where can we get wisdom today?

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Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 07:10 pm
All great philosophers have challenged history's philosophies in some way. Kant had his "copernican revolution". Nietzsche was an alternative to the pursuit of the objective, or the 'philosophizing' for the sake of unmasking god's masks. Locke established empiricism. The list can go on.

I am wondering. Is there perhaps a negative effect caused by the network of philosophy journals? I do not ask this lightly. I mean to say, is the social network, it is a social network right?, with its terse writing styles and formal structures, emerging formalities and directions philosophy evolves upon or at least affected by? Is the interconnectedness contributing to the richness of a philosopher's organized thought and chaotic reveries, or, of the narrowing of philosophy's path in its evolution, ignoring the "philosophy is dead".

I am not saying that the interconnectedness is not doing a service, it does a service by organizing the thoughts and ideas, and contributing knowledge of philosophers and past philosophers. I am just wondering if it is diluting the individual's "love of wisdom" in some way.

One thing I've realized is that the representation of philosophical er.. 'concepts' as systems, or models, the systematic thinking, the INTP thinking (well you know what I mean) isn't "good enough" in contemporary philosophy. There has to be clarity in language. Today, it takes a greater arsenal of facts, and then one has to organize all these facts, and well... where does wisdom emerge?? It was so simple when one's need for wisdom could be fulfilled through the interpretations of experience, or inner working of abstract thought untouched by a wide arrangement of facts and data realized from other cultures such as science. When Aristotle thought of his immovable mover concept, or when Kant thought up his a priori/ a posteriori what arsenal of facts and data did they really need, at least, a conscious organization of?

And now look where we are. We can now gain objective, empirical data from science telling us the derivative of all which was a mystery. Her beauty can be mathematically represented. The ability to intuit he is angry can be explained by an unconscious attention to micro expressions. Monism looks stupid after quantum mechanics came into play. Neuroscience tells us we have no control of our actions, that it has been made 'certain' the effects of some lower causal level act as a basis for the emergent themes important to the philosopher. The poet couldn't care less about the stream of empirical data. The poet has subjective reasons which don't conflict with such information in his/her work with themes of love, truth, death, etc. The psychologist has duties in his profession to follow paradigms and legalities, so must has an understanding of the 'data'. Philosophers... well they want 'truth', right? So what's the game plan? It is so easy to appreciate bioethics, and to have a wonder at the implications of things, but is there anything else?!!

Now that philosophy needs to have a background of other subjects it's underlying desires are finally being put to the test. Was it really just a desire to touch that objectivity, to devise a system?

Where do we get our wisdom in neuroscience? Why is it always the implications that are spoken of? Why are we limited to such causality??? Or is that just where wisdom can be collected from this science? It just seems so pointless limited to such a context, it's as if science is the bread on the plate and philosophy is the crumbs left over.

I don't know... any thoughts?

Where do you think philosophy is headed?

Do you think there needs to be regained some feeling of mystery?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 07:29 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I get most of mine from fortune cookies, its also a great source for lottery numbers.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 10:01 pm
@Holiday20310401,
In the murk and mumbling of philosophy today the revolution of tomorrow is chartered...
All change is an attempt at problem solving... I did not say it first and I cannot say who did; but people do not fart or roll over in bed unless they are trying to resolve a problem...All revolutions have their supporting philosophy, and they are the life of them and their death... No body ever sets out for change, and says for as far as we can we go...The best of philosophies have their limit in the imagination of man when they are applied to reality...So what is accomplished???Russia had an autocrat before and after the revolution...France had a king before the revolution, and an emperor after...My point being that all our vision is limited... In changing what is bad, we should change only what is bad, and give up the notion that change is necessary, possible, or will result in happiness... The orientation should be on change, and not on perfection... Ideal forms of government or economy are only a worse tyranny, and yet humanity needs change, so we should make change easier to make, and to undo...Here is my wisdom: Philosophy as a formal study is useless... From my reading, don't see where most professional philosophers get what is essential in their business, or in their lives...

---------- Post added 11-12-2009 at 11:06 PM ----------

GoshisDead;103211 wrote:
I get most of mine from fortune cookies, its also a great source for lottery numbers.

I do some odd jobs for a friend with a Chinese restaurant, and he buys me a meal once in a while...When I get fortune cookies, I read the fortune and if I like it I eat the cookie...If I don't like it, I give the cookie to the dog, and tell him his fortune...Because he does not read...
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 11:24 pm
@Fido,
Fido, we can all dream can't we, and act to fulfill that dream?

Self actualizers find wisdom easily. It may not be worded wisdom, but who cares. The poet writes poetry, the painter paints, the sensualist travels, the writer writes, the dancer dances.

