Can a bad person be a philosopher?

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Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:55 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Yes, I think that was what I was saying. Heidegger was an evil person, quite apart from his moral philosophy.


Isn't a part of what makes a person evil, their moral philosophy?

When I say Bob is evil, I am not just arbitrarily saying this. It is based on my perception of his morality and actions towards others; it is most likely reasoned based upon what standards, and philosophy, I think this person has and follows.

Is it always true that one's philosophy is seperable from one's character, the character that a moral judgment, like X is evil, would be based upon?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 12:05 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;102803 wrote:
Isn't a part of what makes a person evil, their moral philosophy?

When I say Bob is evil, I am not just arbitrarily saying this. It is based on my perception of his morality and actions towards others; it is most likely reasoned based upon what standards, and philosophy, I think this person has and follows.

Is it always true that one's philosophy is seperable from one's character, the character that a moral judgment, like X is evil, would be based upon?


I was using "moral philosophy" in a more theoretical sense. Of course, in the sense of a person's moral beliefs, you are right.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 04:42 pm
@kennethamy,
Why not consider whether one must do evil to be evil, or do good to be good... As it is, words are cheap, and thoughts are cheaper still; and no one beats Plato for malignacy, or Nietzsche for contagion... What ever Heidegger said or did does not hold a candle to those two, or I would have already heard of it...We might consider that only those who appear good can have much influence, and only those who appear greatly good can have a great influence so that only those who seem good can ever do much damage because they are not just wrong when wrong, but they take a lot of people with them.. Bad people have little influence and do little damage... Our prayer should be: Save us from good people...

---------- Post added 11-10-2009 at 05:54 PM ----------

Zetherin;102803 wrote:
Isn't a part of what makes a person evil, their moral philosophy?

When I say Bob is evil, I am not just arbitrarily saying this. It is based on my perception of his morality and actions towards others; it is most likely reasoned based upon what standards, and philosophy, I think this person has and follows.

Is it always true that one's philosophy is seperable from one's character, the character that a moral judgment, like X is evil, would be based upon?

It is not moral philosophy that makes people evil, but immoral philosophy; and of course, this is a linking of opposites to make a point... There is no moral philosophy for the same reason that there is no wet water... All philosophy as we have come to know it, as opposed to physics, is moral philosophy...If all philosophy is moral then there can be no immoral philosophy, so it is not necessary to designate philosophy as being "moral"...... If it were immoral it would not be the love of knowledge, but the hatred of people, and there is another name for that...It is not out of knowledge, or the love of knowledge, or thought -that people do wrong; but out of the want of these emotions or actions...
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 07:19 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;102594 wrote:
In his book, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy, the author, Emmanuel Faye argues that Martin Heidegger was not a philosopher, and that his works should not be classified under "philosophy" because they were entirely based on National Socialism. Faye argues that Heidegger's work should be classified under "hate speech".

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/books/09philosophy.html?_r=1&ref=arts

I think this view is just wrong. Heidegger was certainly a bad man, and (IMO) he was a bad philosopher. But (again in my opinion) just as a bad man need not be a bad plumber, so a bad man need not be a bad philosopher. Being a bad philosopher is being bad at philosophizing, and being a bad person is being bad at being a person (in this view I am taking from Aristotle) Both are "jobs", but being bad at the one job has nothing to do with being bad at the other "job". "Bad philosopher" carries no ethical meaning, but "bad person" certainly does.


I should not repost on this; but I will say that I think the Germans have some method of seeing trees and missing forest... I am 3/4 German and the rest Irish so I don't ever have to apolagize about being drunk... I could have talked my self blue about the Justice of Government and it would not have put the smallest of dents in my grandmother's mind...There was only the law, the law, the law... And perhaps that is reflected is the French word for law and the German word for law being the same as right... What is right should be law, but some people see what is law as what is right; and it is not always so... I know Heidegger from his writing on Kant; and Kant tried to reconstruct a morality out of doomed metaphysics, and I think, failed... I think it possible since his intent was to write a book on Nietzsche that he was a fan...If this is so, then perhaps he bought into the larger picture, and the historical sense of Nietzsche which I take as being completely wrong...

