Is no philosophy better than any philosophy?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Seattle, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Is no philosophy better than any philosophy?

    I'm talking about any kind of a personal philosophy or guide to living your life here so politics, economics and religion would all be included.

    Of course, on a larger scale there have to be some organizing principles for politics and economics but on a personal level I would say that no philosophy is better than any philosophy.

    Being locked in to any philosophy is limiting and divisive so it's always better to be practical and take things on an ad hock basis.

    No religion is better than any religion since you can always appeal to your better nature. Government works better when there is less "politics" and more cooperation, economics works better when there is a mix of philosophies than when there is not.

    So, it seems the less you have guiding principles the better off you are.

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    Thoughts?
     
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Having no philosophy is still going to be called a philosophy.
    Alex
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Herding cats may be called order but it's not!

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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting philosophy of life - might be worth examining.

    btw: We have a warning, from an economist I can't track because I lost the best wording: one lesson of history is that leaders who think they have no theory of economics inevitably act (and screw up) according to old, long discredited theories of economics they no longer recognize as "theories", or even "economics".
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I would agree that where economics is concerned there is a penalty to be paid by getting too "creative". The main problem there however is people making changes to economics who don't know economics in the first place. Ignorance certainly isn't the answer.

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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Working at a level prior in rank to particular schools of thought would be primal philosophical activity. As considered with a bare minimum of preset tenets and dogmatic assumptions. Whether derived from life experience, folk adages, or institutional sources.

    Yes, being guided by arbitrary thoughts and impulses would be a recipe for going over a cliff. The "bottom" of a given discipline, system or situation would be its regulating "logic" -- the principles that guide reasoning or events within it.

    Arguably the most basic or universal tool necessary for intellectual operation is consistency (which includes avoidance of contradiction). That equates to the proper maintenance of pre-assigned identities throughout a procedure. The definitions / meanings, properties, values, functions, etc delegated beforehand to the manipulated items as well as the relationships and executions (what is carried out).

    In terms of an existing construct, that would be concern over its coherence (consistency as in how well its components hang together). Whether it's a proposal, argument, plan, hypothesis, concept, ideology, methodology, view, belief, prescription, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Found the quote - it's from Keynes:
    Living with minimal philosophy requires that one evict the philosophies already implanted. The Zen folks think this is a life-long discipline - one suspects they have a point.
     
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Herdiing cats is called herding cats your approach suggests you have not enjoyed success herding cats.
    The key, and this is the same when herding steers or kangaroos, is not to be in a hurry and to never let them get frightened. And it is always best to have your herd follow a d this can be achieved by the use of food.

    I have managed 130 cows simply by hand feeding them such that finally when you turn up all the cows run up and will follow if you simply wave about a feed bag.

    I can move those cows faster than three men on horses with trained dogs.
    If you want to run cattle hand feeding training really saves you big money.
    If you movecattle along a road you need minimum of two riders and three dogs.
    These dogs cost big money and keeping horses and gear is expensive.
    I havent managed many cats but they follow you for food try and force them you can only scare them and that will not work.
    Alex
     
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Having minimal philosophies does not a madman make.

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    The madmen being talked about aren't those with minimal philosophies and Keynes says as much.

    Hugo Chavez was a madman, he wasn't a capitalist but he wasn't someone with minimal philosophies either. He was an authoritarian and a socialist (for example).

    Someone who is "practical" is someone who can get along with others. If you can get along with the religious and the non-religious and the Democrats and the Republicans...that's hardly a madman.

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    To do otherwise is more appropriately described as madness IMO.
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    But they think they are - as do the non-mad: "Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence - - - " exactly describes your program, does it not?

    I'm suggesting that it's not as easy as one might think, to divest oneself of philosophy.
     
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not suggesting that it's necessary to divest oneself of all philosophy or thinking or education or past experience.

    I am suggesting that those who think, adapt and try to make things work contribute more than those who let their philosophers think for them.

    Since there isn't just one philosophy if everyone is too wedded to their philosophy then you have nothing but conflict, war, gridlock. You have Trump as President, unending war in the Middle East and Brexit.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Phiłosophy is not something you can choose to have or not, as surely it is a description of how you are / how you think / how you act?
    If so then one can not escape having a philosophy while one is / thinks / acts, any more than one can cycle to work without a bicycle.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    OK, so how about discussing my point rather than quibbling with definitions (which seems to be all that happens in this particular sub-forum).
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. But the warning stands:
    And you illustrate this well:
    It says here that every one of those misfortunes - Trump obviously, ME war and Brexit as well - is a product of people who set fancy intellectual thought aside (or so they thought), and did their thinking, adapting, and making things work without reference to grand theory or coherent philosophy.
     
