User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    336

    Default What does philosophy do?

    What does philosophy do?

    I claim that the task of philosophy is to look inward to find the basis for the presuppositions that form the foundation for all human created theories. I claim that in our first effort to look inward primitive humans saw thier mortality; they hated what they saw and immediately sought a means to successfully repress that thought. That solution turns out to be what we today call religion.

    Long ago a professor of philosophy said to me, after my asking him what philosophy is all about, “philosophy is a radically critical self-consciousness”. It took me 30 years to comprehend what he said.

    “But I'm a philosopher, and it's a philosopher's job to tell people how they should lead their lives.” Thus wrote Linda Hirshman in an article in the Washington Post. Linda R. Hirshman, is a retired professor of philosophy and women's studies at Brandeis University.
    Unleashing the Wrath of Stay-at-Home Moms - washingtonpost.com

    If I had read in the morning paper some doctor saying “it is the doctor’s job to tell people how they should lead their lives.” I would not have blinked. I have no problem with a doctor making such a statement but a philosopher making such a statement certainly will cause a pause.

    A retired professor of philosophy from Brandeis University cares weight with me and when such a person says something startling I must give it some heed; I must pause to reflect and study the meaning of that statement.

    Reflection on this statement reveals to me that human life is really a philosophical endeavor. We do not realize it but every thought we have, every decision we make, and every action we take are based upon some philosophical assumptions. Philosophers have molded these assumptions into theories that now form the very essence of our life.

    We ‘know’ what is real, what is knowledge, what is moral action, how the mind works, etc. because these philosophical theories permeate every aspect of our life. Metaphysics is a philosophy word that really means ‘what is real, what is time, what is essence, what is causation, etc’.

    I guess I will give the professor an “A” here. It is a philosopher’s job to tell people how they should lead their lives.

  2. #2
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    3w4?
    Posts
    1,238

    Default

    I don't believe that's the case at all; rather I think that a philosopher's job is to intimately understand the complexities and then tell people whot options they have available; it is the individual's interpretation of which option they prefer that will determine how they should lead their lives.

    Philosophy as a general rule is the examination of abstract concepts and complex intersections of beliefs, values and so on. In the end though, it's highly subjective, and due to the fact that it really is just an INTERPRETATION of the data presented, although some may be better qualified to make those interpretations, it doesn't mean that they're neccesarily right, otherwise we wouldn't have conflicting worldviews available to us.

    Concepts such as 'right and wrong' are basic ideals, yet they can be argued by religion, philosophy, psychology, and sociology on completely seperate levels, often with none of them agreeing upon the basic tenants of whot good and evil even ARE. Is killing someone evil? Not if god told yeu to do it, or if it was self defense, or an order by a superior officer if in the military, or if accidental, etc etc. These different sections of understanding the abstract concepts each provide a different view of things, but unfortunately, they often fail to understand that their way is NOT the ONLY way to look at things.

    Philosophy may state that good and evil are measurements of fear and loss of self, by direct means (death) or by proxy (another's death or property lost, emotional instability,etc). Religion may counter that good and evil are absolute values decreed by whichever deity is worshiped by that religion, though then there are inconsistancies, and good/evil are often flipped back and forth interchangeably. Sociology may state that good and evil is "whoever ISN'T YEU is evil" and it's little more than propaganda where the winner, or at least the majority, make the rules. And then psychology can state that good for yeu, may not be good for the whole, but that one can be viewed as 'evil' in their own mind yet be viewed as good by the rest of the world, and that therefore good/evil is a very personal judgment.

    The issue here, is that each of these is looking at the same concept from various angles and methodology of thought; as such, by combining each, and carefully considering the rammifications of each, one can better grasp the truth of the whole, and come to a conclusion, that this 'absolute truth' is in fact a variable based on situation, and is not so absolute as one may claim.

    However, because each of the governing sections are contrasting to each other, they may fight and bicker, and try to endorse their own personal interpretation, stating "It is our job, our right, our DUTY to tell people how to live their lives, lest they be slanted by these other fools who would lead them astray!" But the fact is, each must be weighed and considered. Yeu can't just live by yeur own psychological moral guidance, or well... then we're stuck with Hannibal Lector. Yeu can't live by yeur own religious tenants or we're left with religious genocide. Yeu can't live with sociology's concepts alone or we get the Nazi's all over again. And philosophy is no better, and no different. It must be treated the same.

