• whollyrolling
    412
    I propose that all "philosophy" has hitherto been an evolution of specialized language predicated on fortifying a master-slave relationship between the educated and the uneducated. Its primary directive has been to lend a label of "lesser being" to all who exist outside its pages--based on a subjective view of what is greater and what is lesser. It has far more often than not been a domain of birthright. It has been little more than a justification of hierarchies set forth by whoever inhabits the pinnacle of those hierarchies.

    That philosophy has once in a while happened upon a rational position is a Casino Royale of "intellect". It is to subscribe to the echoing voices of a few members of a dismally minute portion of civilization and to treat them as though they were the best the world had to offer at the time while it's statistically highly improbable.

    It is mental gymnastics, a game of dice or straws until a position is empirically demonstrated.
  • christian2017
    295


    thats really well put. Thats why i would argue to truly judge a persons character at any given time you would have to take 100s of varialbes and each variable would have a different weight to it. To make this judgement would take someone from the outside. An example of what i'm talking about would be.

    A^3 + 2B - 4C + D/2 + E^7 ..... (Zsubscript200) ^2/3

    Each letter represents things for example were they discriminated against, by who, how nice they were, how much money, how hard they worked..... and so on

    If this continued for 100s of variables onward it would get extremely hard to calculate. So basically our worth is either 1) how happy we are why we are alive or (2) what some diety says after we die or (3) what history or our family says about us after we die.

    I hope i didn't get too far off the topic but i felt this pertained to the OP. Maybe it didn't. Please correct me if it did not pertain to the OP.

    Thats my opinion.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    I propose that all "philosophy" has hitherto been an evolution of specialized language predicated on fortifying a master-slave relationship between the educated and the uneducated.whollyrolling

    If so, you'd think that philosophers would have better social status and make more money. Obviously something in our Bond-villain plan wasn't thought through very well.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    A few may have sacrificed their wealth or social status as martyrs for their cause, but why don't you point out some of the dirt poor, destitute, starving, uneducated and socially outcast philosophers you speak of?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    why don't you point out some of the dirt poor, destitute, starving, uneducated and socially outcast philosophers you speak of?whollyrolling

    Reading comprehension 101: where did I speak of that?

    <wondering what whollyrolling got on his SAT>
  • whollyrolling
    412


    I felt compelled to fill in the blanks because you were so vague.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    I felt compelled to fill in the blanks because you were so vague.whollyrolling

    What did you see as vague?
  • whollyrolling
    412
    you'd think that philosophers would have better social status and make more money.Terrapin Station

    This.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    In what way is that vague? You don't understand "better" or "more"?
  • whollyrolling
    412
    Descartes, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Kant, Marx, just to pick a few at random off the top of my head. They were all born into affluent families and received "higher education" that was expensive and unavailable to a vast majority of people at the time.
  • whollyrolling
    412
    We could list a hundred, and 90% or more would be from affluent families. Philosophers have never needed to "make money" because they have been "from money".
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Descartes, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Kant, Marx, just to pick a few at random off the top of my head. They were all born into affluent families and received "higher education" that was expensive and unavailable to a vast majority of people at the time.whollyrolling

    So first, the slave-master stuff is pertinent to 200+ years ago?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.8k
    I propose that all "philosophy" has hitherto been an evolution of specialized language predicated on fortifying a master-slave relationship between the educated and the uneducated.whollyrolling

    Dear me! Whollyrolling. Sweeping up all "philosophy" into one master/slave pile calls for an extended defense. Your OP should have been much, much longer, because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Try putting this into a broader context. Don't all power elites (academic, financial, military, artistic, etc.) all tend to separate themselves out from the lumpen mass, associate among themselves, and promote their particular interests?

    They were all born into affluent families and received "higher education" that was expensive and unavailable to a vast majority of people at the time.whollyrolling

    You are right -- the education which famous philosophers received was a luxury service. It still is. Roughly a third of the US population has a college degree, but these are not elite degrees by any stretch of the imagination, and two thirds of the US population lacks even a pedestrian degree.

