Is no philosophy better than any philosophy?

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

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Of course, unless one genuinely believes that there is only correct course of action... and it is the one you are advocating - the "cooperation is fine as long as it's you cooperating with what I decide to do" approach.
    But on the whole of course I do.
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Therein lies the rub of course. If you are sure that your course of action is the "right" one and if you are "indoctrinated" (is that better than philosophy) enough then you can justify not cooperating.

    Nothing gets done in that case. That's why it's better to be practical. You can be religious if you can manage not to have to make evangelizing a core tenet of your religion.

    You can be a political conservative if you can manage to understand that there are other valid approaches as well.

    When you can't you get gridlock as in our political system and as in much of religion. You have the regions/countries where there is more cooperation and where there is not. There is more prosperity and peace where there is cooperation.
     
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  5. river

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    Cooperation is a philosophy . Natural philosophy .
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I think that even an approach to life like "Do things entirely at random and see what happens" is a philosophy.

    A philosophy, whether in politics or economics or religion, is a way of organising a large amount of disparate information so as to suggest possible long-term goals and methods to achieve them. In this sense, having a philosophy is just forward-thinking. This is different from taking an ad hoc approach to everything and dealing with each new thing in isolation as it happens.

    Pragmatism is, in itself, a philosophy. It simply says don't hold to your own principles to such an extent that all action becomes impossible.
     
  8. river

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    Philosophy though , in essence is after the truth .
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Philosophers are often just navel gazing and/or using formal logic and debating tactics to beat a dead horse to death again and again.
     
  10. river

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    Not to me and others .

    Philosophy is the engagement of discussion . Philosophy challenges dogma.

    My Philosophy , ( is not based on sophist philosophy ) , is searching for the truth .
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Philosophy is dogma. What are your favorite threads? Brain in a vat?
     
  12. river

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    Philosophy has nothing to do with dogma . Remember Socrates .

    My favorite threads are those that have something new to discuss . with intellect .

    Brain in a vat makes no sense . hence my posts are based on just that thinking .
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Philosophy has much less relevance today than in Socrates time. When searching for the truth philosophy might have been a decent way to go in his day even though it was wrong much of the time.

    Today it's often just talking for the sake of hearing oneself talk. In the real world if someone said "I haven't been around lately because I've been too tired" people would respond with "I understand", "Get some rest" or "We'll get together when you aren't so tired".

    In a philosophy forum many would argue that you aren't actually "tired" but you are actually "sleepy" and the next 100 posts would be discussing that distinction.

    In the case of "seeking truth" philosophy is rarely the best way to accomplish that today. Using the scientific method (for example) gets to many truths more accurately and efficiently than "having a discussion".

    That's not to say that there is no place for considered discussion but much of philosophy is IMO simply naval gazing.
     
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  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I don't believe that, sorry. I believe your philosophy is to promote anything and everything that shows science as being ignorant....ghosts, goblins, supernatural, paranormal, probing Aliens, Bigfoot, etc etc etc...
    That shows a total lack of thinking as well as a fanatical desire to appear "different" and wear it like a badge of honour.

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  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I totally agree with that summary and have expressed similar in past threads.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Seattle:

    No. Being concerned, as it is, with the most fundamental questions about existence, it is still as relevant as it ever was.

    A lot of people have no patience for philosophy. I think it's partly because philosophy is hard. Every important philosophical question has multiple layers and multiple possible answers. It ties my brain in knots. It also requires a ruthless application of logic, and a willingness to follow every rabbit down its hole.

    Another reason is that many people dismiss philosophy as irrelevant to their everyday lives. They imagine that philosophy is old white men arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and things like that. But, in fact, philosophy is something we all do all the time, without realising it. Every time we ask whether an action is morally right or wrong, we're philosophising. And whenever we ever wonder what the meaning of life is, or whether God exists, or what it means to be human, we're doing philosophy.

    Also, philosophy is the bedrock of all kinds of knowledge we have, or think we have. How can we know things? What kinds of things can be known? What methods of reasoning can we use to gain knowledge of anything, and are these methods legitimate? And so on.

