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Recommended philosophical books

phantom
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3/15/2012 9:41:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Philosophy has, for a while, been something that continually garns my interest. However I have to admit, I don't no sh!t on half the topics. I would like to start reading up more on different philosophical theories and such, thus any recommendations any of you would have would be appreciated.

Philosophy is a massive topic in itself, but I'm talking about things more on the metaphysics realm.

(Articles would be appreciated too thanks!)
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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3/15/2012 9:52:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/15/2012 9:41:59 PM, phantom wrote:
Philosophy has, for a while, been something that continually garns my interest. However I have to admit, I don't no sh!t on half the topics. I would like to start reading up more on different philosophical theories and such, thus any recommendations any of you would have would be appreciated.

Philosophy is a massive topic in itself, but I'm talking about things more on the metaphysics realm.

(Articles would be appreciated too thanks!)

The books I've read on metaphysics were so mind boggling that I almost lost all interest in the subject. Most of metaphysics doesn't seem very useful anyway.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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3/15/2012 10:04:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hans Hermann-Hoppe's 'Theory of Socialism and Capitalism' is a great work on argumentation ethics and the justification of self ownership and the non-aggression principle. He throws in a bit of economics too but it's not so bad :)
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
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: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
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popculturepooka
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3/15/2012 10:08:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
http://www.amazon.com...

The best intro book on metaphysics I know of written by one of the best living metaphysicians.
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vbaculum
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3/16/2012 12:51:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/15/2012 10:08:35 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
http://www.amazon.com...

The best intro book on metaphysics I know of written by one of the best living metaphysicians.

It looks tempting.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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3/16/2012 1:01:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 12:51:56 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 3/15/2012 10:08:35 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
http://www.amazon.com...

The best intro book on metaphysics I know of written by one of the best living metaphysicians.

It looks tempting.

Agreed, I will definitely look for this in book stores, or maybe buy it off Amazon.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Contradiction
Posts: 409
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3/16/2012 2:19:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
PCP's recommendation is excellent. E. J. Lowe's introductory metaphysics text is also good as well: http://www.amazon.com...

For something lighter and readable, I recommend Conee and Sider's _Riddles of Existence_ http://www.amazon.com...
Grape
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3/16/2012 10:22:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yes to all, although Hoppe's book is not about metaphysics and I haven't read Lowe's. I also feel that Riddles of Existence can get a little didactic, but it's good overall and definitely very accessible and readable. I don't think there's an area of philosophy I've studied less than metaphysics, but if you're interested in other areas I might be able to give recommendations.
vbaculum
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3/16/2012 11:53:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
On a side note, how would the philosophy buffs here answer the question: Why study metaphysics?
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
popculturepooka
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3/16/2012 12:03:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 1:01:39 AM, phantom wrote:
At 3/16/2012 12:51:56 AM, vbaculum wrote:
At 3/15/2012 10:08:35 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
http://www.amazon.com...

The best intro book on metaphysics I know of written by one of the best living metaphysicians.

It looks tempting.

Agreed, I will definitely look for this in book stores, or maybe buy it off Amazon.

If you both have the time, wherewithal, and interest I can't recommend the book the book enough. He explains difficult issues in a clear, rigorous, and thoughtful way.
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Kleptin
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3/16/2012 1:28:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/15/2012 9:41:59 PM, phantom wrote:
Philosophy has, for a while, been something that continually garns my interest. However I have to admit, I don't no sh!t on half the topics. I would like to start reading up more on different philosophical theories and such, thus any recommendations any of you would have would be appreciated.

Philosophy is a massive topic in itself, but I'm talking about things more on the metaphysics realm.

(Articles would be appreciated too thanks!)

Don't bother. You're better off learning philosophy by jumping into these discussions, being forced to come up with explanations for things, and developing ideas that way. I've never had any formal philosophical education when I joined this site and in college, I found the courses to be dry and pointless compared to what I can learn here.

There's no integrity in pursuing philosophy by studying it. The only thing you can really draw from the works of others is how people come up with their own ideas, and that's something you probably have the capacity to do already.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
socialpinko
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3/16/2012 2:21:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 10:22:51 AM, Grape wrote:
Yes to all, although Hoppe's book is not about metaphysics and I haven't read Lowe's. I also feel that Riddles of Existence can get a little didactic, but it's good overall and definitely very accessible and readable. I don't think there's an area of philosophy I've studied less than metaphysics, but if you're interested in other areas I might be able to give recommendations.

