a best seller in the world of the educated. One has to be dedicated to learn the jargon and then plow through 551 pages of text and 238 pages of notes. Meanwhile, we are told time and again that this is just an outline of what is to come! -/- Though he severely criticizes the excesses of the three movements, (...)
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  8.  77
    Review of Radicalizing Enactivism by Hutto and Myin (2012).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Probably the leading exponent of W’s ideas on the language games of inner and outer (the ‘Two Selves’ operation of our personality or intentionality or EP etc. ) the prolific Daniel Hutto’s (DH) approach is called ‘Radical Enactivism’ and is well explained in numerous recent books and papers. It is a development of or version of the Embodied Mind ideas now current and, cleansed of its jargon, it is a straightforward extension of W’s 2nd and 3rd period writings (though Hutto (...)
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  9.  83
    Seeing With the Two Systems of Thought—a Review of ‘Seeing Things As They Are: A Theory of Perception’ by John Searle (2015).Michael R. Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    As so often in philosophy, the title not only lays down the battle line but exposes the author’s biases and mistakes, since whether or not we can make sense of the language game ‘Seeing things as they are’ and whether it’s possible to have a ‘philosophical’ ‘theory of perception’ (which can only be about how the language of perception works), as opposed to a scientific one, which is a theory about how the brain works, are exactly the issues. This is (...)
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  10.  75
    Review of I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (2007).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Latest Sermon from the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism by Pastor Hofstadter. Like his much more famous work Godel, Escher, Bach, it has a superficial plausibility but if one understands that this is rampant scientism which mixes real scientific issues with philosophical ones (i.e., the only real issues are what language games we ought to play) then almost all its interest disappears. I provide a framework for analysis based in evolutionary psychology and the work of Wittgenstein (since updated in my more (...)
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  11.  52
    Review of Listening Into the Heart of Things-on MDMA and LSD by Samuel Widmer (1989).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017). Henderson,NV, USA: Michael Starks. pp. 573-575.
    This is an early volume from a much respected psychedelic psychotherapist. He has written several other books since this one but until recently none of his books were on Amazon and still you can only find a German edition and a Spanish one (from 1993) but no English one (except a couple used copies). This is sad since these drugs have enormous therapeutic potential but afaik government suppression still prevents their use. The most interesting and readable parts are the case (...)
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  12.  59
    Review of The New Science of the Mind by Marc Rowlands (2013).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Before remarking on “The New Science of the Mind”, I first offer some comments on philosophy and its relationship to contemporary psychological research as exemplified in the works of Searle (S),Wittgenstein (W), Hacker (H) et al. It will help to see my reviews of PNC (Philosophy in a New Century), TLP, PI, OC, Making the Social World (MSW) and other books by and about these geniuses, who provide a clear description of higher order behavior, not found in psychology nor philosophy, (...)
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  13.  59
    Review of The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker (2008).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    I start with some famous comments by the philosopher (psychologist) Ludwig Wittgenstein because Pinker shares with most people (due to the default settings of our evolved innate psychology) certain prejudices about the functioning of the mind and because Wittgenstein offers unique and profound insights into the workings of language, thought and reality (which he viewed as more or less coextensive) not found anywhere else. The last quote is the only reference Pinker makes to Wittgenstein in this volume, which is most (...)
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  14.  58
    Review of Philosophy in a New Century by John Searle (2008).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Before commenting on the book, I offer comments on Wittgenstein and Searle and the logical structure of rationality. The essays here are mostly already published during the last decade (though some have been updated), along with one unpublished item, and nothing here will come as a surprise to those who have kept up with his work. Like W, he is regarded as the best standup philosopher of his time and his written work is solid as a rock and groundbreaking throughout. (...)
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  15.  49
    Review of The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth (1997).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 615-618.
    This is one of the best popular cosmology books ever written and Guth is now (2016) a top physics Professor at MIT. He tells the extremely complex story of inflation and related areas of particle physics in such an absorbing style that it reads like a detective novel-in fact, it is a detective novel-how he and others found out how the universe started! The interweaving of his personal story and that of many colleagues along with their photos and many wonderfully (...)
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  16.  58
    Wolpert, Chaitin and Wittgenstein on Impossibility, Incompleteness, the Limits of Computation, Theism and the Universe as Computer-the Ultimate Turing Theorem.Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv.org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, and even (...)