Anyone have a list of his writings... Maybe I'll google...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 07:57 pm
@Fido,
Fido;102880 wrote:
What ever Heidegger said or did does not hold a candle to those two
Neither Plato nor Nietzsche was party to the Nuremberg Laws. Heidegger by denouncing and firing Jews from the University of Freiberg, on the other hand, was party to the Nuremberg Laws. Some of the Jews he denounced were sent to death camps.

(actually his actions preceded the Nuremberg laws -- that was the vehemence of his antisemitism)

Neither Plato nor Nietzsche imposed racial policies on a student body and eliminated any administrative recourse by proclaiming himself quasi fuehrer of the university and placing his appointment under the administration of the Nazi Party.
Heidegger did.

Neither Plato nor Nietzsche was a wormy supplicant to a dictator. Guess who was?

Here is a good reference. What comparable "evil" was accomplished with the direct complicity of Plato or Nietzsche?

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/relstud/faculty/sheehan/pdf/88-nazi.PDF

Fido;102880 wrote:
or I would have already heard of it...
are you that "in the know"?
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 08:44 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:

Quote:

Aedes;102921 wrote:
Neither Plato nor Nietzsche was party to the Nuremberg Laws. Heidegger by denouncing and firing Jews from the University of Freiberg, on the other hand, was party to the Nuremberg Laws. Some of the Jews he denounced were sent to death camps.

(actually his actions preceded the Nuremberg laws -- that was the vehemence of his antisemitism)

Neither Plato nor Nietzsche imposed racial policies on a student body and eliminated any administrative recourse by proclaiming himself quasi fuehrer of the university and placing his appointment under the administration of the Nazi Party.
Heidegger did.



Reading just a little about him I can't see how he functioned at all as a "Philosopher" because he was so Catholic and prejudiced... I have a Book around here about Pius the 12, and it is called Hitler's Pope...If I understand the guy, he reined in the church pretty tight, so there was no sense of freedom of thought, or speech... It was not such an extreme thing for peasants to be anti semetic... If I read their history correctly, such people were once littlle more than property, and after the Jews in one fashion or another had financed the nobles in the wars against each other to the point of bankruptcy, then they owned the land, and the peasants went with the land..If I may... .I have a friend of Polish decent, and he is no fan of Jews... After the Communists fell back the Jews came to the village where his people haled from and said: We own this land...The people there said Bullshet you do... We have had this land forever... Both may have been right... The peasants had what they call bottom rights in China, and the Jews Probably held a mortgage signed by some former noble living on his equity...
Quote:
Neither Plato nor Nietzsche was a wormy supplicant to a dictator. Guess who was?

Lie... Plato sucked up to Dionysius, and Nietzsche sucked up to Caesar Borgia, and Napoleon; and it make no difference that they were dead because he would have sucked up to any petty tyrant under the sun...He was not much of a man; but he was a born lickspittle...
Quote:

Here is a good reference. What comparable "evil" was accomplished with the direct complicity of Plato or Nietzsche?

Both did violence to the truth to the entertainment of ideology...

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/relstud/faculty/sheehan/pdf/88-nazi.PDF

