Philosophy As A Weapon

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kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 03:29 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.



Except, of course, that rhetoric fails unless it persuades, but philosophical argument need not persuade to be succeed. Now, there's a difference!
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:07 pm
@Twirlip,
Twirlip;127116 wrote:
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.


Let me attempt to explain myself. By the way your post was not poorly structured at all. I just figured you would know who Gramsci (the political and cultural revolutionary!) really was, and what his influence is. And that you would know who Levinas really was. And I think I know exactly what you mean by saying that philosophy is psychotherapy done right and that it is to be conscious of personal identity, or of the personal identity of others.


I hear this, what I would humbly suggest is crazy talk, all the time.

Everyone of these (especially Gramsci, philosophy as psychotherapy, and philosophy as 'personal identity') is fraught with ideological implications. Are you really unaware of the ideological spectrum of Western societies? Why can't I produce contrary arguments with regards to your words (and those whom you quote) that rest upon a contemporaneous political basis?

In my original comment on the death of common sense in America I was responding to Pepjin's post. It was my understanding that he and I agreed that the OP does not make sense.

I stated that common sense is not natural but acquired. The implication was that the OP has not acquired it. So I stated what I believed to be the reasons for this, which were, in my view, political and social (Pepjin brought up American identity first). So, I was making a commentary upon contemperary culture and politics when I originally said to Pepjin that Americans reject the old-time common sense. I still believe that this is the case; that Americans have rejected common sense. I don't have to talk about it, but I happen to think it's true. I also believe that the Universities no longer teach the value of reason; they teach that reason is a tool of white male priviledge. And this is actually an old story.

Gramsci has won, the revolutionaries, who apparently are no longer aware they are revolutionaries, have won. Philosophy is just as dead as is 'reason' in the Universities and common sense in the culture.

---------- Post added 02-11-2010 at 05:38 PM ----------

Reconstructo;127113 wrote:
This is a silly tirade.


You may believe that it is silly, but I just stated what I believe to be humble, not to say banal, matter of fact.

Reconstructo;127113 wrote:
Seriously. If you want to claim the phrase "common sense," you are going to have to make a case.


The plebian common sense that once prevailed in America is actually not my taste, to tell you the truth. But if American society has gone over the deep end I should be able to speak my mind about it. I would be happy to make the case demonstrating the death of 'common sense' in America. Where would you like to start?


Reconstructo;127113 wrote:

The KKK probably works harder at the presentation of its prejudices.


Are you insinuating that I am (my views are) somehow related to the K.K.K? There is an ongoing and very effective political and cultural movement which uses the K.K.K. to label white people in general as evil and racist especially against blacks. Aren't you implying that my defense of the old 'common sense', 'everyman', America is akin to being a racist? This would be a fruitful subject to persue.





Reconstructo;127113 wrote:
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.


Did you know that America thirty or forty years ago was a rather homogenous society? Did you know that multi-culturalism is something that is recent in American history? Now, I would agree with you that Anglo-America has died (along with 'common sense' and the 'everyman') but does this mean that the ideas that killed it are no longer a topic of discussion or debate?

Reconstructo;127113 wrote:
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.



Is this your manifesto?
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 04:39 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;127135 wrote:
Let me attempt to explain myself. By the way your post was not poorly structured at all. I just figured you would know who Gramsci (the political and cultural revolutionary!) really was, and what his influence is. And that you would know who Levinas really was. And I think I know exactly what you mean by saying that philosophy is psychotherapy done right and that it is to be conscious of personal identity, or of the personal identity of others.


I hear this, what I would humbly suggest is crazy talk, all the time.

[...]

Gramsci has won, the revolutionaries, who apparently are no longer aware they are revolutionaries, have won. Philosophy is just as dead as is 'reason' in the Universities and common sense in the culture.

I do know that Gramsci was a Marxist. (Indeed, I said so). I do know that Marxists are revolutionaries.

I admit I have barely any idea who Levinas was.

There is indeed a lot of crazy talk about, these days.

(If there is a way of listening to Derrida or Lacan, for instance, that does not make them sound crazy, in a really bad way, then I don't know what it is. I wrote that sentence quite carefully! So please read it with care.)

Perhaps I also talk a bit crazy myself, sometimes; nevertheless, the crazy talk you are hearing as if it came from me is not anything I meant to say. The voice you are hearing is not mine.

Common sense, or rather good sense, is scarce.

I have never in my life taken part in a proper philosophical discussion. (Except three or four years ago, on the Internet, with one extremely intelligent young man who, I just learned yesterday, blew his brains out in 2007, which has upset me more than a bit.)

This seems like an interesting place, and I don't want to mess any of it up with my first fumbling efforts. (I made a right pig's ear of an attempt at joining one other philosophical forum, Minds Eye at Google Groups, a few weeks ago, and I took my time before making my second attempt, here, trying to learn from my mistakes that first time.)

I really do seem to have a terribly bad way of diverting perfectly good threads from their course (in any forum I am ever in); I don't think this sidetrack will lead anywhere (not even if you were to summarise the whole thread for my benefit); so, please, don't mind me, and do go on with the conversation!

---------- Post added 02-11-2010 at 10:42 PM ----------

P.S. If the sidetrack were to lead anywhere, after all, it might be into a discussion of what we mean by the word 'reason'; but that would be another thread, I think.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:13 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;127135 wrote:

You may believe that it is silly, but I just stated what I believe to be humble, not to say banal, matter of fact.
The plebian common sense that once prevailed in America is actually not my taste, to tell you the truth. But if American society has gone over the deep end I should be able to speak my mind about it. I would be happy to make the case demonstrating the death of 'common sense' in America. Where would you like to start?
Are you insinuating that I am (my views are) somehow related to the K.K.K? There is an ongoing and very effective political and cultural movement which uses the K.K.K. to label white people in general as evil and racist especially against blacks. Aren't you implying that my defense of the old 'common sense', 'everyman', America is akin to being a racist? This would be a fruitful subject to persue.
Did you know that America thirty or forty years ago was a rather homogenous society? Did you know that multi-culturalism is something that is recent in American history? Now, I would agree with you that Anglo-America has died (along with 'common sense' and the 'everyman') but does this mean that the ideas that killed it are no longer a topic of discussion or debate?
Is this your manifesto?


I compared your nationalistic prejudice to racial prejudice. Yes. I did.

Yes, I agree that you should be free to speak your mind about it. I'm quite fond of the freedom of speech. You're welcome to make the case, but I'm personally not interested in it. I leave you to talk about America. I happen to live here. We can pretend that you have the American experience figured out. By the way, do you assume I agree with the policies of the American government? By all means, take your case to the President. I'm sure he's eager for your input. Stop by Exxon and Haliburton while you're at it.

I don't think America has ever been homogeneous. The Native Americans weren't homogeneous and the colonizers weren't homogeneous. The waves of immigrants haven't been homogeneous. Also, ever hear of our Civil War, which happened to be our bloodiest?

Yes, multiculturalism is something of a new ideology. I strongly doubt America has a monopoly on it. Some theorize that this multiculturalism is a handy tool of "Global Capital." I'm not saying it is, but it's an interesting thought. (Zizek is entertaining, whether or not persuasive.)

I would say that the U.S. government is largely steered by money, and those who have it. I don't think the hip professors are in charge here. I don't like what Harold Bloom calls the "School of Resentment." I also don't like the man-of-the-people game, or this fetishized notion of "common sense." What you call the death of reason, I call the practice of reason. "Reason" easily becomes an idol. Just as "God" has functioned as an idol.

I put no limits on anyone's debate. I simply retain my freedom to participate or not participate. I think political views serve as a form of self-invention, as fashion. Call me cynical, but I suspect that most political views are hot air. Few indeed are those who will spend real money on a Cause, let alone risk their lives for it. I'm not pointing my finger at you. I'll just say that there is no shortage whatsoever of righteous posing on planet Earth.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 08:58 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127119 wrote:
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.
Hmmmm ..ok let me repharse, imo human nature gets in the way of your noble thinking.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 09:11 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127250 wrote:
Hmmmm ..ok let me repharse, imo human nature gets in the way of your noble thinking.


This seems vague. Some might call the O.P. an anti-noble attitude. Philosophy-as-rhetoric is as old as the sophists. I don't call it either.

"Human nature" is a concept just a little more precise than "God."
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:41 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127258 wrote:
This seems vague. Some might call the O.P. an anti-noble attitude. Philosophy-as-rhetoric is as old as the sophists. I don't call it either.

"Human nature" is a concept just a little more precise than "God."
I'm not sure excatly how to handle this, your thoughts, reasoning and arguments seems idealistic based, not pragmatic.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 12:19 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127323 wrote:
I'm not sure excatly how to handle this, your thoughts, reasoning and arguments seems idealistic based, not pragmatic.


That's funny. My views are similar in many ways to Richard Rorty's -- today's most famous pragmatist.


This book is great.
Contingency, irony, and solidarity - Google Books
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 12:23 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127369 wrote:
That's funny. My views are similar in many ways to Richard Rorty's -- today's most famous pragmatist.


This book is great.
Contingency, irony, and solidarity - Google Books
Just because a doctor is a doctor, doesn't mean he's skilled in what he does.
I don't care what you think you are alligned to, it doesn't change the fact that I see no pragmatism in your thinking.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 01:52 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127373 wrote:
Just because a doctor is a doctor, doesn't mean he's skilled in what he does.


I'm glad you've figured this out.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 02:56 AM ----------

HexHammer;127373 wrote:

I don't care what you think you are alligned to, it doesn't change the fact that I see no pragmatism in your thinking.


More's the pity. Do some research. Do you know what pragmatism refers to in a philosophical context? You sound young, which is fine, but you don't sound like you've studied the philosophical tradition.