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  17.  48
    Is There Such a Thing as Pragmatics?--Review of Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics 2nd Ed (2009).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 381-399.
    Clearly neither I nor anyone will ever read any substantial part of this massive tome so I will discuss the one article that interests me most and which I think provides the framework necessary for the understanding of all the rest. I refer to the one on Ludwig Wittgenstein (W). Even were I to try to discuss others, we would not get past the first page as all the issues here arise immediately in any discussion of behavior. The differentiation of (...)
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  18.  52
    Review of Are We Hardwired by Clark and Grunstein (2000).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    This is an excellent review of gene/environment interactions on behavior and, in spite of being a bit dated, is an easy and worthwhile read. They start with twin studies which show the overwhelming impact of genetics on behavior. They note the increasingly well known studies of Judith Harris which extend and summarize the facts that shared home environment has almost no effect on behavior and that adopted children grow up to be as different from their stepbrothers and sisters as people (...)
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  19.  51
    Review of The Minds I by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennet (1981).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Variable quality essays dominated by reductionist nonsense. This is a followup to Hofstadter´s famous Godel, Escher, Bach (1980). Like its predecessor, it is concerned largely with the foundations of artificial intelligence, but it is composed mostly of stories, essays and extracts from a wide range of people, with a few essays by DH and DD and comments to all of the contributions by one or the other of them. For my views on the attempts of D and H to understand (...)
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  20. Review of 'The Outer Limits of Reason' by Noson Yanofsky 403p(2013).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    I give a detailed review of 'The Outer Limits of Reason' by Noson Yanofsky 403(2013) from a unified perspective of Wittgenstein and evolutionary psychology. I indicate that the difficulty with such issues as paradox in language and math, incompleteness, undecidability, computability, the brain and the universe as computers etc., all arise from the failure to look carefully at our use of language in the appropriate context and hence the failure to separate issues of scientific fact from issues of how language (...)
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  21.  42
    Suicide by Democracy-- An Obituary for America and the World.Michael Starks - 2018 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2018 2nd revised Edition. Las Vegas, USA: Reality Press. pp. 410-458.
    America and the world are in the process of collapse from excessive population growth, most of it for the last century, and now all of it, due to 3rd world people. Consumption of resources and the addition of 4 billion more ca. 2100 will collapse industrial civilization and bring about starvation, disease, violence and war on a staggering scale. The earth loses about 2% of its topsoil every year, so as it nears 2100, most of its food growing capacity will (...)
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  22.  49
    The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language as Revealed in the Writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle.Michael R. Starks - manuscript
    I provide a critical survey of some of the major findings of Wittgenstein and Searle on the logical structure of intentionality (mind, language, behavior), taking as my starting point Wittgenstein’s fundamental discovery –that all truly ‘philosophical’ problems are the same—confusions about how to use language in a particular context, and so all solutions are the same—looking at how language can be used in the context at issue so that its truth conditions (Conditions of Satisfaction or COS) are clear. The basic (...)
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  23.  42
    Review of A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber (1996).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    The Einstein of the New Age holds forth in his unique and brilliant style on the history of world views and how to put spirit back in our life. If you have the patience to learn his jargon and read slowly there is alot of serious brainfood here. I read this and his Sex, Ecology and Spirituality(1995) with Hofstadter´s famous Godel, Escher, Bach(GEB) written in 1980(both of which I have reviewed here). Wilber´s work has many parallels with GEB, both of (...)
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  24.  41
    Review of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology by Malcolm Budd (1989).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    A superb effort but in my view Wittgenstein is not completely understood by anyone, so we can hardly expect Budd, writing in the mid 80’s, without the modern dual systems of thought view and no comprehensive logical structure of rationality to have grasped him completely. Like everyone, he does not get that W’s use of the word ‘grammar’ refers to our innate Evolutionary Psychology and the general framework of Wittgenstein’s and Searle’s work since laid out (e.g., in my recent articles) (...)
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  25.  33
    Review of Understanding Wittgenstein's On Certainty by Daniele Moyal-Sharrock (2007).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 239-245.