are you that "in the know"?
More like, in the read... I have read a lot of histories of philosophy in one form or another as well as reading philosophy directly... I have almost a whole set of Will and Arial Durrant, and in every volume he covers the progress of philsophy as a matter of course, and that would be with the progress and contributions of both Jews and Muslims... In addition I also have Durrants History of Philosophy too, and others...I never heard of this before, but I have also heard little of Heidegger, and my interest in him only extends to his explanation of Kant, which I think is great... But; the one article I have read on the subject suggests their was a concerted cover up...And last but not least, there is no reason to believe that a person who can teach philosophy is a philosopher... His crime, if it is not prejudice is certainty in his judgements, and this is shown in his willingness to join the form... The problem with forms is universal, that they are not the same seen from the inside as the outside... That age was all ideology... Not only he, but almost all people looked at new forms or simply -a form- as a solution to what ever ailed humanity...If you had time, even to day you could find in short order a hundred or even a thousand suggestions on these forums that if we only organize we could affect change regardless of the direction of change or the political realities at work... That word, organization, means form...So rather than tear down a form, people organize a new form to reform an old form, -at least in theory, but at every step the form adds to their impediments...History shows that unless old forms self destruct, that the people no matter how well organized, cannot bring change...It is just too easy to simplify the factors at work during that day... One might consider that Hitlers seemed on his face to be more in tune with the common currents of thought than against... He had a quasi evolutionary theory that fit with some accepted historical and philosophical views...He had enough picked up knowledge on enough subjects to impress the average man, but it may have all been bluff combined with a good memory... He could hold forth on many subject until he bored the spots off the dog..Having power, he did for the German economy what the former chancellor had intended to do before he was replaced, and was on the verge of doing when he had seen the economy turn the corner...And with the help of the banker Schatz, I think was his name, with his Mefo bonds, he was able to build up the war economy without alarming bankers abroad about the health of their economy, and the extent of their deficites... Hitler was one of history's great destroyers, and the evidence was there early enough, but he kept it hidden, and his program, in many senses seemed moral- better that the individual should suffer than the many...As the religious evidence shows, Heidegger was given to belief, and that is poison to philosophy, which thrives in scepticism.....
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:00 pm
@kennethamy,
Fido, you're not the only one here who reads a lot. We read different things, and histories of philosophy (of which I own and have read a fair number myself) are not going to cover this issue very adeptly. Heidegger wasn't the only major modern thinker who was a raving antisemite, Frege was another notorious one (more a contemporary with Nietzsche and Wagner).

Hitler kept his program hidden at first. By 1945, when Germany was a smoldering apocalyptic wasteland and the world found out that Hitler had sent 12 million noncombatants up through chimneys, Heidegger still had another 31 years to live. He never ever renounced Hitler or his Nazi affiliation. Heidegger, whose philosophical interests were politics and ethics and above all 'progress', never saw it in himself to condemn the Nazis or shed his reverence for Hitler -- long after that "form" was dead and that age was over.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:30 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;102928 wrote:
Fido, you're not the only one here who reads a lot. We read different things, and histories of philosophy (of which I own and have read a fair number myself) are not going to cover this issue very adeptly. Heidegger wasn't the only major modern thinker who was a raving antisemite, Frege was another notorious one (more a contemporary with Nietzsche and Wagner).

Hitler kept his program hidden at first. By 1945, when Germany was a smoldering apocalyptic wasteland and the world found out that Hitler had sent 12 million noncombatants up through chimneys, Heidegger still had another 31 years to live. He never ever renounced Hitler or his Nazi affiliation. Heidegger, whose philosophical interests were politics and ethics and above all 'progress', never saw it in himself to condemn the Nazis or shed his reverence for Hitler -- long after that "form" was dead and that age was over.

As one Jewish person said: It is hard to forgive someone who does not ask for forgiviness, or say are sorry...The Germans feel hurt, and the Jews and perhaps six million others had every reason to feel enraged...It may not be philosophy, but there is a lesson in the simple words that what goes around comes around..Injustice craps injustice... The German people were made to bear a terrible price for the actions of their Kaisar when they had no more control over him than the Iraqis or this day had over Saddam... And that is a wrong, to attack a whole country because you do not like what an individual or a handful of individuals have done... The people of Germany sought peace with honor and the people of the world gave them a kick in the teeth... Does it matter that they kicked the Vietnames and the Arabs in the teeth at the same time???The victors helped themselves and hurt humanity, and their gain was not justice for either side...
Here is the danger... We must admit that it takes little enough to make a lunatic like Hitler... What is difficult is to arrange the sort of mass antagonisms and insecurities to where masses of people will grasp at the straw a madman says is their life line...Reason is the enemy of tyranny, and for that reason tyrants never give anyone enough time to think...Beware of a man of action... The biggest fools in the world want it done right now...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 09:50 pm
@kennethamy,
The pyramid atop which Hitler stood was an enormous social force that required more than just a military dictatorship. It self-legitimized because of its appeals to philosophy (I use this term loosely here, but this includes religious ideas, racial / social Darwinian ideas, and academic philosophy). Heidegger desperately wanted to be one of the intellectual patrons of Naziism. Turns out that he wasn't taken in -- they liked genocidal zealots like Alfred Rosenberg better. So Heidegger during the early Nazi regime was a very small cog in the intellectual train of Naziism, but he got to play a little part in Germany's purgation.

