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Are Philosophers Generally Selfish?

 
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 01:18 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126839 wrote:
This is back on the thread's original topic (which is not to say the detour was without its charms.)
What is this "selfishness" I hear so much about? That's an endless or beginning-less thread in itself.
Do thinking-types enjoy time alone? In my experience, yes. Do they obsess over material goods for pleasure or status? In my experience, no. Do they want to impose their ideas on their minds of others? In my experience, yes, but some of them (us) learn not to. Or at least to do so in a less obnoxious way.
Indeed its hard to decide what is selfish, after all its supposed to be a bad thing, but can we really blame someone for just wanting to live their life in peace without having to worry about others? Its something we all want.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 01:31 pm
@manored,
manored;126757 wrote:

We are, in reality, and off course, all philosophers, but I think that admiting to yourself you are a philosopher is a great and helpful step anyway =)


I keep wondering why people keep saying that everyone is a philosopher-much less "of course" (if that is what you are saying). Even if everyone can hum, not everyone is a musician.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:11 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127095 wrote:
I keep wondering why people keep saying that everyone is a philosopher-much less "of course" (if that is what you are saying). Even if everyone can hum, not everyone is a musician.


There are amateur philosophers, professional philosophers, beginning philosophers, novice philosophers, bad philosophers, good philosophers. It's hard to exclude anyone except those who have absolutely no pretensions of being a philosopher and even then someone could engage in philosophy without knowing it to be philosophy and in that passing moment s/he would be a philosopher.

A humming person is in that moment a musician even if s/he doesn't realize that s/he is humming.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:21 pm
@manored,
manored;127090 wrote:
Indeed its hard to decide what is selfish, after all its supposed to be a bad thing, but can we really blame someone for just wanting to live their life in peace without having to worry about others? Its something we all want.


I agree. I think that the word selfish is generally used for anti-social behavior. This breeds confusion, but parents won't behave these days.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:23 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127259 wrote:


A humming person is in that moment a musician even if s/he doesn't realize that s/he is humming.


O.K. if you think a person who is humming is a musician, then I will allow that someone who stubs his toe and exclaims, "isn't life a bummer!" is a philosopher.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:25 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;127259 wrote:
There are amateur philosophers, professional philosophers, beginning philosophers, novice philosophers, bad philosophers, good philosophers. It's hard to exclude anyone except those who have absolutely no pretensions of being a philosopher and even then someone could engage in philosophy without knowing it to be philosophy and in that passing moment s/he would be a philosopher.

A humming person is in that moment a musician even if s/he doesn't realize that s/he is humming.


I agree. And to emphasize the absurdity (in my eyes) of exclusively professionalized philosophy, I'll mention Socrates, Spinoza, Schopenhauer.
Then we have writers like Kundera or Harold Bloom who sometimes write philosophically.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 11:38 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127095 wrote:
I keep wondering why people keep saying that everyone is a philosopher-much less "of course" (if that is what you are saying). Even if everyone can hum, not everyone is a musician.
Its a trick to make philosophers seem less alien before the general populace... =)

Not everyone is a musician from the "job" point of view, but everyone has the ability to be one. This is the meaning we use then we say everyone is a philosopher, that is, the point of view of ability, not profession. Since nobody works as a philosopher (as far as I know), how can we decide if a person is a professional philosopher or not? =)

My best bet is that people who make a living out of selling books/other content where they expose their ideas are philosophers.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 11:42 am
@manored,
manored;127510 wrote:
Its a trick to make philosophers seem less alien before the general populace... =)

Not everyone is a musician from the "job" point of view, but everyone has the ability to be one. This is the meaning we use then we say everyone is a philosopher, that is, the point of view of ability, not profession. Since nobody works as a philosopher (as far as I know), how can we decide if a person is a professional philosopher or not? =)

My best bet is that people who make a living out of selling books/other content where they expose their ideas are philosophers.


First of all, it is not true that everyone is able to become a musician. A person who is tone-deaf cannot become a musician. People do teach and write philosophy. They are paid for doing so. That makes them professional philosophers.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:44 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127513 wrote:
A person who is tone-deaf cannot become a musician.


I doubt they would be much good, but deaf composers and blind painters are easily conceivable.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127615 wrote:
I doubt they would be much good, but deaf composers and blind painters are easily conceivable.


Tone-deaf people can hear perfectly well. Beethoven was (to say the least) a great composer, and he composed his Chorale Symphony when he was stone deaf.
longknowledge
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 03:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127618 wrote:
Tone-deaf people can hear perfectly well. Beethoven was (to say the least) a great composer, and he composed his Chorale Symphony when he was stone deaf.

