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When do you think philosophically?

 
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 06:10 pm
Can you notice a certain rhythm or pulsation to your thought pattern?

I normally have a constant philosophic thought pattern that narrates most of my every day life. This is fed by what I read and whom I talk to, and takes pride of place in my mind normally above mundane every-day things.

Since going on holiday a month ago I've hardly thought at all, which has been weird. I'm not overly worried though, since now I'm back in London and have started studying a little again, it's coming back and given a couple of weeks I'll probably be where I was mentally before I left England.

When you think- as most of you on the philosophy and debate forums evidently do a great deal- does it tend to be a gradual ongoing thing? Is it something you will do for a day or so and then stop for a while? A constant pressure?
What is your reaction to your philosophic thoughts? Do you enjoy them, or are they a burden?

I normally think the most when I am happy, which may be odd in comparison to others. When I am not happy (a small percentage of the time) I do have philosophic thoughts, but they don't tend to be constructive in any manner.
I tend to follow thought trains enthusiastically, until they no longer excite me and then become a burden.

Could anyone else explain to me the state of their own mind?
pq
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 07:24 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I didn't take philosophy classes so the various treatises through the ages never occur to me, much as I've repeatedly heard about all sorts of minds and their take on life. I get swipes of their thoughts from time to time in my rather catholic reading, in the diverse sense, and once even had a paperback of Marcus Aurelius on my toilet top. No, not Kant. Marcus has moved to over the sink, if only from nostalgia.

What occupies my mind may be more visual than otherwise, very observational and involved in the words to attach even if slightly to what I see. I learned a number of things about spatial design at one point just when I turned forty, and that can rear its head as I see a new scene.

I'm also word mad, love word play - oddly, mostly in prose. I seem to have a rickety childguarding fence re poetry, in that I'm pretty much for poetry but tend to avoid it written. But poetry is all around me.

I see art nearly every few seconds, at least in urban walks. I'm not a hiker or naturalist, but would get to that if I had more time. I do know thousands of plants, or once did. It's a weird clean feeling to fling out the latin name. But naturalists know more about the life of the plant.
I'm a painter myself, though I've been in a pause phase. Still, I have a painter's eye since I am one and do that. I look with my own eye. Once in a while I play with looking with other painters' eyes.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 07:40 pm
@ossobuco,
I didn't, as I said, take philosophy. I did take theology and logic, separate courses thankfully. I got a D in the first and didn't have the time or the drive to bull past the screen to talk to Brother whosits about whatever I said in that bluebook. Oh, A in logic, ha...

I switched schools (not about that, all the rest A's, it was about money) and got caught up in university musts while I also worked. But my father was a philosophy major, not to mention poet laureate of his university. So what? Maybe I'd like to read philosophy some day. But wait, I'm not seventy yet.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 12:58 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Philosophical thoughts come when dealing with people as psychology is not a hard science but a soft one with theories as to what goes on in people's minds and their reactions. The closest I can think of about the human mind is that of the operations of a car or a computer. The 'subconscious' thoughts or reactions such as anger, jealousy and fear are operations that occur under the hood or for a computer in the the operating system such as Windows or Linux or worse in the hardware section. So one has to figure out the fundamental drives that energize the person such as hunger, fear, sex, survival. The secondary drives such as prestige, societal conduct, peer pressure and social contacts, etc. The 'conscious' thoughts are like the application programs or for a car the driver's controls such as steering wheel, brakes, gas pedal. It is harder solving problems under the hood as it needs a technician to fix the problem. So people react in ways that are hard to understand so you have to be philosophical and think of fundamentals.

That is how philosophy started didn't it with Socrates analyzing people's statements, the truthfulness of the statements, the actions of politicians and the political situation?
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fungotheclown
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:47 pm
I don't know that I think philosophically so much as logically and critically. The topics I find interesting and debatable often fall into a philosophical category, I suppose, but I think that's more because those are the areas where people seem most prone to not using the same reasoning skills they use in the rest of their lives, and thus are the areas where I feel best able to contribute.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:50 pm
@fungotheclown,
i like your sig line.

you should post more often...
fungotheclown
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 03:22 pm
@Rockhead,
I used to post quite frequently, but left after the format of the site changed. Most of my complaints have been addressed since then, though, so I will be making a comeback.
0 Replies
 
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 03:52 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
"I'm not overly worried though"
do you get worried when you don't think for a period of time?

