Formal Education & Philosophy

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PappasNick
 
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 06:20 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;152510 wrote:
Sure. A person gets to like Doubt so much that he forgets to doubt Doubt. A person can romanticize themselves as beyond illusions until this itself becomes the most ironic illusion imaginable.

"I don't fall for anything, except for this crazy idea that I don't fall for anything."

"I doubt everything, except for notion that I doubt everything."

"All is vanity! The world is meaningless....except for the thrill I get as the hero who endures such meaningless valiantly. "

I don't think there's an escape from the hero-myth or the "spiritual" instinct. Even the suicide is making a value of death.

I speak from my own angsty youth, and all the twisted self-consciousness I wrestled with. To drop God, and to open one's mind to the possibility that we are just noisy sh*t-tossing, dying apes..this seemed like more of an accomplishment at the time. (One gets used to mortality without afterlife, and realizes how common it is to live w/ such a notion comfortably. But the young are full of unrealized desire. We all hate dead babies. Let the plant grow before it rots. And the young are their own concerned mothers? Mothers of their own potential? Sensed but not expressed?)

As status seeking animals, we are motivated to negate whatever makes claims on us. A young man doesn't want to believe in his mental inferiority to older more developed men, or I didn't. Easier to pretend that the truth is simple. That the truth is that there is no truth. That all so-called truth is old man's vanity. Or flaky mumbo-jumbo. And much of it is, perhaps, but certainly (for me) not all of it. (I'm between young and old?) Therefore the allure of reductive philosophies, that present it all as vanity, as confusion, as mysticism. We can pretend all the smiling older people are either shallow or lying to themselves. This puts us on the cross for the crime (read heroic virtue) of being nobody's fool, except we are our own fools. But maybe this sort of angst and negation is necessary? Lucifer means light-bringer. It's hard for me to click with those without a certain instinctual self-regard/confidence. And yet the young man of this type is always an a-hole. Nietzsche, despite or because of his faults ("errors are the portals of discovery") was a genius on this issue. He questions the will to Truth. Truth is another religion, another God to suffer for. Better perhaps, for awhile, to cross out Truth and write in Self. And perhaps from here the Self can expand to include the rest. I ramble. Forgive.Smile


I can't quite say how I came to this in reading and re-reading your post, but somehow the phrase 'leap of faith' comes to mind. Must the radical doubter, the caustic one, make such a leap in order to mature (for lack of a better word)? Or is that precisely what the problem was in the first place, that he made such a leap, or leaps?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 06:20 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;152517 wrote:
A person can also romanticize themselves as beyond romanticism. Introducing.... the one and only..... Mr. Common Sense. And Mr. Common Sense has his politics all worked out. And Mr. Common Sense has commonsensical friends. And it's all quite obvious and quite common and yet somehow still heroic, or at least worth repeating repeating repeating (an anti-mantra?). After all, they sign their names at the bottom of papers, and this signature takes its value from yet another signature. And thus a chain of signatures became Most High. And the chatter in their air-conditioned offices was lovely. In the end, yet another self-loving hierarchical power play. Another gang of Those In The Know. Just like my own gang of negative One. Except I like Coke and others like Pepsi. Let's all join hands & burn the undocumented wise-as.


But, what are you talking about? Any arguments? I suppose not. Just flowery language bursting with innuendo and insinuation. Like a catty female.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 07:23 pm
@PappasNick,
PappasNick;152527 wrote:
I can't quite say how I came to this in reading and re-reading your post, but somehow the phrase 'leap of faith' comes to mind. Must the radical doubter, the caustic one, make such a leap in order to mature (for lack of a better word)? Or is that precisely what the problem was in the first place, that he made such a leap, or leaps?


In my opinion, yes. Passionate errors are the portals of discovery. Assuming one survives them. "The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
"The crooked roads without improvement are the roads of genius."

It seems to me that there is no avoiding axioms. Who lives without implicit axioms? It doesn't seem possible. Why doubt radically unless one has faith in radical doubt? And is not action/discourse the manifestation of faith?

To engage in conversation is to manifest a faith in the possibility of being understood, and a faith that the other is like one's self enough to make sense of these transcribed noises. (I studied phonetics once. To make an S, we hiss like a snake. It's white noise. And a Z is just a buzzed white noise.) We are utterly immersed in implicit faith. But some don't like the word faith to be used this way. Faith, they might say, is unjustified belief. And I suppose, for them, this belief is justified. And to call another's faith unjustified is to manifest a faith (justified? by who? for who?) in one's authority on such a matter.

Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 07:51 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;152498 wrote:
All of this is great. I would only like to add a mention of processing.. A person can memorize facts for a test, or paraphrase the general interpretation, but this is nothing in itself. It's raw material for the true ingestion/assimilation. If a body of such facts and phrases remains stagnant in someone's mind, what is this but dogma? Ultimately I view philosophy as something dynamic. A living proud man's thought on ultimate matters, enriched by the thoughts of other such men. Honoring but not idolating one's influences.

I also agree that a social person should indeed be the result, and this is something it took me time to learn, as philosophy was once for me akin to a radical self-liberation...a sort of caustic to use on superstition. Of course the danger is the taking of this caustic as an idol...

It is not in ultimate matters where we fail, and where humanity fails, but in immediate matters... We cannot get a single day right...But what does formal teaching on the failures of philosophy add to our potential for dealing with the moment???
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 11:57 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;152510 wrote:


I speak from my own angsty youth, and all the twisted self-consciousness I wrestled with. To drop God, and to open one's mind to the possibility that we are just noisy sh*t-tossing, dying apes..this seemed like more of an accomplishment at the time. (One gets used to mortality without afterlife, and realizes how common it is to live w/ such a notion comfortably. But the young are full of unrealized desire. We all hate dead babies. Let the plant grow before it rots. And the young are their own concerned mothers? Mothers of their own potential? Sensed but not expressed?)

As status seeking animals, we are motivated to negate whatever makes claims on us. A young man doesn't want to believe in his mental inferiority to older more developed men, or I didn't. Easier to pretend that the truth is simple. That the truth is that there is no truth. That all so-called truth is old man's vanity. Or flaky mumbo-jumbo. And much of it is, perhaps, but certainly (for me) not all of it. (I'm between young and old?) Therefore the allure of reductive philosophies, that present it all as vanity, as confusion, as mysticism. We can pretend all the smiling older people are either shallow or lying to themselves. This puts us on the cross for the crime (read heroic virtue) of being nobody's fool, except we are our own fools. But maybe this sort of angst and negation is necessary? Lucifer means light-bringer. It's hard for me to click with those without a certain instinctual self-regard/confidence. And yet the young man of this type is always an a-hole. Nietzsche, despite or because of his faults ("errors are the portals of discovery") was a genius on this issue. He questions the will to Truth. Truth is another religion, another God to suffer for. Better perhaps, for awhile, to cross out Truth and write in Self. And perhaps from here the Self can expand to include the rest. I ramble. Forgive.Smile




This sounds a lot like a very recent me. Thank you for posting it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 01:33 am
@Fido,
Fido;152576 wrote:
It is not in ultimate matters where we fail, and where humanity fails, but in immediate matters... We cannot get a single day right...But what does formal teaching on the failures of philosophy add to our potential for dealing with the moment???


Yes, we must never forget "the fierce urgency of now". After all, isn't that what what Kant and Plato concentrated on? They never cared about dealing with the perennial issues.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 04:51 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152672 wrote:
Yes, we must never forget "the fierce urgency of now". After all, isn't that what what Kant and Plato concentrated on? They never cared about dealing with the perennial issues.

If you consider that humanity does not change and that what we change are our forms, then to see humanity in perspective is to get a sense of the now -repeated endlessly- showing up our choices as life saving or disasterous... We do not need to look at the cosmos, or all of existence; and we do need to look at the life of mankind...
 
William
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 06:47 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152445 wrote:


[QUOTING WILLIAM] If you will think about it what is a professor? A person who says the same thing over and over and over again. It impossible, or virtually so, for him to rid his mind of that and he has credentials for that too. If one is teaching philosophy it is by rote only. If he thinks philosophically is another matter. For one to philosophize is to naturally ask questions. How many have been successful at questioning what a professor thinks? Ha! I contacted Norman Swartz in an e-mail once rather anonymously and expressed my views on a particular subject. He did return my email rather curtly. Because I not of "his" peer group and failed to introduce my self or my "credentials" he demanded I not contact him again. Ha! [END William's quote]

kennethamy;152445 wrote:
It depends on what the professor is doing. If he is teaching an elementary class, and if he has certain material to cover, then he often tells one class much the same as the next. What else should he do, do you think? Not cover the material they are supposed to learn about?On the other hand, if he is teaching an advanced class, there is a lot more flexibility in what he decides to cover, and how he covers it. You seem to speak from ignorance. I am giving you information.


Yes and thank you and I apologize for that; being naive that is. To call anyone ignorant is rude in any context so if you don't mind please don't assume the two terms are one and the same; and thanks for that too. If I can offer you some helpful information, it would have been perhaps more appropriate to say; "it seems you might be a bit naive in what you are expressing here". That, I am sure would have been more pleasantly received; at least be me.

kennethamy;152445 wrote:
It would be interesting to hear what you said when your contacted Swartz. He is quite a nice person, and, for instance, has been in touch with Emil several time, and it was all rather pleasant and informative. I have been in touch with him to correct something he wrote in his book. He replied very politely, and, in fact wrote that I was correct, and that he would change what he wrote in the next edition of the book if there was one.


You have "no idea" of how much you have helped me here. I am sure you are correct and he is probably a nice guy to you and Emil.

What I sent him is my thread on TRUTH. Yes, I was a bit naive at that point in that I was curious as to how others would respond to such thoughts. I sent it to the Vatican (no response), the Tri-Lateral Commission (no response), The White House, (no response) Dawkin's (no response), ha! I have been doing the same thing here except it has taken me close 1500 posts to say the same thing, ha! It's difficult for me to shake anything that comes to my mind. I do have tenacity.

It did not surprise me the "no responses" I didn't get; I was just hoping to get a positive one among the lot. I have gotten many from less significant ones and they were positive. The only negative one was from this esteemed, as it were, professor. Had he said nothing, I would have had more respect for him. You know the old saying, "if you can say something nice, don't say anything at all". So I thought all the others who didn't were being nice to me; he, on the other hand, decided to be rude. I know there are many of intellect that have tremendous egos, I guess I was just trying to poke a hole through it is all, ha! I found out then just how thick those egos are and just how difficult my task would be to communicate those thoughts.

kennethamy;152445 wrote:
So your experience is a lot different from that of Emil and me. So naturally I wonder what you might have written that deserved such a negative response.


Now you have it. Will you offer a positive response to what I sent him or will you be rude too? May I suggest if you can't be positive or offer what you think courteously that is contrary to those thoughts, please do as the others did and do not respond at all. Thanks ahead of time for that.:a-ok:

William
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 06:55 am
@William,
William;152721 wrote:
kennethamy;152445 wrote:


[QUOTING WILLIAM] If you will think about it what is a professor? A person who says the same thing over and over and over again. It impossible, or virtually so, for him to rid his mind of that and he has credentials for that too. If one is teaching philosophy it is by rote only. If he thinks philosophically is another matter. For one to philosophize is to naturally ask questions. How many have been successful at questioning what a professor thinks? Ha! I contacted Norman Swartz in an e-mail once rather anonymously and expressed my views on a particular subject. He did return my email rather curtly. Because I not of "his" peer group and failed to introduce my self or my "credentials" he demanded I not contact him again. Ha! [END William's quote]



Yes and thank you and I apologize for that; being naive that is. To call anyone ignorant is rude in any context so if you don't mind please don't assume the two terms are one and the same; and thanks for that too. If I can offer you some helpful information, it would have been perhaps more appropriate to say; "it seems you might be a bit naive in what you are expressing here". That, I am sure would have been more pleasantly received; at least be me.



You have "no idea" of how much you have helped me here. I am sure you are correct and he is probably a nice guy to you and Emil.

What I sent him is my thread on TRUTH. Yes, I was a bit naive at that point in that I was curious as to how others would respond to such thoughts. I sent it to the Vatican (no response), the Tri-Lateral Commission (no response), The White House, (no response) Dawkin's (no response), ha! I have been doing the same thing here except it has taken me close 1500 posts to say the same thing, ha! It's difficult for me to shake anything that comes to my mind. I do have tenacity.

It did not surprise me the "no responses" I didn't get; I was just hoping to get a positive one among the lot. I have gotten many from less significant ones and they were positive. The only negative one was from this esteemed, as it were, professor. Had he said nothing, I would have had more respect for him. You know the old saying, "if you can say something nice, don't say anything at all". So I thought all the others who didn't were being nice to me; he, on the other hand, decided to be rude. I know there are many of intellect that have tremendous egos, I guess I was just trying to poke a hole through it is all, ha! I found out then just how thick those egos are and just how difficult my task would be to communicate those thoughts.



Now you have it. Will you offer a positive response to what I sent him or will you be rude too? May I suggest if you can't be positive or offer what you think courteously that is contrary to those thoughts, please do as the others did and do not respond at all. Thanks ahead of time for that.:a-ok:

William


You sent him your thread on truth? I think that he was very nice to have replied. I would not have done so. I did not even reply to your thread. What you wrote is incoherent. And I don't mean to be rude, just honest.
 
fast
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 07:24 am
@Reconstructo,
[QUOTE=Theaetetus;151232]I have grown to the point that I despise academic philosophy.[/QUOTE]That's not growth. That's your display of a poor attitude. Perhaps you would do well to consider a more positive perspective and find it in yourself to be more uplifting. Of course, you may not receive as many thanks from fellow posters, but then again, you won't be needlessly helping to reinforce the dismal attitudes of others.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 07:32 am
@Reconstructo,
Ya, T...The future is bright... All you need is a welding lens to look at it...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:17 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;151232 wrote:

Philosophy can teach many great things to an acquiring mind, but a career as a philosopher is not one of them.


Well, if your interest is in acquiring, then you really ought to go to business school. Philosophy is for the inquiring mind, not the acquiring mind.

I suppose that academic philosophy has become more difficult. Because of analytic philosophy, the standards have gotten much higher. It is not enough now to use words so loosely as before, and you are expected to express more than your feelings, and seek vague "connections" among philosophers; connections which may not be there, but you feel are there. And, you may even be expected to present a reasoned argument for your view. In other words, philosophy is finally being treated as a discipline which has professional standards. Well standards are rising in many places. Even basket-weaving classes are becoming harder. Perhaps you never expected such a thing to happen. I understand that.

Now Benedict Spinoza understood about standards. The final sentence in his great Ethics is:

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare, for if they were not difficult, they could be accomplished by anyone.

And notice, this sentence contains an argument.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:35 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152755 wrote:
Well, if your interest is in acquiring, then you really ought to go to business school. Philosophy is for the inquiring mind, not the acquiring mind.

I suppose that academic philosophy has become more difficult. Because of analytic philosophy, the standards have gotten much higher. It is not enough now to use words so loosely as before, and you are expected to express more than your feelings, and seek vague "connections" among philosophers; connections which may not be there, but you feel are there. And, you may even be expected to present a reasoned argument for your view. In other words, philosophy is finally being treated as a discipline which has professional standards. Perhaps you never expected such a thing to happen. I understand that.


Of morals insight is more essential and impossible to find than analytics, and granted, we have more tools than ever before to discover the meaning of mankind... Philosophy has always been physics, and there are some want to make a hard study of man; but I think it is nonsense, and dangerous too...People only need to know so they can do, and what is known of human behavior has been used to do humanity... Ad men, and politians, and priests know a lot about human behavior and needs and they play upon them to the injury of mankind... Is this the goal of philosophy; to learn mankind so that knowledge can be used for mankind's manipulation???The educated, the powerful, the wealthy and the privilaged look at us all as so many fish in a barrel they can take at will, almost as a foreign species...And what Napoleon charged those who studied ideas as being: ideologues; he was far beyond, because talkers talk about ideas, but men of action pick them up and use them to use humanity in the worst possible fashion...

Formal education teaches first the form...Once that is learned it is a small matter to expand that to the whole of society which may be seen as constituted by many mutually supporting forms...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:43 am
@Fido,
Fido;152759 wrote:
Of morals insight is more essential and impossible to find than analytics, and granted, we have more tools than ever before to discover the meaning of mankind... Philosophy has always been physics, and there are some want to make a hard study of man; but I think it is nonsense, and dangerous too...People only need to know so they can do, and what is known of human behavior has been used to do humanity... Ad men, and politians, and priests know a lot about human behavior and needs and they play upon them to the injury of mankind... Is this the goal of philosophy; to learn mankind so that knowledge can be used for mankind's manipulation???The educated, the powerful, the wealthy and the privilaged look at us all as so many fish in a barrel they can take at will, almost as a foreign species...And what Napoleon charged those who studied ideas as being: ideologues; he was far beyond, because talkers talk about ideas, but men of action pick them up and use them to use humanity in the worst possible fashion...

Formal education teaches first the form...Once that is learned it is a small matter to expand that to the whole of society which may be seen as constituted by many mutually supporting forms...


I read until you wrote that philosophy has always been physics, and then, of course, I stopped reading.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:54 am
@kennethamy,
Kennethamy was responding to someone else:
kennethamy;152725 wrote:


You sent him your thread on truth? I think that he was very nice to have replied. I would not have done so. I did not even reply to your thread. What you wrote is incoherent. And I don't mean to be rude, just honest.



