Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jonathan Millers' Philosophers mentioned

Sir Jonathan Miller, a Distinguished Suppporter of British Humanist Association visited a Dorset Humanists home (40 attended) for lunch prior to his afternoon talk at The Lighthouse in Poole (attended by three hundred) today 27th April.

He recommended John Searle on Speech Acts.

Postmodernism and French philosophers Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault were critisised by JM for lack of clarity and impenetratable Philosophy.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was cited several times (games, jokes to make a point, features in common between subjects). Peter Strawson, John Austin, GE Moore (philosophical enquiry ceased to be metaphysical), Donald Davidson, Gilbert Ryle (category mistakes), Democritus (atomist who new no science just did not believe in the supernatural, material v immaterial), Bertrand Russell (Why I'm not a Christian - a humanist at Conway Hall said it was like an orgasm!) were mentioned.

Straight thinking is what is required.

JM says that philosophical enquiry rather than science has been key reason for questioning of religious beliefs in past few decades.

He recommended On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt and I recommended Mindfucking by his friend Colin McGinn which cites 'On Bullshit'.

Oliver Sachs - his childhood contemporary - he keeps in touch with him.

Eliminative materialism
says that certain beliefs in belief do not exist (Paul Churchland).

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