    Socrates' main point was to question everything. When somebody claims to know something, ask him how he knows that. For Socrates', overconfidence about our own capacities and importance are unjustifiable. Very little in this world is as certain as we assume it is.

    That doesn't sound much like philosophy to me. Definitions can be important, but there's much more to philosophy than quibbling over definitions.

    The scientific method is, itself, a philosophy. Or, to put it another way, the scientific method assumes that certain methods of gaining knowledge are logically justified. In fact, there's a lot of debate even about what this so-called "scientific method" is. Arguably, there's not just one way to do science, and no single method.

    There's a whole sub-branch of philosophy (the philosophy of science) that examines to what extent the assumptions underpinning science are or are not supportable with logic and reasoning. It turns out that a lot of things in science do not rest on the kind of solid foundations that scientists take for granted in their day-t0-day work.
     
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  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    But some of those questions have been answered, and others we do have a reasonable grasp as to how.
    I would never doubt that, but as I have alluded to in the first question, we do have a better understanding of things now....not all, but better then the ancients and middle ages.
    Certainly I agree with the "without realising it" I was once a culprit in similar circumstances, until a few debates with some here....
    I do not dismiss philosophy, I just simply align with the fact that it isn't at the summit as it once was: see first answer.
    No argument from me there: It is the bedrock so to speak, but the bedrock is now set in place.
     
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Which questions are you thinking of, specifically? And how do you know we have a reasonable grasp?

    Obviously you know more about most things now than we knew 500 or 3000 years ago. We've had 500 or 3000 more years to investigate and think about things, and a lot more people to do the thinking and investigating.

    None of this makes philosophy irrelevant or unimportant in the present day.

    Philosophy hasn't been replaced by something better. There's nothing better to replace it with.

    No, the bedrock is not in place. It is often taken for granted, but the foundations of science are by no means secure from attack by philosophers.

    For example, scientific theories are all built on induction, and induction is a logically unsupportable way to arrive at definite knowledge of anything. So, there's a major philosophical problem right there.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    The only problem is that you can't really list any area where the philosophy of science has resulted in any new discoveries since physics became a field of study. There aren't a lot of jobs for philosophy of science majors either.

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  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I can't list any areas in which knitting has results in new discoveries in science, either. Or in which studies in economics or music or English literature have resulted in new discoveries in physics. That doesn't make any of those fields of studies useless or invalid in some way.

    There are other kinds of benefit apart from financial gain.

    There aren't many jobs for poetry majors, either - not in poetry, anyway. That doesn't mean that poetry is pointless.
     
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    How the universe came to be.....Evolution of life.....a reasonable explanation as to how life came to be. [abiogenisis]...the make up of stars....how they formed, how planets formed, etc
    OK, the details of some remain a mystery, but it certainly is not the empty barrel of proper scientific explanations it once was.

    I'm not saying it is unimportant or irrelevant, I'm saying it isn't quite as relevant and important as it was in Socrates time.
    I'm not saying we need to replace it, simply that as the foundation of science, it has set, while the structure of science had built up around it.
    Perhaps "bedrock" is too strong a term and conveys a wrong message.
    Again, I'm not belittling philosophy as I admit I did at one time: Strangely

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    I have learnt as I iterated in the previous post......
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    "The foundations of science are by no means secure from attack by philosophers"...it isn't secure from the attack by musicians and poets either but it's not a great concern is it?
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    paddoboy:

    All of that is science.

    Philosophy asks questions like: why is there a universe at all (i.e. something rather than nothing)? What is the universe? Is it "real", or like a dream, and what's the difference between the two? What does it mean for something to be "alive"? And so on.

    The foundations of knowledge and ethics and so on as important now as they have ever been.

    In part, perhaps. On the other hand, science has followed its own track as a field of study. Philosophers' interest in the way that science is practiced and whether it is justifiable is something that has developed somewhat independently. It is possible to do science without concerning yourself with philosophical matters. However, most scientists at one time or other think about related philosophical issues. And everybody does philosophy to some extent all the time, even if they don't call it that.
     

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