Why Philosophize?

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Faun147
 
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 09:25 pm
Why is a philosopher a philosopher? It seems to defy practicality. Of course, practicality is not the only issue. What about matters of memory? Can wisdom be forgotten? If so, did we waste our time with philosophy?
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 07:32 am
@Faun147,
Hey there, good questions. Well, here's my take:

Faun147 wrote:
Why is a philosopher a philosopher?


Lots of reasons. For me, it comes down to a desire to understand (or at least *think* I understand). For each tiny peace of this existence's puzzle that I assemble, I get a small charge that feels good. I also really like gaining what feels like insight into how other people think. The more of this I see, the more I get a sense of awe for how VASTLY folks differ in how they view reality, right, wrong, shame, the cosmos, etc., etc. So, it's kind of nice Smile

Faun147 wrote:
It seems to defy practicality. Of course, practicality is not the only issue.


Yea... philosophy (most likely) isn't going to pay any bills. But I guess I look at it this way: First, I believe that no one can not have at least some philosophy (the reasons 'why', how they view life, existence, etc.). What differentiates the philosopher is a conscious desire and willingness to explore these things. They wanna preach, listen, read and explore. In this way, philosophy does give some practical benefit: By understanding the 'why' and 'how' of ones' own philosophies, therein lies the potential for conducting life being more aware of ones' own self. In theory, this translates to behavior and decision-making that's more consistent; and ideally, more in-line with ones' own life-goals.

Yea I know... it doesn't always turn out this way (or heck, even at all for some of us), but it's enjoyable and promising nonetheless.

Faun147 wrote:
What about matters of memory? Can wisdom be forgotten? If so, did we waste our time with philosophy?


Yes, it can be forgotten. I find that for every moment I live, all the minutiae of the immediate - of the moment - can overshadow the "larger lessons" I've learned. We get wrapped up in the moment of our own petty wants, needs, frustrations and the like. It takes constant attention to the study of philosophy to reach a "sweet spot" wherein the needs of everyday life are balanced with philosophical study and thought. Too much of the one and we're bland, superficial and without insight. Too much of the other and we're lofty; heads stuck in the clouds while the 'Rome' of everyday necessity burns around us.

I don't think its ever a waste of time. Even if we do 'forget' what we've learned or gained, at least some of that peaceful understanding stays with us; at least that's what my experience seems to suggest.

Hope this helps. Thanks for your questions.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 10:53 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
First, I believe that no one can not have at least some philosophy (the reasons 'why', how they view life, existence, etc.). What differentiates the philosopher is a conscious desire and willingness to explore these things. They wanna preach, listen, read and explore


I used to believe this but now I don't. Talking to my friends I have asked them all why not take some time to be alone with your thoughts and think. But no; everybody just wants to talk and text and talk and text.

I just like to think, philosophy falls into that because it's just the most interesting. I have found it to be practical. My writing skills have improved. I want to read lots more. And this discussion here helps when there is an in class discussion.
 
Faun147
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 09:48 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
I used to believe this but now I don't. Talking to my friends I have asked them all why not take some time to be alone with your thoughts and think. But no; everybody just wants to talk and text and talk and text.

I have recently come across the humiliatingly obvious notion that thought precedes meaning. That means that it is the thinker (of whatever sort) that creates, examines, and interprets meaning. A thoughtless life, from a thinkers perspective, would look rather meaningless-- and it does.
Of course, the non thinkers/philosophers often perceive thought as meaningless wastes of time. This may be a result of inexperience with the imaginative and the abstract. If you cannot see it, touch it, smell it, then it is not there. ...I suppose it would be more accurate to say that if it does not serve some sort of tangible purpose, then it is meaningless to them. To them, something intangible, like religion, is valued only when it serves some sort of tangible purpose (immortality, reward and punishment, bliss, etc.).
--
I suppose if the value of thought lies in meaning, then in exploring the subject of "why philosophize?" we must ask: "what is the value of meaning?"
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 03:06 am
@Faun147,
You do not realise that your life lacks meaning until you encounter somthing that gives it, for however breifly, meaning.
 
