AMarquez wrote:I never implied that you were a newcomer to pholosphy, in fact, I never addressed you, I don't know why you would clarify otherwise.
Well, no, and that's part of the point. Because instead of addressing anyone specifically, what you did was generalize that "most xkcd users" aren't going to be receptive to philosophy. Further, by taking people's reactions to this video as evidence of their attitudes towards "the relevance of philosophy just for philosophy's sake," you suggested that hostility to this video is coming from unfamiliarity with philosophy in general. I presented my own background because (a) I can only speak for myself and (b) what I can speak for shows that hostility to the video doesn't have anything to do with a general hostility toward philosophy.
On second thought, though, at least one other person who has reacted negatively to the video in this thread has a philosophy degree, and many other people regularly engage in debates on ethical theory and political philosophy in the News & Articles
and Serious Business
subforums. So I think your suggestion that people here aren't open to talking about philosophy is unfounded and, frankly, a bit insulting.
I stated that the video is good for newcomers, if you are studying philosophy on a college, why would you be trying to expose a youtube video as "very basic" when it is clearly aimed for newcomes?
By "trivial," I don't mean that it's very basic. A "very basic" video would presumably look like an excerpt from a lecture in an introductory philosophy course. For example, a Descartes-style argument for external world skepticism would be "very basic": it's a simple argument invoking premises that are at once easy to understand and easy to see the appeal of, it leads to a readily-understandable conclusion, and it invites discussion on a number of fronts (e.g. the strength of the premises). It's basic because it requires no technical background or argumentative sophistication in order to appreciate and engage with, and there's nothing wrong with being basic in this sense; I would not have accused a well-made video about a Descartes-style argument of being "trivial."
When I say that many of the claims in the video are trivial, I mean that they just aren't interesting at all. They may not require any background, but they also don't provoke any significant insight. For example:
The video wrote:This general pattern of an object’s form representing the geometric relationships between every point on that object applies to any physical object. Without these relationships to make up the information pertaining to the object’s exact form, the object would not embody that form.
What is the significance of this? "Spatial form" was stipulatively defined, at the start of the section on spatiality, as being "comprised of the geometric relationships that every point on that object has to every other." So what is the point of saying essentially the same thing in reverse: that an object's geometric relationships make up its form?
The video wrote:Holding all of this in mind, see if you can appreciate the fact if you remove any link in the chain of causality which brought the past to the present, the present could not possibly exist in its current form.
Granted, this is true in some sense, but so what? What is the significance of this statement to philosophy? Is there a philosophical problem that it raises, or a philosophical problem that it helps to address? Why dose saying this matter at all?
However, I think the far greater problem with the video is that, when it does make controversial claims, it doesn't try to defend them or even give a sense of why someone might find them plausible. Or sometimes, it does try to defend a claim, but the connection between the conclusion and whatever is supposed to support it is incredibly unclear. To call upon one of many
The video wrote:Holding all of this in mind, see if you can appreciate the fact if you remove any link in the chain of causality which brought the past to the present, the present could not possibly exist in its current form. From this perspective, it should be clear that every effect we observe is the embodiment of a staggeringly uncountable set of causes. Through examining this, the essential nature of causality, we find that the present is the sum effect of all past causes. The present contains the entirety of the past in its logical structure because the circumstances making up the present are directly dependent on the logical progression of causality woven through cause and effect in the past.
Grant that the present state of the world depends on the past workings of cause and effect. How does it follow that the present "contains the entirety of the past in its logical structure"?
AMarquez wrote:It is not for you, but you can help improving it, you can even ignore it, and it'll be better, but you aren't doing either, you aren't criticizing the video, you are criticizing what the video is not. Now I'm personally addressing you.
I am criticizing the video for not living up to some very basic expectations that we should have for any work that advances philosophical claims. You are correct that I am, in some sense, largely criticizing the video for what it fails to do: for failing to substantiate its claims, or to show why they are philosophically significant. However, that has nothing to do with whether the video is sufficiently advanced, and everything to do with whether it lives up to the standards of philosophical exposition, standards that a piece on philosophy should meet no matter its target audience. To reiterate, I have no problem with the video being simple, basic, beginner-oriented, etc. I am certainly not saying that the video is bad because it leaves out my favorite topics in contemporary formal epistemology or anything like that.