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Philosophers past: Pure bull

Kleptin
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6/2/2012 10:30:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
In the same vein as this thread detailing why all political systems are pure bull:
http://www.debate.org...

I submit that most, if not all, structured Philosophical teachings of past philosophers, are pure bullsh*t.

The same reason in the Political section applies here. I believe that political labels bias and alter a person's individual beliefs to match a conglomerate they urge to be a part of for social recognition. Similarly, I believe people who spend a fair amount of time reading the works of past Philosophers, absorbing their ideas and beliefs, don't necessarily produce anything original of their own.

I submit that just as how there is a positive correlation with political vocalness and degree of bullsh*t contained therein, there is also a positive correlation with avidness of philosophical reading and the inability to produce original philosophical thoughts.

This post does not apply only to the obvious "The more you quote, the less you know" philosophers, but also to those who post quite intelligently. I submit that the less you absorb from the philosophical works of the past, the better job you do of practicing your critical thinking.

Most philosophical works we consider to be great are either wrong, absurd, irrelevant, or contains a grand philosophical truth that is built upon with pillars and columns of bullsh*t: New terminology, detailed imaginary concepts, false connections to other new terminology or detailed imaginary concepts, and generally a lot of fluff.

I submit, as I have done in the past, that no grand philosophical truth has ever come from anything that cannot be explained in simple sentences, stories, and in less than ten minutes. No grand philosophical truth requires more than common sense, perhaps a little intelligence, and more than 30 minutes of light contemplation to understand.
: 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.
Stephen_Hawkins
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6/2/2012 10:38:45 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'd say that, though there is reason in politics to say this (due to the flexibility of political labels such as Conservatism), in philosophy it is different. For example, my commitment to preference Utilitarianism would be either myself justifying ethical decisions to preference Utilitarianism (where appropriate, and my stance) or abandoning the label altogether.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 10:39:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The problem with this, as with your other rant again political labels, is just that - it's a rant. It never comes close to attacking the rationality of these various world views philosophical or political (in all fairness, this would assume that you had actually read them.) We've been over this, if you want to say "it's all bull" then do so but I don't know what it would take to disprove that to you.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 10:51:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

That's a spectacular observation.

Like I said, a lot of these philosophical ideologies are composed of columns and pillars of bullsh*t. They invent words and concept and terms to add supposed depth to their thoughts, but when you look at their conclusions, they really aren't that profound or difficult to prove in your own words, and less.
: 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.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 10:53:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:52:17 AM, tulle wrote:
In order to know if you have an original thought, you have to read past philosophers....

I would argue that if you managed to derive something yourself and it matched something that a past philosopher has written about, it counts as an original thought.
: 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.
tulle
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6/2/2012 10:58:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:53:44 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:52:17 AM, tulle wrote:
In order to know if you have an original thought, you have to read past philosophers....

I would argue that if you managed to derive something yourself and it matched something that a past philosopher has written about, it counts as an original thought.

But what good is it in terms of publication? Additionally, the purpose of studying the past is to not have to start from the ground up every time. If you want to learn about any discipline it's faster and more comprehensive to look at pre-existing theories and ideas.
yang.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 11:01:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:58:42 AM, tulle wrote:
But what good is it in terms of publication? Additionally, the purpose of studying the past is to not have to start from the ground up every time. If you want to learn about any discipline it's faster and more comprehensive to look at pre-existing theories and ideas.

What does publication matter? Philosophy that builds on itself is called Science. Science has its own rules.

If anything, the best representation of what Philosophy should be is this very website. A forum and a debate hall. No Philosophy matters that cannot be practically applied in the very present. Publication should be used for storage and reference, no more.
: 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.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 11:02:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.

In any other field, it's necessary.
: 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.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 11:02:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:51:00 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

That's a spectacular observation.

Like I said, a lot of these philosophical ideologies are composed of columns and pillars of bullsh*t. They invent words and concept and terms to add supposed depth to their thoughts, but when you look at their conclusions, they really aren't that profound or difficult to prove in your own words, and less.

That's probably because you don't understand them. It took me like 2 years to actually become a student of philosophy. In the beginning texts and concepts will go over your head all the time. It would be like if I read a very technical chemistry paper with no background knowledge and dismissed it as nonsense.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 11:06:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:02:10 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
That's probably because you don't understand them. It took me like 2 years to actually become a student of philosophy. In the beginning texts and concepts will go over your head all the time. It would be like if I read a very technical chemistry paper with no background knowledge and dismissed it as nonsense.