William
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 08:36 am
@Faun147,
Faun147 wrote:
Why is a philosopher a philosopher? It seems to defy practicality. Of course, practicality is not the only issue. What about matters of memory? Can wisdom be forgotten? If so, did we waste our time with philosophy?


Hello Faun,
IMO, we philosophize be cause we pay a little more attention to what is going on and we are not satisfied with what we see. For us to be content we must establish reason that, in hopes, will offer an ease to that discontent. The problem is personal perspective. Being that our perspectives are varied due to our individual experiences we get caught up in debate as to who's perspective is the most accurate. Resulting in a more sophisticated argument accomplishing nothing. IMO. The circularity goes around and around as it always has for thousands of years.

Philosophy has a selfish nature to it, IMO. In our discontent we search for that reason that gives us solace, and when we find it as it pertains to our own experiences and knowledge, that is where we "perch".

The truth is a universal paradigm. The search for it will prove fruitless if we allow our individual personal perspectives to intervene. In other words, the "Ego". The search for truth must be a "fearless" one, and to reach those answers, the ego must go. IMO. Something that is virtually impossible to do as we need that "ego" to survive. The "ego" cannot interfere, or in other words, one must be able to observe from an entirely neutral plane with absolutely no regard to self to understand that universal paradigm that we call "the truth". That in and of itself is where 'wisdom' comes from. It is all but lost in the world we live in as those who were in tune with this universal paradigm didn't last very long.

Philosophy does make for interesting conversation though. Ha. Through those discussions we can engender an introspection that will allow others, in the quiteness of their thoughts, to take an inventory of their "personal truths" so they can make any personal adjustments. It just depends on how dependent they are on the ego and the barricades it nestles behind. One must become extremely vulnerable and all to often, fear inhibits that introspection. Reeling back in now. Ha.
I hope that helps. Again, IMO.Smile

William
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 09:25 am
@William,
William, great post, and it completely concurs with my experience.

It does not seem possible to escape "ego" or "self" for that matter. It is with us, it is what essentially drives us to function -we are products of consistent desires, one desire after another, creating action. If we had no desire, if we didn't "perch" from time to time, every motivation to exist would be removed. I don't think it's possible to escape this, so this is why I'm interested when you say that there are those that have reached this neutral plane - it made me think of the quote "Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there" - who, that you've even heard of, as escaped this "ego", and allowed the consciousness to view through this neutral lens?

I believe contemplation is essential to advancing humanity. Introspection, as you note, is key - I advocate consistent consideration of one's beliefs, values, and desires as much as the mental health allows. I've learned it's near impossible to consistently critically think, as critical thought and belief are diametrical opposites, the more of one, the less of another (someone else on this forum once said this). And without belief, without "perching" time to time, we are left with no desire, no desire to proceed.

As to the OP, things can definitely be forgotten, and we shouldn't view philosophizing as necessarily the "answer". We must remember that these thoughts are fragile - if one were to get into an accident and become a vegetable, decades of thought could vanish in the blink of an eye - it's as if these ideas were never thought in the first place. It's scary when I think about it, as I often attach a "truth", a "meaning" to my contemplation - it defines "me". At the same time, it's enlightening to realize that my ability to contemplate, the conclusions I've already drawn, the wisdom I've already received can vanish into thin air in the blink of an eye. This puts things into perspective; it makes me realize that humans, while unique, are not special. Our developed frontal lobes do not mean we should stand on a pedestal and preach that we are the leaders of the universe. Another point to note is that our species varies so immensely - intelligence and ability to grasp concepts varies greatly, some humans are born mentally disabled, some humans are born with absolutely exceptional reasoning capabilities, some are born with almost no reasoning capabilities. This should really tell us something - we are just another being experiencing this universe.
 
StupidBoy phil
 
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 11:37 am
@Zetherin,
I was arguing, long ago, with the friend of a friend. He was trying to proselytize me and as I refuted each of his points and asked him to question his faith, he grew more and more frustrated. Finally, as the tables shifted and he was forced on the defensive, he said to me, "Well I'd rather have my beliefs than your facts. At least my beliefs give me hope, what do your facts give you?"

I was stunned. How do you respond to that? If a person doesn't value the truth, then what value can you offer them in knowledge? It had never occured to me that some people did not want to understand the reality around them. Not that they incurious, or that they weren't willing to put forth the effort, but actively wanted to be ignorant.

