Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: Pittman2 on February 18, 2006, 09:04:33 PM

Title: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Pittman2 on February 18, 2006, 09:04:33 PM
Do any of you believe that majoring in philosophy, politics, or economics prior to law school gave you a distinct edge over peers that had different majors? What about other majors - help or hurt?
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: QUAKER OATS on February 18, 2006, 09:14:39 PM
I majored in Economics and find it very helpful.  You learn the BLL from cases and outlines, but the policy arguments are made easier by by understanding of Econ.

I wish I took more philosophy classes, though.  I can def. see how that would help you in making arguments.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: BigPimpinBU on February 18, 2006, 09:43:47 PM
I was a poli sci major (useless), but took some interest in econ and philo, and that's the stuff I find to resonate the most in law school. The only thing that came in handy from poli sci was game theory.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: giraffe205 on February 19, 2006, 03:29:13 AM
I think that your major has no bearing on predicting success. Ppl in the top 10 or 15% all have wildly different majors and/or occupations. For instance, one of them was an art/art history major. Others have your more conventional degrees, e.g., engineering, accounting, bus. admin., polisci, english, history, econ., etc. Although they are in the top 15%, there are various others w/ the same degree, sometimes from the same school, and are in the bottom half.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: BigPimpinBU on February 19, 2006, 06:05:11 AM
giraffe,

the fact that people with the same major are present in the top and bottom of the class is not in itself indicative that there is no correlation between major and success in law school. you would have to weight your conclusions by GPA in major, and you would need a sufficiently large sample to establish correlation - in a 200 person class you won't get that.

though i have no empirically provable contrary conclusions, i would guess that there is some sort of correlation (if not causation) between undergraduate study and success in law school.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: QUAKER OATS on February 19, 2006, 10:34:23 AM
I was a poli sci major (useless), but took some interest in econ and philo, and that's the stuff I find to resonate the most in law school. The only thing that came in handy from poli sci was game theory.

Game Theory is economics.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: LostMyMonkeys on February 19, 2006, 11:42:31 AM
One of the legal writing profs at my school suggested English. With all the writing we do as law students and attorneys, having a good bacground in the basics is invaluable.

Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: unlvsin on February 19, 2006, 12:08:19 PM
I was in Economics major and it has REALLY helped me.  Economics provides you with a useful tool for legal analysis because it is very logical.  If you can understand how the interest rate, net exports/imports, exchange rate, supply etc. all interrelate and effect one another... you can definitely make similar connections in law (i.e. cost/benefit analysis effecting "reasonable person," or how certain Fed. Rules effect one another etc.) 

Furthermore, Economics is useful in understanding policy.  Often the law transcends objective economic principles to factor in more ethereal factors such as moral values.  For my undergrad (UCSD), I had many economics classes that focused on the policy regarding economics and society. 

I am top 5% at my law school and I believe a huge part of that success is contributable to my EConomics background.  Oh yeah, I also came into law school with ABSOLUTELY NO WRITING SKILLS.  This has actually helped me very much because legal writing is MUCH different than creative, flowery, bs writing I think the majority of people are accustomed to.  I actually receieved the CALI award for my writing class first semester and I seriously NEVER wrote (Economics Major) before law school.  Literature and writing majors actually seem to have a harder time adapting to legal writing because they have to deconstruct what they "know" and rebuild.  Me... I didn't have to deconstruct anything because I didn't know anything about writing in the first place!

Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: lincolnsgrandson on February 19, 2006, 01:12:25 PM
A quick message to the writing majors:
I had to grade writing competition submissions for my law journals.  Some of them were full of unnecessarily verbose "creative" writing; essentially useless crap that must have proven successful in college.  Only a minority of the entries came from these kinds of fools, and I don't know if these were the creative writing majors.  However, whether you agree with me or not, I had to smack them down.  I expect that the other journals did, too.  Be careful.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: QUAKER OATS on February 19, 2006, 01:15:44 PM
If I had it to do all over again:

Double Major--> Philosophy (BA) and Econ (BS)
Take a Legal Writing Course the summer b/f law school.

According to my calculations, this combination would prepare me to take over the world
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Pittman2 on February 19, 2006, 02:48:33 PM
Any philosophy majors out there? History majors?
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: unlvsin on February 19, 2006, 03:13:33 PM
A quick message to the writing majors:
I had to grade writing competition submissions for my law journals.  Some of them were full of unnecessarily verbose "creative" writing; essentially useless crap that must have proven successful in college.  Only a minority of the entries came from these kinds of fools, and I don't know if these were the creative writing majors.  However, whether you agree with me or not, I had to smack them down.  I expect that the other journals did, too.  Be careful.

Definitely true for law school.  The "creative" writers, (the ones who were "good" at writing before law school) usually don't do too well because they can't give up their flowery BS.  My best friend in law school is a great personal statement/story type writer... but really sucks at legal writing.  You basically have to take out all the flower adjectives and "creative" sentence structures and write like you did in 6th grade... (Basic sentences --> Subject + verb + object.  "Jon threw the ball" etc.) 
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Pittman2 on February 19, 2006, 07:43:44 PM
Does anyone think that being able to view BLL, legal theory, and the legal system through the lens of either history, politics, econ, or philosophy is ideal?
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: LostMyMonkeys on February 20, 2006, 06:54:59 AM
A quick message to the writing majors:
I had to grade writing competition submissions for my law journals.  Some of them were full of unnecessarily verbose "creative" writing; essentially useless crap that must have proven successful in college.  Only a minority of the entries came from these kinds of fools, and I don't know if these were the creative writing majors.  However, whether you agree with me or not, I had to smack them down.  I expect that the other journals did, too.  Be careful.

Definitely true for law school.  The "creative" writers, (the ones who were "good" at writing before law school) usually don't do too well because they can't give up their flowery BS.  My best friend in law school is a great personal statement/story type writer... but really sucks at legal writing.  You basically have to take out all the flower adjectives and "creative" sentence structures and write like you did in 6th grade... (Basic sentences --> Subject + verb + object.  "Jon threw the ball" etc.) 

