Can a bad person be a philosopher?

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sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 07:59 pm
@Zetherin,
It has probably already been asked;
Can a bad person be a good philosopher?
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 03:58 pm
@sometime sun,
I think it's easier to be a non biassed philosopher than to become a good (wo)man!

Is the Plye a river? I looked upon Old Maps and Anglia changed...
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 04:51 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;128652 wrote:
I think it's easier to be a non biassed philosopher than to become a good (wo)man!

Is the Plye a river? I looked upon Old Maps and Anglia changed...

Philosophers are usually unbiased but most have had to spend great amounts of energy to be unbiased.
It is usually the biased ones who are 'correct' and find themselves and the world easier to distinguish.
I think it is easier to be biased than objective, which is why so many people are becuase they cant be bothered to learn something new or true.

I cant find the Plye either, i have never heard of it.
There is a river near Amsterdam called the Playe
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 12:51 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;128298 wrote:
It has probably already been asked;
Can a bad person be a good philosopher?

Pepijn Sweep;128652 wrote:
I think it's easier to be a non biassed philosopher than to become a good (wo)man!

sometime sun;128673 wrote:
Philosophers are usually unbiased but most have had to spend great amounts of energy to be unbiased.
It is usually the biased ones who are 'correct' and find themselves and the world easier to distinguish.
I think it is easier to be biased than objective, which is why so many people are becuase they cant be bothered to learn something new or true.


"Bias" (according to good old wikipedia) denotes a tendency towards a particular perspective, ideology or result.

Yet is a preference for unbiased objectivity itself a bias?

If everyone could agree on something then the bias toward that something would become a universal bias i.e. it would cease to be a bias.

Yet there are still the Idols of the Tribe to contend with and I am less than sure that Bacon's iconoclasm, though it is a noble idea, is capable of unlocking the door to true objectivity. However, I might choose to believe that such a key exists but that would make it an article of Faith.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 01:18 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;128673 wrote:
Philosophers are usually unbiased but most have had to spend great amounts of energy to be unbiased.
It is usually the biased ones who are 'correct' and find themselves and the world easier to distinguish.
I think it is easier to be biased than objective, which is why so many people are becuase they cant be bothered to learn something new or true.

I cant find the Plye either, i have never heard of it.
There is a river near Amsterdam called the Playe


I'll check a nautic map later, can't find it in Blaue Atlas (reprint)
I was once in Plymouth, 30 y ago. Also to Wales, Cornwall and back on the way to Hastings. I loved Mt Snowdown to climb! So many sheep...:whoa-dude:
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 06:14 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.



It might depend upon what way the person is a bad person. It seems to me that one can be a bad person in a way that would make one a bad philosopher. One may, for example, be very stupid and consequently do bad things, and being very stupid would interfere with being a good philosopher as well. Or it could be that one may be a bad person because one has no regard for the truth, which, again, seems a very bad vice for a philosopher. But I can imagine a person being bad in some way that has no bearing on whether or not the person is a good philosopher, like Jean-Jacques Rousseau casting off his children did not, in itself, make him a bad philosopher, but he seems to me to be yet another example of a bad man who was also a bad philosopher. Frankly, off the top of my head, I cannot think of any really bad people who were good philosophers. And the very best sort of people (who were philosophers) seem to have often been the very best sort of philosophers, like David Hume.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 06:18 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;128298 wrote:
It has probably already been asked;
Can a bad person be a good philosopher?


Probably................
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 07:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129176 wrote:
Probably................

Yes just as a good person can be a bad philosopher,
probably one is not contingent upon the other............ probably.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:48 pm
@sometime sun,
Can a morally bad person be a good moral philosopher?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:53 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;129204 wrote:
Can a morally bad person be a good moral philosopher?


What is a "good moral philosopher"? Wouldn't that be a good person who just happens to be a philosopher? In which case, you're asking can a person be both good and bad, and at the same time be a philosopher? Sure.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 10:47 pm
@Zetherin,
Rephrasing the question on more time:

Can a morally bad person be good at moral philosophy?

Doesn't knowledge of what is morally good necessarily transform the knower? Or if it does not is not this some fault in the knower? If someone says they have learned what it means to be good and yet remains bad then this may be evidence that that person does not really have that knowledge after all.

Furthermore, some things can only be understood through putting them into action. If a person gathers all sorts of knowledge about what it means to be good but never does anything with that knowledge than how deep is that persons knowledge really? "Knowing is Half the Battle" and it is only half the battle.

Is someone really deserving of the title "philosopher" if they are only willing to fight, or only capable of fighting, half of that battle?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 10:59 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;128864 wrote:

Yet is a preference for unbiased objectivity itself a bias?


These are the kinds of questions I relish. It may the imp of the perverse, but I love a good twist.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 12:00 AM ----------

Deckard;129219 wrote:

Doesn't knowledge of what is morally good necessarily transform the knower?


I think most knowledge worth talking about transforms the knower. Good issue to consider.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 12:02 AM ----------

sometime sun;128673 wrote:
Philosophers are usually unbiased but most have had to spend great amounts of energy to be unbiased.

I may be biased, but this isn't how I see philosophers. To me they are the experts of bias. They seek to deliver, generally, universal truths. They want their own bias to become everyone's bias. Or at least an elite that is worthy.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 12:03 AM ----------

Deckard;129204 wrote:
Can a morally bad person be a good moral philosopher?


I think this is a fair question. The answer would almost have to come from one's own moral philosophy, or one's total philosophy which addressed the significance of morality or decency.

I'm inclined to say yes, but not without reservations.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 11:15 pm
@Deckard,
Quote:
Can a morally bad person be good at moral [philosophy]?
It would be fun to read a work of fiction about a very, very bad man who was also very, very clever at moral philosophy. Something rather more extreme than what I vaguely remember of Tom Stoppard's Professional Foul. A distinguished moral philosopher who was Hannibal Lecter bad - yes, that would be fun. And he would have to be so good at moral philosophy that he would seem deeply wise. He would be more explicitly moral in his philosophy, and more cruelly and bloodily evil in his deeds, than Heidegger, but the latter could be part of the inspiration for the character. Perhaps he could have an opponent, a Holmes or a Columbo to his Moriarty? The opponent had better not be a Catholic priest, I think, but Father Brown could be a model for his character. Someone who is not a moral philosopher, but who, unlike the villain, has a deep moral instinct. Hmmm ... I wish I could write.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 01:17 am
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;129229 wrote:
It would be fun to read a work of fiction about a very, very bad man who was also very, very clever at moral philosophy. Something rather more extreme than what I vaguely remember of Tom Stoppard's Professional Foul. A distinguished moral philosopher who was Hannibal Lecter bad - yes, that would be fun. And he would have to be so good at moral philosophy that he would seem deeply wise. He would be more explicitly moral in his philosophy, and more cruelly and bloodily evil in his deeds, than Heidegger, but the latter could be part of the inspiration for the character. Perhaps he could have an opponent, a Holmes or a Columbo to his Moriarty? The opponent had better not be a Catholic priest, I think, but Father Brown could be a model for his character. Someone who is not a moral philosopher, but who, unlike the villain, has a deep moral instinct. Hmmm ... I wish I could write.


Read stories about Faust; how a good person turns bad and back!:devilish:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:13 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;129204 wrote:
Can a morally bad person be a good moral philosopher?


Why not? ...............But is that twisty enough to love?

---------- Post added 02-18-2010 at 03:20 PM ----------

Zetherin;129206 wrote:
What is a "good moral philosopher"? Wouldn't that be a good person who just happens to be a philosopher? In which case, you're asking can a person be both good and bad, and at the same time be a philosopher? Sure.


No. Just as a good torturer need not be a good person who just happens to be a torturer. (Or a good rapist).
 
 

 
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