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Is Philosophy Relevant Qua Real Life?
 Completely Relevant. 35%  35%  [ 6 ]
 Mostly Relevant. 18%  18%  [ 3 ]
 It Depends. 29%  29%  [ 5 ]
 Mostly Irrelevant. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
 Completely Irrelevant. 18%  18%  [ 3 ]
 Who is this Phil O. Sophy, and why should I care? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 17

Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 12:34 pm

The study of Philosophy is a side-interest of mine.  I took formal Philosophy classes back in the late 1970s, and have been intrigued by its methods of reason ever since.  Reading how some of the great philosophers set the foundations of Philosophy makes for enjoyable reading (for me).

However . . .

I also perceive the progress of Philosophy as having stalled and become stagnant sometime during the previous century.  I do not know exactly when, or exactly why, but Philosophy seems to have become another college course in which the sole purpose is the production of more Philosophy instructors.

Some say that Philosophy has exhausted its utility (no pun intended).  Others say that all of Philosophy's "low-hanging fruit" has been harvested and consumed.  Still other say that Philosophy ended with Wittgenstein's declaration.  There are even some who say that Philosophy is a dynamic process that is still evolving into its ultimate form.

Is Philosophy Relevant Qua Real Life?

You may elect only one option, but you may change your selection at any time.

If you select and option, then please post a comment; and if you post a comment, please select an option.

Please keep your comments civil and on-topic.

Thank you.


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 12:53 pm

It's completely relevant, whether epistemology, political philosophy, logic, ethics, bioethics, science and tech, aesthetics, animal rights, liberty, personal sovereignty, metaphysics / empiricism, law, justice, or corrections.

How is it possibly irrelevant to think?



Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 1:19 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
How is it possibly irrelevant to think?
When the thought processes are based on false data, fallacious reasoning, or popular opinion.

My concern arises mostly from the various debates taking place on this website at this very moment.

Granted, the hundred or so active members on this website may not be fully representative of the eight-billion inhabitants of Earth; but the constancy of their methods reveal a general lack of standard philosophic discipline.


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 1:25 pm

I thought you were referring to the classic discipline.

You're right though, a lot of members post "personal opinions", thinking they are philosophy.



Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 1:31 pm

The last 'great' philosopher to impress me was Wittgenstein.  The last, great burst of philosophic development seems to have occurred around his time, and then gradually faded away.

Now, I am not a philosopher by any means of measurement, so my impressions of the subject may be way off the mark; but it is an interest of mine, and I do wonder if others feel the same way as I.

I am not interested in debating the topic, just in learning what others' opinions may be on it.


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 1:37 pm

I've listed many of my favourite contemporaries:
John Rawls, Will Kymlicka, Susan Haack, Fiona Woollard, Nancy Kass, Iris Murdoch, Mary Midgley et al.

I won't derail you, though.



Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 1:41 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've listed many of my favourite contemporaries: John Rawls, Will Kymlicka, Susan Haack, Fiona Woollard, Nancy Kass, Iris Murdoch, Mary Midgley et al.
Why are they your favorites?  Do they all express only one particular perspective, or do they address a broad spectrum of contemporary topics?
IsabellaLinton wrote:
I won't derail you, though.
Thank you.  That is greatly appreciated.


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 1:52 pm

Fnord wrote:
Why are they your favorites?  Do they all express only one particular perspective, or do they address a broad spectrum of contemporary topics?


I'm not sure how to answer without derailing lol, but here's some info on Rawls' A Theory of Justice (1971) which led to my pursuit of Philosophy as a student / later tutor and teacher of Ethics.

Image

Image



Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 2:08 pm

I mean no offense, but it seems to me that Mr. Rawls simply refined previous definitions of "liberté, égalité, fraternité".  That he is oft-quoted in the legal system certainly illuminates his insightful wisdom.


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 2:11 pm

Fnord wrote:
I mean no offense, but it seems to me that Mr. Rawls simply refined previous definitions of "liberté, égalité, fraternité".  That he is oft-quoted in the legal system certainly illuminates his insightful wisdom.


All philosophers build on the work of others, and expand it to inform contemporary problems.



Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 2:22 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I mean no offense, but it seems to me that Mr. Rawls simply refined previous definitions of "liberté, égalité, fraternité".  That he is oft-quoted in the legal system certainly illuminates his insightful wisdom.
All philosophers build on the work of others, and expand it to inform contemporary problems.
Agreed.  But is that the current state for all of Philosophy, or have there been any new insights?

Again, I have no need for debating the topic; I am just curious about how you and others perceive the current state.


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aghogday
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18 Aug 2022, 2:34 pm



"Quite literally, the term "philosophy" means, "love of wisdom."
In a broad sense, philosophy is an activity people undertake when
they seek to understand fundamental truths about themselves,
the world in which they live, and Their relationships to the world and to each other."

-From the Florida State
University Department of Philosophy

And Indeed in A Perusal of what The FSU
Department of Philosophy Provides it is Largely Limited
To Western Civilization and Is Therefore Very Materially

Reduced in Terms of Reason And Logic

Outside of the Intuition And Arts
That Are Greater Practiced in

The Poetry; Yes, Free

Verse Ways of Eastern

Philosophies, Including
Middle Eastern Philosophies
With Poets Like Rumi As Well;

As Well As Eastern Original Philosophies That Don't Include
Words At All Like Moving Meditation In Autotelic Flow
That Even 'Western Science' Is Coming to Appreciate

In Utility Now More than So-Called 'Woo'.

The Western More Left Brain Hemisphere
Reduced Way of Processing the World Materially
Reducing it as Such Is Indeed Limited to How Reality

More Than A Representation

Of Reality Works for Real;

Those Who Are Restricted
More to Left Hemisphere Restricted
Thinking Processes Are Often Lost
in A Larger World that is Materially Reduced to Abstract
Constructs and Other Human Contrived Tools That

Represent Reality Now

Yet Don't Touch the
Deeper Parts of

Human
Intuition

And Arts That
Come Free of Pre-Planning.

A Greatest Poverty, Particularly
in the United States, Is A Poverty
Of Understanding FEELING SENSING
INTUITING What Makes the Human Condition
Even Tick Now in Balance Without Frigging Clocks.

Of Course in Measuring Mental HEALTH ISSUES
GLOBALLY-WIDE IN WESTERN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES,

THE UNITED STATES FALLS TO THE BOTTOM OF IGNORANCE

OF THE POVERTY

OF UNDERSTANDING
THE HUMAN CONDITION WITHIN;

Yawn, i Studied Philosophy In College too;
Also Comparative Religions; the Most Interesting

Parts of the Class is When the Instructor Spoke From His Soul

Instead of A Book

And Became A
Free Verse Philosopher Then in Front of
The Room; i Was Amazed at His Original

Creative Colorful Soul Touching Depth

Of Wisdom and Am Surely

Fortunate to Share that
Gift For 'Those With Eyes
And Ears to See and Hear'

NoW As It's true i was one
of Few Then in Class Who Could
Relate to His Deeper Wisdom about Life.

More Than Any Other University Teacher, He Changed
the Path of my Life to Truly Eventually Freedom of Soul;

Yet it Verily
Came from
No Dusty Old Book.

And Regarding a Philosophy of Mind in Regard
to Left Hemisphere and Right Hemisphere Processing
of the World, Iain McGilchrist, Oxford Scholar, Psychiatrist,
Researcher, Writer, is Highly Respected in His Field And Currently

IN A Cream of the
Crop in the Philosophy
And Science of How Mind Works.

Of Course, Not Everyone Has what it takes
to Consume His Latest Book on the Western

Philosophy Of

Mind as that Pertains
to "The Matter With Things;"

Yep, 1500 Pages Pushing
600,000 Words, Typically
What i Knock Out in 6 Months of Writing Free Verse Poetry
Of Wisdom That Took Him 10 years of Very Painstaking Research.

i Find Few True Scholars Anymore; Yet He Definitely is one.

For Those Who Are Averse to Reading Long Books; He Offers
A Review of His Research, Chapter by Chapter, on YouTube, Commercial Free;
Currently He is on Volume 12 and About One-Third Of The Way Through His Book.

He Certainly Has Affirmed Much Wisdom i Have Intuited About Life Through His Scientific Research Now For Real.

https://philosophy.fsu.edu/undergraduate-study/why-philosophy/What-is-Philosophy



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magz
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18 Aug 2022, 2:37 pm

I think current professional philosophy is in a crisis of push for publishing but the discipline itself is very relevant.


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Fnord
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18 Aug 2022, 2:42 pm

magz wrote:
I think current professional philosophy is in a crisis of push for publishing . . .
Do you think this 'push' is greater, lesser, or about the same as other disciplines?


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IsabellaLinton
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18 Aug 2022, 3:16 pm

Fnord wrote:
But is that the current state for all of Philosophy, or have there been any new insights?

Again, I have no need for debating the topic; I am just curious about how you and others perceive the current state.[/color]


Of course there are new insights.

Depending on the philosopher's profession they shape policies regarding medicine, technology, reproductive science, social advocacy, public policy, disability rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, multiculturalism, immigration, global warming, animal welfare, economics, social assistance, euthanasia, abortion, national defence, foreign aid, public health, law, and the judiciary / penal system.

Our knowledge base and tech abilities are progressing so quickly we need moral checks and balances at the top of every field. Example: Just because we can do x, should we?



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18 Aug 2022, 3:46 pm

I believe that philosophy as a study is still important and relevant. I also believe that the "old" philosophies still have enough to offer that we don't really need anything terribly new or groundbreaking. I feel as though the constant "push" for the latest, newest, most ground-breaking-est is a ubiquitous quality of the culture we exist in. I think the reason philosophy seems to be inundated with so many "new" ideas is that it's so damn easy to babble some bullsh*t about how nothing is knowable, engage in some whataboutism, and call it philosophy. Far easier than innovating technology or adding to a volume of provable knowledge. So I'd say it's not that there's more of a push, just that its EASIER to push.

I think that too many people confuse philosophy with religion, and expect it to give definite answers to discreet questions. Or treat philosophers with almost a kind of "brand loyalty", where people will follow ONLY Calvin, or ONLY Plato. I think philosophies, like logical fallacies, can be subverted by those who wish to wield them in their own favor. I think many people subvert the ideas of philosophy to use it more as a tool of confirmation bias, than as a tool to question their own perspective.

I think it's related to the same mentality that causes people to treat debates more like rap-battles, where rather than provide evidence via a coherent argument based on verifiable facts, it's all about trash talking your opponent with sick burns while showing off and trying to hype up the audience.

I don't think philosophy goes out of date. I daresay the allegory of the cave is just as relevant today, as it was when it was conceived. Diogenes' hunt for an honest man would be even more intense in the internet age, no doubt walking the streets staring at a clearly dead smartphone, in place of a lantern in daylight. The old questions are still unanswered. Perhaps the only reason philosophy seems to be "leveling off" is cos we're running out of questions, and still wanting for so many answers.

After all, philosophy is basically about answering the unanswerable, without resorting to magic and voodoo as explanations. If the questions did have discrete provable answers, it would be science, not philosophy.