• alcontali
    729
    What exactly is it? It is unfortunate that Socrates did not ask Meno, because then we would probably have a definition by now.

    Let's define an idea as "an expression in language". Then, a statement is philosophical, if it is an idea about another idea, i.e. a statement about another statement.

    Why do I believe this?

    If we look at the Platonic definition for knowledge, a justified (?true?) belief, we can see that knowledge is a statement (Q) that necessarily follows from another statement (Q), its justification:

    P => Q

    Hence, knowledge (Q) is a statement about another statement (P), which satisfies the restriction imposed by the arrow: "follows necessarily from".

    This restriction is not necessarily satisfied in such arrow.

    Still, if we wish to link both, even if we cannot necessarily argue the necessity of the arrow, we have general philosophy. In that sense, general philosophy is closely related to knowledge, but is not necessarily knowledge.

    Knowledge statements form a subset of the philosophy set of statements. In knowledge, as opposed to general philosophy, we have successfully argued the necessity of the arrow.

    If we have managed to link both statements using an epistemically accredited justification method, then the statement belongs in the epistemically-restricted knowledge subset of which that justification method is the set-theoretical membership function.

    For example, if we manage to axiomatically derive a claim from the construction logic of its Platonic world, the claim is mathematical. If we manage to demonstrate that there are no counterexamples in a given set of real-world experimental test results, then the claim is scientific. If we have one or more witness depositions for the statement, then it is historical.

    We can therefore define epistemology as the study and description of justification methods.

    General philosophy, itself, is hypothetical knowledge for which we would possibly like to find a proper home in an epistemically-restricted subset of knowledge.

    This may explain why modern knowledge disciplines originally used to be some form of philosophy.

    For example, we no longer consider physics to be philosophy, but historically it used to be. In fact, physics is still philosophy today, but belonging to one of its epistemically-restricted subsets, i.e. science.

    So, then we come to a set-theoretical question: Do the epistemically-restricted subsets of knowledge form a proper partition? In my opinion, by design, they do not overlap. However, it is much harder to argue that the union of these subsets also covers the complete set (of knowledge).

    The question here is not whether we have discovered all knowledge (which we obviously haven't), but if we have successfully established the complete inventory of knowledge-justification methods? According to Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, we did.
  • Arne
    416
    Finally, after 2000 years of Western Philosophy, we now have a definition. :smile:

    For me, philosophy is an ongoing discussion over the nature of being. But that is just me.
  • alcontali
    729
    @For me, philosophy is an ongoing discussion over the nature of being.

    S="What I am holding now in my hand is an apple."
    Is S philosophy?
  • Frotunes
    114
    Philosophy is the love of knowledge.
  • Frotunes
    114


    If Socrates said it then yes. But if the S stands for someone else, I suspect it to be a kindergarten teacher or a magician, so pedagogy or wizardry perhaps?
  • alcontali
    729
    If Socrates said it then yesFrotunes

    I suspect that Socrates himself would have rejected the view: "Everything Socrates ever said, must be considered philosophical, because it was Socrates who said it."

    If Socrates ever said, "I seem to have an indigestion today", then reporting to have an indigestion has now also become part of philosophy.

    Therefore, it can obviously only be exactly the other way around. Some of the statements Socrates made were philosophical and therefore, we consider Socrates to be a philosopher.

    There are two kinds of people. People who believe propositions because of whom said it, and people who believe propositions because of how they were said (i.e. their justification).

    The "believe-who" people are known as the populace, who are trivially manipulated and misled, and who should not be allowed to make any serious decision that affects others. They cannot verify a justification, and therefore have to trust. That is obviously an accident waiting to happen.
  • Corra
    43
    Philosophy is a set guidelines that you live by and conduct your daily life.
  • Noblosh
    154
    Philosophy is a set guidelines that you live by and conduct your daily life.Corra

    Bah, please stop perpetuating this common modern misconception of equating philosophy with lifestyle, thank you!
  • aRealidealist
    32
    In my view, “philosophy” refers to a particular method of obtaining knowledge (as does “science” [the empirical method]), namely, the rational/logical method. Whatever is observed or deduced by means or way of rational/logical qualifications, is to be (again, in my personally defined view), in one manner or another, considered “philosophical.”
  • Noblosh
    154