Ain't that the truth. I think one of the hardest things to overcome at the beginning of legal writing class is to be able to get used to "The defendant will argue XXX. The defendant will also argue YYY. The defendant will also argue ZZZZ"

Boring, but its what they want.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: lincolnsgrandson on February 20, 2006, 11:06:24 AM
Don't neglect the point - a lot of you think you are good writers, but you're not.

[/quote]
Boring, but its what they want.
[/quote]
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: shao2007 on February 20, 2006, 11:20:37 AM
People with a science backgroung will initially have a good grasp on writing for law school because scientific writing is very technical and involves laying out the steps of how you got your results, kind of like legal writing.
Personally I was an poli sci and english major and I have to forget about the success I had with writing before and remember that their is not too much room for original thinking in legal writing and it's all about applying the BLL
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Pittman2 on February 20, 2006, 06:02:15 PM
Learned Hand, I second that - I would major in philosophy, econ, perhaps minor in history or polisci, and take a legal writing course. Since I'm not in law school, this is what I plan to do; I may focus more on politics than philosophy, however.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Texas on February 20, 2006, 08:13:07 PM
Any philosophy majors out there? History majors?

Graduate research degree in theology - 45,000 word thesis -

Analyzing theology written by PhDs and DThs makes Supreme Court Rulings read like Mark Twain...Top 5% in my class, and finished with the high grade in one class and the 2nd highest in another...

Plus, all that argument building in my thesis has really helped me to communicate legal arguments...
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Pittman2 on February 21, 2006, 09:13:06 AM
Texas,
To what extent, if any, do you think the degree helped your chances of admission to law school?
And, wow, 45,000 words - I wrote about 20,000 in college which ended up at about 75 pages. Good work.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Texas on February 21, 2006, 09:51:42 AM
Texas,
To what extent, if any, do you think the degree helped your chances of admission to law school?
And, wow, 45,000 words - I wrote about 20,000 in college which ended up at about 75 pages. Good work.

Thanks...

I don't if it helped that much - simply because it was still "in progress" last year during the admissions cycle.
However, I think it will help my odds at transferring this year...
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Senior Belding on February 21, 2006, 12:25:15 PM
Ive found any major (Engineering, econ, Philo) that predicates itself on logic and analytical skills helps with exam taking and exploring all possibilities.

I have also seen that History and english majors and any other "Regurgitative" majors do well also in classes where a porfessor is very hell bent on certain points. They tend to regurgitate and recipirocate that sentiment on exams and then hit that point.

The moral here? Business majors, you're screwed.  ;)
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: QUAKER OATS on February 21, 2006, 12:50:33 PM
Ive found any major (Engineering, econ, Philo) that predicates itself on logic and analytical skills helps with exam taking and exploring all possibilities.

I have also seen that History and english majors and any other "Regurgitative" majors do well also in classes where a porfessor is very hell bent on certain points. They tend to regurgitate and recipirocate that sentiment on exams and then hit that point.

The moral here? Business majors, you're screwed.  ;)


I think Accounting could be useful
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: sanctimonious on September 18, 2007, 04:35:54 PM

I was a poli sci major (useless), but took some interest in econ and philo, and that's the stuff I find to resonate the most in law school. The only thing that came in handy from poli sci was game theory.


Game theory appears to be interesting stuff. One challenge took place in Washington, DC. 6 pairs of strangers in 6 different locations around the city were given these instructions: There is another pair of people looking for you. Find them. Without any other information, such as a name or a photograph to go on, this task would seem to amount to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. But each pair of strangers put themselves in the shoes of the others and thought about well-known landmarks they might go to. Nearly all of the pairs eventually zeroed in on the same target -- the Washington Monument. Can I think about what you're thinking that I'll do?

The second challenge was created to show how game theory can not only predict what someone will do, but how it also can influence behavior -- in this case, how it can motivate weight loss. A competition is created in which two teams of people who want to lose weight are pitted against each other to see who could lose more. Each team member to lose 15 lbs. in two months would earn a point for the team; the team with the most points wins. Each team was given a different motivation for losing the weight. Team 1, staff members from the R.C. Bigelow Tea Company in Fairfield, CT, were motivated through positive reinforcement. They were told to lose weight in order to feel better and be healthy, and to do it through teamwork. Team 2, staff members from the Bridgeport Bluefish, a minor league baseball team in neighboring Bridgeport, CT, were motivated through negative reinforcement, specifically, the fear of public humiliation. Before the challenge began, the team members agreed to be photographed in skimpy bikinis. Any team member who didn't meet the weight loss goal would have his or her photo displayed on the JumboTron in the baseball stadium during a game. In game theory, this is known as a credible threat.

It was predicted that the Bridgeport Bluefish team would win. If they missed by a pound, it would be up on the screen, and so they're going to overshoot. Many on the Bluefish team did exceed the 15-lbs weight loss goal, but in the end, the team from Bigelow Tea won 8-6. In game theory, positive incentives can be just as powerful as a credible threat.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: lmam on September 20, 2007, 07:56:04 AM
sanctimonus, game theory is also used more generally to analyze altruism and cooperation by rational self-interested individuals. Many games, especially the prisoner's dilemma, are used to illustrate ideas in political science and ethics. A major center for the development of game theory was RAND Corporation where it helped to define nuclear strategies. Game theory has recently drawn attention from computer scientists because of its use in artificial intelligence and cybernetics.

Eg

(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7995/gamekv5.jpg)
Title: Never learned the most important lesson of all -- Futility!
Post by: Friend or Foe? on September 20, 2007, 11:28:06 AM
sanctimonus, game theory is also used more generally to analyze altruism and cooperation by rational self-interested individuals. Many games, especially the prisoner's dilemma, are used to illustrate ideas in political science and ethics. A major center for the development of game theory was RAND Corporation where it helped to define nuclear strategies. Game theory has recently drawn attention from computer scientists because of its use in artificial intelligence and cybernetics.

