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Anyone have a good word for philosophy?


charles brough
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We call the theorizing of the great minds of Athens and the Athenian age as well as those of the European Renaissance as "philosophers" but they advanced human thought and were a part of the growth of science.

 

Now, philosophy has degenerated into a pedantic Ivory Tower fussiness and stuffy academic playground for professional students.

 

How here can defend them for us all? :P

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I find it difficult to say where science ends and philosophy begins, particularly when one is interested in cutting edge, new or speculative subjects. The two are, IMO, inextricably linked. Neither can develop or advance without the other. I think those Athenians knew that...

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We call the theorizing of the great minds of Athens and the Athenian age as well as those of the European Renaissance as "philosophers" but they advanced human thought and were a part of the growth of science.

 

Now, philosophy has degenerated into a pedantic Ivory Tower fussiness and stuffy academic playground for professional students.

 

How here can defend them for us all? :P

 

"Now, philosophy has degenerated into a pedantic Ivory Tower fussiness and stuffy academic playground for professional students. " This is what is known as a false premise or possible even two

- philosophy must advance knowledge/though to be useful

- modern philosophy does not advance knowledge

- modern philosophy is therefore useless

 

I am not sure I agree with the first one and the the second is, to my mind, completely untrue; the conclusion that they cannot be defended might seem to flow validly from the premises but is untrue due to the false premise(s). It could also be described as begging the question - I think you have assumed the truth of your argument in the premises.

 

You seem to state that any philosophy since the renaissance has been futile and with no connexion to the real world - Marx, Bentham, Nietzsche, Popper, Weber etc - these people have affected politics, the law, the state, science and sociology and many other facets of human life.

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"Now, philosophy has degenerated into a pedantic Ivory Tower fussiness and stuffy academic playground for professional students. " This is what is known as a false premise or possible even two

- philosophy must advance knowledge/though to be useful

- modern philosophy does not advance knowledge

- modern philosophy is therefore useless

 

I am not sure I agree with the first one and the the second is, to my mind, completely untrue; the conclusion that they cannot be defended might seem to flow validly from the premises but is untrue due to the false premise(s). It could also be described as begging the question - I think you have assumed the truth of your argument in the premises.

 

You seem to state that any philosophy since the renaissance has been futile and with no connexion to the real world - Marx, Bentham, Nietzsche, Popper, Weber etc - these people have affected politics, the law, the state, science and sociology and many other facets of human life.

[/quot

 

Oh, I agree that I over-stated it. Actually, I like Schopenhaur. I never really thought Marx was regarded as a philosopher. Marsxists would perhaps say, instead, he was a social theorist. But I would agree he was a philosopher along with Hegel. So very, very many words and so little that has proven to be accurate now . . .

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Agreed, ydoaPs, also mathematics is a subset of philosophy.

It should also be taught in schools to some degree. Critical thinking is one of the most important and undertaught skills a person could have.

Also, hopefully the general populace will stop rehashing 3000 year old ideas and thinking they're coming up with something new, and actually think of something useful more often.

There's plenty of useful philosophy, and even if we think we know what philosophy is worthwhile (I certainly think I do, and a lot of what I've read doesn't fall into that category) we should err a long way on the side of having people think about presently useless things. Never know what gem we'll need in another 2000 years. It is hard to distinguish between useless/nonsense ideas and those that are ahead of their time. Unfortunately the former are far more common.

 

Random bugbear/thought.

Natural Philosophy should be revived as a term for things like science which aren't quite.

I'd put most variants of string theory in here, they are philosophy that pertains to reality, but until the kinks are ironed out enough that we can make definite predictions -- and we advance our technology to perform the experiments I find it hard to classify them as science.

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Now, philosophy has degenerated into a pedantic Ivory Tower fussiness and stuffy academic playground for professional students.

I think that philosophy can still be useful in the field where science hasn't been completely established yet.

For example, in the field of Artificial Intelligence, a known thought experiment is Turing Test which was designed by philosophical method. In such experiment there are a human subject, a machine with artificial intelligence, and a human judge. All of them are separated from each other, say, in the separated rooms linked together with computers. The judge can only tell which the machine is by reading the emulating human response. If the judge cannot discriminate which is which, it means that the machine passed the test. The original test designer, Dr. Alan Turing, believed that the machine passed the test can think.

 

Edited by thinker_jeff
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I think that philosophy can still be useful in the field where science hasn't been completely established yet.

For example, in the field of Artificial Intelligence, a known thought experiment is Turing Test which was designed by philosophical method. In such experiment there are a human subject, a machine with artificial intelligence, and a human judge. All of them are separated from each other, say, in the separated rooms linked together with computers. The judge can only tell which the machine is by reading the emulating human response. If the judge cannot discriminate which is which, it means that the machine passed the test. The original test designer, Dr. Alan Turing, believed that the machine passed the test can think.

 

 

The study of ethics falls within philosophy. Although the philosophy group I go to rarely emphasizes it. Science needs lots of liberal arts around it and philosophy is one of those areas.

 

They do talk of Hume and the philosophy of science. I think one thing that appears to cause many to turn from science is that it is so ethically neutral. There is a point to that. Hopefully, scientists themselves don't take pride in being ethically neutral and aren't.

 

 

 

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I have always though of philosophy as sorting out the good ideas (as in: thoughts) from the bad ones. It does mean discussing the bad ideas, and that can end up in a lot of fussiness and to a casual listener it might appear pedantic, but the end goal is to work out useful concepts from the dross of random human thought.

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The study of ethics falls within philosophy. Although the philosophy group I go to rarely emphasizes it. Science needs lots of liberal arts around it and philosophy is one of those areas.

 

They do talk of Hume and the philosophy of science. I think one thing that appears to cause many to turn from science is that it is so ethically neutral. There is a point to that. Hopefully, scientists themselves don't take pride in being ethically neutral and aren't.

 

As you say, the study of ethics falls within philosophy, but should it really do so? It seems to me ethical/moral ideological systems evolved to make a society operate more uniformly and hence efficiently (social evolution). I say this because, as science is well aware of, we evolved through millions of years of evolution as small, social, hunting/gathering size-group primates. It is our group of innate social instincts that lie at the base of our moral/ethical systems. I name as examples, just three of many: the alpha protecting the group territory, the mother caring for their offspring and the expectation that the one you do a favor for will return the favor when needed.

 

It seems to me that ethics/morality is a social evolutionary development that evolved through a natural selection process to enable large bodies of people to coordinate their social feels in a united and uniform way. I would add that I think present moral/ethical systems are breaking down because the old ideological systems which support them have become obsolete.

 

Morality/ethics is a subject that seems to me to have no meaning outside of the above. That could be why it is philosophical.

 

Moreover, moral/ethical systems are the means to the ends, and we humans have no goals or purpose other than the ideological system that unites us. All successful mainstream ideological systems have or have had goals (as "ends") and a moral/ethical "means to the ends."

 

I think ethics is a social evolution, hence science, subject. . .

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