The Freisan School

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jeeprs
 
Reply Sun 18 Oct, 2009 08:42 pm
I have stumbled upon a very interesting online philosophy journal while engaged in some obscure Google query ("Metaphysics as an Operating System" ). Anyway the search returned a rather good essay on Kant, who, despite the fact I that I am barely literate in him, continues to fascinate. The first paragraph recaps a point I have tried to articulate previously on the Forum, not realising that what I have argued is like an excerpt from an encycolopedia entry on Kant:

Quote:
Kant's most original contribution to philosophy is his "Copernican Revolution," that, as he puts it, it is the representation that makes the object possible rather than the object that makes the representation possible. This introduced the human mind as an active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception. Something like this now seems obvious: the mind could no more be a tabula rasa, a "blank tablet," than a bathtub full of silicon chips could be a digital computer. Perceptual input must be processed, i.e. recognized, or it would just be noise -- "less even than a dream" or "nothing to us," as Kant alternatively puts it.

Source

This article goes on to compare Kant's approach to the Buddhist understanding of Conventional and Ultimate Reality and it's connection with Skepticism. These are also themes that interest me a great deal.

So I went to the Index page of this site (it is very badly formatted, I regret to say, white text on black). But the content is great.

Intro to the main theme:

Quote:
In the Twentieth Century, philosophy was like a confused and clumsy person who repeatedly tries to commit suicide, but keeps failing, though with the addition of debilitating damage at each attempt.


It goes on to tear strips off 'the sterility and agnosticism of positivistic, scientistic, and merely analytic schools' as well as the 'nihilism, relativism, pseudo-science, and frequent political authoritarianism and dogmatism' of the continental schools.

There are a large number of entries on this 'non-peer-reviewed online journal', the main thrust of which is neo-Kantian and which can be found here: The Proceedings of the Fresian School, Fourth Series
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 07:18 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;98419 wrote:
I have stumbled upon a very interesting online philosophy journal while engaged in some obscure Google query ("Metaphysics as an Operating System" ). Anyway the search returned a rather good essay on Kant, who, despite the fact I that I am barely literate in him, continues to fascinate. The first paragraph recaps a point I have tried to articulate previously on the Forum, not realising that what I have argued is like an excerpt from an encycolopedia entry on Kant:


Source

This article goes on to compare Kant's approach to the Buddhist understanding of Conventional and Ultimate Reality and it's connection with Skepticism. These are also themes that interest me a great deal.

So I went to the Index page of this site (it is very badly formatted, I regret to say, white text on black). But the content is great.

Intro to the main theme:



It goes on to tear strips off 'the sterility and agnosticism of positivistic, scientistic, and merely analytic schools' as well as the 'nihilism, relativism, pseudo-science, and frequent political authoritarianism and dogmatism' of the continental schools.

There are a large number of entries on this 'non-peer-reviewed online journal', the main thrust of which is neo-Kantian and which can be found here: The Proceedings of the Fresian School, Fourth Series


I wonder why those on the continent feel the need to attack analytic philosophy when it has nothing directly to do with what they are talking about. It reminds me of that passage in Hamlet when Hamlet's mother says about a character in a play she and Hamlet are both watching, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much".
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:44 pm
@kennethamy,
There's no "Methinks" in the quote.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 02:52 pm
@jeeprs,
The full quote is:
Quote:
First, the sterility and agnosticism of positivistic, scientistic, and merely analytic schools, characteristically, if not always originally, Anglo-American, which have frequently denied the possibility of knowledge in metaphysical or ethical matters, and sometimes the possibility of constructive philosophical knowledge at all, with, according to Karl Popper, a "concentration upon minutiae (upon 'puzzles') and especially upon the meanings of words; in brief .... scholasticism." As Allan Bloom said, "Professors of these schools [i.e. positivism and ordinary language analysis] simply would not and could not talk about anything important, and they themselves do not represent a philosophic life for the students." Students and the intellectually curious looking for some concern, any concern, about the truths of being and value, the content of wisdom, or some humane purpose, found instead what has aptly been called a "valley of bones." Although continuing analytic philosophy sometimes appears as a small island of some sanity in a sea of increasing nonsense, as with John Searle, it retains almost all of its sterility, futility, and what could even be called autism.


I have generally found this to be the case with modern philosophy. While aware of my own deficiencies of learning with regards to the details of the subject, my motivation has always been the intuition that there is indeed a philosophic life and a practical wisdom that enables a better and truer understanding than can be obtained through other means. I can only ever see parts of it, like light shining through the tears in a piece of fabric, and there seems to be so much more that needs to be studied. But this site I have found seems a great resource and 'rings true' from what I can tell.

A good summary of this Friesian school is here.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 03:05 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;98537 wrote:
There's no "Methinks" in the quote.


Right you are......

---------- Post added 10-19-2009 at 05:12 PM ----------

jeeprs;98571 wrote:
The full quote is:


I have generally found this to be the case with modern philosophy. While aware of my own deficiencies of learning with regards to the details of the subject, my motivation has always been the intuition that there is indeed a philosophic life and a practical wisdom that enables a better and truer understanding than can be obtained through other means. I can only ever see parts of it, like light shining through the tears in a piece of fabric, and there seems to be so much more that needs to be studied. But this site I have found seems a great resource and 'rings true' from what I can tell.

