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Okay . . .

 
 
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nv
Total Posts:  2821
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07 April 2007 12:09
 

. . . Here we go.

 
 
 
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Anonymous
Total Posts:  2957
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07 April 2007 22:19
 

Relax, what’s a few unsolvable questions, among friends?

 
 
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Anonymous
Total Posts:  2957
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08 April 2007 08:30
 

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what’s this? ...  a philosophy section for sam’s-place?
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what a brilliant concept! ... i love it smile
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zoom zoom zoom!
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textman
Total Posts:  35
Joined  26-03-2007
 
 
 
08 April 2007 08:35
 

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Hey, looks like I found sam.org just in time.
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Might be I’ll spend no more time in the other / lesser forums ...
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MDBeach
Total Posts:  734
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09 April 2007 02:16
 

As salty would say, I’m sharpening my chopsticks.

Perhaps we should begin with a discussion on morals or ethics?

 
 
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nv
Total Posts:  2821
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09 April 2007 05:27
 

[quote author=“MDBeach”]As salty would say, I’m sharpening my chopsticks.

Perhaps we should begin with a discussion on morals or ethics?

How about asking:
What is philosophy?
Are its roles different today than in past eras?
What has philosophy accomplished?
What potential problems or questions can we count on philosophy to solve in the future?

 
 
 
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MDBeach
Total Posts:  734
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09 April 2007 05:31
 

I like those, too.  I just like everything about these subjects.  How about why were philosophers labeled as heretics?

 
 
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waltercat
Total Posts:  1568
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09 April 2007 07:45
 

[quote author=“homunculus”][quote author=“MDBeach”]As salty would say, I’m sharpening my chopsticks.

Perhaps we should begin with a discussion on morals or ethics?

How about asking:
What is philosophy?
Are its roles different today than in past eras?
What has philosophy accomplished?
What potential problems or questions can we count on philosophy to solve in the future?

I am only sure about the answer to the last question: NONE. 

Unfortunately, the only thing we can count on is for philosophers to become obsessed with more and more obscure subject matter.

 
 
 
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nv
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09 April 2007 08:54
 

[quote author=“waltercat”]. . .
Unfortunately, the only thing we can count on is for philosophers to become obsessed with more and more obscure subject matter.

Walter, don’t you think philosophy has any potential role in helping to refine sciences that are as yet unfinished? Cognitive science, for instance, must still be regarded more or less as soft science, wouldn’t you say? Or am I misusing language in the sense that I really ought to refer to “philosophical tools” rather than “philosophy”?

 
 
 
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MDBeach
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09 April 2007 09:02
 

Don’t blame waltercat.  He is just as much of a philosopher as anyone else, he just has been conditioned to hate philosophy in the same way religions have trained people to hate politics.  He is more than capable of discussing these topics.

Philosophy only has the opportunity to focus on the unanswerable questions when there is nothing else to talk about.  Surely that isn’t the case in today’s day and time.

 
 
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waltercat
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09 April 2007 10:35
 

MD,

Thanks fort the vote of confidence.  However, it’s not that I have been trained to hate philosophy; it is, actually, my chosen profession. It’s just that, since I do have an inside view of current academic philosophy, I am well aware of its limitations.  Most of what gets published would be totally uninteresting to a non-academic philosopher.  That depresses me.

homunculus,

Perhaps I took your question a bit too literally.  You asked:
[quote author=“homunculus”]What potential problems or questions can we count on philosophy to solve in the future?

I think we can’t count on academic philosophers to produce much that is interesting (Well, maybe that degree of pessimism it not warranted.  But I am pessimistic).  However, it is true that philosophy has great potential.  If only some would care more to see that potential fulfilled.

 
 
 
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MDBeach
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09 April 2007 11:02
 

What do you propose?  I could care less what anyone else has ever done in this field.  It is one that should be rewritten and adjusted constantly. I also believe that all philosophical discussions should be read with wit and humor, not the tyrannical eye of a skeptic. 

I have no academic training, would you consider my views on philosophy to be less desirable than an academic’s?  Pick a topic, and let’s have a go.  I am very interested in learning.  (I did study polical philosophy, the philosophers who’s works shaped politics, and my roomate was a philosophy major in undergrad.  And we smoked a lot of .....)

 
 
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waltercat
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09 April 2007 12:44
 
[quote author=“MDBeach”]What do you propose?  I could care less what anyone else has ever done in this field.  It is one that should be rewritten and adjusted constantly.