Didn't see the part where he asked specifically for titles in metaphysics. *slowly slinks away as I know next to nothing on the subject*
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
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: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
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: I disagree.
phantom
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3/16/2012 2:26:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 2:21:52 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 3/16/2012 10:22:51 AM, Grape wrote:
Yes to all, although Hoppe's book is not about metaphysics and I haven't read Lowe's. I also feel that Riddles of Existence can get a little didactic, but it's good overall and definitely very accessible and readable. I don't think there's an area of philosophy I've studied less than metaphysics, but if you're interested in other areas I might be able to give recommendations.

Didn't see the part where he asked specifically for titles in metaphysics. *slowly slinks away as I know next to nothing on the subject*

Lies!
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
OMGJustinBieber
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3/16/2012 3:15:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 1:28:44 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/15/2012 9:41:59 PM, phantom wrote:
Philosophy has, for a while, been something that continually garns my interest. However I have to admit, I don't no sh!t on half the topics. I would like to start reading up more on different philosophical theories and such, thus any recommendations any of you would have would be appreciated.

Philosophy is a massive topic in itself, but I'm talking about things more on the metaphysics realm.

(Articles would be appreciated too thanks!)

Don't bother. You're better off learning philosophy by jumping into these discussions, being forced to come up with explanations for things, and developing ideas that way. I've never had any formal philosophical education when I joined this site and in college, I found the courses to be dry and pointless compared to what I can learn here.

There's no integrity in pursuing philosophy by studying it. The only thing you can really draw from the works of others is how people come up with their own ideas, and that's something you probably have the capacity to do already.

You probably weren't taking the right courses. Anyone who thinks they can learn philosophy from DDO/internet research has got a long way to go. Sure, anyone read the debates between two intelligent debaters but it's not the same thing as reading straight from the book and having a professor clear up misconceptions. You don't realize this until you see people making these errors.
Kleptin
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3/16/2012 3:46:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 3:15:39 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
You probably weren't taking the right courses. Anyone who thinks they can learn philosophy from DDO/internet research has got a long way to go. Sure, anyone read the debates between two intelligent debaters but it's not the same thing as reading straight from the book and having a professor clear up misconceptions. You don't realize this until you see people making these errors.

I think that we have very different views on what it means to "learn philosophy". In my opinion, the only true purpose for philosophy is practical application, and that necessitates a philosophical understanding that is very, very personal.

There are many people on this site who think of something, research it, find similarities between their viewpoints and a particular philosophy, then define themselves as thinkers or followers of that school, pressing their personal beliefs further and further into that philosophical school of thought.

This is extremely common and a bastardization of what philosophy is about.

The only use for philosophical records, books, etc. is to serve as an example of HOW people think, how they go about detailing their thoughts, describing how and why things are, etc. To study philosophy in order to see what other people think of other things is just plain silly.

You study philosophy in the same manner that you study any other art, through creation and hands-on participation. Like painting, literature, and music. You learn the mechanics of how to practice the art. You study the works of others to see how they expressed themselves through the medium and how they used the medium.

Not to replicate ideas. Not to perpetuate the works of others.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Grape
Posts: 989
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3/16/2012 4:59:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 1:28:44 PM, Kleptin wrote:

Don't bother. You're better off learning philosophy by jumping into these discussions, being forced to come up with explanations for things, and developing ideas that way. I've never had any formal philosophical education when I joined this site and in college, I found the courses to be dry and pointless compared to what I can learn here.

There's no integrity in pursuing philosophy by studying it. The only thing you can really draw from the works of others is how people come up with their own ideas, and that's something you probably have the capacity to do already.

I disagree with this view. In comparison to what I learned from just a few philosophy classes, I have learned next to nothing from DDO (and I learned quite a lot from DDO). Trying to learn philosophy from here would be like trying to learn history or mathematics. There is a lot of content to cover, and it takes a lot of practice. You absolutely must learn it from a book (more accurately, a very large number of books). If you didn't enjoy philosophy in college, that's probably your professors' fault.

And as for there being no integrity in studying philosophy... well for one I take offense to that. I study philosophy, and I think I have just as much integrity as people who study history or physics or art. You do not lose your claim to originality when you build off of those who came before you. Even in genuine art (which philosophy assuredly is not), one has to look to the work of others. If philosophers must be excluded from borrowing ideas, then there haven't been any true philosophers in the Western tradition for about 2500 years.
Grape
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3/16/2012 5:16:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 3:46:31 PM, Kleptin wrote:
I think that we have very different views on what it means to "learn philosophy". In my opinion, the only true purpose for philosophy is practical application, and that necessitates a philosophical understanding that is very, very personal.


Most of what you do in academic philosophy is not intended to have a "practical application." The point of it, as any field of study, is to understand some particular aspect of the world better. Philosophy obviously has a lot of sub-fields, and they don't relate to each other as well as the sub-fields of other disciplines, but it's a heading for a variety of subjects just as biology is. When you ask an entomologist what the practical application for categorizing flies is, he doesn't need a deeper answer than simply that we might want to know how flies are properly categorized. I view philosophy in much the same way.

