What makes a good philosopher?

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Imnotrussian
 
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 09:00 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;71114 wrote:
I believe that in order to be a good philosopher one must do the following things:

1. Rid themselves of anthropocentricity.

2. Think critically about all arguments, including their own; and follow a logical conclusion to wherever it may lead.

3. Accept the truth, even when it's inconvenient.

4. Balance emotion with logic.

I would sum up a bad philosopher with the following sentence:

The hallmark of a bad philosopher is that they seek appeasement first and truth second.



The point of philosophy is to abandon or question logic. The human curiosity is within everyone and the yearn to ask questions leads to technological, spiritual and physical advancement.
Most philosophers have the ability to ask impossible questions and a good way to respond is with another question.
 
Moe ME
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 12:39 pm
@hue-man,
I thought this an appropriate topic for my first post.
Philosophy, in itself, is the quest for truth and understanding in the absence of the scientific method. If a theory cannot be tested by science, we turn to philosophy. Historically, that's what philosophy is.
A good philosopher must be a good debater, but in reverse. A debater starts with a point, then uses logic and observations to defend the point. A philosopher starts with logic and observation, and uses his critical thinking to deduct a point, a conclusion.
A good philosopher must have a solid understanding of logic. Open-mindedness, intelligence, curiosity, character...all these attributes come second, though they are the difference between a philosopher and a "good philosopher".

Also important to the philosopher is a complete and true understanding of what philosophy actually is, I feel that this is the component most often lacking in many philosophers. (ie, the difference between "having a philosophy" and "doing philosophy").
 
urangutan
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 06:02 am
@hue-man,
You have all been entertaining. Each of you had me drawing ideograms in my head as I read through your thread, all the way to here. Should I read back all the posts, to decide the moment I felt educated on the response to the question. I wonder if you mind at all, that I prefer not too.
 
LWSleeth
 
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:44 am
@hue-man,
A philosophy, after all is said and done, is a prescription for how something works best for human beings; and philosophical practices (logic, the dialectic, etc.) are those which assist us evaluating claims of what works for humans. It just so happens that traditionally philosophers have taken up subjects about which it is difficult to know what "works" best for we humans.

One thing philosophical thinking has concluded about learning what works best is to try out a prescription and observe the result. This empirical approach has produced more knowledge than any other means of investigation ever attempted.

Therefore, in my opinion what makes a good philosopher is the one who personally attempts and lives the philosophies he asserts to others; plus, he honestly, objectively, fully and forthrightly reports all successes and failures of his personal living experiments.

Unfortunately, I have come across very few good philosophers, and instead incessantly hear one speculative thinker after another, from religious and political settings to your local bar, passionately preaching his philosophical beliefs like they are the tested "truth." And that is also why philosophy forums so often turn into a hangout for the opinionated.

Until humans are willing to stick to what they know from personal experience, I'm afraid philosophy will continue as a platform for pushing a priori beliefs and to drift further away from the sincere, unattached search for discovering how things work best for humans that brother Socrates seemed to epitomize.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 09:46 am
@hue-man,
Courage, confidence, and conviction.
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Fri 4 Sep, 2009 03:21 pm
@hue-man,
It's simple.

Think for yourself. Question authority.
 
Strodgers
 
Reply Fri 4 Sep, 2009 04:50 pm
@hue-man,
Quote:
What makes a good philosopher?


I would say you've started off right by asking this philosophical question.


In my opinion, someone could learn what to ask by listening to George Carlin. Not necessarily everything, but I thought he made a good -to borrow from Mel Brooks- "Stand up Philosopher."
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Fri 4 Sep, 2009 04:56 pm
@Strodgers,
Strodgers;88123 wrote:


In my opinion, someone could learn what to ask by listening to George Carlin. Not necessarily everything, but I thought he made a good -to borrow from Mel Brooks- "Stand up Philosopher."

Yeah although in my opinion Bill Hicks surpasses Carlin.

Stand up comedy is a great place for philosophy.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 05:12 pm
@hue-man,
I don't agree with the initial proposition. It could easily be construed as misanthropic. No other creatures on earth are capable of philosophizing. That has to mean something.

I second LWSleeth's definition.

To which I would add that it is useful to recall the original meaning of the term: it means love of wisdom, or perhaps love-wisdom.

Sophia, or Wisdom, was represented in the ancient world as a goddess. In the East, wisdom is sometimes represented as the female diety Prajna-Paramita, transcendental-supreme-wisdom. This also connotes a spiritual quality which I believe is essential to philosophy. I think a good deal of modern philosophy is actually anti-philosophical, in that it doesn't recognise the possibility of wisdom. It says we are all alike in being condemned to a world where no wisdom is possible, and to know this is the only wisdom you can have.

I believe in the ideas of perennial philosophy, that there are certain themes and understandings which come up again and again in all the times and cultures. This was the inspiration for Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces which incidentally was one of the main ideas behind Star Wars.

So - may the force be with you.:bigsmile:
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 07:23 pm
@hue-man,
I should also add - I understand that not everyone is into spiritual philosophy and there are other equally valid motivations for studying philosophy. Certainly thinking skills are a big part of the attraction - the ability to form an argument, the ability to see the relationships between apparently different things. Metaphysics is a useful study even if you don't think it refers to anything objective. I would say, in summary, read a lot, write a lot, have your ideas subjected to criticism, be prepared to think outside the square, and treat your own ideas the same way you treat everyone elses.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 6 Sep, 2009 10:35 am
@LWSleeth,
LWSleeth;82990 wrote:
Therefore, in my opinion what makes a good philosopher is the one who personally attempts and lives the philosophies he asserts to others; plus, he honestly, objectively, fully and forthrightly reports all successes and failures of his personal living experiments.


