two questions from a freshman

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Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 08:37 pm
Why do people seem to always at all costs try to avoid philosophy? Even if I put it simple,short,and relevant to their situation. I always just get a dazed look. Almost like they're waiting for me to shut up when I dont even go in depth at all. Or I get complete defensive banter when I am completely calm.Is it because of the whole self realization hardship thing on there part, Or should I just abstain and keep my observations private? But the human element of this ideology is why I got into it in the first place. Not to study all day for 4 years and then leave it at school cause people cant handle the possibility of a different path.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:21 am
@nastrothomas,
I just graduated a half year ago from Uni. with a philosophy/history degree, and I have to say that four years ago, I would have said the exact same thing.

When you start learning philosophy, it feels as though the truth has been revealed to you, the light is upon the world, and then the subsequent darkness everybody else resides in becomes painfully obvious. You start learning about Descartes, Aristotle, Hume, Camus, etc. and all of these great thinkers and their philosophical notions and bask in their glorious glow. Why cant others see what I see and all that.

But to tell the truth, as time goes on... you get over it. Bigger problems surface. Its not that the world doesn't understand you, its just that you got smarter... and people are resentful of smarter people. Knowledge is power and you have just got a taste of a bigger sandwich. But always remember that there are always bigger fish in the sea. Which is why you have to keep yourself in check because it may alienate those around you as well as risk a slap-down with a rucksack full of hubris. This has happened and will happen again and again to students of philosophy and I am certainly no exception.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:57 am
@nastrothomas,
I have my final semester of philosophy left of my undergraduate BA, and then one semester of ancient Greek for a minor in classics. I can say that I can relate to the idea of going into philosophy and wondering why others see the world differently, and why people do not do what they need to do. I quickly learned that no one really cares. A philosophy degree will help you develop skills that others are severely deficient in, but without developing other skills and interests, no one will care what you do the rest of your life.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 07:08 am
@Theaetetus,
Philosophy can be pursued (but never caught) for its own sake or for its use for life (whether for oneself or for others); often both motives interplay one with another over the course of one's life.

The desire to know and understand differ among humans, and one does what one can. Or what one must. To point out that what seems simple or obvious is often extremely subtle and complex---is this not the burden given to all philosophers by Socrates? And if only a few are encouraged to think by your own example (and not always only by discourse), that seems a step forward.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:32 pm
@jgweed,
Philosophy is just one thing to do in life. Dancing, for example, is another. Each person has their own past, and their own list of things they want to do and learn. For some it is philosophy, but for millions of others it is something else. I try to do lots of things. Some I enjoy, others I don't. But to me they are all equally valid things to do in life.

Rich
 
Earl phil
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:34 pm
@nastrothomas,
Simply to answer, you should observe your audience. In this situation, you should abstain from philosophical comments for your associates do not find it in their interests to contemplate or seriously to take. I myself am a philosophical man -- though philosophy in this context may be misconstrued through its ambiguity on all accounts -- but I don't show it with the majority of my friends who merely wish to drink and to have sex since I can be many other things than philosophical.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:43 pm
@Earl phil,
Earl;67267 wrote:
Simply to answer, you should observe your audience. In this situation, you should abstain from philosophical comments for your associates do not find it in their interests to contemplate or seriously to take. I myself am a philosophical man -- though philosophy in this context may be misconstrued through its ambiguity on all accounts -- but I don't show it with the majority of my friends who merely wish to drink and to have sex since I can be many other things than philosophical.


Yes, philosophy and sex go together very well. You can ask my girlfriend. Smile

I agree. Everyone is in a different space. Mostly, in Chicago, people like to talk about the Cubs and the White Sox - and drink while they are doing it. It's not for me, but there are many other things I like to do. So I do them. I don't think like other people and they don't think about me. It's all OK. Nice thing about the Internet, is that you can find lots of people who do like talking about philosophy, and many other things (mostly sex).

Rich
 
Paggos
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:14 pm
@nastrothomas,
I'm fourteen and i started learning philosophy a few months ago. People really categorize me as a nerd and whatnot, but you have to learn not to make little aspects bother you. Most of humanity in general isn't too "bright" and at a early age i have learnt to grow, and go for my dreams.
 
BrightNoon
 
Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2009 11:39 pm
@Paggos,
When I tell people I'm going to study philosophy in school, they invariably ask me something like "O ok, but what are you going to do exactly?" Rather than an aversion, I think most people simply have no idea what philosophy is. I don't think the word was even mentioned in any of my high school classes. Much to my dismay, we're becoming a society of technicians rather than thinkers.
 
7skullz
 
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 02:21 am
@nastrothomas,
When I told my friends I was starting a philosophy club at my school, They were like, "Lawl, WTF is philosophy?" and suddenly, it clicked, somewhere deep in my brain that the teenage American populace is so... so... Idiotic, stupid, and inept at grasping the true things that make us what we are: our curiosity about our world. All my peers seem to think about is A) sex, B) drugs, C) video games, and D) music, not to mention vanity. I honestly do not understand how STUPID the average American populace is.

-Skullz
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 06:45 pm
@7skullz,
7skullz;69836 wrote:
All my peers seem to think about is A) sex, B) drugs, C) video games


You mean one is supposed to stop thinking about those things? Damn, I've had it wrong this whole time!
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 04:33 am
@nastrothomas,
Let's face it, very people are concerned with whether their beliefs are true or false. They'd rather just keep them. It's a temperamental thing, although it might be different if philosophy were compulsory at school, as it would be in a civilised society. As someone notes above, (and as Heidegger predicted), we are becoming a race of shallow thinkers, trading contemplation for a constant stream of new toys to play with.
 
Mnemosyne phil
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 01:15 am
@nastrothomas,
You know, those sorts of questions would pass though my head from time to time until I met a rather innately insightful religious man.

He expressed to me his reluctance to know philosophy in not so many words. And in our conversation, I came to understand, that, even though philosophy provides us with reasonable truth, reasonable truth is not something that everyone is ready for, is not as important, for others, as some other thing, and/or is found by different means. So, though, uncomfortable as it is to watch others go in directions that you would not choose for yourself (because of your study of philosophy), it is sometimes better to respect their choices. Pushing them may inspire resentment of you (which won't help your cause) and/or may cause them harm (think of pushing someone into the deep end of a pool before they have learned how to swim).

Additionally, sometimes telling someone the answer is not enough, convincing them by argument is not enough. They have to learn by trial and error in order to internalize what can be read or told to them.

I suspect that the best you can do is act in line with what philosophy has taught you and, in this way, others may learn what you know by your example.
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 03:16 am
@Mnemosyne phil,
That's well said. I've reached a similar conclusion.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 10:59 am
@Mnemosyne phil,
Mnemosyne;90095 wrote:

Additionally, sometimes telling someone the answer is not enough, convincing them by argument is not enough. They have to learn by trial and error in order to internalize what can be read or told to them.

I think the way you learn is by challenging someone.
Thanks
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 03:11 pm
@7skullz,
7skullz;69836 wrote:
All my peers seem to think about is A) sex, B) drugs, C) video games, and D) music, not to mention vanity. I honestly do not understand how STUPID the average American populace is.


It's also perfectly reasonable to study philosophy and eventually arrive at the conclusion that pursuing these types of pleasures is natural and will give about as much fulfillment as you can expect out of life. I doubt most of these people you speak of actually did arrive at their lifestyle through real philosophical thought, but you can't necessarily discount their 'philosophical outlook' simply because it conflicts with your own; you don't really know the thought processes that occur in anybody but yourself.

Your assumption that stupidity must cause one to only think about sex, drugs, video games, and music is really a 'causal oversimplification'. Perhaps they are motivated to have a successful life, and they see these things as a way to 'fit in', thereby making lots of friends, becoming popular, and finding a good job or partner.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 07:24 pm
@nastrothomas,
the main reason I interact on this forum is because of the opportunity to exchange views with those who ARE interested in such topics. I rarely 'talk philosophy' with anyone in the 'meat space' (neat term, eh?) because, like you, I get a lot of irritated or bamboozled expressions, so I don't try and force the issue.
 
7skullz
 
Reply Mon 14 Sep, 2009 11:43 pm
@nastrothomas,
Pangloss, you have a very good point there. Although, when I wrote that, I was in a very pessimistic and cynical mood. I'm surprised that I even managed good grammar in that post.

Well, with that said, I just looked into myself and noticed that I am pretty much being a hypocrite, stating that I thought everyone who thought of that was stupid, yet I constantly think of three of the four things I listed. Not the drugs, the other three.

So, I dearly hope to establish a NEW philosophy club at school. I was hoping that in a city like San Francisco I'd get a lot of members but I guess not.
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 03:54 am
@nastrothomas,
Did Socrates not p**s everyone off until they put him to death?

You start thinking for yourself and people resent you--they don't know how to do it. You can see the look on the face...all frustrated...regurgitating last Tuesday's TV dinner.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 11:14 am
@rhinogrey,
Isn't it nice that we can congregate here and commiserate with one another about how stupid everyone else is, and congratulate one another on how wise we are?

Let us now bask in the glory of our vast array of emoticons and smilies that we can use when unable to fully express our meaning with mere words.

We are the ones who "get it."

Let us rejoice.
 
 

 
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