Depressed by Studying Philosophy

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kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:28 pm
@Mister Carcer,
Mister Carcer;149328 wrote:
A philosopher's concern is with philosophy, but what makes philosophy relevant is that questions it raises are about things that matter to practically everybody. I have nothing critical to say about logic or analysis, but I do want to raise the point that the issues we apply the tools of logic and analysis to, don't arise from logic and analysis, but because they matter to us.


A philosopher may philosophize about a lot of things, and I expect that he will philosophize about what he finds interesting. At least, I hope so. Of course, he may find logic interesting, and philosophize about logic. Or he may do meta-philosophy, and philosophize about the nature of analytic philosophy. So his issues do arise from logic and analysis.

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 05:37 PM ----------

Holiday20310401;149326 wrote:
Sure. A scientist is someone who does science, but someone who does science may not wish to call himself a scientist. Someone who does philosophy may not wish to call himself a philosopher.

Now perhaps attaching professional to the word scientist or philosopher limits the word's context to the extent where you'd be right, but then this still becomes a matter of whether one would want to be a professional philosopher or just a philosopher where the pay feels like a bonus.

The pay for a person who says "I am a philosopher" is not just money, or analyzing texts. It's also in the teaching and creating and creative endeavors he does that contributes to his being a philosopher.


The pay for a person who says "I am a philosopher" is not just money, or analyzing texts. It's also in the teaching and creating and creative endeavors he does that contributes to his being a philosopher.

One would hope so, anyway. But it doesn't always work out that way. Byt the way, I don't think that philosophers only analyze texts. Some do that. But most do other things like try to solve, or at least clarify philosophical problems. Some philosophers do, I agree, think that all a philosopher should do is analyze and exposite what other philosophers have written. But they lack imagination. And, of course, if that were the only task philosophers ever set out for themselves, then who would have provided the texts they exposite in the first place? There have to be some philosophers who write the texts that other philosophers exposite. Isn't that true?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:47 pm
@kennethamy,
Oh I agree there. The point I really wanted to get at is being a philosopher does not imply something which is purely analytical.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:51 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;149357 wrote:
Oh I agree there. The point I really wanted to get at is being a philosopher does not imply something which is purely analytical.


I am not sure what "purely analytical" comes to. What, do you think, might be the pollution?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:05 pm
@kennethamy,
It's not about what I think or the pollution. It's simply about having an open mind to the fact that while yes doing philosophy is something similar from person to person, the moment we call into question what it means to be a philosopher, there are more possibilities of what that could entail, and even a historical context could not grasp it all.
 
Mister Carcer
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:13 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149337 wrote:
A philosopher may philosophize about a lot of things, and I expect that he will philosophize about what he finds interesting. At least, I hope so. Of course, he may find logic interesting, and philosophize about logic. Or he may do meta-philosophy, and philosophize about the nature of analytic philosophy. So his issues do arise from logic and analysis.

I suppose a philosopher could be like a guitarist who has no interest in what he plays so long as he is playing a guitar. He might be technically amazing, but I think something is missing in his relationship, or rather in his lack of a relationship with what he is playing, and that will inevitably tarnish his musicianship.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:13 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;149380 wrote:
It's not about what I think or the pollution. It's simply about having an open mind to the fact that while yes doing philosophy is something similar from person to person, the moment we call into question what it means to be a philosopher, there are more possibilities of what that could entail, and even a historical context could not grasp it all.


I would have thought that philosophers, at the very least, had to do the kind of thing that Socrates, or Descartes, or Hume, or Kant did. Don't you? Someone cannot do just anything and call it philosophy. There are limits, wouldn't you say? Of course, it might be like dancing. Some people are willing to call any moving around on the floor, "dancing". But then, of course, there is dancing and dancing. And really terrible dancing is very close to not dancing at all. The same with philosophy.

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 06:15 PM ----------

Mister Carcer;149388 wrote:
I suppose a philosopher could be like a guitarist who has no interest in what he plays so long as he is playing a guitar. He might be technically amazing, but I think something is missing in his relationship, or rather in his lack of a relationship with what he is playing, and that will inevitably tarnish his musicianship.


He might. But that is not what I said.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:18 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149389 wrote:
I would have thought that philosophers, at the very least, had to do the kind of thing that Socrates, or Descartes, or Hume, or Kant did. Don't you? Someone cannot do just anything and call it philosophy. There are limits, wouldn't you say? Of course, it might be like dancing. Some people are willing to call any moving around on the floor, "dancing". But then, of course, there is dancing and dancing. And really terrible dancing is very close to not dancing at all. The same with philosophy.


