Philosophy, I love you.

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Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 07:05 pm
Why? I am not sure.

Do you know why you love philosophy?
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 07:19 pm
@de Silentio,
Because philosophy loves you.

(It may also hate you, but lets all focus on the love)
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 07:21 pm
@de Silentio,
I think philosophy has a sort of religious function. It lifts us up. "I lost terror in inquisition."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 08:18 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio;162613 wrote:
Why? I am not sure.

Do you know why you love philosophy?


But I don't love philosophy at all. However, I do like philosophizing very much. It is not the thing. It is the activity.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 09:46 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio;162613 wrote:
Why? I am not sure.

Do you know why you love philosophy?

I never love anything that can't love me back... I pursue knowledge because I hate my ignorance, and I read philosophy as love and knowedge or knowledge of love... Love is an essential part of philosophy...It is not at all pure abstraction, but is bent on self improvement and the moral improvement of all mankind...It is an act of love, and not a focus of love...No matter what evidence humanity presents to suggest it is beyond rehabilitation, that evidence is at once discounted by true philosophers, out of a justified optimism because we show ourselves that we can be reclaimed and improved with knowledge, that even people who do not know how to be naturally moral can learn to act in a moral fashion, and learn moral sense...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 09:57 pm
@Fido,
Fido;162687 wrote:
..It is an act of love, and not a focus of love...No matter what evidence humanity presents to suggest it is beyond rehabilitation, that evidence is at once discounted by true philosophers, out of a justified optimism because we show ourselves that we can be reclaimed and improved with knowledge, that even people who do not know how to be naturally moral can learn to act in a moral fashion, and learn moral sense...

Well said. Perhaps what we really love, when we love philosophy, is the Ideal Human. Or Human Potential.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 04:50 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;162693 wrote:
Well said. Perhaps what we really love, when we love philosophy, is the Ideal Human. Or Human Potential.

How about natural humanity, that in its natural state is happy and moral???...

No one is inclined to accept poverty when they know there is something better; but unlike power that corrupts those it touches, wealth in a society corrupts all, those with it, and those without, and gnaws relentlessly at the moral bonds that bind all to all in a gentile community...Primitives found it much easier to deal with poverty shared, than with unequal wealth because in democracy they possessed the highest social technology which gave them the greatest defense from enemies and the greatest justice within; but unequal wealth turns Cain against Able, and destroys democracy ... No democracy has a defense against a problem it cannot anticipate, and no one living in poverty sees plenty as a problem...

There is nothing in our potential that is likely to recreate the successful and enduring forms of the past...That was a shell that once cracked has hatched greatness, and empire, and civilization, and war, and then again, destruction...As unequal wealth has destroyed other societies it is destroying ours, and the problem is not that we do not have enough of things, technology, and the necessities of life; for most do...The problem is that for some there will never be enough, and they reject all social control and moral restraints to have more...And they will destroy humanity and all of nature to have better...

We cannot make men moral in mind without being first moral in heart, emotionally connected to them, having some love for them... Wealth is the original apple of discord...We cannot change human kind without love, and without love will not even try; but the change we should desire already has a home in most hearts, and people know what is right and moral, and what leads to their happiness if they can only live within their means, taking each only enough, and demanding the same from all...We all have the seeds of love, and virtue and morality inside of us, and these need to be nurtured; and those forces which make animals of mankind- as universal threat and poverty did not -need to be satisfied with a harnass, and chained to the rock of progress, so that where it wanders it will advance society...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:32 am
@de Silentio,
de Silentio;162613 wrote:
Why? I am not sure.

Do you know why you love philosophy?


I imagine that people have different things in mind when they say they love philosophy. After all. philosophy is not the name of some object like a horse. Some people just mean they enjoy reading philosophy, or more likely, some philosophers, or even writers they imagine are philosophers. Others may just mean they like contemplating general and abstract issues. And we should not discount the possibilities that some do not know what they mean by it; nor that some may not mean anything much by it.