But yes, his greater offense in my mind is that after the war he did nothing to diminish the idea that his philosophy was high-falootin' Naziism, loud about ubermenschen but quiet about the Zyklon B. He became a tacit apologist for Naziism in this way.

He's not the only one -- Werner von Braun comes to mind. But von Braun was a technician, a scientist. He let 20,000 Jews die while working as slaves on his V2 rockets, but that didn't matter, it was up to others to make the moral decisions.

Heidegger, on the other hand, was a self-selected moral decisionmaker.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 10:17 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;102941 wrote:
The pyramid atop which Hitler stood was an enormous social force that required more than just a military dictatorship. It self-legitimized because of its appeals to philosophy (I use this term loosely here, but this includes religious ideas, racial / social Darwinian ideas, and academic philosophy). Heidegger desperately wanted to be one of the intellectual patrons of Naziism. Turns out that he wasn't taken in -- they liked genocidal zealots like Alfred Rosenberg better. So Heidegger during the early Nazi regime was a very small cog in the intellectual train of Naziism, but he got to play a little part in Germany's purgation.

But yes, his greater offense in my mind is that after the war he did nothing to diminish the idea that his philosophy was high-falootin' Naziism, loud about ubermenschen but quiet about the Zyklon B. He became a tacit apologist for Naziism in this way.

He's not the only one -- Werner von Braun comes to mind. But von Braun was a technician, a scientist. He let 20,000 Jews die while working as slaves on his V2 rockets, but that didn't matter, it was up to others to make the moral decisions.

Heidegger, on the other hand, was a self-selected moral decisionmaker.

To this last line; not true...He was a moral absolutist, and I can see that in very cursory reading of the article about him as a nazi...To reject humanism is to embrace determanism... The Catholic atmospher in Germany before Nazism was stiffling...If Heidegger was anti humanistic, he was also idealistic, and it was slavishness to the ideal as perfection that has characterized modern tyrannies, just a the genius of the tyrant characterized tyrannies past...

What is the danger here??? Is it that we will say that his value was no greater than his use??? What he said right is not less right today, and what he said wrong was always wrong... I hope you do not think less of me, but if history presented you to me as great, then I would want to see for myself, and I would doubt that you were more than myself, more able and intelligent...I will read and get some value from just about any philosopher of any stripe, but there are only a hand full I would want as friends...Considering most of them as one, I would bet I could cut a better human being out of a human being with a rusty knife... So, maybe I have to add Heidegger to that list... That just means he is par for the course....
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 10 Nov, 2009 11:04 pm
@kennethamy,
I meant in the sense of being a moral judge and a judge of morals. He was a philosophical ethicist. Thus, if anyone should be reflective on questions of good and bad, it should be he who took it up as an academic life-endeavor.

I can't disagree with your second paragraph. You know my family history, and yet I still own (and listen to) the complete Ring des Nibelungen and Tristan und Isolde (a total of 20 CDs). There's a difference between a Heidegger and a Mengele. Mengele produced his science through torturing people with his own hands, and most scientists would agree that no generalizable clinical science can come from coerced subjects.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 07:05 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;102950 wrote:
I meant in the sense of being a moral judge and a judge of morals. He was a philosophical ethicist. Thus, if anyone should be reflective on questions of good and bad, it should be he who took it up as an academic life-endeavor.

