What makes a good philosopher?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 10:39 pm
@north,
north;167523 wrote:
don't quite follow you here

explain further


There is nothing to explain:

The argument:

1. We are thinking beings.

Therefore, 2. whatever we think about is thought (and nothing else).

Is an invalid argument. 2 does not follow from 1.

There is no reason to think that because we think about X, that X is a thought. Suppose I think about a chair. It does not follow that a chair is a thought. A chair is a material object that we sit on. The chair is thought about when we think about it, but the chair is not thought because we think about it. (As Reconstructo argues).
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 11:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167532 wrote:
The chair is thought about when we think about it, but the chair is not thought because we think about it. (As Reconstructo argues).


The chair is there, in reality. However, this reality is named in a particular way. In the terms of physics, all the molecules of chair and not-chair are continuous. The chair is being bombarded by air molecules. Perhaps someone is sitting on it. It itself stands on the floor. We have physical continuity, but conceptually we see and refer to a discrete entity. It is organized by thought in a particular way. Do you see what I mean? Of course it's automatic "thought," so another word might be better. But my second point is stronger, in my opinion. To speak of a chair is to offer a thought, even if this thought points immediate to said chair. Of course the whole issue is tangled in the question of the difference between a chair and a "chair." Ah, the famous problem of universals.
 
north
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 11:10 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167532 wrote:
There is nothing to explain:

The argument:

1. We are thinking beings.

Therefore, 2. whatever we think about is thought (and nothing else).

Is an invalid argument. 2 does not follow from 1.

There is no reason to think that because we think about X, that X is a thought. Suppose I think about a chair. It does not follow that a chair is a thought. A chair is a material object that we sit on. The chair is thought about when we think about it, but the chair is not thought because we think about it. (As Reconstructo argues).


then how does one get a thought without thinking ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 11:38 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167549 wrote:
The chair is there, in reality. However, this reality is named in a particular way. In the terms of physics, all the molecules of chair and not-chair are continuous. The chair is being bombarded by air molecules. Perhaps someone is sitting on it. It itself stands on the floor. We have physical continuity, but conceptually we see and refer to a discrete entity. It is organized by thought in a particular way. Do you see what I mean? Of course it's automatic "thought," so another word might be better. But my second point is stronger, in my opinion. To speak of a chair is to offer a thought, even if this thought points immediate to said chair. Of course the whole issue is tangled in the question of the difference between a chair and a "chair." Ah, the famous problem of universals.


Maybe to speak of a chair is sometimes to offer a thought about a chair. But that does not make speaking about a chair, a chair, nor make a thought of a chair, a chair. No doubt we call the physical object we sit on by the term, "chair", but the word "chair" is not a chair anymore than a picture of a pipe is a pipe. What the physicist tells us a chair is, is, of course, a different matter.

A chair is physical object. "Chair" is, of course, a word (which is, of course, also a physical object, but not a chair).
 
north
 
Reply Sat 22 May, 2010 11:46 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167567 wrote:
Maybe to speak of a chair is sometimes to offer a thought about a chair. But that does not make speaking about a chair, a chair, nor make a thought of a chair, a chair. No doubt we call the physical object we sit on by the term, "chair", but the word "chair" is not a chair anymore than a picture of a pipe is a pipe. What the physicist tells us a chair is, is, of course, a different matter.

A chair is physical object. "Chair" is, of course, a word (which is, of course, also a physical object, but not a chair).


so what came first though

the physical form of the chair or the name of the physical form , chair ?

sensibly I would say the physical form
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 01:10 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167567 wrote:

A chair is physical object. "Chair" is, of course, a word (which is, of course, also a physical object, but not a chair).


Of course I know this, but this word, in the absence of a real chair, can summon to our mind an imaginary chair. And also there is the general notion of a chair, which is not any particular chair.

---------- Post added 05-23-2010 at 02:12 AM ----------

north;167569 wrote:
so what came first though

the physical form of the chair or the name of the physical form , chair ?

sensibly I would say the physical form


That's tricky. Because if a man makes something to sit on, he has an idea of its purpose. So whether he has named it or not, he is shaping the real in conformity to an imagined purpose.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 05:34 am
@hue-man,
Obviously chairs evolved. No one, one say, arose onemorning and said to himself, "let's make a chair". And the term, "chair" clearly has a history. The word is not a neologism like "gas". So the answer is that the word and the thing evolved together.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 08:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167634 wrote:
Obviously chairs evolved. No one, one say, arose onemorning and said to himself, "let's make a chair". And the term, "chair" clearly has a history. The word is not a neologism like "gas". So the answer is that the word and the thing evolved together.


That sounds right. Still, the problem of universals. Where does the notion of chair reside? And how can we speak of a general chair? What sort of being does a concept like this have?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 09:21 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167871 wrote:
That sounds right. Still, the problem of universals. Where does the notion of chair reside? And how can we speak of a general chair? What sort of being does a concept like this have?


The word "chair" is a general term. That need not mean that there is some general object ("being") too. There is no need to think that just because a word has a meaning, that it must also have a referent. That is what Frege taught us in his seminal, "On Sense and Reference". (Uber Sinn und Bedeutung).

