• Isaac
    2.9k
    unless a voter also comments to say how they voted, voting is just throwing an anonymous token in a bucket.Pfhorrest

    Yeah, that's why I linked the number of posters (20 odd) to the number of voters (31). I was presuming that most people who voted also commented, but if not, then you're right.

    I'm surprised that there are no students or associate's degrees.Pfhorrest

    Yeah, I think @Artemis nailed that one.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.1k
    Philosophy (as the imfamous badinage goes) really is the history of who said what when, and people who haven't learnt it aren't going to have a clue no matter what their native skill.Isaac

    I had that impression when I first started studying it too, especially when I would be introduced to a new topic, form an opinion on it quickly, and someone would immediately label me a Whoever-ist, as though that dead Greek guy owned the idea I had just come up with myself. In time though, I came to view it more sympathetically: it's not so much that it's important who said what, as it is what questions are there to ask (by looking at all the questions that have been asked), and what is the range of possible answers there are to them (by looking at all the different answers that have been proposed), with the names of the figures asking questions and proposing answers often just convenient names for those questions and answers, because we've got to label them something if we want to refer to them without restating them in whole over and over again.

    nd yes, those who choose to get trained in it formally will inevitably pick up a bit of 'brainwashing' along with the methodology. It's not hard to break out of, but I think it's naive to image some kind of culturally neutral 'how to think' instruction could ever happen.Isaac

    One of the things that I liked most about philosophy classes as opposed to any other humanities classes was how we were never judged on what our answer was, but on how well-supported our argument for it was. So long as you explicitly called out any strange assumptions you were starting from, and made only valid inferences from them, any strange conclusion could be acceptable; how you get there was what was important. In contrast, most other humanities classes seemed unbearably dogmatic, whole fields often taking for granted philosophical positions that I knew were contentious because we were just talking about the ongoing arguments for against them in another class an hour ago!
  • SophistiCat
    1.4k
    Philosophy (as the imfamous badinage goes) really is the history of who said what when, and people who haven't learnt it aren't going to have a clue no matter what their native skill.Isaac

    As an outsider, I get a perhaps distorted impression that much of academic philosophy is indeed more of a philology - a study, interpretation and analysis - sometimes apologetic, rarely critical - of texts, as well as a history of ideas, or as you said, who said what when.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    philology - a study, interpretation and analysis - sometimes apologetic, rarely critical - of texts, as well as a history of ideas, or as you said, who said what when.SophistiCat

    Probably depends on the department and who your profs are. My professors did that but also had us study texts of various sides of a debate on which basis we then critically discussed the subject as a group.

    But there is a lot to be said for slowing students down in their knee-jerk criticisms and trying to get them to understand before they disagree.
  • Artemis
    1.9k
    And yes, those who choose to get trained in it formally will inevitably pick up a bit of 'brainwashing' along with the methodology. It's not hard to break out of, but I think it's naive to image some kind of culturally neutral 'how to think' instruction could ever happen.Isaac

    As you might be aware of/be interested to learn, there are several contemporary capital-P-hilosophers taking on that very issue. I'm currently reading Harvey Siegel's "Educating Reason" after having read "Rationality Redeemed" a little while ago. He's most commonly referenced in Phil of Education circles, but he is more broadly applicable, I think. Anywho, he argues in that first book that a certain degree/kind of indoctrination is necessary in education, but that of course you're counterbalancing that (hopefully) with giving students the very skills to then question the "indoctrinated" values, etc.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    I am curious what people class as ‘self taught’. If it means they’ve read a couple of philosophical works then I’d call that ‘Not at all’.I like sushi

    I've read a couple of philosophical works. But mostly, I've lived for 70+ years and have actively inquired what the nature of our life together is. I've read history, science, sociology, psychology, politics, theology, literature, etc.

    Mostly though, it is reflecting on life as we live it, for better and for worse. That is the main entrepôt for evaluating reality. Scholars write weighty books which are quoted here (Aristotle, Hume, Nietzsche and so on). Were all the books in the philosophical library to disappear, it would only be the end of philosophy as a 'literature'. Philosophy as a practice would continue on.

    If all the books about yoga and meditation were to disappear, yoga and meditation would continue. There is a literature of yoga and a practice of yoga; the two are not the same.

    It is good for civilization to have the literature of various and sundry fields: accounting, yoga, medieval French poetry, geology, history, math, architecture, agriculture, and much more. It is good to read and learn from the literature of the various fields. But in philosophy (or theology) it is important to live the field.

    It is certainly the case that many people do not inquire into the nature of life together, and do not gain much insight as time goes on. Some of them are faultless, and some of them are guilty of the shallowest, narrowest, of lives.
  • Isaac
    2.9k
    Anywho, he argues in that first book that a certain degree/kind of indoctrination is necessary in education, but that of course you're counterbalancing that (hopefully) with giving students the very skills to then question the "indoctrinated" values, etc.Artemis

    That's interesting. Contrast that with the work of free-educationalists like Sugata Mitra or Peter Gray. I'm not so sure the initial indoctrination is required because I'm not so sure the initial teaching is required. Put someone in an educational establishment with a test/reward system and you immediately set up a limbic system response which inhibits activity in the very frontal cortex you're hoping to stimulate.

