34
   

So, seriously, what is philosophy anyway?

 
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:39 am
@jgweed,
To be clear, I'm not mocking philosophy as a general principle -- I think a lot of it is interesting, and I agree it is very important to continue to question and think and not take things for granted. To challenge ones own assumptions and approach the world thoughtfully.

I think many of the people who are getting most frustrated with the really pretentious stuff are also ones who are able and willing to get into deep philosophical discussions of questions that seem to matter in one way or another. Or at the very least, questions that are interesting.

Just as with most any discipline, there will be the thoughtful practitioners and the goofballs. Just because someone claims the mantle of philosophy doesn't mean that person will espouse the lofty ideals you mention in your post.

I'm sure that just as A2K is comprised of a diverse bunch of people, the people who came here from Philforum are undoubtedly diverse as well. The fact that some of those people are goofballs doesn't mean that all of them are, in the least. (There are plenty of goofball A2K'ers and I wouldn't want to have opinions formed about me simply because I share a forum with those folk.)
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:44 am
I often wonder at the philosophy is is useless and abstract thinking is pointless crowd. The simple act of labeling something is abstract. we couldn't get through the day without it. The goal of universal law creation is abstract, without it a child couldn't hypothesize that fire is always going to be hot so don't touch it. Political theory is abstract. There never would have been an equal rights movement, a democratic revolution, any change for the better or worse without an abstract meta-conversation that at that point was not practical. people live their lives in the abstract and all people in some way or another are philosophers.
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:49 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
It's spelled achieved.
And it would be really nice if you lightened up a little.

I'd be the first to admit that my spelling will (and especially that 'ie' combi) is not going to be perfect each and every time. . . but, what the heck.

I sense some sort of contradiction of requests here, though...but, I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. (yeah, I guess far too many folks in this big ole world are a bit too light already? maybe? and this is not, in any way, honestly, a jab in your rib cage, msolga, but just my real concern...an individual life is a very serious thing, it only comes once, and that's...) Anyway, carry on . . .
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 09:55 am
@GoshisDead,
Sure. You agree that things can be taken to extremes, though?

To take as a starting point that abstract thought is necessary and good (I agree), do you think that things can become TOO abstract?

Say I respond to your post in the following way:

Quote:
I often wonder at the philosophy is is useless and abstract thinking is pointless crowd.


How can you make such generalizations about a "crowd?" What is a crowd, anyway? Does a crowd need to be a physical gathering of people, on the ground, or can it be just people who are all reading something, from their various computers around the world? Must a crowd all think the same way? What if they only agree on one aspect out of a million different thoughts and decisions, can they still be a crowd?

Quote:
The simple act of labeling something is abstract. we couldn't get through the day without it.


Isn't it possible to function without labels? Must labels be literal, a word attached to a meaning, or can one form ideas about objects without labels? Can one think without language? What if it is a signed language, with no spoken words? Is that actually a language?

Quote:
The goal of universal law creation is abstract, without it a child couldn't hypothesize that fire is always going to be hot so don't touch it.


Is there really any such thing as a universal law? How is it determined whether it is universal or not?

Quote:
Political theory is abstract. There never would have been an equal rights movement, a democratic revolution, any change for the better or worse without an abstract meta-conversation that at that point was not practical. people live their lives in the abstract and all people in some way or another are philosophers.


Pooh is a philosopher, Piglet is a philosopher. This is very wise. I admire your intellect. It is enjoyable to find someone who is able to think things through in a highly intellectual way, like me. I appreciate you. Have a fabulous day.



*****

At some point it becomes... wearying, no?

At any rate, while I agree with your post, I think it is a bit of a strawman in that I don't think anyone was arguing against all abstract thought.

edit: by the way I failed in being as vacuous and abstract as I planned, some of the questions in there are actually interesting and I wouldn't mind discussing...
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:02 am
@KaseiJin,
msolga wrote:
It's spelled achieved.
And it would be really nice if you lightened up a little.
KaseiJin wrote:
I'd be the first to admit that my spelling will (and especially that 'ie' combi) is not going to be perfect each and every time. . . but, what the heck.
I recommend the adoption of fonetic spelling, like the Spanish.

Its fast n ez.
It shud be tawt to children in the schools.





David
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:05 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

I recommend the adoption of fonetic spelling, like the Spanish.


LOL !! Thanks for the suggestion !! Yeah, it's the same with the Japanese too . . . there's no way to go wrong! (but I guess I'll just stick it out on this one...it's a brain thing.)
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:07 am
Various history books make the same observation about the explosion of philosophy that took place in ancient Greece: the Greeks were a dynamic, passionate, strongly mystical people. Philosophy was a reaction from within them to that... not to defeat it, to temper it.

I think my personal situation is similar. Everything I feel, I feel with all of me. That drives me to use my mind to reflect, understand, and coordinate... lest I make an emotional wreckage out of myself.

A lot of philosophy is the work of passionate people. Obviously a quick way to take the air out of the balloon is to speak from the vantage point that it's just a bunch of staring at the clouds. Sad
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:08 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
And we changed weights and measures to the metric system gradually after 1966.