What does the self actualizer in philosophers do? Philosophize?! Surely there is something greater which is more timeless. When finally philosophy is met with challengers with a different empirical method, having a causal basis required to be understood to emerge knowledges and, indirectly, wisdoms, suddenly there's this retreat to bioethics, psychology, and politics. Or there is this (too) critical evaluation of the linguistics and the history of philosophy. It becomes so formalized, and to euphemistically put it, 'redundant'. All the themes of life and living, is there not enough private truth in an individual to emerge a new stanza for philosophy?

Or is it that philosophy had a feeling to it that could only emerge through the absence of too much empirical data. And in society today such information is required in order to be original?

I don't know as I even agree with what I just said.
 
FBM
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 03:14 am
@Holiday20310401,
I wonder what wisdom is in the first place, and if we're actually talking about the same thing when we use the word?

I dropped out of grad school in Philosophy (starting anew next Spring at a Korean univ.) for a coulple of reasons, but one of them was that I wasn't learning what I considered to be wisdom. I was learning fine details about what philosophers have said, and subsequent responses to them, but nothing that I found applicable to 'real' life.

Wisdom is for me deep insight into the way things are, with an eye to understanding how best to live. Instead, what I found in grad school was a contest, of sorts, of finding the most obscure vocabulary to present one's ideas in the most impenetrable way. IOW, buttloads of academic, intellectual and linguistic one-upsmanship, but not much of anything that showed any insight or depth wrt how to best understand and deal with this world of experience. Not much that lead to peace of mind, either, for that matter.

As a result, I've turned to Eastern Philosophy, as the core of much of it seems to match my own motivations for pursuing philosophy in the first place. Yes, they have their journals (in a publish-or-perish environment, they're inevitable) and whatnot, but there does seem to be a general understanding that all of this is supposed to give you deep insight and tranquility in the end.

Sorry if that doesn't address the OP...
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 06:49 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;103232 wrote:
Fido, we can all dream can't we, and act to fulfill that dream?

Self actualizers find wisdom easily. It may not be worded wisdom, but who cares. The poet writes poetry, the painter paints, the sensualist travels, the writer writes, the dancer dances.

What does the self actualizer in philosophers do? Philosophize?! Surely there is something greater which is more timeless. When finally philosophy is met with challengers with a different empirical method, having a causal basis required to be understood to emerge knowledges and, indirectly, wisdoms, suddenly there's this retreat to bioethics, psychology, and politics. Or there is this (too) critical evaluation of the linguistics and the history of philosophy. It becomes so formalized, and to euphemistically put it, 'redundant'. All the themes of life and living, is there not enough private truth in an individual to emerge a new stanza for philosophy?

Or is it that philosophy had a feeling to it that could only emerge through the absence of too much empirical data. And in society today such information is required in order to be original?

I don't know as I even agree with what I just said.

Most philosophy is filosophy, in my opinion, and it does not take much of that to be successful... A few rules of behavior are enough to ensure financial and social success... I am the most awkward of people socially... I view social interaction with dread, and yet that is not what people say of me who think they know me, because in spite of my reticence, I engage, even with strangers... The fact that I fear something is no reason to run, though I do retreat...It is a simple awareness that though a person may be working with the public they may be as shy and uncomfortable as myself in their roles for which no money can compensate... So I ask, How you doing???; and if people wear name tags I try to look at it, address them by name, and remember who they are, and wish them well... And the surprising thing is that I begin to care simply because of the investment of time and anxiety... And I have no doubt that if it had been my aim to be wealthy, or socially successful that my skills would have served me well in youth, and so it is wisdom of a sort, but hardly philosophy because it was learned out of terror, by trial, and error, and observation...

Culture is also a form of wisdom... The ten commandments are a great mountain of wisdom, as is all morality, but the point of it all, that it was built up, like my engagement with people, out of trial and error causes many to miss the point...How people can get nearly the total of their knowledge from society and in the course of their live never give a fraction of it back should cause people to understand that society is wiser than they..Yet they draw the opposite lesson.... I will not say every that all morality as it is presented, or that every society we have known has been an example of wisdom... We know most about other societies from that time when we can smell their decay, and that is because all forms can by hijacked, and used to serve a personal rather than a public morality... Those socieites that work, work because they are moral, and that morality is knowledge, and wisdom, and truth; and its purpose is to keep destruction at bay...Individuals are out of the context of morality, and much of philosophy has been aimed at inventing an individual morality; but most philosophy comes out of rotten societies when traditional morality is failing, and individuals are helping themselves to the commonwealth...So, there is no individual morality and never will be...

Individual do not know enough to be moral...There is more morality in ancient Draconian laws than in the best efforts at rational ethics because in olden days ones community was synonymous with survival...Ones attitude toward ones people was more like that of an ant or a bee to its colony, that the colony was right, and the individual was expendable...Nobody needs me, but society needs everyone, and everyone needs society; and the antithesis of wisdom is the individual and the filosophy of individualism...

---------- Post added 11-13-2009 at 08:03 AM ----------

FBM;103255 wrote:
I wonder what wisdom is in the first place, and if we're actually talking about the same thing when we use the word?

I dropped out of grad school in Philosophy (starting anew next Spring at a Korean univ.) for a coulple of reasons, but one of them was that I wasn't learning what I considered to be wisdom. I was learning fine details about what philosophers have said, and subsequent responses to them, but nothing that I found applicable to 'real' life.

Wisdom is for me deep insight into the way things are, with an eye to understanding how best to live. Instead, what I found in grad school was a contest, of sorts, of finding the most obscure vocabulary to present one's ideas in the most impenetrable way. IOW, buttloads of academic, intellectual and linguistic one-upsmanship, but not much of anything that showed any insight or depth wrt how to best understand and deal with this world of experience. Not much that lead to peace of mind, either, for that matter.

As a result, I've turned to Eastern Philosophy, as the core of much of it seems to match my own motivations for pursuing philosophy in the first place. Yes, they have their journals (in a publish-or-perish environment, they're inevitable) and whatnot, but there does seem to be a general understanding that all of this is supposed to give you deep insight and tranquility in the end.

Sorry if that doesn't address the OP...

Here is the problem of all moral forms all laid out... All moral forms are infinites, so in a sense they are so many meaningless words pointed at an immeasurable quality... Why is wisdom considered a virtue and why are all the virtues considered thusly??? We recongize that the possession of these good qualities lead to a happy life and a good life, and in the end, survival... Yet; like Voltaire said: if you would discuss with me, define your terms...Philosophy as we know it is not physics, with physical forms; but is morality with moral forms... And what we do is to define these terms in such a way that they can be reached from our present reality without every good, and all meaning being drained out of them in the process... If I say it is wisdom to travel incognito, keep a low profile, live a quiet life, and keep shy of the police; then you know we are both in trouble... Yes, it may be wise to live in that fashion, but the fashion also defines what is wisdom, so that it is never twice the same, and changes from age to age, and always remains an infinite... Yet, we must use the terms to reach our goals, and to use these terms we must define them, and yet -all we have is the simple observation that life is good, and we cannot live without good...

When you are learning what everyone has learned, you should try to think what no one has thought...Philosophy is taught as though time were a ladder made of progressive steps...It is more like a tree climbed in the dark with many a broken and rotton branch... As societies rot, philosophy blooms... Our interest in Philosophy at this moment is evidence of a failed form extending suffering far and wde, demanding from her best minds some sign of a solution...

Eastern philosophy has done nothing for the East...Consider the theory of forms... Most of it is hogwash, and metaphysical hogwash... If you want to get on with people, and you want to understand what is going on and how societies progress, just rember that every form is a form of relationship...Those people seeking to encumber philosophy are try to make of it an exclusive form that includes the greatest number out...Words too are forms... If we each share the same words we have a relationship....
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 08:30 am
@Holiday20310401,
What one finds in philosophy journals today is generally understandable as a working-through of positions in view of the fast-changing modern and very complex world. For example, the recent discoveries in the area of genomes may have major significance to philosophy, and what we see are attempts (perhaps premature) to grasp and to understand the recent (tentative) scientific data as it relates to the important questions of philosophy.
One also finds articles, often following the "philosophically correct" paradigm for writing, that seem caused by the economic and professional necessity for academic philosophers to publish. The telling phrase "philosophical workers" used by Nietzsche seems an apt description of these writers.

It may be that philosophy today is in a similar position seen during the Scholastic Period, which was a refinement in tools of thought (logic and definitions) and an elaboration of what had become the dominant world view (religious dogma) while the world was undergoing tremendous change in an axial period in history.This refinement and elaboration was a precondition of later philosophical perspectives.

Insofar as philosophy reacts to changes in the world and attempts to integrate them into a more or less total view (or views), when these changes occur rapidly and over so many horizons, they become unclear (e.g. the phenomenon of the world-wide-web, the apparatus of computers, and the colonization by both in ever-new areas) in their direction and effects, and it takes perhaps generations to fully understand them as they emerge from confusion and chaos.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 08:42 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;103286 wrote:
What one finds in philosophy journals today is generally understandable as a working-through of positions in view of the fast-changing modern and very complex world. For example, the recent discoveries in the area of genomes may have major significance to philosophy, and what we see are attempts (perhaps premature) to grasp and to understand the recent (tentative) scientific data as it relates to the important questions of philosophy.
One also finds articles, often following the "philosophically correct" paradigm for writing, that seem caused by the economic and professional necessity for academic philosophers to publish. The telling phrase "philosophical workers" used by Nietzsche seems an apt description of these writers.