    It's surprising how children question indoctrination when left to their own devices anyway.
  • jellyfish
    128
    Mostly though, it is reflecting on life as we live it, for better and for worse. That is the main entrepôt for evaluating reality.Bitter Crank

    :100:
  • jellyfish
    128
    with the names of the figures asking questions and proposing answers often just convenient names for those questions and answers, because we've got to label them something if we want to refer to them without restating them in whole over and over again.Pfhorrest

    :up:

    Right. I'd just add that philosophers can be enjoyed also as characters. We get to know strange, fascinating personalities.
  • Isaac
    2.9k
    One of the things that I liked most about philosophy classes as opposed to any other humanities classes was how we were never judged on what our answer was, but on how well-supported our argument for it was.Pfhorrest

    Whether an argument is 'well-supported' or not is no less questionable a framework than the philosophical positions you could not bear the humanities classes taking for granted. Rationality is just a way of thinking afterall. No system can justify itself without assuming axioms. I'm not saying the humanities can't be dogmatic in areas where they really shouldn't be, but in their fundamental philosophical commitments. That's just not what they're there to study,
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    I get what you’re saying.

    I think there is a distinct difference between studying about the development of human ideas and thinking about life. In terms of practical living (laws, politics and ethics) we’re all reasonably involved. I doubt many people really sit down and thrash out an essay on the subject that goes beyond the surface details - there is a tendency to go with anecdotal evidence and loose analogy when it comes to armchair philosophising
  • Oness
    0
    I had a few classes of it during highschool, but nowadays I'm reading Dolores Canon's books and having reiki lessons which has surely helped me to widen my knowledge regarding the philosophy field and what it entitles, more specifically metaphysics! :)
  • Pantagruel
    1k
    What about the entire pragmatism movement?Isaac


    Sure. Pragmatism is all about actual effects in the world. I don't see that implying any kind of relativism though, if that is what you were suggesting?
  • Pfhorrest
    3.1k
    I’m curious who the one person currently studying it in college is.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    I want to know who has the Doctorate. Would love to pick their brain.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.1k
    Yeah I would like to know that too. Or even who the few people with Masters degrees are.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    I did a masters in applied ethics but I kind of regret voting and divulging that here. Dunno who the others are but one of those votes is mine.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    I did a masters in applied ethics but I kind of regret voting and divulging that here.Mark Dennis

    Yeah, as I wrote earlier: "People have a tendency online, especially in anonymous contexts, to be skeptical of any claims of achievement or status . . . It's rather pointless to claim . . . The vast majority of the time people either just ignore it or they get pissy about it."
  • Alan
    62
    I love philosophy. I just wish I weren't this lazy so I could read more about it. : (
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    As they should be really. I don’t require anyone’s belief in my claim for it to be an honest one. I’m not a moderator here so it doesn’t give me any authority and I would expect anyone else who has these qualifications would know that. Realistically the only thing the qualification gives me is the ability to evaluate logical consistency in Ought moral arguments and historical knowledge of those arguments. Correctness of conclusion isn’t something I can claim authority on unless I can point to real life examples where the conclusion can maybe be evaluated against as either correct or incorrect within that context. However it will always be in line with the pragmatic definition of truth.

    However without divulging my identity and my published works no one needs to believe in that authority at all.

    It is ultimately pointless to divulge though. I’ve only had the qualification for a year, so I’m chalking it up to youthful exuberance/arrogance on my part that I answered the question in the OP.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    As they should be really.Mark Dennis

    I don't think that people should be pissy about it. ;-)

    Part of what I left out in quoting myself was that I think the background of the reactions is that people tend to figure that the people they're interacting with are probably in the same boat that they are. That's not a very intelligent thing to figure, though. More likely there are people with a wide variety of statuses, backgrounds, etc. interacting with each other on boards like this.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    Was I being pissy about it? I was answering you tagging me?

    Are we going to get into another pointless debate over me agreeing with you that it is pointless? I’m sorry I answered the question honestly and that makes you feel intimidated. You happy?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Was I being pissy about it? I was answering you tagging me?Mark Dennis

    It was a joke. I said that people tend to ignore or be pissy about status/achievement claims, and then you endorsed that "they should be." (I know you were saying should be skeptical--hence the joke.)
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    in what way is it a joke to misquote yourself and then mock me for the response to the full quote you omitted? It just makes you seem dishonest.
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    I’m sorry I just don’t get it.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    Holy moley. Just take a breath and relax.

    Didn't you write this not too long ago?

    "Does anyone else feel like a fair number of individuals on this site could do with some humility? . . . we may have differing views, cultures and backgrounds . . ." Etc.

    Posting like a defensive, oversenstive tool in response to a joke (that I shouldn't have had to explain in the first place . . . partially because explaining ruins jokes and the last thing I want to do is get into an argument about a joke) doesn't seem in line with the attitude you were encouraging in that other thread. (Although I knew that wouldn't last long because of the overall tenor of interaction in this place.)
  • deletedmemberMD
    590
    I’m autistic, I’m not very good with jokes. Sue me.

    So it’s not humble to honestly tell someone your qualifications when asked? Okay. I’ll lie next time to protect your ego even though I never meant to attack it in the first place.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    I’m autistic,Mark Dennis

    Right. I figured as much. I joke around a lot normally. But try to just not worry about it. I'm more interested in your response to the other thread (the ethics thing).
  • Pfhorrest
    3.1k
    I don't think Terrapin was saying that answering the question about your education was un-humble, but that your reaction to his joke seemed less than humble (because it seemed defensive, and defensiveness can be a sign of fragile egotism). But you just didn't get the joke, so I think it's understandable that you would react differently than if you had understood he was joking. And it's clear that there's already some bad blood between you two from elsewhere on the forum, so tensions are understandably high to begin with.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.1k
    I notice that we now have at least one student, a couple more people who say they have no philosophical education at all, and someone who took some pre-college classes. Welcome all!

    I'm curious, whoever it is that took some pre-college classes, what they were like. I had a philosophy class in high school and I don't feel like I came away from it with an understanding of what philosophy was at all, but that could have been because I was a dense scientism-ist at the time.

    (We really need a word for a proponent of scientism, because "scientist" obviously isn't it).
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