Why study philosophy?

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Why study philosophy?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:10 pm

Serendipper wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:37 pm
Keats was no philosopher but a Romantic poet of course. Basically believing "what imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth". To me that would say the sensitive soul had no stomach for anything philosophical.
I'm not sure... intelligence implies sensitivity.
True just as philosophy implies a strong stomach to digest all the implications. The artist takes a different route, almost escapes.
I think it's less important to speculate on what causes us to experience fun and more important to illustrate that the goal of the impulse is irrelevant to furthering illusions of yourself (ie the ego); that is the distinction.
But that depends on the notion that such impulse is not actually part of the furthering of illusion. Which has not been established yet so I would not build an argument around it either.
Clearly defined by whom? Any definition of philosophy (or any word) is arbitrary and subjective. Didn't you say, "what imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth"? Seems subjective to me.
No that was Keats and you brought Keats to the table. The quoted statement was given to demonstrate how Keats viewed truth, more as a poet and rather simplistic sounding.
In order to have a meaningful discussion, or better exchange of ideas, it would seem our imaginations must be first aligned or we may as well be speaking different languages.
How to align? Just soak long enough in the same broth perhaps? Just follow my footsteps then :-)
If philosophy leads to a higher goal, then what does that get you? "The king and the pawn go in the same box after the game." (google it)
When the pawn promotes in the game, as some say the true goal of the game is, where does the new piece comes from?
Fun is the motivation proposed for the explanation of why anyone would want to work in a money-less society. And even now, many folks work, not for the money, but because they like what they do; it's fun.
Some say it's more like "character" that explains "noble action". But it's awfully vague - as well.
We sacrifice some of the whisky in order to have better flavor because it's more fun and interesting to perceive new subtleties as opposed to the nurturing of an impulse to irrationally hoard while simultaneously drowning in plenty ... So, the sacrifice isn't a tool to use to get ahead in the world, though often perverted for that end, but is a means to an interesting (or fun) time.
That's also how Freud described the Ego principle. Delayed gratification in return for future potential benefits amongst other things. But it clearly does not mean always benefits for ones own being. It depends I guess where one sees ones self in: family, tribe, humanity or God, duty, heaven. All kinds of things people seem to have sacrificed for. Or just used as escape hatch from life suffering and wrapped a sacrificial veil around it. Happens too!

Serendipper
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:43 pm

Re: Why study philosophy?

Post by Serendipper » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:25 am

Good to see you Diebert! This bantering is fun to the mental like ping pong to the martial :)
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:10 pm
Serendipper wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:37 pm
Keats was no philosopher but a Romantic poet of course. Basically believing "what imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth". To me that would say the sensitive soul had no stomach for anything philosophical.
I'm not sure... intelligence implies sensitivity.
True just as philosophy implies a strong stomach to digest all the implications. The artist takes a different route, almost escapes.
Hmm... I think requiring a strong stomach is relative to perspective. I'm reminded of a healthcare worker who had to break from his lunch to clean a nasty mess who then promptly returned to eating his burrito. I said, "Regardless what you're getting paid, you deserve a raise!"

I'm not sure what it means to have a strong stomach. Surely being numb can cause a strong stomach, but is it necessary? I can't say for certain and it would seem a put-down to the man cleaning the mess that he is in some way less sensitive.

But, what I mean by "intelligence implying sensitivity" is, bluntly, being better-connected to the world and, consequently, being able to perceive what others cannot, which may or may not cause pain. That realization came about after observing suicide statistics. It doesn't matter which stat we choose from the multitude that are available, being smart puts a person at risk for suicide and all I can conclude from that is an increase in sensitivity (perception) which causes pain.