I compose da symphony onc ewhen I was stoned eaf, butun fortunate lyi didnt wri teitd own.:cool:
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 04:25 am
@bfz,
Recently, in a restaurant, I overheard mention of a photographer who specializes in smells and sounds.
0 Replies
 
sneer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 10:05 am
@bfz,
bfz;124859 wrote:
The average post in this forum seems to argue against the previous, is this truly the best way to teach, i dont personnally have a problem with this method of deduction, however it must deter a large number of potential philsophers from wanting to put forward their beleifs due to fear of acceptance by the community


every human has his own method of learning.
some just read and listen.
others ask, doubt and discuss
few just think and are happy if their version of reality is a good one
yet others constantly probe their own theses, thought out or collected.

what you have observed here, is probably accumulation of individuals, who do not care about "what they say". I realized in my personal life, though I'm very open to others, polite and nice, newly acquainted people consider me egoist, selfish and boor.

but being selfish is nothing wrong.
0 Replies
 
Pyrrho
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 03:17 pm
@bfz,
bfz;124859 wrote:
The average post in this forum seems to argue against the previous, is this truly the best way to teach,



I don't think forums like this one are going to replace college courses on philosophy any time soon, which is good because I don't think that discussions on these forums teaches as well as the average introductory philosophy course can.


bfz;124859 wrote:
i dont personnally have a problem with this method of deduction, however it must deter a large number of potential philsophers from wanting to put forward their beleifs due to fear of acceptance by the community, would it further society to be more accepting of inferior judgements in order to benefit the thought process in the long run as it would encourage more people to think, but at a lower level?



I think it is better for people to study good ideas to get some idea of what they might be like, and then some of them might be able to think better thoughts as a result. A good introductory logic or critical thinking class is also of help in this.


bfz;124859 wrote:
by gaining knowledge are we creating greater inequality and damaging society, or are we leading the way to a utopia by striving towards it?



Think about the alternative to some people gaining knowledge: It would be everyone remaining in ignorance. Do you seriously think that would be better than having some people knowing things, even if others are either unwilling or unable to learn?


bfz;124859 wrote:
Or is philsophy just a waste of societies time, when we could be helping those truly in need rather tahn benefiting a select fews knowledge?



Do you think it is a waste of time to try to figure out the best way to live? If one does not know that, then how will one know what to strive for?
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 04:56 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;130805 wrote:
I don't think forums like this one are going to replace college courses on philosophy any time soon, which is good because I don't think that discussions on these forums teaches as well as the average introductory philosophy course can.


I'm sure that in some regards you are right. On the other hand, this forum makes it quite clear that "philosophy" is a collision of philosophies. One gets a feel for the variety of meanings philosophy has for quite a variety of persons.
0 Replies
 
bmcreider
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:24 am
@bfz,
I agree with Reconstructo...

And by my personal accounts, at least, the people that take philosophy and pay for it usually don't apply it to themselves - they just get the grade, most of the time.

If I go after philosophy, and join the discussion, instead of listen to lecture, and don't aim for a certain grade - does or doesn't that make my pursuit of it more genuine?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 10:47 am
@bmcreider,
bmcreider;133225 wrote:
I agree with Reconstructo...

And by my personal accounts, at least, the people that take philosophy and pay for it usually don't apply it to themselves - they just get the grade, most of the time.

If I go after philosophy, and join the discussion, instead of listen to lecture, and don't aim for a certain grade - does or doesn't that make my pursuit of it more genuine?


If by "more genuine" you mean that you are not doing it for a grade, then your pursuit is certainly more genuine. On the other hand, if after your pursuit you still don't know what you are talking about, then its being more genuine doesn't seem to me as valuable as being less genuine, but still learning something. I guess it depends on whether feeling genuine is better than knowing something.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 01:52 pm
@bfz,
bfz;124859 wrote:
The average post in this forum seems to argue against the previous, is this truly the best way to teach, i dont personnally have a problem with this method of deduction, however it must deter a large number of potential philsophers from wanting to put forward their beleifs due to fear of acceptance by the community, would it further society to be more accepting of inferior judgements in order to benefit the thought process in the long run as it would encourage more people to think, but at a lower level? by gaining knowledge are we creating greater inequality and damaging society, or are we leading the way to a utopia by striving towards it? Or is philsophy just a waste of societies time, when we could be helping those truly in need rather tahn benefiting a select fews knowledge?
Highly educated people often suffers a superiority complex and god complex, when they see everybody else as inferior, when they hold power to make others do their bidding, when people whorship you.
0 Replies
 
 

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