Whatever you might mean or intend, sometimes just about the rudest one can be is to be honest. Politeness has more to do with appearances and feelings than to do with factual accuracy. And that, in part, explains why even Miss Manners says that sometimes other considerations are more important than manners. She does, however, regard it as appropriate to be mannerly insofar as other considerations allow.

In the context of a philosophy forum, there should be greater regard for the truth than for manners, though not everyone here feels that way. Some want philosophy in name only, not in fact. Some want all ideas to be regarded equally, even though some ideas are clearly foolish, worthy only of the insane.

To the original request, of course some professor is unlikely to reply to a request from a stranger to read a lengthy thread, and is much more likely to respond to a short and focussed email. Professors have finite time, like everyone else, and are not going to generally be willing to read lengthy things at the request of some random unknown person. Indeed, not just professors, but people generally are this way. Who among you would, if your email address is publicly available online, would respond to every request from strangers that you read something lengthy online, by reading it over very carefully, and responding in detail to the points discussed there? Are you willing to give up vast amounts of your time to such things, from everyone who asks that of you? If so, I challenge you to leave your email address in response to this, and we can test your claim (to which I suggest everyone else reading this make such a request of the person [which, if you don't want to give out your email address, you may PM the person], and report back about the sort of response you get). Otherwise, do not have unreasonable expectations of what others are going to be willing to do, when you yourself would not be willing to do it.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:56 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152763 wrote:
I read until you wrote that philosophy has always been physics, and then, of course, I stopped reading.


It has been ethics and theology too... So what??? Now it mostly concerns itself with morals/ethics using ontology and epistimology...To apply physical methods to morals is to make both meaningless..
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 09:00 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152755 wrote:
Well, if your interest is in acquiring, then you really ought to go to business school. Philosophy is for the inquiring mind, not the acquiring mind.

I suppose that academic philosophy has become more difficult. Because of analytic philosophy, the standards have gotten much higher. It is not enough now to use words so loosely as before, and you are expected to express more than your feelings, and seek vague "connections" among philosophers; connections which may not be there, but you feel are there. And, you may even be expected to present a reasoned argument for your view. In other words, philosophy is finally being treated as a discipline which has professional standards. Well standards are rising in many places. Even basket-weaving classes are becoming harder. Perhaps you never expected such a thing to happen. I understand that.

Now Benedict Spinoza understood about standards. The final sentence in his great Ethics is:

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare, for if they were not difficult, they could be accomplished by anyone.

And notice, this sentence contains an argument.



It is funny how everyone wants something for nothing, and curiously often expect to get this in philosophy. But the simple fact is, most people are not up for the rigors of learning about such things, and instead end up with a sophomoric view of philosophy instead of completing the task of study. It is as if one wanted to be a concert pianist, but was unwilling to spend the necessary time with a piano to become one.
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 09:06 am
@Reconstructo,
Doesn't that just boil down to having your cake and eating it as well? Has formal education really gotten more difficult across the board? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 09:41 am
@bmcreider,
bmcreider;152777 wrote:
Doesn't that just boil down to having your cake and eating it as well? Has formal education really gotten more difficult across the board? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.


I know philosophy has become more exacting in the last century because of the efforts and example of philosophers like Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein, and those who followed them. What used to pass as philosophical thinking doesn't cut it any longer. And this has come as a shock to some. Whether this has happened all across the board is, I suppose controversial. It may not have because of the baleful and nefarious influence of postmodernists like Derrida, Lancan, and Rorty. They have weakened the social sciences and literature. So you may be right. But, in general, academic philosophy in the English-speaking countries have withstood the postmodernists. Thank goodness. I don't know, though, how postmodernism has affected basket-weaving.
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 09:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;152787 wrote:
I don't know, though, how postmodernism has affected basket-weaving.


Neither do I Wink. I still wonder, though, is it more beneficial to society, the individual, or both, to have formal classroom teaching for philosophy?

Most anybody who would participate in those classes would do so in the same manner, or very similar, to all others. Lecture, notes, test, etc...with 25 or 55 or 105 other people with differing ideas you may or may not hear.

Science, math, history, anything else that can be quantified more easily is up for another debate, but I think I will withhold judgment about philosophy. It seems to me that philosophical learning, and definitely application, has to be driven from deep inside. Classroom settings, for me, have always been teacher driven, teacher controlled environments - that would seem to clash with the internal drive I mentioned, at least in some way.

But I could be full of it Wink.
 
 

 
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