As for me, what I mean is a particular kind of activity which is philosophizing. The sort of thing that Socrates, or Descartes, or G.E. Moore (yes, G.E. Moore) did. But not especially discussion of how X's and Y's (philosophers, or allegedly philosophers) beliefs are, or are not connected. (Is Heidegger's concept of bluefish, related to Nietzsche's concept of flounder?). That kind of thing is, at best, intellectual history. Not philosophy. And can be pretty stultifying and pointless. Especially when it displaces (in the psychological sense of that term) philosophy. And neither is the history of philosophy, philosophy. Although, of course, the best of the historians of philosophy manage to, and have to, philosophize.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:55 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162883 wrote:
I imagine that people have different things in mind when they say they love philosophy. After all. philosophy is not the name of some object like a horse. Some people just mean they enjoy reading philosophy, or more likely, some philosophers, or even writers they imagine are philosophers. Others may just mean they like contemplating general and abstract issues. And we should not discount the possibilities that some do not know what they mean by it; nor that some may not mean anything much by it.

As for me, what I mean is a particular kind of activity which is philosophizing. The sort of thing that Socrates, or Descartes, or G.E. Moore (yes, G.E. Moore) did. But not especially discussion of how X's and Y's (philosophers, or allegedly philosophers) beliefs are, or are not connected. (Is Heidegger's concept of bluefish, related to Nietzsche's concept of flounder?). That kind of thing is, at best, intellectual history. Not philosophy. And can be pretty stultifying and pointless. Especially when it displaces (in the psychological sense of that term) philosophy. And neither is the history of philosophy, philosophy. Although, of course, the best of the historians of philosophy manage to, and have to, philosophize.

Kenn... I for one appreciate your opinion, and would fight a rubber band war for your right to express it; but you are wrong... First; everyone has a philosophy and even if that is a small f philosophy it shows the logic of all people in choosing some guiding ideal...

Second, all pursuits of the mind, physics, morality, and more specifically all of the soft sciences, history especially, are philosophy... No one learns except as an act of love, and even those who learn for power or for wealth show some love of self, or family... We may wish to define the art to exclude, but are ouselves excluded, self excluded, from what is a most general and common activity...I do not even exclude theology, because it could not be without reason and knowledge, though I would exclude religion purely because it rejects reason and all but received knowledge, testimony...

If you reject one source of knowledge as not philosophy and accept another then what you are saying is that you know in advance of your needs what you will find necessary... I say: learn everything... It is because I know that I can learn... I can pick up the most harmless seeming book and learn great things that would not make the slightest impression on others who do not know what I know, and it happens all the time with me that from the most obscure sources great bits of knowledge are gleaned...There is no useless knowledge but only knowledge that in the end remains unused...

Think of all the people in this country who do not know how to check the oil, or where to add it if they did know, or how to change a tire, or replace their muffler bearing... Such people for want of knowledge are dependent upon others who are menials in one sense and their masters in another...A boy scout would tell you to be prepared... An Iroquois might tell you to never go on the war path without a plan... In any event, no one can score the quality of their knowledge until after the fact, and it is better to have too much from too many sources than too little from a limited supply...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:03 am
@Fido,
Fido;162890 wrote:
Kenn... I for one appreciate your opinion, and would fight a rubber band war for your right to express it; but you are wrong... First; everyone has a philosophy and even if that is a small f philosophy it shows the logic of all people in choosing some guiding ideal...

Second, all pursuits of the mind, physics, morality, and more specifically all of the soft sciences, history especially, are philosophy... No one learns except as an act of love, and even those who learn for power or for wealth show some love of self, or family... We may wish to define the art to exclude, but are ouselves excluded, self excluded, from what is a most general and common activity...I do not even exclude theology, because it could not be without reason and knowledge, though I would exclude religion purely because it rejects reason and all but received knowledge, testimony...


So, how am I wrong? What do you think I said that you think is wrong, or that what you just wrote is inconsistent with?
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:27 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162893 wrote:
So, how am I wrong? What do you think I said that you think is wrong, or that what you just wrote is inconsistent with?

