• Janus
    10.1k
    No, it's an observation that isms are relevant only within their respective contexts, and that even their meanings are open to interpretation. How could it be otherwise? Or perhaps give an example of any isms you think are, or could be, true in a context-less way?
  • Banno
    12k
    The context is given... isms. The rejection of isms must itself be an ism, and hence contradictory; the recognition of the universal applicability of ism-ism is the only way to acheive coherence.

    Hence the title of this thread holds.
  • Janus
    10.1k
    The context is given... isms.Banno

    The context of an ism, of its workability and applicability, is not isms. Even if it were, per absurdum, any ism would thereby be merely another ism, and therefore could not be overarching. You are making my argument for me; albeit in an absurd way.
  • Banno
    12k
    The context is isms, their workability and applicability, not any specific ism. Even if it were, per absurdum, any ism must thereby be part of the totality of isms. You are making my argument for me; albeit in an absurd way.
  • Janus
    10.1k
    :up: You sure got them mirror neurones firing there dude!
  • Tom Storm
    967
    It's funny how 'ism' has long had such totemic power . But if most isms are beliefs would we bother to say there is no escape from beliefs or worry about this in the same way?
  • Banno
    12k
    The thing about a belief that such-and-such is that it is a belief that such-and-such is true. So yes, most would bother to say there is no escape from isms and worry about this - because they are true.
  • Tom Storm
    967
    I get that. In the 1970's people heavily into pacifism would often say, without irony, 'I'm not into ism's, Man,... peace.' They thought isms were bad beliefs and all other beliefs were ism free.
  • Mww
    2.3k
    Any conception can be rejected merely by re-thinking the conditions for it.

    While re-thinking is the exchange of conceptual validity, which is an entailed judgement alone, re-thinking is not necessarily conceptual substitution, which is a separated cognition incorporating its own conditions.
    (Re: I can easily think some concept does not belong to its cognition, without ever thinking which concept does so belong.)

    Therefore, rejecting an -ism, which at the same time explicates rejection of the concept appended to it, does not necessarily require another —ism and its appended conception be substituted for it.

    It follows that the statement, “rejection of -isms is itself an -ism, and hence contradictory”, is false.
  • Tom Storm
    967
    While re-thinking is the exchange of conceptual validity, which is an entailed judgement alone, re-thinking is not necessarily conceptual substitution, which is a separated cognition incorporating its own conditions.Mww

    I have no idea what this means but it looks great.

    My favourite ism is antidisestablishmentarianism.
  • Amity
    1.5k
    While re-thinking is the exchange of conceptual validity, which is an entailed judgement alone, re-thinking is not necessarily conceptual substitution, which is a separated cognition incorporating its own conditions.
    — Mww

    I have no idea what this means but it looks great.
    Tom Storm

    Sounds to me like a special kind of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ism :chin:
  • Mww
    2.3k
    If rejecting isms requires a suffixTom Storm

    My point is that it doesn’t. The common rejoinder is, well, hell, dude, if you reject fanaticism, you’re automatically an advocate of anti-fanaticism. To which I say......horsefeathers.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    When the shoulders go high, I go low.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Some isms are, debatably, not possible to reject. For example (debatably) it's not possible to reject the view that there is a world outside our own perceptions.Cuthbert

    Good to know. Reminds me of René Descartes' cogito ergo sum. The proposition, "I think" can't be rejected for to do so requires, most intriguingly, that I think.

    However, I'm at a loss as to whether the proposition, "I think" is amenable to the construction of an Ism based on it. I was told or I read it somewhere, I don't recall, that Descartes did exactly that, putting, or attempting to put, all of philosophy on what to him was the firm bedrock of the cogito ergo sum. Ithinkism :rofl: can't be rejected.

    Hmmm....@Banno, @180 Proof can you take a look at this.

    "There's no escape from isms"- ↪TheMadFool

    Ism there?
    Janus

    ...so you are an ismist. You espouse ismism.Banno

    Though I don't doubt the value of the many Isms that roam the philosophical jungle, I was contemplating the possibility of rejecting ALL of them even if only for my and, hopefully, your amusement but with tiny chance that such a position - no position - might have real and significant consequences for philosophy in particular and life in general.

    To my understanding, to reject ALL Isms, including nihilism, itself can be treated as an Ism and that's what the title of this thread spells out - "There's no escape from Isms".

    It's something like the Buddhist desire conundrum which defies a solution. Buddhists à la Siddhartha Gautama, believe that desire is the root of all suffering. Thus buddhists are of the view that to end suffering one must put out the fire of desire. Unfortunately or...not, to not want to desire is, salva veritate, to want to not want to desire. In other words, we can't end desire without the desire to do so. :chin:

    It's impossible to not be part of an Ism for to not want that itself is an Ism just as its impossible to end desire for to do that one must desire.

    Can it? Rejecting the purported overarching status of any ism looks like an ism...Banno

    :up: :ok: Show the fly the way out of the bottle, sir/madam as the case might be. :smile:

    Not all isms end with “ism”

    To reject all isms is another ism. “Rejectism” let’s call it.
    khaled

    Vide supra...show the fly the way out of the bottle.

    Also, expand and elaborate on "Not all isms end with 'ism'". The statement gives off an air of profundity that calls for an investigation. Is it, as I feel, deep or is it, as I think, just another Dennettian deepity? Vide infra my response to Jack Cummins

    I am not sure that we are just restricted to isms. For example, one can be a Jungian and that is not an ism. Generally, I think that isms are about putting ideas into boxes, and I am not sure that we need to make use of such boxes to label our ideas, but rather juxtapose them in the most creative ways to develop our viewpoints.Jack Cummins

    You're looking at this from a linguistic perspective, words to be precise and that too only at how they're spelt. Isms aren't about spelling, they're conceptual frameworks usually developed in order to make sense of particular aspects of or the whole of reality. Your view on this, taken to its logical conclusion, would require us to conclude that ethics isn't a study of anything because it doesn't in "ology" like theology, epistemlogy, and so on.

    Depends on what you mean by "reject". The purported overarching status of any ism can be rejected without that rejection being an ism, but rather just an observation of the diversity of human fields of inquiry and opinionJanus

    Interesting to say the least. Kindly explain further. What makes you think this is so? Perhaps one needs to look into the definition of "Ism"

    I was gonna say 'Escapism' - but there ya go...you just can't get away...and perhaps it is a good thing that we can't avoid -isms.Amity

    See my reply to Banno and Khaled vide supra.

    I'm going to have to repeat myself I'm afraid: show the fly the way out of the bottle.

    Maybe it is about having an encyclopedia or not, crystallizing works to make them comparable to each other.

    Like a butterfly collection but with thoughts being held down by the pin.
    Valentinus

    Nice metaphor. Unlike the butterfly collection which one can reject and be left with no butterflies, rejecting the entire collection of Isms is, good or bad, itself yet another Ism. It's like this time when I wanted to get adhesive paper off my fingers to which they were stuck firmly. I used my left hand to peel the paper off my right hand but then the paper clung to my left hand. I then used my right hand with the same results. I then proceeded to use my feet and the paper bound itself to my shoes. Suffice it to say that my attempts to free myself were futile just like Isms, which if we want to get rid off results in us being sucked into yet another Ism.

    Any conception can be rejected merely by re-thinking the conditions for it.

    While re-thinking is the exchange of conceptual validity, which is an entailed judgement alone, re-thinking is not necessarily conceptual substitution, which is a separated cognition incorporating its own conditions.
    (Re: I can easily think some concept does not belong to its cognition, without ever thinking which concept does so belong.)

    Therefore, rejecting an -ism, which at the same time explicates rejection of the concept appended to it, does not necessarily require another —ism and its appended conception be substituted for it.

    It follows that the statement, “rejection of -isms is itself an -ism, and hence contradictory”, is false.
    Mww

    The above passage needs @Banno's, @Janus' and @khaled's attention.

    As far as I can tell, Mww seems to be saying rejecting an Ism doesn't amount to endorsing another, usually antithetical Ism. Every Ism no matter how complex or expansive, in my humble opinion, can be whittled down, distilled as it were, to a single proposition that can be true, false, or unprovable/unproven.

    Let's work with an example, say matters divine. There's theism which boils down to the proposition, "god exists". If I give up theism, I'm essentially saying, either 1. god doesn't exist or 2. we don't know god exists. Both, as we all know, are Isms, atheism and agnosticism respectively.

    As the example above illustrates beyond doubt, abandoning an Ism, keeping in mind the three truth states (true, false, unproven/unprovable) of the key proposition of an Ism, results in adopting another Ism.

    In conclusion, Mmw view doesn't hold water.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    TheMadFool is practising absenteethismAmity

    Our teeth continue to rot as if nothing happened.baker

    :rofl: It's all so funny until someone loses an/a eye tooth.

    Having fun, guys/gals as the case maybe?

    Carry on!
  • Amity
    1.5k
    Having fun, guys/gals as the case maybe?

