• A Seagull
    344
    There are a variety of approaches to philosophy: realism, idealism, theiem, existentialism and so on.

    Is there an over-riding means of evaluating which is better than the others?

    Are they distinct or do they share a commonality which suggests they are all just minor variations of a common philosophy?

    What makes for a good philosophy?
  • Marchesk
    3.1k
    I believe David Chalmers wrote a book related to that called Constructing the World. He focuses on the idea of scrutability where you start off with a few basic assumptions and build up your metaphysics.
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    What makes for a good philosophy?A Seagull

    True statements.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.6k
    Philosophy is the search for wisdom, which is the ability to discern superior from inferior answers to questions. A good philosophy is thus one that provides such an ability.
  • Mww
    1.4k
    ......cautioning reason against exceeding its proper bounds, even while it presumes its own warrant for doing just that.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Logic.

    Logic may be defined as the branch of philosophy that reflects upon the nature of thinking, or more specifically reasoning, itself.

    Logic is perhaps the most fundamental branch of philosophy. All branches employ thinking; whether this thinking is correct or not will depend upon whether it is in accord with the laws of logic.

    In this sense, religion and politics are bad philosophy. Science would be good philosophy.
  • 180 Proof
    898
    To the extent that "good" refers to an optimal state of mind (or well-being), I think a "good philosophy" consists in reflective exercises for aligning one's expectations - minimizing one's frustration/distress - with the real (i.e. ineluctable contingency ... that exposes the insufficiency, despite the indispensability, of reasoning). 'Groundless, or idle, dis/beliefs & doubts' and 'pseudo-questions' and 'misdefined problems' are tracked, and thereby filtered-out, in order for one to help (or as might Witty say, remind) oneself to avoid becoming captive to - intellectually (ideologically?) biased, or blinded, by - them.
  • Sam26
    1.4k
    Logic may be defined as the branch of philosophy that reflects upon the nature of thinking, or more specifically reasoning, itself.Harry Hindu

    Logic is concerned with the nature of reasoning, i.e., correct reasoning as opposed to incorrect reasoning. The nature of thinking is much broader in scope than logic.

    In this sense, religion and politics are bad philosophy. Science would be good philosophy.Harry Hindu

    There can be good and bad reasoning within any subject, including science. You can't just say that science equals good philosophy. It depends on the subject matter, and the arguments put forth.
  • A Seagull
    344
    believe David Chalmers wrote a book related to that called Constructing the World. He focuses on the idea of scrutability where you start off with a few basic assumptions and build up your metaphysics.Marchesk

    I think the idea of starting with a few basic assumptions and building from there is a good strategy. But how do you then justify the assumptions?

    I had a brief look at Chalmers' book. The trouble is that he starts with assumptions about truth that seem to be circular, eg 'A truth is a true statement'. IMO truth is a goal or an end point, and not a starting point.
  • A Seagull
    344
    What makes for a good philosophy? — A Seagull
    True statements.
    creativesoul

    Any philosophy can make a claim to truth. It does not merit as being a distinguishing feature of a good philosophy.
  • A Seagull
    344
    Philosophy is the search for wisdom, which is the ability to discern superior from inferior answers to questions. A good philosophy is thus one that provides such an ability.Pfhorrest

    How do you distinguish superior answers from inferior ones?

    Do you consider that your answer to the question 'What makes a good philosophy' to be a superior one?
  • creativesoul
    7.9k


    So you think false statements are good philosophy?
  • A Seagull
    344
    Logic.

    Logic may be defined as the branch of philosophy that reflects upon the nature of thinking, or more specifically reasoning, itself.
    Harry Hindu

    I agree that logic is an essential part of a good philosophy, it specifies how inferences can be made.

    But the philosophy of logic is not logic itself. So what is logic?
  • A Seagull
    344
    So you think false statements are good philosophy?creativesoul

    I said what I said.
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    You said 'a claim to truth'...

    I said true statements.

    Not all claims to truth are true. All true statements are. So, are you saying that being true is not necessary for good philosophy?

    I agree with what you said... that a claim to truth is not enough.

    The problem is that that does not address what I said.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.6k
    How do you distinguish superior answers from inferior ones?A Seagull

    That is the big question that all philosophical questions are in service of. I wrote 80,000 words on that that I’m not gonna retype here.

    Do you consider that your answer to the question 'What makes a good philosophy' to be a superior one?A Seagull

    Yes.
  • Pinprick
    105
    What makes for a good philosophy?A Seagull

    Nihilism. That should be your starting point. Then evaluate all claims using logic/reason until you are convinced. Then continuously challenge those convictions until you ultimately return to....Nihilism. Wash, rinse, repeat, die.
  • A Seagull
    344
    Do you consider that your answer to the question 'What makes a good philosophy' to be a superior one? — A Seagull
    Yes.
    Pfhorrest

    Well that makes one of you.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    Logic may be defined as the branch of philosophy that reflects upon the nature of thinking, or more specifically reasoning, itself.
    — Harry Hindu

    Logic is concerned with the nature of reasoning, i.e., correct reasoning as opposed to incorrect reasoning. The nature of thinking is much broader in scope than logic.
    Sam26

    That's why I said, more specifically reasoning.

    There can be good and bad reasoning within any subject, including science. You can't just say that science equals good philosophy. It depends on the subject matter, and the arguments that are put forth.Sam26

    If there was bad reasoning involved, it wasn't science that was being done. Maybe you're thinking of pseudoscience.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.8k
    I agree that logic is an essential part of a good philosophy, it specifies how inferences can be made.