When you claim philosophy as a particular sort of activity when it is the genus having many species... It is general, and always has been... It took a long time for history to be recognized as a branch of philosophy, for example, but no study or writing of history would be possible except for a certain philosophical understanding: that people can only correct their behavior in the light of past mistakes... And this fact reveals that people are rational if not driven by reason, and out of reason can avoid much suffering, so again, it is an act of love to learn and to teach... As history is and does...

Nor can one reject off hand the understanding and comparison of concepts and forms because each step of that process represents a certain maturation of human thought... How we conceive of the world has everything to do with how we manage the most insignificant details of our lives... A correct conceptulization of reality is essential to both philosophy and happiness...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:41 am
@Fido,
Fido;162906 wrote:
When you claim philosophy as a particular sort of activity when it is the genus having many species... .


I didn't say "particular sort" but I did say, "activity", and what I had in mind was the activity of philosophizing, or "doing philosophy". You may be right about every man has a little corner of his heart where he stores some general beliefs about the world and his place in it (although I tend to doubt it). And, sure, since this is a free country, by all means call this a "personal philosophy" or anything you like. But, I think I mentioned that I was especially thinking, when I talked about philosophy, about philosophizing. The kind of activity engaged in by Socrates, and by G.E. Moore, and even occasionally by some posters on this board. It is that kind of thing I mean by "philosophy". Not history of philosophy; not intellectual history; and not even those general beliefs you say everyone has. The first two are activities, but not philosophizing. What you talk about is not even an activity. Just a set of beliefs that you want to say are philosophical beliefs.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 09:18 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162910 wrote:
I didn't say "particular sort" but I did say, "activity", and what I had in mind was the activity of philosophizing, or "doing philosophy". You may be right about every man has a little corner of his heart where he stores some general beliefs about the world and his place in it (although I tend to doubt it). And, sure, since this is a free country, by all means call this a "personal philosophy" or anything you like. But, I think I mentioned that I was especially thinking, when I talked about philosophy, about philosophizing. The kind of activity engaged in by Socrates, and by G.E. Moore, and even occasionally by some posters on this board. It is that kind of thing I mean by "philosophy". Not history of philosophy; not intellectual history; and not even those general beliefs you say everyone has. The first two are activities, but not philosophizing. What you talk about is not even an activity. Just a set of beliefs that you want to say are philosophical beliefs.

Don't you rate your own knowledge too highly to say that it is more than a "set of beliefs"... We might say we know far more about Greek society than Socrates, except for the fact that he lived there and then; but he was willing to die for a set of beliefs that did not at all reflect accuratly our knowledge of humanity and human behavior...

Think of all the mistaken sets of beliefs about this very country of ours for which people have given their lives or laid their lives on the line, if you consider that freedom is an abstraction to a philosopher, and a reality even the common man must have some concept of -as essential to happiness, and to welbeing... Do you think people fight and die because some General orders it, or that they work all their lives in demeaning employments without philosophy to hold their focus on some ultimate prize??? Surely, I have been there, and I talk still with such people, old people, men, and women; and I recognize that it is not by accident that they are good and moral amid immoraltiy and every vice...People think, though it is often through a haze of faulty conceptions, but they reach a moral conclusion none the less...

Philosophizing, as Socrates so amply argues is not so much this public conversation, but is the working out of life's course with that inner Daemon or what ever was Socrates word for it... All the parts of self, of the psyche as Freud and others has conceived it, all we know, all our experiences and fears, our loves and virtues, is where philosophy takes place because when we can resolve all differences, and are united in our own minds with all we know and are, not setting snares before our own feet, not revealing or having any fatal flaws, then we are fit to teach and preach...

Most people are not there, but they have their philosophy expressed as a moral being... They live moral lives because they know how, because they have given it some thought, and have accepted morality as the price of society...In the working out of life's contradictions all knowledge is essential, and no knowledge of any sort can be rejected as Not Philosophy when philosophy is generic and embraces all knowledge...

