• Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    Not like in the big question sense of what is the purpose of human existence, but why are we, the readers of this forum, here, on this forum? Or more generally, what is it that constitutes your interest in philosophy, such that you seek out a forum on the topic?

    I ask this because I'm not finding philosophy very fun anymore, and I'm wondering if I ever will, and if that might just be because other people generally aren't interested in it for the same reasons, toward the same ends, as I am.

    I got interested in philosophy because I had broad academic interests in lots of topics and kept looking for more and more fundamental cores of those collections of interests, and that lead me eventually to physics on the one hand and something like economics or political science on the other hand, and then into basically metaphysics and ethics beneath each of those, so when I eventually found philosophy that seemed like it, the core field with connections to all the other fields.

    The connections between the different parts of philosophy, the structures and symmetries within it, was in turn the most interesting part of philosophy to me, and getting a better and more detailed understanding of that big picture of philosophy as a whole, and its relation to other fields, was the most interesting part of studying philosophy in college.

    After college I got most of my philosophical kicks either writing my book or (especially after I ran out of steam on that) bringing philosophical issues into play in other discussions that came up in random places on the internet. Last year when I finally got time to start writing my book properly again, I found myself wanting to talk to people more about philosophy itself directly, not just bringing up philosophical things in other topics, but nobody in those other places on the internet seemed interested in that.

    So I found this place. And I guess it's better than other places where nobody wanted to talk philosophy at all. But I still get the impression that most people here aren't interested in the same kind of big-picture philosophy-as-a-whole thing that my interest is all about. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

    But I'm still curious. Why are you here?
  • Professor Death
    377
    Right now I'm here more often because of the lockdown
  • fdrake
    3.6k
    Why are you here?Pfhorrest

    Habit. Enjoy talking about philosophy in a structured way. I learn a lot from other posters too. It's also quite nice to read what people write to get a reading of not just people's opinions on things but how people reason about things.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    953
    I ask this because I'm not finding philosophy very fun...Pfhorrest


    Fun is funny word here.

    Philosophy strikes me as the fruit of intellectual dizziness, paralysis or crisis. A sense of urgency is key: an urgent or debilitating craving for intellectual illumination. There's nothing fun about a debilitating craving.

    Through philosophical devotion, the dizziness, paralysis or crisis may be overcome. After that, philosophy is just good exercise for the brain.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    384
    There's a few posters here who I like hearing from. There's also a few posters who are likely/possibly educated philosophers who hold PhDs or an MA in the field and I like hearing their input. There's definitely some very intelligent people on this forum regardless of whether they hold advanced degrees or not. I also like that there's sometimes drama. When 90 day fiancee starts to slow I can always come here.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    I never felt pushed into it by a sense of crisis (though I did end up turning to it in times of crisis). It was more of a passion or hunger, an adventurous urge to explore further and further upstream in the intellectual waters and find where they all come from.

    That kind of passion and spirit of adventure used to drive everything in my life. It’s sad to think some people might only have come on this journey out of dire need, not just for fun.
  • Syamsu
    108
    I'm here to convince people of my philosophy, so that they will make work of it, and make the world a better place.

    Other people, generally everyone except me, is stupid. Anyone who objects to being called stupid, that is really a big part of how you become to be stupid. Generally everyone must be in their comfort zone, and really they just argue what feels good, disregarding logic.

    Especially also the socalled science minded people. Everything they say, everything, is just about the feeling of certainty that is commonly associated to facts. Ooh they like this feeling of certainty very much.

    But this feeling leads them astray, and it is total morbid fascination how utterly stupid they are. All they really do is emoting from this feeling of certainty, disregarding logic.

    It is basically like drugs or alcohol. They have some argumentation where they can get a HIGH feeling of certainty to go with it. Their argument somehow releases the drugs which the brain produces itself. It's like a 40 percent alcohol liquor argument.

    And then some other science minded person may come along, who has a different argument, that totally goes against the logic in their argument. But what happens then is not that they clash. Instead the other person also is just an addict who enjoys the feeling of certainty associated to statements of fact. So they just commend each other on their great arguments, while their arguments are totally opposite.
  • Gnomon
    615
    But I still get the impression that most people here aren't interested in the same kind of big-picture philosophy-as-a-whole thing that my interest is all about.Pfhorrest
    Your implication may be correct that this forum is not frequented primarily by academically-trained philosophers, but mostly by amateur & self-taught thinkers like me. Your interests, and I assume your training, are directed toward very abstruse & abstract topics. But many posters here use the forum to share gossip about politicians and viral pandemics, instead of pondering Liberty/Ethics/Justice, or the Viral Memes of Sophistry.