2 years doesn't make you a student of anything, but that's besides the point.

The problem is not the texts and the concepts. Any student with any grasp language can sit and laboriously understand Philosophy from the ground up. It doesn't really require the vigor or intellectual strain it does to grasp the hard sciences. The problem is that the point you are trying to reach (the Conclusion) never really requires as much work as people think it does.

I've made this thread before and in it, I submitted a challenge to those who made the same claims you do:

If you really put so much value into your study of philosophy, then grant me a "conclusion" that you had to derive through painstaking labor, and I will then rationalize it with common sense and simplicity, provided it does not need to rest upon pillars and columns of bullsh*t.

I will win each and every time.
: 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.
000ike
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6/2/2012 11:07:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.

I don't think so. Science and math are inarguable. They may invent as many terms as they like because in the end the material you study is truth. Philosophy seems like a poor investment of time.

There is no inarguable truth in philosophy...it's people's opinions presented in the most absurdly pretentious manner.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 11:09:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:06:36 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:02:10 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
That's probably because you don't understand them. It took me like 2 years to actually become a student of philosophy. In the beginning texts and concepts will go over your head all the time. It would be like if I read a very technical chemistry paper with no background knowledge and dismissed it as nonsense.

2 years doesn't make you a student of anything, but that's besides the point.

The problem is not the texts and the concepts. Any student with any grasp language can sit and laboriously understand Philosophy from the ground up. It doesn't really require the vigor or intellectual strain it does to grasp the hard sciences. The problem is that the point you are trying to reach (the Conclusion) never really requires as much work as people think it does.

I've made this thread before and in it, I submitted a challenge to those who made the same claims you do:

If you really put so much value into your study of philosophy, then grant me a "conclusion" that you had to derive through painstaking labor, and I will then rationalize it with common sense and simplicity, provided it does not need to rest upon pillars and columns of bullsh*t.

I will win each and every time.

Absolutely not, and with someone with virtually no experience in the field you should know better.
Cody_Franklin
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6/2/2012 11:12:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 10:30:38 AM, Kleptin wrote:
In the same vein as this thread detailing why all political systems are pure bull:
http://www.debate.org...

I submit that most, if not all, structured Philosophical teachings of past philosophers, are pure bullsh*t.

The same reason in the Political section applies here. I believe that political labels bias and alter a person's individual beliefs to match a conglomerate they urge to be a part of for social recognition. Similarly, I believe people who spend a fair amount of time reading the works of past Philosophers, absorbing their ideas and beliefs, don't necessarily produce anything original of their own.

I submit that just as how there is a positive correlation with political vocalness and degree of bullsh*t contained therein, there is also a positive correlation with avidness of philosophical reading and the inability to produce original philosophical thoughts.

I dunno about that. Sounds like the criterion is "unless everyone has unique and unlike beliefs, philosophy is garbage because of intellectual copycatting." I mean, yeah, if all you do is read, then you're not really doing much. But most philosophers don't actually do that. They get published, they go to conferences, they teach, and they respond to stuff that they've read.

Plus, I think that younger philosophers, which are what you sample here (and which may have biased your conclusion), probably benefit from getting their bearings through close readings of at least the big names in philosophy. Some of them probably wouldn't make good professional philosophers, but that's the point--the jump between a senior philosophy undergrad and a first-year grad student is pretty significant, because the discipline tends, as well as it can, to filter out people without any original thought or independent ability.

This post does not apply only to the obvious "The more you quote, the less you know" philosophers, but also to those who post quite intelligently. I submit that the less you absorb from the philosophical works of the past, the better job you do of practicing your critical thinking.

I definitely don't think that's necessarily true. I think you're assuming, if implicitly, that there is a set quantity of philosophical belief in a person's mind, and that it's only a matter of dividing it between original contemplation and unoriginal absorption from reading materials (hence, less reading --> more original thought). Plenty of good philosophy comes "on the shoulders of giants", though, so it's actually critical to absorb other people's ideas so that you can bounce off of them and fly off in a different direction.. Maybe your argument holds for people who read exclusively without ever writing anything of their own, but it turns out that academic philosophy doesn't actually work that way (though I do think a lot of philosophy is circle-jerking, to be fair).

Continental philosophy, in particular, has the interesting quality of being almost impenetrable to the average reader while also being super-original a lot of the time, compared to analytic philosophy, which is super-rigorous, not always nearly as technical (though the terminology is still often complex), but substantially less creative/original.