You have my deepest sympathy. I was talking to a lonely old man at the park the other day while we were waiting for The Girl to show up. He was talking about temperatures of 130--so obviously, he was referring to fartinnoodle rather than coriasis. I figure he's one of the old ones who just never got used to the change. Personally, although i can mentally do the conversion, i still don't automatically understand the significance of temperatures expressed in caladoil.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:14 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

I think many of the people who are getting most frustrated with the really pretentious stuff are also ones who are able and willing to get into deep philosophical discussions of questions that seem to matter in one way or another. Or at the very least, questions that are interesting.


A lot of people interested in philosophy and a lot of famous philosophers are terribly pretentious and say very little of importance. They "kick up dust and complain that they can't see". You get the same thing with literature and music, but in philosophy it feels like that vacuous stuff is what philosophy is just because of the way philosophy is studied.

But really, for anything you find interesting, when you are trying to figure out the concepts involved you are doing a bit of philosophy. And sometimes it is very conceptual and thus very philosophical. It's a broad discipline much like psychology.
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:16 am
@GoshisDead,
Quote:
I often wonder at the philosophy is is useless and abstract thinking is pointless crowd.


I doubt you'll find anyone here who'd say abstraction is entirely pointless. One cannot do one's groceries without a certain degree of abstraction.

The issue is the thing to which abstraction is applied. To be fair, I'll cite a thread from our own ranks: What's The Ultimate Purpose of Philosophy? Does anyone really believe philosophy has a single, ultimate purpose? Just one? The philosophy of which culture? Now, the question might really have been a way of asking "What do you think the ultimate purpose of philosophy is?" If so, fine. That question, being an opinion question, doesn't require historically specific details. But as it is currently phrased, why would anyone think this question is answerable without reference to actual historical data?
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:21 am
@chai2,
Most philosophy is nonsen, waste of time, mastubational endulgence that only works in an imagined world because it is never put to test, there are no demand of being put to test irl.

Contrary philosophy which are born from warfare, buisness, sport and other win/lose scenarios, such philosophy is constructive and valuable, because it is tested, because it matters, because you have to forge pragmatism into your thoughts, because your victory depends on good philosophy.

The philosophy of ethics, is importaint to any group size of people, from 2 to the size of a country. You have to make the right philosophy how these humnas can work together, how to make them tolerate eachother.


0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:24 am
@KaseiJin,
Quote:
I'd be the first to admit that my spelling will (and especially that 'ie' combi) is not going to be perfect each and every time. . . but, what the heck.

I sense some sort of contradiction of requests here, though...but, I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. (yeah, I guess far too many folks in this big ole world are a bit too light already? maybe? and this is not, in any way, honestly, a jab in your rib cage, msolga, but just my real concern...an individual life is a very serious thing, it only comes once, and that's...) Anyway, carry on . . .


Actually KaseiJin, I'm not overly worried about the odd spelling error here & there. In fact, I make a few myself.

What I objected to was your somewhat lofty, dismissive tone, in response to my post. Which, if you failed to notice, was written in good faith & was actually supportive of the members of your now defunct forum. I thought your response was rude. So it was tit for tat.

I honestly have no idea of what you mean when you say:

Quote:
I sense some sort of contradiction of requests here, though...but, I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. (yeah, I guess far too many folks in this big ole world are a bit too light already? maybe?


But I totally agree with you in this:

Quote:
....an individual life is a very serious thing, it only comes once ...


The thing is, I think you are failing to understand that there are many different ways that people make meanings of their individual lives. Your response to me suggested that your philosophical way was the superior way. It may well be for you, but but it doesn't mean than other ways are inferior. To suggest that is to denigrate people who are not of your own ilk.

I'm sorry if I have offended you, but you have offended me by what appeared to be an "uppity" response to well intentioned comments from me.

HexHammer
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:26 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah wrote:

It's probably a mistake to take these threads as good examples of philosophy Smile
I have to say, you are wrong.

This is excatly a good example of philosophy. It show some kind of intelligence, not just running off babbeling nonsens as too many did in the old forum, asking stupid self explanatory questions, not being idiots who cumpulsivly praised an imagined diety.

I'v seen too many philosophyer waste time with idiotic old philosophy, and if a philosopher can't make a simple question of what is good and bad philosophy, but buys it all, the he is the idiot.
Theaetetus
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:45 am
@Setanta,
This is why a serious philosophy forum will likely never work here, and why most of the members that did make the changeover have already disappeared. Sure, some members' posts are drenched in obscurantism because much of the history of philosophy and the questions that are traditionally asked are. But many of us are more interested in the practical application of philosophy to everyday life and situations.

The philforum also had its crowd of incoherent folk, but it is sad that the whole forum would be judged on these members. If I were to judge this place based on the incoherent folk, I would not want to be associated with the a2k in anyway. You want to talk about a member that suffers from "unbridled incoherence," look to your own H2O Man. We booted members that repeatedly posted pure **** because of the stain it left on the forum.