    Elite fields -- literature and philosophy are similar -- are the domain of small coteries of people. Being a member of a 'coterie' usually involves being at least financially comfortable. It involves traveling in rather small circles of specialists. Some elite thinkers have managed to remain comfortable. Marx was a downward-mobility disgrace to his bourgeois forebears. He ended up on private welfare sponsored by Fred Engels. But even that is usually the luck of elites. Most people, however bright and needy they are, don't get underwriting.

    Like me, for instance. Had I been underwritten by some rich fan, I might have been somewhat more intellectually productive. Or, maybe I would have spent more time drinking, screwing, and other forms of decadence. Marx seems to have done a fair amount of that sort of thing. Of course, he also managed to turn out Das Kapital and a few other items.
  • Valentinus
    419

    I am curious as to whether you have read Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.

    He more or less says that the dynamic between master and slave was the engine of history such that the poles of the extremes in the relationship were constantly turning into these other kinds of relationships.

    The question of who is depending upon who is proposed to be a mutable thing.

    In that context, your proposal is an override of such changes. It suggests an order outside of transactions of the kind Hegel underlined.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    Of course they've stuck to themselves and their own, and until very recently in history, this has set a massive limitation on social and intellectual progress. Its impact on intellectual pursuits and on innovation is especially hindering. War and finance, and sometimes art, have at least been dependent on "common people". Philosophy as an institution has trudged through history as if "common people" didn't exist.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    "Higher education" is still unavailable to most of the world, and philosophy in particular still carries the torch of its age-old air of superiority.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    The master slave dynamic exists in all living organisms, and in many ways it has been an engine of progress, but it is not a fuel-efficient engine. I haven't read Hegel, no. Maybe I should.

    What I'm saying is that as it pertains to intellectual pursuits, the master slave dynamic is hopelessly inefficient. It overlooks, and often even suppresses, the potential genius of the slave population.
  • Valentinus
    419

    It overlooks, and often even suppresses, the potential genius of the slave population.whollyrolling

    You got to read Hegel.
  • TogetherTurtle
    279
    Finally, something interesting.

    I propose that all "philosophy" has hitherto been an evolution of specialized language predicated on fortifying a master-slave relationship between the educated and the uneducated.whollyrolling

    I find it strange how so often, we human beings wish for a world where we can all prosper, yet we are also so hellbent on making our world unequal. Are we lying to ourselves? Is lying to ourselves necessary to get what we want? How much is our subconscious hiding?

    Tin foil hats aside, this phenomenon is not only present in philosophical circles. All crafts and schools of thought typically go this route. Of course, nothing in your OP says this doesn't happen, but you also didn't mention it.

    Its primary directive has been to lend a label of "lesser being" to all who exist outside its pages--based on a subjective view of what is greater and what is lesser.whollyrolling

    Is there an objective view of what is greater and what is lesser? If so, what is it?

    We generally distrust outsiders, and this has been a blessing and a curse. It can help when a robber is breaking into your home but destroy otherwise healthy and beneficial relationships between groups of interest.

    It has far more often than not been a domain of birthright. It has been little more than a justification of hierarchies set forth by whoever inhabits the pinnacle of those hierarchies.whollyrolling

    Perhaps this is sometimes the case, but certainly not always. All philosophers disagree with each other at all times. That isn't an exaggeration, either. In other fields such as physics or biology, a very large group agrees completely with each other, and the dissonant are in the extreme minority. In philosophy, disagreeing about even very minor points seems to be par for the course. If it was really just a big conspiracy to keep the rich from being poor or some kind of ego boost thing, you would think they would agree more on the fairy tales they tell outsiders.

    That philosophy has once in a while happened upon a rational position is a Casino Royale of "intellect". It is to subscribe to the echoing voices of a few members of a dismally minute portion of civilization and to treat them as though they were the best the world had to offer at the time while it's statistically highly improbable.

