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View Poll Results: Does philosphy often matter to real world actions?

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  • Yes, often

    11 78.57%
  • Usually not

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  1. #1
    Senior Member BlackDog's Avatar
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    Default How Relevant is Philosophy To Actions?

    Is philosophy relevant to actions?

    I love a nice long philosophical thread as much as the next guy.

    However, I've often wondered about the interaction between philosophical ideas and real world actions.

    For a while I took the position that there is no interaction. Needless to say, I got refuted. Clearly there can be interaction, and sometimes very important real world consequences occur as a result of philosophy.

    However, how common is this in the judgment of this forum's readers? I tend to think it is minimal, but I'm basing that off of my personal experience. It would be useful to know what others think.
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  2. #2
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I guess it would depend on what you mean by philosophy, and what it means to be relevant to actions. They're both pretty vague.

    I mean to me, philosophy dictates that I make healthy life choices. I've decided healthy is good, so when I say, eat right, that can stem from philosophical notions. Or say, MBTI. If I let psychological types influence what I say, or who I say it to, I would say that has stemmed from philosophical notions, insofar as typology is a philosophical attitude.

    I mean, philosophy of ethics is all about what actions we should take. Logic is all about how we reason, and reason is behind action.

    I would say that, generally speaking, philosophy can and does have a very real impact on actions. Of course you can act without philosophical consideration, and you can philosophise without really putting it into action, but a lot of philosophy can be acted out.

  3. #3
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    Looking for a pedestal that I can put you on, then I'm on my way... Philosophy is a confirmation of will.

    At times though... every so often... we find a greater stream.
    tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    [...]I mean to me, philosophy dictates that I make healthy life choices. I've decided healthy is good, so when I say, eat right, that can stem from philosophical notions. [...]
    I agree with this. Where philosophy provides a framework or system for rational living, then it's a positive.

    OTOH, philosophy becomes a negative when it veers off into aery-faery abstract ramblings. At those times, one tends to flee to pragmatism for resolution and salvation. See a post on that subject here: Help me understand the true meaning of pragmatism, please

    Thus, putting together these two viewpoints:

    Philosophy tends to be longer-term and provide a framework for understanding. The opposite would be pragmatism which provides shorter-term ad-hoc solutions. When looked at in terms of that dichotomy: Sometimes you need the latter, and sometimes you need the former. It just depends on what kind of problem or context you're dealing with when you apply those two tools.

  5. #5
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Define actions please.

  6. #6

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    A philosophy devoid of use is not one I consider a philosophy. A useful philosophy makes distinctions that aid making decisions in life. A useless one, defines words for convenience and redefines for convenience, and allows us complete freedom. This sort of philosophy is one in name only.

    I try to find or form a philosophy that provides me discipline. It corrects me when I am wrong, it guides me when I am lost, and lets me know when I am on the right path because it makes distinctions and provides boundaries. Ultimately, my aim is to master myself.

    I may have more internal turmoil to sort through than the average person, I may not. But mastery is difficult, and I have a long way to go. An ideal philosophy would provide not only a love of wisdom but provide the wisdom itself. However, my investigations so far make me believe the wisdom lies in religion.

    I resist pat answers, and distrust organized religions. Still, I have explored most of the worlds major religions, and I find a common spiritual thread among them. Words, symbols, pictures, and any description are quite inadequate to capture this commonality. We have only pointers.

    So how does that square with a philosophy that makes distinctions? Philosophy is practical and worldly for me. But I think it needs to build in an openness to the spiritual and creative. It's like a skeleton that keeps the other mushy stuff in place as a working system.

    My current philosophy is a mix of the basic tenets of Hinduism and Buddhism for mastery of myself, the teachings of Christianity regarding interactions with others, and the Rational Empiricism of science regarding dealing with the corporeal.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  7. #7
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    Most of our actions are guided by philosophy. But the catch is that most of us are unaware of the philosophy that guides us.

    We have the illusion that what we see is what there is - after all seeing is believing.

    Philosophers seek to dispel this illusion. But almost none of us want to dispel our illusions, so we get rid of the philosopher, just as we got rid of our first Ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates.

    So if we want to be popular, be an ideologue; and if we want to be unpopular, be a philospher.
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  8. #8
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Beliefs without action= Dead Weight.

    And probably an annoying know-it-all you want to slap hug.
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    A philosophy devoid of use is not one I consider a philosophy. A useful philosophy makes distinctions that aid making decisions in life. A useless one, defines words for convenience and redefines for convenience, and allows us complete freedom. This sort of philosophy is one in name only.

    I try to find or form a philosophy that provides me discipline. It corrects me when I am wrong, it guides me when I am lost, and lets me know when I am on the right path because it makes distinctions and provides boundaries. Ultimately, my aim is to master myself.
    King Arthur was an ideologue. Arthur put his ideas, such as the Round Table, into practice.

    And Arthur is the ideologue for you, because we first need to be mastered before we can master ourself.

    However if you meet a philosopher, she might tell you No God, no master. Then where would you be without someone to master you, you would be unable to master yourself.

    So an ideologue will master you, you will internalise your servility and be able to master yourself; or a philosopher will set you free.

  10. #10
    literally your mother PocketFullOf's Avatar
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    Taking a concept to it's logical end is rarely logical or relevant to the subject at hand.
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