    Wittgenstein (W) is for me easily the most brilliant thinker on human behavior and this is his last work and crowning achievement. It belongs to his third and final period, yet it is not only his most basic work (since it shows that all behavior is an extension of innate true-only axioms and that our conscious ratiocination is but icing on unconscious machinations), but as Daniele Moyal-Sharrock has recently noted, is a radical new epistemology and the foundation for all description (...)
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  26.  32
    Is Harry Potter More Evil Than JK Rowling or You? (2013).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 575-576.
    How about a different take on the rich and famous? First the obvious—these novels are primitive superstition that encourages children to believe in fantasy rather than take responsibility for the world-- the norm of course. JKR is just as clueless about herself and the world as all the other monkeys, but about 200 times as destructive as the average American and about 800 times more than the average Chinese. She has been responsible for the destruction of maybe 30,000 hectares of (...)
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  27.  37
    Review of Meaning and the Growth of Understanding Wittgenstein's Significance by Chapman and Dixon (1987).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Although now over 25 years old, many of the essays are quite contemporary. As expected, none of the authors grasp the full relevance of W for the description of behavior, missing most of the points made in my comments above, his many examples of how S1becomes S2, his role as a pioneer in EP, and his attempts to separate nature from nurture. Brose has many good points and is aware of the foundational nature of On Certainty, but is too scattered (...)
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  28.  50
    David Wolpert on Impossibility, Incompleteness, the Liar Paradox, the Limits of Computation, a Non-Quantum Mechanical Uncertainty Principle and the Universe as Computer—the Ultimate Theorem in Turing Machine Theory.Michael Starks - manuscript
    I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv.org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, and even (...)
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  29.  35
    Review of Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations by Stern (2004).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Overall Stern does a fine analysis of Wittgenstein (W) and is one of the top W scholars, but in my view they all fall short of a full appreciation, as I explain at length in this review and many others. If one does not understand W (and preferably Searle also) then I don't see how one could have more than a superficial understanding of philosophy and of higher order thought and thus of all complex behavior(psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, society). (...)
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  30.  21
    How Destructive Are the Rich, or is J.K. Rowling More Evil Than Me?Michael Starks - 2018 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century--Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civililization 2nd Ed. (2018). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Reality Press. pp. 202-207.
    How about a different take on the rich and famous? First the obvious—the Harry Potter novels are primitive superstition that encourages children to believe in fantasy rather than take responsibility for the world-- the norm of course. JKR is just as clueless about herself and the world as all the other monkeys, but about 200 times as destructive as the average American and about 800 times more than the average Chinese. She has been responsible for the destruction of maybe 30,000 (...)
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  31.  29
    Review of The New Wittgenstein-- Crary & Read Eds. 403p (2000).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017). Henderson,NV, USA: Michael Starks. pp. 233-238.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein is the most famous philosopher of modern times but very few understand his pioneering work and there has been a collective amnesia regarding him in recent decades. Most of the essays are new but some date as far back as 1979 and whether they give a new view of his ideas depends on one’s understanding of what he said. For me, the interpretations are not new and mostly just as confused as nearly all the other commentary on W (...)
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  32.  34
    Review of Human Nature Sandis and Cain Eds. (2012).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    Like most writing on human behavior, these articles lack a coherent framework and so I hesitate to recommend this book to anyone, as the experienced ought to have about the same perspective I do, and the naïve will mostly be wasting their time. Since I find most of these essays obviously off the mark or just very dull, I can't generate much enthusiasm for commenting on them, so after providing what I consider a reasonable precis of a framework (see my (...)
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  33.  31
    The Logical Structure of Consciousness (Behavior, Personality, Rationality, Higher Order Thought, Intentionality).Michael R. Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    After half a century in oblivion, the nature of consciousness is now the hottest topic in the behavioral sciences and philosophy. Beginning with the pioneering work of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the 1930’s (the Blue and Brown Books) and from the 50’s to the present by his logical successor John Searle, I have created the following table as an heuristic for furthering this study. The rows show various aspects or ways of studying and the columns show the involuntary processes and voluntary (...)
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  34.  44
    The Logical Structure of Consciousness (Behavior, Personality, Rationality, Higher Order Thought, Intentionality).Michael Starks - manuscript
    After half a century in oblivion, the nature of consciousness is now the hottest topic in the behavioral sciences and philosophy. Beginning with the pioneering work of Ludwig Wittgenstein in the 1930’s (the Blue and Brown Books) and from the 50’s to the present by his logical successor John Searle, I have created the following table as an heuristic for furthering this study. The rows show various aspects or ways of studying and the columns show the involuntary processes and voluntary (...)