But anyway, I thank everyone that was so kind and welcoming to the community as we were forced into assimilation. But with that said, I have no interest in being involved in some petty spat between the philosophers and non-philosophers on this forum, and be judged based on a low common denominator. I do not have a real interest in pop-philosophy either that seems to be favored from based on the discussions that seem to stick for a while. I also do not want to participate in a forum where nearly 75% of all the philosophy threads are voted down by me due to their banality and where I have to hide posts and ignore members just to make the forum tolerable.

I probably could live with all of that if I had any sort of control over where my threads are categorized. I largely focus on social and political philosophy. If I wanted a thread to be placed in the politics forum or cross referenced, I would place it there. But instead, anyone can tag it politics, move it over to that forum as well, and then all of that time and effort I went through to quote social and political philosophers and analyze their work is all for moot as soon as the topic is derailed to some sort of dogmatic lefty/righty paradigm bullshit. Sure, I realize that may not actually be the case, but I am just basing my analysis on the lowest common denominators here on a2k, just as many a2k members have been doing to the old philforum members.

So for good measure, should I throw in some sort Hegel or Heidegger reference so that I can display blinding "unbridled obscurantism?" I also hope that the post was long enough that I irritated all the members with short attention spans.
Theaetetus
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:51 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer wrote:

This is excatly a good example of philosophy. It show some kind of intelligence, not just running off babbeling nonsens as too many did in the old forum, asking stupid self explanatory questions, not being idiots who cumpulsivly praised an imagined diety.


I see you have dragged along your your ability to criticize and deride others, but rarely offer anything better yourself from the old forum. I have also noticed that you also continue to do it with the worst spelling on the forum. As I have said in the past, it is really hard to take a critique seriously when it appears like it was written with spelling and usage errors that would cause it to receive a D on a 7th grade project.
msolga
 
  5  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:57 am
@Theaetetus,
Quote:
... I also hope that the post was long enough that I irritated all the members with short attention spans....


It has absolutely nothing to do with short attention spans. Why do you make such patronizing comments? You hardly know this form.

It has everything to do with engaging people with what you have to say.

Can you only talk amongst yourselves?
KaseiJin
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:59 am
@msolga,
Aha !! I think I see where the cross over occurred then, msolga. I had quoted a portion (only, I point out) of your post only because I have a certain affinity . . . and had intended to use such humorously as a stepping stone-like path into a more serious post directed towards the OP's concern.

Now my style in presentation, there, may have well gotten confused a little due to my having quoted your post in such a manner . . . and, be it for better or for worse, this is just the way I write (in the event that may have been a factor too).

I appreciate your getting back in an explanatory manner, and will thus offer the same:

Upon my first having joined the forum now gone, there had been raised at least one voice, expressing concern over my actually being on that forum--being more of a scientific method-like person, which we all know, philosophy simply does not do. So, actually, I don't really hold any strict (we could say) philosophical way.

Regarding the contradiction I had insinuated, it would probably be best to let that one slide back into the water . . . in that I can now see where the cross-over had occurred, and why that particular comeback.

Then, allowing me a bit of a moment for being off-topic, I am an honest person, one who enjoys humor--life, dance, and song--but who writes the way I do, and yet who doesn't usually participate in sarcasm (while my humor may be affected somewhat by my past 26 or so years in Japan).

And then, to close, I did not take any offense...it's not really my style...and neither did I intend to offend (but we only realize that the understandings [how something is taken and processed by another's brain] is not always so much in our control), nor did I intend to sound 'uppity,' in any way . . . again, it's just the way I write. I do offer my apology for any loss of time, or wasted emotion, caused by my possibly not having segregated the two things--taking a comment of yours, and playing around with the pun, and responding to the OP in a universal way . . . and also with the intent of encouraging a lessening of negativity; as though there were really still two groups. This, I hope, will serve its purpose.

HexHammer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:59 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
I see you have dragged along your your ability to criticize and deride others, but rarely offer anything better yourself from the old forum. I have also noticed that you also continue to do it with the worst spelling on the forum. As I have said in the past, it is really hard to take a critique seriously when it appears like it was written with spelling and usage errors that would cause it to receive a D on a 7th grade project.
Very well, then try write in danish, I bet you won't come very far.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 12:19 pm
@msolga,
I just think we're at the next stage.

Sigh.
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 12:35 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:

HexHammer wrote:

This is excatly a good example of philosophy. It show some kind of intelligence, not just running off babbeling nonsens as too many did in the old forum, asking stupid self explanatory questions, not being idiots who cumpulsivly praised an imagined diety.


I see you have dragged along your your ability to criticize and deride others, but rarely offer anything better yourself from the old forum. I have also noticed that you also continue to do it with the worst spelling on the forum. As I have said in the past, it is really hard to take a critique seriously when it appears like it was written with spelling and usage errors that would cause it to receive a D on a 7th grade project.


so, we finally see the true face of the philly's

the gloves are slowly coming off.
 

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