Things to look for in a philosophy forum

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BeatsMeWhy
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 12:10 am
@Fido,
I bet reason number one is "be witty in front of other people". :surrender:

Anyway, all of you keep skipping the interesting -for me- question. Do you think you have found what you were looking for?

(For the witty guys I guess there is no point in asking, they are being very witty and there are people reading all their wittiness Smile).

Following my own chain of thoughts (guess it's ok, 90% of the posts have nothing to do with the tread, and there must be some advantage in that to be found)...

Have you found around here some interesting (and different from your own) view on some problem? (Again, I don't mean from the point of view of something to be refuted.)

Disclaimer: I admit I'm far too lazy to go through all the threads in all the forums.

Most times, when a post catches my attention it's because the author more or less agrees with me. I haven't found so far a completely new (for me) theory about a problem. I have read some posts that have struck me as unthought, but I've always had the feeling that it was rather because of the shape of the comment than because of it's novelty.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 01:05 am
@Fido,
Fido;115785 wrote:
In quoting Aristotle I was not saying he was correct; and far from it; and Plato was not in the least better, but each was methodical, and each sought concepts, forms, as the basis of knowledge, as far removed from the practical as possible...They were great in their time, but Gallileo pointed out that the ages following him were slavish in their deference to the philosopher, even when they knew they could read anything into him, essentially using him to prove either side of an argument... It is instructive to read those guys but only as lesson to find a new method... What is the alternative??? Knowledge is virtue to one, and power to another... Some people have no more desire for knowledge than they can profit by it... I would say that knowledge, truth, is life...The only reason worth troubling for it is that it may some day preserve what we most value...

Fair enough I suppose. Aristotle is a tough read, and some people read it one way and many people read it another way. I don't find anything really wrong with the interpretation though because I don't expect much from it in the first place (not the proper thread in any event). Perhaps all of this was a failed attempt to extrapolate on the issue of quality in posts and discussions. I still maintain my assertion though that quality is a drawing force to this forum.

Fido;115785 wrote:
I said something about looking for virginity, and people were climbing all over me because they thought I was talking about virgins...I know I mis spell, but learn to read folks before you go off half cocked...

I initially said something about elaborating more on a potentially creepy post (which I have yet to...interestingly enough... receive. Funny how things work out that way). I did not see any sort of misspellings in post #3 besides a potentially controversial statement and an admission to being not a specific as you could have been. No worries though, I don't think you need to be accountable for what you say though compared to other members. You are trying and that is what is most important. And to tie back into BMW's original topic, that is another thing I look for in a philosophy forum, when members try and challenge themselves to be as cogent and philosophical as possible while deliver concise, meaningful, and very thoughtful responses that anyone can tell they put a good amount of time in consideration of their response. Sometimes that does not happen, but sometimes it does.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 07:04 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
If you ask what people want the answers are as various as the people...If you ask what people need from life it is invariably the same, or at least, similar...If you want to change the world, and I do, then the fact that most people, one way or another getting what they need is an impediment...I would like to convince people that the surest way to what they want, are looking for, to use the words of the thread, is to start with every one having what they need... When people can look at those without, and chalk up their wanting as so much fate, or luck, or the blessing of God when these are not considered relevent in any scientific explanation of any sort baffles me... People will control their neighbors, and think nothing of it, but will not control an economy that ruins everyone and feeds off the resources of the future...As a society we pride ourselves on being individually rational, and socially irrational; and it is great to be able to define people as irrational as they clearly are; but justify that irrationality, and plan for it, and exploit it, and advertize to it is unforgivable...

I like much of what Aristotle said, and the questions he asked, and that he tried to answer them... What we see in him is the ability to sit back and do his science when the world about him was tearing, and no one could find any common thread to pull it all beck together...As much as the Greeks add to our discussion of civil society they could not grasp how near to the end they were, and for all their talk of ethics could not define them in such a way as to bind each individual to his community, which is the starting point if we would bind all together in a human community...
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 09:36 am
@Fido,
Fido;115785 wrote:

I said something about looking for virginity, and people were climbing all over me because they thought I was talking about virgins...I know I mis spell, but learn to read folks before you go off half cocked...


Oh, the irony of a member that is telling others to learn to read, when that member is notoriously guilty of not reading what others say.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 10:11 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;115877 wrote:
Oh, the irony of a member that is telling others to learn to read, when that member is notoriously guilty of not reading what others say.

