Reflection Of Self

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Reflection Of Self

Postby SilentSoliloquy » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:03 am

Is philosophy a big joke men of old played on themselves? When philosophy is met without application it's useless. So, what is its purpose?

Is philosophy not simply the thought process of man reflected on himself?
What use is thinking if we sit on our butts in front of a computer screen and type silly quotes read from ancient philosophical texts and make witty thoughts and phrases concerning them? What use is repeatedly going over ideas that have been brought up for centuries when they aren't being processed within terms of a real life situation? I guess my question is, what does philosophy have to do with your everyday life other than consume your time in front of a computer or inside a book?

Could you possibly be over-analyzing the world and not actually doing anything worthwhile?

Philosophers used to be inventors and masterminds. What happened?
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Postby nameta9 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:24 am

Well first philosophy has no goal. It has no ends. It doesn't have to come up with a solution to problems, that is the job of science and engineering or psychology etc.

Philosophy has no constraints as opposed to other disciplines. You can invent anything you want, assign any truth, question the reality of anything, from your thoughts to the physical world. You can also search for LESS KNOWLEDGE for example, you can decide to decrease your knowledge, you can aim at creating problems instead of solving them. You can aim at trying not to think or inverting thought.
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Postby Socratic » Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:33 am

Silent you got it right! Philosophy is a self-fulfillment kind of thing. It's a completely subjective and very personal topic.

But philosophy never really had masterminds and inventors. It just so happened that a few old and ugly looking people sat down and wrote something that hasn't been written before.

Unfortunately in our generation most everything has been written, and after existentialism made its way into the public, anything else that is written afterwards is known to be what we say 'blatant-philosophy'. In other words when people look at new ideas they do not see masterminds. They see just listen and think "Oh it's just another philosophy".

We are in the age of science my friend. Philosophy is dying by the day. As James once stated, "Philosophy is dead. Psychology is born."

You must remember these inventors and masterminds only receieved big names because science wasn't as powerful back then.
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Postby SilentSoliloquy » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:00 pm

True, over the years it's become extinct and divided into categories. And philosophers used to be Religious Writers, Mathematicians, Physicists, Astronomers etc. Usually they had big brains. They wrote alright, had nice vocabularies. They applied philosophy to those categories, but people today will just come up with problems to logically solve for something totally hypothetical or that's already been written. It's not being applied anymore. Don't you see that as a problem? I think philosophy could be used for alot more than words. It's fun, I love philosophy, but my outlook has definitely changed. It seems like the real philosophers packed their bags and left for the new age.
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Re: Reflection Of Self

Postby Sauwelios » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:19 pm

SilentSoliloquy wrote:what does philosophy have to do with your everyday life other than consume your time in front of a computer or inside a book?

Richard Wisser: "Do you think philosophy has a social mission?"

Heidegger: "No! One can't speak of a social mission in that sense! To answer that question, we must first ask: "What is society?" We have to consider that today's society is only modern subjectivity made absolute. A philosophy that has overcome a position of subjectivity therefore has to say no in the matter.

"Another question is to what extent we can speak of a change of society at all. The question of the demand for world change leads us back to Karl Marx's frequently quoted statement from his Theses on Feuerbach. I would like to quote it exactly and read out loud: "Philosophers have only interpreted the world differently; what matters is to change it." When this statement is cited and when it is followed, it is overlooked that changing the world presupposes a change in the conception of the world. A conception of the world can only be won by adequately interpreting the world.

"That means: Marx's demand for a "change" is based upon on a very definite interpretation of the world, and therefore this statement is proved to be without foundation. It gives the impression that it speaks decisively against philosophy, whereas the second half of the statement presupposes, unspoken, a demand for philosophy."

Your demand for a practical application of philosophy to "real life", "everyday life", is based upon a very definite interpretation of the world:

"[H]erd members believe that they have selves and inhabit a world which exists as more than empty reveries."
[Harry Neumann, Politics or Nothing!]
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby monad » Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:59 am

Philosophy is a secular belief and a subset of history which has the means to create history in it's wake. Everything that has developed including everything that hasn't had a chance to develop is based on a 'general' acceptance of ideas or 'societal memes'. There is no inherent right or wrong that can be imputed to these ideas. It is only by their developement that they can be gauged.

For example note the differences between Eastern and Western philosophies and the subsequent histories of their respective civilizations.

This is the 'historical' view. For the existential view the 'perennial philosophy' is you're on your own; there is no guidance except what you extract from your own existence; truth that's 'customized' to yourself as a temporary being.

When you think about it, you don't need more than that.
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Postby monad » Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:07 am

Philosophy is a secular belief and a subset of history which has the means to create history in it's wake. Everything that has developed including everything that hasn't had a chance to develop is based on a 'general' acceptance of ideas or 'societal memes'. There is no inherent right or wrong that can be imputed to these ideas. It is only by their developement that they can be gauged.

