Comments

  • Ongoing Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus reading group.
    So, this leads me to believe that you know nothing, or very little, about metaphysics, or philosophy for that matter, and you are just doing guess work here.
    — Pussycat

    Believe whatever you want about me, but pay attention to the text. Where does the text contradict anything I have said about it? Where have I made a false step?

    Therefore I am sorry, but I won't be discussing anything more with you, not before you you do a bit of studying first at least, to get the basic philosophical concepts cleared out.
    — Pussycat

    That is uninformed, condescending, and evasive. The real problem here is that if my analysis is right then some of your basic claims about the text are wrong. And so, instead of addressing my analysis you create a smokescreen.
    Fooloso4

    A quiet, considered response. No matter anyone's qualifications or experience, the least anyone can do is show respect. Fooloso4 listens and responds patiently and carefully.
    Keeping it on track.
  • More people have been to Russia than I have
    A possibly more esteemed opinion of the matter is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihuJM8wVJw4.Luke

    Love the 8yr old daughter's response. And his 'Cool. Thank You'.
    How perfectly simple, civilised and charming.
  • Nietzche and his influence on Hitler
    The Guardian article cited by Amity is very helpful in addressing your question.Fooloso4

    Also the 614 comments so far responding below the line !
  • Willpower - is it an energy thing?
    At the risk of getting even more off topic. [ anyone able to connect the dots between willpower, will, the soul and Socrates ? ] - I am concerned that I didn't acknowledge my confusion in my response to Valentinus. I really didn't get the following:

    Valentinus:
    ' I thought about different passages to quote but the quality I am singling out is a way to hear what is being said more than a thesis. I argued for a thesis in my previous citations because my interpretation was challenged. Fair enough. But I am more interested in the listening part of my own idea than ruling out other readings.'

    I understand that there are many different translations and interpretations of Plato. Ways of reading.

    From the above, how does one 'hear what is being said' ( an evocative reading ?) without there being some kind of understanding of meaning ? So already there is some kind of a mental 'thesis' not necessarily to be proven, especially if subjective in nature. A theory. A view.

    So, one might 'hear' a 'level of intimidation' and then make some references to the relationship between father and son. No doubt there are many ways this can be understood or spun. But what anyone 'hears'
    or 'sees', regarding any connections, should be made explicit - that is a 'thesis' presented.
    It isn't a matter of being more interested in one than the other. It's not either/or...but both.

    That is my take on it.
    An interesting aside to the discussion.
  • Nietzche and his influence on Hitler
    I have chosen Nietzsche because I feel for what I have read so far that he is very misunderstood.Helen G

    I am one of those who misunderstood Nietzsche. I am still not attracted to his works despite the enthusiasm of others. So think of me as an interested part of your audience - persuade me if you can that he is worth my effort and time.

    I found an interesting article about the myths surrounding him:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/oct/06/exploding-nietzsche-myths-need-dynamiting

    I apologise for offending anyone with Mis-spelling his name or the mention of Hitler. But we all have to start somewhere and I thought this would be a good place. My presentation is a mere five minutes longHelen G

    You were right to visit a philosophy forum to discover views. This is the best, most informative one in my experience.
    Not all forums are equal - just as posters and tutors vary in helpfulness.

    So if your presentation is 5 minutes long, I guess marks will be allocated for different aspects.
    Including Introduction, Main body and Conclusion. Hopefully you will have been given guidance on this.
    No matter how passionate you are about Nietzsche or Philosophy - the important thing is to pass this course. If you haven't already, find out the marking criteria for content and ability to choose and present key information etc.

