The Purpose of Philosophy
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15-05-2013, 08:25 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
It's good to know that people feel comfortable dismissing a discipline that has been a vital part of the human experience for thousands of years and that has shaped the very fabric of our society, despite the fact that they have no functional understanding of philosophy.

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15-05-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
It's good to know that the ancient art of patronising sarcasm, which has been a vital part of the human experience for thousands of years, still has its disciples.

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15-05-2013, 08:50 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
It's good to know that the intricate art of sarcastic irony, which has been a vital part of the human experience for thousands of years, still has its masters.

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15-05-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
It's good to know that the art of not actually engaging anyone personally is still practiced.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-05-2013, 10:44 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
(04-11-2012 12:43 PM)robotworld Wrote:  Just curious here, what is the exact purpose of philosophy? Does philosophy develop a new way of thinking? Is philosophy just conjecture and language play? Or does philosophy help us understand the world better?

We need moral philosophy to guide us in our dealings with each other. What else do we have?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-05-2013, 10:59 AM
Re: The Purpose of Philosophy
It is indeed mental masturbation... And that's a good thing.

Look around, not enough people are going with the process of working their mind to question and search for other ways to see a situation.
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15-05-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
I think of philosophy as the thousand monkeys trying to write shakespeare, we're the monkeys and we're trying to discover the ultimate truths of the universe. It's bound to be lots of useless crap, but eventually we'll find that one piece of truth, and it will be worth it. There's not much to do anyway, it's not like we have a boring eternal life after death.

Science (positivist natural sciences) is an example of what philosophy can offer, science wasn't invented by some hyper-intelligent mutants, it's the result of literally thousands of years of philosophical inquiry, and it's hardly the only way to an absolute truth. There're many things science can't explain just yet, so until it does (if it does) philosophy is useful.

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15-05-2013, 02:27 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2013 02:36 PM by Luminon.)
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
(04-11-2012 12:43 PM)robotworld Wrote:  Just curious here, what is the exact purpose of philosophy? Does philosophy develop a new way of thinking? Is philosophy just conjecture and language play? Or does philosophy help us understand the world better?
Philosophy is concerned with finding out the general, true, necessary and certain things about the world. Everything objective that is the basis of reality, describing reality, communicating, understanding and generally being human. It is important, because all kinds of malevolence, totalitarianism and stupidity usually attack these basics, they make fallacies about what is or isn't human, what is or isn't freedom, and if we are or aren't free. Even if they let the definitions be, they change what these facts of life turn out to be in practice. A philosopher should notice that and point that out. A philosopher should know that a concept must be a firm triangle of the idea, the word and a thing out there in the world, or it's a hijacked, fallacious concept.

The job of a philosopher may involve developing a non-totalitarian regime or pointing out regimes that became totalitarian without anyone noticing, like a frog in a kettle.

To do philosophy is to fight stupidity and defend wisdom. The first act of that is to define what is knowledge, wisdom and truth, only philosophy has the instruments for that. And to hold to that definitions and never allow them to be hijacked by private interest groups and stupid people.

Philosophy is what makes science possible. Without philosophic groundwork like logic and noetics (knowledge), science could not claim objective and obligatory knowledge about the world, superior over religious authority. That was important back in early days when science wasn't as impressive and courts could make up bullshit about witchcraft. OTOH, philosophy can legitimately claim superiority of science, but also of liberally-conservative Western civilization over other civilizations. Philosophy can make that claim about values and can disprove multi-culturalism. And indeed it does.

Good philosophy is still very important now, when people claim in your face that living in capitalist market society is freedom and any kind of contract you subscribe is voluntary and if you don't like it, get out. Or that atheists are the stupid ones because they don't see the obviousness of God. Or that science doesn't know anything.
The two greatest problems of philosophy however remain, where should a philosopher work to make any influence on the world and how would he get paid for it to make a living.

There are much more boring areas of philosophy and probably lots of crap too, but my philosophy teacher was very kind to leave these out for the most part. He was pretty much trying to give us mental teeth to chew through nonsense. Although probably I'm the only one in his class who actually needed and used this knowledge.

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15-05-2013, 04:09 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2013 04:12 PM by bbeljefe.)
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
(04-11-2012 12:43 PM)robotworld Wrote:  Just curious here, what is the exact purpose of philosophy?

To find truth.

Quote:Does philosophy develop a new way of thinking?

Philosophy is a method. A tool to be used. When a person uses philosophy empirically, he finds truth. When he uses philosophy to justify actions, he invents religion or politics. Or both, really.

The notion that a philosopher can create a new way of thinking is like the notion that there is physics and then there is Einstein's physics. No, there is just physics and there is just logical thinking. There is either correct philosophy or incorrect philosophy, just as with physics.

Quote:Is philosophy just conjecture and language play? Or does philosophy help us understand the world better?

In academia, it's all too often the former. In life, it does help us understand the world better. And, we all use philosophy every day. Every time you have a conflict you must resolve, you use philosophy to help solve it. And throughout human history, philosophers have had either positive or negative affects on society writ large, because ideas spread.

Those societal changes can either be for the good or for the bad and for the exact same reasons your conflict resolution can be for the good or the bad. The difference comes in the application of logic to evidence. If either of those is misused or incorrect, the results will be bad.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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15-05-2013, 04:10 PM
RE: The Purpose of Philosophy
Sorry for the double post. Hit reply instead of edit.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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