Most philosophical works we consider to be great are either wrong, absurd, irrelevant, or contains a grand philosophical truth that is built upon with pillars and columns of bullsh*t: New terminology, detailed imaginary concepts, false connections to other new terminology or detailed imaginary concepts, and generally a lot of fluff.

Probably true. The Western distinction between "animals" and "Man", for example. Man gets treated like it's a special, separate category of being; it just so happens that we're not that ontologically special, though. :P

I submit, as I have done in the past, that no grand philosophical truth has ever come from anything that cannot be explained in simple sentences, stories, and in less than ten minutes. No grand philosophical truth requires more than common sense, perhaps a little intelligence, and more than 30 minutes of light contemplation to understand.

I think that depends. I think some good philosophy has inherent volumetric problems. I've been reading a guy for months, now--very influential, but the way his work is structured, it's A) difficult to understand (though there are other reasons for that--he's Italian, it's continental philosophy, he engages with subjects and thinkers with which/whom I'm not familiar, etc.), and B) not completely meaningful unless you step back and look at all of his works as a holistic unit of thought which engages recursively with the same histories and sets of problems in a multiplicity of ways. Once it's understood, it's extremely practical, fulfilling, and simple (though nevertheless elegant). It's kind of a Sisyphean feat if you don't have the patience for that sort of thing, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed life more than I have after reassessing the way I approach life and understand the world. That's not bull.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 11:13:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:07:55 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.

I don't think so. Science and math are inarguable. They may invent as many terms as they like because in the end the material you study is truth. Philosophy seems like a poor investment of time.

There is no inarguable truth in philosophy...it's people's opinions presented in the most absurdly pretentious manner.

You're of begging the question here, science is a branch of epistemology. What does it mean to confirm a conclusion? Is there a universal, ahistorical scientific method? If you actually read into the history of science, you'll see that philosophy is intertwined significantly. What does it mean to understand something? We go our own reductionist presuppositions here which are far from historically inarguable. Read Thomas Kuhn's book, it'll demolish your conception of science.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 11:17:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:09:23 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Absolutely not, and with someone with virtually no experience in the field you should know better.

Just out of curiosity: If someone with virtually no experience in the field "should know better", what type of people would you excuse from "knowing better"?

The fact remains that the end product of your entire field and your entire study can be duplicated in the same quality albeit a different method by laypersons, then there isn't much merit to it unless you actually have a passion for the mechanics, the history, and the details. As a starting student, you may not understand the significance of this. If you held a doctorate, I have a feeling you may actually agree with me.
: 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.
Cody_Franklin
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6/2/2012 11:18:22 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:06:36 AM, Kleptin wrote:

The problem is not the texts and the concepts. Any student with any grasp language can sit and laboriously understand Philosophy from the ground up. It doesn't really require the vigor or intellectual strain it does to grasp the hard sciences. The problem is that the point you are trying to reach (the Conclusion) never really requires as much work as people think it does.

I've made this thread before and in it, I submitted a challenge to those who made the same claims you do:

If you really put so much value into your study of philosophy, then grant me a "conclusion" that you had to derive through painstaking labor, and I will then rationalize it with common sense and simplicity, provided it does not need to rest upon pillars and columns of bullsh*t.

I will win each and every time.

Probably. But that's totally irrelevant, because it just attributes explanatory value to rationalizations. I mean, suppose I give you the scientific explanation for why a fire seems to rise into the air. It's a bit complicated, and you don't know some of the terminology. After all the work that went into figuring it out, you could say something like "That's stupid--everybody already thinks that the telos of fire is up, and that gives us the same conclusion you've studied for years to figure out. I guess we win." The way of reaching the conclusion is just as important as the conclusion (since conclusions can be true, even with false premises). The fact that you can rationalize some piece of philosophy post facto doesn't really demonstrate anything other than your own ability to invent pseudoexplanations for things.
000ike
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6/2/2012 11:22:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:13:50 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:07:55 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.

I don't think so. Science and math are inarguable. They may invent as many terms as they like because in the end the material you study is truth. Philosophy seems like a poor investment of time.

There is no inarguable truth in philosophy...it's people's opinions presented in the most absurdly pretentious manner.