I can't disagree with your second paragraph. You know my family history, and yet I still own (and listen to) the complete Ring des Nibelungen and Tristan und Isolde (a total of 20 CDs). There's a difference between a Heidegger and a Mengele. Mengele produced his science through torturing people with his own hands, and most scientists would agree that no generalizable clinical science can come from coerced subjects.

No one should confuse morals and ethics with good and bad... What is good for the Jews is not good for the Arab, but it may well be moral to the Jew... What was good for the Nazis in their perspective, and moral was not moral or good in the eyes of their many victims....We have had almost a thousand years since the church began to take over society and give most of Europe the remains of Roman Law, which they could not begin to understand without Greek Philosophy...Before Roman law died out, we can see the beginnings of natural law in the law of nations which put forth the idea that all nations were equal... We have come to think of all people as equal, and that is as far as it goes because we have not done much to protect that equality with universal law...What the nazis said was what most of us believe anyway, that we are more than equal, and deserve more than what life has left us with... It may not fit with our half hearted morals which imagine a human community; but fits the facts, that the Germans are wide spread people, artistic and industrius, who were by geography and history inhibited in industrial develpment and the exploitation of international markets....It fit with the two great social currents of the age, which were nationlism and socialism, and it was at first glance, very moral, guarding the genetic health of the people and mental, social, and artistic decadence...That they were a throw back in time with their banners, and standards and uniforms is obvious; but without group identity there can be no morality...Heidegger was ethical in the sense of his own society, but to be an ethicist, or a moralist as all modern philosophers are, is to understand morality from all perspectives, and is also to understand that this strength of community is an impediment to building a world community... Look at U.S.... We say we are a nation and prove we do not grasp the word... We allow our rich and politicians to divide us and exploit us... We see our businesses sell our defenses to the world as though another export, but mostly we export the means of production to places were the people have no rights, and work as slaves, and so undercut our own freedom and rights... And morally, we refuse to extend our rights or resources to others; so the anger and enmity of the world grows while our strength and unity wain... We are not a nation as the nazis recognized the German peoples to be... We are a nation state united by a simple idea as though by a distant common mother: that all people are created equal...Our morals will never be better than the tenacity with which we hold to that idea, our equality...

So; if the question is whether one must be moral to be a moralist, I think the answer is no, but it is usually the case... And people can be moral without understanding morality...In a limited sense, Heidegger was moral without being a moralist, because if he had understood national morality, and Catholic morality he would have expanded it to the international level, and set about building world justice...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 09:57 am
@Fido,
Fido;102973 wrote:
No one should confuse morals and ethics with good and bad...
The personal philosophy of good and bad is morality. The general philosophy of good and bad is ethics.

Fido;102973 wrote:
if the question is whether one must be moral to be a moralist, I think the answer is no, but it is usually the case... And people can be moral without understanding morality...In a limited sense, Heidegger was moral without being a moralist, because if he had understood national morality, and Catholic morality he would have expanded it to the international level, and set about building world justice...
But the question is about how to regard someone who is a philosopher of morals who fails to condemn the most outwardly destructive and self-destructive regime in the history of the world.

A number of people have said that no art is possible after Auschwitz (Auschwitz of course being both place and emblem). It's an enormous punctuation mark on history. It's not a period, but it's simultaneously question mark, exclamation point, and ellipsis. You think about humanity, about progress, and then Auschwitz and Hiroshima and Kolyma and Verdun enter your mind -- and you take note that all our great steps forward have a reciprocal step backwards.

And then Heidegger comes into the picture: 1) philosopher of progress, 2) philosopher of ethics, 3) WWII happened during the height of his career, 4) German, 5) Nazi celebrist, 6) survived three decades after WWII.

He was not sheltered from it at all. He was best equipped of any Nazi to account for and understand it. But he did not. Why not? Because like many other prominent Nazis who survived decades after the war, like Eichmann, like Mengele, like Stangl, there was no contrition, no apology. Only self-justification. "It was an era", or a "context". Stangl ran Treblinka -- he never expressed remorse for gassing 800,000 people. He never sought to understand it (read Into That Darkness).

