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Thread: What Philosophers Were You Introduced To As A Kid?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array
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    Dec 2011

    Default What Philosophers Were You Introduced To As A Kid?

    What philosophers did you like as a kid? Which one's influenced you when you were young?

    I remember being around seven years old and going into the library, scanning the rows of books, and finding random authors to read. Once, I found a cool book of different philosophers, but there was one in particular, who I had identified with immediately. So, being a mischievous kid with nobody around, I ripped the page out of the book, with the quotation, and kept it for years. I later found out that the philosopher was an ancient Roman stoic philosopher, named Epictetus.

    Other philosophies I liked had to do with Bushido and Samurai warriors. I loved the Hagakure, The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, and Bruce Lee's JKD books. Maybe these books and philosophers appealed to me, because I identified with their thoughts and characters, or maybe I became influenced to be who I am through these early reading materials. I'm not sure.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    Jesus and Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    I was influenced by lots of folk hero socialists when I was young, Robin Hood was a character that headlined on saturday night TV and back then hadnt been reinvented by the libertarian right as a kind of tax rebate man yet, so when I went to the libraries I tried to read and understand Marx and other socialist books. I'll be honest that a lot of them wherent easy to understand and I was going through a sort of ethical authoritarian stage anyway.

    It wasnt until much later that I began to understand Marx as I do today and it wasnt until years after that that I found publishers and writers where catching up, Peter Singer was amongst the first, with an introductory book in a series called "past masters" but reading his other books I was unimpressed, then I was done with the whole ethical authoritarian phase I was even less impressed.

    When I was a kid philosophy was He-Man, She-Ra (I was a big fan of "The Hoarde" which in the comics which accompanied the action figures where kind of like a third force or player in the great game, like trotskyists or maoists in Eternia's cold war), Teenage Mutant Ninja/Hero Turtles, that kind of thing, Jesus and religion where bigger sources of inspiration in my household (and its got to be said, for me at least, fear of the devil or ghosts). There where moral messages in TV shows like Knightmare even, which were game shows, there seemed to be more in the way of unashamed moralising in TV generally.

    The Fighting Fantasy books, the world of Titan, adventurers and warriors, they were my first real reading matter and the underpinning narratives in them I think have influenced me a lot more than I would have thought.

    After that I can honestly say that I was influenced by, first, Plato, the Utopian republic, the sayings of the Spartans, Epictetus, Seneca, Diogenes, Epicurious (spelling), Aristotale, Socrates (yes, I did not read them until aways after Plato), Bacon, Russell, Aquinas (yeah, in that order) and those are the principle ones I can think of that I've read since my teens.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx



    But seriously, i didnt really know much about philosophers, i sort of were my own philosopher and formed philosophies based on stuff around me. I was in karate when i was 9(?) and this martial art stuff had an big effect on my philosophy. Also i had big influences from some friends of my mom(one guy especially), she used to work in this radio station with all sorts of hippies, anarchists and other bit alternative type of folks from all over the spectrum. Still got some stickers like this(but in finnish) that i got from someone there:

    Learning this sort of stuff isnt same as reading some philosophic texts, but isnt there philosophy generator chip installed in INTPs themselves?
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  5. #5
    Occasional Member Array Evan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Asimov was probably the most important "philosopher" I read as a kid. Not only was he amazing at writing from the perspective of different people with different assumptions and making it all make sense, he also had really interesting ideas to explore about the nature of reality, physics, and the universe. Also, his robot stories got me thinking about cognitive science (without knowing that's exactly what I was thinking about) extremely early in life, which was awesome.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Array kitsune's Avatar
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    Jan 2012


    The Little Prince.


    Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes.

    Language is the source of misunderstandings.

    All grown-ups were children first. (But few remember it).

    "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

    "What makes the desert beautiful," says the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well."

    Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.

    ... I have had, in the course of my life, lots of encounters and lots of serious people. I have spent lots of time with grown-ups. I have seen them at close range... which haven't much improved my opinion of them.

    I have serious reasons to believe that the planet the little prince came from is Asteroid B-612. This asteroid has been sighted only once by telescope, in 1909 by a Turkish astronomer, who had then made a formal demonstration of his discovery at an International Astronomonical Congress. But no one believed him on account of the way he was dressed. Grown-ups are like that.

    "Exactly. One must command from each what each can perform," the king went on. "Authority is based first of all upon reason. If you command your subjects to jump in the ocean, there will be a revolution. I am entitled to command obedience because my orders are reasonable."

    That is the hardest thing of all. It is much harder to judge yourself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself, it's because you're truly a wise man.

  7. #7
    Gotta catch you all! Array Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Sartre, Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault and Althusser were family friends that I crossed several times at my home. But I'm not sure they really influenced me so much as a kid, despite having the opportunity to directly talk to them.

    Derrida, maybe a little bit, but only because later I had the opportunity to follow his lectures at the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array animenagai's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    As a philosopher myself I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know many philosophers at all. I remember being fascinated by Augustine's problem of evil in religious studies. I vaguely remember corgito from Descartes, though I think I heard about that just in passing, probably from one of the rants of my primary school teacher.
    Chimera of Filth

    A gruesome beast with dripping flesh
    Clings to me as a sick fixture
    My throbbing heart it gnawed apart
    It stalks and hunts me through mirrors

  9. #9
    . Array Blank's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array reason's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Sonic the Hedgehog
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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