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Philosophy - the love of others' wisdom?

 
 
Reply Wed 9 May, 2007 03:39 am
Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But evidently mostly others' wisdom? When you study philosophy the focus is on what others have said and thought, instead of encouraging people to think their own thoughts. Is this a good way, or how should it be changed? You could argue that you have less of your own thoughts but the ones you have are at a higher level... is it positive to "clean up" peoples' thoughts and ideas, when that might mean missing a new groundbreaking idea? Or maybe human thinking wouldn't get any further if we didn't have a strong platform to start from... Thoughts?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,674 • Replies: 31
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TheHermit
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2007 09:19 am
@finlandssvensk,
Have you read the Kybalion by any chance?

Philosophy deals with the known while metaphysics deals with the unknown which carries us to original thinking. Walter Russell IMHO cannot be said to be a philosopher. He dealt with the unknown.

Of course knowledge needs a base upon which to construct. Our elementary schools build that base. When you go to the University then you encounter thinking for yourself. This is why many have problems and are not able to continue.

We are bombarded by the mass mind daily and programmed to act and re-act as the mass mind does. Their likes become our likes, their dislikes become our dislikes.

The Universe is Mental that is why to me Mind is most important. I do not waste my time with others thoughts but with mine. I delve into how conscience is in me. Are my cells conscious? What is my personality? What is my ego? What consciousness is active when I "sleep"? Who am I? Is my body me? If I am not my body then am I my mind? Is my mind mine or part of another Mind? If my mind is not my body then is my mind imortal? Why don't I remember if my mind was another "I" in perhaps another incarnation? Is my personality a mask that the I AM uses?

I am not part of the mass mind. I am part of MIND.

The Hermit
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2007 01:15 pm
@finlandssvensk,
"Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But evidently mostly others' wisdom?"

I think it's that philosophy is the love of wisdom, regardless of the source of that wisdom. The truth is, after all the truth. Learning of other great thinkers and studying them promotes our own thoughts. As we read we can consider the ideas presented and make our own minds. The more we study, and the more we contemplate, the better able we are to study and contemplate further; the better able we are to think for ourselves.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 07:56 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
"Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But evidently mostly others' wisdom?"

I think it's that philosophy is the love of wisdom, regardless of the source of that wisdom. The truth is, after all the truth. Learning of other great thinkers and studying them promotes our own thoughts. As we read we can consider the ideas presented and make our own minds. The more we study, and the more we contemplate, the better able we are to study and contemplate further; the better able we are to think for ourselves.


Trying to look at philosophy as a discipline is like looking at sleeping as a sport. First of all, the front is the end. It is the purpose of wisdom to teach love, and if we have love what need have we of wisdom? And objective knowledge is always beyond our grasp. What we learn and know with is given to us, and only very few of us will ever learn anything really new no matter how new it might seem to us. So, if we can learn anything it is to do everything we do with an object of not harming, but helping all. Too much of the injury and injustice that is done is done without a thought. If the time might be justified by the philosopher for everyone to think twice, then pain and violence might be halved.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 08:03 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Trying to look at philosophy as a discipline is like looking at sleeping as a sport. First of all, the front is the end. It is the purpose of wisdom to teach love, and if we have love what need have we of wisdom? And objective knowledge is always beyond our grasp. What we learn and know with is given to us, and only very few of us will ever learn anything really new no matter how new it might seem to us. So, if we can learn anything it is to do everything we do with an object of not harming, but helping all. Too much of the injury and injustice that is done is done without a thought. If the time might be justified by the philosopher for everyone to think twice, then pain and violence might be halved.


I wonder why just because the etymology (the origin) of the term, "philosophy" is, "love of wisdom" that it follows that is now the meaning of the term. We all know that the meanings of terms change though time. For instance, the term, "lunatic" once meant "someone who was influenced by the moon". But no one now uses "lunatic" to refer to someone he believes is influenced by the moon. How the word, "philosophy" is derived need have nothing to do with how the word is now used. The belief that because some word used to mean X, it now means X, is called "the etymological fallacy".
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Nov, 2007 08:52 pm
@kennethamy,
"It is the purpose of wisdom to teach love, and if we have love what need have we of wisdom?"

The purpose of wisdom is not to teach love; though, it would be wise to do so. Wisdom is what will tell us if we should teach love or not. Personally, I think if one has any degree of wisdom, they will teach love; though, many supposed lovers of wisdom teach egoism.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Nov, 2007 01:45 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
"It is the purpose of wisdom to teach love, and if we have love what need have we of wisdom?"

The purpose of wisdom is not to teach love; though, it would be wise to do so. Wisdom is what will tell us if we should teach love or not. Personally, I think if one has any degree of wisdom, they will teach love; though, many supposed lovers of wisdom teach egoism.


