What do you exactly call philosophy?

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Paracelsus
 
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 11:55 pm
@kennethamy,
A tool, depending upon your methodology and purpose for inquiry. Otherwise its a part of a machine for exercising the mind.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 01:09 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
BMW;26989 wrote:
I started a thread more or less like this one some time ago.

What is the argument you obtain normally when you ask someone why isn't he or she (*) interested in philosophy? In my case, I've been answered most times that it is useless.

Would any kind of philosophy be of any use to someone who is completely satisfied about his way of living?

I guess philosophy (not history of philosophy) is sort of patrimony of the unsatisfied.

So I'll asume most people here thinks there must be something else/better... No matter wether he is religious or atheist or agnostic or...

What are you looking for?

And, why are you looking for it? Do you think there is some universal reason to take interest in philosophy (**)? Do you think mankind will evolve towards a philosophical way of understanding?

(*) I'll stick to the he from now on, I find this political correction tiresome and I assure you I don't intend to offend anybody. Being myself a "she", I guess it's ok.

(**) I mean: Is there any kind of pattern in the events that lead someone to take interest in philosophy?


An interest in philosophical questions, seems to me the best and most accurate answer. I recall when a child suddenly thinking about what I now know is called, the inverted spectrum problem. Is it not possible that when I see green, you see red, but that we agree on what we call the private sensations we actually see? And we could never know, since we cannot look into the other person's mind, to detect what he is "actually" seeing? I thought I had actually invented the problem (and so did my friends) until I discovered I had not. What led me to become interested in that problem, and other the other very general and abstract problems we call "philosophical problems" I do not know.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Sun 27 Sep, 2009 10:28 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
[CENTER]Philosophy as The Science of Love, as Comprehension, and as Salvation[/CENTER]

Even though etymologically the word "philosophy" is derived from the Greek words "philo" (love") and "sophia" ("knowledge"), thus rendering its meaning as "love of knowledge," over the centuries various definitions have been given by philosophers to characterize their activity.

The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset notes in various works that the original name and its literal meaning are "unexpressive", "ridiculous", "tawdry", "vague", and "insufficient, archaic, dangerous"; and once, in jest, he referred to it as "lover of Sophie."

In contrast, in his first book, Meditations on Quixote (1914), Ortega defines "philosophy" as "the science of love", as "comprehension" and as "salvation". Let us listen to these passages from the beginning of this work:

"We are looking [in these "Meditations"] for the following: given a fact -a man, a book, a painting, a landscape, an error, a pain- to carry it by the shortest path to the plenitude of its meaning. To place all in order matters which life, in its perennial undertow, hurls at our feet like useless remains of a shipwreck, in such a posture that the sun gives them innumerable reverberations. There is within every thing the indication of a possible plenitude. An open and noble heart will feel the ambition of perfecting it, of helping it, so that it reaches that plenitude. This is love -the love of the perfection of the loved one."

And later:

"[L]ove links us to things, even when it is in passing. Let the reader ask himself, what new character comes to a thing when one gives it the quality of belovedness? What is it that we feel when we love a woman, when we love science, when we love our country? And before any other notice we find this one: That which we say we love presents itself as indispensable. Indispensable! That is to say, that we cannot live without it, that we cannot admit a life where we would exist and not the loved one. As a consequence, there is in love an amplification of individuality that absorbs other things within it, that binds them to us. Such linkage and co-penetration makes us profoundly internalize ourselves in the properties of the loved one. We see it whole, it reveals itself in all its value. Therefore we notice that the loved one is, in turn, part of another thing, that it needs it, that it is linked to it. Indispensable for the loved one, it becomes also indispensable for us. In this way love links one thing to another and everything to us, in a firm essential structure. Love is the divine architect who came to earth -according to Plato- ὥστε τὸ πᾶν αὐτὸ αύτῷ ξυνδεδέσθαι [Symposium, 202, e], 'such that everything in the universe lives in connection'."

