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Are Philosophers lost in the clouds?

 
 
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 08:17 pm
Quote:
To some, philosophy is too esoteric to be useful. To others, it’s the basis of a good drinking party.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/lost-in-the-clouds/?hp

Two interesting opinions at the link above. My own opinion is that almost all modern Philosophy is useless, because it does not address the human condition. It is kinda like the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, to some interesting to watch for a few minutes every four years at the Olympics, otherwise it never has cause to cross our minds. The problem is not hopeless, but to solve it we need a new vision of what Philosophy is, and a whole boat load of new people to do it.

Opinions?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 34 • Views: 44,466 • Replies: 797

 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 08:50 pm
It does not address what in Human condition and how can it be so ???
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 08:57 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Logical ponderings of the universe COULD address the human condition, but currently does not because philosophy has made wrong turns. The questions asked almost no one cares about the answers of, so ask better questions.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  0  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:01 pm
@hawkeye10,
My opinion is that it is useful, but not as useful unto itself.

Application and not armchairs.
R
T
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:21 pm
@hawkeye10,
Philosophy has to be difficult, or at least challenging. I notice that in bookstores there is a profusion of books about 'The philosophy of [insert movie title here]', presumably to dumb the subject down enough for the hoi polloi to want to buy the books. But if it is dumbed down, it ain't philosophy any more. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, not the love of easy answers. And the 'getting of wisdom' is an arduous task.

Second, a lot of the reason that philosophy has become useless is because we have abandoned a lot of the field to science. You want to know about 'reality''? Go to the Large Hadron Collider website, or the Hubble website. They're the folks that know about 'reality'. So what is left for philosophers to do, other than 'talk about talking' (which is what one of the better of the philosophers from the prior PhilForum would insist that it was.)

I am of the view that philosophy is different to science, and there is still something that philosophy addresses, which science doesn't. But in this day and age, that is very difficult argument to prosecute.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:29 pm
@jeeprs,
Quote:

Second, a lot of the reason that philosophy has become useless is because we have abandoned a lot of the field to science


OK, I have not heard that angle on science before, but it is close to the standard opinion that Philosophy and Philosophers long ago took a wrong turn into a dead end alley, and there-upon began to rot away into the stinking corpse of a once great idea that philosophy now is.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:45 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hi Hawkeye!

If the human condition has an ontological angle, IMO it does, then the only way to address this is through the use of some avenues of philosophy. I say some, because I am completey thrown by the intricacies of certain elements of philosophy, and am likely NEVER to pursue them at any length, if at all.

Each of us has an opinion on the meaning to life, god, the universe, why, how, who, what, etc. It would be a shame not to have an arena wherein we can discuss it at greater length, if we so choose, I believe.

Have a fantastic day Hawkeye.
Mark...
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:50 pm
@hawkeye10,
The wrong turn they took was called materialism, and that is also the stinking corpse.
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 09:51 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

The wrong turn they took was called materialism, and that is also the stinking corpse.

You actually wanted the Wizard of Oz to be a wizard, didn't you?

A
R
T
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:05 pm
@failures art,
well of course! Much more fun than the alternative. Don't you think? (And besides, we're not in Kansas anymore.)
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:15 pm
Quote:
Are Philosophers lost in the clouds?
No
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 01:20 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

My own opinion is that almost all modern Philosophy is useless, because it does not address the human condition.