It may be that philosophy today is in a similar position seen during the Scholastic Period, which was a refinement in tools of thought (logic and definitions) and an elaboration of what had become the dominant world view (religious dogma) while the world was undergoing tremendous change in an axial period in history.This refinement and elaboration was a precondition of later philosophical perspectives.

Insofar as philosophy reacts to changes in the world and attempts to integrate them into a more or less total view (or views), when these changes occur rapidly and over so many horizons, they become unclear (e.g. the phenomenon of the world-wide-web, the apparatus of computers, and the colonization by both in ever-new areas) in their direction and effects, and it takes perhaps generations to fully understand them as they emerge from confusion and chaos.

Part of the reason we have as much of Platonic philosophy as we do is that those clerics needed the dialectic, and not to find truth, but to resolve opposites, many of which became apparent in the laws of Justinian which the church resurected and burdened most of European society with...
 
FBM
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 06:17 am
@Fido,
Hi, and thanks for replying.

Fido;103264 wrote:

Eastern philosophy has done nothing for the East...


Could you expain this, please?

Quote:
Consider the theory of forms... Most of it is hogwash, and metaphysical hogwash...


The Platonic Theory of Forms? I was speaking of Oriental (Asian) philosophy. If there's an Asian version of the Theory of Forms, please link me to a source, as I haven't run across it yet, and I'm sure I'll need to know about it eventually. Thanks!
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 08:21 am
@FBM,
Quote:

FBM;103605 wrote:
Hi, and thanks for replying.



Could you expain this, please?


Other that making it psychologicallyy easier for people to accept misery, what has been the gain of Eastern Philosophy???...Even Ho Chi Minh recognized that he was working with a western philosophy, Marxism while the U.S. was guided by more spiritiual concerns, like liberty, and relgion...

Quote:
The Platonic Theory of Forms? I was speaking of Oriental (Asian) philosophy. If there's an Asian version of the Theory of Forms, please link me to a source, as I haven't run across it yet, and I'm sure I'll need to know about it eventually. Thanks![/[/QUOTE]QUOTE]
Whether one is talking about the thing: Wisdom, or all of the vocabulary people bring to bear upon it one is talking about forms... Can you show an independent existence for forms???For Wisdom??? Up until the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and even up to the present moment there is found the notion of a first cause, or a prime mover... We are equal because we were created so...Social Equality is a moral form... Moral forms do not exist because God exists, or because God made them, but because we need them, and find we cannot live without them...If God created forms using a perfect template from which all imperfect examples are created, then we must only find the perfect to correct the real... That was the beginning, with Plato, of our gummed up vocabulary of philosophy which results in much gummed up thinking... Cut the Gordian Knot... If you reject the metaphysical you have philosophy for the masses that has the same advantage of physics in western philosophy, of finding what is true, in order to improve what is useful...Truth too is a moral form; not created by God, but arrived at by mankind from many examples, none of which are perfect, from which is derived a perfect mental form, a form perfect only in the mind...To think of any object we must first strip it of its reality... It does us no good to encumber it with a lot of unreality, or jargon to confuse the uninitiated... Such philosophers as you mention are only talking to them selves...
 
FBM
 
Reply Sun 15 Nov, 2009 06:40 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I see. Thanks for your reply.
 
BrightNoon
 
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 12:09 pm
@Fido,
I think Nietzsche's criticism of science now, sadly, applies to philosophy. The act of philosophizing has succumbed to a philosophic method; it has been systematized, abstracted, lost its creative energy. And again paraphrasing Nietzsche, those who lack character invent a method; method is substitute for genius. However, keep in mind that these things tend to move in waves. The classical period generated a huge volume of original, creative works in literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, and then late classical and medieval periods generated nothing but commentaries thereon, and then the early modern period through at least the early 20th century once again generated a huge volume of original, creative work. Now, we may have entered a new 'dark age' in terms of humanistic intellectual enterpises. The cry is for more math and science in the schools, not more humanities. However, I see this as all the more incentive to produce something myself, hopefully other, more competent people feel the same way.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 01:09 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Formal philosophy; establishment philosophy is always a rotton branch, and as Nietzsche demonstrates, it is always bearing new shoots...It only looks dead... A child would grow tired of asking for candy if its smell were always in its nose, but though philosophy never grabs the truth it never tires of grasping after it; yet always refreshed in vigor...
 
PappasNick
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 12:10 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Philosophy admits of a two-fold definition - it is the love of wisdom, and it is the attempt to replace opinion by knowledge. The theme of this thread suggests that the love has gone from philosophy, replaced by the loveless pursuit of cold knowledge.

The answer to where we can get wisdom today may lie in the difference between wisdom and knowledge, which have never satisfactorily been shown to be identical. Perhaps an assumption that they are identical led to the feeling that wisdom was lost. Perhaps love was transferred, completely, to knowledge.

A post on this thread suggested that wisdom might be found in morality. I think that is a good place to start, or rather, to begin again.

-------
Nick Pappas, pappasnick.typepad.com
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 02:08 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Sure; a dictionary knows everything and does nothing, and a wiseman knows less and does less according to his knowledge...Wisdom is found in inverse proportion to activity, and the more people know the less they do...Primitives were forced into a feverish activity by their want of knowledge, and today only those who think as primitives must work as slaves work, driven from pay day to pay day by their wants, feasting or feeding only as they are able...

All this weighing of imponderables is the work of moral philosophy as opposed to Physical Philosophy, Physics... Who can say what wisdom is really, and prove their case???Some may say wisdom is as wisdom does, and I say wisdom is as wisdom does not, since discretion is a world of pitfalls is essential...
 
PappasNick
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 04:00 pm
@Fido,
Fido;105170 wrote:
Sure; a dictionary knows everything and does nothing, and a wiseman knows less and does less according to his knowledge...Wisdom is found in inverse proportion to activity, and the more people know the less they do...


Suppose that philosophers never become simply wise. But suppose that in the quest toward wisdom (philosophy as love of wisdom) they do indeed pick up some wisdom along the way - in other words, they become partly wise. The question seems to be whether this would serve to lessen their philosophic drive, philosophic activity, or whether it would serve to spur them on ever more. I throw my lot in with the latter.

-------
Nick Pappas, pappasnick.typepad.com
 
FBM
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 06:18 pm
@Holiday20310401,
At the moment, I'm intrigued by Pyrrhonian skepticism (not the dogmatic skepticism of the Academy) as a means of cultivating wisdom. Seems that there's not likely to ever be the perfect set of doctrines and dogmas that's eternally true and unshakeable, while at the same time being relevant and useful in guiding one's life. As far as I can tell, Pyrrho, Buddha and Lao Tzu (as depicted, anyway) had peculiar approaches to wisdom that weren't dependent on finding the 'right' expression of a doctrine or dogma. I'll admit that I don't know about it very deeply yet, but it's (Pyrrhonian skepticism) one of the more promising approaches I've run across in a long time.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 06:59 pm
@PappasNick,
PappasNick;105199 wrote:
Suppose that philosophers never become simply wise. But suppose that in the quest toward wisdom (philosophy as love of wisdom) they do indeed pick up some wisdom along the way - in other words, they become partly wise. The question seems to be whether this would serve to lessen their philosophic drive, philosophic activity, or whether it would serve to spur them on ever more. I throw my lot in with latter.

-------
Nick Pappas, pappasnick.typepad.com

I'll stick with ignorance does while wisdom watches...The urge to learn is so often tied to the urge to kill that I cannot advertize for it...If you want to know, then know; but if you think that gives you some license to get all carried away with blue prints and activities and plan Bz, then you better demonstrate what l yet to be learned...Humanity knows enough, and all it need is the wisdom to use what it has reasonably...Which often means not at all...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 09:34 pm
@Holiday20310401,
BrightNoon:

I strongly agree. My favorite philosophers are the sort that Rorty calls world disclosers. They conceptual-interpretative poets. If man lives in language (and I think he does), every potent new metaphor is an extension of his world.

I say we can leave refutations to the uncreative. Philosophy should be a thrill, the view from a mountaintop -- the view (simultaneously) from seven (or seven times seven) mountain-tops.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:06 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106210 wrote:
BrightNoon:

I strongly agree. My favorite philosophers are the sort that Rorty calls world disclosers. They conceptual-interpretative poets. If man lives in language (and I think he does), every potent new metaphor is an extension of his world.

I say we can leave refutations to the uncreative. Philosophy should be a thrill, the view from a mountaintop -- the view (simultaneously) from seven (or seven times seven) mountain-tops.

Philosophy is not itself creation but is essential to recreation...It does share one characteristic with creativity, and that is insight...We live by forms, and language is one of them... We also progress by way of forms, exchanging old forms for new....
 
 

 
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