    A good resource for you might be:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/

    Good Luck !
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing

    Thanks for keeping me posted about any revival.
    I had thought I might discover some decomposing compositions deep in an archival vault :mask:
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Reviving the short story competition seems a good idea to me as long as admins are allowed to participate. :up:Baden

    So where can I find all the short stories and this competition ?
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing

    If ever an article runs by me, I will be sure to share. For sure :up:
  • Willpower - is it an energy thing?
    Backtracking a little, I see that my question disturbed the flow of your conversation with Fooloso4. From your earlier reply to him:

    In any case, it is rare to find metaphor and mythology mixed freely with observations of what "is" as is done with such abandon in the Republic. I don't think the "noble lie" applies to all the observations made in the Republic. But it influences it in every place.
    There are so many indictments of character made in varying levels of subtlety that make me think I am not just being sold a bill of goods but am reading a diagnosis.
    6 days ago
    Valentinus
    I wonder if you can show me any examples [ edit: of bolded part ]. I am interested in reading the Republic.
    — Amity

    I thought about different passages to quote but the quality I am singling out is a way to hear what is being said more than a thesis. I argued for a thesis in my previous citations because my interpretation was challenged. Fair enough. But I am more interested in the listening part of my own idea than ruling out other readings.
    Valentinus


    Thanks for taking time and trouble to find the part which would help me understand what you were meaning.The following is most helpful. I will take time out now to read.

    'Books 8 and 9 of the Republic address the tyrannical soul, both as something created by certain conditions and what being that kind of thing is like on the level of the individual. Socrates treats the emergence of the tyrant as a product of the Demos and that exposition fits with the "city of words" model that claims the Demos needs to be saved from itself. While reading Book 8, note how the argument is built upon the relationship between father and son. The political is tied with the most intimate relationship of parenting. (leaving aside, for the moment, the glaring lack of any recognition of the other parent).

    In parallel to this idea, there are many places where Socrates criticized the plutocracy and much of it happened in fairly subtle ways but also became challenges of the kind that became an argument. One example can be found in Gorgias, especially starting around 517. So, I offer the following from Socrates at 521...'
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Well I messed that last post up good style :sad:
    How do I sort it out ?
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    don't know what I would say to someone about writing a short story or a poem,Baden

    What would be the equivalent of write a rough thesis?
    Perhaps in a creative writing class: Decide what you want to write about ?
    But if spontaneously poetic you don't need that as a starter for 10.

    Interesting.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Reviving the short story competition seems a good idea to me as long as admins are allowed to participate. :up:Baden

    Here's a challenge for you.
    Write 1. a short philosophical essay on ''Creativity' AND 2. a short story concerning creativity.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    I thought that Baden's post offered technical guidance. This doesn't make it wrong, of course, or unhelpful either. Your OP targeted writing, but also specifically referenced creative writing. All the technical help in the world won't make us creative. But, I suspect, creativity can't be learned. We can sharpen up many aspects of our writing with technical stuff, even the most creative of us (?), but they won't enhance our creativity. I think this is why there are so many good writers, but also why so few of them are truly creative. Creative writing is a rare skill. I can think of few who are truly capable. Alan Watts is the best example I can think of, although (perhaps) his greatest skill is in the spoken word. He can explain stuff that others can't seem to, in a spellbinding way. The creative bit is not the explanations, which are exemplary, IMO, but in the spellbinding bit. His words are entrancing, and his use (and choice) of words as good as any poet I have ever read.Pattern-chaser


    No. It didn't specifically reference 'creative writing'.
    Here it is again:
    ' I would be interested to hear about how we progress from critical reading, thinking to creatively writing.
    Including the practical aspects of note-taking. How do writers tackle writing articles such as the above ?'

    I spoke of 'creatively writing'. Do you see the difference ?
    Baden also wrote: ' ...you can be creative within the confines of just about any text type to a degree'.
    So any philosophers can get creative during the whole writing process.
    The guideline of : 'formulate a rough thesis' can be rewritten as 'create a rough thesis' that would require some creative thinking - producing an idea. A thesis is a created item, new to you.