    Carry on!
    TheMadFool

    Thanks for the invitation but ''No Thanks'' !
    The thread provided some lovely quirky moments - a nice mix of serious and fun...but I'm done... :cool:
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Thanks for the invitation but ''No Thanks'' !
    The thread provided some lovely quirky moments - a nice mix of serious and fun...but I'm done... :cool:
    Amity

    Really? It looked like you two just got started! Thank God!
  • Amity
    1.5k
    Really? It looked like you two just started! Thank God!TheMadFool

    Yeah, have moved on to prisms. Of light. More fun :wink:
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Yeah, have moved on to prisms. Of light. More fun :wink:Amity

    You had to reply didn't you? Nice play on words though. Are you a writer by any chance? You know, like, having written novels, articles, in an official capacity?
  • Amity
    1.5k
    You had to reply didn't you?TheMadFool

    Yeah. I find it difficult not to, sometimes - more's the pity :sad:

    Are you a writer by any chance? You know, like, having written novels, articles, in an official capacity?TheMadFool

    No. Wot wiv my atroshus gramma an' all :gasp:
    However, I enjoy writing here - as a way to enlightenment :wink: :sparkle:
    You ?
  • baker
    1.3k
    It's something like the Buddhist desire conundrum which defies a solution. Buddhists à la Siddhartha Gautama, believe that desire is the root of all suffering. Thus buddhists are of the view that to end suffering one must put out the fire of desire. Unfortunately or...not, to not want to desire is, salva veritate, to want to not want to desire. In other words, we can't end desire without the desire to do so.TheMadFool
    Stop confusing yourself and go study some actual Buddhist doctrine instead of relying on popular pseudobuddhist soundbites.

    In Early Buddhism, there are two types of desire: the bad one (tanha) and the good one (chanda). A person is actually suposed to cultivate the desire to make an end to suffering!
    There is no catch-22 like some pop-Buddhists would have us believe.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Yeah. I find it difficult not to, sometimes - more's the pity :sad:Amity

    Same here. What's up with that? Care to share?

    No. Wot wiv my atroshus gramma an' all :gasp:
    However, I enjoy writing here - as a way to enlightenment :wink: :sparkle:
    You ?
    Amity

    You have a way with words that I must confess my envy for. Anyway, good to know writing's on your list of favorite things to do.

    Speaking for myself, I face a lot of problems putting my thoughts into words but I suspect it's because I don't think as well as one is supposed to for writing (well).

    I sense this discussion has come to the end of its natural life. G'day sir/madam as the case may be.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    Stop confusing yourself and go study some actual Buddhist doctrine instead of relying on popular pseudobuddhist soundbites.baker

    I fully second that motion. No one pointed out that particular possibility to me though, except you of course. That said, I wonder if there's a way of parsing the buddhist tenet "life is suffering" that isn't open to an interpretation along lines similar to mine.

    In Early Buddhism, there are two types of desire: the bad one (tanha) and the good one (chanda)baker

    That, acceptable though it is, is, right or wrong, the easy way out. Let's engage in some role play. Suppose I'm your teacher. Your assignment is to solve the paradox as outlined above, keeping in mind "life is suffering" is to be understood as it is with no provisos/caveats/conditions as those that appear in your ingenious solution. Can you?
  • Anand-Haqq
    62


    . I want you to understand this ...

    . We are existencial: the "ism" is a mind thing. Our approach to reality is not a mind approach; it cannot be a mind approach, by nature ... it is a communication by heart to heart.

    . All "isms" have belief systems: we don't have any belief system. Human beings, by nature, cannot have any belief system.

    . You cannot believe in the sun ... You SEE IT ... It's an existential phenomenon ... there is no need for a mind approach ... The mind is quiet ... The mind is always utilitarian, not existentialist ...

    . You are not required to believe in anything unless you know it; and when you know something you don't believe, it's impossible, because there is no need ... you understand ?

    . You believe only things which you don't know.

    . Belief grows only in ignorance.

    . Knowing something is enough, there is no need to believe. We are seekers, searchers ... the human being is seeking the ultimate, by nature ... we're not believers.

    . We, as human beings, don't have or at least we should not have any idea beforehand about what we are going to get in the end, when the search is over.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    And this isn't :point:
    the "ism" is a mind thingAnand-Haqq
    ??? :chin:

    I do appreciate the idea though - very zen, always manages to get my juices flowing but my enthusiasm usually fizzles out.

    Human beings, by nature, cannot have any belief system.Anand-Haqq

    That itself boils down to a belief in my humble opinion. After all, it's a proposition which qualifies it as a belief given a good justification.

    You believe only things which you don't know.Anand-Haqq

    Lovely! You're on some kind of wonderful journey I'd like to accompany you on. I find this proposition an impossible one though. Why? If I believe something then I must, in some sense, know it or, at some level, believe that I know it.


    Belief grows only in ignoranceAnand-Haqq

    Did you perchance visit this thread: Summum Delirium?

    For your information, it's not mandatory to reply to the above.
  • Anand-Haqq
    62


    . Belief is against doubt, friend ...