For example note the differences between Eastern and Western philosophies and the subsequent histories of their respective civilizations.

This is the 'historical' view. For the existential view the 'perennial philosophy' is you're on your own; there is no guidance except what you extract from your own existence by whatever means including philosophy itself; truth, in short, that's 'customized' to yourself as a temporary being.

When you think about it, no one needs more than that or ever have the means to use more!
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Postby detrop » Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:51 pm

Philosophers used to be inventors and masterminds. What happened?


They found the 700 ways that would not work, and were fired.
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Postby Bessy » Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:01 pm

Could you possibly be over-analyzing the world and not actually doing anything worthwhile?


Wasn't talkin' to you detrop... just a general comment to us all taking this site so seriously.
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Postby detrop » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:57 am

What in the heck are you talking about? I wasn't responding to you with that post. Is that you I'm quoting? No.

Are you drunk, Bessy?
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Postby Ponty » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:03 am

Do you enjoy reading philosophy and ‘reflecting on yourself’? If so, then by all means do so. I’d say there’s not much point to anything, and there’s worse things you can be doing, so I say do it if you enjoy it.

Me, personally, I enjoy reading philosophy and pondering on philosophical questions. I’ve always had a thirst for knowledge , and I enjoy doing philosophy and applying it to my life (I think, in a sense, that is why I like existentialism (my version of existentialism - ‘existential egoism’ - daft name, I know, but a good description) so much; it’s applicable to everyday and, for me, is life affirming).
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Postby SilentSoliloquy » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:25 am

Yes, I know, I know. Philosophy is a hobby I enjoy. Although, there are philosophical assessments often made that could be put to better use than just lying idle in your head or typed out on a forum. Know what I mean? Gotta see the potential or else it's not gonna go anywhere. Ideas need fueled!! That's what they're for. What I saw back then was philosophers making a name for themselves because of their works which were either and/or both in published writings, inventions, and countless theories which weren't just theories but proven outworkings of their lives. They made it to the public because they put some elbow grease into it. They weren't just philosophers, they were truly great men of their time because of what they did and not just what they said.

What you say doesn't make you a philosopher, it's what you do that counts. Where you take your ideas. Even if all it takes is a published book, it's still what's done.
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Postby Dan~ » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:44 am

And the only way that people can work and act is when they feel satisfied with their own limitations, I think...
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Postby Sauwelios » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:51 am

SilentSoliloquy wrote:What you say doesn't make you a philosopher, it's what you do that counts. Where you take your ideas. Even if all it takes is a published book, it's still what's done.

According to Nietzsche, "the greatest deeds are thoughts". But, you might say, if Nietzsche had never published his writings, how could his thoughts ever have had the great effect that they have? - To this, Nietzsche also has an answer:

"[T]he “higher nature” of the great man lies in being different, in incommunicability, in distance of rank, not in an effect of any kind - even if he made the whole globe tremble."
[The Will to Power, section 876.]
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby old6598 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:10 am

But Nietzsche still "thought". Why think ? why do we assume that thinking will bring us to something better ? Philosophy starts out with the assumption that THOUGHT is the starting point to understand - know - or discover something better or more "true" or more valid.

BUT THIS IS FALSE. THOUGHT ITSELF COULD BE DETRIMENTAL, COULD ACTUALLY BRING US FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE GOAL.

Then why have any goal ? Why anything ? maybe we actually always go backwards, we never progress towards anything but just go backwards. And even if this is true why is it bad ? Then anything goes , forward , backwards, invent anything you want.
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Postby Jakob » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:12 pm

old6598 wrote:THOUGHT ITSELF COULD BE DETRIMENTAL, COULD ACTUALLY BRING US FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE GOAL.


The difference between a thinker like Nietzsche, of which there have been very few, and everyone else involved in philosophy is that Nietzsche used his thoughts to formulate a goal, and others don't.
The thing about making statements like 'this = that', where both this and that are knowns, is that the statement doesn't change anything - the thought isn't an event, just an arrangement of words. That's why I'm saying thinking occurs beyond language - after one has had a thought, one need to find an order of words to represent it. This is crucially different from finding words and then pondering how to rearrange them to keep your mind buisy.
Nietzche thought up some unknown 'that's' to put on the right side of the =. He could do that because he actually had a goal. If you don't have plans, you can't be a philosopher.
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Postby old6598 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:03 pm

Jakob wrote:
old6598 wrote:THOUGHT ITSELF COULD BE DETRIMENTAL, COULD ACTUALLY BRING US FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE GOAL.


