the iconoclastic spirit of philosophy

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » the iconoclastic spirit of philosophy

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Deckard
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:50 am
Bacon wrote of four types of idols:

(quoting from Manly P. Hall's explanations which can be found here in more detail 4 idols)

Quote:
Idols of the Tribe are deceptive beliefs inherent in the mind of man, and therefore belonging to the whole of the human race
Idols of the Cave are those which arise within the mind of the individual
Idols of the Marketplace are errors arising from the false significance bestowed upon words
Idols of the Theater are those which are due to sophistry and false learning


Bacon's project to overthrow these idols is just one instance of what I will call the iconoclastic spirit of philosophy. The destruction of false idols, the tearing away of the veils. Both Eastern and Western philosophy have their own versions of abandoning or destroying false idols. I suppose the point of all this is to get down to the Truth.

Is iconoclasm the driving spirit of philosophy? This renders philosophy as primarily a destructive force. Is there a creative force within philosophy to counter the destructive one?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 03:00 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;137129 wrote:


Is iconoclasm the driving spirit of philosophy? This renders philosophy as primarily a destructive force. Is there a creative force within philosophy to counter the destructive one?


In my op, yes. This would be "it" overcoming its self-alienation, becoming conscious that it had been mistaking itself for essences imposed "accidentally," by it itself. (I don't want to say "mind" or "matter" or "we" or "spirit." The contigent as veil. Plato in spirit. Also the 1rst commandment. make no idols.

It seems to me that negation is the tool with which we added to our essences. We carve the accidental from a situation to see its structure. We see the equation at its center. Negation is a condensing sort of synthesis? It seeems to me that if one negated pseudo-limits, then negation would simlultaneously be opening and positive. TLP.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 03:36 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;137129 wrote:
This renders philosophy as primarily a destructive force.
I dont know that this is true. If a person walks with their eyes closed, they tend to stray off the road, opening their eyes allows them to correct this. Bacon's project might be one of keeping to the road.
 
Lost1 phil
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 08:18 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;137129 wrote:
Bacon wrote of four types of idols:


Is iconoclasm the driving spirit of philosophy? This renders philosophy as primarily a destructive force. Is there a creative force within philosophy to counter the destructive one?


You've asked is iconoclasm the driving spirit of philosophy, then made a statement as if the answer has to be yes, "this renders philosophy as primarily a destructive force." Then you ask if there is a creative force within philosophy to counter the destructive one...

Makes for difficulty in answering...No iconoclams is not the driving spirit of philosophy, striving for understanding (call it wisdom, knowledge whatever bottomline is man's desire to understand)...so, no philosophy is not a primarily destructive force nor a creative one. When philosophy destroys so old way of thinking a new way of thinking is created, but the driving force is still seeking understanding.

It takes a special person to be able to let go of past beliefs which gave them comfort and replace it with uncomfortable new beliefs which feel closer to the hoped for perception of that which is real.

Lost1
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 09:07 am
@Lost1 phil,
Lost1;137171 wrote:


Makes for difficulty in answering...No iconoclams is not the driving spirit of philosophy, striving for understanding (call it wisdom, knowledge whatever bottomline is man's desire to understand)...so, no philosophy is not a primarily destructive force nor a creative one. When philosophy destroys so old way of thinking a new way of thinking is created, but the driving force is still seeking understanding.



Lost1


Philosophy creates understanding, destroying ignorance.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 09:54 am
@Deckard,
It was Sokrates, defining what philosophy is by his own life, who was both a gadfly and a midwife. Granted philosophy is a "disturber of the peace" but in its questioning isn't it provoking thinking and thus one of the most positive influences in civilisation?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:23 am
@Deckard,
I shall always have the satisfaction to have aimed sincerely at truth and usefulness, though in one of the meanest ways. The commonwealth of learning is not at this time without master-builders, whose mighty designs, in advancing the sciences, will leave lasting monuments to the admiration of posterity: but every one must not hope to be a Boyle or a Sydenham; and in an age that produces such masters as the great Huygenius and the incomparable Mr. Newton, with some others of that strain, it is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish that lies in the way to knowledge;-which certainly had been very much more advanced in the world, if the endeavours of ingenious and industrious men had not been much cumbered with the learned but frivolous use of uncouth, affected, or unintelligible terms, introduced into the sciences, and there made an art of, to that degree that Philosophy, which is nothing but the true knowledge of things, was thought unfit or incapable to be brought into well-bred company and polite conversation. Vague and insignificant forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard and misapplied words, with little or no meaning, have, by prescription, such a right to be mistaken for deep learning and height of speculation, that it will not be easy to persuade either those who speak or those who hear them, that they are but the covers of ignorance, and hindrance of true knowledge. To break in upon the sanctuary of vanity and ignorance will be, I suppose, some service to human understanding; though so few are apt to think they deceive or are deceived in the use of words; or that the language of the sect they are of has any faults in it which ought to be examined or corrected, that I hope I shall be pardoned if I have in the Third Book dwelt long on this subject, and endeavoured to make it so plain, that neither the inveterateness of the mischief, nor the prevalency of the fashion, shall be any excuse for those who will not take care about the meaning of their own words, and will not suffer the significancy of their expressions to be inquired into.

John Locke An Epistle to his Readers (Essay on Understanding)

The philosopher as a useful under laborer, Clearing away the rubbish.


What we are destroying is nothing but houses of cards and we are clearing up the ground of language on which they stood.

Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:29 am
@kennethamy,
Where was that soul I thought I had? ... Oh dear, somebody has gone and cleared it away with the rubbish. You can't get the staff these days.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:38 am
@Deckard,
Yea, you've got it backwards. Yes this philosophy advocates the 'destruction' of false idols. But that's a far cry from meaning that all philosophy is about destruction. If I fix something, and in so doing 'destroy' the malfunction, can you then say I'm all bout destroying?

Nah - This, by the way, is one of the few well construction Baconisms I've really enjoyed.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 10:50 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;137214 wrote:
Where was that soul I thought I had? ... Oh dear, somebody has gone and cleared it away with the rubbish. You can't get the staff these days.


Well, maybe it was rubbish, but you thought it was your soul.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 03:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;137213 wrote:

The philosopher as a useful under laborer, Clearing away the rubbish.

philosopher as janitor.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 04:12 pm
@Deckard,
The janitor is a parasite on the creator, existing by mere negation. Here's some Blake.

Quote:

Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific. the other, the Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so, he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole.
But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights.
Some will say, Is not God alone the Prolific? I answer, God only Acts & Is, in existing beings or Men.
These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be enemies; whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.
 
Lost1 phil
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 04:50 pm
@kennethamy,
mister kitten;137188 wrote:
Philosophy creates understanding, destroying ignorance.


Philosophy has never been singular...you might think your choosen philosophy creates understanding for yourself...that same philosophy may philosophy might create confusion and misunderstanding for someone else.

Lost1
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 05:39 pm
@Lost1 phil,
Lost1;137310 wrote:
Philosophy has never been singular...you might think your choosen philosophy creates understanding for yourself...that same philosophy may philosophy might create confusion and misunderstanding for someone else.

Lost1


Philosophy creates circles!
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 11:51 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;137299 wrote:
The janitor is a parasite on the creator, existing by mere negation. Here's some Blake.

Oh that seems a bit harsh. To be a janitor is a noble profession. However, I do not think that only janitors are worthy of the title: philosopher. Who cares about that title anymore. Perhaps we need a more inclusive term. Bring back "sophist" maybe without the derogatory connotations. Drop the "philo" - the "lover" of wisdom always seemed kind of cheesy anyway. Call me a sophist.
Quote:
"There's only two types of people in the world. the ones that entertain and the ones that observe." - Britney Spears
There are plenty of creative parasites out there. Plenty of Prolific devourers. It is very rare to find the pure form of either. Perhaps a few are born to sweet delight and a few are born to endless night but the vast majority of us know both darkness and light. At the risk of destroying existence I'm disagreeing with Blake and Britney.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 02:17 am
@Deckard,
well, we all entertain and we all observe, and perhaps the most entertaining are the most observant. as far as blake, i'm biased toward the creative type. i'm a pragmatist in real life, that same as most.

"sophistry" is a good term. it's not so whipped. i have no interest in censorship, so let the garbage-men sniff out the trash. it's not by bag, but the world is wide. of course all creation is a narrowing down, so to that degree it is my bag.

still, i don't want to be the guy who can only quote & never invent a sentence.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 07:21 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;137299 wrote:
The janitor is a parasite on the creator, existing by mere negation. ...



A "parasite"? Do you have any idea what would happen without janitors or people performing janitorial actions? In a very short order, every public space would be filled with filth, and diseases would spread rapidly throughout the population. Civilization would come to an end.

Metaphorically, that is what happens to the mind without "janitors for the mind".
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 07:38 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;137298 wrote:
philosopher as janitor.



You can't build anything if there is a lot of rubbish in the way. The philosopher need not be just a janitor, but although being a janitor is not as exalted as building fairy castles, it is a lot more useful. Locke is, I think, mistaken in thinking that there are but two alternatives, clearing away the rubbish to make way for the master-builders (the great scientists) or adding to the rubbish. There is a third alternative, clarification and understanding. But Locke's main point is that philosophers should not add to the rubbish, and do the rubbish removal. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. It is more useful to remove the graffiti than to write the graffiti.

My aim is: to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense. (464)

Wittgenstein

---------- Post added 03-08-2010 at 09:08 AM ----------

Pyrrho;137481 wrote:
A "parasite"? Do you have any idea what would happen without janitors or people performing janitorial actions? In a very short order, every public space would be filled with filth, and diseases would spread rapidly throughout the population. Civilization would come to an end.

Metaphorically, that is what happens to the mind without "janitors for the mind".


In fact, a little janitorial work on this forum might be an improvement. Janitors, unite!
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 08:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;137487 wrote:
You can't build anything if there is a lot of rubbish in the way. The philosopher need not be just a janitor, but although being a janitor is not as exalted as building fairy castles, it is a lot more useful. Locke is, I think, mistaken in thinking that there are but two alternatives, clearing away the rubbish to make way for the master-builders (the great scientists) or adding to the rubbish. There is a third alternative, clarification and understanding. But Locke's main point is that philosophers should not add to the rubbish, and do the rubbish removal. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. It is more useful to remove the graffiti than to write the graffiti.


Indeed. But many people prefer to create rubbish, and imagine that is a more exalted action than being a janitor. They are simply wrong.

To make the analogy have a more appropriate feel, one can compare the creation of crap in defecation to cleaning something. Being able to crap is nothing profound and nothing to brag about, and we don't need more of it. This sharply contrasts with the usefulness of janitors and those who clean up such waste.

Of course, creating crap in defecation is still creation, and many fools are seduced into supposing that it must therefore be better to create mental crap than to clean it up.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 08:40 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;137487 wrote:
Janitors, unite!

To make that image slightly less horrifying, will you dance like the chimneysweeps in Mary Poppins?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » the iconoclastic spirit of philosophy
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 10/07/2022 at 09:35:33