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Khethil
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 06:28 am
I'd like to rant and solicit opinions on this matter. The context is Philosophical Debates and Discussions and the Perceived Value of Degrees

My father got his PhD in Philosophy; and although he never said so directly, one could tell just through conversation how immensely proud of it he was. I've seen the same pride here and in other philosophy forums; wherein pride and worth is bestowed on being degree'd. For all you who hold such titles: Congrats! I'm happy for you!

For all you who feel this has any bearing on any discussion between two human beings and feel the need to bestow argument-credibility (or retract such) based on these titles: Shame on you! Go sit in the corner, then to bed without any dinner![INDENT] When we give attention or worth to an idea based on the 'credentials' of someone, we miss the boat. I've heard just as much B.S. as Wisdom come from PhD's as from my neighbor (who didn't quite make it through the 9th grade); there is no correlation. Haven't some of the best ideas, the best insights come from those without any 'credentials'? To my mind, your ideas (your logic, your emotion, your conviction and ability to communicate) are paramount; what school you went to, your accolades and your degrees have no meaning whatsoever to me. Philosophy isn't - nor should it be construed as - an elite diversion between 'learned men'. That's horse-hockey. It's destructive and marginalizing
[/INDENT]Dad always pushed me towards finishing my education. He lectured me incessantly; saying, "Son, I've seen thousands of students and you're better than all of them! Don't you want to get that degree?". While I appreciate my father's compliment, his focus was decidedly-different and in so complementing me as he did, his approval therein effectively removed the last vestige of any motivation I might have had to 'get that paper'.

So yea, for those of you who've achieved these things: I'm happy for you and whatever benefits they might have secured. But please, understand that some of us see philosophy as a place where the ideas, not some holdover from the Lords and Barons, hold sway.

This is just my opinion, so I could be wrong.

Thanks Smile


(Moderator edit: post moved to more appropriate forum. jgw)
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 06:08 pm
@Khethil,
Thats a solid argument Khethil.

I hold a lowly BA hons in Philosophy and have found that my ideas are not given the credit I believe they are worth because I do not have 'enough degrees'. I could register for a Masters, but I feel that its my ideas that should be earning me an invitation to higher degrees. The ideas should speak for themselves. If the schools of philosophy cannot see the ideas as being worth much, on their own, then I do not think much of the schools of philosophy.

Its almost a classic catch-22:
a) If holding a degree earns respect for your ideas, then the ideas themselves are not worth much as ideas.
b) If the ideas are more important than the degrees, then the degrees have little value.

I say almost, because, the aim of philosophy is ideas, the aim of ideas is not degrees in philosophy. However if the ideas earn the degrees, then it is more likely that the degrees will have credibility, and so foster more good ideas.

Sorry about all the paradoxical word-knots.

Why is the sky blue?
Why is the sky blue? : graphs and pictures
(one of the ideas I am talking about)
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 07:57 pm
@Poseidon,
many and I stress many
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 10:07 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Surveys of patients' attitudes have generally shown that they do not necessarily want to have a top rank world authority as their physician. They want someone who is competent, but they want other attributes as well.

Academic pursuits often require a great amount of effort, dedication, and training. That's not to say that someone can't write philosophy without a PhD, but in general the most streamlined and recognized way to reach that level is in a doctoral program.

Different in my profession, in which I hold a doctoral degree, two licenses, and three board certifications -- these are all credentials that certify that a certain standard has been met. I don't think people who want to do philosophy for a living need to demonstrate that level of uniformity, though.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 02:35 am
@Aedes,
Just out of curiosity - who was the last significant philosopher who lacked a college education?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:16 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Just out of curiosity - who was the last significant philosopher who lacked a college education?

Colin Lesl!e Dean
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:38 am
@Aedes,
LOL! No lie... about ten minutes ago I was thinking about putting the same thing down. Awesome! I speak (for at least myself) here Aedes when I can say of your comment BAzing!!!!
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:50 am
@Khethil,
I would find a professional program for philosophy rather amusing.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:09 pm
@Theaetetus,
Amusing like clowns, trapeze artists, and monkeys dancing with toothbrushes amusing or interesting amusing?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 06:10 pm
@Khethil,
If a you got the pot; I got the papers, rolled fat in the middle but the ends will taper, If you got a girl friend, we can take her; down where the river flows.
We can clap our hands in time with the speakers, beg her please until we maker, watch her dance and shake her shakers down by the river side.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 06:31 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Surveys of patients' attitudes have generally shown that they do not necessarily want to have a top rank world authority as their physician. They want someone who is competent, but they want other attributes as well.

Academic pursuits often require a great amount of effort, dedication, and training. That's not to say that someone can't write philosophy without a PhD, but in general the most streamlined and recognized way to reach that level is in a doctoral program.

Different in my profession, in which I hold a doctoral degree, two licenses, and three board certifications -- these are all credentials that certify that a certain standard has been met. I don't think people who want to do philosophy for a living need to demonstrate that level of uniformity, though.

I get that one... Everyone knows they are going to die; but they don't want to die broke, just in case they don't die so they will have some loot...

It is like any thing else... We appreciate education so we look for educated philosophers... If you look for philosophers as shown by their product, you find guys like Socrates, Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, Eric Hoffer and a great many others...Education may seem like a slow process, but it is actually a speedy process... It is nice if it is all laid out for you and you don't have to muddle through, finding your own way, and the insight of another, or others is always an asset.. But the danger, as always, is that formal education gives a formal approach to problem solving, and then what do you do if the form is the problem... If you cannot first break free of the paradigm, you just can't break free... I wish I had a formal education, but it is perhaps better that I do not. I am a slow but sure learner, and having to race horse what I prefer to take at my leisure would steal the fun from it..I think often of an Arab Philosopher who had difficulty with learning, and ran from it, and once sat by a well where the rope had worn a deep groove in a rock, and he thought: If a rope could do that to a rock surely with effort I could have education... My paraphrase... What gets our attention gets remebered, and the trick in life is to supply the attention, and then it does not matter what you do, or what you may become... The more you have philosophy the less happiness can escape you...
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 01:53 pm
@Khethil,
Alan Watts had a master's in Theology, but in the relatively recent past, I think he would be the least qualified according to degree's held to be a classified as a philosopher.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 01:53 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Amusing like clowns, trapeze artists, and monkeys dancing with toothbrushes amusing or interesting amusing?


Like money's dancing with toothbrushes while throwing poo at the clowns.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 09:10 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Alan Watts had a master's in Theology, but in the relatively recent past, I think he would be the least qualified according to degree's held to be a classified as a philosopher.

Why should anyone care who is formally recognized as a philosopher??? First of all, seeking knowledge is a human activity, and insitutional anything is clearly not the answer, but the problem.... It is good to learn what instituional philosophy has to say so one can safely pursue other insights... I don't think anyone really becomes something as a philosopher by studying philosophy, though one might become something of an expert, or a historian of philosophy... A philosophy must be up to date with all branches of knowledge because one cannot speak truth, as knowledge is, on the basis of ignorance...
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 01:36 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Why should anyone care who is formally recognized as a philosopher??? First of all, seeking knowledge is a human activity, and insitutional anything is clearly not the answer, but the problem.... It is good to learn what instituional philosophy has to say so one can safely pursue other insights... I don't think anyone really becomes something as a philosopher by studying philosophy, though one might become something of an expert, or a historian of philosophy... A philosophy must be up to date with all branches of knowledge because one cannot speak truth, as knowledge is, on the basis of ignorance...


Sorry, I forgot to quote the post that inspired mine. The questioner asked who the last significant philosopher without a college degree was, and I offered the closest I could think of as an answer.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 06:58 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Sorry, I forgot to quote the post that inspired mine. The questioner asked who the last significant philosopher without a college degree was, and I offered the closest I could think of as an answer.


My guess is that the short list of significant philosophers held degrees... I think Lincoln was a philosopher, as was Mark Twain... You cannot beat a guy who is willing to apply what he knows to what he does, and then one must ask: What is the quality of his knowledge, and what were the qualities of his personality that made him successful, or unsuccessful... To reason with reasonable people is hardly the challenge presented by moving great masses with a powerful inspiration to do good, which a person may only be able to do out of recognition of their own good... I don't want to say there is no place for a person trained to seek knowledge in a organized methodical manor... Hell, I wish I were educated instead of fumbling my way through... But, look at a Caesar, an Alexander, a Fredrick the Great, a Napoleon, a Hitler, or a Stalin... If they were brutal and bloody and that brutality and blood were an result of their philosophy, then so was their success, such as it was, also a result... Napoleon called those people studying ideas Ideolgues... It was the traditional contempt of the doer for the talker... Knowledge is vitue because the more one knows the less they will try to do what may result in misery, death and harm... Knowledge is not virtue because it causes us to do nothing, so I stand with people like Lincoln who do what they can trying always to do good..
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 11:53 am
@Khethil,
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 01:41 pm
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey wrote:
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

If you can't stand the fire quit playing with matches...
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 06:45 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Colin Lesl!e Dean


No, no, you misunderstood his question. Who was the most recent significant philosopher?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 20 May, 2009 07:47 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian wrote:
No, no, you misunderstood his question. Who was the most recent significant philosopher?

I like Eric Hoffer, at least in the true believer...I think he pegged the situation...
 
 

 
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