0 Replies
 
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 04:48 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I have noticed patterns in my thought, in terms of when I think, but it seems dependent on one’s situation as to how much one thinks. In order to think deeply about something you have to be relaxed about life in general; people who worry about “mundane” things or whatever you want to call it, will struggle to think about “philosophical” issues, but then again, being concerned about philosophical issues at the expense of everyday issues can have negative effects as well. It can disrupt our daily lives, which may contain “mundane” activities, but are nonetheless important for us.

A number of people I know have on separate occasions talked about maintaining a balance in their lives; they didn’t get more specific than that, I just found it interesting that two different people on separate occasions used that word to describe how they live. I took them to mean maintain a balance in every aspect of their lives, which includes thinking about things, but not to the point where “everyday” things became something unimportant for them.

A balanced life is one in which we do what is appropriate at any given time, and that we allow time for the things that we need to do, which includes everyday things, but also includes reflection and thought.

The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 04:47 am
@existential potential,
EP, you've been 'Frescoed'. Laughing

Thank you for the response.
Well, yes I suppose I could be slightly concerned that I have lost my philosophical brain, but to be honest I think it's just having a well deserved rest.
I've always been philosophical, but from July 2008 until Aug 2009 I literally didn't have a day where I wasn't evaluating and re-evaluating everything and writing it all down in my notebook.

Balance, as you say, seems to be the key I think.
I'm really trying to put some of that in my life this year. Last year was ridiculous, just think think think, drink drink drink, over and over again. Never mind washing or t.v. or anything. But that's university for you.

I agree that being 'relaxed' allows a good disposition for philosophical thought, but I guess you have to be in the right mood to. At the minute I can't really be bothered, and it's just a bit odd because I'm normally constantly bothered.

Would you mind explaining to me, if you can, what your thought patterns are? I would expect them to be very acute.
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 07:28 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Mood affects my thought in terms of duration and content. In addition, time of day can influence the way I think and what I think about; I tend to think more and better in the evening and nighttime, when there are as few distractions as possible. That’s my weakness, I can be easily distracted at times, and it’s something I try and curb. Certain things that I read and see on TV can have a massive affect on my thought, and occasionally I really get into thought.

However, recently I have started college, studying psychology amongst other things, which gives my brain an outlet that it hasn’t had for a while, so I will apply my thought to that, which may mean that I think less about what catches my mind, and more about what I’m told to think about, which could be a challenge in itself.

My thought patterns seem to be determined in part by external factors, such as time of day, and internally by moods. Discipline isn’t something that I have in spades, and so my thoughts can be scattered at times. Sometimes I feel consumed by thought, other times I feel on top of everything.

I hope there is some relevence in this post, describing my thought is difficult.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 09:32 pm
My mind works as follows.

In any given debate, if one person maintains one view and another person maintains another, I will try to find a third.
It happens as naturally as breathing.

It seems to me most people create understanding through identifying differences. I do it by finding similarities. Maybe it's two sides of the proverbial coin, but it's still a matter of where you place your emphasis.

Words tend to get in the way of how people think. Some even go so far as to say that they think in words. I often have trouble finding words to describe my thoughts. I often feel that even the most apt wording of a thought can make it void of meaning. At least the meaning it had before it was expressed verbally. It becomes a shadow of itself, recognizable only to those who have held a similar thought in their minds. But it can never, under any circumstance, become the same thought in another mind.

So now, whenever I come across someone who have obvious flaws in their reasoning I hold my tounge. They will learn their errors in their own time or not at all. All my efforts to change their minds or correct their logic only seems to reaffirm their position.
But I don't think with my pride.
I use my mind, and my heart.
But the words of my thoughts arent my mind and heart, so it doesn't hurt when someone steps on them.

Also, I think philosophy should be considered more akin to poetry than informational writing. Write, not to answer questions, but to inspire further thought. Don't force your thoughts with your will and wants, give up the reins.
To consciously process a practical issue is to drive where you need to go to.
To philosophize is to step on the gas pedal without holding the wheel.

In my opinion.
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 04:04 am
@Cyracuz,
"It becomes a shadow of itself, recognizable only to those who have held a similar thought in their minds. But it can never, under any circumstance, become the same thought in another mind."

I agree although that might sound paradoxical given what I am about to say.