I agree. I have developed my own personal philosophy largely based upon Eastern philosophies, which I use in everyday life. For example, I very directly apply by thoughts to how I react to situations, how I approach problems, how I relate to people, how I approach new experiences (e.g. sports, dancing), and how I maintain a healthy mind and body (as well as soul).

I am constantly changing direction. Not in major ways, but a little bit here and a little bit there, just as a sailor might. I share my new thoughts with my friends and we talk about them. Recently, I used my philosophy of combining perceptions, memories, and instinct to make a killing on the stock market for myself and my ex. This was something new for me, since I hadn't played the stock market (and it is game) for over 30 years.

So, I am constantly applying my experiences, and as you suggest, I modify according to experiences. One notable new thought which I have gleamed from some writings on Creativity by David Bohm, which I believe applies to philosophy, i.e.:

The ability to find similarity in differences and differences in similarities.

This thought may also be applicable to the notion of wisdom, as noted by the story of Solomon and the baby.

Rich
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 01:54 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;71114 wrote:
I believe that in order to be a good philosopher one must do the following things:

1. Rid themselves of anthropocentricity.

2. Think critically about all arguments, including their own; and follow a logical conclusion to wherever it may lead.

3. Accept the truth, even when it's inconvenient.

4. Balance emotion with logic.

I would sum up a bad philosopher with the following sentence:

The hallmark of a bad philosopher is that they seek appeasement first and truth second.
This is what I would expect someone saying like 200 years ago.

1) anthropocentricity differs from country to country, from region to region and individual to individual, so in essens, it's nonsens.

2) logis is based on intelligence, stupid people has a poor logic.

People say computers can't think, therefore computers/robots can never replace humans!
..oh ..that's why Toyota had a 100% robotic car prduction in the '80, but went back to partially human production because the reprogramming of the robots was too difficult and time consuming.

Sadam has weapon on mass destruction! ..uh that nice and decent G Bush say so, therefore it must be true ..that's logical!

Humans can't burn, they consist of 80% water logic! But they can, because of the wigeffect.

----------

Imo logic for the most part can only be applied to very few things, such as liniar math 2+2 = 4, 4+4 = 8. When things becomes nonliniar/subjective it takes very intelligent persons to actually know logic.

So for the common person, logic is but for a rainbow chaser.

3) what is the truth? Truth is subjective.

- even after all these years, some still belive G W Bush is a good man.

4) emotion what emotion? Rage, indifference, hate ..etc? Uh btw ..plz define logic.

------------

Sorry to say that I can't agree with anything in your post.

Imo a good philosopher is above the basic instincts such as group think and naivity. Someone who are intelligent enough to make his work fit into everday enviroment.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 04:21 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;127398 wrote:

2) logis is based on intelligence, stupid people has a poor logic.

HexHammer, you are a poet. I do enjoy your posts.
 
Lily
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 11:01 am
@hue-man,
It's a funny thing, we are philosophers because we are humans, but maybe we can't be real philosophers because we are only humans
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 11:03 am
@Lily,
Lily;131034 wrote:
It's a funny thing, we are philosophers because we are humans, but maybe we can't be real philosophers because we are only humans


Probably just as well, don't you think?
 
Lily
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 11:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;131036 wrote:
Probably just as well, don't you think?

Maybe... I sometimes don't know what's worst not knowing the answers to philosophical questions, or to know (I mean, not beliving, really know) all the answers:ya-think:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 11:14 am
@Lily,
Lily;131039 wrote:
Maybe... I sometimes don't know what's worst not knowing the answers to philosophical questions, or to know (I mean, not beliving, really know) all the answers:ya-think:


But you think that a "real philosopher" (but there are none) would know the answers to philosophical questions? What do real philosophers have (do you think) that all of us fake philosophers don't have? (I mean if there were real philosophers).
 
Lily
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 02:53 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;131045 wrote:
But you think that a "real philosopher" (but there are none) would know the answers to philosophical questions? What do real philosophers have (do you think) that all of us fake philosophers don't have? (I mean if there were real philosophers).

They doesn't have to have all the answers, or any. Part of being a philosopher is looking for answers, not knowing them, isn't it?
What they have, that we don't, is total objectivity. And maybe the ability to really understand things. I mean, try to understand that there's an infinity outside our atmosphere, you can't. Maybe a real philosopher would..
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 03:21 pm
@Lily,
Lily;131142 wrote:
They doesn't have to have all the answers, or any. Part of being a philosopher is looking for answers, not knowing them, isn't it?
What they have, that we don't, is total objectivity. And maybe the ability to really understand things. I mean, try to understand that there's an infinity outside our atmosphere, you can't. Maybe a real philosopher would..


Can't a philosopher (sorry, I mean real philosopher) have a few answers, or even think that one answer is more likely than another. Or mustn't a real philosopher know anything at all, and only fake philosophers know things?
 
Lily
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 03:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;131151 wrote:
Can't a philosopher (sorry, I mean real philosopher) have a few answers, or even think that one answer is more likely than another. Or mustn't a real philosopher know anything at all, and only fake philosophers know things?

I don't know. I don't think I can answer that question. Maybe you have to know certain things to be able to make assumptions..
 
 

 
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