Who Are The World's Top Living Geniuses

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Who Are The World's Top Living Geniuses

Postby RicDemian » Fri May 18, 2007 8:14 am

1. Steven Pinker
2. Noam Chomsky
3. Stephen Hawking
4. Roger Penrose
5. Paul Churchland
6. George Lakoff
7. Patricia Churchland
8. E.O. Wilson
9. Ronald Dworkin
10. Antonio Damasio
11. Frances Fukuyama
12. Paul Kurtz
13. Daniel Dennett
14. Daniel Davidson
15. Hilary Putnam
16. Joseph Stiglitz
17. Richard Posner
18. Jerome Kagan
19. Jared Diamond
20. John Searle
21. Salmone Rushdie
22. Richard Rorty
23. Michio Kaku
24. Paul Krugman
25. Freeman Dyson
26. Roger Waters
27. Fritof Capra
28. Zbigniew Brzezinki
29. Vaclav Havel
30. Alice Walker
31. Richard Dawkins
32. Peter Singer
33. Fareed Zakaria
34. Bill Clinton
35. Alan Derchowitz
36. Sam Harris
37. Susan Blackmore
38. Eric Kandel
39. Bernard Lewis
40. John Luckas

My list is short on literature, visual art, music, women and many other areas I'm not up on. Feel free to amend it, as I extend it when more names occur to me.
Last edited by RicDemian on Mon May 21, 2007 12:27 am, edited 13 times in total.
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Postby Mr Reasonable » Fri May 18, 2007 8:17 am

Dude I feel honored that I've actually met someone from your list. I work with some people who have written/edited some books with Dennett. I met him twice, both times I was totally stoned.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
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Postby Impious » Fri May 18, 2007 8:18 am

Stephen Metcalf hands-down.
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Postby Mr Reasonable » Fri May 18, 2007 8:26 am

Oh yeah. I nominate Joe Francis.
You see...a pimp's love is very different from that of a square.
Dating a stripper is like eating a noisy bag of chips in church. Everyone looks at you in disgust, but deep down they want some too.

What exactly is logic? -Magnus Anderson

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Postby IrvingWashington » Fri May 18, 2007 11:28 am

John Rawls is a bit dead to be a living genius.

One philosopher that I've recently started reading is Simon Blackburn, he can actually write, and his Quasi-Realism is a genuinely interesting meta-ethical theory. Plus he seems to agree with Hume about everything, an attitude I support.
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Postby October » Fri May 18, 2007 3:51 pm

Richard Rorty
Jurgen Habermas
Edward Wilson
Harvey Mansfield/Thomas Pangle
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Postby Ed3 » Fri May 18, 2007 8:18 pm

Ed Witten.

A lowly Physicist, who won the Fields medal in Mathematics.

Major contributions in M-Theory and String theory.

He currently works out of Einstein's old office at the Institute for Advanced Study.
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Postby RicDemian » Fri May 18, 2007 8:33 pm

IrvingWashington wrote:John Rawls is a bit dead to be a living genius.

One philosopher that I've recently started reading is Simon Blackburn, he can actually write, and his Quasi-Realism is a genuinely interesting meta-ethical theory. Plus he seems to agree with Hume about everything, an attitude I support.


Thanks, Irving. I hadn't heard of Rawls' passing. Over to the "edit" button. I'll have to check out Blackburn.
Last edited by RicDemian on Fri May 18, 2007 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Postby RicDemian » Fri May 18, 2007 8:53 pm

ScottMears wrote:Dude I feel honored that I've actually met someone from your list. I work with some people who have written/edited some books with Dennett. I met him twice, both times I was totally stoned.


That's too much Scott. Did you get into an argument? I'd love to meet Dennett. You'd love his last 3 books, especially "Freedom Evolves". It's philosophy that inspires like a self-empowerment or self-help book. And he explains natural selection (Darwin's Dangerous Idea) in a much more readable way that Dawkins, who I find laborious to read at times.
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Postby Nothingness » Fri May 18, 2007 9:09 pm

*insert physicists and mathematicians here*
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Postby IrvingWashington » Fri May 18, 2007 9:17 pm

Thanks, Irving. I never heard of Rawls' passing. Over to the "edit" button. I'll have to check out Blackburn.


Quasi-Realism is great because you get to talk about moral truths, say no to relativism, say some attitudes are better than others etc without having to say that moral properties actually exist 'out there' in the world. Basically Emotivism without all the drawbacks.
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Postby RicDemian » Fri May 18, 2007 9:38 pm

IrvingWashington wrote:
Thanks, Irving. I never heard of Rawls' passing. Over to the "edit" button. I'll have to check out Blackburn.


Quasi-Realism is great because you get to talk about moral truths, say no to relativism, say some attitudes are better than others etc without having to say that moral properties actually exist 'out there' in the world. Basically Emotivism without all the drawbacks.


Do you have a link, pending my "Amazoning" Blackburn, Irving?
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Postby someoneisatthedoor » Fri May 18, 2007 9:50 pm

I'd strongly dispute Chomsky and Fukuyama on that list. If you're going to include them, you might as well stick Paris Hilton up there.

In terms of literature you should probably include Brett Easton Ellis and Michel Houellebecq.
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Postby sarax » Fri May 18, 2007 9:55 pm

i find this amusing. steven hawking spends a fair amount of time hanging around cambridge (i saw him recently) and simon blackburn, who, by the way is an absolute legend, lectured me on Hume in my first term here back in october for 8 lectures and the theory of knowledge in lent term for 8 lectures. he's awesome and a great lecturer. if you google him he's got a website where he puts up all his lecture notes and some other stuff which may be of interest to you if you like him.
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Postby Xunzian » Fri May 18, 2007 11:44 pm

Ditto on the Metcalf.


Oh, wait, I meant Donald Metcalf!


For philosophers, I'll throw in Tu Weiming. The man is a freakin' genius! Some of the best stuff written since the classics.
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Postby IrvingWashington » Sat May 19, 2007 3:22 am

RicDemian wrote:
IrvingWashington wrote:Do you have a link, pending my "Amazoning" Blackburn, Irving?


No idea what there is on the net, I've just recently done a course which included him at uni. He has lots of books, the ones I've looked at are Spreading the Word (really about philosophy of language, but with a section on ethics), Essays in Quasi-Realism and Ruling Passions. I'd imagine if you had a look you could find articles online. He does the popularising philosophy thing as well, no idea if those books are any good, I'm really talking about his own theories here.

For anyone that is interested, Quasi-Realism is basically the view that moral judgements aren't descriptive of features of the world, rather they express attitudes, but rather than taking a standard expressivist line we allow talk of moral truth (what this exactly is for Blackburn depends upon what you read, he starts out with a true moral statement being a member of some completely consistent attitude set, then moves towards saying 'p is true' being just equivalent to asserting p with greater emphasis) as well as denying relativism - my moral opinion that women should be educated is superior to a view that they shouldn't. The disagreement between the 2 viewpoints is at the level of 1st-order ethical commitments i.e. we disagree about a substantive ethical matter, but just because all we have is a clash of attitudes doesn't stop my attitude being better. What is wrong with the alternative attitude is that it is ignorant of the potential of women, it is based upon prejudice etc. As Blackburn himself says, all of this is to 'talk in our voice', but as long as our voice isn't a voice to be embarassed by this is no problem.
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Re: Who Are The World's Top Living Geniuses

Postby Impious » Sat May 19, 2007 3:28 am

RicDemian wrote:1. Steven Pinker
2. Antonio Damasio
3. Steven Hawking
4. Roger Penrose
5. Paul Churchland
6. George Lakoff
7. Patricia Churchland
8. E.O. Wilson
9. Ronald Dworkin
10. Noam Chomsky
11. Frances Fukuyama
12. Imre Lakatos
13. Daniel Dennett
14. Daniel Davidson
15. Hilary Putnam
16. Joseph Stiglitz
17. Richard Posner
18. Jerome Kagan
19. Jared Diamond
20. John Searle


But how many of these breathe the air of the heights?
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Postby JoeTheMan » Sat May 19, 2007 3:43 am

how many of these breathe the air of the heights?


