Philosophy is becoming rather irritating.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Crcata, Apr 8, 2016.

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Do you prefer Common Sense or Philosophy?

  1. Common Sense

  2. Philosophy

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  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Et tu, Sarkus!

    I have a rather different view of philosophy. My main interest in philosophy isn't so much the 'existential' style 'How should I live my life?' questions. It's logic, epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of science. These help me understand how science helps us 'discover things about the material world'. What is 'experiment'? What is 'scientific evidence'? How does evidence 'confirm' hypotheses? How is it that strings of symbols acquire meanings? How do words 'refer' to extralinguistic things? What's the relationship between parts and wholes? What's up with scientific reduction? How should we understand causation? Stuff like that.

    It can be. The whole idea that something called the 'scientific method' exists and remains the same from instance to instance is a philosophical proposition that implies as much. The principles of logical implication seem to me to be objective in some sense. (Explaining the kind of reality that logic and mathematics have is another philosophical problem, this time metaphysical.) Many philosophical problems, such as the problem of induction or questions about universals, seem to be objective in some sense. They are certainly cross-cultural and we find Indian and Chinese philosophy discussing them from their own unique perspectives. I'm guessing that many of these same issues would arise for any space aliens that are sufficiently inquisitive.

    I'd include the question of how we understand reality among the foremost issues that philosophers address. And I'm not convinced that there's any clear and distinct boundary between science and philosophy. Science is just natural philosophy (the philosopher William Whewell coined the word 'scientist' in the 1840's) that has expanded to the point that it has its own specialists, university departments, professional organizations and scholarly journals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    No..because I have experienced it before, not because everyone believes it.

    Strawman..

    I have no faith in the common sense as you apparently do. I prefer uncommon sense--the type that can think and reason on its own without consulting polls on how many people agree with me.

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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Assuming that Einstein really said that, I have to disagree.

    'Common sense' as I use the phrase (sorry Crcata, sometimes it's useful to clarify what we mean) is the evidence of our lives. We don't walk through walls, we use doors. When we are hungry we eat food. We use our hands for manipulating things. The Sun is bright. Breathing air is good but breathing water is a bad idea. I expect that stone age people would agree with us about most of it. It's pretty basic.

    Those aren't prejudices, they the starting point of everything we do, including natural science. That doesn't mean that our common sense beliefs aren't modifiable in light of further experience or that attempts to better understand them and to explain them are out of line and "stupid". Physics and chemistry, after all, began as the attempt to better understand the behavior of the physical objects of everyday experience.

    I'm not sure that I'd include our moral intuitions in this common sense category, since there is so much variation in ethics around the world. Crcata talks about it being common sense that murder is wrong, but just look at ancient Roman spectator sports. (I expect that ISIS suicide-bombers don't agree either.) But I am inclined to think that most people share a basic sense of fairness and reciprocity, the desire to protect their loved ones, and so on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
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  7. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    You are clearly missing the point. I can't be any more clear, I have defined everything that is in question to a point that any reasonable, rational, critically thinking human being should be able to understand it. But since they (and you) cannot understand it, it is clear that they/you have an agenda. That or you arent nearly as smart as you think you are.

    Also you arent combating the point that I am making of "no word can be so accurately defined that it can no longer be questioned". You think you are but you really arent. There is no amount of clarification that is enough for people with an agenda. And because that can never be done we have to rely on critical thinking, context clues, and common sense. Until you have mastered that you are not adding anything useful to this talk.

    The meat of an argument is the actual point to it, something that can never be reached and addressed while standing still arguing about meanings of words. Another thing that should be self explanatory.

    Yes, philosophy is about as useful to society as a game of football. It makes some individuals happy to debate endlessly without conclusion. So it is more of a pass-time than a job. Not something to be taken to seriously. That is it. Meanwhile, everyone else is improving society through actual science.