We philosophize, I think, because we do care. We do want to know. We value knowledge and truth. As to why we value those things and why we care, that is another question entirely; one that I do not think I can answer satisfactorily in regards to all philosophers.

You are dead on when you say that philosophy bears little practical fruit. It is knowledge, but it is rarely applicable knowledge. Knowing the difference between a priori and a posteriori knowledge is about as useful as knowing the winner of the World Series in 1938 (the Yankees blanked the Cubbies, 4 games to 0). Yet as I stated above, we do this because we want to know. No form of knowledge is more pure. This is it, this is the pinnacle.

To answer your third question, of course wisdom can be lost. We've all experienced forgetfulness in ourselves and others. This does not mean that philosophy is a "waste of time" any more than it's lack of practicality does. Eventually, if you live long enough, your retinas will detach and you'll go blind. Eventually, if you live long enough, your hearing will grow worse and finally deteriorate into full-blown deafness. Yet you wouldn't ask if seeing is pointless, or if hearing is pointless. Why should learning be any different?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 01:20 pm
@StupidBoy phil,
StupidBoy wrote:

You are dead on when you say that philosophy bears little practical fruit. It is knowledge, but it is rarely applicable knowledge. Knowing the difference between a priori and a posteriori knowledge is about as useful as knowing the winner of the World Series in 1938 (the Yankees blanked the Cubbies, 4 games to 0). Yet as I stated above, we do this because we want to know. No form of knowledge is more pure. This is it, this is the pinnacle.


I think the skills learned by studying philosophy are far more important than the knowledge contained in the subject. Sure knowing what a priori and a posteriori knowledge is not very useful, but understanding how they work can enhance one's abilities to think and reason. Typically the student of philosophy develops excellent critical thinking, reasoning, reading, writing, and communicating skills, which would go a long way to solving many problems the world faces. I think the culture of today--especially in the U.S.--stresses what knowledge to know rather than developing the skills necessary to discover knowledge for oneself.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 01:42 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
I think the skills learned by studying philosophy are far more important than the knowledge contained in the subject. Sure knowing what a priori and a posteriori knowledge is not very useful, but understanding how they work can enhance one's abilities to think and reason. Typically the student of philosophy develops excellent critical thinking, reasoning, reading, writing, and communicating skills, which would go a long way to solving many problems the world faces. I think the culture of today--especially in the U.S.--stresses what knowledge to know rather than developing the skills necessary to discover knowledge for oneself.


This is why I don't even like applying the term "philosophy". Why use this term? Frankly, it has preconceived notions written all over it, and it's just inviting ignorance by those that don't want to "philosophize". Our culture is influenced heavily by the Florentines whom believed in the secular, here and now. This is why there is a larger majority worrying about immediate planning, instead of knowledge that has the potential to guide us into a healthier direction. Critical thinking can solve many problems as you note, but perhaps we should consider replacing "Philosophy" with something else not so shaded. Hah, I'm sure this could be a new thread.
 
StupidBoy phil
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 12:56 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
This is why I don't even like applying the term "philosophy". Why use this term? Frankly, it has preconceived notions written all over it, and it's just inviting ignorance by those that don't want to "philosophize". Our culture is influenced heavily by the Florentines whom believed in the secular, here and now. This is why there is a larger majority worrying about immediate planning, instead of knowledge that has the potential to guide us into a healthier direction. Critical thinking can solve many problems as you note, but perhaps we should consider replacing "Philosophy" with something else not so shaded. Hah, I'm sure this could be a new thread.


The problem with arriving at a new term for the same old thing is that it would quickly have the same pejorative connotation that philosophy does now. In truth, I think the issue at hand is not so much an issue with philosophy as it is with 'intellectualism' and all related topics. I cannot speak for any country outside of my own, but there is a strong anti-intellectual sentiment in America today. Philosophy's connotation is pretty neutral when compared with other terms like "ivory tower", "egghead", "liberal university" and "intellectual elite". I think it has a lot to do with our heavily religious background as a nation; generally speaking what I've seen of less faith-based societies is more openness towards intellectualism and learning. I'm not trying to turn this into a philosophy vs. religion debate, I just thought I should mention the elephant in the living room.