    I hope you will continue to post here. I find your comments enlightening. But I admit that most of your linked stuff is way over my head. What's "fun" for me is the challenge of convincing people who know it all that I know more than they do. . . . Just kidding. :snicker:
  • CeleRate
    74


    To practice making arguments instead of just reading arguments.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    953
    It was more of a passion or hunger, an adventurous urge to explore further and further upstream in the intellectual waters and find where they all come from.Pfhorrest

    If you have no burning question to illuminate, philosophy is bound to be a bore. Do you have a burning question?

    If your question is no longer a burning one, it's the end: Philosophy is just a side-show now, just valuable brainpresses.

    Do you have a second passion?
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    hey i remember you from wikipedia
  • BitconnectCarlos
    384
    But I still get the impression that most people here aren't interested in the same kind of big-picture philosophy-as-a-whole thing that my interest is all about.
    — Pfhorrest
    Your implication may be correct that this forum is not frequented primarily by academically-trained philosophers, but mostly by amateur & self-taught thinkers like me. Your interests, and I assume your training, are directed toward very abstruse & abstract topics. But many posters here use the forum to share gossip about politicians and viral pandemics, instead of pondering Liberty/Ethics/Justice, or the Viral Memes of Sophistry.


    I think topics pertaining to ethics and liberty and justice do actually gain a lot of traction. The thing is - and this isn't targeted towards you - but philosophers aren't laying out entire systems anymore that aim to cover basically all topics. Philosophy - at least academic philosophy - is very concentrated. I think if you really want someone serious to go through your manifesto you're probably need to pay an expert philosopher for it. Even people with degrees in philosophy aren't going to take time out of their own day to read through pages of technical material and write up critiques.
  • I like sushi
    2.3k
    I’m here to read and to sometimes write. I don’t expect to have in depth discussions online because they are rare. Occasionally I come across something interesting.

    I usually come here, or elsewhere, because I’ve articulated a thought and want to see if I can get any feedback. I understand that this, like many other similar sites, is s social site primarily not an academic environment.

    I’m not particularly sure I have been, or ever will be, interested in philosophy in any special sense. I like to think, I like to write and I like to read.
  • Syamsu
    108
    Yes. And the wiki on free will is still a mess. It still mostly reflects the problems intellectuals have free will, instead of emphasizing that everyone talks in terms of making choices, practically, in daily life, without basic problems.
  • Zophie
    84
    big-picture philosophy-as-a-whole thing that my interest is all about.Pfhorrest
    Could the "all categories" page on PhilPapers count? Because that's basically my answer.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    The thing is - and this isn't targeted towards you - but philosophers aren't laying out entire systems anymore that aim to cover basically all topics. Philosophy - at least academic philosophy - is very concentrated. I think if you really want someone serious to go through your manifesto you're probably need to pay an expert philosopher for it. Even people with degrees in philosophy aren't going to take time out of their own day to read through pages of technical material and write up critiques.BitconnectCarlos

    It sounds like you meant to address this to me, not Gnomon.

    I do know that contemporary analytic philosophy shuns system-building, but while I do appreciate the concentrated and professional efforts they put into particular topics, I still think philosophy as a whole needs some people putting all those refined pieces together, and also some bridge between the professional world and the laity. I actually write about exactly that in my metaphilosophy.

    As for my “manifesto”, I guess what I’ve been looking for is something like the response my most successful creative endeavor has seen. That was a free fan mod for an obscure old video game. Fans of that old game enjoyed having some new game content to play, and some of those fans enjoyed creating such content themselves, and both of those subgroups of that fandom checked out and gave feedback on my project, and eventually a lot of us ended up collaborating and creating something far greater than I could have all by myself in a vacuum.

    I was hoping to find something like a “philosophy fandom”, that might have that same kind of collaborative creative enthusiasm for “fan philosophical” works. But from what I gather even in contemporary video game fandoms that kind of spirit is hard to find these days, so maybe that kind of hope was always in vain.

    (...but I’m trying anyway).
  • BitconnectCarlos
    384


    Fans of that old game enjoyed having some new game content to play, and some of those fans enjoyed creating such content themselves, and both of those subgroups of that fandom checked out and gave feedback on my project, and eventually a lot of us ended up collaborating and creating something far greater than I could have all by myself in a vacuum.