I try to; but often I cannot get passed the predicate, and it is true of political columnists, spell that, that they often put out some weird proposition that if bought defends the article rather than the other way around... You have got to know your audience, and often I do not... When people make such unwarranted and poetical expressions of reality I have to wonder what planet they are on, no fooling... Do you think luck is a lady, or virtue, or truth or justice is a Godess of some sort... If we could get rid of the cant for God's sake there might be little to talk about and less to read...Now; one man who made a point of cant was Johnson, and some one asked him if he had read all the way to the end a certain book from which he was drawing conclusions...He said no; and asked the man what was the last book he had read all the way to the end...

I might spin some people a yarn, but it is better than having to raise the sheep...I'll tell you what I know and think I know upon research...But I will always try to lead with my ace...That is the lesson NIetzsche taught to philosophy: Rant in headlines...He could get people past the first page without falling asleep...But unless you find insanity amusing you can't even follow him to the end...The point is that no one should write without giving people the truth as they see it out of the box, and written clearly...That is communication...If it takes you half way through a book to get the idea and understand the argument being made then the book is a failure...I have a lot of books, and they eat of lot of space, but if I could condense the ideas of those books and their supporting facts I could fit it in a book that would never be possible for want of time...If a book is really good it is truth from end to end, facts where possible, relevent comparison, and smooth prose... Herky jerky prose is like hitting speed bumps with my brain....

Heidegger's Brother who did his typing, told him no more than one idea per sentence... I'd have to leave my bag of apostrophes ta home...
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 10:37 am
@Theaetetus,
Fido;115841 wrote:
If you ask what people want the answers are as various as the people...If you ask what people need from life it is invariably the same, or at least, similar...If you want to change the world, and I do, then the fact that most people, one way or another getting what they need is an impediment...I would like to convince people that the surest way to what they want, are looking for, to use the words of the thread, is to start with every one having what they need... When people can look at those without, and chalk up their wanting as so much fate, or luck, or the blessing of God when these are not considered relevent in any scientific explanation of any sort baffles me... People will control their neighbors, and think nothing of it, but will not control an economy that ruins everyone and feeds off the resources of the future...As a society we pride ourselves on being individually rational, and socially irrational; and it is great to be able to define people as irrational as they clearly are; but justify that irrationality, and plan for it, and exploit it, and advertize to it is unforgivable...

Although I appreciate this response, which I honestly neither want nor need, this still does not address much of anything except exhort yourself. But the point is that you are at least trying and that's what matters. In my time on the forum, I have seen this pattern before many times over. I don't know if it is a want for knowledge, capability, or what-have-you, but in either event, it is still an attempt to get somewhere (which I would hope would be somewhere positive). In fact, one of the first few posts I had on this forum were incidentally with you and this exact method you use. But to be honest, I think you tried a bit harder a long time ago compared to now. Which I think lends to . Improvement does not necessarily have to be positive or negative, but just get you where you want to go. There are some members that I have noticed over the last year jump light years in knowledge, understanding, and philosophical prowess. I think it is those members that deserve true praise for making a conscious effort to improve themselves and the forum they partake in. And there are some members that do not improve in that way, but this does not mean that they are any less deserving of praise. The fact that they are still around and make a conscious effort to understand and think abstractedly and break the bonds of ignorance is more than enough for them to be praised for a good effort.


Fido;115841 wrote:
I like much of what Aristotle said, and the questions he asked, and that he tried to answer them... What we see in him is the ability to sit back and do his science when the world about him was tearing, and no one could find any common thread to pull it all beck together...As much as the Greeks add to our discussion of civil society they could not grasp how near to the end they were, and for all their talk of ethics could not define them in such a way as to bind each individual to his community, which is the starting point if we would bind all together in a human community...

Sadly, what Aristotle really said and what we choose to think he said are completely different. That's why scholars and academicians exist, to counter act this. But you cannot have one without the other I suppose.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 11:05 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
I agree with the idea of looking for improvement in a philosophy forum. Another feature I look for is acceptance. This mostly relates to the idea of accepting the fact that not everyone is going to agree or see things the same way as someone else. Of course, this becomes harder and harder to do when faced with others that cannot get this into their thick skulls.