    I think the whole concept of 'Creativity' worthy of an essay or story.
    How about it ?
    Perhaps there could be a competition between creative philosophers and creative storytellers :chin:
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Why not expand this into a "Short Story" writing contest?ArguingWAristotleTiff

    Why not indeed :cool:
    It could well be included in any 'Writing groups' section.
    My thoughts weren't initially around creative writing as in fiction. However, whatever sparks sparks :fire:
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Here's one path you could make use of in writing a philosophical article:

    1) Formulate a rough thesis...
    — Baden

    I would be interested to hear about how we progress from critical reading, thinking to creatively writing.
    — Amity

    The technical aspects of writing are important, just like brush techniques are important for an artist. We need to learn these techniques before we can create writing or art, but they aren't sufficient. Creativity is infinitely more than mere technique.
    Pattern-chaser

    Creativity is huge. And yes it much more than technique.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity

    'Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting).'

    I am not sure why you chose the quote by Baden ?
    'Formulating a rough thesis'. Do you see that as a technical or creative aspect in the writing process ?
    Doesn't the provision of a structure aid in creativity ?
    Can you explain further what you mean. This interests me.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Essays

    On a search, this type of feedback is the kind of thing that could be included in a 'Writing Philosophy' section ( or 'Writing groups' beside 'Reading groups' under the 'Learning Centre' ).

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/2364/university-marking-philosophy-essays-harshly
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4691/review-of-my-philosophical-essays
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4408/various-philosophy-essays-critique-me-up

    So, a separate space with guidelines, book recommendations - to develop writing skills in philosophy.
    What's not to like ?
    Thoughts welcome.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    I keep notes when discovering by thinking. I than take those notes and try to get other people to comment on them, so I can think more clearly and develop my thoughts further.Josh Alfred

    You are in the right place ! It's good practice to get from self taking note(s) to sharing/comparing with others via writing. Even as you write you think and can change your mind...
    Yes. It is all about development and growth - we can only do our best. As you say, with our background materials and ongoing stimulus.
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Writing is powerful. Poetry is something I never considered until I took a class in college, though it is what lyrics are. There's so so much to explore.Drek

    If poetry (writing) is something you never considered until you took a class in college, how do you feel your thinking/philosophy would improve if there was a Writing Philosophy group or class ?

    As you say, writing is powerful. In so many ways.
    Have you ever considered writing a philosophy article or essay based on your reading, your studies, your thoughts about a particular subject ?
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Writing for February. Theme: Love :love:
    Writing for March: Madness :smirk:
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    If my memory serves me right, I had the Submit an article for publication discussion pinned at the top of the forum for a year or more, and we got almost nothing.jamalrob

    Interesting. So it Isn't that people don't see it. What other reasons could there be for lack of an article submission ?
    Perhaps:
    1.Those that have the ability to write such simply weigh up the pros and cons and don't think It's worth it. Wouldn't they be looking at publishing in a physical, established magazine like Philosophy Now.
    I am not sure about the monetary reward. I think someone once told me that they receive a free annual subscription. Are there copyright issues ?
    2. Some might be put off by the wording and don't feel ready to Submit. Encouragement and feedback throughout the writing process might produce more results.
    3. An initial stimulus or prod suggesting a theme that members could compete in writing about.

    Just a few thoughts. It would be good to hear other points of view.

    I think the 'articles submissions' could be positioned alongside heading of 'Writing Philosophy' or 'Writing club'. Writing for January. Theme: Resolution.
    Something like that ?

    [ BTW this forum is the best one I have found to encourage flow of thoughts and ideas. Lovely mix of threads and interests. Informative and inspirational. Challenging and creative.
    Thanks to all involved. Keep up the good work. ]
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    1) They need to be pretty good to be published.
    2) We don't promote the articles section enough.
    3) It takes a fair degree of commitment and effort to write a philosophical article.
    Baden


    1. As a matter of interest, how many articles have been submitted ?
    If they were not good enough, how good was the feedback and encouragement to resubmit ?