Then your definition of philosophy sucks. You are confusing philosophy with academic Philosophy. By saying "all modern Philosophy is useless" you are limiting philosophy to something that only academic Philosophers do.
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 01:59 am
@hawkeye10,
Cheer up ! Philosophy is a-live, but now a thing for the masses. Beats religion in the western world... Quality is an-other thing I suppose.
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:04 am
@jeeprs,
I think is not materialism as such (since this world is material) but consumism (?); every-thing has to be at hand for little money or effort. Last generation (baby-boomers) wasted our resources on war and consumer-goods. You wonder why younger people were disappointed in big scheme's in politics or philosopy ? Philosopy lost contact with society for social reasons. A green philosophy could mean a lot to Humanity.
salima
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:14 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep wrote:

I think is not materialism as such (since this world is material) but consumism (?); every-thing has to be at hand for little money or effort. Last generation (baby-boomers) wasted our resources on war and consumer-goods. You wonder why younger people were disappointed in big scheme's in politics or philosopy ? Philosopy lost contact with society for social reasons. A green philosophy could mean a lot to Humanity.


i dont think the entire last generation (of which i am a part) wasted our resources, and those that did were not philosophers. they are a minority that runs things, that has no regard for anyone else, let alone next generations. but what the baby-boomers did was let it get away from them-they didnt stop those who ARE wasting resources and doing their colonize the world thing.
to that i do plead guilty.

philosophy includes ethics and morality, and that has a direct relevance to life. but as long as philosophers only talk about it and the rest of the world doesnt listen or think it wont make any difference, will it?
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:23 am
@Theaetetus,
I agree ! There's a lot more going on in the World than academic Philosophy. We should leave our comfort-zone and get in though with real issues. How to apply our Wisdom to understand what's going on with our societies, economies and the enviroment and it's resources.
Reconstructo
 
  6  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:32 am
From my current philosophical perspective, it's the non-philosophers who are lost in the clouds, and those clouds are unconsidered abstractions. It's not like anyone lives without philosophy, but rather that most settle with the minimal and minimally coherent philosophy they are given by parents, television, school, etc. We all live largely in our conceptions of the world, and to edit these conceptions is to edit the world as we experience it.

Perhaps all too many of us are victims of abstractions that deaden us, dishearten us, make us complacent. I know that I personally have used philosophy to get my head out of certain blinding abstractions that obscured the wonder of existence from me. Perhaps some of the best concepts point at the limit of concept, and at the other to concept. In my opinion, the better a philosopher is, the more astonished and grateful s/he is to be alive, and this gratitude seems like a pure place to write philosophy from. In this sense, philosophy is like true poetry. Beauty is truth. Now this is only one task for one kind of philosophy, but I think it may be philosophy's grandest task. I still think the world needs and wants Wisdom.

One last thing. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche brilliantly praises the nose. The one we smell with.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:33 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
well, sure. But I mean 'materialism' as a formal philosophical movement, represented by all those who insist that 'material reality' (or our middle-class sensibility, which is practically the same thing) is 'the reality'. Armstrong, Dawkins, Dennett, Wilson, etc.

Philosophy has to accomodate the unknown, all the things we can't know, which is the same as saying, to know its own limits, as well as to find wisdom in our human situation, in our everday life, not in some abstraction. (Buddhist philosophy is particularly effective at that.) And I agree a green philosophy should mean a lot to humanity. When we can no longer burn all this cheap energy, the value of contemplation ought to be valued highly.
Quote:
From my current philosophical perspective, it's the non-philosophers who are lost in the clouds, and those clouds are unconsidered abstractions


Good to hear from you R! and, Hear Hear.
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:33 am
@salima,
I generalize I know... I am just mad at a lot of people from that generation, including my family I suppose. I blame no-one personally though. I think it a generation which (in Holland) justifies everything with saying they build our economy. They forget to mention we, their own children, will have to pay the bill in many ways.

I really studied economics etc. because it's very interesting, but are still suprised by things I find out. I do not believe a big Bilderberg conspiraty, but there are certainly arrangements made on a large scale. I just try to live small scale, much more honesty in that.

PS did you get the sambal-receipes ?
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:39 am
@jeeprs,
I did not know about the Materialist School. I am not well informed about more modersn Philosophy. You say materialism was the wrong turn, I think it was Rationalism ! Everything had to be proven scientificly and measure up to one standard, even the mind...

Exit magic & faith
 

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