• Brett
    3k
    “ Far from establishing a rational consensus about what is morally right, and about what the ground and meaning of this rightness is, moral philosophers have produced a perplexing array of possible moral systems—consequentialist, deontological, con- tractualist, virtue ethical, you name it—but no agreed method to decide which of these system is the sound one. Indeed, it is even controversial what ‘soundness’ here is tantamount to, whether moral judgments can be true in the same sense as factual judgments, and true independently of our affective or conative attitudes, or whether moral judgments are merely non-cognitive expressions of such attitudes.

    If it had not been for the fact that moral philosophy is often too esoteric to be grasped by the public, the substantial disagreement that is raging among its practitioners might have had a deleterious effect on public morality. Philosophical disputes about the foundation and content of morality might have eroded the authority that common-sense morality has acquired over centuries as a result of the exposure effect, and weakened the motivation to abide by it.

    It seems unlikely that this substantial disagreement will subside, for even though our moral responses must converge to some extent if we are to be able to live together in functioning societies—which is a pre-requisite of our evolutionary success—they are surely not so finely attuned that we should expect them to converge with respect to the manifold of fanciful scenarios that our philosophically trained cognitive powers could construct. http://www.jpe.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/JPE0049-Persson-1.pdf
  • 180 Proof
    2.4k
    Your post suggests that we may need to be introduced to philosophy, to be instructed in it. Otherwise we would be unwise ...Brett
    Again, Brett, you've misread me. I wrote

    Philosophy is good for those who recognize that they are congenitally unwise; ... 180 Proof
    ... which "suggests" the unwise remain unwise even if "introduced to philosophy". I neither claimed nor implied that 'philosophy is a cure-all' in either of my posts to this thread. Read the three old posts linked – or just read past the semi-colon :roll: – within my initial post.
  • Brett
    3k


    I neither claimed nor implied that 'philosophy is a cure-all' in either of my posts to this thread.180 Proof

    Nor am I suggesting that. What I meant was that if it does not come to us naturally then we would need instruction. And if we did not get instruction then we would not have it to use and so remain unwise.

    In no sense do I think philosophy is a “cure-all”.
  • Brett
    3k


    Philosophy is good for those who recognize that they are congenitally unwise; for them, striving to moderate, if not minimize, their unwisdom becomes both possible (via patiently habitualizing various reflective practices) and desirable.180 Proof

    So, to paraphrase, philosophy is good for those who are born without the talents of the wise and realise this. They can minimise this condition in life through philosophy. But my question is can it be learned without assistance? If they are congenitally unwise then they would need a teacher.

    But you said I had misread you, and

    .. "suggests" the unwise remain unwise even if "introduced to philosophy".[/quote]

    which reads a bit contradictory. So can we clear this up, whoever is the cause of confusion?
  • emancipate
    182
    On the surface that seems like a wonderful thing. But what is the benefit? If we can’t use philosophy to hone in on something, slowly reducing it to the kernel of truth, then as I said it creates more doubt than truth, as if there’s some wonder to an eternity of questions. That’s interesting for those who like to bend their minds around things and wrestle with meanings, but what does it do for the man in the street who, having been told God is dead, then asks are morals real?Brett

    What it does for the man on the street is provide authenticity; it provides him a way of making sense of his existence from his own explorations, not from a tradition or preconceived idea that was merely handed to him. Anyway, what is behind this will to absolute epistemological certainty? Is it anxiety? A reluctance to accept that we are Finite beings? A desire to omniscience?
  • Brett
    3k


    What it does for the man on the street is provide authenticity;emancipate

    Did you read the quote from Persson in my post?

    Anyway, what is behind this will to absolute epistemological certainty?emancipate

    Is this sociological or addressed to me?
  • emancipate
    182
    Is this sociological or addressed to me?Brett

    Asking this question means that you're implicitly aware of the difference between the social and the individual - yet you are stuck on the question of the usefulness of philosophy, precisely because it might not reveal a universal morality.