    . The moment you say ... For example ... I believe in the communist system of thought ... Or I believe in the catholic priest ... and you know ... all of that rubbish ... it means ... you're against all other systems. You're creating a schizophrenic world. And this leads to war ... it does not lead to compassion ... to love ... to fraternity. Why? Because you're fighting for a system ... and for that ... you don't bother to kill other people ... as long as your system wins ... you understand the chaos of it, friend?

    . This is what have been happening through 5,000 years of history, friend ...

    . Ironically , all religions ... all the 300 religions ... with no exception ... talk about love ... but they live on constant war ... THEY LIVE FOR WAR ... otherwise they would not exist ... their ego is tremendously subtle ...

    . So ... What is my suggestion ... ?

    . First, drop believing, friend ... Let beliefs be dropped, they are all rubbish! Trust in doubt, that's my suggestion; don't try to hide it. Trust in doubt. That is the first thing to bring into your being: trust in your doubt; trust in your inner voice; truth is your heart; trust in your inner light. And see the beauty of it, how beautifully trust has come in ...

    . Please see this ...

    . What does it mean when I say ... "I believe in this system of thought ... ?"

    . It means ... that I don't know ... I did not understand it for my own ... for my own light ... and I do not want to understand it through my inner voice ... but I will pretend that I know, to the world ... and to myself.

    . The moment you know, belief fades away ...
  • Janus
    10.1k
    To my understanding, to reject ALL Isms, including nihilism, itself can be treated as an Ism and that's what the title of this thread spells out - "There's no escape from Isms".TheMadFool

    My question, though, was as to what it could mean to "reject" them all. Could it mean to posit a contrary or opposite standpoint to each and every one of them? That can't be right because impossible, since to counter some would be to support others.

    So, could it mean simply to reject the idea that any ism could represent the sole and absolute truth? I think that's right because we know, if we think about it some, that no truth is, or could be, context-independent, which observation rules out the possibility that any ism could represent the sole and absolute truth.

    All this without proposing any ism. (You could say this is 'antiabsolutism', and you would be right, but that position is not an ism because the ism in there is the ism of absolutism). The position is not antiabsolutismism, it's simply antiabsolutism.
  • Manuel
    638


    If by "isms" you have in mind different philosophical views, such as rationalism, phenomenalism, liberalism and the like, you could say you reject all of them.

    It would be a bit hard. As in, I agree with the tenants of rationalism, but I am not a rationalist or I am sympathetic to libertarian ideals, but I'm not a (market) libertarian.

    If you agree with parts of a certain tradition or traditions, I don't see why saying an "ism" implies you follow each school of thought as if it were religious doctrine.

    It's more difficult to deny some type of affinity with any school of thought than to say "I agree with parts X and Y of this-ism and I like Z of that-ism, but I'm not a this-or-that-ist". I don't see what is gained. The problem is how other people interpret said traditions and attribute to them things you don't believe in.

    So yes, it's possible, but I'm not sure it's practical. Maybe it could be.
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    schizophrenic worldAnand-Haqq

    I concur but only with the caveat that my grasp of reality is wanting in many respects. Just out of curiosity, what else is on your differential diagonosis? The reasons being that in some circles, probably ones that have a zen kinda spirit, it's believed that "there's method to someone's madness" and that "there's a thin line between genius and madness".

    Trust in doubtAnand-Haqq

    :up: I can't make sense of that but my feelings tell me you're on the right track. If you'll permit me a corollary, trust your enemy. I'd give my eye teeth to be able to do that, assuming, unbeknownst to me, I'm not already doing it.

    My question, though, was as to what it could mean to "reject" them all.Janus

    Vide infra as to what rejecting ALL Isms entail:

    1. An ism can be, if all goes well, reduced to a single proposition i.e. an ism can be true/false/unproven but in all cases they're sold to us as truths.

    2. If I reject ALL isms, I deny the truth claims made by them. This drops us off at the station where we can catch a train that leaves for nihilism. Nihilism, as far as I can tell, claims that no claims (isms) are true or true enough to be worth belief.

    3. I now, just for kicks but with the hope that something substantive might lie at the end of this road, refuse nihilism. Note here that nihilism, to my understanding, claims no claims (isms) are truthful. Ergo, step 3 leads us to the conclusion that some claims (isms) are truthful.

    4. Some claims (isms) are truthful...the path forks here. One sets up a task for us to wit, sussing out which claims (isms) are truthful or concord with reality.

    The other, more challenging in a logical sense, takes us back to nihilism by assuming, if only in an exploratory sense, that the claim (ism) that's truthful is nihilism itself. This immediately results in a paradox: Nihilism both affirms and negates itself. If it affirms itself, it must negate itself. Nihilism can't be true on pain of a contradiction.

    5. Since we rejected ALL isms, even if only for the heck of it, and since nihilism, a result of refusing ALL isms, itself is untenable, we're, in every sense of the word, in some kind of philosophical limbo. Mu???
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