You're of begging the question here, science is a branch of epistemology. What does it mean to confirm a conclusion? Is there a universal, ahistorical scientific method? If you actually read into the history of science, you'll see that philosophy is intertwined significantly. What does it mean to understand something? We go our own reductionist presuppositions here which are far from historically inarguable. Read Thomas Kuhn's book, it'll demolish your conception of science.

I doubt that. The truth of science is confirmed by observation. Their laws and theories produce immediate results. What are the results of philosophy? Where is it proven that the Categorical Imperative is true?

Also, science is the physical realization of math. Unless you're prepared to argue with the validity of 1+1=2, science has some objective foundations. Where you can question it is with unproven theories, but that's about it. And also, you and I both know that I'm never going to read that book you referenced...Not in open defiance of you of course, but because it's just, realistically speaking,...unlikely. Would you mind giving me a sample of this logic that will disrupt my perception of science?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 11:22:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:17:53 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:09:23 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Absolutely not, and with someone with virtually no experience in the field you should know better.

Just out of curiosity: If someone with virtually no experience in the field "should know better", what type of people would you excuse from "knowing better"?

The fact remains that the end product of your entire field and your entire study can be duplicated in the same quality albeit a different method by laypersons, then there isn't much merit to it unless you actually have a passion for the mechanics, the history, and the details. As a starting student, you may not understand the significance of this. If you held a doctorate, I have a feeling you may actually agree with me.

I meant you should know better as to not assume things far outside your own experience. I disagree with the layperson assumption, I don't think any layperson could write Kant, Wittgenstein, or Hegel. Obviously you'll occasionally get these geniuses from outside the field (Wittgenstein.) You neglect that the reasoning behind it is extremely relevant and nuanced. It depends on what you mean by understand. You seem to be under the impression that you can read sparknotes and come up with a full understanding of any philosopher.

Why can't I claim the same in pharmacology? I'll do a wikipedia search on it.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 11:31:21 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:22:11 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:13:50 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:07:55 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:59:01 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 10:45:57 AM, 000ike wrote:
What I find personally irritating about philosophy and the people that study it is the convoluted jargon.

You find that when you unknot the colorful vocabulary and superfluous terms they're actually saying something simple and possibly completely false.

Exhibit A: http://plato.stanford.edu... tens of thousands of aimless words about a dead man's assertions.

You get this in every field.

I don't think so. Science and math are inarguable. They may invent as many terms as they like because in the end the material you study is truth. Philosophy seems like a poor investment of time.

There is no inarguable truth in philosophy...it's people's opinions presented in the most absurdly pretentious manner.

You're of begging the question here, science is a branch of epistemology. What does it mean to confirm a conclusion? Is there a universal, ahistorical scientific method? If you actually read into the history of science, you'll see that philosophy is intertwined significantly. What does it mean to understand something? We go our own reductionist presuppositions here which are far from historically inarguable. Read Thomas Kuhn's book, it'll demolish your conception of science.

I doubt that. The truth of science is confirmed by observation. Their laws and theories produce immediate results. What are the results of philosophy? Where is it proven that the Categorical Imperative is true?

Also, science is the physical realization of math. Unless you're prepared to argue with the validity of 1+1=2, science has some objective foundations. Where you can question it is with unproven theories, but that's about it. And also, you and I both know that I'm never going to read that book you referenced...Not in open defiance of you of course, but because it's just, realistically speaking,...unlikely. Would you mind giving me a sample of this logic that will disrupt my perception of science?

What does it mean to confirm something by observation? When do you make the inductive leap? Can theories ever be fully validated in that sense? Where was it proven the laws of science were true?

Kuhn's book is a landmark historical study into the nature of science. I can't provide a 2-3 sentence summary that is sufficient (though Kleptin seems to believe it's possible.) I'm just saying this view of science as golden and perfectly objective is not as undoubtable as those outside the philosophy of science would like to believe. I held your views at first, and I'm certainly not saying science is bull - but it's not this perfect form of knowledge either once you've done a little research.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 11:32:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:12:53 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I dunno about that. Sounds like the criterion is "unless everyone has unique and unlike beliefs, philosophy is garbage because of intellectual copycatting." I mean, yeah, if all you do is read, then you're not really doing much. But most philosophers don't actually do that. They get published, they go to conferences, they teach, and they respond to stuff that they've read.

No, that's not true. If you somehow manage to derive something yourself, even if it isn't unique or unlike, I would label it legitimate philosophy. Reading something and understanding it is completely unlike sitting, contemplating, and letting things click. A general approach to teaching Philosophy should really be to offer a philosophical problem and have them solve it, or to offer a philosophical conclusion and have them argue up to it.