Yeah. Who says analytics are so great anyway????

/Just sad that Deleuze, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Foucault and Guattari are gone...
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Re: Who Are The World's Top Living Geniuses

Postby RicDemian » Sat May 19, 2007 9:41 pm

Impious wrote:
RicDemian wrote:1. Steven Pinker
2. Antonio Damasio
3. Steven Hawking
4. Roger Penrose
5. Paul Churchland
6. George Lakoff
7. Patricia Churchland
8. E.O. Wilson
9. Ronald Dworkin
10. Noam Chomsky
11. Frances Fukuyama
12. Imre Lakatos
13. Daniel Dennett
14. Daniel Davidson
15. Hilary Putnam
16. Joseph Stiglitz
17. Richard Posner
18. Jerome Kagan
19. Jared Diamond
20. John Searle


But how many of these breathe the air of the heights?


I admitted I'm short on many fields. I do put more stock in critical, analytical genius with explanatory power and appeal to the left side of my brain, which is usually the more active. The appeal of postmodernism escapes me. It seems to deny meaning, knowledge and progress. It has a streak of paranoia running through it, asserting claims to truth and progress are tactics of political domination and authentic experience and communication are impossible. I'm not interested in this line of weird thinking, just because it sounds original.
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Re: Who Are The World's Top Living Geniuses

Postby Xunzian » Sat May 19, 2007 11:28 pm

RicDemian wrote:
I admitted I'm short on many fields. I do put more stock in critical, analytical genius with explanatory power and appeal to the left side of my brain, which is usually the more active. The appeal of postmodernism escapes me. It seems to deny meaning, knowledge and progress. It has a streak of paranoia running through it, asserting claims to truth and progress are tactics of political domination and authentic experience and communication are impossible. I'm not interested in this line of weird thinking, just because it sounds original.


I couldn't agree more.
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Postby RicDemian » Sun May 20, 2007 2:28 am

someoneisatthedoor wrote:I'd strongly dispute Chomsky and Fukuyama on that list. If you're going to include them, you might as well stick Paris Hilton up there.

In terms of literature you should probably include Brett Easton Ellis and Michel Houellebecq.


What in the world would you know about Chomsky or Fukuyama? Recount to us a line or two about their respective work. I know nothing, zip, about Paris Hilton, and proud of it. The other name is completely new to me. As if you're familiar with Chomsky's theory of transformational generative grammar, or have read any of Fukuyama's neo-liberal accounts of the West's place in the post-Cold War world. Maybe those were the two only names on the list you even recognized. Stick with the pop culture. You seem up on that.
In the name of tolerance we reserve the right not to tolerate the intolerant (Popper).

Why are philosophers intent on forcing others to believe things? Is that a nice way to behave towards someone? (Nozick)

I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as yo go along. (Russell)

Your World Champion shows you WHAT'S CAUSING ALL THIS!!! WOOOOO!!! ( Flair)
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Postby talentedidiot » Sun May 20, 2007 8:38 am

John Nash, anybody?

He's finally exposed economics for what it is... what a consolation to all those poor people who never did well in eco.
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Postby PhilosophyGirl » Sun May 20, 2007 9:02 am

me
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Postby aporia » Sun May 20, 2007 3:18 pm

Douglas Hofstadter, especially for his recent book "I am a Strange Loop" which I adore. I've been meaning to start a thread on it here, once I get my thoughts together on its philosophy of mind.
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Postby Colinsign » Sun May 20, 2007 5:30 pm

Christopher Hitchens!

NO WAY!

Scratch him off that list...
In fact just delete the list altogether...

Who do I think suffers from Genius?

Every childhood perhaps...

Someone once said: If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.

An unfortunate Truth perhaps...but more insightful than any List!
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