So Heidegger, it seems, couldn't let go of it. He couldn't separate his philosophy from it, or at least separate his self. If he can't do that, being intellectually equipped to do so, then why should we grant him that favor?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 11 Nov, 2009 11:36 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;102996 wrote:
The personal philosophy of good and bad is morality. The general philosophy of good and bad is ethics.
You are incorrect here...Morality is a Latin, coined word used to translate the sense of the Greek word for Ethics...They are synonyms, and you can talk all you want about what each has come to mean, but then, that is another moral question....

Quote:
But the question is about how to regard someone who is a philosopher of morals who fails to condemn the most outwardly destructive and self-destructive regime in the history of the world.
The whole affair shut Ezra Pound's Mouth... F.T. Marinetti, one of the three most important forces in modern art, and a life long fascist, wrote a futurist manifesto in 1909 glorifying violence, hygene, the heroic character, conquest, the destruction of museums and libraries and injustice everywhere with shades of the Nietzschean superman, and by the editor of his work, his fascist allegiance is de-emphasized... The point being that the enthusiasm which charaterized its birth did not grow on it with age... Fascism was old in Italy before Hitler picked up on it, and it needed support ever after...People who remembered their role wanted to forget it, and live through it... Those people who suffered the horrors and lived through it wanted to forget it too, but usually found forgetting impossible...

Being able to teach philosophy does not make a person a philoosopher... They may be part of the knife, but they are not its edge... They often have all of the facts, but they miss the point.... And many others who look closely at morals are not true moralists as all philosophers are...There is no objective good... No person can look at any goal or behavor as being for all time objectively good... It is a complex subject, and it is easy to understand how well meaning people looking for a complete change in society could embrace the Nazis who promised exactly that... What it became was a redux of the past; Feudalism at an Industrial Scale complete with arms, armor, and cavalry...The only things that saved them was the Hitler cult, Terror, Nationalism, and the inherent strength and efficiency of a feudal economy... The middle ages ate up their excesses in feast days, and the nazis ate theirs up with war...

Quote:

A number of people have said that no art is possible after Auschwitz (Auschwitz of course being both place and emblem). It's an enormous punctuation mark on history. It's not a period, but it's simultaneously question mark, exclamation point, and ellipsis. You think about humanity, about progress, and then Auschwitz and Hiroshima and Kolyma and Verdun enter your mind -- and you take note that all our great steps forward have a reciprocal step backwards.



No one could tell the first thing about Auschwitz without art... I accept a general definition which does not include me out...I would humbly suggest that we cannot get social change right because we do not understand what we are dealing with... People like Heidegger with his ideals, and principals and absolutism think they are doing good with a sholt in the dark... To do good one must act with understanding, and that is the one sense where Socrates' words: Knowledge is virtue make sense...
Quote:
And then Heidegger comes into the picture: 1) philosopher of progress, 2) philosopher of ethics, 3) WWII happened during the height of his career, 4) German, 5) Nazi celebrist, 6) survived three decades after WWII.


He should probably been executed, but not for crimes, which he may never have commited, but for fun which is the best we can expect from death...

Quote:
He was not sheltered from it at all. He was best equipped of any Nazi to account for and understand it. But he did not. Why not? Because like many other prominent Nazis who survived decades after the war, like Eichmann, like Mengele, like Stangl, there was no contrition, no apology. Only self-justification. "It was an era", or a "context". Stangl ran Treblinka -- he never expressed remorse for gassing 800,000 people. He never sought to understand it (read Into That Darkness).
Much of the accepted evidence was on the side of the Nazis... Did they understand it all, and even if it did was there enough justification for their actions... People act out of ignorance always... We cannot begin to calculate all of the effect from ourselves as a cause, and yet we act, all the time and every day...Those people celebrated that violence... They were certain that in attacking the commies that they were engaging the untermench...We hated the commies, and they had pseudo Darwanism, and Nietzsche on their side... Now; from a moral point of view, I say: We cannot stop people who have been poisoned by the malignancy of their injust lives... We can try to create and atmosphere where people do not suffer the want of injustice, nor think they must stand alone to have it...Only just societies can know and accept peace... Looking at history, when can we ever say that German society worked for Germans as a whole???.It was certainly before the Franks took hold, if ever...What they gave to others was the very injustice they had endured from their own or others... Versailles and its humiliating terms shocked the Germans out of their chronic depression and made them lash out in frustration and anger... Changing that fact of history would have only delayed the inevitable... Injustice flows like puss, and it is better flowing than stagnant puss... It is moral to demand justice and insane to suffer injustice...