@Theaetetus:

I partially agree with you. Yes, philosophy helps develop higher communication and learning skills. Those skills are not particularly useful in day to day life in modern America however. Most people just simply don't care. They don't care if they're precise and clear in what they say, they certainly don't care to read or think critically about anything. Philosophy develops skills that are useful in intellectual pursuits and when dealing with other intellectuals. This is only minorly useful, since intellectuals necessarily make up a small portion of the populace.

Even if this skill set was of great importance, there are other pursuits which will yield the same set of skills. One could, for instance, take a public speaking course or engage in logic puzzles.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 08:30 am
@StupidBoy phil,
StupidBoy wrote:
The problem with arriving at a new term for the same old thing is that it would quickly have the same pejorative connotation that philosophy does now. In truth, I think the issue at hand is not so much an issue with philosophy as it is with 'intellectualism' and all related topics. I cannot speak for any country outside of my own, but there is a strong anti-intellectual sentiment in America today. Philosophy's connotation is pretty neutral when compared with other terms like "ivory tower", "egghead", "liberal university" and "intellectual elite". I think it has a lot to do with our heavily religious background as a nation; generally speaking what I've seen of less faith-based societies is more openness towards intellectualism and learning. I'm not trying to turn this into a philosophy vs. religion debate, I just thought I should mention the elephant in the living room.


See, I have a slightly difference experience. "Philosophy", and I can't speak for anywhere else except where I'm located, gives off the same connotation that "nerd", "intellectual", "liberal", "critical thinking" do; it's perceived as a waste of time - that which is not in the here and now is that which does not matter. It is by no means neutral, even in comparison to the phrases you've offered, in my experience. Hell, I would even argue to say "intellectual elite" is a little less dampening than "philosophy". Major in "philosophy"? Ha! I'd be practically disowned. "Philosophize" with one of my friends? Almost castrated. I get sneers just from mentioning I post on a "philosophy" forum. Once "philsophy" is muttered it seems to attach this *pointless* preconceived notion from the vast majority - Intellectuals, as you note, are in a minority in a America... the focus is money, money, money, sex, power, money. Why ponder the unknown, when I could focusing on a trade to make money, money, money?!

As for "philosophy" retaining the same pejorative connotation - You're probably right, it would. The moment someone realized the verb induced critical thinking, it's "****, I'm outa here". It's like a Fight or Flight, but with knowledge.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 10:26 am
@Faun147,
There are times when one should insist on the values of civilisation: the search for truth, of knowledge for its own sake, the creation of beauty, the pursuit of excellence, and the independence of the spirit and mind.

Philosophy is, in many ways, the cradle and ground for these values, and it is important that we remind ourselves of this, lest these great potentialities are stifled under the heavy hands of utility, concupiscence of the moment, and ignorance.

This is not to demand that everyone be a Beethoven, a Kant, or a Michelangelo, but it is to demand that such people be allowed to exist and flourish, and be respected for their greatness and contribution to the future of mankind.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 10:44 am
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:
There are times when one should insist on the values of civilisation: the search for truth, of knowledge for its own sake, the creation of beauty, the pursuit of excellence, and the independence of the spirit and mind.

Philosophy is, in many ways, the cradle and ground for these values, and it is important that we remind ourselves of this, lest these great potentialities are stifled under the heavy hands of utility, concupiscence of the moment, and ignorance.

This is not to demand that everyone be a Beethoven, a Kant, or a Michelangelo, but it is to demand that such people be allowed to exist and flourish, and be respected for their greatness and contribution to the future of mankind.


You've articulated the thought very well: "stifled under the heavy hands of utility, concupiscence of the moment, and ignorance."

This is why I push for contemplation, this is why I advocate seeing past the confines of comfort that strip us of our individuality, our potential to thrive and ability to discover and consider the world around us. Live and let live, but truly let one live, without mental slavery. This is the world I desire.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 11:48 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
William, great post, and it completely concurs with my experience.