    I have deduced that you're totally new on this board by observing the number of your posts as well as their entry level content. What I fail to understand is how employing this basic reasoning can be considered philosophy, as you seem to imply in your post.
  • Pantagruel
    200

    I think viewing philosophy as a kind of meta-science is one excellent perspective. More so because it incorporates some form of praxis in that experimentalism. For me, philosophy also entails a conscious (systematic) effort to rise above the limitations/biases of egocentric perception - a species of metaphysical doubt.
  • Noblosh
    154


    I advise you to learn to distance yourself from your beliefs & opinions so you stop seeing their rejections as personal attacks. I am truly an antagonizing aggressor when it comes to unsatisfactory ideas and I'm not going to excuse myself because you interpret it as an affront. Also, you can check that there's no ad hominem attacks in my replies to you, while I can't say the same about yours.
  • Pantagruel
    200
    Characterizing someone's post as constituting "entry-level content" is indeed an ad-hominen attack. It was the first thing you said.
  • Noblosh
    154


    You're utterly mistaken about what an ad hominem is or that entry-level is of any derogatory nature is all I can say to you, except, I hope you don't consider this response an ad hominem too since I imply you don't know what you're talking about and you prefer to argue in bad faith.
  • Pantagruel
    200

    I think characterizing aRealIdealist as "someone who is not at my level" qualifies as an ad hominem. It is entirely a personal attack. If an argument is sophomoric then the correct thing to do would be to analyse or refute it, not use it as a roundabout way of injecting an ad hominem comment.

    Except what was requested was more of a 'position statement,' what philosophy means to me. So it didn't warrant refutation. I found it a perfectly cogent idea.
  • Noblosh
    154
    I think characterizing aRealIdealist as "someone who is not at my level" qualifies as an ad hominem.Pantagruel

    I agree, but you need to show where I did that.

    Except what was requested was more of a 'position statement,' what philosophy means to me. So it didn't warrant refutation.Pantagruel

    "Position statements" are ripe for the Socratic dialectic in which I engaged. I didn't even formulate my reply as a refutation, I think you need to reread it, rather than go ahead arguing against a strawman.

    I found it a perfectly cogent idea.Pantagruel

    Obviously, I didn't. But maybe you're both above my level (I also didn't invoke any kind of individual hierarchy, that's your fomulation) and comprehend something I don't, in which case I still expect you two to clarify what that is.
  • Corra
    43
    Everyone is entitled to their own perception and opinions.
  • Corra
    43
    Philosophy does come from our internal beliefs. I don't care who disagrees with me. It is a fact everyone has internal beliefs. If you need proof go study psychology.
  • Noblosh
    154
    I still think you're just equating lifestyle with philosophy.
  • rhudehssolf
    1
    Seeing your spiritual hipocrisy infecting this forum i decided to make an acount just so i can publicly denounce you.How do you fancy yourself spiritual when you seem to lack basic moral values .There are others in this forum that have couple of thousand posts.However as Corra said everyone is entitled to their own perception and opinions me included (Good job on bring new people to this furom)
  • Noblosh
    154
    Slow down, I've barely made a few posts since a long time ago and pretty sure I've never presented myself as any kind of spiritual.
  • Corra
    43
    Well thank you for sharing your opinion. But I don't care what anyone thinks of my opinions. I will go study my psychology text book now.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    While I do not think it is particularly helpful to define philosophy since the assumptions, goals, and practices differ widely, if pressed, I would suggest that it can be understood as free, reflexive inquiry. As such we find both systematic philosophies and methodologies as well the critique of systems and methodologies. Although it is free inquiry philosophers have not always been free to inquire or make the results of their inquiry public, and so until quite recently philosophers had to write circumspectly. And so, what they say outwardly often does not represent what they actually thought, and what they did not say should be heard.

    Descartes, for example, took his motto from the Roman poet Ovid:

    He who lived well hid well.