Plus, I think that younger philosophers, which are what you sample here (and which may have biased your conclusion), probably benefit from getting their bearings through close readings of at least the big names in philosophy. Some of them probably wouldn't make good professional philosophers, but that's the point--the jump between a senior philosophy undergrad and a first-year grad student is pretty significant, because the discipline tends, as well as it can, to filter out people without any original thought or independent ability.

This is a fair argument, and I will grant it to you. It's just that I do get turned off by obsessive quoting and referencing when the concept someone attempts to get through actually involves little to no external knowledge at all.

I definitely don't think that's necessarily true. I think you're assuming, if implicitly, that there is a set quantity of philosophical belief in a person's mind, and that it's only a matter of dividing it between original contemplation and unoriginal absorption from reading materials (hence, less reading --> more original thought). Plenty of good philosophy comes "on the shoulders of giants", though, so it's actually critical to absorb other people's ideas so that you can bounce off of them and fly off in a different direction.. Maybe your argument holds for people who read exclusively without ever writing anything of their own, but it turns out that academic philosophy doesn't actually work that way (though I do think a lot of philosophy is circle-jerking, to be fair).

I'm less inclined to agree with you on this point, but I do find it to be a legitimate argument. I'm more focused not on the final product, which is the actual presence of the idea or concept in the mind, but on the measures one takes to put it there. The complexity of philosophy is heavily, HEAVILY overstated, and despite the accusations that I simply have not had the experience, I justify it based on the notion that the end product is easily and readily producible by laypersons.

The primary question being: How much structure is needed in practical philosophy needed to enrich one's life and promote happiness? Because that's the only difference I see between the "legitimate" study of philosophy and a layperson's hobby: Structure.

Continental philosophy, in particular, has the interesting quality of being almost impenetrable to the average reader while also being super-original a lot of the time, compared to analytic philosophy, which is super-rigorous, not always nearly as technical (though the terminology is still often complex), but substantially less creative/original.

This piques my interest. What are some conclusions you have come across through this Continental philosophy and how does it differ from the traditional lot? Or alternatively, is the originality in the methodology and not from the conclusion?

I think that depends. I think some good philosophy has inherent volumetric problems. I've been reading a guy for months, now--very influential, but the way his work is structured, it's A) difficult to understand (though there are other reasons for that--he's Italian, it's continental philosophy, he engages with subjects and thinkers with which/whom I'm not familiar, etc.), and B) not completely meaningful unless you step back and look at all of his works as a holistic unit of thought which engages recursively with the same histories and sets of problems in a multiplicity of ways. Once it's understood, it's extremely practical, fulfilling, and simple (though nevertheless elegant). It's kind of a Sisyphean feat if you don't have the patience for that sort of thing, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed life more than I have after reassessing the way I approach life and understand the world. That's not bull.

Can you give examples of these concrete changes in your world outlook?
: 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.
YYW
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6/2/2012 11:32:44 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:22:57 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:17:53 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/2/2012 11:09:23 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Absolutely not, and with someone with virtually no experience in the field you should know better.

Just out of curiosity: If someone with virtually no experience in the field "should know better", what type of people would you excuse from "knowing better"?

The fact remains that the end product of your entire field and your entire study can be duplicated in the same quality albeit a different method by laypersons, then there isn't much merit to it unless you actually have a passion for the mechanics, the history, and the details. As a starting student, you may not understand the significance of this. If you held a doctorate, I have a feeling you may actually agree with me.


Do you have a Ph. D.? In what field? Where did you study? Under whom did you study?

I meant you should know better as to not assume things far outside your own experience. I disagree with the layperson assumption, I don't think any layperson could write Kant, Wittgenstein, or Hegel. Obviously you'll occasionally get these geniuses from outside the field (Wittgenstein.) You neglect that the reasoning behind it is extremely relevant and nuanced. It depends on what you mean by understand. You seem to be under the impression that you can read sparknotes and come up with a full understanding of any philosopher.

Why can't I claim the same in pharmacology? I'll do a wikipedia search on it.

This is an old critique of most works of genius. There are people who believe anyone could have written Shakespeare, or that monkeys at Oxford did... etc. There are people who believe that philosophy reduces to nothing but common sense, and various other assaults, etc. This is nothing new.