Someone said, "A little bit of knowledge is dangerous." If we're smart enough to perceive what most cannot and find some truth to be painful, that pain may mean we do not have the full picture. At least we're smart enough to see what is there, but unfortunately, we're not smart enough to see yet farther through the fog in order to realize that it's not so bad after all. Therefore, a little bit of knowledge is dangerous.
I think it's less important to speculate on what causes us to experience fun and more important to illustrate that the goal of the impulse is irrelevant to furthering illusions of yourself (ie the ego); that is the distinction.
But that depends on the notion that such impulse is not actually part of the furthering of illusion. Which has not been established yet so I would not build an argument around it either.
I see what you're saying. Well, it is assumed that what is done for fun is not for the purpose of improving oneself. If we play so that we can work better later, then we're not playing. Playing is not teleological... it has no goal. It's mindless, purposeless, innate and embodies the "becoming one with the universe". Geese flying over a lake do not intend to cast their reflection and the lake has no mind to retain the image. Birds don't sing for the advancement of music, but if a bird sings, it can only be because it enjoys singing since it has no obvious neurological mechanism to be teleological. If we conclude that birds are endeavoring to "be better", then we've turned natural selection on its head.
Clearly defined by whom? Any definition of philosophy (or any word) is arbitrary and subjective. Didn't you say, "what imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth"? Seems subjective to me.
No that was Keats and you brought Keats to the table. The quoted statement was given to demonstrate how Keats viewed truth, more as a poet and rather simplistic sounding.
Haha, well, a proverb is no proverb until life has illustrated it ;) Obviously you resonated with it at least a little. But I concede your distinction that it's Keats' claim that definitions are subjective and now have to ask if you agree or disagree and why.
In order to have a meaningful discussion, or better exchange of ideas, it would seem our imaginations must be first aligned or we may as well be speaking different languages.
How to align? Just soak long enough in the same broth perhaps? Just follow my footsteps then :-)
I suddenly got an image of wooden shoes :p I don't know... muddle along I suppose. Ask for clarification more often, especially about certain keywords such as: god, universe, everything, good, evil, meaning, existence, consciousness, etc. It's just the benefit of my experience which has taught me to first be sure I know what the other person is trying to say.
If philosophy leads to a higher goal, then what does that get you? "The king and the pawn go in the same box after the game." (google it)
When the pawn promotes in the game, as some say the true goal of the game is, where does the new piece comes from?
Perseverance ;)
Fun is the motivation proposed for the explanation of why anyone would want to work in a money-less society. And even now, many folks work, not for the money, but because they like what they do; it's fun.
Some say it's more like "character" that explains "noble action". But it's awfully vague - as well.
As in diligently doing difficult duties for a greater good? Who can be trusted more to perform the task: The gentleman who helps little old ladies across the street because he enjoys it or the one who does so because it's his duty? I still have no definitive answer to that one. The one who enjoys it may decide it's no longer fun and the other one may decide it's no longer his duty or he has met is his quota.

Would you trust me more if I believed watching you succeed were fun or if I believed it was my duty to help you?

What about the yetzer hara? The element of irreducible rascality. Can any man be 100% honorable? Maybe I'm honorable, but found it was fun to trip you up sometimes for kicks because, in the end, there is no reward for honor.

Suppose we engineer some microbes to eat up all the nasty pollutants on earth. Do we trust them to do their job because they have a sense of duty or because they simply enjoy eating stuff? Are you trusted to be moderator because of your sense of duty or because you enjoy it?

One more thought experiment: Let's suppose there is a heaven and you're standing outside the pearly gates. Why should god let you in? If you think you're entitled to enter, then that pride will keep you out. So how do you get in? All I have been able to come up with is "Hey it looks like fun in there!"

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Kids have no concept of entitlement, but do what is fun and for innocent reasons (ie they don't have fun for a reason).

That realization came after reading The Sly Man and the Devil

It's pride and sense of entitlement that keeps the folks from heaven. It's mirrored in the Eastern teaching that desire for enlightenment is all that prevents one from obtaining it.

M - We're always trying to find a way to be one-up.
S - So how do I not do that?
M - Why do you want to know?
S - Well, I'd be better that way.
M - Yeah but why do you want to be better? You see, the reason you want to be better is the reason why you aren't.
We sacrifice some of the whisky in order to have better flavor because it's more fun and interesting to perceive new subtleties as opposed to the nurturing of an impulse to irrationally hoard while simultaneously drowning in plenty ... So, the sacrifice isn't a tool to use to get ahead in the world, though often perverted for that end, but is a means to an interesting (or fun) time.
That's also how Freud described the Ego principle. Delayed gratification in return for future potential benefits amongst other things. But it clearly does not mean always benefits for ones own being. It depends I guess where one sees ones self in: family, tribe, humanity or God, duty, heaven. All kinds of things people seem to have sacrificed for. Or just used as escape hatch from life suffering and wrapped a sacrificial veil around it. Happens too!
Yep, sure, sacrifice can be perverted to benefit the ego. I think all I was trying to show is that it doesn't have to be.

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