• Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    Too badPosty McPostface

    Well, this runs deep into what I fundamentally believe philosophy is to many (not all!) people. A coping mechanism meshed with a large amount of the defence mechanism of reality manifest in intellectualization. Some call it mental masturbation; but, I digress.

    I just want to read something inspiring from Wittgenstein instead of the constant deepness present in all his remarks about language, reality, and the world.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Well, this runs deep into what I fundamentally believe philosophy is to many (not all!) people. A coping mechanism meshed with a large amount of the defence mechanism of reality manifest in intellectualization. Some call it mental masturbation; but, I digress.Posty McPostface

    There's certainly plenty of mental masturbators around these parts. That's not the same as real inner anguish, though; quite the opposite...

    I just want to read something inspiring from Wittgenstein instead of the constant deepness present in all his remarks about language, reality, and the world.Posty McPostface

    Surely there's other folks to turn to for inspiring quotes other than Witty.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    That's not the same as real inner anguish, though; quite the opposite...Noble Dust

    See, and this is in my opinion the problem with philosophy or continental philosophy. Namely, that that inner anguish serves as a volition to create a world view (through intellectualization and emotive reasoning) via philosophy. Not all philosophers fall into that trap, as Wittgenstein did not; but, some never recover (Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, nihilism, pessimism, and so on etc.)

    Surely there's other folks to turn to for inspiring quotes other than Witty.Noble Dust

    Indeed, Hegel stands pretty high on my list, along with Kant. Hegel for asserting the truth that every person can find a place working towards the betterment of society, and Kant for being true, genuine, and sincere in his philosophy.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    See, and this is in my opinion the problem with philosophy or continental philosophy. Namely, that that inner anguish serves as a volition to create a world view (through intellectualization and emotive reasoning) via philosophy. Not all philosophers fall into that trap, as Wittgenstein did not; but, some never recover (Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, nihilism, pessimism, and so on etc.)Posty McPostface

    Can you blame anyone who experiences inner anguish to want to formalize a worldview? What's another way to respond to inner anguish in which a worldview isn't subsequently formed?
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    Can you blame anyone who experiences inner anguish to want to formalize a worldview? What's another way to respond to inner anguish in which a worldview isn't subsequently formed?Noble Dust

    I believe that one ought not to jump too deep into the pessimism, nihilism, and absurdism rampant in philosophy. It seems like every other day we get a thread about the need for therapy instead of dwelling on the sad and negative emotions.

    Obviously, there's nobody around to tell you that. Is this a failure of philosophy as a discipline itself?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    I don't know that I would characterize the corpus of Western philosophy as a whole as pessimistic. For myself, I've found that inner anguish lead me to philosophy, which lead to a sharpening of my ability to reason and intuit, and think. My life hasn't gotten better since getting into philosophy, but that's because of my own poor choices and character deficiencies. Maybe that's the limit of philosophy, per academia. Academic philosophy, as much as I've tasted, has helped me think. Thinking as is doesn't help one live life. Thinking needs to have a motivation which prompts action. Philosophy itself is never enough to prompt action.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    I believe that one ought not to jump too deep into the pessimism, nihilism, and absurdism rampant in philosophy. It seems like every other day we get a thread about the need for therapy instead of dwelling on the sad and negative emotions.Posty McPostface

    I just re-read through, as I tend to do (because I tend to respond too quickly), and I think you edited this, right? It's interesting you bring up nihilism and absurdism, things that I don't think I would say are rampant on the forum, but definitely present. As far as I can tell, these perspectives are a cocktail of inner anguish, simple ignorance, and the blotation of academic philosophy into a masturbation contest, like you hinted at. Nothing about those views has anything to do with real life...until academia inevitably bleeds down into real life...
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    I just re-read through, as I tend to do (because I tend to respond too quickly), and I think you edited this, right?Noble Dust

    Yeah, I tend to edit everything I post. For spelling mistakes and clarification of my position and thoughts about things.

    It's interesting you bring up nihilism and absurdism, things that I don't think I would say are rampant on the forum, but definitely present.Noble Dust

    Well, they are strong triggers to the emotional aspect of human beings, especially those that display an attitude of depression or pessimism. I would call them the logical consequence of a depressive mindset. Since, they are based on emotions and emotive reasoning, they are hard to argue with and seem very real to the arguer. Hence, it is easy to get 'stuck' in that mindset and then indulge in the philosophers who also felt that way about life.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    It's interesting, because that makes total sense; get stuck in pessimistic thoughts = gravitate to the pessimists. But for myself (and I'm sure for others) it's been the opposite; I get stuck in pessimism and nihilistic thoughts, and it just makes me crave the sort of "sacred" optimism of certain thinkers. But this is obviously because of my religious background; I'm craving the certainty of a religious truth. But philosophers like Berdyaev and Maritain, and the Christian mystics, who have ultimately optimistic views, are actually the thinkers I turn to when I'm in the worst depression. But I can't see how either approach might be better; it can be equally unhealthy to turn to pessimism or optimism in those circumstances... again, the issue seems to come down to action. If neither approach can lead to real action in the real world, then?...But what can catapult action in the real world, when depression is preventing action? Again, not just ideas, not even optimistic ideas.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    But I can't see how either approach might be better; it can be equally unhealthy to turn to pessimism or optimism in those circumstances... again, the issue seems to come down to action. If neither approach can lead to real action in the real world, then?...But what can catapult action in the real world, when depression is preventing action? Again, not just ideas, not even optimistic ideas.Noble Dust

    What you're really talking about is change. That's hard to do through reason alone. Though, I am in the same boat, so to speak, and treat philosophy as therapy.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Yes, reason can't change a person's life, qualitatively. If you're addicted, depressed, emotionally paralyzed, then reason won't help you. Philosophy as a whole, if you're of sound enough mind to interface with the concepts, can, at best, give you a deeper understanding of thinking, and maybe the human condition as well.

    I don't treat philosophy as therapy, though. I treat it as a way to sharpen the sword-brain, if you will. Or at least, that's how I treat it now-adays.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k


    Well, isn't that some form of prophylactic therapy in your mind? To better address any potential future issues that may arise in your mind or in the real world?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    I was thinking more in terms of the therapy I've had myself, but sure, it could be prophylactic.
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    "Nothing is more painful than the spiteful jeremiads about the abstraction of philosophers and the little concern they show for explaining and giving a meaning to “lived experience” ... [The philosopher] puts action in crisis, and conceives action only from out of such a state of crisis. He wants rhythm in action. The philosopher causes a crisis and knows nothing other than this; he has nothing to say about the rest, and testifies in his quasi-silence to a singular modesty, glorious and haughty."

    - Francois Zourabichvili, Deleuze: A Philosophy of the Event
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    Wittgenstein, king of sass:

    "How do I recognize that this colour is red? One answer would be: 'I have learnt English.'"

    You can almost hear the "you imbicile" tacked on to the end of that.
  • Posty McPostface
    5.8k
    What the solipsist means, and is correct in thinking, is that the world and life are one, that man is the microcosm, that I am my world. These equations... express a doctrine which I shall call Transcendental Solipsism. They involve a belief in the transcendental ideality of time. ... Wittgenstein thought that his transcendental idealist doctrines, though profoundly important, are literally inexpressible.

    — Hacker, Insight and Illusion, op cit., n. 3, pp. 99-100.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    There is no disgust with life, no despair, no sense of the nothingness of things, of the worthlessness of remedies, of the loneliness of man; no hatred of the world and of oneself; that can last so long: although these attitudes of mind are completely reasonable, and their opposites unreasonable. But despite all this, after a little while; with a gentle change in the temper of the body; little by little; and often in a flash, for minuscule reasons scarcely possible to notice; the taste for life revives, and this or that fresh hope springs up, and human things take on their former visage, and show they are not unworthy of some care; not so much to the intellect, as indeed, so to speak, to the senses of the spirit. And that is enough to make a person, aware and convinced as he may be of the truth, as well as in spite of reason, both persevere in life, and go along with it as others do: for those very senses (one might say), and not the intellect, are what rules over us . . . . And life is a thing of such small consequence, that man, as regards himself, ought not to be very anxious either to keep it or to discard it. Therefore, without pondering the matter too deeply; with each trivial reason that presents itself, for grasping the former alternative rather than the latter, he ought not to refuse to do so. — Giacomo Leopardi
  • Janus
    5.9k