And now, about philosophy:

"In this sense I consider that philosophy is the general science of love; within the intellectual sphere it represents the major impetus towards an omnimodal connection. Such that a shade of difference is made patent in it between comprehending and mere knowing. We know so many things that we do not comprehend! All the knowledge of facts is, rigorously, uncomprehending, and can only justify itself by entering in the service of a theory."

Thus a student, and even a professional, like the professors of philosophy, can "know" Ortega's famous formula (which also first appears in this work): "I am I and my circumstance, and if I do not save it, I do not save myself." But it is another thing to comprehend it in all its ramifications!

Much has been said in criticism of philosophy because of its focus on ideas about reality instead of how it actually appears. "We must save the appearances!" But let us read these other lines by Ortega from the same work about what he means by "save" and philosophy as "salvation":

"It is frequent in the paintings of Rembrandt that a humble white or grey canvas, a hand utensil, finds itself enveloped in a luminous and irradiant atmosphere, which other painters render only around the heads of the saints. And it is as if it is said to us in delicate admonition: Blessed be things! Love them, love them! Each thing is a sprite that reclothes in misery and vulgarity its interior treasures, and it is a virgin that has to be loved in order to become fecund. The "salvation" is not equivalent to the laudation or the dithyramb; there can be in it strong censures. The important thing is that the topic is placed in immediate relation to the elemental currents of the spirit, with the classical motives of human preoccupation. Once it is woven together with them it remains transfigured, transubstantiated, saved."

In summary, according to Ortega philosophy can be defined as "the science of love," in the sense that it discovers the connections between the realities that appear in our circumstance; as "comprehension," in the sense that it provides more understanding about those realities; and as "salvation," in the sense that it enables us to "save" them, and us as well, by placing them "in immediate relation to the elemental currents of the spirit, with the classical motives of human preoccupation."

[Note: All passages from the Meditations on Quixote were translated from the Spanish by longknowldge.]
 
NoOne phil
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 04:43 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
What I call philosophy? I try to follow Plato, I try pick up and develope what he tried to start. A philosopher has a craft, that craft is called dialectic. What is dialectic as Plato described it? The human mind attains to human will through language. We attain to virtue through language. We can then use language as psycho-therapy. Not different from a computer, the proper use of language, and one can do fantasitic things with a computer. There are principles of language that one must know, principles that have yet to be developed in history, but which Plato was demonstrating. The foundation is an identity, predication is the inverse function of abstraction.

A Philosopher in Plato's terms, would be called a psycho-theripist today. He was the first to envision psychtherapy based on the function of mind in relation to language.

I study and try to develop and promote this, as to what philosophy is, wisdom is right thinking, a philosopher, a true one has a craft--dialectic.

For me, then, neither I, nor anyone else I have ever met, and certainly most of what are called philosophers, are not.

A philosopher, then, is something I hope to become and promote.

And I am not doing that bad, I have solved the Delian Problem-it took a bit over ten years to do, I then knew why it was given, and seen Plato's mistake in that regard. I have solved for the impossible name of the Beast, in the Scripture, among other things--this one is not that hard. The answer is given at least 4 times in the text. So many things echo a very primitive concept in ways men just do not, and cannot imagine. Both problems actually have the same foundation.

Also, I started of young with the idea that if God existed, whatever it was can be found just like any other thing. I went about my buisness of inquiry. I was exploring, before it was rediscovered, Lucid Dreaming. Well to make it short, I would be dead at least 30 years ago without what men call divine intervention. At that time I was only given a choice, shown that I had just made a fatal mistake. I was confused as to what was happening, in disbelief, but I took the advice, during what appeared to me to be the stopping of time. I learned it was true very quickly. Had I not made the right choice, I would have been killed almost instantly. I then became very angry when I learned that my worthless ass was saved while others die horribly. Not a saintly response, but the only one I am capable of.
j.c.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2009 07:12 am
@BeatsMeWhy,
Basically, a way of thinking, a way of looking at the world, that makes sense to the person thinking. Of course, there are certain constraints--like the need for rationality and tolerance (civility) but that's the jist of it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 11:11 am
@Paracelsus,
Paracelsus;75242 wrote:
A tool, depending upon your methodology and purpose for inquiry. Otherwise its a part of a machine for exercising the mind.


