What makes a good philosopher?

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sometime sun
 
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 11:52 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157167 wrote:
I imagine that Eliot's estate approved. Cats was very popular and was well received by the theater critics. You can, of course, look it up, and read their reviews.

Cats (musical) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No fret i just have a slight aversion to Andrew Loyd Webber,
but again i ought no judge what i have not seen,
and i suppose the Phantom soundtrack is not all bad.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 05:38 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;157169 wrote:
No fret i just have a slight aversion to Andrew Loyd Webber,
but again i ought no judge what i have not seen,
and i suppose the Phantom soundtrack is not all bad.


U are so of track both:offtopic::meeting:
 
Diogenes phil
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 07:35 pm
@hue-man,
I highly doubt that biocentrism would accomplish anything.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 09:13 pm
@hue-man,
perhaps you might explain why, or is this just graffiti?
 
north
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 09:32 pm
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;157116 wrote:
There are no rules, guys. That's what makes a philosopher. I could warp the whole universe if I wanted to.


I disagree

a good philosopher knows that you can't
 
jack phil
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 10:04 pm
@hue-man,
Don't crap higher than your butt!

crap is not bleeped out but [a r s e] is?

Who let the Brits in?
 
north
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 10:07 pm
@jack phil,
jack;164076 wrote:
Don't crap higher than your butt!

crap is not bleeped out but [a r s e] is?


who cares

a dumb response

Quote:
Who let the Brits in?


why does this matter ?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 12:27 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;157143 wrote:
From Four Quartets

Ah, Eliot was one of my first favorite authors. One of those guys that reeled me in. I still regard him highly. It's nice to see him quoted. I love Preludes. Here's a piece, but it's all great..
Quote:

You tossed a blanket from the bed
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed's edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.

Perhaps you know it already. T. S. Eliot: Preludes
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 01:26 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164147 wrote:
Ah, Eliot was one of my first favorite authors. One of those guys that reeled me in. I still regard him highly. It's nice to see him quoted. I love Preludes. Here's a piece, but it's all great..

Perhaps you know it already. T. S. Eliot: Preludes


I quoted from Eliot to illustrate something. Why did you?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 04:18 pm
@Dosed,
Dosed.;131203 wrote:
On a light note, I have a professor who says, "Ya wanna be a philosopher that people still talk about 500 years from now? Ask questions that a five year old would ask."



I really like this. A twist on it would be to ask questions which help us experience the wonder that children seem to have more frequently than most adults.

There have been some excellent comments for and against meta-philosophy in general. Should we just practice philosophy? At the moment I think meta-philosophy is an important part of philosophy, perhaps the most important part.

What is our goal? What do we want from all of this thinking? Way back one of my favorite philosophers was Diogenes. I also loved the Stoics. Here was obviously a union of thought, ethic, lifestyle. Philosophy was a way to live well. Of course Diogenes is an extreme, but I was younger then.

At some point I became enamored of the more tangled aspects of philosophy. It can serve as a sophisticated form of self-conscious conceptual poetry. Some have criticized me for enjoying this, and I do see their concern. At the same time, I have been absolutely delighted by the metaphysics of certain difficult and tangled philosophers. For instance, Kojeve on Hegel. But I now realize that the more tangled stuff is not essential, not the core. And this realization leads me to the significance of meta-philosophy, which at its best can remind us of this core.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 05:48 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166608 wrote:
I really like this. A twist on it would be to ask questions which help us experience the wonder that children seem to have more frequently than most adults.

.


Yes, there is something in this. The most prominent recent philosopher who comes closest to this description (perhaps the earlier Socrates did too) was G. E. Moore whom several colleagues described as "childlike" in his approach to philosophy. In an autobiographical sketch, Moore tells us that he does not think he would have ever become interested in philosophy had he not be astonished by some things that philosopher he heard of, or read, had written or said. He was astonished that apparently men of high intellect could have said things that were so clearly false with apparent sincerity. He gives as an example the philosopher McTaggert who insisted in many volumes that time was unreal. Moore tells us that he simply could not understand why anyone would say such an obviously false thing, and once, Bertrand Russell invited McTaggert to his rooms for tea at Kings College in Cambridge, and invited Moore, who was an undergraduate to join them. Moore describes how he argued with McTaggert about what McTaggert had said about time being unreal for some time(!). Moore, with customary modesty writes that he does not suppose he argued very well, but he did recall being persistent about it. Later, of course, Moore took on McTaggert's notion that time was unreal, but I think he presented what some would called childlike (or maybe even childish) arguments against it. Moore had then developed the technique of "reduction to the concrete" which is only really asking what the consequences of an abstract philosophical view is in concrete circumstances. For example, Moore pointed out that if McTaggert were right, and time was unreal, then (Moore's example) we could not have lunch before dinner . But, since we do have lunch before dinner, it must be false that time is unreal. I guess the question, "could we have lunch before dinner if time were unreal?" qualifies as a childlike question if anything does. It is also the sort of thing we would call, bringing philosophy down to earth, or, as Wittgenstein advised, "back to the rough ground!".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:11 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166639 wrote:
Yes, there is something in this. The most prominent recent philosopher who comes closest to this description (perhaps the earlier Socrates did too) was G. E. Moore whom several colleagues described as "childlike" in his approach to philosophy. In an autobiographical sketch, Moore tells us that he does not think he would have ever become interested in philosophy had he not be astonished by some things that philosopher he heard of, or read, had written or said. He was astonished that apparently men of high intellect could have said things that were so clearly false with apparent sincerity. He gives as an example the philosopher McTaggert who insisted in many volumes that time was unreal. Moore tells us that he simply could not understand why anyone would say such an obviously false thing, and once, Bertrand Russell invited McTaggert to his rooms for tea at Kings College in Cambridge, and invited Moore, who was an undergraduate to join them. Moore describes how he argued with McTaggert about what McTaggert had said about time being unreal for some time(!). Moore, with customary modesty writes that he does not suppose he argued very well, but he did recall being persistent about it. Later, of course, Moore took on McTaggert's notion that time was unreal, but I think he presented what some would called childlike (or maybe even childish) arguments against it. Moore had then developed the technique of "reduction to the concrete" which is only really asking what the consequences of an abstract philosophical view is in concrete circumstances. For example, Moore pointed out that if McTaggert were right, and time was unreal, then (Moore's example) we could not have lunch before dinner . But, since we do have lunch before dinner, it must be false that time is unreal. I guess the question, "could we have lunch before dinner if time were unreal?" qualifies as a childlike question if anything does. It is also the sort of thing we would call, bringing philosophy down to earth, or, as Wittgenstein advised, "back to the rough ground!".


I can respect all this. And I will even admit that in the social sphere such rough grounding can be especially important. At the same time a man who does embrace traditional religion can often find in philosophy an aesthetic and ethical value not available in the natural sciences.

As I'm sure you know Socrates influenced many schools. Diogenes, the Stoics, etc., as well as Plato, of course. Diogenes liked to mock Plato for his dialectical adventures. Philosophy was a way of life, in the view of Diogenes. But Plato has his good points, wouldn't you say? Obviously there is always the danger of abstractions brutally applied. Dialectical materialism has a bad track record, for instance, as far as I can tell.

Humans simply have different uses for different aspects of philosophy, and of course they will disagree in this regard as in every other regard sometimes. In any case, it's better to share the sidewalk with a happy man who finds his happiness in thoughts that remind him to be grateful, that happiness does not require the wallet of a stranger. You see my point. If we strip too much of the wonder from philosophy, we may see philosophy generally ignored.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:44 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166651 wrote:
I can respect all this. And I will even admit that in the social sphere such rough grounding can be especially important. At the same time a man who does embrace traditional religion can often find in philosophy an aesthetic and ethical value not available in the natural sciences.

As I'm sure you know Socrates influenced many schools. Diogenes, the Stoics, etc., as well as Plato, of course. Diogenes liked to mock Plato for his dialectical adventures. Philosophy was a way of life, in the view of Diogenes. But Plato has his good points, wouldn't you say? Obviously there is always the danger of abstractions brutally applied. Dialectical materialism has a bad track record, for instance, as far as I can tell.

Humans simply have different uses for different aspects of philosophy, and of course they will disagree in this regard as in every other regard sometimes. In any case, it's better to share the sidewalk with a happy man who finds his happiness in thoughts that remind him to be grateful, that happiness does not require the wallet of a stranger. You see my point. If we strip too much of the wonder from philosophy, we may see philosophy generally ignored.


It seems to me that as philosophers (of all people) we should accord to philosophy exactly the merits it has which, it seems to me, are considerable. We don't have to gussie it up, and if it is ignored then let those who ignore it take the consequences of doing so. Philosophy is for those who want (and need) to think straight and clearly. Leave the ornamentation to the poets like Rorty. In philosophy, of all subjects, the cynical Italian saying, se non vero, ben trovato, should be eschewed.

Loose translation: "If it isn't true it should be".
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 07:24 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166670 wrote:
It seems to me that as philosophers (of all people) we should accord to philosophy exactly the merits it has which, it seems to me, are considerable. We don't have to gussie it up, and if it is ignored then let those who ignore it take the consequences of doing so. Philosophy is for those who want (and need) to think straight and clearly. Leave the ornamentation to the poets like Rorty. In philosophy, of all subjects, the cynical Italian saying, se non vero, ben trovato, should be eschewed.

Loose translation: "If it isn't true it should be".


