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Simon Blackburn's theory on 'what is philosophy'??

 
 
Reply Tue 11 Sep, 2007 05:09 am
Hi all,
Just recently as im sure a few of you know by now i was privileged enough to attend a series of lectures held by the above mentioned great man of contemporary moral philosophy just very recently held at the University of Adelaide...I now put put forward to all from his open and public lecture the theory on what he portrayed philosophy as being:

"Philosophy starts when human thought becomes self-conscious about its methods, the experience and the modes of inference and reasoning that it relies upon, it's proper sphere, its claims to deliver truth or knowledge".

I understand that this is a very abstract question as everyone out there has their own definition. I am principally interested in hearing what you, the people of this forum have to say in response to Blackburn's theory and how u think it could be managed (if at all) more efficiently...
Well thankyou ppl and i look forward to widely debating this concept in the coming days and weeks hopefully.....
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 05:31 am
@xprezive,
xprezive wrote:
Hi all,
Just recently as im sure a few of you know by now i was privileged enough to attend a series of lectures held by the above mentioned great man of contemporary moral philosophy just very recently held at the University of Adelaide...I now put put forward to all from his open and public lecture the theory on what he portrayed philosophy as being:

"Philosophy starts when human thought becomes self-conscious about its methods, the experience and the modes of inference and reasoning that it relies upon, it's proper sphere, its claims to deliver truth or knowledge".

I understand that this is a very abstract question as everyone out there has their own definition. I am principally interested in hearing what you, the people of this forum have to say in response to Blackburn's theory and how u think it could be managed (if at all) more efficiently...
Well thankyou ppl and i look forward to widely debating this concept in the coming days and weeks hopefully.....


It is important to note that the question, "What is philosophy" is, itself, a philosophical question. That is quite different from questions like: what is history? what is physics? which are not in the former case, an historical question, and in the latter case, a physical question. So Blackburn is right in just the sense that inasmuch what is philosophy is a philosophical question, philosophy must be a uniquely self-conscious discipline.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 05:15 am
@kennethamy,
What is, is philosophy. Why is, is theology.

Every child who arrives at an understanding of the workings of the world, of nature, or reality; when challenged must inevitably backtrack into an examination of method. Every small p philosophy is a conclusion. Few would survive an examination as to method. Philosophy, is only introspective, and self conscious, because to date every one has failed to explain all aspects of human experience. Each Philosophy inevitably becomes mired in method because of its inevitable failures to faithfully and truthfully represent reality. Personally, I don't even try. Existence is so dependent upon infinities that knowledge, as all knowledge, or even most knowledge is beyond our ken. What can we know? What will we ever know?

Good philosophy is 99% verifyable reality and 1% cosmic, infinite, and unprovable. What if we can never know with certainty whether, or not, there is some essential contradiction to our thought, or even our own being? We still have to live with us, and we still have to adapt to it. The proof of a good philosophy is not that it is without contradictions, or that it is imbued with introspective self consciousness; but that good comes of it. And it does not have to be eternal good, or cosmic good; but health, welfare, security, trust, love, mercy, and in fact, every conceivable virtue. Love is the essential quality to philosophy only because knowledge is inherently uncertain. What is love if good does not result from it?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 07:57 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
What is, is philosophy. Why is, is theology.



I thought that what is, is science, and science often answers why is too. For instance, why does water freeze at 0 degrees centigrade? And, of course, we all of us know quite a lot of things: that Mars is the fourth planet, Earth is between Mars and Venus; that France is in Europe; and that the velocity of light is much greater than the velocity of sound; and that germs are responsible for the spread of most disease. And a lot more than that too.

Philosophy has a different job from science. Philosophy seeks understand of the essential concepts science uses and which we use in ordinary life. Concepts like, knowledge, causation, understanding, explanation, right and wrong, and true and false. And others too.

That's why one contemporary philosopher put it this way: science is talk about the world, and philosophy is talk about talk. That pretty much sums it up.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 03:13 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I thought that what is, is science, and science often answers why is too. For instance, why does water freeze at 0 degrees centigrade? And, of course, we all of us know quite a lot of things: that Mars is the fourth planet, Earth is between Mars and Venus; that France is in Europe; and that the velocity of light is much greater than the velocity of sound; and that germs are responsible for the spread of most disease. And a lot more than that too.

Philosophy has a different job from science. Philosophy seeks understand of the essential concepts science uses and which we use in ordinary life. Concepts like, knowledge, causation, understanding, explanation, right and wrong, and true and false. And others too.

That's why one contemporary philosopher put it this way: science is talk about the world, and philosophy is talk about talk. That pretty much sums it up.


No. There is no difference between philosophy and science. What we think of as science has come to deal more with all those qualities of the world that we can sense, and so measure, like optics, mechanics, chemistry, physics. Philosophy seems now to deal with intangibles, emotions, ideas without objects, sign meaning syntax, consciousness. But it is all philosophy. As a measure of learning and excellence it is a PHD that is awarded, no mean feat, making one a doctor of philosophy.