Why shouldn't it be a discipline to answer philosophical questions, just as physics is a discipline designed to answer physical questions. Why need it have a purpose other than that?
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 01:02 pm
@kennethamy,
Philosophy is a discipline. For the differences between physics as a discipline and philosophy as a discipline see "What is Philosophy?" by Jose Ortega y Gasset, especially Chapters 2 and 3. Available here: Amazon.com: What Is Philosophy? (9780393001266): Jose Ortega y Gasset: Books

Brief Review:

"What is Philosophy" presents a timeless question for philosophers intensely without intimidating the uninitiated. Ortega Y Gasset writes beautifully and clearly, touching on both Heidegger and Nietzsche as well as a host of prominent European thinkers en route to a clearer understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophizing. Newer students of philosophy should find this a wonderful supplement to the standard repertoire of a philosophy department. -- Anonymous Review
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:16 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;94454 wrote:
Philosophy is a discipline. For the differences between physics as a discipline and philosophy as a discipline see "What is Philosophy?" by Jose Ortega y Gasset, especially Chapters 2 and 3. Available here: Amazon.com: What Is Philosophy? (9780393001266): Jose Ortega y Gasset: Books

Review


Isn't the difference that physics deals with physical issues, and philosophy with philosophical issues? There is, no doubt, a difference between physical issues, and philosophical issues, but that is another matter.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 06:48 pm
@kennethamy,
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 11:38 pm
@Rose phil,
Quote:
Does some of what we speak of actually go beyond philosophy?


Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher, claims to have dicovered a new way of thinking that he claimed went "beyond" philosophy. He called it "Historical Reason. You can find it explained in three of his works: "History as a System" Amazon.com: History as a System (9780393001228): Jose Ortega y Gasset: Books; "Man and Crisis" Amazon.com: Man and Crisis (9780393001211): Jose Ortega y Gasset: Books; and "Historical Reason" Amazon.com: Historical Reason (9780393302875): Jose Ortega y Gasset: Books.

Se also "Theory of History in Ortega y Gasset: 'The Dawn of Historical Reason'," by John T. Graham Amazon.com: Theory of History in Ortega Y Gasset: "The Dawn of Historical Reason" (9780826210845): John T. Graham: Books.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 12:43 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;94689 wrote:


Of course metaphysics is not physics. Physics is a discipline that concerns itself with the world. Metaphysics (and philosophy in general) has no laboratories, and conducts no experiments or studies. So it could not be a discipline about how the world is. Philosophy consists in the analysis and understanding of our key concepts of thought and language (truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.) in terms of which we think and talk about the world. It is a conceptual discipline. But it is not, I think, a branch of history, either.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 04:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;94722 wrote:
Of course metaphysics is not physics. Physics is a discipline that concerns itself with the world. Metaphysics (and philosophy in general) has no laboratories, and conducts no experiments or studies. So it could not be a discipline about how the world is. Philosophy consists in the analysis and understanding of our key concepts of thought and language (truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.) in terms of which we think and talk about the world. It is a conceptual discipline. But it is not, I think, a branch of history, either.


On the contrary, metaphysics is "a discpline about how the world is." It all depends on how you define "world". The "world" includes not only "physical" phenomena, but also "social," "mental," and "spiritual" phenomena. Each set of phenomena has one or more "disciplines" or methods of studying it. For insatance "physical phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Ecology, etc. Social phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, etc. Mental phenomena can be studied by the discipline of Psychology, and spiritual phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Parapsychology and Theology. All these phenomena are part of my "world" and I can choose to study any part or all parts of it by following any of these disciplines.

