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Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?

Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Is there such a Thing as Good Philosophy vs Bad Philosophy?

    • All philosophy is useless/too arbitrary/self-serving... (all bad)
      1
    • All philosophy has interesting points to consider (all good)
      2
    • There are good philosophies and bad philosophies
      8


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I'm testing my first poll today. I've scanned for similar topics but wasn't able to find collocations "good philosophy" or "bad philosophy".

Especially if your option is the third one, I'm very interested in your criteria, exceptions, and so on.

Thank you very much.

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Bad philosophy is wrong and destructive of people or property.  .  

Good philosophy might be right and holds people as the ultimate good.  

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Holding people as the ultimate good sounds like bad philosophy.

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It's a ying and yang sort of thing, in my mind. There is no good or bad, wrong or right, black or white, male or female. 

It's perfectly possible that a bad attitude can lead to a good outcome (and vice versa), for instance, can we be sure that Hitler didn't lead us to a slightly better world.

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I think this poll confuses two concepts: philosophy as a discipline or process (a way of thinking about problems, definitions and questions) and a philosophy (a worldview or set of beliefs; e.g. I am (apparently) a naive realist).

Both of these can be good or bad.

The former (the "process") is highly valuable when done well. So I guess there is some sort of objective-ish measure of how good it is.

For the latter meaning, I suspect good or bad become much more subjective.

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Posted (edited)

I think that generally "thoughts" are issue in philosophy, but not the definite things so much or not strict decisions.

but simply philososphy  can be defined as this " to think about things that we see or perceive or have consciousness about" :)

thus, while the density exists (so maybe quality) , I am not sure whether " bad " or "good" is a good or acceptable description for itself.

Edited by ahmet

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Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally. e.g. discussions about paradoxes. It's a kinda like programmers talking about infinite loops and endless algorithms. It is better to concentrate on feasible topics than on impossible to complete..

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

 

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16 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally. e.g. discussions about paradoxes. It's a kinda like programmers talking about infinite loops and endless algorithms. It is better to concentrate on feasible topics than on impossible to complete..

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

True knowledge sounds awfully religious... 

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49 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally. e.g. discussions about paradoxes. It's a kinda like programmers talking about infinite loops and endless algorithms. It is better to concentrate on feasible topics than on impossible to complete..

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

Understanding what knowledge is, how it can be gained, how it can be tested, what it means to "test" something experimentally, what paradoxes are (and if they actually exist), are all topics for philosophy.

We only have the scientific method because of philosophers of science.

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

I think this poll confuses two concepts: philosophy as a discipline or process (a way of thinking about problems, definitions and questions) and a philosophy (a worldview or set of beliefs; e.g. I am (apparently) a naive realist).

Both of these can be good or bad.

The former (the "process") is highly valuable when done well. So I guess there is some sort of objective-ish measure of how good it is.

For the latter meaning, I suspect good or bad become much more subjective.

Your point is well taken.

By "philosophies" (countable English noun) I mean each and every particular philosophical theory, irrespective of their merits, whatever criterion we use to measure those.

By "philosophy" (uncountable English noun) I mean the activity itself, which more or less can be associated with the grouping together of all philosophical theories. The activity itself.

I suppose you can do that without losing much specificity. It's true, e.g., that some people reject philosophy flat-out. Those would be the ones that subscribe to option 0. On the one hand, it's possible that they have considered each and every philosophical theory there is and reject them all but keep "hoping for the right one" (in that sense, they would reject all philosophies so far but wouldn't have given up yet on philosophy altogether). On the other hand, there's the possibility that these people, at some point, grow tired of looking for philosophical arguments and finally decide to give up on philosophy altogether. That goes to show that you're right in that a finer distinction could be made, so I admit that I'm simplifying a little bit. But I don't think that I'm overlooking any big demographics here by identifying all philosophies with philosophy in general. I'm subsuming people who don't like any philosophical theory at all into the group of people who just don't think philosophy should be paid much attention.

3 hours ago, cladking said:

Bad philosophy is wrong and destructive of people or property.  .  

Good philosophy might be right and holds people as the ultimate good.  

Would it be good because it might be right or might it be right because it would be good? ;) 

1 hour ago, ahmet said:

I am not sure whether " bad " or "good" is a good or acceptable description for itself.

"Bad" or "good" are defined in a particular sense in the options for the poll. They are not described "for themselves".

Good: useless/too arbitrary/self-serving... 

Bad: has something useful (interesting points to consider)

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sensei said:

Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally. e.g. discussions about paradoxes. It's a kinda like programmers talking about infinite loops and endless algorithms. It is better to concentrate on feasible topics than on impossible to complete..

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

 

:) :) :) 

maybe, philosophy + science = good combination :) :) 

Edited by ahmet

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

It's a ying and yang sort of thing, in my mind. There is no good or bad, wrong or right, black or white, male or female. 

It's perfectly possible that a bad attitude can lead to a good outcome (and vice versa), for instance, can we be sure that Hitler didn't lead us to a slightly better world.

You're going a bit blurry here, in spite of my efforts to be concrete. Does philosophy make you uncomfortable? :D 

1 hour ago, Sensei said:

Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally. e.g. discussions about paradoxes. It's a kinda like programmers talking about infinite loops and endless algorithms. It is better to concentrate on feasible topics than on impossible to complete..

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

 

I sympathize (if not necessarily agree), but I can't do what you do. Philosophy always distracts me.

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

True knowledge sounds awfully religious... 

+1. @Sensei is Boolean in nature.

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13 hours ago, dimreepr said:

True knowledge sounds awfully religious... 

..if we take your words seriously then mathematics is religion e.g. 2+2=4 ... ?

 

12 hours ago, joigus said:

+1. @Sensei is Boolean in nature.

"to be, or not to be".. isn't Boolean either.. ? ;)

 

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14 hours ago, Sensei said:

Philosophies distract people from true knowledge and waste their time which they could spend on studying subjects that can be verified experimentally.

Now that is an example of bad philosophy... And a pretty good example of my present disclaimer:

Quote

There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.

With other words: what you say is a philosophical remark. E.g. it is based on the assumption that only empirical facts matter in life. But that itself is not an empirically verified position, so, according to you, it distracts from true knowledge. Your position is self-refuting.

As to the question of the poll: of course there is good and bad philosophy. But we should keep Strange's distinction in mind: 'philosophy' as a 'philosophical theory', i.e. the contents of what a philosopher is saying about the subject at hand; and 'philosophy' as an activity. Which of course agrees more or less with the same distinction in science.

Good philosophy, in modern times:

  1. Is well informed about relevant science, culture and politics
  2. Takes into account other viewpoints about the topic at hand
  3. Confirms or refutes other viewpoints with good arguments, i.e. arguments that are relevant and well supported by sciences and other well argued philosophical viewpoints
  4. Is extremely aware of the methods it uses to argue for a certain position.

Bad philosophy:

  1. Only expresses opinions without arguing
  2. Uses arguments that are already refuted by others
  3. Confuses scientific speculations with philosophy

The specialty with philosophy which distinguishes it from sciences is that in science the domain of knowledge it tries to gather differs from the (transcendental...) subject (i.e the one that observes, experiments, and expresses ideas about the object) of the domain. A physicist investigating certain phenomena does not investigate herself. As I said elsewhere here, the object of physics is not physics: it is the natural world as we observe it. As soon as physicists investigate physics, they are philosophising. Philosophy is essential reflective: it tries to understand our thinking with thinking, just as the physicist thinking about physics.

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16 hours ago, Sensei said:

..my speech shows my pragmatism..

Forgot this: pragmatism is a philosophical viewpoint.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

E.g. it is based on the assumption that only empirical facts matter in life.

...we have enough of members not bothering about non-empirical evidences.. they end up in Speculation part of this forum.. and then in Banned part.. ;)

1 hour ago, Eise said:

But that itself is not an empirically verified position, so, according to you, it distracts from true knowledge. Your position is self-refuting.

..how so.. ? You're mortal entity with limited amount of time here on the Earth.. and you spend it on asking and trying to answer questions you cannot get answers (which my post was about)...

Entity living in where it is living is able to examine only place where it is living.. You cannot examine places which you don't live...

You cannot prove or disprove places where you are not living..

By "true knowledge" I meant "empirically verifiable knowledge"..

Why to waste time of (limited) human life time on things which are not verifiable.. ?

 

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Thank you all for very good points.

Let me clarify further. The options could be re-phrased as,

0. Philosophy is never worth undertaking or learning about

1. Philosophy is always worth undertaking or learning about

3. Philosophy is worth undertaking or learning about only after a quality criterion has caught your attention in one of its many theories

I didn't mean these categories to have Boolean closure, so to speak, but to be demographically/socially/statistically significant. If you think I've left something out that is significant, please tell me.

3 hours ago, Sensei said:

"to be, or not to be".. isn't Boolean either.. ? ;)

Yes. Although a quantum Boolean Hamlet would have considered "to be and not to be" as a possibility. Or maybe "neither to be nor not to be". ;)

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42 minutes ago, Sensei said:

...we have enough of members not bothering about non-empirical evidences.. they end up in Speculation part of this forum.. and then in Banned part.. ;)

No posting of mine was ever moved to speculations or trash. And as of this writing, I am not banned...

And if you think you base your life on facts only you are deceiving yourself.

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2 hours ago, Sensei said:

You're mortal entity with limited amount of time here on the Earth.. and you spend it on asking and trying to answer questions you cannot get answers (which my post was about)...

Entity living in where it is living is able to examine only place where it is living.. You cannot examine places which you don't live...

You cannot prove or disprove places where you are not living..

By "true knowledge" I meant "empirically verifiable knowledge"..

Why to waste time of (limited) human life time on things which are not verifiable.. ?

Sorry joigus, I'm feeling fuzzy again; the thing about Spock is, he was half human; if we don't question ourselves, how will we know if we're content with that knowledge?

Knowledge comes in many flavours.

2 hours ago, joigus said:

I didn't mean these categories to have Boolean closure, so to speak, but to be demographically/socially/statistically significant. If you think I've left something out that is significant, please tell me.

Perhaps:

4. Philosophy is something we all do, but some are better at expressing their findings.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Eise said:

Good philosophy, in modern times:

  1. Is well informed about relevant science, culture and politics
  2. Takes into account other viewpoints about the topic at hand
  3. Confirms or refutes other viewpoints with good arguments, i.e. arguments that are relevant and well supported by sciences and other well argued philosophical viewpoints
  4. Is extremely aware of the methods it uses to argue for a certain position.

Bad philosophy:

  1. Only expresses opinions without arguing
  2. Uses arguments that are already refuted by others
  3. Confuses scientific speculations with philosophy

Thank you. +1

This connects with your observation on @studiot's post about some standards for good OP's:

Please, keep working on it. I'm very interested in coming up with good standards for what aspects of philosophy scientists and engineers (whether they be experimentalists, theorists or computation-driven) would be well advised to be aware of.

I know only too well that certain philosophies are too disconnected, too willing to disregard inductive principles, too vague, to be considered of interest for scientifically-minded people.

37 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Sorry joigus, I'm feeling fuzzy again;

Nothing to be sorry about. Fuzzy thinking has some value. You could even say that any rigorous thinking must start with fuzzy notions.

37 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Philosophy is something we all do, but some are better at expressing their findings.

I spent 10+ years living in a small village and became friends with a shepherd. Sometimes we'd start a casual conversation and he'd say, "why are we here?", "what's the meaning of life?" LOL

I may be taking the whole for the part, but I think this guy is a representative example that illustrates your point pretty well. I think you're dead right.

2 hours ago, Eise said:

No posting of mine was ever moved to speculations or trash.

Your reputation is well deserved.

Just one caveat: Some pretty bold, but pretty good, ideas have been trashed and then re-considered. When you think about it, Darwin's dangerous idea (;)) was trashed ad nauseam in its day by a considerable number of people in academia.

Who's to say that a new idea is to be trashed?

9 minutes ago, joigus said:

Who's to say that a new idea is to be trashed?

Sorry for the rhetorical question.

Edited by joigus
minor correction

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27 minutes ago, joigus said:

I may be taking the whole for the part, but I think this guy is a representative example that illustrates your point pretty well. I think you're dead right.

Indeed, like me, he was never trained in the art of persuasion and not lucky enough to have a natural bent. 

Or, he was stumped by the question; but inteligent enough to ask for extra data.

6 hours ago, Sensei said:

if we take your words seriously then mathematics is religion e.g. 2+2=4 ... ?

I didn't say "is a religion", but, "if we take your words seriously then"; it could be...

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7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, like me, he was never trained in the art of persuasion and not lucky enough to have a natural bent. 

Or, he was stumped by the question; but inteligent enough to ask for extra data.

Or maybe he just spent too many hours in the company of ovine mammals. :D 

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Just now, joigus said:

Or maybe he just spent too many hours in the company of ovine mammals. :D 

Just a few of the many flavours of ignorance. 😉

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:11 PM, joigus said:

Would it be good because it might be right or might it be right because it would be good?

The latter.

The real problem with all philosophy is that any tenet, any reasoning, and every conclusion can be deconstructed.  Even some of what is often called "science" suffers this same fault.  

"Philosophy" by definition must hold life, and especially human life, as the ultimate good or it is destructive.   If  that life is worthless or of negative value is an axiom then any philosophy can be "good" philosophy".  

Things that help a single individual or group but is bad for the commonweal are bad.  Death is a part of life so the prevention of death can not possibly be the ultimate good.   Just as good mayonnaise requires that you break a few eggs, good philosophy is no stranger to egg shells.   

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2 hours ago, cladking said:

"Philosophy" by definition must hold life, and especially human life, as the ultimate good or it is destructive.

Wondering what definition you are using. 

Make a comparison with science: would you only accept science that gives the answers you like? Keeping a viewpoint fixed is the end of philosophy. Any honest investigation can lead to results you do not like. But faking truths might be worse in the end.

Take the idea of God, who gives people a purpose and the right rules of conduct for people to be happy. Wouldn't that lead to the highest possible good? So we keep that fixed and do not discuss this? Is that philosophy? Or dogma?

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