Sure, you can be a philosopher without reading philosophy, but probably only a bad one. Yes, it's a matter of taste. Good luck.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 03:00 AM ----------

Twirlip;127148 wrote:


(If there is a way of listening to Derrida or Lacan, for instance, that does not make them sound crazy, in a really bad way, then I don't know what it is. I wrote that sentence quite carefully! So please read it with care.)


Derrida is good in Spurs. Yeah, his style is usually a pain. I don't know why he was clear in Spurs.

Lacan has fascinating ideas. His style is also crap. Zizek applies his ideas in a way that makes them attractive. Just as Kojeve makes Hegel shine.

I hate obscure style. I agree with Schopenhauer that truth is fairest naked.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 03:01 AM ----------

kennethamy;127129 wrote:
Except, of course, that rhetoric fails unless it persuades, but philosophical argument need not persuade to be succeed. Now, there's a difference!


I'm not persuaded by this rhetoric.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 02:40 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;127397 wrote:
I'm glad you've figured this out.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 02:56 AM ----------

More's the pity. Do some research. Do you know what pragmatism refers to in a philosophical context? You sound young, which is fine, but you don't sound like you've studied the philosophical tradition.

Sure, you can be a philosopher without reading philosophy, but probably only a bad one. Yes, it's a matter of taste. Good luck.

I must confess I didn't know that there was a branch of philosophy called Pragmatis. Been raised in the belive pragmatic meant efficient, rational, chosing the obvious right solution and such.

Nor does it sound you are very wise in the ways of philosophy, now that you lash out at me in such puerile ways.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 01:29 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127411 wrote:
I must confess I didn't know that there was a branch of philosophy called Pragmatis. Been raised in the belive pragmatic meant efficient, rational, chosing the obvious right solution and such.

Nor does it sound you are very wise in the ways of philosophy, now that you lash out at me in such puerile ways.


1. Pragmatism is related to the practical and to practice. You would probably like it.
2. I wasn't all that rude, man. I even wished you good luck. You came on a bit arrogant. So maybe I was returned a little of that. No hard feelings, unless you insist on them.
3. As to my knowledge of philosophy, it's not too shabby, considering my age.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:53 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;128111 wrote:
1. Pragmatism is related to the practical and to practice. You would probably like it.
2. I wasn't all that rude, man. I even wished you good luck. You came on a bit arrogant. So maybe I was returned a little of that. No hard feelings, unless you insist on them.
3. As to my knowledge of philosophy, it's not too shabby, considering my age.
Now without being sarcastic you should consider the value of words, be careful that they'r not precived sarcastic, even tho you have the best of intentions.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 12:22 am
@Reconstructo,
Philosophy as consciousness of freedom. What does this mean? If a book merely bluntly states that "nothing is true and everything permitted," is this philosophy?

Imagine a young man raised by strict religious parents discovering this book. Even if this freedom is an illusion, a bluff, rhetoric....it could change his life. (It might get him killed, or laid).

The statement "reason is rhetoric and nothing else." I don't know if this is po-mo or not, but it's also potentially a game changer. Is this a philosophical statement?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 11:50 pm
@Reconstructo,
Philosophy as the game that swallows its players.

Philosophy as a war against prejudice. Philosophy as anti-cliche.

Philosophy as the looking-glass one can fall through.

Philosophy as the strip-tease of a Virgin Goddess.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:03 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129246 wrote:

Philosophy as the strip-tease of a Virgin Goddess.


The Goddess is the Final Truth, the one that philosophers tend to lust for, and many claim to have found.

I call her a Virgin to emphasize that her stripping has not endangered her hymen.

Philosophy as fiction whose theme is non-fiction. Philosophy as half-fiction.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:15 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129813 wrote:
The Goddess is the Final Truth, the one that philosophers tend to lust for, and many claim to have found.

I call her a Virgin to emphasize that her stripping has not endangered her hymen.

Philosophy as fiction whose theme is non-fiction. Philosophy as half-fiction.


Holy metaphor, Batman!
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:21 pm
@Reconstructo,
To what degree has philosophy served as self-justification? To what degree have philosophical positions served as peacock feathers, including this one?

To what degree have claims to selflessness and the universal excused particularly selfish behavior?

To what degree is this forum an abstract jungle for a sublimated or sanitized aggression, limited to words?

To what degree are these questions statements with a mask of curiosity?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 04:06 pm
@Reconstructo,
Philosophy as adjustment. Philosophy as maintenance on our network of beliefs and desires.

At some point, many painters stopped painting what was in the world and started trying to paint feelings, etc. And then they were just painting paint. It was just paint, and that was how they wanted it evaluated.

At some point art stopped representing reality and started representing representation. I think philosophy is largely the game that tries to name itself.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 04:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130103 wrote:
Philosophy as adjustment. Philosophy as maintenance on our network of beliefs and desires.

At some point, many painters stopped painting what was in the world and started trying to paint feelings, etc. And then they were just painting paint. It was just paint, and that was how they wanted it evaluated.

At some point art stopped representing reality and started representing representation. I think philosophy is largely the game that tries to name itself.


What about philosophy as philosophy? Is that in your armory.
 
 

 
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