Metaphysics is the study of the totality of the "world" or "all there is." But it is only one branch of Philosophy. There is also Aesthetics, Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic. In addition, there is the "philosophy" of all the disciplines mentioned above. (See the listing of the various Forums on this website.)

Regarding the statement that Philosophy is "a conceptual discipline," this is true of all "disciplines." In physics, in addition to experiments there is the "conceptual" part that includes the hypotheses that are formulatred and tested by the experiments, and the "laws" that result from confirming the hypotheses by the experiments. Newton's Laws are just as "conceptual" as the wildest speculations of metaphysics.

History is the study of what was in the past. This includes not only the history of the various phenomena (physical, social, mental, spiritual, etc.) that occurred in the past, but also the history of the various "disciplines" that we have developed to study them (Physics, Chemistry, etc.). Thus you can have History of Physics, etc., and History of Metaphysics, etc. [In fact, there should be a Forum on "History of Philosophy," I think I'll recommend it to the Philosophy Forums moderator.]

As to your statement that: "Philosophy consists in the analysis and understanding of our key concepts of thought and language (truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.) in terms of which we think and talk about the world," you left out the word "reality," which is another name for "all that is." And the analysis and understanding of the key concept of "reality," or "all that isAmazon.com: Some Lessons in Metaphysics (9780393005141): Jose Ortega y Gasset, Mildred Adams: Books
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 2 Oct, 2009 06:23 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;94817 wrote:
On the contrary, metaphysics is "a discpline about how the world is." It all depends on how you define "world". The "world" includes not only "physical" phenomena, but also "social," "mental," and "spiritual" phenomena. Each set of phenomena has one or more "disciplines" or methods of studying it. For insatance "physical phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Ecology, etc. Social phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, etc. Mental phenomena can be studied by the discipline of Psychology, and spiritual phenomena can be studied by the disciplines of Parapsychology and Theology. All these phenomena are part of my "world" and I can choose to study any part or all parts of it by following any of these disciplines.

Metaphysics is the study of the totality of the "world" or "all there is." But it is only one branch of Philosophy. There is also Aesthetics, Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic. In addition, there is the "philosophy" of all the disciplines mentioned above. (See the listing of the various Forums on this website.)

Regarding the statement that Philosophy is "a conceptual discipline," this is true of all "disciplines." In physics, in addition to experiments there is the "conceptual" part that includes the hypotheses that are formulatred and tested by the experiments, and the "laws" that result from confirming the hypotheses by the experiments. Newton's Laws are just as "conceptual" as the wildest speculations of metaphysics.

History is the study of what was in the past. This includes not only the history of the various phenomena (physical, social, mental, spiritual, etc.) that occurred in the past, but also the history of the various "disciplines" that we have developed to study them (Physics, Chemistry, etc.). Thus you can have History of Physics, etc., and History of Metaphysics, etc. [In fact, there should be a Forum on "History of Philosophy," I think I'll recommend it to the Philosophy Forums moderator.]

As to your statement that: "Philosophy consists in the analysis and understanding of our key concepts of thought and language (truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.) in terms of which we think and talk about the world," you left out the word "reality," which is another name for "all that is." And the analysis and understanding of the key concept of "reality," or "all that isAmazon.com: Some Lessons in Metaphysics (9780393005141): Jose Ortega y Gasset, Mildred Adams: Books



Physics uses the concepts of causation, confirmation, falsification, theory, etc. in order to talk about the world. Philosophy talks about, and analyzes, the concepts of causation, confirmation, falsification, theory, etc.. Physics is talk about the world. Philosophy is talk about talk.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 12:02 pm
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Physics uses the concepts of causation, confirmation, falsification, theory, etc. in order to talk about the world. Philosophy talks about, and analyzes, the concepts of causation, confirmation, falsification, theory, etc.. Physics is talk about the world. Philosophy is talk about talk.