One feature that relates to this is the problem of holding oneself to lesser standards than others. By expecting precision and conciseness in others while not showing the same expectations for oneself is lazy, inconsiderate, and rude. This is one problem I have seen growing around here, and many discussions are falling victim to some members laziness in their own posts, but expecting more from others. It is probably time that some members realize that most of the members here are not trained in philosophy at all, have no intentions of being concise and professional philosophers, and accept that fact. There are ways to discuss philosophy without nitpicking at minor details that are insignificant, which most members do a good job of demonstrating. It is one thing when someone is in a whole different ball park watching and describing a different game, but it is another thing when they are in the nosebleed seats and have a different perspective caused by the limitations of their view.

Anyway, that is my rant on the growing lack of acceptance in some areas around here, and an explanation of why I am no longer tolerant of certain members. Why should I bother accepting others and their ideas when I know the other person will not do the same in return? Sure, two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes the only solution is to find a way to get someone to just ignore you if they refuse to see the errors of their ways.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 11:35 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;115891 wrote:
I It is probably time that some members realize that most of the members here are not trained in philosophy at all, have no intentions of being concise and professional philosophers, and accept that fact. There are ways to discuss philosophy without nitpicking at minor details that are insignificant, which most members do a good job of demonstrating. It is one thing when someone is in a whole different ball park watching and describing a different game, but it is another thing when they are in the nosebleed seats and have a different perspective caused by the limitations of their view.

Anyway, that is my rant on the growing lack of acceptance in some areas around here, and an explanation of why I am no longer tolerant of certain members. Why should I bother accepting others and their ideas when I know the other person will not do the same in return? Sure, two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes the only solution is to find a way to get someone to just ignore you if they refuse to see the errors of their ways.


Could it be that some ideas ought not to be accepted because they are wrong, and the consequence of ignorance and the inability to argue correctly? Or, are all ideas equally worthy of acceptance? For instance, is the idea that some ideas are worthy of acceptance itself worthy of acceptance?
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 01:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;115897 wrote:
Could it be that some ideas ought not to be accepted because they are wrong, and the consequence of ignorance and the inability to argue correctly? Or, are all ideas equally worthy of acceptance? For instance, is the idea that some ideas are worthy of acceptance itself worthy of acceptance?


If I may add to your excellent post, just because an idea is rejected, that does not necessarily mean that the idea is to be silenced. I certainly have no objection to someone proposing that we believe in Santa Claus, and do not mind if an attempt is made at giving reasons for the belief. Whether or not I choose to engage the person in conversation, of course, will depend upon my mood at the time, but I think that such things should be permitted.

Others, of course, should be permitted to examine the ideas regarding Santa Claus, and set forth counter arguments. Naturally, there will be a tendency for some to call such ideas silly, as, indeed, it would be silly for an adult to believe in Santa Claus, as popularly understood in the U.S. The Santa proponent should not have a problem with others disagreeing; if one does not want to hear any disagreement with one's ideas, one should keep one's ideas to oneself. Once something is stated publicly, it is fair game to question it and pick it apart.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 02:47 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
Sigh. Interesting how the original topic, "things to look for in a philosophy forum" resulted in exhortations, critiques of policies and people, spiels about philosophy, etc. Apparently there are some deep seated feelings on these issues.

Maybe that is also something to look out for in a philosophy forum...threads that manage to stay on topic.

However, I have learned a valuable lesson though, which is that off-topic remarks and what not should either be moved to a separate thread for proper discussion on that particular subject or simply deleted. Sorry BMW for the devolution of your thread.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 04:19 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
When I decided to once again engage in discussing philosophy, I spent some time browsing through several forums that seemed involved in the subject matter. My review was less about content than it was about how I felt about the community as evidenced in the kinds of posts its Members made, and whether I perceived some genuine and general interest in the discussion of philosophical ideas, broadly conceived.

Now I happen to believe that what is very urgently needed in the modern world in which we live are places where ideas can be discussed "philosophically" without people outshouting one another or using the anonymity of internet forums to indulge in personal attacks. There seems to be a parallel between the physical violence and the intellectual violence of our modern age, and both seem destructive of civilisation, which is under attack from many sides.

What struck me about Philforum cannot be summarised neatly, but I will try. First, the community was composed of a broad range of people that seemed seriously interested in important (at least to me) topics and who genuinely desired a place where these could be discussed. Elsewhere, one finds forums filled by graduate students all of whom wish to outshine one another or forums where any kind of opinion parades as thinking or savage personal attacks are permitted. Secondly, even though there are exceptions, most Members discipline themselves (or are by nature and education so inclined) in their relations with one another; civilised discourse---even when a position is fiercely debated--- is one of courtesy and respect, and one in which the dialogue remains at the level of ideas expressed as well as one can. It seems the majority of the community shares this attitude, even if it is a goal that sometimes falls short of realisation in practice.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 06:55 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;115936 wrote:
Sigh. Interesting how the original topic, "things to look for in a philosophy forum" resulted in exhortations, critiques of policies and people, spiels about philosophy, etc. Apparently there are some deep seated feelings on these issues.

Maybe that is also something to look out for in a philosophy forum...threads that manage to stay on topic.

However, I have learned a valuable lesson though, which is that off-topic remarks and what not should either be moved to a separate thread for proper discussion on that particular subject or simply deleted. Sorry BMW for the devolution of your thread.

I'll go back to what to look for in a cookie jar..If you go to a philosophy forum and are not looking for philosophy; then what???Is it all politics, which is another word for personalities???
 
BeatsMeWhy
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 09:40 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;115936 wrote:
Sigh. Interesting how the original topic, "things to look for in a philosophy forum" resulted in exhortations, critiques of policies and people, spiels about philosophy, etc. Apparently there are some deep seated feelings on these issues.

Maybe that is also something to look out for in a philosophy forum...threads that manage to stay on topic.

However, I have learned a valuable lesson though, which is that off-topic remarks and what not should either be moved to a separate thread for proper discussion on that particular subject or simply deleted. Sorry BMW for the devolution of your thread.


I guess that going completely off-topic is sort of an answer, anyway. I really am curious to know whether people find what they expected when they joined or they stay because they find something unexpected that pleases them.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 11:44 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
BMW;116064 wrote:
I guess that going completely off-topic is sort of an answer, anyway. I really am curious to know whether people find what they expected when they joined or they stay because they find something unexpected that pleases them.


Topics, in philosophical discussion, are often like the parable of the blind men and the elephant. It sometimes depend on what part of the elephant you happen to get hold of. For instance, is the issue of what is on-topic, or off-topic, relevant to this thread's topic?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 12:03 pm
@kennethamy,
BMW;116064 wrote:
I really am curious to know whether people find what they expected when they joined or they stay because they find something unexpected that pleases them.


In my own case (perhaps as a recap of sorts), I previously mentioned that what I first look for in a philosophy forum are quality (post#4) and signs of improvement in the forum and its members (pos#22 & 26). Quality is an important factor for me because it sets a standard as to what to expect in terms of the community and the members in particular. Improvement is also an important factor for me because without it, we are just doing the same thing over and over again, which is very rarely challenging unless we have severe gaps in our memory.

Did I find those things once I joined and started taking part in discussions? I think I did, and maybe one assertion I can make is that contributed to those very ideals I had originally looked for. In general, I choose to think that the qualityof the forum persists in a number of ways. The aesthetics, functionality, and structure of the forum (which I still like and still compare to other sites) led to me joining, but I really did not read any of the posts that much beyond the first few pages of the logic forum, the general discussion forum, and a few others in the beginning. As for me, once I started getting into the discussions and experiencing the various types of members, it became apparent that quality is very subjective (again, sorry for the deviation in the thread topic). But my commenting reached a point where I think I had either gotten bored with the same armchair philosophizing and wanted to do something constructive and helpful for fellow members (and myself).

And this is the point where the second part came in, namely improvementstaying because I find something unexpected that pleases me
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 12:53 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
BMW;116064 wrote:
I guess that going completely off-topic is sort of an answer, anyway. I really am curious to know whether people find what they expected when they joined or they stay because they find something unexpected that pleases them.

I have no particular expectation for a philosophy forum except philosophy... I find the mods are like cops everywhere, and want to protect their authority, and some times they just do their best, which is their jobs...The subject is general, and I came in the back door... That is, I loved learning, in about the only way I could learn, through reading long before I realized I was doing philosophy, and reading it...From a certain experience in what has been, and what has been thought, I have little patience with those who ask a question having a predetermined eye for that particular thread to pierce... Some people have trouble thinking out side of the box, and I have trouble thinking inside, mostly because I know, that we have been doing this stuff for a long time, governments, economies, religions, societies philosophies have tried and taken many paths, some more promising than our own... Do not be afraid earthlings, I will not harm your... I can see a lot from my perspective, and it is too bad there are not more back door philosophers, people who put love and knowledge together on their own time, first...
 
 

 
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