It does not seem possible to escape "ego" or "self" for that matter. It is with us, it is what essentially drives us to function -we are products of consistent desires, one desire after another, creating action. If we had no desire, if we didn't "perch" from time to time, every motivation to exist would be removed. I don't think it's possible to escape this, so this is why I'm interested when you say that there are those that have reached this neutral plane - it made me think of the quote "Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there" - who, that you've even heard of, as escaped this "ego", and allowed the consciousness to view through this neutral lens?


Thank you so very much for bringing your thought to the fore front. If you don't mind let me concentrate on what you have stated above. In that you say "It does not seem possible to escape the "ego" or "self" is such a very accurate statement in that is all we know. It is our "survival" mechanism, and to survive is our #1 objective. Or is it? Or more importantly, should it be?

We can get absolutely overwhelmed with 'desires' as we strive to experience "all" we can before we have to cash in our chips, so to speak. That certainly is the case for those who have the "means" to fulfill those desires. Those who do not have the means will, in most cases have a hard time understanding what "desire" is. They are just thankful for what they do have. Motivation, IMO, is a good thing if it is a "natural thing". What I mean by that is if that motivation comes without "effort", IMO. You've heard the saying before, "...he's a natural, or it is second nature to him", haven't you? It is along those lines. But in these cases, it is not about an ego that is a "driving force". It just comes naturally when given the opportunity that will allow anyone to recognize their natural abilities, whatever they may be, without being "driven". Hard to imagine, isn't it. Well, it should be considering it has never existed. Well, I can't say that either for there are those who, at an early age, exhibit uncanny "natural ability" and we scoop them up and drive the living hell out of them. Of course we pay them a lot of money for that privilege. That's fodder for another thread.

When talking about the ego, it becomes difficult because there is no alternative that I can think of that could replace it, unless it could be "soul". The ego lives behind protective barricades so it can survive; whereas the soul has no such barricades because it has nothing to fear. Especially survival, for it you believe as I, survival never enters the picture because the soul never ceases to be, whereas the "ego" is finite and will do anything within it's power to survive. The sad part is in that effort to survive we lose sight of what it is to truly live. We are our own worst enemy. Can one live with out a driving ego? Absolutely. Your reading the words of one who has made that transition. I promise you in this reality, it is not something I would encourage anyone to try to do. It is not easy to survive in this world negating self, but it is universally rewarding because it does provide that "neutral ground" where bias doesn't exist and understanding takes it's place. Yet there are those who when hearing the truth, especially if it differ's from their own personal truth, that is designed by the ego, will most certainly accuse one of being biased. In my opinion the ego is disrespective of anything that is counter to it's "survival". The ego can get really nasty, when threatened. And the truth does exactly that to those who are "ego driven". Hurt's like hell. I am not saying I "know the truth", I just know what I was meant to know. Now add that to what you have learned not driven by the "ego" we both benefit, and so on and so on. Which is exactly what we are doing now.

Thanks again for your post that enabled me to reach a little deeper into my thoughts. That's what divine communication is all about. :a-ok:

William
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 01:03 pm
@William,
William wrote:
Your reading the words of one who has made that transition. I promise you in this reality, it is not something I would encourage anyone to try to do. It is not easy to survive in this world negating self, but it is universally rewarding because it does provide that "neutral ground" where bias doesn't exist and understanding takes it's place. Yet there are those who when hearing the truth, especially if it differ's from their own personal truth, that is designed by the ego, will most certainly accuse one of being biased. In my opinion the ego is disrespective of anything that is counter to it's "survival". The ego can get really nasty, when threatened. And the truth does exactly that to those who are "ego driven". Hurt's like hell. I am not saying I "know the truth", I just know what I was meant to know. Now add that to what you have learned not driven by the "ego" we both benefit, and so on and so on. Which is exactly what we are doing now.


Your desire to escape ego is still ego itself. Even though you're more apt to discover the world around you, negate bias, and reach a universal understanding, you're only this because: That is the you you desire to be. It is what drives you, it is the ego. Again, we are the products of our desires; even the deviation from the norm and attempt to reach a "neutral plane" is still a desire. This is not to say the humbling rewarding perspective you achieve through your attempt at a "neutral plane" is any less meaningful, but it is to say we do not transcend human emotion, that we can never truly overcome ego, as it is, in many respects, us. This is what I mean when I state "ego" - not so much an influence towards self-interest that we must overcome, but a concept that is truly intertwined in who we are as human beings.