There are many people on this site who think of something, research it, find similarities between their viewpoints and a particular philosophy, then define themselves as thinkers or followers of that school, pressing their personal beliefs further and further into that philosophical school of thought.


I would discourage that type of dogmatism, to be sure. But I don't think this is more dangerous than saying you are a subscriber to Darwinian biology or the fundamental theorem of arithmetic. As long as you are willing to change or potentially drop your theory as you get new information, there is nothing wrong with subscribing to someone else's view if you believe it to be correct. So if you think that John Searl's Chinese Room is a good argument against strong AI, there's nothing wrong with studying that view and basing your position off of it.

This is extremely common and a bastardization of what philosophy is about.


I think that what you're you're proposing is an extremely common bastardization of what philosophy is about ;)

The only use for philosophical records, books, etc. is to serve as an example of HOW people think, how they go about detailing their thoughts, describing how and why things are, etc. To study philosophy in order to see what other people think of other things is just plain silly.


Really!? Why single out philosophy to say this of? Is the same thing true of painting? Of writing novels? Of physics? Where would we be if we applied this mode of thinking to any other subject? If philosophers adopted this view, we would never get anywhere in philosophy just as we would never get anywhere in mathematics if each mathematician tried to do it all on his own. Philosophy covers a large number of complicated, difficult fields. Without the collaboration of thousands of scholars for thousands of years, we would still be debating the 256 syllogisms.

You study philosophy in the same manner that you study any other art, through creation and hands-on participation. Like painting, literature, and music. You learn the mechanics of how to practice the art. You study the works of others to see how they expressed themselves through the medium and how they used the medium.


Doing philosophy is not at all like doing this kind of art. It is somewhat like studying this kind of art, but even that is a stretch. I would follow David Foster Wallace (heresy!) and say that philosophy is most like mathematics. It requires extremely rigorous, tight argumentation and aims at getting definite results. The main difference is that philosophers are much less likely to agree on results.

There are not correct and incorrect paintings, but there are correct and incorrect philosophical views.

Not to replicate ideas. Not to perpetuate the works of others.

I think it is necessary, to some extent, for each generation to creatively recreate ideas in order to preserve them. Blind repetition, though, is not the goal of philosophy. A paper that does not provide any original insight will not be published, but a paper that offers new analysis of old material will be.
popculturepooka
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3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 11:53:51 AM, vbaculum wrote:
On a side note, how would the philosophy buffs here answer the question: Why study metaphysics?

Metaphysics is such a broad subject. It covers everything from the existence of God(s), to moral obligations, to free will, to the nature of time, to what kind of things us human beings are to, to the very nature of reality itself, to...you get the point.

I guess my pithy, short, and snappy answer would be: do you value truth? The truths don't get any "deeper" than in metaphysics. If so, you should study metaphysics.

Another slightly longer answer would be: consider something like free will. Are we really free or are all of our actions determined by antecedent physical causes or God or something else? If so, this has huge implications on how we should live. Supposing that that determinism holds can we really ever be said to be (for instance) morally responsible for anything we do? If not, it would certainly change the whole way people think about concepts like punishment and blame. Retributive punishment would make no sense whatsoever.
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mattrodstrom
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3/17/2012 12:10:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Retributive punishment would make no sense whatsoever.

Punishment for punishment's sake makes no sense whatsoever.. That is, unless you're sadistic and like to see people suffer.

The only good reasons to punish someone is to discourage or prevent the behavior.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
popculturepooka
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3/17/2012 12:41:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 12:10:58 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Retributive punishment would make no sense whatsoever.

Punishment for punishment's sake makes no sense whatsoever.. That is, unless you're sadistic and like to see people suffer.

The only good reasons to punish someone is to discourage or prevent the behavior.

Retributive punishment isn't punishment for punishment's sake.
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mattrodstrom
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3/17/2012 12:52:39 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 12:41:45 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The only good reasons to punish someone is to discourage or prevent the behavior.

Retributive punishment isn't punishment for punishment's sake.

either way..

The only good reason to punish someone is to discourage or prevent certain behavior...

And this reason Survives the death of Free Will, and survives the death of "moral responsibility"

For, if there's behavior I would not have done... It makes sense to 'punish' the perpetrators to discourage others from doing similarly... to discourage the perpetrators from re-offending, and perhaps lock them up or kill them to Prevent their doing so.

This all jives just fine with determinism..
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
popculturepooka
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3/17/2012 1:06:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 12:52:39 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/17/2012 12:41:45 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The only good reasons to punish someone is to discourage or prevent the behavior.

