Philosophy As A Weapon

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » Philosophy As A Weapon

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 10:14 pm
Philosophy as critical thinking as personal liberation. Philosophy as the destroyer of idols and the encouragement of self-realization. Philosophy as an open path, an enlargement of personality. Philosophy as the consciousness of freedom.

Not philosophy as mere memorization of philosophy past. Not philosophy as the self-abasement before famous philosophers. Not philosophy as the methodical application of other men's statements.

Philosophy as conversation without limits. Philosophy as self-invention. Philosophy as a weapon. Philosophy as a crown. Philosophy as the edge of human language use.

A person could replace the use of the word "philosophy" with the word "rhetoric," but "philosophy" has a better reputation.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 01:12 am
@Reconstructo,
Common sense is the best defense for American Identity.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:32 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;126966 wrote:
Common sense is the best defense for American Identity.



Is "common sense" natural and universal or is it historical and cultural? I mean, are all people just born with it or is it a cultural/historical acquisition?
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:38 am
@Reconstructo,
I think its cultural. Inspired by shared believes and a general acceptance by the population. Common wisdom you can find in pro-verbs. It really fun to compare Spanish, Dutch and English. I don't speak French, too bad!
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:45 am
@Reconstructo,
Because I saw it quoted, I see that America the Beautiful is once again being obsessed over. It proves my point though. Philosophy/rhetoric is a weapon (as well as other things). Sometimes this weapon is wasted on crap.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:56 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
I agree. And, as you can see, there is a growing, general rejection of common sense now by the American population. They know where to get the money and the sex but have rejected reasonable argument on political grounds. They find their precious "freedom" precisely by accepting only the irrational and the crazy, calling "common sense" a theory of Fascism.

---------- Post added 02-11-2010 at 04:03 AM ----------

Reconstructo;126987 wrote:
Because I saw it quoted, I see that America the Beautiful is once again being obsessed over. It proves my point though. Philosophy/rhetoric is a weapon (as well as other things). Sometimes this weapon is wasted on crap.


Sorry, Reconstructo. But I took Pepijn Sweep's comments as a critique of your OP.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:12 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;126990 wrote:
I agree. And, as you can see, there is a growing, general rejection of common sense now by the American population. They know where to get the money and the sex but have rejected reasonable argument on political grounds. They find their precious "freedom" precisely by accepting only the irrational and the crazy, calling "common sense" a theory of Fascism.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:29 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;127006 wrote:


Common sense would strip naked the selfish non-sense they embrace. It would show the truth, that they are not expressing themselves rationally; that they are behaving stupidly and that there are real consequences to acting crazy. It would impose a basic level of morality which they reject. Common sense would distinguish between what is clearly good and what is clearly wrong and they hate it.

They hate common sense, they despise it, they revolt against it in the name of 'freedom' which is, in reality, nothing but selfish non-sense. They have destroyed the public decency and lurch toward cultural and historical illiteracy.

They are freaking insane!
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:45 am
@Reconstructo,
Loong time ago someone called me dat+

I take it as it comes. I am free of work, live in a stable earea. Have enough to do, but sort off get addicted to WWW_"World Wide Web`.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 05:00 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
god bless Pepijn, the obscure!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 06:45 am
@Reconstructo,
Philosophy can be a weapon against nonsense and bs as it was in the hands of Socrates. And, as the logician and philosopher, L. Susan Stebbing wrote, in a biographical sketch of G.E.Moore, no one who learned to practice philosophical analysis as did Moore could possibly fall for the nonsense of Fascism and Communism. They would see through it in a short time.

But, unhappily, philosophy is often used against the intellect, and to promote obscurity and nonsense. It really depends on the kind of philosophy that is practiced. Whether in conjunction with critical thinking and analysis, or as opposed to it.
 
PappasNick
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:56 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126917 wrote:


A person could replace the use of the word "philosophy" with the word "rhetoric," but "philosophy" has a better reputation.


Thank you for your interesting post. I am in general agreement with you but have a question about this last statement above.