I respect your opinion, and certainly see the merit in it. Of course I think you undervalue Rorty just as you think I overvalue him. Perhaps you would not consider Diogenes a philosopher. Which is fine. Or Epictetus. Also fine. But I don't know where else to put them if not in the category of "philosopher." Obviously philosophy has changed over the years, and the word is, it seems, that it roughly divided into two camps. Personally I'm a moderate. I don't follow the Derrida gang that far. On the other hand, the stress of the existentialist on the concrete problem of individual mortal human life is something I find commendable. Humans are concerned with their purpose and their mortality. Some don't care to take religious myths literally, and this leaves them near the realm of philosophy. They want to link their days dialectically.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 05:14 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166693 wrote:
I respect your opinion, and certainly see the merit in it. Of course I think you undervalue Rorty just as you think I overvalue him. Perhaps you would not consider Diogenes a philosopher. Which is fine. Or Epictetus. Also fine. But I don't know where else to put them if not in the category of "philosopher." Obviously philosophy has changed over the years, and the word is, it seems, that it roughly divided into two camps. Personally I'm a moderate. I don't follow the Derrida gang that far. On the other hand, the stress of the existentialist on the concrete problem of individual mortal human life is something I find commendable. Humans are concerned with their purpose and their mortality. Some don't care to take religious myths literally, and this leaves them near the realm of philosophy. They want to link their days dialectically.


I think Diogenes and Epictetus were philosophers. Just not major philosophers. Diogenes less so than Epictetus. I think that Derrida and Rorty were philosophers; even substantially important philosophers relatively speaking. But both were awful philosophers. Derrida more awful than Rorty. I say that because at least most of what Rorty writes is just false, but almost all of what Derrida writes is neither true nor false.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 05:38 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166805 wrote:
I think Diogenes and Epictetus were philosophers. Just not major philosophers. Diogenes less so than Epictetus. I think that Derrida and Rorty were philosophers; even substantially important philosophers relatively speaking. But both were awful philosophers. Derrida more awful than Rorty. I say that because at least most of what Rorty writes is just false, but almost all of what Derrida writes is neither true nor false.


Well, I enjoyed your post. You do turn out a good sentence, Ken. Derrida is not the most enjoyable reading. Except he is straightforward from time to time. On the other hand, at least Rorty writes with great clarity. You say you don't like his style and are welcome to that opinion. Personally, I think he's quite clear, witty, and even-tempered. Rorty stressed the contingency of the descriptions of reality which are no small part of the reality we live in. As thinking beings, our reality is largely made of thought. Perhaps you will agree with this. As far Derrida's writing being neither true nor false, that's an enjoyable description. Some of his books are way too playful, diffuse, and oblique for my taste. But I may lack the erudition. That is often what his defenders say.
 
north
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 08:49 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167110 wrote:
Well, I enjoyed your post. You do turn out a good sentence, Ken. Derrida is not the most enjoyable reading. Except he is straightforward from time to time. On the other hand, at least Rorty writes with great clarity. You say you don't like his style and are welcome to that opinion. Personally, I think he's quite clear, witty, and even-tempered. Rorty stressed the contingency of the descriptions of reality which are no small part of the reality we live in.



Quote:
As thinking beings, our reality is largely made of thought.


I disagree

reality is largely made of the things around us

which were before thought

and a part of being a good philosopher is to not only relise this but to understand this , in depth

so that the philosopher is aware of the before which brings or allows the present to exist in the first place

hence life > thought
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 10:15 pm
@north,
north;167488 wrote:
I disagree

reality is largely made of the things around us

which were before thought

and a part of being a good philosopher is to not only relise this but to understand this , in depth

so that the philosopher is aware of the before which brings or allows the present to exist in the first place

hence life > thought


In any case, it certainly does not follow that because we are thinking beings, whatever we think about is thought. No more than it follows that because we are kicking beings, whatever we kick are kicks.

So, not merely is the conclusion clearly false, as you point out it is, but does not even follow from the premise. So that even if the conclusion happened to be true (which it assuredly is not) the argument for it would be invalid.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 10:18 pm
@north,
north;167488 wrote:
I disagree

reality is largely made of the things around us

which were before thought

and a part of being a good philosopher is to not only relise this but to understand this , in depth

so that the philosopher is aware of the before which brings or allows the present to exist in the first place

hence life > thought


Excellence post, and I agree that "life > thought." I absolutely agree. But I think it's a good dose of both. You must at least admit that your post here is made of thought. If you look at my thread "the ineffable," you will see that I am especially interested in that part of reality which is not thought. Which you yourself are stressing. So we agree on that just now. I'd be curious as to your thoughts on the "ineffable."

---------- Post added 05-22-2010 at 11:20 PM ----------

kennethamy;167518 wrote:
In any case, it certainly does not follow that because we are thinking beings, whatever we think about is thought. No more than it follows that because we are kicking beings, whatever we kick are kicks.

I agree. We think about all sorts of things that are not thought. But I would argue that their status as "things" is the product of thought, at least as soon as we name them. I think our mind automatically breaks the world into objects. Physics suggests a continuity. We humans emphasize the piece-like nature of reality. We divide the tree from the ground, the leaf from the branch. Or the nose from the face, the nostril from the nose. The molecules themselves are fairly continuous on planet Earth, I think it's safe to say. Of course we think of molecules as pieces, precisely because that's the way we think, in terms of the discrete. IMO. Smile
 
north
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 10:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167518 wrote:
In any case, it certainly does not follow that because we are thinking beings, whatever we think about is thought.


don't quite follow you here

explain further
 
 

 
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