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Hmmm...I've Been Thinking.....

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serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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0 posted 10-29-2001 03:29 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

YEP...THINKING....(Be afraid, people. Be very afraid.)

After a rather lengthy conversation with a friend, in which nothing was ever resolved, I bring to you all this question:

What is the point of philosophy?

As I asserted to my friend, I thought that it helped us to understand one another, even through disagreement, and in that understanding, perhaps gain some insight into ourselves. My friend replied that since all of reality is personal perception, then the conversation was pointless and nothing more than "mental masturbation." I suspect this has been covered before, but humor me.

Whaddya think?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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1 posted 10-29-2001 03:41 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But where does personal perception come from?

If he says it comes from me, he's a Cartesian individualist.

By definition.

The point of reading and talking about philosophy is the tranforming of ingrained beliefs. It's a critique of common sense, a way of changing the way you are.

So, it seems to me, you're assessment is correct.    

Brad
serenity blaze
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2 posted 10-29-2001 04:15 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

BRAD...THIS IS ME........?????

sigh...I do not know what a Cartesian individualist IS, and if you don't explain these things to me, I will give up in frustration again!!!! ACK!!!!
Interloper
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3 posted 10-29-2001 06:08 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

How about this?

Philosophy deals with theories about the most basic beliefs and values that people have like the nature of reality and human nature, the nature and sources of knowledge and morality, the "proper" structure for society and government, and the nature of religious belief. It also studies theories about the nature of science, art, language, and law.

The word "nature" here means the basic characteristics and qualities of a person or thing.

Proverbs 4:7 says:
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.

Does that make any sense?


[This message has been edited by Interloper (edited 10-29-2001).]

Immortal Beloved
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since 10-17-2001
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4 posted 10-30-2001 01:00 AM       View Profile for Immortal Beloved   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Immortal Beloved's Home Page   View IP for Immortal Beloved

The greek word philosopher when literally translated means "lover of knowledge" so i would define philosophy as a gathering,of knowledge attained by reason. To me reason,true reasoning means to take ones beleifs weighed against what is known to be true and reasonable and thereby arriving at some kinda of conclusion based on truth,not on what that person has been told,taught,or assumed. On the other hand as humans,we are taught to reason by parents,society,etc. so i suppose a persons reasoning abilities and reasoning methods could be influenced by others,which could mean they are faulty,which could mean philosophy is merely "mental masturbation" to some's veiw....but personally....i agree with you...*gasp for air* awww shucks,i have no idea.lol

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt~Julius Caesar

Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia


5 posted 10-30-2001 03:05 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I would summarize it as the search for meaning.  No small feat.  And as Dr. Victor Frankl discovered in Auschwitz-- it is meaning that gives us life -- without it we perish.
Brad
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6 posted 10-30-2001 04:00 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

A Cartesian individualist is someone who begins at the same point DesCartes did -- that the only thing one can truly KNOW is oneself. He then stops there and argues that's all you need to know.

My point is simply that if philosophy is only mental masturbation, it's only because you've already taken a specific philosophical viewpoint for granted, you see it as common sense.

Questioning it might be dangerous to your worldview and the view of yourself so you trivialize it.

I think most of the definitions here are accurate. They would perhaps exclude the things I'm interested in but that's okay -- many of the authors I'm interested in have argued for the End of Philosophy.  

Some, not all, want to replace it with a thing called Thinking.  

Brad
Interloper
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7 posted 10-30-2001 12:53 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

IB,
From the Greek, the original meaning is absolutely correct.  A philosopher loves knowledge.  One sage said "knowledge is power."

It has evolved to the point where someone gets some knowledge and puts their personal spin on it and calls it philosphical.

Brad,
Wouldn't that be refreshing?
hush
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since 05-27-2001
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8 posted 10-30-2001 11:35 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Mental masturbation doesn't sound too bad to me... in fact, combining reason with the sensual pleasure (and by sensual, I don't mean sexual) of thinking and learning as a means for personal gratification actually sounds like a pretty accurate descrition to me.

It also sounds a lot like everything that's already been said.

What's the difference between "just" mental masturbation and all the other ideas discussed here?

Am I making this point to further our understanding of each other, or each other's point of view, or simply so my brain can get off on it?   Or is it possible to do both, or possible that the two are inextricably linked or even two aspects of the same process?

Interesting topic.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Brad
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9 posted 10-31-2001 12:32 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hush, I was going to say that.

I just forgot.    

Brad
serenity blaze
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10 posted 10-31-2001 07:14 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

oooooooh.......

oh....

yeah......

sigh...

anybody gotta cigarette?  
 
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