I haven't said anything that would contradict my agreeing with this. I agree with you.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 03:42 pm
@Mister Carcer,
Mister Carcer;148770 wrote:
I have recently embarked upon a degree in philosophy after years of reading philosophy for the sheer pleasure of it. Unfortunately, what once brought me pleasure is now bringing the opposite to me. I feel restricted in my studies. That I have to sacrifice integrity in order to achieve better results. What I originally believed encouraged vibrant, creative, critical thinking has turned into something that fosters reflecting on philosophers claims in order to simply repeat those claims in an acceptable manner. I miss engaging with philosophy.

Will my studies always be like this? Will my entire degree focus almost exclusively on deductive reasoning or will a balance be struck later on? If you're currently studying for or have completed a philosophy degree, please tell me what I can expect.
I consider most philosophy mastubational navel gazing, it serves no real purpose other than overthinkig certain things.

I find that most philosopher can't fit their thinking into anything constructive, other than impress people who craves metaphors and farfected thoughts.

I get so sad inside, when I see supposedly intelligent humans waste time "finding the truth" .."defining truth" ..when the truth is that truth is very subjective, delusive ..only really for the naive and group think.

People trying to pove/disprove existance of God, with logic ..when they don't have a clue about physics, psycology, math ..etc, and less have any knowledge of their next door neighbour, but knows EVERYTHING about God.

Etc ..etc.

..sooo sickening and sad.
 
jack phil
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 04:40 pm
@Mister Carcer,
OP:

Be cool; quit school.

Consider your future with academia: war is peace, slavery is freedom, and ignorance is strength.

Don't fall for it; live your blessed life free of credentials. God hates a proud man.

I mean, you feel like school aint teaching you anything-- that isn't because you have to wait it out or because it might change in the future or some other excuse. The school aint teaching you anything. Leave.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 04:12 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;149005 wrote:

A conversation already had. What if all conversations are already had? So what?

Can we not repeat them over and over and over? Why must there be a purpose in anything we do?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 05:12 pm
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;154616 wrote:
A conversation already had. What if all conversations are already had? So what?

Can we not repeat them over and over and over? Why must there be a purpose in anything we do?
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2010 10:58 pm
@Mister Carcer,
The purpose of philosophy is not to provide answers to unknowable questions. The purpose is to expand your thinking, to illuminate a wider realm of possibilities or rational speculations than mere personal reflection is capable of: by engaging with other thoughtful people you enlarge your worldview.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 01:12 am
@prothero,
prothero;154743 wrote:
The purpose of philosophy is not to provide answers to unknowable questions. The purpose is to expand your thinking, to illuminate a wider realm of possibilities or rational speculations than mere personal reflection is capable of: by engaging with other thoughtful people you enlarge your worldview.


That cannot be right. You don` t have to do philosophy to expand the realm of possibilities, nor do you have to talk to others.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:06 am
@Mister Carcer,
One can expand one's realm of possibilities in many different areas, that seems true enough in human experience. But in the area of thinking in a questioning and (hopefully) critical manner about certain horizons of human life and their meaning, philosophy seems extremely helpful in providing different methods and perspectives that can be brought to bear in the process, and to add to the list of questions themselves.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:21 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;154851 wrote:
But in the area of thinking in a questioning and (hopefully) critical manner about certain horizons of human life and their meaning.


Can you given some examples? It seems to me that much of philosophy is problem-orientated enterprise that is very much similar to mathematics, or even physics. Most philosophical problems i can think of are not at related to one`s life.

Quote:

philosophy seems extremely helpful in providing different methods and perspectives that can be brought to bear in the process, and to add to the list of questions themselves


I think you are wrong. What you have in mind is literature. The philosophy i read tend to be technical, and requires a very similar process of reason similar to mathematical proves.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 21 Apr, 2010 08:40 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;154856 wrote:
Can you given some examples? It seems to me that much of philosophy is problem-orientated enterprise that is very much similar to mathematics, or even physics. Most philosophical problems i can think of are not at related to one`s life.



I think you are wrong. What you have in mind is literature. The philosophy i read tend to be technical, and requires a very similar process of reason similar to mathematical proves.



I think that there is a sharp difference between what people ordinarily think of as philosophy, and academic philosophy. This is illustrated by what is meant when someone claims to be, "philosophical" about some occurrence in his life (usually a negative occurrence). He means something like trying to take the long view of the occurrence, and trying to understand it just a a part of life, and as something that has to be endured. This attitude (for that is what it is) is really that of stoicism, the view that we cannot control what is going to happen to us (since it is all determined) but that we can control our feelings and responses to what happens to us. This view is a "way of life" philosophy, and is what is ordinarily thought of by non-academics. On the other hand, academic philosophers think of philosophy in terms of problems, which are not directly (in any case) relevant to how one lives. So, academic philosophy is much more like science and mathematics. I think that people have to be aware of this distinction, since lack of awareness of it leads to some needless conflict. Some see this distinction as unfortunate, and try to lessen it in various ways, to make philosophy "more relevant". These efforts have not, it seems to me, been uniformly successful.
 
 

 
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