    No I hadn't read the Persson quote.
  • Brett
    3k


    Asking this question means that you're implicitly aware of the difference between the social and the individual -emancipate

    That’s not what I meant. My question was are you asking me personally what is behind this will to absolute epistemological certainty, or were you referring to the question that so many out there are concerned with?
  • Ansiktsburk
    131
    Do you have any cats?Joshs

    Why rude?
  • Ansiktsburk
    131
    “ Far from establishing a rational consensus about what is morally right, and about what the ground and meaning of this rightness is, moral philosophers have produced a perplexing array of possible moral systems—consequentialist, deontological, con- tractualist, virtue ethical, you name it—but no agreed method to decide which of these system is the sound one. Indeed, it is even controversial what ‘soundness’ here is tantamount to, whether moral judgments can be true in the same sense as factual judgments, and true independently of our affective or conative attitudes, or whether moral judgments are merely non-cognitive expressions of such attitudes.

    If it had not been for the fact that moral philosophy is often too esoteric to be grasped by the public, the substantial disagreement that is raging among its practitioners might have had a deleterious effect on public morality. Philosophical disputes about the foundation and content of morality might have eroded the authority that common-sense morality has acquired over centuries as a result of the exposure effect, and weakened the motivation to abide by it.

    It seems unlikely that this substantial disagreement will subside, for even though our moral responses must converge to some extent if we are to be able to live together in functioning societies—which is a pre-requisite of our evolutionary success—they are surely not so finely attuned that we should expect them to converge with respect to the manifold of fanciful scenarios that our philosophically trained cognitive powers could construct.
    Brett

    Cannot see the quote mark, so I don’t know if its all Persson or partly you.
    But anyhow, reading this nice text reminds me of reading the dialogues of Plato. Seldom do they end up in consensus. A something is discussed, and a heap of arguments for and against are presented. And you end up in a kind of tradeoff situation. Isn’t it like that with all the isms, and with the life in society in general? All countries are ruled by a local mix of socialism, liberalism, conservatism and some other. And people born in rural parts will think one thing, hipsters in the city another. And isn’t that what philosophy kind of is? Getting a lot of info in an area and wisely finding the best possible tradeoff? If there is a simple answer to something, like a formula for something in physics, it’s not philosophically interesting, really?

    And converging into something common, Its not really what we have seen in Washington, is it?
  • 180 Proof
    2.4k
    While philosophy can be learned academically, philosophizing, as I understand it, can only be self-taught (i.e. mastered) in practice ... like e.g. music or sex, poetry or mathematics, comedy or friendship: any essentially reflective endeavor.
  • Joshs
    1.1k
    I didn’t mean to be rude. Am not sure how to answer your question without summarizing the whole of Heidegger’s philosophy.

    (Although
    Sorry, I have a daytime job and a familyAnsiktsburk
    did strike me as a little abrupt.)
  • Ansiktsburk
    131
    ↪Ansiktsburk I didn’t mean to be rude. Am not sure how to answer your question without summarizing the whole of Heidegger’s philosophy.

    (Although
    Sorry, I have a daytime job and a family
    — Ansiktsburk
    did strike me as a little abrupt.)
    Joshs