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  35.  27
    Will the World Decrease Births or Increase Deaths?—A Review of ‘Reproductive Medicine’--E. Coutinho & P. Spinola Eds. 366p (1999).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 581-584.
    I review this report of an old medical congress on reproductive medicine. Much has happened in the 17 years since its publication but the most urgent task of preventing further population growth has largely failed on a global scale. I try to bring it up to date and briefly discuss the inexorable disaster coming as the world population passes 11 billion in the 22nd century. -/- Those interested in all my writings in their most recent versions may consult my e-book (...)
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  36.  43
    What Do Paraconsistent, Undecidable, Random, Computable and Incomplete Mean? A Review of Godel's Way: Exploits Into an Undecidable World by Gregory Chaitin, Francisco A Doria , Newton C.A. Da Costa 160p (2012).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    In ‘Godel’s Way’ three eminent scientists discuss issues such as undecidability, incompleteness, randomness, computability and paraconsistency. I approach these issues from the Wittgensteinian viewpoint that there are two basic issues which have completely different solutions. There are the scientific or empirical issues, which are facts about the world that need to be investigated observationally and philosophical issues as to how language can be used intelligibly (which include certain questions in mathematics and logic), which need to be decided by looking at (...)
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  37.  48
    The Foundation Stone of Psychology and Philosophy--A Critical Review of 'On Certainty' by Ludwig Wittgenstein.Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    A critical review of Wittgenstein's 'On Certainty' which he wrote in 1950-51 and was first published in 1969. Most of the review is spent presenting a modern framework for philosophy(the descriptive psychology of higher order thought) and positioning the work of Wittgenstein and John Searle in this framework and relative to the work of others. It is suggested that this book can be regarded as the foundation stone of psychology and philosophy as it was the first to describe the two (...)
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  38.  29
    Review of 'John R Searle-Thinking About the Real World' by Franken Et Al Eds. (2010).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    This book is the result of Searle's stay in the Munster University Philosophy Dept in 2009 and all the papers except his introductory one and his final response are from persons associated with Munster. However all the papers were written or revised later and so are one of the most up to date looks at his views available as of mid 2013. S has in my view made more fundamental contributions to higher order descriptive psychology (philosophy) than anyone since Wittgenstein (...)
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  39.  39
    A Master Wittgensteinian Surveys Human Nature--A Review of Peter Hacker 'Human Nature-the Categorial Framework' (2012).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    Materialism, reductionism, behaviorism, functionalism, dynamic systems theory and computationalism are popular views, but they were shown by Wittgenstein to be incoherent. The study of behavior encompasses all of human life but behavior is largely automatic and unconscious and even the conscious part, mostly expressed in language (which Wittgenstein equates with the mind), is not perspicuous, so it is critical to have a framework which Searle calls the Logical Structure of Rationality (LSR) and I call the Descriptive Psychology of Higher Order (...)
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  40.  28
    Review of Readings of Wittgenstein's On Certainty by Daniele Moyal-Sharrock Ed (2007).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    On Certainty was not published until 1969, 18 years after Wittgenstein’s death and has only recently begun to draw serious attention. I cannot recall a single reference to it in all of Searle and one sees whole books on W with barely a mention. There are however xlnt books on it by Stroll, Svensson, McGinn and others and parts of many other books and articles, but hands down the best is that of Daniele Moyal-Sharrock (DMS) whose 2004 volume “Understanding Wittgenstein’s (...)
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  41.  28
    Review of Wittgenstein Rethinking the Inner by Paul Johnston (1993).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Overall Johnston has done a phenomenal job and this book should be required reading for all those interested in behavior. It is quite striking that although W’s observations are fundamental to all study of behavior—linguistics, philosophy, psychology, history, anthropology, politics, sociology, and art, he is not even mentioned in most books and articles, with even the exceptions having little to say, and most of that distorted or flat wrong. There is a flurry of recent interest, at least in philosophy, and (...)
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  42.  27
    Review of Wittgenstein And Psychology A Practical Guide by Harre and Tissaw (2005).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    A major flaw of the book is its failure to note Wittgenstein’s role in destroying the mechanical or reductionist or computationalist view of mind. These continue to dominate cognitive science and philosophy in spite of the fact that they were powerfully countered by W and later by Searle and others. -/- There is much talk of W’s use of terms like “grammar”, “rules” etc but never a clear mention that they mean our Evolved Psychology or our genetically programmed innate behavior. (...)
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  43.  27
    Review of Wittgensteins Metaphilosophy by Paul Horwich (2013).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Horwich gives a fine analysis of Wittgenstein (W) and is a leading W scholar, but in my view they all fall short of a full appreciation, as I explain at length in this review and many others. If one does not understand W (and preferably Searle also) then I don't see how one could have more than a superficial understanding of philosophy and of higher order thought and thus of all complex behavior(psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, society). In a nutshell, (...)
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  44.  21
    Review of The Emotion Machine by Marvin Minsky (2007).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 627.
    Dullest book by a major scientist I have ever read. I suppose if you know almost nothing about cognition or AI research you might find this book useful. For anyone else it is a horrific bore. There are hundreds of books in cog sci, robotics, AI, evolutionary psychology and philosophy offering far more info and insight on cognition than this one. Minsky is a top rate senior scientist but it barely shows here. He has alot of good references but they (...)
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  45.  20
    The Dead Hands of Group Selection and Phenomenology -- A Review of Individuality and Entanglement by Herbert Gintis 357p (2017).Michael Starks - 2017 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Henderson: Michael Starks.
    Since Gintis is a senior economist and I have read some of his previous books with interest, I was expecting some more insights into behavior. Sadly he makes the dead hands of group selection and phenomenology into the centerpieces of his theories of behavior, and this largely invalidates the work. Worse, since he shows such bad judgement here, it calls into question all his previous work. The attempt to resurrect group selection by his friends at Harvard, Nowak and Wilson, a (...)
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  46.  49
    Can There Be a Chinese Philosophy?--A Review of Searle's Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy by Bo Mou 440p(2008).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 3rd Ed 686p(2017).
    This book is invaluable as a synopsis of some of the work of one the greatest philosophers of recent times. There is much value in analyzing his responses to the basic confusions of philosophy, and in the generally excellent attempts to connect classical Chinese thought to modern philosophy. I take a modern Wittgensteinian view to place it in perspective. -/- Those wishing a comprehensive up to date account of Wittgenstein, Searle and their analysis of behavior from the modern two systems (...)
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  47.  24
    Review of Making the Social World by John Searle (2010).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Before commenting in detail on Making the Social World (MSW) I will first offer some comments on philosophy (descriptive psychology) and its relationship to contemporary psychological research as exemplified in the works of Searle (S) and Wittgenstein (W), since I feel that this is the best way to place Searle or any commentator on behavior, in proper perspective. It will help greatly to see my reviews of PNC, TLP, PI, OC,TARW and other books by these two geniuses of descriptive psychology. (...)
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  48.  21
    Review of Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy by David Pears (2006).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Pears is an eminent philosopher, notable among W scholars for his “The False Prison: a study of the development of Wittgenstein’s philosophy” in 2 volumes published 20 years ago. Based on these facts I expected some deep insights into W in the current volume. There were certainly some good points but overall it was profoundly disappointing. All of behavioral science is about our innate human nature and since W was the first to elucidate the axioms of our universal psychology, I (...)
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  49.  19
    Review of Wittgenstein-a Critical Reader Ed by Hans-Johann Glock (2001).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    The aim of the 17 original papers here is to summarize and analyze Wittgenstein's thought. At the time these were being written, the Oxford/Intelex CDROM ($2040 on Amazon but available thru interlibrary loan and steeply discounted on the net) with 20,000 some pages of W's nachlass was not yet available, and only those fluent in German and willing to find and slog thru the incomplete Cornell microfilm were able to examine it. To this day it much of it remains untranslated (...)
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  50.  18
    Review of Adapting Minds Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature by Buller (2006).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    I bought this thinking anything from Bradford books and MIT must be good. Instead it's a boring, stupid, incompetent, antiscientific and antirational piece of closet creationist trash. Heads should roll at Bradford for this atrocity! If you must then start by reading the last chapter first as he conceals a frank statement of his anti-rationality til the end. I made detailed notes on it as I thought it was a serious work of science and was going to do a long (...)
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