And I'm glad you've advanced in thought, that's the whole idea of this philosophy forum. I, myself, have advanced in thought tenfold from when I began using this site. Truly, this forum is the only remnant of unbiased reason in my life; quite literally, there is no other forum, event, group, place that allows thought to flourish as much as I've seen in this forum.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 02:01 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
Your desire to escape ego is still ego itself. Even though you're more apt to discover the world around you, negate bias, and reach a universal understanding, you're only this because: That is the you you desire to be. It is what drives you, it is the ego. Again, we are the products of our desires; even the deviation from the norm and attempt to reach a "neutral plane" is still a desire. This is not to say the humbling rewarding perspective you achieve through your attempt at a "neutral plane" is any less meaningful, but it is to say we do not transcend human emotion, that we can never truly overcome ego, as it is, in many respects, us. This is what I mean when I state "ego" - not so much an influence towards self-interest that we must overcome, but a concept that is truly intertwined in who we are as human beings.

And I'm glad you've advanced in thought, that's the whole idea of this philosophy forum. I, myself, have advanced in thought tenfold from when I began using this site. Truly, this forum is the only remnant of unbiased reason in my life; quite literally, there is no other forum, event, group, place that allows thought to flourish as much as I've seen in this forum.


I had a feeling this was coming. As much as I would like to agree with you and it being a "desire" of mine to lose the ego, I can't. It was not a choice based on desire in any context whatsoever. No man would "desire" to go through what that entails. Once one realizes his divine being, it's smooth sailing from then on, but to reach that understanding, you have to go through hell, so to speak, and that cannot be done without a lot of help of which I had, in abundance. Let's just say I did not venture alone, I was guided every step of the way. I am not ready to explain all that entailed yet in that it is not easy to explain though I have alluded to it in other posts in some context.

What is so very important is from the get go, there has never been anything to be afraid of once one knows the truth. Which is we are a unit. This thing called mankind. We are here to take care of "each other". One big happy family. Now that's the game plan only somewhere we lost our way and began to aspire to each man for himself which is exactly opposite of what our true purpose is. One day I will be able to put the words together in such a way, I hope anyway, in which all will be able to understand. You see, I don't have to think of "me". When one puts more emphasis on "we", the "we" takes care of "me". It's a "give/give" situation. No one has to take anything. Reeling back in now, Ha. Smile
Thanks for your post.
William
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 03:40 pm
@William,
William, I'm always open to new perspectives, so if you can somewhere articulate this epiphany/journey you've had, I'm open ears. Maybe you could even make a thread concerning it? I'm extremely curious as to what you speak.

Thanks again for your kindness,

Z
 
William
 
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 04:11 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
William, I'm always open to new perspectives, so if you can somewhere articulate this epiphany/journey you've had, I'm open ears. Maybe you could even make a thread concerning it? I'm extremely curious as to what you speak.

Thanks again for your kindness,

Z


One day. There are bits and pieces in everything I post. When the time is right and I live long enough, I will. If you are familiar with St. John of the Cross's manuscript "DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL", it will give you an idea of what that journey entails if you can get through the "religiosity" of it. Smile
Willam
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 09:34 am
@StupidBoy phil,
StupidBoy wrote:

I partially agree with you. Yes, philosophy helps develop higher communication and learning skills. Those skills are not particularly useful in day to day life in modern America however. Most people just simply don't care. They don't care if they're precise and clear in what they say, they certainly don't care to read or think critically about anything. Philosophy develops skills that are useful in intellectual pursuits and when dealing with other intellectuals. This is only minorly useful, since intellectuals necessarily make up a small portion of the populace.


I think the major reason why the U.S. is messed up today rests on the fact that higher communication and learning skills. Too few people have the necessary skill set to think outside the box, and come up new ideas and better ways of doing things. Ingenuity is sorely lacking in the country, and this can easily be attributed to an educational system that does little inspire creativity and develop critical thinking skill. Its not that skill set is not important, its that the skill set is devalued by modern society and it brand of consumer capitalism. Not to mention, if education trained peoples minds rather than turning them into automatons, then there would be a larger population of "intellectuals."
 
 

 
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