The difference between a thinker like Nietzsche, of which there have been very few, and everyone else involved in philosophy is that Nietzsche used his thoughts to formulate a goal, and others don't.
The thing about making statements like 'this = that', where both this and that are knowns, is that the statement doesn't change anything - the thought isn't an event, just an arrangement of words. That's why I'm saying thinking occurs beyond language - after one has had a thought, one need to find an order of words to represent it. This is crucially different from finding words and then pondering how to rearrange them to keep your mind buisy.
Nietzche thought up some unknown 'that's' to put on the right side of the =. He could do that because he actually had a goal. If you don't have plans, you can't be a philosopher.


And in fact now we are approaching real philosophy. Because the philosopher does not assume anything and questions everything.

1) So why have a goal ? no answer.
2) What is wrong with just rearranging words ? no answer.
3) Why have plans ? no answer.

Even if the above had answers like A, B and C then you can always ask and why is A, B and C good or bad or desirable ? Why is it more valuable ? So in the end we come to understand that everything is totally arbitrary, all values assigned are a quirk, you can assign and invent anything with any value and it is still valid. But why should it be valid ? And why is this understanding good ? It is an infinite recursion where everything disappears and the universe becomes infinite or meaningless or heaven or hell.

But all the above is false, who cares if it is right or wrong, everything goes..

Philosophy is self-defeating, it eliminates itself.
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Postby Faust » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:08 pm

The philosopher does make assumptions. Part of what makes him, or her, a philosopher is being keenly aware of what those assumptions are.

Philosophy eliminates bad ideas. What makes them bad is their lack of utility towards the philosopher's goals. Philosophy does not begin with philosophy. Values aren't valid - one is left to wonder what you actually mean here.

Don't have a goal, if you wish. Philosophers do have goals. Take your pick.
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Postby Justly » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:28 pm

If philosophy is able to solve something, then it is no longer philosophy, we no longer philosophize. It is now called science.
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Postby Jakob » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:59 pm

old6598 wrote:And in fact now we are approaching real philosophy. Because the philosopher does not assume anything and questions everything.

1) So why have a goal ? no answer.
2) What is wrong with just rearranging words ? no answer.
3) Why have plans ? no answer.



You seem to have missed my point that 'why' is not necessarily interesting. ("There is no why, there is only because!" - Andres Lohle)
Your questions are all why's. Why's are usually irrelevant to life. Life is, and the philosopher creates values. Why he does so is simple; because his will drives him to it. Why? There is no answer to that.

The philosopher certainly assumes, that is even his core buisiness. Look at Plato. Do you think he actually experienced the ideal world before he makde it into a Truth? It was an assumption.

If you want to rigorously question your own assumptions, question your need to question. Why do you assume it is important to constantly ask 'why'? It's not necessary at all, and there are not even any answers

Justly wrote:If philosophy is able to solve something, then it is no longer philosophy, we no longer philosophize. It is now called science.


You confuse philosophy with speculating.
Much philosophy is not aimed at solving problems but with formulating problems which have not yet been understood as problems.
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Postby omar » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:09 pm

Hello SilentS:

--- What use is thinking if we sit on our butts in front of a computer screen and type silly quotes read from ancient philosophical texts and make witty thoughts and phrases concerning them?
O- If nothing else, it is a better alternative than watching MTV or standing in line waiting for the next Play Station to come out. Besides, typing quotes from ancient texts coherently and making remarks about them that are interpreted as "witty" is not as easy as some might suppose. I value a site like this because philosophy is a needed tool for critical thinking, something very much needed in an era of rampant spin on issues that affect us all.

--- What use is repeatedly going over ideas that have been brought up for centuries when they aren't being processed within terms of a real life situation?
O- Philosophy is like a tiguer, once found in his jungle, with claws and jaws of death. Now he is in chains declawed and defanged. What I mean by this is that many fields that still deal with real life, physics, theoretical science, psychology, sociology etc, etc, were once the play groun of philosophers. In another era, Einstein himself would not have blinked to call his theory a "Philosophy", and Freud has a legacy in both psychoanalysis and philosophy; yet, in my opinion, he was a philosopher. If Platos and Aristotles are not found anymore it is because the rise of lasting banks of knowlege have multiplied the field in view in such a way that there aren't many who can survey the entire field as they once did. Their enormity is relative to the point of history in which they come.

--- I guess my question is, what does philosophy have to do with your everyday life other than consume your time in front of a computer or inside a book?
O- When you wish to form an opinion on abortion, you rely, consciously or not, correctly or not, in some practices of philosophy. If you have an opinion on the issue of Medicare, you again employ some philosophy. War, Stem cell, Art... if you discuss these issues, you're probably going to touch on some points already visited by some philosopher. Granted, we have an enourmous amount of prejudice, but philosophy is about moving from a prejudice to a judgement. It is doing justice to the issues before us (notice that many philosophers were initially intended to be lawyers). If it is important that we hear all the evidence in the trial of an individual, how much important is it when we put on trial our culture?