Eg

(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7995/gamekv5.jpg)


Right on, Imam -- Players soon discover that best play leads to a draw, regardless of where the first player plays. Hence, tic-tac-toe is most often played by very young children; when they have discovered an unbeatable strategy they move on to more sophisticated games such as dots and boxes. This reputation for ease has led to casinos offering gamblers the chance to play tic-tac-toe against trained chickens. Speaking of chickens, the game of chicken, models two drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other. As they approach each other, mutual destruction becomes more and more imminent. If one of them swerves from the white line before the other, the other, as he passes, shouts 'Chicken!', and the one who has swerved becomes an object of contempt. If neither player swerves, the result is a costly deadlock in the middle of the bridge, or a potentially fatal head-on collision. It is presumed that the best thing for each driver is to stay straight while the other swerves (since the other is the "chicken" while a crash is avoided). Additionally, a crash is presumed to be the worst outcome for both players. This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst. The game has also been used to describe the mutually assured destruction of nuclear warfare.
Title: Re: Never learned the most important lesson of all -- Futility!
Post by: syn on September 20, 2007, 03:50:52 PM

[...] The game has also been used to describe the mutually assured destruction of nuclear warfare.


The inventors of M.A.D. did not believe in the stability of mutual deterrence, describing the concept as "a dangerous fallacy" and "a tremendous disservice." One of them wrote, "I suggest that the so called atomic 'stalemate' or 'standoff' is more of a psychological than a real deterrent. At best it is a cliché born of the natural tendency to rationalize away the prospects of total atomic war." The perennial argument that we must modernize because others will whether we do so or not ignores the historical fact that it was the U.S. that was first to develop or conceive every major innovation in the nuclear arms race. We developed the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the neutron bomb, and the multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle warhead. We were also the first to deploy long-range strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-launched ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. We continue to innovate with the B-2 and its new weapons. If the rest of the world has done anything, it is to try to play catch-up ball in a game that cannot be won. The notion that the Soviets tried to acquire nuclear superiority and in the process accelerated the demise of their economy is a Pyrrhic victory given the missile threat we still face, and the inevitable proliferation of nuclear weapons into unstable terrorists' hands.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: thorc954 on September 20, 2007, 04:04:23 PM
Math... very helpful.  okay, not really. 

If I could do it all over again, I would have done physical education for my undergrad.  That way, I would have a useless degree, but I would have enjoyed undergrad.
Title: Never learned the most important lesson of all -- Futility!
Post by: Möbius on September 20, 2007, 06:21:08 PM

Right on, Imam -- Players soon discover that best play leads to a draw, regardless of where the first player plays. Hence, tic-tac-toe is most often played by very young children; when they have discovered an unbeatable strategy they move on to more sophisticated games such as dots and boxes. This reputation for ease has led to casinos offering gamblers the chance to play tic-tac-toe against trained chickens. Speaking of chickens, the game of chicken, models two drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other. As they approach each other, mutual destruction becomes more and more imminent. If one of them swerves from the white line before the other, the other, as he passes, shouts 'Chicken!', and the one who has swerved becomes an object of contempt. If neither player swerves, the result is a costly deadlock in the middle of the bridge, or a potentially fatal head-on collision. It is presumed that the best thing for each driver is to stay straight while the other swerves (since the other is the "chicken" while a crash is avoided). Additionally, a crash is presumed to be the worst outcome for both players. This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst. The game has also been used to describe the mutually assured destruction of nuclear warfare.


It appears that in the game theory the assumption of common knowledge of rationality for the players is fundamental ...
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on September 20, 2007, 10:35:09 PM
Being an English major helped a lot, because you are already accustomed to having lots of reading, and the analytical process is quite similar.  Also, I don't care what they say, legal writing is NOT that different from analytical writing as an English major.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: s u n d a y on September 22, 2007, 09:53:22 PM

Right on, Imam -- Players soon discover that best play leads to a draw, regardless of where the first player plays. Hence, tic-tac-toe is most often played by very young children; when they have discovered an unbeatable strategy they move on to more sophisticated games such as dots and boxes. This reputation for ease has led to casinos offering gamblers the chance to play tic-tac-toe against trained chickens. Speaking of chickens, the game of chicken, models two drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other. As they approach each other, mutual destruction becomes more and more imminent. If one of them swerves from the white line before the other, the other, as he passes, shouts 'Chicken!', and the one who has swerved becomes an object of contempt. If neither player swerves, the result is a costly deadlock in the middle of the bridge, or a potentially fatal head-on collision. It is presumed that the best thing for each driver is to stay straight while the other swerves (since the other is the "chicken" while a crash is avoided). Additionally, a crash is presumed to be the worst outcome for both players. This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst. The game has also been used to describe the mutually assured destruction of nuclear warfare.


Friend or Foe?, did you name yourself after the game show Friend or Foe? on Game Show Network, by now off the air? I absolutely abhorred that show... I mean, look at the way the choices made by the contestants were fashioned to lead to:

Both vote "Friend" -- Each player received half the winnings.
One votes "Friend," the other "Foe" -- The contestant voting "Foe" takes all the money.
Both vote "Foe" -- Neither player wins anything.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: feud on December 30, 2007, 02:27:52 PM

Friend or Foe?, did you name yourself after the game show Friend or Foe? on Game Show Network, by now off the air? I absolutely abhorred that show... I mean, look at the way the choices made by the contestants were fashioned to lead to:

Both vote "Friend" -- Each player received half the winnings.
One votes "Friend," the other "Foe" -- The contestant voting "Foe" takes all the money.
Both vote "Foe" -- Neither player wins anything.


Exactly the Prisoner's Dilemma combinations of choices

(http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4804/42175559uq4.jpg)
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Sceptic on January 05, 2008, 01:59:59 PM
Exactly - isn't that that way feud?

:)
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: 39729 on January 08, 2008, 12:04:48 PM
Looks like a construct to me, though.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: A l m a on March 23, 2008, 11:54:14 AM

[...] The notion that the Soviets tried to acquire nuclear superiority and in the process accelerated the demise of their economy is a Pyrrhic victory given the missile threat we still face, and the inevitable proliferation of nuclear weapons into unstable terrorists' hands.


Speaking of Pyrrhus, BTW, the whole Pyrrhus' life could be considered as a big seesaw. Once up and then down again!

Pyrrhus was the son of Aeacides of Epirus and Phthia, and a second cousin of Alexander the Great. Prince of one of the Alexandrian successor states, Pyrrhus' childhood and youth went by in unquiet conditions. He was only two years old when his father was dethroned and the family took refuge with Glaukias, king of the Taulanti, one of the largest Illyrian tribes. Later, the Epirotes called him back but he was dethroned again at the age of 17 when he left his kingdom to attend the wedding of Glaukias' son in Illyria. In the wars of the diadochi Pyrrhus fought beside his brother-in-law Demetrius I of Macedon on the losing side in the pivotal Battle of Ipsus (301 BC). Later, he was made a hostage of Ptolemy I Soter by a treaty between Ptolemy I and Demetrius. Pyrrhus married Ptolemy I's stepdaughter Antigone and in 297 BC, with Ptolemy I's aid, restored his kingdom of Epirus. Next he went to war against his former ally Demetrius. By 286 BC he had deposed his former brother-in-law and taken control over the kingdom of Macedon. Pyrrhus was driven out of Macedon by Lysimachus, his former ally, in 284 BC.

His name is famous for the phrase "Pyrrhic victory" which refers to an exchange at the Battle of Asculum. When Pyrrhus invaded Apulia (279 BC), the two armies met in the Battle of Asculum where Pyrrhus won a very costly victory. The consul Publius Decius Mus was the Roman commander, and his able force, though defeated, broke the back of Pyrrhus' Hellenistic army, and guaranteed the security of the city itself. The battle foreshadowed later Roman victories over more numerous and well armed successor state military forces and inspired the term "Pyrrhic victory", meaning a victory which comes at a crippling cost. At the end, the Romans had lost 6,000 men and Pyrrhus 3,500 but, while battered, his army was still a force to be reckoned with.

In 272 BC, Cleonymus, a Spartan of royal blood who was hated among fellow Spartans, asked Pyrrhus to attack Sparta and place him in power. Pyrrhus agreed to the plan intending to win control of the Peloponnese for himself but unexpectedly strong resistance thwarted his assault on Sparta. He was immediately offered an opportunity to intervene in a civic dispute in Argos. Entering the city with his army by stealth, he found himself caught in a confused battle in the narrow city streets. During the confusion an old Argead woman watching from a rooftop threw a roofing tile which stunned him, allowing an Argive soldier to kill him.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: mucho on April 03, 2008, 08:52:26 AM

Friend or Foe?, did you name yourself after the game show Friend or Foe? on Game Show Network, by now off the air? I absolutely abhorred that show... I mean, look at the way the choices made by the contestants were fashioned to lead to:

Both vote "Friend" -- Each player received half the winnings.
One votes "Friend," the other "Foe" -- The contestant voting "Foe" takes all the money.
Both vote "Foe" -- Neither player wins anything.


Exactly the Prisoner's Dilemma combinations of choices

(http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4804/42175559uq4.jpg)


It's actually the same as the game of Chicken. It underscores the principle that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the outcome where neither player yields is the worst possible one for both players. The name "Chicken" has its origins in a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves but the other does not, he or she will be called a "chicken." The game is similar to the prisoner's dilemma game in that an "agreeable" mutual solution is unstable since both players are individually tempted to stray from it. However, it differs in the cost of responding to such a deviation. This means that, even in an iterated version of the game, retaliation is ineffective, and a mixed strategy may be more appropriate.

The game models two drivers, both headed for a single lane bridge from opposite directions. The first to swerve away yields the bridge to the other. If neither player swerves, the result is a costly deadlock in the middle of the bridge, or a potentially fatal head-on collision. It is presumed that the best thing for each driver is to stay straight while the other swerves (since the other is the "chicken" while a crash is avoided). Additionally, a crash is presumed to be the worst outcome for both players. This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst. A similar version, under the name of "chickie run", is a central plot element in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause" where the characters played by James Dean and Corey Allen race their cars towards a cliff instead of each other. The phrase game of Chicken is also used as a metaphor for a situation where two parties engage in a showdown where they have nothing to gain, and only pride stops them from backing down.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: subrosa on July 10, 2008, 11:42:19 AM

This yields a situation where each player, in attempting to secure his best outcome, risks the worst. A similar version, under the name of "chickie run", is a central plot element in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause" where the characters played by James Dean and Corey Allen race their cars towards a cliff instead of each other. The phrase game of Chicken is also used as a metaphor for a situation where two parties engage in a showdown where they have nothing to gain, and only pride stops them from backing down.


That's curious..
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: wrhssaxensemble on July 10, 2008, 12:41:22 PM
I was a poli sci major (useless), but took some interest in econ and philo, and that's the stuff I find to resonate the most in law school. The only thing that came in handy from poli sci was game theory.

and Con Law
Title: The Coin Guessing Game
Post by: Savvy? on October 09, 2008, 11:39:17 AM
Here it is an interesting application of the game theory:

Some time back I thought of an example which shed light for me on some of the fail-to-disagree results. Imagine that two players, A and B, are going to play a coin-guessing game. A coin is flipped out of sight of the two of them and they have to guess what it is. Each is privately given a hint about what the coin is, either heads or tails; and they are also told the hint "quality", a number from 0 to 1. A hint of quality 1 is perfect, and always matches the real coin value. A hint of quality 0 is useless, and is completely random and uncorrelated with the coin value. Further, each knows that the hint qualities are drawn from a uniform distribution from 0 to 1 - on the average, the hint quality is 0.5. The goal of the two players is to communicate and come up with the best guess as to the coin value. Now, if they can communicate freely, clearly their best strategy is to exchange their hint qualities and just follow the hint with the higher quality. However we will constrain them so they can't do that. Instead all they can do is to describe their best guess at what the coin is, either heads or tails. And further, we will divide their communication into rounds, where in each round the players simultaneously announce their guesses to each other. Upon hearing the other player's guess, each updates his own guess for the next round.