Physics is talk about physical phenomena. Metaphysics is talk about "reality" or "the world," incuding "talk about physical phenomena." "Reality" or "the world" includes not only physical phenomena, but also "physics" or "talk about physical phenomena," which is a social phenomenon done by physicists. Physicists also do experiments, which are not "talk". Experiments are also part of "reality" or "the world." "Philosophy of Physics" includes not only talk about talk about physical phenomena but also talk about about experimental method. Other branches of philosophy are talk about the other things you mentioned in your first posting above "(truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.)," e. g., Epistemology, Ethics, etc., as well as talk about the talk and methods of the other individual disciplines, e.g., Philosophy of Sociology, Philosophy of Art, etc.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 3 Oct, 2009 04:33 pm
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;94912 wrote:
Physics is talk about physical phenomena. Metaphysics is talk about "reality" or "the world," incuding "talk about physical phenomena." "Reality" or "the world" includes not only physical phenomena, but also "physics" or "talk about physical phenomena," which is a social phenomenon done by physicists. Physicists also do experiments, which are not "talk". Experiments are also part of "reality" or "the world." "Philosophy of Physics" includes not only talk about talk about physical phenomena but also talk about about experimental method. Other branches of philosophy are talk about the other things you mentioned in your first posting above "(truth, knowledge, understanding, right and wrong, etc.)," e. g., Epistemology, Ethics, etc., as well as talk about the talk and methods of the other individual disciplines, e.g., Philosophy of Sociology, Philosophy of Art, etc.



But isn't at least a part of the world physical phenomena (and if materialism is right, all the world is physical phenomena)? So isn't at least part of reality physical phenomena. And, so, according to you, physics and metaphysics talk (at least in part) about the same thing. Now that would put metaphysics and physics into competition. Which talk about reality is correct? (When I say "talk" I just mean "discourse". The experiments of physics have to be put into discourse before they can be understood or communicated). It does not seem to me that physics and metaphysics are in competition. If they are, then, of course, philosophy is going to lose, since it is unarmed. It does not experiments. It has no equipment. So, we had better give philosophy something else to do then do the same thing as physics. Otherwise, there will be a lot of unemployed philosophers. (Even more than now).
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 06:39 am
@kennethamy,
See my new thread, Physical Events, Physics and Metaphysics, here.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 07:30 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;95994 wrote:
See my new thread, Physical Events, Physics and Metaphysics, here.


Yes, and see my reply.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 06:47 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
Meta-philosophy is still philosophy, I think. But it depends (as always) on how one defines one's terms.
I agree that philosophy concerns itself with conceptualizing the Totality, and that this Totality includes the philosopher himself.
I conceive of philosophy as a body of metaphor and cannot help but note that meta-philosophy is also a body of metaphor.
Philosophy buries its gravediggers, said So-and-so.
 
PappasNick
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 07:19 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;105699 wrote:
Meta-philosophy is still philosophy, I think. But it depends (as always) on how one defines one's terms.
I agree that philosophy concerns itself with conceptualizing the Totality, and that this Totality includes the philosopher himself.
I conceive of philosophy as a body of metaphor and cannot help but note that meta-philosophy is also a body of metaphor.
Philosophy buries its gravediggers, said So-and-so.


Meta-philosophy can be philosophy if it is driven by love of wisdom and a desire to replace opinion with knowledge. Systems concerning philosophy built simply out of ambition do not involve sufficient amounts of either. If there exist, however, opinions derivative of such systems concerning the scope and place of philosophy, these are the proper objects of true meta-philosophy, which is, in this case, one and the same with philosophy. In other words, meta-philosophy is philosophy in the same sense in which political philosophy is philosophy.
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 08:54 pm
@BeatsMeWhy,
The application of reason to the problems of life and existence.
What used to be called "natural philosophy" is now called "science".
 
 

 
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