where can we get wisdom today?

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Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 10:11 pm
@Fido,
I must disagree and insist that philosophy is indeed creative. How is Beyond Good and Evil or Being and Time not creative?

Also the piecemeal invention of philosophical terminology....

Art-criticism is itself an art. Even your assertion that philosophy is not creative is itself a piece of creative writing.

With respect,
S
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 07:40 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106227 wrote:
I must disagree and insist that philosophy is indeed creative. How is Beyond Good and Evil or Being and Time not creative?

Also the piecemeal invention of philosophical terminology....

Art-criticism is itself an art. Even your assertion that philosophy is not creative is itself a piece of creative writing.

With respect,
S

Have you ever heard the definition of an internist as one who knows everything and does nothing, or of a GP as one who knows nothing and does every thing, or an ME as one who knows everything and does everything when it is too late???

Philosophy may well be re-creation, but philosophers, when they are good attempt to know everything and do nothing... It does not take much learning to recognize that people act out of ignorance and that the most ignorant are the most energetic in their efforts; and that fools rush in where angels fear to tread... All of humanity might well offer the defense given by Oedipus, That I did what I did not knowing what I did... No person should act not knowing the consequences of their actions, and the philosopher is forced to admit his ignorance as no truly ignorant person ever shall... And it is that knowledge of ignorance which we often call wisdom because that wisdom does not demand so much as it forbids unconsidered actions...We do not create, but attempt to re-create our reality with the model of forms past which were a success, and which we understand...Our motto, too often unacknowleged, should be the same as for Doctors: First, do no harm...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 04:29 pm
@Holiday20310401,
You say that no person should act without knowing the consequences of their action. I say that no man knows with certainty the consequences of his action.

Life demands decisions. A parent deciding whether a child should undergo a dangerous operation is not in a position to do no harm. Life is dangerous. I strongly doubt that reality is completely knowable, predictable, etc.

To do no harm is not an option. We eat other life forms, live on territory that others species could feed and breed upon. Our taxes go to the making and dropping of bombs. Our blood is the breeding ground of diseases that threaten our species in general.
Your post was a piece of creative writing, and so it this one.
Regards
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 11:10 am
@Reconstructo,
Quote:

Reconstructo;106456 wrote:
You say that no person should act without knowing the consequences of their action. I say that no man knows with certainty the consequences of his action.


So no one should be certain in their action...Some one told Socrates to arrest some one, so he went home; and that at least means that he took his own advice to heart...
Quote:
Life demands decisions. A parent deciding whether a child should undergo a dangerous operation is not in a position to do no harm. Life is dangerous. I strongly doubt that reality is completely knowable, predictable, etc.


Perhaps, but humanity by choice decides in a panic because we refuse to admit mistakes, because we let our ideas think for us, and because our forms, like government, fail us...We do not capture the future in our mind so we are made its prisoner...The Greeks thought that because we were created by Promeathius, we had the gift of foresight; and believed we blind ourselves with hope against hope... It is intelligence which gives sight, and those who refuse to use their intelligence because it would insure an immediate pain deserve the pain they so frantically must avoid at the end of bad decisions... You should do as you know...I have done a thousand jobs poorly out of ignorance, and learned from the process, but I could have do one good job a thousand times for a fair price if I had put thought before action...You look at our government... It is run like a blind rat in a maze from dead end to dead end not able to think more than ten seconds ahead...The Iroquois in their government were told to consider the effect of their actions on the next seven generations... The difference is the form of their government, which was democratic as ours is not, so it availed itself of many minds, and every good idea... Our government was created after the model of the Roman Republic at the point of failure, and it has failed...The more distant the government becomes from the intelligence of the people the more it must depend upon the glazed over ideas of a bygone age...Why did the founding fathers pump up our society with English law when English law would have hanged them???... New forms are inflated with the gas of the old until they stink just as bad... Democracies have existed since before time...They worked because no head was as smart as the common mind, and if we do not have democracy today it is because a few people know that their wealth and power would be impossible to justify in a democracy... They need the laws of the past which protected the theives of another age to defend the theivery of this age...

Quote:

To do no harm is not an option. We eat other life forms, live on territory that others species could feed and breed upon. Our taxes go to the making and dropping of bombs. Our blood is the breeding ground of diseases that threaten our species in general.
Your post was a piece of creative writing, and so it this one.
Regards


Well, if doing no harm is not an option, then measure twice and cut once... We cannot undo the damage we do to the environment and to humanity, so we should all consider the damage we do that does not contribute to satisfaction of our needs... And we should consider our needs, because some must have what others do not dare to want... We live in a luxury society, and the worst part of it is that what the rich waste the poor want, so that all people aspire to wealth, and waste more than they need to have what they want until the poor, to have pleasure- feed the next generation into the maw of the past...
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 11:53 am
@Holiday20310401,
The best way to get wisdom is to embrace dissonance.

Seek out those things that annoy you and understand why they do so - especially the opinions of others. Then the dissonance dissipates.

Never write off someone as 'stupid'. If you do, that makes you stupid as you are then a bad teacher.

Philosophers often get frustrated with other people for being illogical or missing the point, or being contradicitory. There is no need to be frustrated if you are certain of your viewpoint. Just teach in a calm fashion.

I have learnt much about my own mind by observing 'badness' in others'.
Taking on the task of talking to frustrated youngsters can teach one much about one's own burdens.

See a troubled person (the habitual ad hominemer) as an opportunity to teach and learn about psychology in a graceful manner.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 11:25 pm
@Poseidon,
Fido, I agree with your values, even if I disagree on other issues.

Poseidon,
I agree with your post. We should always keep our cool, try to understand, debate with manners.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 12:17 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106456 wrote:
You say that no person should act without knowing the consequences of their action. I say that no man knows with certainty the consequences of his action.



You seem to think that what he said, and what you say, are incompatible. Why? I think both are true. People often know the consequences of their action, but not with certainty.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 12:37 am
@kennethamy,
But, Sir, you are reading into my post.

Also I don't think it's a given that a person should know the consequences of their actions. Sometimes people get lucky. Scientific discoveries are sometimes accidents. Beloved children are sometimes accidents. And the existence of courage seems related to unknown consequences. David and Goliath.

Also please consider what that statement was in response to.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 09:02 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106808 wrote:
But, Sir, you are reading into my post.

Also I don't think it's a given that a person should know the consequences of their actions. Sometimes people get lucky. Scientific discoveries are sometimes accidents. Beloved children are sometimes accidents. And the existence of courage seems related to unknown consequences. David and Goliath.

Also please consider what that statement was in response to.

Children are the product of unconscious urges, or insincts; yet this is often true of murder and mayham... To live in a modern society, what is natural is reined in or ruined because the natural is usually dispised...Society as we have it, the nation state requires that people act in a reasonable manor even while the whole thing charges this way and that on the power of repressed natural urges...People once acted morally because morality came out of their navels, which is to say: out of natural relationships, and affection that grew out of ones relationship with ones mother... It is only recently that motherland and matrelinier societies were replaced with patriotism...

Having no natural bonds of affection means we do not have to take up the causes of others, and they do not have to take up our cause, and there is the point upon which most violence begins and is carried on...But if we do not want to tear our remaining society apart we must learn to act rationally, to consider the consqences of our actions and limit the blow back...As our society crumbles and people seek any defense for the injury of those within society people must think more, and not less, to survive...If things progress as they are, in very short order this people will all be reformed in tribes, as our gangs are, or united on some more natural basis... This moment in time looks to divide us, and the establishment takes all the good minds to it...The poor and the average are bound some day to look on the intelligent as the enemy, a Pol Pot did, and try to eliminate them as anti socials, which they often are...

Now, this society, thinking it works with a natural law, the law of natural selection, misses the finer points of our existence... We exist because we are naturally social... We are not so much selected as individuals to live, but as as groups to survive....When individuals are forced to make life choices as individuals, to stand alone against the world they are doomed...Only when people recombine as in corporations, or in churches which are incoporated, do they stand a chance, and from that form of society they are given their survival...All people have to use their heads to survive because survival in a society like ours in not assured.... We cannot communicate with our government, and can barely communicate with each other... We are urged to strike out as individuals, and then find ourselves toe to toe with corporations in some form...We cannot trust what we are told, nor are we capable of natural behavior... We should take a lesson from our underclass, and tribalize...They know that to survive in a denegrating, and demeaning society that they must do so on some natural basis... A street gang is not exactly a natural relationship, but if the relationship is with others like ones self it is natural... If you look around and see government and law and church and people all arranged against you, then you have to form up too...Or be very careful in what you do, which requires thought, and lots of it...It is very intelligent to make common cause with others, so why do our brightest stars tell us to act as individuals??? No one; not one of our voices for individualism have our best interests at heart... We need only look at how much group capital has been turned into private property in the course of our history because each such act represents an inalienable right being made alienable... And sold...None of us can look at government property and say mine, except for those who buy it from the government for a pittance...Where does it work for us???Where is the benefit in having government defend our inalienable rights only until it can get the best price??? In fact, if we would protect our rights we must protect our property because public property must support the population, and if it is all in private hands then our inalianable rights must be sold for a pot of porrage....

So; to get back at the question, the group is wiser than the man... We need the whys and whats of natural morality to build a larger form of society inside the rot of the old... We should not attack gangs, but study and build on them, and find out how to live together, one person at a time, with rules that are just and equitable, but mostly which defend the group...I would not waste a second trying to organize to reform the government...The government can pervert anyone, and they do so because they are corroded...

What we need to do is reform society, and make natural what is now unnatural, and antinatural...In the words of a spiritual: It is good to be together, and bad to be apart for none shall enter heaven but the pure of heart...The heaven we need we have, but it is fenced, and we are seen as interlopers in our own land..
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 11:03 pm
@Fido,
Fido;107278 wrote:


Now, this society, thinking it works with a natural law, the law of natural selection, misses the finer points of our existence... We exist because we are naturally social... We are not so much selected as individuals to live, but as as groups to survive....When individuals are forced to make life choices as individuals, to stand alone against the world they are doomed...Only when people recombine as in corporations, or in churches which are incoporated, do they stand a chance, and from that form of society they are given their survival...All people have to use their heads to survive because survival in a society like ours in not assured.... We cannot communicate with our government, and can barely communicate with each other... We are urged to strike out as individuals, and then find ourselves toe to toe with corporations in some form...We cannot trust what we are told, nor are we capable of natural behavior... We should take a lesson from our underclass, and tribalize...They know that to survive in a denegrating, and demeaning society that they must do so on some natural basis... A street gang is not exactly a natural relationship, but if the relationship is with others like ones self it is natural... If you look around and see government and law and church and people all arranged against you, then you have to form up too...Or be very careful in what you do, which requires thought, and lots of it...It is very intelligent to make common cause with others, so why do our brightest stars tell us to act as individuals??? No one; not one of our voices for individualism have our best interests at heart... We need only look at how much group capital has been turned into private property in the course of our history because each such act represents an inalienable right being made alienable... And sold...None of us can look at government property and say mine, except for those who buy it from the government for a pittance...Where does it work for us???Where is the benefit in having government defend our inalienable rights only until it can get the best price??? In fact, if we would protect our rights we must protect our property because public property must support the population, and if it is all in private hands then our inalianable rights must be sold for a pot of porrage....




This is a valid corrective to hyper-individualist stance. This reminds me of why Rorty identified himself with Dewey and politics as the practical sphere of philosophy. Of course I must admit I've always felt like a flea on the back of a buffalo. Whereas Rorty had the worldly position that motivates a person to engage with politics. His voice was heard. I'm sometimes feel that philosophy for a person like myself is a tool for individual survival, but this is not because I don't care about the group. I'm reluctant to tackle political issues for two reasons. The first is intellectual humility. The real world is bigger than our ideas of it, or so it seems to me. The second is the feeling of being one more tiny voice in the roar of an ocean of voices. Assuming I figured out what was good for the group at large, it's hard to imagine the group at large listening to me. I find myself accepting the injustice of the world and selfishly doing my best to dodge my otherwise appointed lot. I do try to "cut once and measure twice" but if I am honest with myself I must admit that the life of my loved ones (including myself) is more valuable to me than a multitude of abstract strangers.

On the other hand, I've always thought that if the right group movement came along, this feeling of political impotence might be expunged. But it does seem that the larger any group gets the more vague and compromised its principles become. There is a certain ugly truth in individualist thinkers like Nietzsche, for all his faults. It does seem easier to get oneself on a mountain-top than to get the rest on a mountain-top. For so many humans, success is measured in the accumulation of property, and yet to despise money is foolish. It's hard indeed for us not to pride ourselves on membership in some imaginary in-group.

For awhile now I have seen democracy and capitalism as Satanic in the Romantic sense of the individual who has neither king nor priest above him. The consumer is god. And this is not by any means all bad. I think what Spengler means by "the decline of the west" is the transition from intangible values to tangible values. A culture becomes a civilization when its great myths and art are dead to it. Instead a practical philosophy comes to the fore. It's as if the creative period is over. Man's intellect is a cold dead instrument used to manage things. Perhaps this is what Heidegger meant by "forgetfulness of being."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 11:58 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;106808 wrote:
But, Sir, you are reading into my post.

Also I don't think it's a given that a person should know the consequences of their actions. Sometimes people get lucky. Scientific discoveries are sometimes accidents. Beloved children are sometimes accidents. And the existence of courage seems related to unknown consequences. David and Goliath.

Also please consider what that statement was in response to.


I don't think it is wise (speaking of wisdom) to count on being lucky. Also, as it is well said, chance is the residue of design.

And, since I have not been knighted yet, there is no reason to call me, "sir". "Your excellency" will do just fine.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 01:55 pm
@Holiday20310401,
I agree. One shouldn't count on being lucky. But how many us are born "accidentally?"

Remember in Hamlet, when returns from his sea-voyage: "Rashness be praised" he says or something like that. For rashness had just saved his life. Also things like hunches. Jung has persuaded to see the psyche as something must larger than consciousness. Freud's free association is useful to the degree that association is not free. There are more things in heaven and earth, Your Excellency KennethAmy, than our philosophy hath dreamt of.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 02:02 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110601 wrote:
I agree. One shouldn't count on being lucky. But how many us are born "accidentally?"

Remember in Hamlet, when returns from his sea-voyage: "Rashness be praised" he says or something like that. For rashness had just saved his life. Also things like hunches. Jung has persuaded to see the psyche as something must larger than consciousness. Freud's free association is useful to the degree that association is not free. There are more things in heaven and earth, Your Excellency KennethAmy, than our philosophy hath dreamt of.


"...than are dreamed of in our philosophy". I suppose so. But it is also true that a lot of things dreamed of don't exist. Some of us are born accidentally. And some of us aren't.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 02:09 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Did I misquote Shakespeare? Perhaps, perhaps....

To quote Blake: "Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so?"

All that is dreamed does exist, for consciousness is the root reality. But I know what you intended. I reply: some dreams are private, others public. The public dream we call reality.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 07:45 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110609 wrote:
Did I misquote Shakespeare? Perhaps, perhaps....

To quote Blake: "Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so?"

All that is dreamed does exist, for consciousness is the root reality. But I know what you intended. I reply: some dreams are private, others public. The public dream we call reality.

If dreams are real, then memories or fantasies are real; and this can be argued while thos who feel them yet live... The same is true of all our forms which really exist only in our minds... As Schopenhaur said: the world dies with me...Nice trick.. But it is just as crazy to suggest that thoughts or dreams are real because they rest on some foundation in the mind...What is real can be shared objectively... That is what humanity does... We share meaning...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 08:37 pm
@Holiday20310401,
But we've should honor to both sides of the spectrum. To paraphrase another line from Blake: what is proven today was once the theory of a single man. I know I'm a bit on the Romantic side of the equation, but this is not to deny that the very language we think with is created socially, in interaction. It's just that my personal hero myth urges me to think something new, which I admit is anything but easy. Still, the anxiety of influence is my hell hound. It's an itch I cannot deny. I really don't want to be just another talking primate, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. But that's only part of the story, as always....

---------- Post added 12-12-2009 at 10:38 PM ----------

Holiday20310401;103207 wrote:


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?



Very good points/questions. If philosophy is stuck being the lap-dog of epistemological naturalism, it might as well move more in the direction of the humanities. I still want it associated with wisdom and not just justified belief. Doesn't Heidegger also tackle these questions? To think is to thank. And the farther we get from mystery and wonder, the farther we get from an important aspect of the philosophical tradition. Is positivism not rife with a puritan hatred? I realize that positivism has been replaced, but the spirit no doubt remains. The objectiphilia that squeezes out sophia-philia.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 09:56 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Why believe in heroes when you can make yourself a hero in fact... To think freely regardless of the consequences that such people are damned to hell is heroic... Dare to see clearly the condition of humanity which is hopless far beyond despair...Look at your fellow human beings and suffer with them their pain... Such strength is hard to come by as only the virtuous possess it; but such people, even if they lie as dirt in their graves are worth eternal life...

Personally, I have shown such bravery and strength as many a hero... Does it matter that my job demanded it of me??? Individual greatness is the sort of thing that lures the truly noble to their deaths... Don't let heroics blind you... Be only as brave as life demands...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:11 pm
@Fido,
Fido;110777 wrote:
Why believe in heroes when you can make yourself a hero in fact... To think freely regardless of the consequences that such people are damned to hell is heroic... Dare to see clearly the condition of humanity which is hopless far beyond despair...Look at your fellow human beings and suffer with them their pain... Such strength is hard to come by as only the virtuous possess it; but such people, even if they lie as dirt in their graves are worth eternal life...

Personally, I have shown such bravery and strength as many a hero... Does it matter that my job demanded it of me??? Individual greatness is the sort of thing that lures the truly noble to their deaths... Don't let heroics blind you... Be only as brave as life demands...


There's good advice here. I must say, though, that polite humility aside, I do very much cast myself as the hero in this drama of my life. I've always had what a good friend of mine calls a Christ complex. Always felt like an exception. But one is punished for making this too obvious. And then one's self-love is sophisticated by suffering which is unavoidable.

At the same time, I feel it's only right to pay tribute to the influences that mattered. It's contrary to our narcissism, but the "reality-principle" in me urges me to admit how created I and all the rest of us are by our environments. For the most part, my life has been quite good. Better than average from what I can tell. And it's mostly been attitude. Also a d*mn good woman. But every Romantic has his hell to pay. I've put in my dues facing the vision of the world as a meaningless meat-grinder. And largely I still see it that way, not expecting an afterlife or earthly justice. I look to affirm it, for it seems to be all I have. Moral indignation is often the enemy of wisdom. I like Spinoza for his serenity. To view Reality as all of a piece. We must accept God (reality) as a whole, not piecemeal. For all is intertwined. But this is more wisdom than science. Would you agree?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 12:38 am
@Holiday20310401,
Men especially see themselves as heroes... They are late for work because they have a flat tire in rush hour, and it is the labors of Heracles in a gum wrapper... I used to work ooccasionally with a fellow who was big and strong...If he got a new task, no matter how well it was going before he got there, he had this look, right and left, up and down finding some way to screw it up...He was called up in the middle of the night once by the boss, and chewed out because he put a roof opening in the wrong location...Up he jumps, and runs to GM, and starts torching it loose in the middle of the night...He started a fire that cost 40k in damage...The boss would not pay the bill, and so GM never paid him, and never hired him back, but he did not fire Brown... But one of the smart asses at work called him Midnight Brown, like the shoe polish... One of the other ones always called him Captain Morgan, after his favorite drink...It was a polite way of calling him rummy...But the guy was irrepressible...No matter how he screwed up on the job, he would come back the next day ready to change the world...The dummy smashed one of my fingers once...It gets cold before the whole rest of my body, and not nice cold, but painful, freezing cold...Some times it is heroic just to get to work and do a good job...Suffering fools in silence is gigantic...

---------- Post added 12-13-2009 at 01:52 AM ----------

I don't have to accept God/reality whole... I try to not conceive of infinites...We can have finite knowledge, so of finites I want to know... What others call philosophy I call morality, and morality is all infinites... So what can we know, feeling our way around in the dark???...I'd like to say I know this about that...It is all vanity... I know next to nothing about everything... If people were only so simple as a transmission, or a carburator... People can be fixed, but it takes a lot of tools....I wish I could read for fun...I open every book hoping to find some secret knowledge that will really make a difference...It is amazing what I do learn just by being open to it... But fiction no longer talks to me...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:04 am
@Fido,
Fido;110819 wrote:


I don't have to accept God/reality whole... I try to not conceive of infinites...We can have finite knowledge, so of finites I want to know... What others call philosophy I call morality, and morality is all infinites... So what can we know, feeling our way around in the dark???...I'd like to say I know this about that...It is all vanity... I know next to nothing about everything... If people were only so simple as a transmission, or a carburator... People can be fixed, but it takes a lot of tools....I wish I could read for fun...I open every book hoping to find some secret knowledge that will really make a difference...It is amazing what I do learn just by being open to it... But fiction no longer talks to me...

Ok, in a practical sense man is the opposite of acceptance. He is a force operating upon his environment. So you have the dynamic aspect of life as war and man as a soldier, negotiating a treacherous terrain. Spinoza for me is a White Lie. Concepts can function as myths do. Spinoza is conceptual art. Accept reality whole and such is a rationalization that fucntions as an antidote to excessive disgust/indignation. Ultimately I'm a selfish being, using all the tricks in the book to survive and if possible flourish, even if this flourishing is only a great feeling invisible to most. Life is largely a bluff. But a successful bluff becomes real. It gathers chips. This is where the Jesus cartoon is right. Faith moves mountains. Faith or courage or call it what you will. I would bet there is more success in worldly terms founded on courage than on intelligence. I'm not a cowardly person by any means, but my desires are not that worldly. The more aware we are of our motives, the stranger the unaware seem. Children know not what they are capable of. Cute little boy might murder his wife one day, overdose on Christmass. Hitler was a baby once. I feel such a sense of self-ownership that if I was sick of life I would end it. Maybe I will when it loses it spark. When the body becomes a burden. The Satan myth is as central to our culture as Christ almost. To deny God and all authority. You mentioned your steel working days and I related to that. Some humans are no longer alienated from there desires. What they desire is therefore right. But prudence has still its claims, as the world would punish the greatly outnumbered individual. And then once one attains self-ownership, there is still the problem of what do we want most? For we can't have it all. Many choices make others impossible. Finite man. Poor thing. I'd like to live 20 lives. No wonder vampire stories are popular. Life is too short for individual human potential.
 
 

 
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