    This thread has actually quite accurately proved my point. its 4 pages now of debating the exact meaning of a word, knowing it cant ever come to a conclusion. Where this a meeting to enact some type of new rule or policy we would not have even begun to get there lol. Philosophers sit and question. The rest of the world questions and discovers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't call the given facts of our firsthand experience, like all that crucial physical world information we acquire by the age of 4, as common sense. The very word common sense is usually invoked when some action is called into question, and someone rationalizes it by saying "it's just common sense." It suggests to me rules of ettiquette, practicality, social customs, and an instilled folk wisdom in how to live one's life. It seems to me very culturally and generationally specific, but ironically uses the ruse of its commonness or universality as the reason why it is justified. Prejudices, taboos, mores, protocols, stereotypes, rules of thumb, logical fallacies, ungrounded assumptions, stock phrases, cliches, and conceptual illusions all get passed off as justified under the general term "common sense." That's why I don't trust it. Why are we even invoking "common sense" for something unless it was questionable to begin with? Seems to me it's a thought-terminating cliche, like saying "I don't wanna rationally justify my assumptions anymore. It's just common sense!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  9. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    Have you ever bashed your skull in with a mallet? No? But you are aware it would kill you correct? Common sense.

    Common sense isn't dictated solely by how many people believe it, but by a series of trial and error that others have done showing something to be true to the point that everyone (or almost everyone) know it to be true.

    Just because you refuse to accept it, doesnt mean it does not exist.

    Also quote mining your superiors does not in anyway make you appear smarter, or justify your argument. (or lack thereof).
     
  10. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    Just because I question whether or not breathing water is bad for humans, does not in any way shape or form mean that the phrase "breathing water is bad for humans" is no longer common sense. LOL

    Once again, it absolutely exists. Denial of it is staring reality in the face and saying "nu uh!"

    Thats exactly why some of the greatest minds on the planet laugh at philosophy. The answer many philosophers search so long and hard for are almost never any different than what any person could think up in a few seconds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    No..firsthand experience of seeing what happens to people when that happens. It has nothing to do with how many people believe it.

    You're confusing empirical confirmation with common sense. Seeing there is no empirical confirmation for your own common sense morality, then obviously they're not the same.

    I never said there's no such thing as common sense. I merely said it needs more confirmation than just that its common or universal. See again your agumentum ad populum fallacy.

    Is that what you are worried about here? How smart people think they are? Why is that even relevant to your thesis?
     
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Name some. I'd be interested in why these "greatest minds" laugh at philosophy.
     
  13. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    First hand experience seeing it happen is how you determine your opinion? You aren't capable of using reason and logic to say that if a heavy object strikes a person in the head it could cause death? You have to have first hand experience? You have to see it? Then perhaps that is why you dont know what common sense is, you clearly lack it. But it still exists, objectively.

    Perhaps you are confusing common sense with empirical confirmation? Or mabye they arent at all the same?! Aren't words fun? (no)

    Then what else do you think common sense needs in order to be considered common sense? I'm so curious now lolol.

    My quote mining comment was made in order to educate you on appearances. People do that typically to appear as if they know what they are talking about. I simply was informing you that it doesn't work that way. Another self explanatory moment but yea I still had to explain it lolol.
     
  14. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    NGT for one. You can do your own research from there.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Who is NGT?
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! It's not that complicated. I had experiences of me banging my head long before I had a logic to avoid it. That's how we got the logic, from our experience and firsthand perception of seeing it happen to others.

    Doesn't need anything other than that it is believed to be true by most people.

    So my quoting Einstein was done to make me appear smart? Why would that be? Anyone can quote someone. It doesn't make them look any "smarter".
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  17. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    Well that is where you are messing up then. Because common sense is something that is true, thats can be seen to be true by using reason and logic to determine it. It doesn't have to be seen first hand, it doesnt have to be experienced first hand. It can be taught at a young as however, when common sense is less prevelant.

    But to argue that "bashing your skull in with a mallet would cause death" isnt common sense is extremely stupid.
    Or "breathing water for humans is bad"
    etc etc etc I could go on.

    If it wasn't then you can ignore it, (i think you were) but it is a common strategy for people to back their opinions up with those whom are smarter than they via quote mining, hoping their credibility rubs off. Simply informing you of such.
     
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry - I hadn't followed the exchange regarding "extreme" - so wasn't going to take sides.