    You could, for a long time, be moving towards action, and yet not know it. And then suddenly....
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Are you speaking from experience?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Care to elaborate, here or via PM? No worries either way. Your idea reminded me of this Rilke poem, which, as a quote, is, I guess, apropos to the thread. The translation from German is always clunky, but it came to mind:

    Imaginary Career

    At first a childhood, limitless and free
    of any goals. Ah sweet unconsciousness.
    Then sudden terror, schoolrooms, slavery,
    the plunge into temptation and deep loss.

    Defiance. The child bent becomes the bender,
    inflicts on others what he once went through.
    Loved, feared, rescuer, wrestler, victor,
    he takes his vengeance, blow by blow.

    And now in vast, cold, empty space, alone.
    Yet hidden deep within the grown-up heart,
    a longing for the first world, the ancient one...

    Then, from His place of ambush, God leapt out.
  • Janus
    5.9k


    I like Rilke's poetry, although I have read it only in English translation and, not being an adequate Deutscher sprecher, cannot comment on the 'clunkiness' compared to the originals.

    But you are on the right track as to what I had in mind. "God leaping out" is a metaphor for the kinds of shifts that can, sometimes seemingly inexplicably, occur, and lead you to a different kind of action and activity. Of course, we always imagine that we are, or at least should be, the conscious masters of our own destinies. Consciousness, and its attending rationality or rationalizations, is vastly overrated. Pure reason, the life of cognition, is wrongly thought to be the primary life of the spirit, when the primary life is really pre-cognitive affect, as I see it.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    -Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
  • I'm no longer 'here'
    20
    The real question of life after death isn't whether or not it exists, but even if it does what problem this really solves.

    The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.

    Not how the world is, but that it is, is the mystery.

    If you and I are to live religious lives, it mustn't be that we talk a lot about religion, but that our manner of life is different. It is my belief that only if you try to be helpful to other people will you in the end find your way to God.

    If anyone is unwilling to descend into himself, because this is too painful, he will remain superficial in his writing. . . If I perform to myself, then it’s this that the style expresses. And then the style cannot be my own. If you are unwilling to know what you are, your writing is a form of deceit.

    The philosopher is not a citizen of any community of ideas, that is what makes him a philosopher.

    - Selected quotes of Wittgenstein.
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.2k
    Time lives forever within the eternal, and the eternal lives forever within time. Eternity is the timeless completion of temporality. "Time is the moving image of eternity". Plato
    @Janus
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    "When the word causa—starting from Aristotle’s definition of the four types of cause: material, formal, efficient, and final— becomes a fundamental term of the philosophical and scientific lexicon of the West, it is necessary not to lose sight of its juridical origin: it is the “thing” (cosa) of the law, what gives rise to a trial and, in this way, implicates people in the sphere of the Law. The primal cause is the accusation."

    - Giorgio Agamben, Karman: A Brief Treatise on Action, Guilt, and Gesture
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    The only atheism worthy of the name:

    "Many contemporaries are in one important sense neither theists nor atheists—it isn’t so much that they think that God does exist or that he does not, or even that they are ‘agnostic’ in the traditional sense. Rather, as Richard Rorty once said, he just wished people would shut up altogether about the whole topic because for him and those like him the categorical dimension within which something like ‘God’ could—or could not—be said to exist has just disappeared (or been abolished).

    The question of the existence of some entity that might instantiate this category has simply lost all meaning or relevance. From the point of view of a religious believer this is the worst possible state of affairs: at least the militant atheist agrees that something very important is at issue in the discussion of ‘God’. For a committed theist, Rorty’s position would seem to be a particularly intractable form of what he or she would call atheism."

    - Raymond Geuss
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Anyone who agrees with that is a monster.
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    "But one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think."

    - Kierkegaard
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