    Yeu have to consider all angles. Noone has any 'right' to tell people how they "SHOULD" lead their lives. The very term "SHOULD" is a personalized statement to begin with! "should" has no intrinsic value at all, short of "this is my perspective/opinion/viewpoint". Yeu "should" do this just means "if I were yeu, I would do this". The problem is, yeu're NOT me, and we may not think the same way, and may very well have different morals, opinions, and judgments in general. As such, yeur opinion, is just that. It's yeur opinion. Yeu may've put more thought into it, and may have a better grasp of the concept, and can ADVISE me based on the study yeu've done.

    But at no point can yeu state that yeu have the right to make my own decisions for me. Yeu can give me direction, show me the options available, and help me make my decision, but in the end, it is my life, and I shall live it as I choose, and while I may take yeur position under consideration, yeu have no right to get pissy if I think yeu're full of it (or yeurself, or several other less savory things).

    It is a philosopher's job to tell people whot options they have from the perspective of philosophy. It is the individual's job, to choose between those options based on the information provided.

  3. #3
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    enfp
    Enneagram
    8
    Posts
    13,881

    Default

    I think if you're looking inward to philosophize, you're doing it wrong. Inward is yourself. Philosophy is more the understanding of the world around you minus your antecedents.. at least, that's how I've always come to understand it.

    I think a lot about life, my part in it, etc.. but I never claim myself a philosopher, because I always look within myself for answers.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  4. #4
    Senior Member Liminality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MBTI
    ISFx
    Enneagram
    6w7
    Posts
    217

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I think if you're looking inward to philosophize, you're doing it wrong. Inward is yourself. Philosophy is more the understanding of the world around you minus your antecedents.. at least, that's how I've always come to understand it.
    There's philosophy, then there's introspection.

    You can apply an element of philosophy to introspection ime though, be a tad more distant and coherent...maybe.

    Personally I think of philosophy as the encouragement to be clear and coherent; to iron things out - not that there's not room to built, and connect and move back into the iron, and question into the kinks. It's pushing, nudging, sometimes shoving.

    Essentially to quetion, to define and to expand (or possibly contract) and repeat.
    Come along Fool
    A direct hit of the senses you are disconnected
    It's not that it's bad, it's not that it's death
    It's just on the tip of your tongue, and you're so silent

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    336

    Default

    One viewer replied the following:

    "I have been reading a book called Think, A compelling intro to Philosophy that says that if we view the world through a lens then philosophy is the way we view the lens, which I kind of liked as a description of philosophy"

    I think this says about what my OP says:

    Long ago a professor of philosophy said to me, after my asking him what philosophy is all about, “philosophy is a radically critical self-consciousness”. It took me 30 years to comprehend what he said.

    However,I think that the idea about the lens is more easily understood by DickandJane.

  6. #6
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    MBTI
    ESTP
    Enneagram
    7w8 sx/so
    Socionics
    SLE
    Posts
    6,927

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    What does philosophy do?
    ...makes...Halla...sleeeepy....Zzzzzz..... :yim_rolling_on_the_

  7. #7
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    MBTI
    ISFJ
    Posts
    6,020

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    One viewer replied the following:

    "I have been reading a book called Think, A compelling intro to Philosophy that says that if we view the world through a lens then philosophy is the way we view the lens, which I kind of liked as a description of philosophy"

    I think this says about what my OP says:

    Long ago a professor of philosophy said to me, after my asking him what philosophy is all about, “philosophy is a radically critical self-consciousness”. It took me 30 years to comprehend what he said.
    That's how I see my Fi(losophy).

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-22-2016, 08:50 PM
  2. Who is your daddy and what does he do?
    By Hate in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 03-16-2015, 04:38 PM
  3. Why are you here? What does it do for you?
    By devaf in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 02-23-2015, 11:36 AM
  4. game console memory: what does it do?
    By Scott N Denver in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-05-2010, 02:02 AM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-29-2010, 07:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO