Thinking about it, I fear regression, especially with philosophy. One of the main reasons I joined the forum was to keep what I learned in school fresh, new, and developed and keep what I had from degrading with time.
I completely agree with you. I also think that familiarity can cause regression to, or at least the feeling of it which some may find hostile to what they want out of life innately.
For example, I know when I go off to university, though philosophy courses are more about analyzing and understanding the views of others without spreading the student's own opinions, I intend on having some way of expressing my own views somewhere outside of university (example could be writing) where I can consciously connect my abilities to do so towards that which I've gained from the course work.
You have to have the feeling that you're creating something out of what you've learned otherwise, well, most people can't or won't wait four years to make the time to do so, and by then one might forget how to be motivated to do such things.
One thing I know I've gained from analytical philosophy is a confidence in my thoughts. Whenever someone is new to em.. 'thinking' they (myself included) tend to not have the confidence to widen the potential meaning of something. It is always a matter of what is the case in their heads as opposed to what can be the case or what could be the case.
For example, a young thinker will not see distinctions or have the confidence (though perhaps the better word is faculties) to discern why they are wrong, and rely on value judgments and value systems to accord their thinking with all of the tangents and implications and meanings thoughts can take. In a sense they rely on the values and judgments of whoever they are reading without the ability and confidence to rely on their own intuitions first and foremost.
In ethics, this is a very common example: A young thinker will look to an ethical question where an opinion of what ought to be the case is to be decided upon. They do not realize that the brain doesn't think (with words at least) or communicate intuitively in terms of what ought
to be the case. To infer what ought to be the case, the thinking part of what you're doing must draw upon insights of what is
the case and what can
, and could
be the case. The young thinker does not start out with the ability to connect his rather ineffable intuitions of what ought to be the case with wordings that can communicate what he intends on saying. He/she lacks the confidence to draw upon insights of what is the case and what can be the case due to cultural bias, or the like, and he lacks the refinedness in faculty to infer his insights towards a communication of what therefore ought to be the case, not to mention a confidence to do it creatively, or within creative parameters of thought (whatever you want to call it lol). The inferences always appear to the older thinker as "too inferred".
To me it is important to be able to communicate those ineffable, and more irrational truths we perceive either with aesthetic or moral appeals. They cannot just be locked inside you, they have to be told to others. Even the analytical realm of philosophy can extend and reach towards what it means to live and be.
Not to mention also, I notice that there is a pattern in the evolution of one's awareness to what a question means. This can be expressed in the former example, and links to what you said before Vide.
I think we all yearn to explore untrodden and novel areas... but they are few and far between. In order to progress, we need to understand, assimilate, affirm or deny, and then and only then provide our own unique perspective.
We all start out with only an awareness of what is the case, and a vague one at that. Then we slowly grow towards understanding and appreciating what can be the case. We have our own unique perspective. In answering an ethical question, we are no longer limited to the young thinker's awareness of what is the case, but now have insights from many perspectives from many readings of what can be the case. After reading Nietzsche and talking to a utilitarian, who is right? You think you're right, perhaps even more refined in your view, but surely your opponent thinks the same.
The next bit of progress is the ability to intuitively answer the question, what would your heart say? What would you say if culture did not have an effect on your opinions and thought? Instead of trying to find the answer to an ought question through unraveling its contents of what can and is the case, one has the ability to draw an intuition of what ought to be the case directly, and communicate it without value judgments coming from either its conversion from one's subjective languages to words. There is the potential for bias to be found in one's past examinations of what is and what can be. By asking what would the heart say, one attempts to bypass the value judgments and draw upon only the insights which have not been tainted.
I think part of what causes one to be motivated in some parts of philosophy more than others is the ability to see what can be the case in those areas of interest as opposed to not. Sometimes I think that some parts of what can be the case are directly linked to temperament. It's about how the imagination wants to view matters, and being depressed might simply mean the imagination is just not being 'creative' enough. The faculty of imagination is not easily harnessed where there is familiarity. It's probably how familiarity got to be there in the first place.
Anyways, so yeah, that's what I've found useful about analytical philosophy.