Think of all the great slaughters of human kind in war, or famine, or plague or genocide, and some one would conclude that since life went on those people and their lives were inessential... We can never say what is lost to human knowledge or understanding with even the loss of a single life, and yet we weep not for millions... That is our lives, our knowedge, our human story forever confused and scrambled... And you reject the knowledge of the lowly...I think the lowly have more to teach about how to survive indignity that all the high and mighty of formal philosophy...And certainly, if formal philosophy had the answers, some of that would certainly have added meaning to so many demeand lives...We talk philosophy, or read it or teach it; but they live it and must have it to survive... To whom has it the greater value???
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:12 pm
@Fido,
Fido;162949 wrote:
Don't you rate your own knowledge too highly to say that it is more than a "set of beliefs"


I think that any definition of knowledge is more than a mere "set of beliefs".

Quote:
We might say we know far more about Greek society than Socrates, except for the fact that he lived there and then


What I know and what Socrates knew of Greek society are different types of knowledge. That of propositional knowledge and aquintance knowledge, respectively.

But I'm picking nits.
 
Diogenes phil
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:18 pm
@de Silentio,
When kids at my school talk about philosophy, I always think to myself, "that's only the tip of the iceberg."

They're in for a real surprise when I give my formal thesis presentation.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:09 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio;163160 wrote:
I think that any definition of knowledge is more than a mere "set of beliefs".



What I know and what Socrates knew of Greek society are different types of knowledge. That of propositional knowledge and aquintance knowledge, respectively.

But I'm picking nits.

I do not think you can divide knowledge... I think as a form it is a morpheme... If it is true it is knowledge no matter what its source or type as you suggest... If we know it we can do with it, even if that is only to draw further conclusions... If it is false or uncertain it is not knowledge at all... But the rub is that all knowledge is based upon belief at some point... The essential knowledge of our own existences upon which is predicated all other existence is denied to us...We cannot begin to prove every detail we say we know -that we have on faith... All we have, of the Greeks or any other long dead society is what we are told... The advantage we have is that primitive societies universally shared some attributes, so what we cannot know as fact of Greek society we can reasonably presume based upon other ancient societies.. From Socrates discussions about Homer, it is clear he did not understand the basis of his own democracy, when, surrounded by barbarian nations, he should have...
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 02:36 am
@de Silentio,
Philosophy doesn't allow you to say that!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 06:15 am
@Fido,
Fido;162949 wrote:
Don't you rate your own knowledge too highly to say that it is more than a "set of beliefs"... We might say we know far more about Greek society than Socrates, except for the fact that he lived there and then; but he was willing to die for a set of beliefs that did not at all reflect accuratly our knowledge of humanity and human behavior...



All knowing is believing, although, of course, not mere believing. The fact that Socrates lived in ancient Athens and I did not, might (although it need not be) one good reason for concluding he knew more about Greek society than I do. But it is certainly not a decisive reason, as you seem to think it is.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 08:47 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163365 wrote:
All knowing is believing, although, of course, not mere believing. The fact that Socrates lived in ancient Athens and I did not, might (although it need not be) one good reason for concluding he knew more about Greek society than I do. But it is certainly not a decisive reason, as you seem to think it is.

What Socrates clearly lacked was perspective, if you accept Plato's Socrates... And this seems strange since the Greeks as a whole seemed curious about surrounding nations... But, then to miss the importance of relationships as shown in the Illiad and Odyssey between men of honor, and to not grasp the justice of their own Demos is strange... Socrates through Plato clearly suffered a class tunnel vision, since he saw only as he wished to see...Plato, near to primitive peoples, barbarians in time and space should have been in as good a place as we are from which to understand the behavior of primitive peoples generally out of which sprang their representative democracy... And the fact that he could not -says much about him, especially that class prejudice blinded him... We know something of many primitive societies and of their social forms, and this sheds light on all others since people of a similar technology have similar social forms, inevitably...
 
 

 
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