A good summary of this Friesian school is here.


People have conflicting intuitions. And how are those to be settled? What the case with modern philosophy, though? What is important is-as I have already said, not to take traditional philosophical problems at face value. For that is what has been done for centuries, with little result. And the question is, why?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 04:19 pm
@jeeprs,
And as I have said, in the same context, different people look for different things in the subject of Philosophy. I am aware mine is perhaps not a mainstream approach to the topic. I am going to participate a little less in discussions (if I can restrain myself) while I try and organise my thoughts a little better on what exactly I am proposing and trying to understand. Perhaps my overall orientation is nearer 'theosophy' (though not necessarily as propogated by the Society of that name) than 'philosophy' - hence my attraction to the mystical and neo-Platonic elements in the Western tradition. This will never be completely reducible to literary or intellectual explication and so it is possible I will always remain on the 'outside' of the philosophic tradition insofar as it is understood in those terms.

That said, I am sure that there is some species of transcendental idealism, of the lineage of thinkers descending from Kant, that expresses the understanding that I have some intuition of. There are also parts of it in some modern Thomistic philosophers such as Jacques Maritain, and various byways in the philosophy of religion. I can only see glimmers of it here and flashes there, but there are whole areas that are completely dark, so I need to do a lot more work. And then hopefully I will be better able to explain exactly what I mean. But meanwhile, the Freisan school I referred to, which I have now found is the work of a retired Professor of Philosophy named Kelly L. Ross, contains a great deal of interest and I do recommend it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 05:50 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;98571 wrote:
The full quote is:


I have generally found this to be the case with modern philosophy. While aware of my own deficiencies of learning with regards to the details of the subject, my motivation has always been the intuition that there is indeed a philosophic life and a practical wisdom that enables a better and truer understanding than can be obtained through other means. I can only ever see parts of it, like light shining through the tears in a piece of fabric, and there seems to be so much more that needs to be studied. But this site I have found seems a great resource and 'rings true' from what I can tell.

A good summary of this Friesian school is here.


I am not enamored of schools of philosophy (although I think that the Frisian school is, in fact, a school of interpretation of Kant, which is quite different. I have no objection to that, and find that interesting). My point is the one that Wittgenstein expresses when he writes that philosophy is not a theory, but an activity. That was, of course, Socrates's view too. It was Plato who began the downward path.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;98627 wrote:
My point is the one that Wittgenstein expresses when he writes that philosophy is not a theory, but an activity. That was, of course, Socrates's view too. It was Plato who began the downward path.


That is Ortega's view also. See his book, The Origin of Philosophy, which I have previously referred to in regard to the Heraclitean vs. Parmenidean question:

Quote:
"The Origin of Philosophy" argues for the vital importance of philosophy as a human endeavor, even while noting that each generation of thought reveals the past as 'a defunct world of errors'. (from Product Description)


Of course, some of Wittgenstin's philosophy has been shown to be 'a defunct world of error'. See "The Rise and Fall of Picture Theory," by P. M. S. Hacker, in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1: From the Notebooks to Philosophical Grammar. The construction and dismantling of the Tractatus, edited by Stuart Shanker (London; Dover, N.H.: Croom Helm, 1986), Chapter 9. There are three other volumes and a bibliography in this set from 1986-87, with a Second Series, of four more volumes published in 2001.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 06:16 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;98692 wrote:
That is Ortega's view also. See his book, The Origin of Philosophy, which I have previously referred to in regard to the Heraclitean vs. Parmenidean question:



.


It may be Ortega's view that Plato began a downward path from Socrates, but Ortega's reasons for that view are certainly not mine. The reasons count as much as the conclusion.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 06:36 am
@kennethamy,
I meant that it's Ortega's view that "philosophy is not a theory but an activity." Ortega had high regard for Plato.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 06:39 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;98729 wrote:
I meant that it's Ortega's view that "philosophy is not a theory but an activity." Ortega had high regard for Plato.


A lot depends on what he may have meant by that. People may seem to agree, but actually disagree. What kind of activity did he believe philosophy was. The same Wittgenstein thought philosophy was? I bet not.
 
longknowledge
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 06:56 am
@kennethamy,
Among many other definitions, Ortega said that "Philosophy is the quest for the "Being" behind appearances. This quest began with Parmenides, abetted by Plato. He believed that this quest was misguided. Instead he proposed a method that he called "Historical Reason" that he claimed went "Beyond Philosophy". In his essay "History as a System," he said that "Man does not have a nature but rather . . . a history." Here he meant "nature" as an unchanging set of characteristics or "being" in the philosophical sense. We now know that nature does not have a "nature" either. Instead it also has a history.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Oct, 2009 07:49 am
@longknowledge,
longknowledge;98736 wrote:
Among many other definitions, Ortega said that "Philosophy is the quest for the "Being" behind appearances. This quest began with Parmenides, abetted by Plato. He believed that this quest was misguided. Instead he proposed a method that he called "Historical Reason" that he claimed went "Beyond Philosophy". In his essay "History as a System," he said that "Man does not have a nature but rather . . . a history." Here he meant "nature" as an unchanging set of characteristics or "being" in the philosophical sense. We now know that nature does not have a "nature" either. Instead it also has a history.


Nothing like Wittgenstein.
 
 

 
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