Sense and reference - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 09:45 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167911 wrote:
The word "chair" is a general term. That need not mean that there is some general object ("being") too. There is no need to think that just because a word has a meaning, that it must also have a referent. That is what Frege taught us in his seminal, "On Sense and Reference". (Uber Sinn und Bedeutung).

Sense and reference - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I don't care if we call it "being" or not. We can speak of a general chair, and be understood. And this is crucial to human communication generally. I don't have Platonic leanings on the matter. I'm not attached to "being" more than any other term. But we do have concepts that exist in someone apart from the specific objects that we apply them to. For instance, the word "object." This is something like a class.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 09:55 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167933 wrote:
I don't care if we call it "being" or not. We can speak of a general chair, and be understood. And this is crucial to human communication generally. I don't have Platonic leanings on the matter. I'm not attached to "being" more than any other term. But we do have concepts that exist in someone apart from the specific objects that we apply them to. For instance, the word "object." This is something like a class.


Yes, we do have the general term, "chair" which we use to talk about chairs. There is no such thing as a general chair (unless he is in the Pentagon) nor have I ever spoken of a general chair. Now what?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:00 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167939 wrote:
Yes, we do have the general term, "chair" which we use to talk about chairs. There is no such thing as a general chair (unless he is in the Pentagon) nor have I ever spoken of a general chair. Now what?

Which particular chair are we speaking about just now? If a mother tells her daughter she will need to buy a new chair, because the old one clashes with the drapes, she is not talking about a particular chair.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:51 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167941 wrote:
Which particular chair are we speaking about just now? If a mother tells her daughter she will need to buy a new chair, because the old one clashes with the drapes, she is not talking about a particular chair.


Why not? She is talking about the particular chair she is going to buy. It does not have to be some specific chair in mind. There is no general chair. It is an illusory shadow cast by language and the theory that for every word there must be something to which the word refers. The Medieval philosophers characterized this theory as "unum nomen, unum nominatum". For every name, something named.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 11:35 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;167961 wrote:
Why not? She is talking about the particular chair she is going to buy.

How? She hasn't bought it yet. She hasn't picked it out.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:01 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;167971 wrote:
How? She hasn't bought it yet. She hasn't picked it out.


The one she intends to pick out. If she does.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 01:21 pm
@north,
I thought being a good philosopher involved, for the most part, elucidating on what others have already discoursed on throughout the past 2600 years. In so doing we throw away all the senseless talk and cut to the chase. Whats the point of philosophy if we cannot make ourselves clear or speak clearly of the facts?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:27 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;168165 wrote:
Whats the point of philosophy if we cannot make ourselves clear or speak clearly of the facts?


Generally, I agree. But what about men like Kant, who dug deeper at the roots of thought than many before him? Sometimes a fresh perspective opens new vistas.

Now doubt the facts are important. But I also love questions such as "what are facts made of?"

---------- Post added 05-24-2010 at 07:29 PM ----------

kennethamy;168066 wrote:
The one she intends to pick out. If she does.


Right, but until she picks out this theoretical undetermined dress, how does it exist? In what way?

If a person says "I need food," they are speaking of a generality, of a class of objects --edible objects. We live quite often in generalities. I'm not concerned with taking realist or nominalist sides. I'm just pointing at something.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:34 pm
@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.


how is anyone good at anything? practices, learning, and most all, play.

When the act becomes play, then do you need to ask. Imagine the following: How good are you at enjoying sex? If not sex, then think of good food.
 
Ding an Sich
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 09:24 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;168309 wrote:
Generally, I agree. But what about men like Kant, who dug deeper at the roots of thought than many before him? Sometimes a fresh perspective opens new vistas.

Now doubt the facts are important. But I also love questions such as "what are facts made of?"


Kant brought up what the other schools failed to achieve: a complete logical picture of man. Granted he dug deeper, but he also asked questions that would further elucidate the problem of reality. Instead of reflecting into objects themselves, he relected into the self or the 'I'.

The facts are made up of atomic facts (which are objects). At least thats as far as I have been able to go (with the help of L.W.). Maybe Im wrong.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 02:09 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Ding_an_Sich;168586 wrote:
Kant brought up what the other schools failed to achieve: a complete logical picture of man. Granted he dug deeper, but he also asked questions that would further elucidate the problem of reality. Instead of reflecting into objects themselves, he relected into the self or the 'I'.

The facts are made up of atomic facts (which are objects). At least thats as far as I have been able to go (with the help of L.W.). Maybe Im wrong.

Well, we both agree, I think, on the importance of looking at the logic of man's thinking/perception. It seems quite natural (doesn't it?) for us to investigate the tools of investigation.

I like the notion of philosophy as a journey of man' self-consciousness. He or she finds that much of his experience is shaped by his or her mind. It reminds me of wearing a pair of sunglasses without realizing it. Pretty brilliant for Kant to make us so aware of these "glasses" and to describe them so well.
Smile
 
 

 
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