--- Could you possibly be over-analyzing the world and not actually doing anything worthwhile?
O- Only if you forget what is it that you're really doing. We may question, in philosophy, the existence of a world outside of us and wonder if we are not just brain-in-vats; or we may wonder if we can tell what really outside of us, if the truck coming our way is anything but a creation of my imagination or if we are justified in believing the logical fallacy that because we have seen other die when run over by a truck that the same will now happen in our case-- That's philosophy! But as Hume said, before being a philosopher first be a man...paraphrased.

--- Philosophers used to be inventors and masterminds. What happened?
O- Knowledge increased and was retained better and as a consequence the former field of pure philosophy was made into smaller sections of expertise. Once, the Academy was but a Stoa, now a Campus cannot be, in some cases, explored on foot.
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Postby omar » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:12 pm

Hello nameta9:

--- Well first philosophy has no goal. It has no ends. It doesn't have to come up with a solution to problems, that is the job of science and engineering or psychology etc.

O- Once philosophers were at once scientists, engineers, surgeons and "psychologists".
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Postby omar » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:51 pm

Hello Sawelios:

--- According to Nietzsche, "the greatest deeds are thoughts". But, you might say, if Nietzsche had never published his writings, how could his thoughts ever have had the great effect that they have? - To this, Nietzsche also has an answer:

"[T]he “higher nature” of the great man lies in being different, in incommunicability, in distance of rank, not in an effect of any kind - even if he made the whole globe tremble."
[The Will to Power, section 876.]

O- Do you find it interesting that:
1- Nietzsche believed, in accordance with the above, that his books were only second great in light of his thoughts?
2- But why would one then write a book, or give a speech on one's thoughts, actions that, for the thinker, only bring confusion, I would suppose, to the herd of those not so great? But he writes many books-- yet of what? His thoughts? If so then his books are as great.
3- If the essense of greatness in a man lies in his "incommunicability", then why type a single sentence? Or perhaps his question on whether he had at least been understood but a perverse joke on the reader, who still expects written characters to mean something, to communicate a thought? Perhaps Nietzsche's thoughts were truly his greatest deed, of which he wrote down a mere parody to cement his higher rank over the rabble, who in turn, saw meaning and great thoughts that were not there.
4- If the world did tremble, it was not in consequence of Nietzsche's thoughts, which lived and died trapped in his head, uncommunicated in any way, but due to the projections of other's thoughts onto the canvas Nietzsche provided.
5- The world, I say, trembles not because one man thought, but because one herd's thoughts were focused by the shaft of a sheeperd. Hitler shocked the world not because his thoughts were that great but because his thoughts were a lighting rod that focused the thoughts of an entire people in a single point; because in him, millions saw their own ideals and that is what shakes entire continents.
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Postby lengthheightwidth » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:18 pm

Socratic wrote:Silent you got it right! Philosophy is a self-fulfillment kind of thing. It's a completely subjective and very personal topic.

But philosophy never really had masterminds and inventors. It just so happened that a few old and ugly looking people sat down and wrote something that hasn't been written before.

Unfortunately in our generation most everything has been written, and after existentialism made its way into the public, anything else that is written afterwards is known to be what we say 'blatant-philosophy'. In other words when people look at new ideas they do not see masterminds. They see just listen and think "Oh it's just another philosophy".

We are in the age of science my friend. Philosophy is dying by the day. As James once stated, "Philosophy is dead. Psychology is born."

You must remember these inventors and masterminds only receieved big names because science wasn't as powerful back then.



You act like science is a bad thing.
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Postby old6598 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:27 pm

omar wrote:Hell
"[T]he “higher nature” of the great man lies in being different, in incommunicability, in distance of rank, not in an effect of any kind - even if he made the whole globe tremble."
[The Will to Power, section 876.]

3- If the essense of greatness in a man lies in his "incommunicability", then why type a single sentence? Or perhaps his question on whether he had at least been understood but a perverse joke on the reader, who still expects written characters to mean something, to communicate a thought? Perhaps Nietzsche's thoughts were truly his greatest deed, of which he wrote down a mere parody to cement his higher rank over the rabble, who in turn, saw meaning and great thoughts that were not there.


In fact the greatest philosophical thoughts I have had are TOTALLY INCOMMUNICATABLE! You will never know! It is exactly because when something cannot be said or transmitted it becomes an infinite mystery. And as such acquires infinite value. I have been in incredible places with the mind - emotion but cannot talk about it because it would be useless. And millions of other REAL PHILOSOPHERS have been in even more incredible places, no one will never know. Do you have a secret too ?
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