Read on below the break for some sample games to see how the players can resolve their disagreement even with such stringent constraints.

Here's a straightforward example where we will suppose A gets a hint with quality 0.8 of Heads, and B gets a hint with quality 0.6 of Tails. Initially the two sides tell each other their best guess, which is the same as their hint:


Now they know they disagree. Their reasoning can be as follows:

A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.6, so I will stay with Tails.


So they remain unchanged. Now they reason:

A: B did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5. That is all I know, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is lower than that at 0.6, so I will switch to Heads.


And they have come to agreement. If both A and B had had higher hint qualities, they might have persisted in their disagreement for more rounds, but each refusal to switch tells the other party that their hint quality must be even higher, and eventually one side will give way. It's improbable that both sides will have high but opposite hint qualities. What happens in the more likely case where they have low but opposite hint qualities? Let's suppose that A gets a hint of Heads with quality 0.1, and B gets a hint of Tails with quality 0.15.


A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will switch to Tails.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.15, so I will switch to Heads.


A: B switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails (B's original guess).
B: A switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Heads (A's original guess).


A: B stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails.
B: A stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is lower than my 0.15, so my original hint quality was higher, and I will switch back to my original Tails.


Once again agreement is reached. Note that when both sides have a low hint quality, they initially switch to the other side's original view, then they each stick with that new side. After enough rounds one of them decides that the other's hint must have been so poor that his hint was better, and he switches back to reach agreement. An interesting case arises if the hint qualities are near 1/3 or 2/3. In that case we can get sequences like this (I will skip the reasoning, you can work it out if you like):


Here we can have both sides changing back and forth potentially several times, each side taking the other's view, until they come to agreement.

A few interesting points about this game. It's a simple model that captures some of the flavor of the no-disagreement theorem. In the real world we have hints about reality in the form of our information; and there is something like a "hint quality" in terms of how good our information is. If we were Bayesians we could both report our hint qualities when we disagree, and go with the one that is higher. Even if we are limited merely to reporting our opinions as in this game, we should normally reach agreement pretty quickly. Another interesting aspect is that when you play the game, you can never anticipate your partner's guess. On each round you have an idea of the range of possible hint qualities he might have, based on his play so far, and it always turns out that given that range, he is equally likely to guess Heads or Tails on the next round. This is related to Robin's result that the course of opinions among Bayesians in resolving disagreement goes as a random walk.

As I noted, in the real world it should be uncommon for two people to have high quality but opposing hints, because high quality hints are supposed to be accurate. Hence it should be rare for people to stubbornly disagree and stick to their original viewpoints. Much more common should be the case where people have low quality hints which disagree. In that case, as we saw, people should switch position at least once, and then (depending on how low the hint quality was) either stick to their reversed position or else possibly alternate some more. This should be a common course of disputation between Bayesians, but it is strikingly rare among humans. Another point this game illustrates is that the Aumannian notion of "common knowledge" may not be as easy to use as it seems. Note in this game that even after announcing their positions, players' (current) views are not common knowledge. After each round, a player got new information that could have changed his view from when he stated it before. Once they reach agreement, then things seem to stabilize, but that may not be the case in general. I have constructed different games in which people can agree for two consecutive rounds and then disagree. It is an open question to me whether two people can agree for N rounds and then disagree, for arbitrary N.

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/01/the_coin_guessi.html
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: whit1981 on October 10, 2008, 11:32:23 AM
Study anything that helps you comprehend dense material that must be parsed through quickly. Start practicing LSATs begining sr. year and figure out the logic game system. That's about it. Take LSAT get 161 or above and go to pretty decent school pretty much anywhere. That's about it. Majors irrelevant. More mathematical of a mind you have, the better you'll likely do on LSAT. That's all that matters. You could be be an underwater basket weaver major and if you do well on LSAT you're fine in law school.

Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: tenaciousd on October 10, 2008, 04:28:05 PM
this may sound outlandish but what about reading several books or articles to boost your rc? obviously i'm not talking about this to substitute intense lsat studying, but if you really want to improve your rc before law school would investing in some good reads--literature or non-fiction--do no good in improving your overall rc?  i.e., scholarly journals; moral/philosophical papers; literature? which subject would be best for this, if at all? muchos gracias.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: rhesusman on October 11, 2008, 09:28:09 AM
Economics will make certain subjects easier to understand off the bat, particularly in torts and contracts, but it won't give you such an advantage that it would be worth your while to major in it if you really don't like it.  Philosophy is very good training for your mind; it teaches you the cognitive discipline that you'll need in law school, but again, it's not crucial.  Your undergraduate major won't have much of an impact on your law school success.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: Modus Barbara on October 11, 2008, 11:00:28 AM

this may sound outlandish but what about reading several books or articles to boost your rc? obviously i'm not talking about this to substitute intense lsat studying, but if you really want to improve your rc before law school would investing in some good reads--literature or non-fiction--do no good in improving your overall rc?  i.e., scholarly journals; moral/philosophical papers; literature? which subject would be best for this, if at all? muchos gracias.


you're so funny, tenacious! ROFLMAO! 
Title: Probability, Class Probability, Case Probability, Betting, and Gambling
Post by: currency on October 15, 2008, 10:34:29 AM
Here it is an interesting application of the game theory:

Some time back I thought of an example which shed light for me on some of the fail-to-disagree results. Imagine that two players, A and B, are going to play a coin-guessing game. A coin is flipped out of sight of the two of them and they have to guess what it is. Each is privately given a hint about what the coin is, either heads or tails; and they are also told the hint "quality", a number from 0 to 1. A hint of quality 1 is perfect, and always matches the real coin value. A hint of quality 0 is useless, and is completely random and uncorrelated with the coin value. Further, each knows that the hint qualities are drawn from a uniform distribution from 0 to 1 - on the average, the hint quality is 0.5. The goal of the two players is to communicate and come up with the best guess as to the coin value. Now, if they can communicate freely, clearly their best strategy is to exchange their hint qualities and just follow the hint with the higher quality. However we will constrain them so they can't do that. Instead all they can do is to describe their best guess at what the coin is, either heads or tails. And further, we will divide their communication into rounds, where in each round the players simultaneously announce their guesses to each other. Upon hearing the other player's guess, each updates his own guess for the next round.