You are dancing around agreement like you got a hot coal in your britches.
Harby phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2007 11:16 pm
@Fido,
Although I invariably like reading other people's opinions and beliefs, I trust mine the most. I have as of recently come to know that my own opinion does infact coincide with a few more prominent philosophers though, and I believe by "earning" the knowledge with my own thinking is more gratifying than learning others, but not any more productive, if less even.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 01:05 am
@Harby phil,
Quote:
You are dancing around agreement like you got a hot coal in your britches


Because there is a difference between love and wisdom, and I think wisdom to be valuable.

Quote:
Although I invariably like reading other people's opinions and beliefs, I trust mine the most. I have as of recently come to know that my own opinion does infact coincide with a few more prominent philosophers though, and I believe by "earning" the knowledge with my own thinking is more gratifying than learning others, but not any more productive, if less even.


Your view is always welcome.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 07:34 am
@Harby phil,
Harby wrote:
Although I invariably like reading other people's opinions and beliefs, I trust mine the most. I have as of recently come to know that my own opinion does infact coincide with a few more prominent philosophers though, and I believe by "earning" the knowledge with my own thinking is more gratifying than learning others, but not any more productive, if less even.


If no one minds fido saying something completely stupid sounding here then: philosophy is not about philsosophy, but about life. If you learn what is, and what is the state of human knowledge, as most people have some grasp of anyway, then you can check what philosophers say against what you know. I think people like Nietzsche were effective against youth because they talked in headlines, were glib, and spoke with the voice of authority. The young could deny none of it for knowing nothing. And philosophy is not only about insight, but the quality of ones insight, and the variety always depends, in my opinion, upon the degree of actual knowledge. I have some insights I guess I will never know as fact, and will never be able to prove. But they are mine, and not some other's because of what I know and can prove as much as from an over active mind. So read philosophy, and everything else. The effect is cumulative.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 03:54 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
If you learn what is, and what is the state of human knowledge, as most people have some grasp of anyway, then you can check what philosophers say against what you know.


I agree to an extent, in that if you do learn all of those things, if you learn your own nautre, then you will have learned what philosophers have been arguing over. My problem is that what you suggest is tantamount to suggesting one learn history, and then go read what historians have to say about history. Why not read as much as you can, and learn from the great thinkers of the past. If you read to learn what another thought, and not read to know how to believe, you will, after having read, know what to believe on your own terms. I would also like to think that anyone who takes the time to make a serious study (not intense necessarily, but serious - commit yourself to focused study and hour a day) of philosophy, if they have any degree of wit, will be impressed enough with the thoughts and ideas as to be willing to have their own thoughts and ideas.

Quote:
I think people like Nietzsche were effective against youth because they talked in headlines, were glib, and spoke with the voice of authority. The young could deny none of it for knowing nothing.


Nietzsche was effective for two reasons: 1) He was extreme, a very appealing extreme. Youth is filled with troubled thoughts, uncertainty about one's own identity - Nietzsche presented a radical egoist ideaology, which embraces a certain intellectual elitism, all very appealing to the out of place young man. Nietzsche wasn't affraid to attack institutions like the church, and when he did, he had a great ferocity. Nietzsche, for all his pomp and pride, was a comfort. He was the lion guarding his cubs - the intelligent social outcasts. 2) He was a good writer, pure and simple.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 05:01 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I agree to an extent, in that if you do learn all of those things, if you learn your own nautre, then you will have learned what philosophers have been arguing over. My problem is that what you suggest is tantamount to suggesting one learn history, and then go read what historians have to say about history. Why not read as much as you can, and learn from the great thinkers of the past. If you read to learn what another thought, and not read to know how to believe, you will, after having read, know what to believe on your own terms. I would also like to think that anyone who takes the time to make a serious study (not intense necessarily, but serious - commit yourself to focused study and hour a day) of philosophy, if they have any degree of wit, will be impressed enough with the thoughts and ideas as to be willing to have their own thoughts and ideas.



Nietzsche was effective for two reasons: 1) He was extreme, a very appealing extreme. Youth is filled with troubled thoughts, uncertainty about one's own identity - Nietzsche presented a radical egoist ideaology, which embraces a certain intellectual elitism, all very appealing to the out of place young man. Nietzsche wasn't affraid to attack institutions like the church, and when he did, he had a great ferocity. Nietzsche, for all his pomp and pride, was a comfort. He was the lion guarding his cubs - the intelligent social outcasts. 2) He was a good writer, pure and simple.