When we adopt others thoughts, find something agreeable in them, we don’t actually agree with them, what we do is create our own thoughts based on what we have heard or read. We never agree with the thoughts of others, we never experience the thoughts of others, only the thoughts of ourselves.
Thoughts and words are not the same thing, and when we hear or read words, they produce thoughts in our minds, but never the thoughts that put those words there in the first place.

Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 05:47 am
@existential potential,
Not paraoxical at all if you ask me.

Your words make a mirror in which I find my reflection of you.
It's not your words, nor your thoughts, but that image which is true.

Wink
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 06:08 am
rarely, since i no longer smoke pot
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 03:43 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
pq,

Gurdjieff argued that we spend most of our time in "waking sleep" even when we assume we are "conscious". He said that "cosmic forces" conspire against us and keep us asleep for their own ends !

Well..even if we don't beat a path to Gurdjieff's door (which many intellectuals actually did) we can say that he observed that "philosophical thought" was often an illusive commodity. Indeed, Maslow's celebrated "hierarchy of needs" implies that such activity comes right at the end the list of requirements for "everyday life", and it may be that we must either reject such a "life" for a monastic existence, or as Westerners, have the luxury of having most of our "lower needs" fulfilled by or maerial wealth, in order to indulge in "philosophy".
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 04:18 pm
@fresco,
In the other end, when you are at the very bottom of yourself and feeling really bad the word changes into "psychology"...

But to indulge in philosophy is one thing. Another thing might be to examine one's situation with the aim to change one's outlook. Such an undertaking perhaps fall under the category of philosophy, and would perhaps not be an indulgence after all needs are met, but rather an attempt to redefine oneself in order to reach a more beneficial understanding of the situation and what it is precicely that is keeping you unhappy and unsatisfied.
At least, I have had some success with that approach. But then, I was introduced to philosophy at a time in my life when I didn't really lack anything and had time and energy to spare.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 07:46 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
Also, I think philosophy should be considered more akin to poetry than informational writing. Write, not to answer questions, but to inspire further thought. Don't force your thoughts with your will and wants, give up the reins.


Thanks cyracuz.
I felt that such an important issue, I started another thread:
http://able2know.org/topic/136870-1
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 07:48 am
@existential potential,
existential potential wrote:

Mood affects my thought in terms of duration and content. In addition, time of day can influence the way I think and what I think about; I tend to think more and better in the evening and nighttime, when there are as few distractions as possible. That’s my weakness, I can be easily distracted at times, and it’s something I try and curb. Certain things that I read and see on TV can have a massive affect on my thought, and occasionally I really get into thought.

However, recently I have started college, studying psychology amongst other things, which gives my brain an outlet that it hasn’t had for a while, so I will apply my thought to that, which may mean that I think less about what catches my mind, and more about what I’m told to think about, which could be a challenge in itself.

My thought patterns seem to be determined in part by external factors, such as time of day, and internally by moods. Discipline isn’t something that I have in spades, and so my thoughts can be scattered at times. Sometimes I feel consumed by thought, other times I feel on top of everything.

I hope there is some relevence in this post, describing my thought is difficult.



Thanks, EP.
I know it's hard to say, but do you feel that you think all the time now, perhaps in a manner which you didn't when you were younger?

I am still not thinking like I was before about the 10th August. It's weird.
Maybe it will start again on monday when I start my lectures back full time.
I feel like I'm half asleep.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 07:56 am
@existential potential,
existential potential wrote:

"It becomes a shadow of itself, recognizable only to those who have held a similar thought in their minds. But it can never, under any circumstance, become the same thought in another mind."

I agree although that might sound paradoxical given what I am about to say.

When we adopt others thoughts, find something agreeable in them, we don’t actually agree with them, what we do is create our own thoughts based on what we have heard or read. We never agree with the thoughts of others, we never experience the thoughts of others, only the thoughts of ourselves.
Thoughts and words are not the same thing, and when we hear or read words, they produce thoughts in our minds, but never the thoughts that put those words there in the first place.




Yes, I agree with both of you.
There's Schopenhauer quote which is similar:
'Thoughts reduced to paper are generally nothing more than the footprints of a man walking in the sand. It is true that we see the path he has taken, but to know what he saw on the way we must use our own eyes.'

I'm sure most of us have the same experience. When we hear a 'good' philosophical quote, it's mainly because we have had similar 'ideas' before, but the quote is in a form which particularly resonates with us.

Philosophy is basically insight.
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