    It is mental gymnastics, a game of dice or straws until a position is empirically demonstrated.
    whollyrolling

    If you replaced "philosophy" with any other field of study or discipline, you would still get a true statement. Even though we like to think that we judge off of rationality, we most certainly do not. It is simply impossible for our slimy reptilian brains to only see what there is and not what we want to see. We have been hardwired to see faces where there are none, shapes in otherwise shapeless clouds, and meaning in a world that has offered us none.

    If we really valued logical thinking and rationality, we would have long ago discarded politicians for computers and scientists. Even down to the very way we make decisions, our emotions and subjective values are taken over any kind of rational discourse. A scientist can tell you that a volcano is going to erupt and that measures must be taken to stop it, but a politician or a priest can tell you that nature is sacred and that it shouldn't be altered. Of course, it isn't objectively true that nature is sacred, or even that anything is, but you do believe that something is, yes? We are all incapable of rational thought at all or even at any times.

    The fact that we learn anything is luck of the draw. It is proof that while we are better than animals in terms of knowing the world, we are far from being gods. Luckily we can use what we already know to alter the odds from the drawing.

    And as for statistics. You say that these philosophers being the best we have to offer is statistically improbable, but what are these statistics? Do they state that people who can be classified as "the best we have to offer" are rare? Then why can't they be that? If they are a very small minority of the total human population, then they do qualify. Of course, so do all of the other fringe groups of people that look into different things. It might be statistically speaking impossible for me to be the president, but someone does have to be the president. It just so happens that Socrates got elected. Of course, if you don't think that he is great, that is fine, but he certainly isn't held back by statistics, more just your opinion.

    Personally, I don't think that "the best we have to offer" exclusively consists of philosophers, and I think almost everyone would agree. I think David Bowie was a great musician, but he certainly didn't publish any best sellers in the philosophy genre.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.8k
    Its impact on intellectual pursuits and on innovation is especially hindering.whollyrolling

    I don't know whether adhesive elites sticking together has hindered intellectual pursuit or not. I don't know how one could tell. It seems more likely that elites have not hindered practical innovation because the nuts and bolts of agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, etc. have never been of much interest to the elites.

    "Engineering" wasn't respectable until relatively recently. The savants in the universities were not aware of Marx's insight that changes in the means of production (in its broadest sense) determines what is possible intellectually. That's related to Plato's concern that the wrong kind of music would disturb society's peace and progress.

    War and finance, and sometimes art, have at least been dependent on "common people".whollyrolling

    Quite a lot has been dependent on us proles, when you get right down to it. The pampered elites wouldn't have been pampered if they hadn't been able to hire cheap help to make their lives comfortable.

    Workers of the world, UNITE! You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a world to gain. Karl Marx

    Marx was hardly a member of the elite.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    The luxury of practicing philosophy is dependent upon a servile class, yes, but its diversity of perspective isn't.
  • Olly
    3
    This seems to just boil down to "wealthier people have better opportunities than poor people" but that doesn't mean there's a master-slave relationship taking place.. being a slave of poverty doesn't make you a slave of philosophers. Kant and Aristotle didn't think up ways to oppress and exclude uneducated people. Believing that all philosophy has been aimed at labeling people "lesser" and statements like that are so beyond absurd I hardly know how to make a response... our best thinkers of the past are the best we have because we have their written works with us, thank circumstance for that. Issues of circumstance can't always be blamed on people "enslaving" or subjugating others
  • whollyrolling
    412


    Except that the education model we practice today was conceived in ancient Greece as a way to manipulate young impressionable minds, turn them into copies of a master intellect, copies which would in turn repeat this practice. It was specified that only the affluent should be involved in the process, and there wasn't much variance for quite some time.