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    My point is not merely the defining of philosophy but how having a philosophy is inescapable, thus negates the possibility of one ever having "no philosophy". Is that not part of the thread title, part of your OP?
    Or perhaps your OP was intended only to discuss the notion of defining oneself through one of more particular philosophies, letting the philosophy define your action rather than merely fit as a descriptor for what you are doing?

    As for quibbling with definitions, what use a discussion if people aren't even agreed on what subject they're actually discussing.
    Furthermore, since when is an opening comment meant to be the be all and end all of involvement and discussion within a thread. Basically: why the unwarranted attitude?
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    In the Middle East you have religion, with Trump and Brexit you have people (public) who want things to be as they were (in their minds) in the past. Let's bring horses back, where are the jobs for the blacksmiths...

    The practical change with the times and don't make everything about us vs them.

    Look at this forum. Religion vs science. No one gets along and all anyone can do is argue or debate definitions rather than have discussions where people sometimes agree and some times disagree.

    For the most part people only argue here and miss the spirit of the topic being discussed.

    Let's take a topic that is common in the public at large. Many people dislike Obama (more so in the past) because they feel he is too arrogant and his wife "looks like a man". How irrational is that?

    He is an educated, well spoken man with a fit, well spoken wife and lovely daughters. He is a family man.

    Who did they like? Bush, a guy with marbles in his mouth. Who do they want now? Trump, a narcissistic billionaire and they are lower working class and that's who they think is going to look out for their interests better?

    Intelligent, conservative businessmen vote Republican for financial reasons but who do they get into bed with? Racist, religious zealots for no reason other than to attract a common voter.

    Practicality would benefit all. Instead everyone sticks a philosophy that isn't even benefiting most of them.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'll try to keep each post a reasonable length so that it's more interesting to the casual reader so let me address my comments about definitions. It seems to be a debating technique to quibble with definitions.

    One can always stop or derail a discussion by arguing over definitions. Jan has been doing that for years. All of the long winded threads that everyone participates in go nowhere largely because the post becomes an argument about definitions rather than just a discussion of whatever the topic is.

    My point is that it's better to be practical than to be driven by a philosophy. I'm not talking about absolutes since there are none. If that doesn't fit in with someone's definition of philosophy then change the word in your mind but my intention wasn't to get into a long discussion about the definition of philosophy and whether one can take all intellectual order out of their life.

    Is it better to be cooperative with your fellow citizens or is it better to create an us vs them world?
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Understood. My intention was not to sidetrack down the path of definition, merely to assert the notion that one can not be without a philosophy and, if anything, close off that avenue of discussion.

    To what you raise above, is always going with what is practical not itself a philosophy: pragmatism / practicalism?

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    Certainly I would agree that the dogmatic holding to a philosophy, and subordinating your own ability to think to the "rules" of that philosophy, is to curb critical thought, to curb tolerance, to curb flexibility. But is there not a danger that in the desire to be cooperative that nothing actually ever gets done?
    Maybe the world actually improves fastest through one side building what they think is right, then the other side coming in and tearing down what they don't like but leaving what they do like, and then building in top. And as time progresses, so does society.
    With religion, however, it's different as there is no voting system to determine which religion the society will follow this term, and the dogmatism seems far more severe.
     
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Even the most disorganised and undisciplined person has some plan of survival which as simple as this plan may be presented I can not think of calling it less than a philosophy. Living without a philosophy would be below even an intinctual level.

    Alex
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    In theory the adversarial system has merit. Our (U.S.) legal system is that way but it's not working in our current political system. One side is in office and the other side will disagree and actively try to thwart anything they do just because it's the other side. They don't have things in common where they do agree.

    Brexit is another example where even those who voted to leave (in their emotional state) now are having second thoughts. They weren't being practical.

    Again, nothing is black and white. I'm not suggesting that and you maybe are? but again that's just setting up a strawman that is easy to knock down. No one is suggesting that everyone should always cooperate in every case as the best coarse of action.

    More cooperation is generally better than less cooperation wouldn't you agree?
     

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