Doesn't rhetoric imply a distance between what one thinks and what one says? Or are you saying that what one thinks is what one says, but says only to oneself, and that this saying necessarily involves rhetoric? In other words, that naked speech, non-rhetorical speech, even to oneself, is impossible.

Please let me know if I should clarify.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:14 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;127013 wrote:
Common sense would strip naked the selfish non-sense they embrace. It would show the truth, that they are not expressing themselves rationally; that they are behaving stupidly and that there are real consequences to acting crazy. It would impose a basic level of morality which they reject. Common sense would distinguish between what is clearly good and what is clearly wrong and they hate it.

They hate common sense, they despise it, they revolt against it in the name of 'freedom' which is, in reality, nothing but selfish non-sense. They have destroyed the public decency and lurch toward cultural and historical illiteracy.

They are freaking insane!

If I may quote a wodge of someone else's text (not being entirely sure, myself, whether by "good sense" Gramsci meant something independent of culture and history, although I would guess that as a Marxist he wouldn't:
The concept of civil society - page 5 | Ecumenical Review, The
Quote:
Gramsci distinguished [...] "common sense" from what he called "good sense". Common sense is "the folklore of philosophy", a kind of pseudo-knowledge which hides the exercise of domination by prevailing powers; "good sense" is a drive of the consciousness grounded in the defence and affirmation of people's needs. "Good sense" grows out of the healthy nucleus of "common sense", which responds to the awareness of what people need in order to affirm themselves. According to Gramsci, "good sense" (which is never definitive) criticizes "common sense", trying to introduce a more appropriate world-view for people's consciousness. This is especially possible when important changes in history challenge people's understanding of the world.
Showing all the flies a way out of the fly-bottle, perhaps?

My own tentative definition (only dreamed up today, and only to be thrown into the mix with the rest): philosophy is psychotherapy done right.

And here (if I may quote another wodge of somebody else's text) is another. from Thomas R. Flynn, Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction (2006) (which, almost needless to say, I haven't actually read):

Quote:
Despite its claim to be novel and unprecedented, existentialism represents a long tradition in the history of philosophy in the West, extending back at least to Socrates (469-399 BC). This is the practice of philosophy as `care of the self' (epimeleia heautou). Its focus is on the proper way of acting rather than on an abstract set of theoretical truths. [...] Socrates himself warns the Athenian court at the trial for his life that they will not easily find another like him who will instruct them to care for their selves above all else.
As for the OP's "philosophy as consciousness of freedom" (or words to that effect - sorry, I can't see the OP on the page right now, not yet being very sure of how to use this interface safely):

While I do rather like that, I doubt that it actually defines philosophy, because the legendary man on the Clapham omnibus no doubt is conscious (in his "common sense") of his freedom, while perhaps he lacks the "good sense" to be conscious of his own personal identity, or of the personal identity of others, which I think (or rather, I feel, or I intuit) is more definitive of philosophy.

Another good one, I think, is Levinas's: not so much the love of wisdom, as the wisdom of love. Perhaps this definition also returns to Socrates's (or was it Plato's?) conception of philosophy as eros. (I'm bluffing, and I fear I forget where I came across that notion recently.)

(Is this article too long or meandering? I haven't found my feet here yet.)
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 11:57 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;127013 wrote:


They hate common sense, they despise it, they revolt against it in the name of 'freedom' which is, in reality, nothing but selfish non-sense. They have destroyed the public decency and lurch toward cultural and historical illiteracy.

They are freakiY insane!


Who you mean with they? Is it a social group? Are it your youngsters? Is it your your neighbour?
:detective:
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 12:04 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;127044 wrote:
If I may quote a wodge of someone else's text (not being entirely sure, myself, whether by "good sense" Gramsci meant something independent of culture and history, although I would guess that as a Marxist he wouldn't:
The concept of civil society - page 5 | Ecumenical Review, The

Quote:
Gramsci distinguished [...] "common sense" from what he called "good sense". Common sense is "the folklore of philosophy", a kind of pseudo-knowledge which hides the exercise of domination by prevailing powers; "good sense" is a drive of the consciousness grounded in the defence and affirmation of people's needs. "Good sense" grows out of the healthy nucleus of "common sense", which responds to the awareness of what people need in order to affirm themselves. According to Gramsci, "good sense" (which is never definitive) criticizes "common sense", trying to introduce a more appropriate world-view for people's consciousness. This is especially possible when important changes in history challenge people's understanding of the world.




Showing all the flies a way out of the fly-bottle, perhaps?

My own tentative definition (only dreamed up today, and only to be thrown into the mix with the rest): philosophy is psychotherapy done right.

And here (if I may quote another wodge of somebody else's text) is another. from Thomas R. Flynn, Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction (2006) (which, almost needless to say, I haven't actually read):

Quote:
Despite its claim to be novel and unprecedented, existentialism represents a long tradition in the history of philosophy in the West, extending back at least to Socrates (469-399 BC). This is the practice of philosophy as `care of the self' (epimeleia heautou). Its focus is on the proper way of acting rather than on an abstract set of theoretical truths. [...] Socrates himself warns the Athenian court at the trial for his life that they will not easily find another like him who will instruct them to care for their selves above all else.



As for the OP's "philosophy as consciousness of freedom" (or words to that effect - sorry, I can't see the OP on the page right now, not yet being very sure of how to use this interface safely):

While I do rather like that, I doubt that it actually defines philosophy, because the legendary man on the Clapham omnibus no doubt is conscious (in his "common sense") of his freedom, while perhaps he lacks the "good sense" to be conscious of his own personal identity, or of the personal identity of others, which I think (or rather, I feel, or I intuit) is more definitive of philosophy.

Another good one, I think, is Levinas's: not so much the love of wisdom, as the wisdom of love. Perhaps this definition also returns to Socrates's (or was it Plato's?) conception of philosophy as eros. (I'm bluffing, and I fear I forget where I came across that notion recently.)

(Is this article too long or meandering? I haven't found my feet here yet.)


But you are being dishonest for the sake of the revolution. You are being dishonest for the sake of power. In mid-20th Century Europe it was perhaps a battle between Fascism and Communism - between right and left versions of totallitarianism. However, in America, after the 1960's (if I may speak reasonably) the real battle was between the middle, which was classical liberalism, and the illiberal left. The revolution in America is against white majority democratic liberalism not Fascism.

So, the "domination" that Gramsci speaks of is, of course, the domination of liberal democracy, which was the center between the old right and the left. But this center is all but dead already. Common sense, as I have stated previously, is rejected. So there is no controversy here. But there is dishonesty. Perhaps psychotherapy will help them live with the lies they tell themselves. The Soviet Union, I might point out, was a place built upon lies also. And what has become of it?

I'll just say that I look at the levels of personal and governmental debt in America as a kind of accomplice to the American's irrational and selfish 'freedoms'. Gramsci's "good sense" is fundamentally, and intentionally, destructive of the necessary framework of society. There will be consequences of the revolution which the revolutionaries will not be capable of controlling.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 12:16 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;127018 wrote:
god bless Pepijn, the obscure!


I'm not an obscure person, more a hermetic-humanist thinker (by nature).
I''m actually an alumni working on illumination.

Any-thing can be a thread to society; Change for instance. Peace Prize!
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 12:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126917 wrote:
Philosophy as critical thinking as personal liberation. Philosophy as the destroyer of idols and the encouragement of self-realization. Philosophy as an open path, an enlargement of personality. Philosophy as the consciousness of freedom.

Not philosophy as mere memorization of philosophy past. Not philosophy as the self-abasement before famous philosophers. Not philosophy as the methodical application of other men's statements.

Philosophy as conversation without limits. Philosophy as self-invention. Philosophy as a weapon. Philosophy as a crown. Philosophy as the edge of human language use.

A person could replace the use of the word "philosophy" with the word "rhetoric," but "philosophy" has a better reputation.
Don't see how this take into account for delusions, naivity, ignorence, idiocy, group think, demagogues, optimism, pessemism ..etc.

Humans will always precive the very same thing in many different ways.

A weapon is only as good as the weilder's skills.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:32 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;126990 wrote:
I agree. And, as you can see, there is a growing, general rejection of common sense now by the American population. They know where to get the money and the sex but have rejected reasonable argument on political grounds. They find their precious "freedom" precisely by accepting only the irrational and the crazy, calling "common sense" a theory of Fascism.


This is a silly tirade. Seriously. If you want to claim the phrase "common sense," you are going to have to make a case. The KKK probably works harder at the presentation of its prejudices. It seems to me that America functions as a sort of Bogeyman for some non-Americans. The United States is a huge hybrid. To speak as if there is one American type sounds embarrassingly naive to us sinister, power-hungry, sex-obsessed, materialistic, reason-hating, racist, barbaric, obese Americans.

Also, concerning "political grounds." One of America's political problems is that many of its citizens are apolitical. Some are too cynical. Others too lazy. Yes, this is the dark side of wealth. On the other hand, America hasn't socialized health or education. We have no shortage of murder in our cities. We have more guns than citizens. This disparity of means and proximity to murder probably makes Americans different. But those Americans who visit Europe are not generally the Americans who live near the trouble. America is niether its tourists nor its tourist traps. America is crammed with a-political individualistic artistic types, who trust neither dominant party.
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 02:47 pm
@Pythagorean,
Quote:
But you are being dishonest for the sake of the revolution
I don't know what's going on here. Did you perhaps misread the words "I would guess that as a Marxist he wouldn't" as "I would guess as a Marxist that he wouldn't"? In any case that was only an aside to one remark in an article in which I made several remarks. I did wonder if my article was too long and/or poorly structured - perhaps this is evidence that it was. Anyway, I don't want to sidetrack the thread, just indicate that your response puzzles me.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 03:01 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127079 wrote:

A weapon is only as good as the weilder's skills.


Sure. Also consider that my original post hardly made any claim to be exhaustive. If philosophy is described metaphorically as a weapon, this is a rhetorical device used to emphasize an aspect of philosophy.

Wouldn't you say that your last post is the wielding of rhetoric in the name of philosophy? Are you using rhetoric/philosophy as a weapon against the concept of rhetoric/philosophy as a weapon?

I'm aware that many seek from philosophy a sort of replacement for religion.

I'm not saying this is you. But many a man points his finger in indignation and calls it wisdom. Calls the Bible silly, worships other books instead.

---------- Post added 02-11-2010 at 04:09 PM ----------

Twirlip;127044 wrote:

While I do rather like that, I doubt that it actually defines philosophy, because the legendary man on the Clapham omnibus no doubt is conscious (in his "common sense") of his freedom, while perhaps he lacks the "good sense" to be conscious of his own personal identity, or of the personal identity of others, which I think (or rather, I feel, or I intuit) is more definitive of philosophy.

Another good one, I think, is Levinas's: not so much the love of wisdom, as the wisdom of love. Perhaps this definition also returns to Socrates's (or was it Plato's?) conception of philosophy as eros. (I'm bluffing, and I fear I forget where I came across that notion recently.)


You mention good alternative definitions of philosophy. I certainly do not consider my O.P. exhaustive on that matter. For me, philosophy is never finished inventing itself. Perhaps it shares something with Art since Duchamp took the p*ss out of it.

Philosophy as eros or the wisdom to love is something I can relate to. I see thinking and feeling as intimately related. "I feel therefore I think," etc.
I used to metaphor "weapon" in this case when I could have just said "tool." A metaphor like this stresses that philosophy serves the purposes/values of man which are not necessarily "rational."

The idea of "good sense" is indeed a good idea. But this is also a sort of rhetoric. It should be noted that rhetoric is not for me a pejorative word. It's exactly because I valued reason that I faced up to its slavery to not-so-reasonable purposes. However, a concept like "good sense" is likely to come from a good heart. Some thoughts come from better feelings than others. This is of course an opinion, but then for me all philosophy is opinion. I can only conceive of certainty as a feeling. As far as logical certainty goes, I don't believe the Skeptic can be answered.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » Philosophy As A Weapon
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 04/24/2024 at 07:41:19