This is a good reply and I disagree with very little of it. I think that Nietzsche was a very bad philosopher even if a good writer because he gave answers, and did not pose questions and attempt answers. I can see where he was wrong in some of his facts, but I bet many cannot. And that is the point. If I did not have information from other sources that contradict Nietzsche, I could hardly disagree no matter how distastful I find his message. I read Nietzsche when young. I read Plato when older. I trust my life would have been immeasurably better had I more questions than answers when young. Even more than in old age, as a youth, I wanted certainty. That is not the goal of philosophy in my opinion; but meaning. Nietzsche gave me something that inhibited my learning, and really could have killed me dead. I alone survived to tell you.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 07:20 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
I alone survived to tell you.


The kids who start with Rand are in far worse condition, I assure you.

I understand what you mean, though. When we are young, we are impressionable. If we take anything as the truth, we easily dogmaticize the issue; still too young to keep an open mind, regardless of circumstance. Personally, I think Nietzsche is fantastic; he is a good philosopher in that he is all his own. But really, this only demonstrates why we should read as much as we can.
0 Replies
 
Harby phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 07:57 pm
@finlandssvensk,
I'm personally only starting to read other Philosopher's work and I thought I'd start chronologically. It'll take me time 'till I get to Nietzsche Smile.

Anyhow, anything specific you'd like to suggest to a young mind that, atleast in its own opinion, isn't overly impressionable? I try to be quite the contrary really, and infact don't have established opinions on many subjects merely due to the lack of knowledge in it.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 08:01 pm
@Harby phil,
Harby wrote:
I'm personally only starting to read other Philosopher's work and I thought I'd start chronologically. It'll take me time 'till I get to Nietzsche Smile.

Anyhow, anything specific you'd like to suggest to a young mind that, atleast in its own opinion, isn't overly impressionable? I try to be quite the contrary really, and infact don't have established opinions on many subjects merely due to the lack of knowledge in it.

If you asking me I would suggest some history such as A war like no other, about the pelopennesian i hate that word. or Rouseau and Revolution part of will durants master work of history.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 07:16 pm
@Fido,
If you are stepping into philosophy, do not avoid the more powerful voices (Nietzsche), do not even avoid those who are loud and, almost entirely, foolish (like Rand). Just be mindful of what you read, and always remember that whatever you are reading is only one perspective of the issue; countless perspectives exist.

As far as recomending books, I always recomend the same things, really. Start with the classics. Read Plato and Aristotle. Try some Bertrand Russell, "The Problems of Philosophy" is great for new students and professionals. Read Hume and Locke. The names you see time and again in philosophy are so prominent for a reason. A quality history of philosophy set will also prove valuable. Go with a standard, tried and true set, the sort of volume the professor suggests and the average student avoids.
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jan, 2008 02:30 pm
@kennethamy,
this message when deleted was too short. the space was too long.
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Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2008 06:32 am
@finlandssvensk,
You'll learn more from a psychosis than you ever will from some academic. There's endless theories, and no matter how technically proficient, they are all wrong. Here's some feminist philosophy by someone called shiva, I wonder how long it will take before you realize she's wrong:

" I characterize modern western patriarchy's special epistemological tradition of the 'scientific revolution' as 'reductionist' because it reduced the capacity of humans to know nature both by excluding other knowers and other ways of knowing, and it reduced the capacity of nature to creatively regenerate and renew itself by manipulating it as inert and fragmented matter..." [Shiva;1989]

She's got a point, but she's still not right.

And anyway, back to the psychosis, what would you learn from a psychosis? how about 3998 x 47536 = 190048928. Magic numbers.

Or how about this funny joke...

What do you get if you take English, remove the lie and turn it backwards like a Hebrew scholar?

Shogun.

Or how about 'was' in Egyptian means dominion, and 'waz' in America means urination... join the dots up and you realise that the suppression of the masses is achieved by making them piss, read and listen - all relaxed now? piss - it's evil.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2008 02:54 pm
@finlandssvensk,
Quote:
You'll learn more from a psychosis than you ever will from some academic. There's endless theories, and no matter how technically proficient, they are all wrong.


Just because some idea is wrong doesn't mean we do not learn from it.

If you want to learn something, read your eyes out and meet people, talk to them.
0 Replies
 
Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2008 10:15 am
@finlandssvensk,
I agree that study will teach facts, but I believe study tends to achieve more of an understanding of theories. That is until you begin to conduct experiments and conduct research, until then - which generally post-grad - we tend to learn about prevalent theories.

It is my opinion that teaching facts is more worthwhile than teaching theories, excluding maths or science in which the theories are inextricable from the facts, though other subjects, such as languages, philosophy or social sciences require empiricism and facts.

Like I've been saying polemics are always false, and polemic is all any theory is at the end of the day.
0 Replies
 
 

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