Philosophy is not just talk about talk. It is far more than that. Much of what we live in is a world without sensation, that defies objective measurement. Yet, ideas like justice that cannot be desolved, nor extracted, nor weighed, that we see evidence of without a single whole example of- must still be considered, determined, defined, and refined if we are ever to have them in the correct proportion in our lives. Does it matter that a freedom cannot be produced? It matters if a person has no freedom in their life. We have to give these ideas substance to weigh them one against the other. We have to see their want and their plenty in time rather than in substance. We have to find something like a cloud chamber that revealed the paths of alpha and beta particles, with the understanding that the process is mental, made of insight, and understanding.

Trying to draw a line between philosophy and science is like trying to draw a line between chemistry and nuclear physics. It is impossible because where one leaves off the other begins. You cannot say here is chemistry, and here is physics; or here is science and here is philosophy. Each is the same thing, and like all things humans find value in: each is a form of relationship. What people know of science continually affect the human condition, and the human condition is the general focus of philosophy. What is philosophy to God, if there is God? Nothing. It affects only people, and the understanding people possess.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 03:24 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
No. There is no difference between philosophy and science. What we think of as science has come to deal more with all those qualities of the world that we can sense, and so measure, like optics, mechanics, chemistry, physics. Philosophy seems now to deal with intangibles, emotions, ideas without objects, sign meaning syntax, consciousness. But it is all philosophy. As a measure of learning and excellence it is a PHD that is awarded, no mean feat, making one a doctor of philosophy.



If science is, as you say, about about the world we can sense and measure, and if philosophy, as you say, deals with intangibles, emotions, ideas without objects, sign meaning syntax, (and) consciousness, then how can it all be about philosophy? You have just yourself pointed out an important difference. So first you point out the difference, and then you say it is the same.
0 Replies
 
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 05:31 pm
@xprezive,
Verification draws the line between science and philosophy.

Smile
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 06:30 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
Verification draws the line between science and philosophy.

Smile


There are lots of scientific hypotheses that cannot be verified. For example no one has verified the Big Bang theory or string theory, or that there are multiple universes, or that there are intelligent beings on Alpha Centauri .
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 07:04 pm
@kennethamy,
It is not possible to verify a scientific axiom.

The axioms are none the less relied upon to verify.

"cannot verify" is not therefore "not verified",

for the unverifiable routinely verifies.

Smile
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 07:27 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
Verification draws the line between science and philosophy.

Smile


False. What we think of as science follows our senses, but in every sense it is philosophy. Both use reason. Both look at observable reality; but what we sense we can measure. We can build better ears than we own. We can build better eyes. We can weigh even slight changes in matter. We can measure even the slightest changes of pressure, or charge. Every advance of science depends upon two things: a new conserved quality to measure by, and new tools to refine, and magnify our senses.

Science is the easy end of philosophy, yet its aim is no more truth, or as you say verification, than human philosophy. It is impossible to measure intangibles quantitatively. It is not impossible to see the effects of intangibles on our lives. Not one or the other demands greater skill. Not one or the other has more riding on a truthful of coherent answer. Each has as it final goal both knowledge and the good which attends knowledge.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 07:30 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
It is not possible to verify a scientific axiom.

The axioms are none the less relied upon to verify.

"cannot verify" is not therefore "not verified",

for the unverifiable routinely verifies.

Smile


Axiums do not verify, but are, rather, verified with every effort to disprove them that fails.
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 02:53 am
@xprezive,
Science defies aim.
Philosophy defines aim.

Science defines the method.
Philosophy defies the method.

We ride afloat a flimsy raft of belief, on a stormy sea of truth.

:rolleyes:
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 05:27 am
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
Science defies aim.
Philosophy defines aim.

Science defines the method.
Philosophy defies the method.

We ride afloat a flimsy raft of belief, on a stormy sea of truth.

:rolleyes:


The impossible is only a degree of difficulty.
0 Replies
 
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 06:18 am
@Fido,
How do you verify time, without the time to work with?

The axioms are due to qualia.

Qualia by definition is not verifiable.

Smile
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 08:47 am
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
How do you verify time, without the time to work with?

The axioms are due to qualia.

Qualia by definition is not verifiable.

Smile



Ultimately time is life. Within a life there are cycles, and these cycles can be divided infinitely. Just as with space, the fact that it has no underlying reality does not stop people from measuring it in the form of distance between matter.

Axiums are conclusion drawn from reality, and if not directly verifyable, are at least supported when they are effective, and cannot be disproved. I think I know nothing. I accept many axiums because they seem supported by other accepted facts, and I cannot disprove them. It is unfortunate to have to admit that my goal of knowledge is illusion, and to own that I accept only a negative definition of knowledge as that which seems likely and cannot be disproved; but that is all I have.
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 10:59 am
@Fido,
"cannot disprove" is politics.

"not allowed" is more to the point.

--
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 02:50 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
"cannot disprove" is politics.

"not allowed" is more to the point.

--

I cannot disprove that.
0 Replies
 
 

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