    Yeah, that's a game. I wouldn't think it's a problem to find game testers or people who'd want to try out some mod, but reading and providing feedback on relatively dense philosophical papers is just a different ballgame. You know as well as I that good philosophy requires serious concentration, and with your work I know that I'd have to go through other parts of your system if I wanted to either critique or gain a better understanding of one part. People enjoy playing games; good philosophy is serious work.
  • praxis
    2.2k
    I like seeking the truth, practicing writing and critical thinking, discovering things that I might not have otherwise found, and seeing if others agree with my understandings.
  • I like sushi
    2.3k
    You probably just need a tonne more persistence and the resolve to finish a project (which will be flawed regardless of how much you try to perfect it). Even then you may feel that it was all in vain ... so what? Move on and do something else.

    A collection of essays is a collection of essays. Try writing something about one particular topic in depth first. Very few people, if any, start bu writing a 500 page piece. They start small, perfect their craft, and more than likely end up writing something substantial that leaves their original ideas in the dust.

    If no one cares what you write and you cannot find the experience you want take this on as the primary challenge of your life right now - think about the how and why you cannot find what you want here, or elsewhere, and deal with that first.

    I’ve tried to set up groups online before where the aim was for people to write between 1000-2000 word mini-essay on a given topic and then exchange critique (including layout, presentation, style, and/or content). You won’t find anyone here willing to this, but you will find critique from others on writing forums (not here because people don’t care really, they just want to be ‘heard’ for the most part not ‘help’ - who can blame them, look at the majority of the content on this site).

    I’m more than willing to start off something that can be of mutual benefit. Maybe start by writing something that is just 500-1000 words. The less you have to work with the more you can get out of it.
  • neonspectraltoast
    195
    I'm just here out of whimsy, and I like to try and get a glimpse of reality.
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    I’m here to test and adjust my philosophy in relation to the tougher questions and most recent answers. I have no formal education in philosophy, so I also get plenty of advice here on what to read in relation to these questions and answers.

    I used to think I could eventually write down my whole philosophy as you have done, but I’ve found through discussions here that reducing it to a single written approach often narrows its capacity to be understood broadly. I have to say, though - I admire your efforts, I recognise a lot of your philosophy in my own, and wish I could understand more of your explanations to discuss it with you in detail - my attempts at responding to your essays were deleted before posting because they sounded like a book review.

    That said, I’ve found that no one here really wants to read the complex details of someone else’s philosophy unless it closely matches their own. I recognise that both you and Gnomon have relatively complete philosophical systems mapped out, which you continue to reference during discussions. I’ve started down that rabbit hole a few times, and while I was excited to read elements of my own philosophy reflected back to me, I eventually got lost in a sea of complex scientific concepts or neologisms. I wonder if either of you have considered condensing your system into something that fits onto a t-shirt? I realise that this seems a tall order, but I honestly don’t think a philosophical approach should be so complicated in the end that we can’t find a way to teach the basics to a six year old. That’s been my ultimate aim, personally.

    I’m enjoying the discussions here, and although at times I feel a little out of my depth, I’ve been gradually learning more productive approaches to contributing, and there are enough generous and patient posters here to make it worth engaging in discussions - if only to discover what I still need to learn, or what others are simply unable to see from their perspective.
  • jgill
    547
    Philosophy strikes me as the fruit of intellectual dizziness, paralysis or crisis. A sense of urgency is key: an urgent or debilitating craving for intellectual illumination. There's nothing fun about a debilitating craving. Through philosophical devotion, the dizziness, paralysis or crisis may be overcomeZzzoneiroCosm

    I'm here to enjoy reading delightful posts like this one. :cool:
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    You probably just need a tonne more persistence and the resolve to finish a projectI like sushi

    I have nothing if not that. I've literally been working on this for over a decade already, and I don't consider it "done". This is just the latest step, after downgrading from the more interesting dialogue with narrative it was originally going to be, to just some essays in my natural voice: seeing how just that sketch of the ideas works so far.

    And my other two big life projects, one of them that video game mod and the other a work of fiction, are both things that I've been slowly working on for the past 24 years, and are still in various stages of progress. I don't expect any of these things to be perfect yet, or necessarily ever. Just at least interesting, and worth continuing.

    Try writing something about one particular topic in depth first.I like sushi

    The interesting ideas I have to contribute are all about the relationships between different topics, and the overall structure of things. It is the large-scale arrangement of the pieces that is my interest and my value proposition. I don't have a whole lot to say in depth about any one particular topic that hasn't already been said, except for about the relationship between that topic and other topics.

    I have this same issue with my work of fiction. The interesting thing that I am looking to create in that is a large, structured network of smaller stories. I haven't completely fleshed out any of the smaller stories yet, because that's not the novel idea behind the work; that's the legwork that needs to be carried out to implement the novel idea properly. I know I have to do that eventually, but it's extremely frustrating when people say "just pick one of these stories and write that" when the way the stories all connect to each other is the interesting thing.