Yes, that is true, we should be able to adjust the field constantly.  And to some extent, this happens.  However, I think it would be an error to ignore those who have come before.  Many past philosophers have said shared deeply profound and important views that it would be wise to study.  In addition, the views of long-dead men, to a great extent, shape current debates (and not just academic ones).  So we can’t just ignore the past.

I also believe that all philosophical discussions should be read with wit and humor, not the tyrannical eye of a skeptic.

Well, philosophers are trained to be, first and foremost, sharp critics.  I think that this is essential, actually.  But we should try to hone other skills as well.

I have no academic training, would you consider my views on philosophy to be less desirable than an academic’s?

Absolutely not.  I am much more interested in the perspectives of people around here more so than many professionals.

 
 
 
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Noggin
Total Posts:  1243
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09 April 2007 12:48
 

[quote author=“waltercat”]

MDBeach wrote:
I have no academic training, would you consider my views on philosophy to be less desirable than an academic’s?

Absolutely not.  I am much more interested in the perspectives of people around here more so than many professionals.

Oh good.  I too am interested in learning.  The depth goes way past my head quickly with philosphy, but I am still wanting to tread water in these oceans.

I particularily like how its been said that philosophers are trained to be sharp critics.  Looking forward to any gleaning I can.

for starters here:

waltercat writes:
I think we can’t count on academic philosophers to produce much that is interesting (Well, maybe that degree of pessimism it not warranted. But I am pessimistic). However, it is true that philosophy has great potential. If only some would care more to see that potential fulfilled

and to prove my level of ignorance, I thought philosophy was a solved equation…. closed… as in things that can be thought through to the ends and expounded upon already have been.  So how could new thinking assist solving science.

Noggin

 
 
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nv
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10 April 2007 01:09
 

Walter, if you know, How is philosophy defined today that’s different from how it used to be defined? My understanding is that people who earn a Ph.D. today do not necessarily know much of anything about the philosophy of their field. Is today’s Ph.D. degree a farce?

 
 
 
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burt
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10 April 2007 04:20
 

A possible subject for discussion is an article published in the New York Review of Books, September 20, 2001.  The Lure of Syracuse, by Mark Lilla.  In this he addresses the question: how is is that so many twentieth century intellectuals ended up as appologists for tryanny (Heidegger for the nazis, many others for Stalin, Mao, etc.).  An excellent article.  To quote from the conclusions:

““It is difficult to think of a century in European history better designed than the last to excite the passions of the thinking mind and lead it to political disaster.  The doctrines of communism and fascism, Marxism in all its baroque permutations, nationalism, tiers-mondisme—many inspired by a hatred of tyranny, all capable of inspiring hateful tyrants and blinding intellectuals to their crimes.  It is possible to conceive of these tendencies as part of a grand historical narrative to which some external force, driving both events and their interpretations, can be ascribed.  But no matter how much we reflect on such forces, we are still far from capturing the intimate struggles that European intellectuals had with them and the many ruses they employed to maintain their illusions. 

“As we read their works today and struggle to comprehend their actions, we need to get beyond our inner revulsion and confront the deeper internal forces at work in the philotyrannical mind—and, potentially, in our own.  The ideologies of the twentieth century appealed to the vanity and raw ambition of certain intellectuals, but they also appealed, slyly and dishonestly, to the sense of justice and hatred of despotism that thinking itself seems to instill in us, and which, unmastered, can literally possess us.  To those possessed, appeals to moderation and skepticism will appear cowardly and weak, which is why those rare European intellectuals who did invoke them—Aron was one—were subject to hateful attacks as trators to their calling.  Such men may not have been philosophers in the classical sense but they did display the same intellectual and political sang-froid that Plato thought distinguished the genuine philosopher from the irresponsible intellectual.

“Hard cases make bad law, so the judges have decreed.  Perhaps, then, we should turn a blind eye to the political mistakes of European intellectuals and try to understand them in light of the extreme circumstances of the twentieth century and hope for calmer days ahead.  Our historian may feel this temptation acutely.  But he would be mistaken to give in to it.  Tyranny is not dead, not in politics and certainly not in our souls.  The age of the master ideologies may be over, but so long as men and women think about politics—so long as there are thinking men and women at all—the temptation will be there to succumb to the allure of an idea, to allow passion to blind us to its tyrannical potential, and to abdicate our first responsibility, which is to master the tyrant within.”

 
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