    Well, my comment wasn’t exactly top class...but when people tell me to read original works, well my time is limited. I read a blog post by a academical philosopher, who said that one pros with his profession is to have the possibility to read on office time. I do not have such time. My time to read is very limited. So when I saw your suggestion on reading Levinas and Derrida, I suppose thats what guys in the academy say to each other...
  • Joshs
    1.1k
    I understand that my comment piqued your curiosity concerning just how Derrida or Levinas were able to ‘justify’ Heidegger’s political choices. And make no mistake, what they offered has to be considered a type of justification. Why? Because they begin with the claim that Heidegger’s philosophy, although they critique it , stands as perhaps the most enlightened worldview( ethically as well as conceptually) of this era. Since they connect Heidegger’s
    politics with his philosophy, one has to conclude that , from their vantage, if Heidegger could be drawn into such entanglements, then all of us in the West are as vulnerable to similar thinking, not specifically with regard to Jews , but to others that we feel
    alienated from.
  • Ansiktsburk
    131
    I understand that my comment piqued your curiosity concerning just how Derrida or Levinas were able to ‘justify’ Heidegger’s political choices. And make no mistake, what they offered has to be considered a type of justification. Why? Because they begin with the claim that Heidegger’s philosophy, although they critique it , stands as perhaps the most enlightened worldview( ethically as well as conceptually) of this era. Since they connect Heidegger’s
    politics with his philosophy, one has to conclude that , from their vantage, if Heidegger could be drawn into such entanglements, then all of us in the West are as vulnerable to similar thinking, not specifically with regard to Jews , but to others that we feel
    alienated from.
    Joshs
    Thing is, Sein und Zeit was one of the first ”difficult” books I read after coming in contact with philosophy 12 years ago (wish it was 35 years) and I was really surprised to later learn that Heidegger became a member lf the NSDAP. It’s a book which gives me a deep feeling of solitude and an ernest look on life, not in any way racist. The only thing I see that could give me a clue are the chapters towards the end of the 1st part when he quite openly looks down on bourgeoisie gossiping, those kind of social mechanisms. One might maybe see a germanic indivuality preference, whereas Sartre, allegedly inspired by Heidegger, brought up with the support of a wealthy family saw greater value in the contact with the other. Which in turn might be more in line with the mediterranean and arabian greater emphasis on family(hijo de puta do not have a Scandinavian counterpart, here you are just personally stupid). Thats my best and it seems very far-fetched. The Nazis were a highly collectivist bunch,and I cannot for my life see why an author og S und Z would want to have any kind of philosophical contact with Hitlers. One can see other reasons to join the party...
  • Joshs
    1.1k
    The Nazis were a highly collectivist bunch,and I cannot for my life see why an author og S und Z would want to have any kind of philosophical contact with Hitlers. One can see other reasons to join the party...Ansiktsburk

    It is true that Heidegger spoke of authenticity in terms of one’s ‘own most possibilities’ as against at the inauthenticity of das man and idle talk. But he also saw the capability of this type of ‘authentic’ thinking as linked to groups. For instance, the early Greeks understood Being but the West went off the track afterwords. He connected German language to Greek language and thought that Germans have a special ability because of this to get back on the track of authenticity. He thought American and Soviet culture both represented the worst examples of inauthenticity, and may have seen the Jews in terms of the extremes of capitalism and socialism. . Given that Heidegger had undergone a revolution in his own thinking, he was inclined to see this sweeping self-conscious nationalism in Germany as somehow an expression on the part of the volk of a reclaiming of authenticity. I don’t think he gave a damn about Hitler , but misread their utopianism
    for his utopianoism. There were many who thought they could ‘steer’ the movement.
  • TheMadFool
    8.7k
    The OP seems to be concerned about whether your philosopher's prescription above is the right medicine for what ails us
    — TheMadFool
    :mask: Well, ...
    ... philosophy (or, rather, philosophizing) seems medicine for the healthy (i.e. dialectical ones) and poison for the unhealthy (i.e. dogmatic herd).
    — 180 Proof
    180 Proof

    What do you have to say about this:

    Dosis sola facit venenum — Paracelsus

    ?

    Is there such a thing as too much philosophy? I'm sure you're fully aware of how some people look down on philosophers as an band of overthinking men and women stuck in their ivory towers, completely detached from reality.
  • 180 Proof
    2.4k
    Dosis sola facit venenum
    — Paracelsus

    Is there such a thing as too much philosophy?
    TheMadFool
    Ars philosophica is poison (i.e. "too much") only for those who are (as you quoted) dogmatic.
  • TheMadFool
    8.7k
    Ars philosophica is poison (i.e. "too much") only for those who are (as you quoted) dogmatic.180 Proof

    I second that. The problem, as I see it, is not too much philosophy but actually too less philosophy. Do you have any examples of philosophy solving problems in the real world? I'd very much like to have one or more of such real-world instances in my arsenal so as to defend philosophy against its detractors. :smile:
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