    He appears in a very different light when this is born in mind. Very much at odds with what appears on the surface.
  • aRealidealist
    32
    My posts keep getting deleted, why? I’m not swearing or insulting anyone.
  • aRealidealist
    32

    Save the advice; really, though, you got my post deleted? All that I said was that you’re not as smart as you believe yourself to be, is that really that harsh of a comment that it & along with everything else which I wrote in that particular post, outside of questioning your intelligence, should’ve been deleted as well? Huh, never mind, let me just rewrite what I wrote in that deleted post, without questioning your intelligence, & see if you’ll actually respond to it this time? Since you didn’t the first time round but instead solely focused on what was/is ultimately irrelevant.

    Now, Noblosh, let me ask you again, is the noun-term of “philosophy”, in your view, composed of elements or components (is it a complex term or not)? Or, are you altogether lost as to a definition of philosophy? Answering this question’ll reveal to me how to explain to you that philosophy in general is equivalent with the rational/logical method.


    Thank you for your compliment, Pantagruel (&, also, as is evident, for arguing on my behalf to some extent; but, please, don’t in any way feel either obliged or obligated to).

    Indeed, though, yes, your assertion that the in manner in which “philosophy” is defined, in my original post, renders it as a kind of “meta-science” is spot-on; & its whole meta-physical(empirical) value lies in this alone; &, moreover, you’re also right that this gives it a dimension of praxis or practically, in terms of observing or deductively demonstrating the relations of empirically perceived objects, i.e., particular sensations, & rationally/logically perceived objects, i.e., general concepts or categories/classes (relations either between themselves or between each other; observing the relations of the former kind of objects between themselves constitutes the scientific branch of philosophy [“natural philosophy”, as some in the past from the modern era have referred to it], while observing the relations of the latter kind of objects either between themselves, or to the former kind of objects, constitutes the meta-physical[empirical] branch of philosophy).

    Which, furthermore, for the most part, agrees with what you accept the definition of philosophy as entailing, namely, the conscious, systematic effort, attempt or act to transcend egocentric, i.e., particularly sensible, perceptions.
  • Norman Stone
    9
    To hark back to Socrates and Plato is to exhume the epistemological transition from oral to written "truth", during which we realize that written statements can be temporarily true (or, more interestingly, temporarily false). That is, a new methodology of validation was required, which solidified categories, and the universal/particular and substance/accident distinctions. These are all flawed systems that have provided logicians with employment ever since. I wouldn't waste my time trying to squeeze higher meaning out of any of them.
  • Norman Stone
    9

    "S="What I am holding now in my hand is an apple."
    Is S philosophy?"

    The logical positivists argued over just such statements, but I suppose they would say they weren't concerned with the apple (or its holder), but the referential significance of "apple". What is the relationship between "apple" and an apple?

    We pay too little attention to who is getting attention, and why. There may have been a hundred Descarteses, but the one who got the attention came at the right time to be the quotable source of substance dualism, as soon as it could escape Papal wrath. Similarly, logical positivism was being paid attention to just at the time that computers were a gleam in their inventors' eyes. By working out the limits of Boolean logic, they were the precursors of the cursor, and come to us in a history that is constantly rewriting itself using different fonts of emphasis.
  • Pantagruel
    200
    I guess we can ask, is the meaning of "philosophy" the same now as it has always been?

    As our knowledge of external reality has exploded, the nature of knowing itself may have changed. Hobbes' observations in Leviathan may have been "psychologistic," but are merely the tip of the iceberg of the types of knowledge made possible by the disciplines of psychology and cognitive science.

    As such, if I had to define philosophy in a pan-cultural way I would describe philosophy as the attempt to unify or relate all other discrete realms of knowledge. Per my initial comment, I'd be prepared to agree that this is a kind of methodology.
  • Michael
    8.1k
    Mods, why do my posts keep getting deleted? I’m not swearing or insulting anyone. Yet the post in which I ask, “why do my posts keep getting deleted”, doesn’t?aRealidealist

    The automated spam filter is flagging your post as spam and so it must be manually approved before appearing, which I've done so. Apologies for that.
  • aRealidealist
    32


    Thank you very much, Michael, for fixing & clearing up the matter. Also, if it’s not too much, can you please delete those posts in which I inquired about my previously blocked post (for some reason I can’t), & even this one in which I’m replying to you right now, as well? Since my blocked post is up now, those others are needlessly taking up thread space. Thank you.
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