Quote:
So Heidegger, it seems, couldn't let go of it. He couldn't separate his philosophy from it, or at least separate his self. If he can't do that, being intellectually equipped to do so, then why should we grant him that favor?

I take what good I can from anyone with the goods...When it comes to great people in history I think if better that they defend me rather than me defending them... What I offer is a defense of future generations as every defense of justice is... As we cannot live without justice our society cannot live without justice and so generations to come if they live at all will suffer its want even in their time...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:08 pm
@kennethamy,
To be a good philosopher is to earn some points in the direction of being a good person. Didn't Schopenhauer kick a prostitute downstairs and end paying her bills for the rest of her life? Oh well, he's still a great philosopher.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:21 pm
@kennethamy,
Foucault may not be considered a good person either. He lived an odd personal live that would have probably repulsed many people, but someone's work should not be confused with their personal lives. You see this in many different fields--especially the arts which philosophy should be lumped in with. One of the best actors of recent times, Robert Downey Jr, fights drug addiction, and many of the greatest musicians over the last 50 year have battle with drugs (e.g. John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Janis Joplin). Of course, it is not just limited to people in the public eye. There are lawyers, doctors, priests, pastors, teachers, police officers, and members of every line of work that battle their inner demons. Does this make them bad? No, it just makes them weak to certain passions and drives.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:33 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;106233 wrote:
Foucault may not be considered a good person either. He lived an odd personal live that would have probably repulsed many people, but someone's work should not be confused with their personal lives. You see this in many different fields--especially the arts which philosophy should be lumped in with. One of the best actors of recent times, Robert Downey Jr, fights drug addiction, and many of the greatest musicians over the last 50 year have battle with drugs (e.g. John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Janis Joplin). Of course, it is not just limited to people in the public eye. There are lawyers, doctors, priests, pastors, teachers, police officers, and members of every line of work that battle their inner demons. Does this make them bad? No, it just makes them weak to certain passions and drives.


I rather agree with you. But I think that some people may think there is something special about being a philosopher that is inconsistent with being a bad person. So they they might agree that people in other fields can be good at what they do, and still be bad, but that fails to be true in philosophy.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:48 pm
@kennethamy,
I believe that Schopenhauer actually suggested that philosophers were motivated by irritability. And Nietzsche was powered, if you ask him, by the power drive. Hegel talked of the necessity of tarrying with the Negative, and even defined man as negativity, a hole in the present. (Loosely, via Kojeve..)

What I am getting at is that there is a dark side of the Force. Philosophy has strong associations with evil as well as good.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:53 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106246 wrote:
I believe that Schopenhauer actually suggested that philosophers were motivated by irritability. And Nietzsche was powered, if you ask him, by the power drive. Hegel talked of the necessity of tarrying with the Negative, and even defined man as negativity, a hole in the present. (Loosely, via Kojeve..)

What I am getting at is that there is a dark side of the Force. Philosophy has strong associations with evil as well as good.


But nothing you say here shows that philosophers need be bad persons.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 11:06 pm
@kennethamy,
No, I don't even have simple definitions for good or bad. Rape and murder are obviously not so charming, but it soon gets complicated. And I wouldn't judge a philosopher for fighting a duel. I don't think moral righteousness is the least bit necessary for the writing of good philosophy, but I don't "evil" is required either.

Now cognitive dissonance is something else. Wasn't Hobbes suspected of causing a plague? I mean suspected by the superstitious (for lack of a better word).
 
 

 
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