Kant was a genius. I -as some of you may or may not know- don't agree with many of his ideas, but he was still a genius. Btw... to claim that Kant is "simple" is just laughable. To read Kant in the original German is like treading quick sand. To read the various translations of Kant are -a bit- less difficult, but not "easy" by any means.

Wittgenstein is even more complex than Kant. The Tractatus is a bit less over and above than Investigations, but both are works of unabashed brilliance. Claiming that anyone could have written either work, is just pretentious (and demonstrative of the claimer's personal ignorance).

(Btw... people have been debating Wittgenstein, how to read what he wrote, etc. since he first published. Just throwing that out there.)
Tsar of DDO
tulle
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6/2/2012 11:48:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Kleptin, if through my own deductions I realized something groundbreaking in pharmocology without having come across it before, what good is it if the works have already been published and drugs have already been made?

For example, in the 11th grade when I took a high school Psychology course, we touched briefly on SSRIs and MAOIs, etc. We talked about using drugs that effect serotonin and norepinephrine to treat depression. In my ignorance I asked my teacher "Why aren't there drugs to increase dopamine?" Groundbreaking, right? Coming up with ideas in ignorance may be creative, but it helps no one.
yang.
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6/2/2012 12:19:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Don't Zeno's paradoxes count as philosophy?
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 12:31:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 11:22:57 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I meant you should know better as to not assume things far outside your own experience. I disagree with the layperson assumption, I don't think any layperson could write Kant, Wittgenstein, or Hegel. Obviously you'll occasionally get these geniuses from outside the field (Wittgenstein.) You neglect that the reasoning behind it is extremely relevant and nuanced. It depends on what you mean by understand. You seem to be under the impression that you can read sparknotes and come up with a full understanding of any philosopher.

We need to first agree what the product of philosophy should be. Then we can continue.

Why can't I claim the same in pharmacology? I'll do a wikipedia search on it.

I was praying you would make this argument :)

I'm not a pharmacologist, I'm a pharmacist. Pharmacists are licensed workers who work a trade, like carpentry or plumbing. Pharmacologists study pharmacology. I'll cover both though.

The end product of a Philosopher is a concept, conclusion, or some sort of new understanding. Ideally. The end product of a Pharmacologist is also a concept or conclusion, usually drug related. The end product of a Pharmacist is a decision.

The Philosopher produces an end product through the structural teaching he received. Ironically, the most valuable of end-products are those which can be easily passed onto laypersons or even derived by laypersons, since Philosophy has no merit without practical application. This makes the Philosopher better at checking the validity of the end-products of his profession than in actually deriving them.

Pharmacologists are more like Philosophers. Their structural teaching enables them to come to academic conclusions and concepts. However, the difference is that their end-product is scientific and the value of their contribution is judged on a much different scale. Yes, it's still applicability, but their structural teaching is far more tied to the quality of the product, not just whether or not the end product is viable. Also, the end product need not appeal to the general public. It goes to drug companies in order to make money.

Pharmacists are basically paid to produce thousands of one-time short term decisions based on their structural teaching. Each of those short-term decisions are based on other decisions in their structural teaching, and each decision must be made in a finite amount of time. This is because Pharmacy is a trade, not a study. Just as with plumbing, electrical work, or carpentry, it is more an applied skill and not an academic endeavor. Yes, you may be able to reduce it down to references and algorithms, but to do so, you would need an infinite amount of time.

In conclusion:

Compared to either a hard science or a trade, Philosophy relies less on its structural teachings to create meaningful and valuable products.
: 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.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 4:50:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Ironically, the most valuable of end-products are those which can be easily passed onto laypersons or even derived by laypersons, since Philosophy has no merit without practical application.

I disagree, the most valuable end-products are those which cannot be easily communicated and need to be reached as a result of extensive study and introspection. Can I say pharmacy has no merit without theoretical application that claims some truth about the ultimate nature of reality?

Yes, it's still applicability, but their structural teaching is far more tied to the quality of the product, not just whether or not the end product is viable.

There's quality standards within philosophy, but obviously each field will have its own standards.

Philosophy relies less on its structural teachings to create meaningful and valuable products.

I'm a little confused by what you mean by "structural teachings." There certainly are ideas and entire movements (logical positivism) that have been rejected at a pretty widespread basis among philosophers. In the end if you demand practical applicable only a certain segment of philosopher remains relevant, but I'd be challenged to draw a sharp line between practical application and theory.

This is what happens when someone receives too much technical application and too little liberal arts. They demand that everything have practical application, and if a field doesn't fit this strict reductionist model it becomes irrelevant at best. I can't dispel this in a few paragraphs, and we both know we won't be changing minds here.
Kleptin
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6/2/2012 5:25:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/2/2012 4:50:11 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I disagree, the most valuable end-products are those which cannot be easily communicated and need to be reached as a result of extensive study and introspection. Can I say pharmacy has no merit without theoretical application that claims some truth about the ultimate nature of reality?

First, we need to determine a rationale for the value of the products of philosophical study.

As for your last point, no. There's no such thing as "theoretical application" to begin with, and Pharmacy's end product has nothing to do with what your attributed standard of value is. Philosophy, may as well not exist if it doesn't have any practical application. Science is one practical application of Philosophy. Personal fulfillment and happiness is another.

There's quality standards within philosophy, but obviously each field will have its own standards.

I'd be willing to hear you clarify those.

I'm a little confused by what you mean by "structural teachings." There certainly are ideas and entire movements (logical positivism) that have been rejected at a pretty widespread basis among philosophers. In the end if you demand practical applicable only a certain segment of philosopher remains relevant, but I'd be challenged to draw a sharp line between practical application and theory.

By "Structural teachings", I mean, what you are taught by your professors in terms of how to go about producing the product of your profession.

This is what happens when someone receives too much technical application and too little liberal arts. They demand that everything have practical application, and if a field doesn't fit this strict reductionist model it becomes irrelevant at best. I can't dispel this in a few paragraphs, and we both know we won't be changing minds here.

Take as many paragraphs as you want. I mean, I used to be a great proponent of logic, debate, philosophy, wisdom, etc. but when you start having actual responsibilities and pressing concerns outside of a term paper and a textbook, you really do start searching for the practical applications of things.

I'm very broad and accepting of what I define "practical application" to be, just FYI. You may not need to change my mind because we probably agree on many things. I don't mean to force you to justify your major or the profession of Philosophy, but you are portraying yourself to be far less clear about what Philosophy offers than someone who is defending it so staunchly. You come off as extremely vague and uncertain, and I can't really have that if you're going to stand so firmly against what I say.

Perhaps you're holding back because you don't think I have the capacity to understand, but rest assured that I most likely will, and even if I don't, I'll feel free to ask until I do completely understand.

After all, you should be able to handle a situation outside this site in which someone asks you "What exactly is it that you DO? Why is it important?" with far less respect and open-mindedness than me.
: 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.
OMGJustinBieber
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6/2/2012 5:57:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
First, we need to determine a rationale for the value of the products of philosophical study.

That's difficult and seems subjective to some extent. There's certainly been revolutions in the field (Kuhn, Rawls, Wittgenstein, Kant in his day.)

Science is one practical application of Philosophy. Personal fulfillment and happiness is another.

You only value practical application, great. While something like metaphysical idealism does not have a direct practical application, it'll blow your mind and fundamentally alter your conception of reality if you come to believe it. Theology won't teach you how to fix a sink but it'll have an enormous ideological impact.

I'd be willing to hear you clarify those.

Standards of precision. Physics has their own, biology has theirs, economics sort of straddles between being a science and a liberal art same with psychology. When you go into these fields you're really immersed into a mindset. I would certainly be different if I had spent the past 3 years studying sociology or psychology. I've never denied being a product of my environment to a large degree.

Perhaps you're holding back because you don't think I have the capacity to understand, but rest assured that I most likely will, and even if I don't, I'll feel free to ask until I do completely understand.

It's not a snipe at your intellect. I obviously do hold back because the worldview I have now have took years of really immersing myself in the field. I couldn't ask you to communicate all your pharmaceutical knowledge to me, it's similar but obviously the fields are different.

After all, you should be able to handle a situation outside this site in which someone asks you "What exactly is it that you DO? Why is it important?" with far less respect and open-mindedness than me.

If nothing else, just take ethics. It's my personal favorite field of study, and it grounds political theory as political theory is a branch of it. The problem is that philosophy is so wide based it can be difficult to pin down claims that attack philosophy in general. Everyone shrugs off the highly metaphysical stuff at first, but it takes a while to appreciate it (or studiously rebut it, like in Wittgenstein's case which carries its own radical implications.)

A large part of it is taking your reason to its logical implications, but to claim that you have nothing to learn from these philosophers is nothing short of ignorant.