Read on below the break for some sample games to see how the players can resolve their disagreement even with such stringent constraints.

Here's a straightforward example where we will suppose A gets a hint with quality 0.8 of Heads, and B gets a hint with quality 0.6 of Tails. Initially the two sides tell each other their best guess, which is the same as their hint:

  • A:H B:T

Now they know they disagree. Their reasoning can be as follows:

A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.6, so I will stay with Tails.

  • A:H B:T

So they remain unchanged. Now they reason:

A: B did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5. That is all I know, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is lower than that at 0.6, so I will switch to Heads.

  • A:H B:H

And they have come to agreement. If both A and B had had higher hint qualities, they might have persisted in their disagreement for more rounds, but each refusal to switch tells the other party that their hint quality must be even higher, and eventually one side will give way. It's improbable that both sides will have high but opposite hint qualities. What happens in the more likely case where they have low but opposite hint qualities? Let's suppose that A gets a hint of Heads with quality 0.1, and B gets a hint of Tails with quality 0.15.

  • A:H B:T

A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will switch to Tails.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.15, so I will switch to Heads.

  • A:T B:H

A: B switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails (B's original guess).
B: A switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Heads (A's original guess).

  • A:T B:H

A: B stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails.
B: A stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is lower than my 0.15, so my original hint quality was higher, and I will switch back to my original Tails.

  • A:T B:T

Once again agreement is reached. Note that when both sides have a low hint quality, they initially switch to the other side's original view, then they each stick with that new side. After enough rounds one of them decides that the other's hint must have been so poor that his hint was better, and he switches back to reach agreement. An interesting case arises if the hint qualities are near 1/3 or 2/3. In that case we can get sequences like this (I will skip the reasoning, you can work it out if you like):

  • A:H B:T
  • A:T B:H
  • A:H B:T
  • A:T B:H
  • A:H B:H


Very interesting! I would like to add a few paragraphs in relation to this:

Probability

The problem of probable inference — that is, of reaching a decision in the face of incomplete knowledge — is a broad one that cuts across many disciplines. However, the formal treatment of probability by the mathematicians has seduced many people into believing they know more than they really do. There are two totally distinct fields of probability, namely class and case probability. The former is applicable to the natural sciences and is governed by causality (i.e. mechanical laws of cause and effect), while the latter is applicable to the social sciences and is governed by teleology (i.e. subjective means/ends frameworks).

Class Probability

In class probability we know everything about the entire class of events or phenomena, but we know nothing particular about the individuals making up the class. For example, if we roll a fair die we know the entire class of possible outcomes, but we don’t know anything about the particular outcome of the next roll — save that it will be an element of the entire class. The formal symbols and operations of the calculus of probability allow the manipulation of this knowledge, but they do not enhance it. The difference between a gambler and an insurer is not that one uses mathematical techniques. Rather, an insurer must pool the risks by incorporating the entire class (or a reasonable approximation to it). If a life insurance company only sells policies to a handful of people, it is gambling, no matter how sophisticated its actuarial methods.

Case Probability

Case probability is applicable when we know some of the factors that will affect a particular event, but we are ignorant of other factors that will also influence the outcome. In case probability, the event in question is not an element of a larger class, of which we have very concrete knowledge. For example, when it comes to the outcome of a particular sporting event or political campaign, past outcomes are informative but do not as such make the situation one of class probability — these types of events form their own "classes." Other people's actions are examples of case probability. Therefore, even if natural events could be predicted with certainty, it would still be necessary for every actor to be a speculator.

Numerical Evaluation of Case Probability

It is purely metaphorical when people use the language of the calculus of probability in reference to events that fall under case probability. For example, someone can say "I believe there is a 70% probability that Hillary Clinton will be the next president." Yet upon reflection, this statement is simply meaningless. The election in question is a unique event, not a member of a larger class where such frequencies could be established.

Betting, Gambling, and Playing Games

When a man risks money on an outcome where he knows some of the factors involved, he is betting. When he risks money on an outcome where he knows only the frequencies of the various elements of the class, he is gambling. (The two activities roughly match up with the case/class probability distinction.) To play a game is a special type of action, though the reverse is not true; not all actions can be usefully described as part of a game. In particular, the attempt to model the market economy with "game theory" is very misleading, because in (most) games the participants try to beat their opponents, while in a market all participants benefit.
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: SCOOTERNINJA on October 15, 2008, 12:12:38 PM
I will probably offend many people, but I think political science and philosophy are absolutely worthless degrees.  The amount of people with those degrees dwarfs the demand for jobs requiring them.  When applying to law schools, there are so many people with those degrees that it makes it a little more difficult to get in, because everyone has them.  Most law schools want diversity (race, location, UG Major).

Finally, I have no idea on trends, but it seemed to me that poly-sci majors often did worse because they missed the point of law school. In lecture, many of them always had to debate the policy of the rule and why the rule should be what they say it should be.  So instead of using that time to discuss how to apply the rule and different arguments to make based upon the rule, the entire class had to suffer through some pointless political discussion.  What a waste of time.  If you want to discuss policy arguments, then take some appellate oral argument class.  For the typical class, the amount of points on exams awarded for policy arguments is miniscule.  That is just my rant.  My sister wanted to go political science, luckily enough I was able to convince her to go criminal justice instead.  And I could care less who wins the presidency.
Title: Chance Encounter
Post by: I Do (But I Dont) on November 16, 2008, 03:36:38 PM

Very interesting! I would like to add a few paragraphs in relation to this:

Probability

The problem of probable inference — that is, of reaching a decision in the face of incomplete knowledge — is a broad one that cuts across many disciplines. However, the formal treatment of probability by the mathematicians has seduced many people into believing they know more than they really do. There are two totally distinct fields of probability, namely class and case probability. The former is applicable to the natural sciences and is governed by causality (i.e. mechanical laws of cause and effect), while the latter is applicable to the social sciences and is governed by teleology (i.e. subjective means/ends frameworks).

Class Probability

In class probability we know everything about the entire class of events or phenomena, but we know nothing particular about the individuals making up the class. For example, if we roll a fair die we know the entire class of possible outcomes, but we don’t know anything about the particular outcome of the next roll — save that it will be an element of the entire class. The formal symbols and operations of the calculus of probability allow the manipulation of this knowledge, but they do not enhance it. The difference between a gambler and an insurer is not that one uses mathematical techniques. Rather, an insurer must pool the risks by incorporating the entire class (or a reasonable approximation to it). If a life insurance company only sells policies to a handful of people, it is gambling, no matter how sophisticated its actuarial methods.

Case Probability

Case probability is applicable when we know some of the factors that will affect a particular event, but we are ignorant of other factors that will also influence the outcome. In case probability, the event in question is not an element of a larger class, of which we have very concrete knowledge. For example, when it comes to the outcome of a particular sporting event or political campaign, past outcomes are informative but do not as such make the situation one of class probability — these types of events form their own "classes." Other people's actions are examples of case probability. Therefore, even if natural events could be predicted with certainty, it would still be necessary for every actor to be a speculator.

Numerical Evaluation of Case Probability

It is purely metaphorical when people use the language of the calculus of probability in reference to events that fall under case probability. For example, someone can say "I believe there is a 70% probability that Hillary Clinton will be the next president." Yet upon reflection, this statement is simply meaningless. The election in question is a unique event, not a member of a larger class where such frequencies could be established.

Betting, Gambling, and Playing Games

When a man risks money on an outcome where he knows some of the factors involved, he is betting. When he risks money on an outcome where he knows only the frequencies of the various elements of the class, he is gambling. (The two activities roughly match up with the case/class probability distinction.) To play a game is a special type of action, though the reverse is not true; not all actions can be usefully described as part of a game. In particular, the attempt to model the market economy with "game theory" is very misleading, because in (most) games the participants try to beat their opponents, while in a market all participants benefit.


J. A. Rial, Geology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

While describing interesting aspects of the mathematics of probability, the author takes frequent detours into the history of humanity's understanding (and misunderstanding) of the laws of chance, touching on subjects as diverse as chance in decision-making and the fairness of those decisions, gambling and our intuitive understanding of chance, the likelihood of the extremely rare, the existence of true randomness and how computers have helped shape modern thinking about probabilities. Imagine you are in a dark room and need to get a pair of matching socks out of a drawer. There are two blue socks and one red sock. If you take two socks, one after the other, what are the odds of getting two matching (blue) socks compared with getting a mismatch? The answer is that the chance of getting mismatching socks is double that of getting the matching socks. Isn't this obvious? What are the odds of a meteorite strike being the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 in July 1996? Does 1 in 10 sound right? Or is it more like 1 in 1 million? Is it really a 1 in 17 trillion coincidence that the same person wins the New Jersey lottery twice within 4 months?

The coin-toss problem or the roulette red-black dilemma are the mathematician's favorite examples of how deeply ingrained in our psyche is the idea that previous outcomes somehow influence future ones in a game of chance, or in life. Everyone knows that the chances of heads or tails are equally likely in a coin flip. However, not everyone takes this idea seriously enough. Say for instance that, flipping a coin many times, you have overcome great odds and have flipped 100 consecutive heads. What are the chances of the next flip being tails? More than 50-50, or just 50-50? Most people would expect the next flip to be tails more likely than heads and would even bet the farm that black will follow 100 consecutive reds. Yet they are wrong; the odds are still the same as they always are in these yes-or-no situations: 50-50 — provided, of course, the coin and the roulette are fair.

Chance or Necessity? The question is very, very old (determinism versus chaos), and the answer is not clear even today. Is a random outcome completely determined, and random only by virtue of our ignorance of the most minute contributing factors? Einstein grappled with this conundrum until his death and never ceased to combat the idea that God could conceivably throw dice. How do you generate randomness in a computer? What does it mean to have a program to generate random numbers? Aren't computer programs deterministic things, created by people following rules and thus following patterns? And isn't randomness the negation of pattern? They say, the generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance... Finally, let's remind ourselves of the impossibility of a gambling system by means of which a gambler can change his long-run frequency of success. The house always wins, or casinos would cease to exist! And yet, although we can understand these things in principle, we keep going to the gambling house in the hope that somehow these rules do not apply to us!

Whether well-educated in mathematics or not, people have always been fascinated by randomness and intrigued by the fundamental question of the real nature of randomness, of how can you tell randomness from something that is not. The theory of deterministic chaos tells us that a simple, deterministic rule can produce a behavior that is, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from random. For instance, the logistic map Xn+1=4Xn (1-Xn) produces a sequence of random numbers as the equation is iterated and n increases (start for instance with X0=0.3, then calculate X1, X2, X3 and so on). If such a simple rule generates a list of numbers that apparently follow no rule, could it be that what we call random is in fact produced by (hidden) deterministic rules that happen to exhibit stochastic (chaotic) behavior? If so, does this mean that we will eventually find the pattern behind all randomness, as Einstein wanted to believe we would?
Title: Re: Chance Encounter
Post by: fromadistance on November 20, 2008, 06:19:52 PM

[...] If such a simple rule generates a list of numbers that apparently follow no rule, could it be that what we call random is in fact produced by (hidden) deterministic rules that happen to exhibit stochastic (chaotic) behavior? If so, does this mean that we will eventually find the pattern behind all randomness, as Einstein wanted to believe we would?


That may be the case, I Do, but do you think you'd like a world where everything is pre-determined, with spontaneity becoming a remote concept? Or is it that no matter how much stuff we will be able to figure out there'll be a lot more left that we'll never be able to explain?
Title: Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
Post by: charming, so on April 09, 2012, 02:49:41 PM
Quote

Quote

Quote
Quote
Quote


Don't take the babies thing lightly! Take a look here,

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,33732.0.html



As I understand it, you don't have to actually go with a guy to have a baby. I think I am goin' for it! ;)



Mother here ... I was like, do I post post this, or is it better not to post it at all ... but then, I thought, I'm gonna post it anyway ... I am aware that talking about two men having a baby sounds crazy and that several posters on this board may ridicule the idea ... now, I don't know if I'm being naive, but science has made possible for us things that 50 years ago we'd think were impossible ... my question is - is this something that scientists are working on and that they are bound to bring to fruition? I have a son who's gay, who very much loves his partner  - I know deep down myself he loves children, it's just that he does not go with women. I sometimes 'rave' he might have a biological child with his partner, his boyfriend ... now I wonder, is this just a poor woman's imagination, or something that will come true sooner or later?



Meria, in all due respect, I'm trying to think what is it that you're really thinking?! You say, "it's 'just' that he does not go with women" - I mean, what's that supposed to mean - for this kind of thing, going with women really matters!

Just take a look at the date the electronic article was posted on BBC - more than 10 years ago - doesn't that make you think they're not making their "best efforts" on that?!



spillover - as the other poster advised you, I think you should be more careful and try to maintain the boundaries a lil' bit better - you can't go ahead and try to put people down just like that!



2 young 2 be in debt - are you kidding me - are you telling me that you're relying on BBC's electronic materials to stay abreast of the (any) issue - and trying to advice "spillover" on this the way you do?! 
Title: Re: "Symbolic Immortality" Buffer & Trading-in Physicality, "Sense of self"
Post by: Stephanie K. on April 12, 2012, 05:22:13 PM
Quote

Quote


Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:

Quote
Quote
Quote

May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?


something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressiveness" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it?



To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..



So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths? And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties?

Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)?



we fly - I'm confused - how does the parallel you draw between the "symbolic immortality" buffer and the "trading-in" of physicality for a symbolic sense of self on the part of the child?

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3004745.msg5398987#msg5398987



eli - in regard to the "symbolic sense of self" on the part of child - after s'he trades-in "physicality," as Becker puts it in his words -  you mention, you've quoted yourself within another of your own posts something interesting. Here it is:

Quote


In the depressive position, the infant is able to experience others as whole, which radically alters object relationships from the earlier phase. Before the depressive position, a good object is not in any way the same thing as a bad object. It is only in the depressive position that polar qualities can be seen as different aspects of the same object. Increasing nearness of good and bad brings a corresponding integration of ego. [...] In a development termed the "primal split," the infant becomes aware of separateness from the mother. This awareness allows guilt to arise in response to the infant's previous aggressive phantasies when bad was split from good. The mother's temporary absences allow for continuous restoration of her "as an image of representation" in the infant mind. Symbolic thought may now arise, and can only emerge once access to the depressive position has been obtained. With the awareness of the primal split, a space is created in which the symbol, the symbolized, and the experiencing subject co-exist. History, subjectivity, interiority, and empathy all become possible. [...]

[...]

In working through depressive anxiety, projections are withdrawn, allowing the other more autonomy, reality, and a separate existence. The infant, whose destructive phantasies were directed towards the bad mother who frustrated, now begins to realize that bad and good, frustrating and satiating, it is always the same mother [...]

[...]

From this developmental milestone come a capacity for sympathy, responsibility to and concern for others, and an ability to identify with the subjective experience of people one cares about. With the withdrawal of the destructive projections, repression of the aggressive impulses takes place. The child allows caretakers a more separate existence, which facilitates increasing differentiation of inner and outer reality [...]  When all goes well, the developing child is able to comprehend that external others are autonomous people with their own needs and subjectivity.

[...]

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003243.msg5398983#msg5398983



Now, as to the "symbolic immortality" buffer - as I understand it - and I would prefer to borrow the example one of our fellow posters (copain, I believe) gave in relation to the subject some days ago - with it basically meaning, killing other people who may only be marginally "connected," "associated," "responsible" for what tragedy happened to the others (to put it bluntly, "When You Can't Beat the Donkey, You Beat the Saddle.")

Quote


GYalo - while it's true that wanting to be "God on Earth" is crazy, as Caesonia tells him, that's we do on a societal level, when dealing with the mortality issue - with the "artist on the top" orchestrating the whole thing (I think Bion says the leader is usually a man with marked paranoid trends, and if per chance, the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group is to choose a leader to whom it is!)

So, all the wars started and carried on for years on end, wars fought over and beyond what that financial rationale would guarantee/justify, with blood being shed 'in vain'. I can actually see here that there's a theory (called TMT) that maintains that all human behavior is mostly motivated by the fear of mortality [...]

[...]

[...] George W. Bush's approval rating jumped almost 50% following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. The tragedy made US citizens aware of their mortality, and Bush provided an antidote to these existential concerns by promising to bring justice to the terrorist group responsible for the attacks (albeit he waged war against Iraq too, not having much to do with the attacks, or actually having any of those WMDs)

With Caligula, Hitler (between-you-and-me, this TMT I told you about, would have never been spelled out were it not for Hitler), and Stalin, of course, things got too far ... with their absolute and unbridled power that corrupted these people to the point of killing literally millions of other people (remember Stalin with that quote?)

[...]

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4016379.msg5399944#msg5399944