    I'm not talking about opportunity for the individual, I'm talking about progress for the society, I'm talking about diversity of intellectual resources. Philosophy from its beginning was overtly aimed at educating the elite, there are written records of it, there's nothing absurd in what I've said. The model still exists today.

    We have written records of educated men from affluent families, that's what we have. Again, I'm not talking about personal circumstances, and I'm not talking about individual opportunities. I'm talking about stunting overall intellectual progress by limiting the pool from which it's drawn by intentionally leaving the majority of people in ignorance for the sake of governance.

    Throughout history, the educated have been the master, the uneducated have been the slave. This relationship works in some ways, but there are other ways it has caused major setbacks for our species.

    And yes, Aristotle and those before and after him did precisely what you're saying they didn't do. Education began with the notion of "philosopher kings", a concept of creating an educated ruling class to control an uneducated servant class. By the time Kant came around, who was also from an affluent family, the concept had been fixed firmly in place.

    To this day, education, especially "higher education", is unavailable to countless people. My point is not that this was "unfair", but that it was inefficient.
  • christian2017
    295
    Except that the education model we practice today was conceived in ancient Greece as a way to manipulate young impressionable minds, turn them into copies of a master intellect, copies which would in turn repeat this practice. It was specified that only the affluent should be involved in the process, and there wasn't much variance for quite some time.

    I'm not talking about opportunity for the individual, I'm talking about progress for the society, I'm talking about diversity of intellectual resources. Philosophy from its beginning was overtly aimed at educating the elite, there are written records of it, there's nothing absurd in what I've said. The model still exists today.

    We have written records of educated men from affluent families, that's what we have. Again, I'm not talking about personal circumstances, and I'm not talking about individual opportunities. I'm talking about stunting overall intellectual progress by limiting the pool from which it's drawn by intentionally leaving the majority of people in ignorance for the sake of governance.

    Throughout history, the educated have been the master, the uneducated have been the slave. This relationship works in some ways, but there are other ways it has caused major setbacks for our species.

    And yes, Aristotle and those before and after him did precisely what you're saying they didn't do. Education began with the notion of "philosopher kings", a concept of creating an educated ruling class to control an uneducated servant class. By the time Kant came around, who was also from an affluent family, the concept had been fixed firmly in place.

    To this day, education, especially "higher education", is unavailable to countless people. My point is not that this was "unfair", but that it was inefficient.
    whollyrolling

    i think there is alot of truth to this. But to be fair there are alot of federal programs such as FAFSA and Affirmative action in the US that make an attempt to narrow the gap.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    What we have in modern times is an incursion of ideological indoctrination from "the humanities" into all curriculum, effectively wasting time in a number of new ways. We have a variety of social institutions focused on equity as opposed to equality, which fosters a sense of entitlement in youth or projects group inequality or an illusion of inferiority dictated by the activist political left onto ethnic, cultural or religious minorities. Prejudice can't defeat prejudice, it's just a snake eating its own tail.
  • TheMadFool
    3.3k
    It's not as bad as you suggest. While there's white collar crime, the educated are, on the whole, more reasonable. The uneducated seem susceptible to mind manipulation and thereof become weaponized in the hands of the unscrupulous. The unscrupulous are uneducated most of the time. I don't think there's any sane person who can resist the moral lessons of philosophy specifically and education on the whole.
  • christian2017
    295


    What you said is definitely something everyone needs to vastly explore and not just listen to their high school teacher in regards to.
  • whollyrolling
    412


    If it's not as bad as I suggest, then why are all the most impressive feats of human "ingenuity", all the greatest accomplishments, all the most progressive movements, all the most expansive empires and all the prominent defenses of basic human rights--why are they all accompanied by such massive losses of human life? And in lieu of this, why are we still facing overpopulation?

    If the historical and present day models of education have been "reasonable", then why are we on the verge of extinction, or at least a cataclysmic shift from which we won't easily recover, due to processes we've either initiated or catalyzed?
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.