    But the philosophy of logic is not logic itself. So what is logic?
    A Seagull

    I didn't say philosophy of logic was a good or bad philosophy. I said that logic is what determines what is good philosophy or not. Logic is typically lacking in religious and political/ethical claims, and emotion is typically rampant within these domains, hence these are examples of engaging in bad philosophy.
  • Tobias
    13
    Logic cannot determine what is good philosophy or not, because logic is formal. It has no material concepts and philosophy typically does. It can never say anything about the validity of these concepts, it can at best trace whether the steps made in reasoning with these concepts are valid. However, that says nothing about the nature of the premises. A = A does not make a philosophy, no matter the relevance of the principle of identity.

    A lot of philosophy consists of sharpening and determining your questions in order to make them better answerable. That also has to be done with your question. What are your assumptions? Apparently that there should be a way to distinguish between good and bad philosophy by way of some first principle with which you may discern the truth of philosophical statements. What you then engaging is the branch of metaphysics, or ' first philosophy'. In its absolute form, as a search from some criterion of immutable context independent truth it has been eradicated by Kant. Hence different routes to the question of ' good philosophy' have been tried, for instance the existential one taken by 180 Proof. (Nice to see you by the way!)

    I myself take a historical approach and see philosophy as an elucidation of questions and concepts, opening up new ways of giving meaning to the world.
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    True statements.

    The ability to take proper account of that which exists in it's entirety prior to our report/account of it.

    Existential dependency.

    Elemental constituency.

    Having a good grasp upon thought, belief, truth, and meaning, including how they emerge onto the world stage in terms of their elemental constituency and existential dependency.

    That seems exhaustive.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.6k
    Logic cannot determine what is good philosophy or not, because logic is formal. It has no material concepts and philosophy typically does. It can never say anything about the validity of these concepts, it can at best trace whether the steps made in reasoning with these concepts are valid. However, that says nothing about the nature of the premises. A = A does not make a philosophy, no matter the relevance of the principle of identity.Tobias

    Agreed:

    ... while philosophy and mathematics share much in common in their application of logic, they differ in that mathematical proofs merely show that if certain axioms or definitions are taken as true, then certain conclusions follow, while philosophy both does that and asserts the truth of some axioms or definitions. So while mathematics says things of the form "if [premise] then [conclusion]", philosophy says things of the form "[premise], therefore [conclusion]". Mathematics explores the abstract relations of ideas to each other without concern for the applicability of any of those ideas to any more practical matters (although applications for them are nevertheless frequently found), but philosophy is directly concerned with the practical application of the abstractions it deals with. It is not enough to merely define axiomatically some concept of "existence", "knowledge", "mind", etc, and validly expound upon the implications of that concept; it also matters if that is the correct, practically applicable concept of "existence", "knowledge", "mind", etc, that is useful for the purposes to which we want to employ that concept.

    [...]

    Philosophy uses the tools of mathematics and the arts, logic and rhetoric, to do the job of creating the tools of the physical and ethical sciences. It is the bridge between the more abstract disciplines and the more practical ones: as described above, an inquiry stops being science and starts being philosophy when instead of using some methods that appeal to specific contingent experiences, it begins questioning and justifying the use of such methods in a more abstract way; and that activity in turn ceases to be philosophy and becomes art or math instead when that abstraction ceases to be concerned with figuring out how to practically answer questions about what is real or what is moral, but turns instead to the structure or presentation of the ideas themselves.
    The Codex Quaerentis: Metaphilosophy
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    Logic is a measure of consistency/coherence. Good philosophy takes more. It must also be true.
  • creativesoul
    7.9k
    Is there an over-riding means of evaluating which is better than the others?A Seagull

    Take undeniably true statements. Use them as a means to discriminate between different philosophies.
  • Pussycat
    282
    What makes for a good philosophy?A Seagull

    Philosophy is like dancing. So asking what makes a good philosophy, is like asking what makes a good dance.
  • A Seagull
    344
    Philosophy is like dancing. So asking what makes a good philosophy, is like asking what makes a good dance.Pussycat

    OK, well what makes a good dance?
  • A Seagull
    344
    Logic is a measure of consistency/coherencecreativesoul

    Well how is it measured?
  • Pfhorrest
    1.6k
    Take undeniably true statements. Use them as a means to discriminate between different philosophies.creativesoul

    How do you know what statements are undeniably true? Isn’t that a philosophical question? Seems kind of circular to then base your means of discerning truth on something you discern to be true based on... what means exactly?
  • 180 Proof
    898
    ... Hence different routes to the question of ' good philosophy' have been tried, for instance the existential one taken by 180 Proof. (Nice to see you by the way!)

    I myself take a historical approach and see philosophy as an elucidation of questions and concepts, opening up new ways of giving meaning to the world.
    Tobias
    :cool: Likewise, Tobias!
  • TheMadFool
    5.3k
    What makes for a good philosophy?A Seagull

    I don't know. Perhaps philosophy isn't about ideas as such for I see no real progress in that department; the philosophical enterprise resembles then a inconclusive exploratory laparotomy - the abdomen cut open, all the organs exposed, every nook and cranny probed and yet the answer to the problem eludes the surgeon as does the answer to philosophical issues eludes the philosopher. Philosophy then becomes, coextensive with any discovery possible, an exercise in sharpening language into the precision equipment, if that is even achievable, required to carry out any philosophical analysis at all.

    That said, the essence of philosophy is, in true Socratic spirit, a journey of discovery of not wisdom but of our own abject ignorance. The philosopher then is the quintessential tragic hero, lured by the promise of wisdom to begin a quest to become a sage but sadly betrayed to none other than himself and his pathetic ignorance.

    :smile:
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