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    It's not the "how should I live my life" so much as just understanding who I am, what I believe/assume, how those beliefs are formed and impact my views / interactions etc. All the stuff you mention is in there, to a degree, but the overall package for me is certainly one of self-understanding - focussed inward. Can it tell me how I should live my life? I don't think so. But it can inform any decision I make.
    True. Should have said "not necessarily discovery that..."
    I would qualify "reality" in my comment as being the material realm, noting that any understanding likely sits upon a broader foundation of philosophy in line with what you have said. My comment was really to distinguish between my interests in science and in philosophy. I can't remember who it was who told me of that view of philosophy but it has resonated with me, even if it is not entirely correct with regard what philosophy is.
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Funny how you started off invoking common sense as justifying your moral judgments, and now it is something that needs reason and logic to justify it. Isn't that contradictory? Simultaneously believing something because it is common sense but then saying common sense needs to be justified by reason and logic?

    I think calling people stupid is a bad way of trying to support your argument.

    Again, there's nothing about quoting that makes a person look smarter. If anything it is an act of humble deferrence to one who is smarter than oneself.
     
  20. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    No it is not contradictory at all. Another issue that should be self explanatory but I will explain it anyways.

    Why would I think that "killing for the sake of killing" is wrong and that it is common sense? specifically when i stated common sense needs logic and reason to be justified?

    There is this other term that you may have seen me mention called "well being". We want to increase our well being, and we do so by not killing each other. That is reasonable and logical. Therefore "killing for the sake of killing" is wrong, and it is common sense.

    Please try and apply those critical thinking skills.

    Also I am very aware that quote mining doesnt make you look smart. Thats exactly what I was pointing out to you. I am glad you agree.
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I think you're making an argument where none actually exist. I haven't asked you to define anything rather merely explain that accuracy can be important in matters of philosophy. And I understand your point, even if I think it is rather obvious once removed from the realms of philosophical discourse, as you would like it to be. It basically just boils down to: if you think something is common sense, and you don't like philosophy, then don't philosophise about it. Whoop-di-do.
    I haven't claimed that a word can be so accurately defined. It need only be defined so that the person reading it can gather the intended meaning.
    That is not a matter of philosophy per se but of debating tactics.
    And until you realise your beef is not with philosophy per se but with debating tactics, you are likely to continue running around crying foul of philosophy while not actually raising anything but your dislike of people playing semantic games when you feel the point you make is common sense. Which to me is not a matter of philosophy but of debating tactics (fallacy of false precision etc) that some might adopt.
    I know full well what the meat of an argument is, I am asking what specifically is the meat you wish to address, if you think it has not yet been covered?
    Some people get very wealthy playing football. For me it is pass-time (philosophical discourse, not football). But then I don't do any first-hand scientific endeavours any more. I discuss them, again as a pass-time.
    I take it as seriously as I take most of the science I read about. More seriously than some.
    Everyone? Do you happen to be doing scientific endeavours for a living? I don't. Maybe 0.01% of the people I know are. Most apply the scientific knowledge in some way or other that others discover, but "everyone else" is certainly not improving society through actual science, if by "actual science" you refer to what most common people would understand as science. Many follow the scientific method in their practical lives in some form or other, though, but I wouldn't necessarily call that "actual science".
    I'm not debating the meaning of any word with you. I'm trying to find out just exactly what your issues are with philosophy yet all you seem to come back with, other than a general view that it is pointless, is a general dislike of being asked to clarify your intended meaning of the words you use - which is not an issue with philosophy per se.
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Why would you invoke common sense if you could justify it logically instead? There's no reason to mention that it's the majority view held by most people, unless you were trying to justify it on that basis. Which ofcourse is your logical fallacy again.

    Then you had no reason for thinking I thought it made me look smart. None whatsoever. It was a total lie and an ad hom of my character.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  23. Crcata Registered Senior Member

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    Justifying something logically is how it becomes common sense! Thats how the rest of the world learns about it! What about this arent you not getting?!

    As far as your quote mining comments, whatever I'll let you have that one since you cant make any sense of the actual argument at hand.
     

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