    It's like if I made cardboard mock-up of a big planned community and everyone who took a look at it only remarked on how simple and shoddily constructed the first house they saw looked like. Yeah, the real houses will be sturdier and more fleshed out in the end, if I ever get to properly build this thing, but it's the way they're all arranged together, the street layouts and so on, that I'm pitching here. Stop focusing on the little fake houses, I know they're shit, that's not the point, that's why I didn't just hold up one little fake house and say "look at what I made".

    Or if I made a sketch of an image I was thinking of painting, with like, a deer on a hill, and a duck on a pond, and a hawk in the sky, and everyone said "pick one animal and fully paint that". I'm trying to get feedback on the general layout of the painting before I go spend tons of time fleshing out any one part of it.

    I wonder if either of you have considered condensing your system into something that fits onto a t-shirt?Possibility

    "It may be hopeless, but I'm trying anyway." (My pragmatic maxim).

    "No unanswerable questions, no unquestionable answers." (My core philosophical principles).

    "From the meaning of words to the meaning of life". (My take on what philosophy is about).

    I love catchy little slogans like that, but they basically communicate nothing useful out of context.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    953


    Through philosophical devotion, the dizziness, paralysis or crisis may be overcomeZzzoneiroCosm

    Man is something that shall be overcome.

    Nietzsche

    He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

    Saint John
  • A Seagull
    466
    Philosophy is like sex, if you are not enjoying it, its 'cos you're not doing it right.
  • Pfhorrest
    1.9k
    Or maybe because you're traumatized and broken inside and fundamentally incapable of enjoying things that should be intrinsically enjoyable.
  • 180 Proof
    1.1k
    Philosophy strikes me as the fruit of intellectual dizziness, paralysis or crisis. A sense of urgency is key: an urgent or debilitating craving for intellectual illumination ...ZzzoneiroCosm
    :clap:

    Through philosophical devotion, the dizziness, paralysis or crisis may be overcome. After that, philosophy is just good exercise for the brain.
    :up:

    :death: :flower:
  • Possibility
    1.3k
    "It may be hopeless, but I'm trying anyway." (My pragmatic maxim).

    "No unanswerable questions, no unquestionable answers." (My core philosophical principles).

    "From the meaning of words to the meaning of life". (My take on what philosophy is about).

    I love catchy little slogans like that, but they basically communicate nothing useful out of context.
    Pfhorrest

    These are great! I love the first two, I’d argue on the third, but I do get where you’re coming from.

    I guess I’m referring to an essence and a basic structure. As an example, you may have picked up that the core of my own philosophy has been “to increase awareness, connection and collaboration (with courage)”. I think it’s applied most accurately within a relational structure of existence that has six dimensional aspects (which obviously takes some explanation), but it’s a starting point, at least.
  • I like sushi
    2.3k
    I understand what you’re saying. You should listen to the advice given to you. Our lives and interests sound relatively similar.

    I’ve always done things the hard way. Jumping in the deep end has benefits, the thing I‘ve learnt more and more, in terms of completing a project, is that jumping in the deep-end does nothing in terms of productive work (but it certainly expands personal experience and learning). They are NOT the same thing though.

    I challenge you to write what your book is about in 200 words only. Try several ways of doing this, including writing with the assumption that your audience knows how you think and has your knowledge, writing with the assumption they know nothing about philosophy and don’t really care to, or write it like it’s a narrative laced with analogies and symbolism.

    If you are as persistent as you say keep failing and enjoy failing.

    Understand, like everyone here I am talking mostly to myself. No one cares what I write, because in reality they only care about how they can make use of what they read.

    If you’re really looking for what you say you’re looking for I’m here. We can do it privately or publicly, doesn’t matter either way to me. I want what you say you want. We can pick something to write about and feed of each other (tell each other what stands out for good/bad reasons, etc.,.)
  • 180 Proof
    1.1k
    I challenge you to write what your book is about in 200 words only. Try several ways of doing this, including writing with the assumption that your audience knows how you think and has your knowledge, writing with the assumption they know nothing about philosophy and don’t really care to, or write it like it’s a narrative laced with analogies and symbolism.

    If you are as persistent as you say keep failing and enjoy failing
    I like sushi
    :up: A worthy challenge, @Pfhorrest!

    “Ever tried.
    Ever failed.
    No matter.
    Try again.
    Fail again.
    Fail better.”

    ~S.B.
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