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What does philosophy mean to you?

 
 
Gilbey
 
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2008 05:03 pm
When I ask that question I'm not looking for the definition, I mean what kind of impact does it have on your life? Do you just study it out of enjoyment, or do you constantly feel as if you are searching for answers, thinking all the time?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 14,587 • Replies: 62
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 01:20 am
For me, philosophy is mainly therapeutic in at least two senses.

Firstly it ameliorates some potential conflicts in personal life by allowing consciousness to "stand back" and sees aspects of "selves" as passing phases of interpersonal relationship. Secondly, it constitutes a regular form of "mental exercise" which is important in advancing years.

In addition, I agree with Wittgenstein's view of his philosophy as "therapy" in the sense that he showed that many so called "philosophical problems" were nebulous and merely a result of "language going on holiday".
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rockpie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Feb, 2008 04:12 am
for me it is for the enjoyment of that feeling you get when ''the penny drops''. when you have been reading something, or asking something, or thinking about something, and it all finally falls into place, and you understand.
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hanno
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Feb, 2008 07:27 pm
Lovecraft said "We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far." That's it for me - like we're playing from behind the eight-ball, so let's dispense with the happy thoughts and get on with it...
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2008 04:44 pm
Philosophy is something that is a luxury, since most of the day is taken up with things far from the philosophic bent. I am not sure philosophy is an activity that is shared by many, unless we want to claim there's a philosophy of driving, a philosophy of work, a philosophy of school, a philosophy of eating, a philosophy of exercising, and a philosophy of posting on a thread.
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SerialCoder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Feb, 2008 09:31 pm
I would have to agree with foofie that it is a bit of a luxury. Sadly I think it has become a luxury afforded to too few in our culture. I would say that I am a bit privileged, i have lots of time and an innate motivation to fester on ideas. As far as impact goes, I imagine that my life without the love of and drive to ponder would be a hole. I imagine myself being somewhat dull and insignificant.
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The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Feb, 2008 09:39 am
I'm not sure it's a luxury.
There is always time to think.
For me it's a habit.
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testy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 08:09 pm
Re: What does philosophy mean to you?
Gilbey wrote:
When I ask that question I'm not looking for the definition, I mean what kind of impact does it have on your life? Do you just study it out of enjoyment, or do you constantly feel as if you are searching for answers, thinking all the time?


the way you talk about it it almost seems like a religious experience
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Mar, 2008 10:55 pm
The reading of philosophy makes it harder to be fooled--without one's permission. It is very important to examine one's life honestly, but over the years I've come to the conclusion (at least provisionally) that while the unexamined life is less worth living, the unlived life is not worth examining.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 02:01 am
JLN,

Great twist ! Smile
Gilbey
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 02:38 pm
Well, for me, philosophy is a luxury like others have said, but its also a way of looking at things clearly. You really get a true understanding of the things that I believe are worth taking time out to understand.

I think that going through your whole life, without at least once thinking about the ultimate questions of existence, and then proceeding by delving into them, I think if you have the chance to do that and don't, then you are really missing out on possibly the most interesting part of existence.

Obviously people have different interests, but some major philosophical topics, the mind, God, ethics, all involve "you", in some sense or another, and I think that that is a reason why you should at some point in your life, inquire into some of the inseparable issues, that are a part of our existence.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Mar, 2008 03:19 pm
Thanks, Fresco.
Anything to piss off Socrates.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 02:14 pm
"What does philosophy mean to you?"

A question with many answers.

Philosophy, meaning the accumulated works of thinkers through the ages. What does this mean to me?
I see it as a branch of history. The history of our ideas forming and transforming. Reading it and immersing oneself in it makes you more or a historian with an emphasis on ideas through the ages than an actual philosopher.

Philosophy, meaning the exploration of one's own existence.
This is what true philosophy means to me. The old definition, "love of wisdom". The profound desire to gain wisdom by means of, and for the sake of, a richer experience of everything.

This is not about asking a question and pondering the answer. It's about living the question, and becoming the answer.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2008 04:19 pm
Cryacuz, although more can be said, I think that's enough. The history of intellectual thought and the personal search for insight and growth. Everything else is not much more than technical work along lines of academic culture.
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raheel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2008 09:28 pm
SerialCoder wrote:
As far as impact goes, I imagine that my life without the love of and drive to ponder would be a hole. I imagine myself being somewhat dull and insignificant.


i agree.. i feel the same way sometimes... that even though i might not be very sociable or interesting... philosophy gives it all meaning and it makes you feel alive.

i think C.S Lewis said something like 'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.'

well that is how i see philosophy; like the sun, as a tool to cut through the darkness and see things as they truly are.

BUT just as we interpret this light information in our brain using limited resources and arrive at a perception of the object which may be considerabley different from the 'true' nature of the object, so i sometimes wonder whether our brain can comprehend the reality of what philosophy tries to relay.
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raheel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2008 09:52 pm
JLNobody wrote:
The reading of philosophy makes it harder to be fooled--without one's permission. It is very important to examine one's life honestly, but over the years I've come to the conclusion (at least provisionally) that while the unexamined life is less worth living, the unlived life is not worth examining.


very true...

this is why i believe kids should be encouraged to think about these questions early on. that way they can lead somewhat more meaningful lives later on, rather than living confused and (i don't like using this phrase) meaningless lives for the most part, and thinking about the big questions when they're too old to put their findings into practice.

that leads me on to another (similar) point, that philosophy is an active process of contemplation and is born through our actions.
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agrote
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2008 08:00 am
What philosophy means to me:

Using logic, rational thinking, debate etc. to get as close to the truth as is humanly possible, without being swayed by emotion (yours or anyone elses). Feelings are not representations of reality; they are reactions to it.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 10:56 pm
Feellings ARE reality.
One can be logical yet wrong; one can win a debate yet no close to "the truth" than your opponent. As you can see I'm no positivist.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 10:57 pm
Feellings ARE reality.
One can be logical yet wrong; one can win a debate yet be no closer to "the truth" than your opponent. As you can see I'm no positivist.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 11:11 pm
Philosophy is that human specialty called knowledge that tries to answer the question about our existence on earth. My dictionary defines it as a "study of the conduct of life," but I believe it's more than that, because most of us are limited by our own culture and environment, and what we believed to be true and right can change over time.
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