Retributive punishment isn't punishment for punishment's sake.

either way..

The only good reason to punish someone is to discourage or prevent certain behavior...

And this reason Survives the death of Free Will, and survives the death of "moral responsibility"

For, if there's behavior I would not have done... It makes sense to 'punish' the perpetrators to discourage others from doing similarly... to discourage the perpetrators from re-offending, and perhaps lock them up or kill them to Prevent their doing so.

This all jives just fine with determinism..

Okay...? I never said nor implied other wise. The problem is that a lot of people (perhaps the majority of people in this world) are convinced that there is such a thing as moral responsiblity and thus if there is none this would require a radical revision of their beliefs. Which just ties into the point I was making about why someone should study metaphysics. What exactly are you trying to drive at here? Your points seem entirely unrelated to anything I had to say.
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mattrodstrom
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3/17/2012 1:30:31 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
consider something like free will. Are we really free or are all of our actions determined by antecedent physical causes or God or something else? If so, this has huge implications on how we should live. Supposing that that determinism holds can we really ever be said to be (for instance) morally responsible for anything we do? If not, it would certainly change the whole way people think about concepts like punishment and blame.

It shouldn't change in regard to punishment... Being how the only Good Reason for Punishment Remains the same Regardless of whether or not free will exists.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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3/17/2012 1:44:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 11:53:51 AM, vbaculum wrote:
On a side note, how would the philosophy buffs here answer the question: Why study metaphysics?

You shouldn't ..
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
popculturepooka
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3/17/2012 1:47:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 1:30:31 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
consider something like free will. Are we really free or are all of our actions determined by antecedent physical causes or God or something else? If so, this has huge implications on how we should live. Supposing that that determinism holds can we really ever be said to be (for instance) morally responsible for anything we do? If not, it would certainly change the whole way people think about concepts like punishment and blame.

It shouldn't change in regard to punishment... Being how the only Good Reason for Punishment Remains the same Regardless of whether or not free will exists.

...It's not a matter of whether it should change it's a matter of whether the perception it will change. I'm fairly certain the majority of people believe in something like moral responsibility (and free will for that matter) and that certainly factors into how they think punishment should be meted out (i.e. someone "deserving" to get some punishment or the other). So, again, your point really isn't relevant and I'm not even sure why you're arguing with me.
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popculturepooka
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3/17/2012 1:48:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 1:47:27 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

...It's not a matter of whether it should change it's a matter of whether the perception will change. I'm fairly certain the majority of people believe in something like moral responsibility (and free will for that matter) and that certainly factors into how they think punishment should be meted out (i.e. someone "deserving" to get some punishment or the other). So, again, your point really isn't relevant and I'm not even sure why you're arguing with me.

Fixed.
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GeoLaureate8
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3/17/2012 1:55:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 11:53:51 AM, vbaculum wrote:
On a side note, how would the philosophy buffs here answer the question: Why study metaphysics?

To understand reality, to find the truth, to learn about the possibilities...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
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3/17/2012 10:09:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/17/2012 1:47:27 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
...It's not a matter of whether it should change it's a matter of whether the perception it will change. I'm fairly certain the majority of people believe in something like moral responsibility (and free will for that matter) and that certainly factors into how they think punishment should be meted out (i.e. someone "deserving" to get some punishment or the other). So, again, your point really isn't relevant and I'm not even sure why you're arguing with me.

well I'd argue with the sadists that their "deserved punishment" makes any sense (for non-sadists) at all.

Are you one who b/c of Free Will would support Punishment for the sake of Retribution. (that is, for no sake at all unless you enjoy seeing/knowing that certain people suffer)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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3/19/2012 3:35:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/16/2012 6:44:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/16/2012 11:53:51 AM, vbaculum wrote:
On a side note, how would the philosophy buffs here answer the question: Why study metaphysics?

Metaphysics is such a broad subject. It covers everything from the existence of God(s), to moral obligations, to free will, to the nature of time, to what kind of things us human beings are to, to the very nature of reality itself, to...you get the point.

I guess my pithy, short, and snappy answer would be: do you value truth? The truths don't get any "deeper" than in metaphysics. If so, you should study metaphysics.

Another slightly longer answer would be: consider something like free will. Are we really free or are all of our actions determined by antecedent physical causes or God or something else? If so, this has huge implications on how we should live. Supposing that that determinism holds can we really ever be said to be (for instance) morally responsible for anything we do? If not, it would certainly change the whole way people think about concepts like punishment and blame. Retributive punishment would make no sense whatsoever.

The Fool: anything with that much focus on god is theology .. not philsophy. I have read alot in metaphysics,, but its not like that. You should challange to something philososphical .
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL