What philosophy is and is not

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What philosophy is and is not

Postby Jakob » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:16 am

Philosophy is inference and induction. Through these efforts of will and integrity the premises are driven to their final consequences, and tested to the bone.
It is not deduction- that is the stuff of Pavlovian reactions, and where it concerns philosophy, such as in the case of Socrates or any believer in the word as guide, it comes down not to pieces of meat on a stick but to trigger-words, such as "good" and "just".
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:15 am


Philosophy is about asking questions rather than providing answers
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Jakob » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:11 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
Philosophy is about asking questions rather than providing answers

Wrong. Philosophy is about giving answers to the questions asked.
It takes a smart man to question, and a genius to answer a smart mans questions.
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:47 pm

That sounds like gnosis, the quest for direct knowledge.

Wisdom is not about knowledge, but about how to approach it, how to gain it, what to do with it, which knowledge is woeth having.

Nobody is born wise. Many approaches exist for wisdom. The most usual is the world sort of imposes some of it on you, which is why old people tend to be wiser than young people.

Another approach to it is love of it. It then must first be noticed! Usually by people who are better at resisting the world's impositions! It is these people, philosophers, who notice wisdom as separate from imposition. How easily these men seduce those on whom life has imposed much wisdom! And this is right that it should be so. Brothers are they. But only one of them is free.
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:53 pm

Is it not a precondition of love that one be able to, and often does, walk away from the beloved? There is no love without conditions.

In marriage a house, children, etc.

Otherwise, one is simply a stalker.
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:55 pm

It is easier for a Camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man without galantry to acquire wisdom!
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:03 pm

Jakob wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Philosophy is about asking questions rather than providing answers

Philosophy is about giving answers to the questions asked
It takes a smart man to question and a genius to answer a smart mans questions

The answers will not be objectively true so cannot be regarded as definitive even those from geniuses
But try and give an actual example of a philosophical genius giving a definitive answer to any question
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:58 pm

Imagine you find yourself in a situation in which you are not sure what to do. Or in a situation where some will insist that you ought to do this, while others insist that, no, you ought to do something else entirely. Or in a situation where everyone agrees on what the facts are but there are widely divergent opinions regarding what the facts mean. Or regarding what should be done about them.

What is or is not philosophically astute then?

Of course that means that the "general descriptions" of "what philosophy is or is not" will be challenged.

Some will ask, What about here and now in this particular context in which philosophers going back to the pre-Socratics, might have very, very different assessments regarding what is rational?

Let alone what is virtuous.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:57 pm


Rationality is more rigid than virtue and so is easier to demonstrate
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:09 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
Rationality is more rigid than virtue and so is easier to demonstrate



No doubt about it. So why do so many philosophers insist on taking it into discussions of virtues and values such that they make very little distinction between what is said to be rational and what is said to be virtuous.

And not just the Ayn Rand Objectivists either. Or the Kantian deontologists. Or the advocates of, among other things, value ontology.

I mean, what on earth does that even mean?
Last edited by iambiguous on Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:27 pm

Pardon the annoyance but, easier to demonstrate

to who?
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:52 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:Pardon the annoyance but, easier to demonstrate

to who?


To anyone who has an interest in exploring what others think that philosophy either is or is not.

Some of us though are more preoccupied with the assessments as they relate to the behaviors that we choose.

Thus, in describing and in evaluating those behaviors are there perhaps limits beyond which rational discourse begins to breakdown...or reconfigure into mere opinions rooted in the components of my own philosophy?

But: There's only one place in which to take philosophy then: out into the world of actual human interactions.

Or so it certainly seems to me.

But, sure, if others are more interested in examining what philosophy is in technical terms -- deduction, induction, a priori, a posteriori, phenomena, noumena etc.. -- more power to them.

Both vantage points are important. I'm just more interested myself in where and how they do or do not become intertwined when the question revolves around "how ought one to live?"
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:53 pm

iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Rationality is more rigid than virtue and so is easier to demonstrate

So why do so many philosophers insist on taking it into discussions of virtues and values such that they
make very little distinction between what is said to be rational and what is said to be virtuous

Maybe they do so because they want to provide a sounder foundation for morality
But less they actually think that objective morality is true then this is not possible

And objective morality as a concept is totally flawed because it is predicated upon the existence of God which is non falsifiable
The only morality that can be demonstrated is subjective and it is an eternal work in progress both individually and collectively
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:55 pm

"To anyone who has an interest in exploring what others think that philosophy either is or is not."

Really? Is this the group of people you identify as rationality being easier to demonstrate than virtue or values to?
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Guide » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:42 am

Only a very few know what philosophy is, fewer still peruse it. All public announcement concerning philosophy never comes to an expression of it, and essentially could not, since philosophy is something uncommon. And never speaks to the many.
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:00 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
Jakob wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Philosophy is about asking questions rather than providing answers

Philosophy is about giving answers to the questions asked
It takes a smart man to question and a genius to answer a smart mans questions

The answers will not be objectively true so cannot be regarded as definitive even those from geniuses
But try and give an actual example of a philosophical genius giving a definitive answer to any question

Search "value ontology".
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby Gloominary » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:49 am

There are two kinds of philosophy, technical and practical.
Technical philosophy can be contrasted with science.
For me, technical philosophy attempts to rationally ask and answer questions that either can't be answered in controlled experiments (epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and so on), or haven't been (satisfactorily) answered in controlled experiments yet (natural and social philosophy).
Science then is rationally asking questions and coming up with controlled experiments to answer them.
Practical philosophy is intuitively thinking, talking and/or writing at length about the human condition (see wisdom literature).
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:21 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Rationality is more rigid than virtue and so is easier to demonstrate

So why do so many philosophers insist on taking it into discussions of virtues and values such that they make very little distinction between what is said to be rational and what is said to be virtuous

Maybe they do so because they want to provide a sounder foundation for morality.


Yes, I agree. But what I explore is the extent to which this is an investment in philosophy more or less than an investiment in their own psychological well being.

The real me finds the right way in which one ought to live. And this -- as a psychological defense mechanism -- is clearly more comforting and consoling than in concluding that human interactions are instead embedded in an essentially meaningless world.

Then it's just one or another rendition of this: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

Finally, it becomes a question of whether they are able to soothe themselves further still by reconfiguring this comfort and consolation "here and now" into immortality and salvation "there and then" on the other side of the grave.

surreptitious75 wrote: And objective morality as a concept is totally flawed because it is predicated upon the existence of God which is non falsifiable. The only morality that can be demonstrated is subjective and it is an eternal work in progress both individually and collectively


It get's trickier here though. With self-conscious human minds, we are able to construe morality in any way that existentially we have come to think about it. If we believe that what we think we know about it is in fact true then "in our head" it is in fact true.

And, as a result of that, we behave in particular ways. And it is our actual behaviors around others that precipitate consequences. Consequences perceived as either good or bad depending on our point of view. A point of view rooted out in a particular world historically, culturally and experientially.

Then what becomes crucial is the future. In the course of living our lives amidst contingency, chance and change, we encounter new experiences, relationships and sources of information/knowledge.

So, there is always the possibility of changing our minds regarding such things as "what philosophy is and is not". Or what is right and wrong behavior.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:
The real me finds the right way in which one ought to live. And this - as a psychological defense mechanism - is clearly more
comforting and consoling than in concluding that human interactions are instead embedded in an essentially meaningless world

For me as an atheist all of existence is essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things
Though while I am here I can and do give subjective meaning to my own particular existence

These points of view are not contradictory because one is objective / permanent while the other is subjective / temporary
Then at the time of my death the subjective / temporary shall cease to be and only the objective / permanent will remain
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Re: What philosophy is and is not

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:16 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
The real me finds the right way in which one ought to live. And this - as a psychological defense mechanism - is clearly more
comforting and consoling than in concluding that human interactions are instead embedded in an essentially meaningless world

For me as an atheist all of existence is essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things
Though while I am here I can and do give subjective meaning to my own particular existence


Basically, me too. It's just that I recognize I have no real capacity at all in which to actually demonstrate that this is true. Back again to what I think I know about this here and now and all that would need to be known ontologically and teleologically about the very existence of existence itself.

Only here, for others, this does not seem to be nearly as important for them to grapple with.

And it certainly isn't deemed by them to be all that crucial when faced with the actual day to day reality of having to choose one set of values and behaviors over another. That's all just sort way, way, way, way "out there" somewhere.

And here [again] my "I" seems to be considerably more "fractured and fragmented". Others [here for example] seem able to come up with a narrative [philosophical or otherwise] that affords them considerably more self-assurance.

surreptitious75 wrote: These points of view are not contradictory because one is objective / permanent while the other is subjective / temporary


Well, if not contradictory, they precipitate frames of mind awash in uncertainty, ambiguity, ambivalence, confusion, unpredictability, risk and the like.

Or they do if you're me.

surreptitious75 wrote: Then at the time of my death the subjective / temporary shall cease to be and only the objective / permanent will remain


Then it comes down to the extent to which the obliteration of "I" for all of eternity is something that you have managed to come to grips with.

Unless of course there is a God, the God, my God and that will all be taken care of.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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