    2. Why not ? You editors need to get going. Why not submit ideal examples?

    I did find it difficult to find information about articles. It comes under 'article submissions' stuck between 'Feedback' and 'About TPF'. The headline 'ARTICLES' at top of page only takes you to the one and only article ever published ( as far as I can remember ).

    3. Yes. It always struck me that even a 2000 word essay didn't adequately reflect the hair-tearingly hard work involved..
  • Critical thinking and Creativity: Reading and Writing
    Why not conversations On Writing ?
    — Amity

    Good idea.
    Baden

    Thanks. I get them every now and again. It's putting them into practice...
    So how would that work in this forum ?
    I note 'Reading groups' are in the 'Learning Centre' section.

    Your excellent advice above could be the starting point for a pathway to write philosophy.
    From a beginner's first posts to a more academic article. Some might not want to commit to or have the ability to write the latter. It's pretty ambitious and perhaps more people would be inclined to tackle an essay.

    Just as in the 'reading group' where there are those who can lead, comment and contribute to a structured discussion, there could be similar in a 'Writing philosophy' group ?

    It would give practice in the whole philosophical process with something to show at the end.
    That would be more of a stretch than writing posts...but something to aim for...perhaps...
  • Submit an article for publication
    We'll be setting up a thread here on the forum for artistic work, and we don't intend to publish poems or stories on the Articles site, at least to begin with. Our vision is of a philosophical journal tackling issues in academic philosophy, but one that is accessible to educated lay-people and sometimes relevant to topical concerns. If we do decide to publish poetry or stories in the future it will be in the context of a site that has built up a solid archive of substantial philosophical articles.

    As for length, between around 2000 and 5000 words is good, but that won't be strict: the first article, published two days ago, is over 6000 words, and I can imagine shorter pieces being sometimes suitable too.
    jamalrob

    So what happened ?
    I have more questions about this, here:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4858/critical-thinking-and-creativity-reading-and-writing


    ' This forum might be a good place to start developing writing skills in argument.
    Here's an example. It also reconstructs arguments in to logical structure. Premises and Conclusions.
    How great is that !?

    http://articles.thephilosophyforum.com/the-argument-for-indirect-realism

    How interesting would it be to ask the author about the whole philosophical process.
    From initial idea, reading, note taking to end product.'

    ----------

    Understanding the whole process would be invaluable.
    We have book discussions regarding interpretation and understanding what we have read. The content.
    Why not conversations On Writing ?

    I would be interested to hear about how we progress from critical reading, thinking to creatively writing.
    Including the practical aspects of note-taking. How do writers tackle writing articles such as the above ?

    Is there a reason why there aren't more articles ?
    Any authors who would care to share the process so that others might try....'
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    It kinda got to be popular too...Drek

    :)
    Yes I did notice.

    I'm pretty poor at keeping journals. And haven't studied for a while. So not been particularly motivated to keep notes with a view to writing. Taking notes while reading can distract me.
    Your way of using Evernote to summarise what you have learned shows discipline.
    [ Might look at using that when I tackle Plato ! ]
    Best wishes.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    Blog maybe? That would be worth it.Drek

    Yes. Interesting idea.
    I did think of that once but never quite worked out what to do. Or if it would be worth it.
    Why do you think it would be worth it - what is your experience of blogging ?
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    I know what you mean about asking the author. The whole process is foreign to me.Drek

    Thanks for inspiration. I've started a new thread:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4858/critical-thinking-and-creativity-reading-and-writing
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    That's a good idea to turn what you've read into an essay...Drek

    Other than writing essays to show your understanding of what you have read, have you tried to write an article?
    I think there comes a time to take head out of books. Use what you have learned or experienced to start thinking/writing for self. I am still working on that one...

    This forum might be a good place to start developing writing skills in argument.
    Here's an example. It also reconstructs arguments in to logical structure. Premises and Conclusions.
    How great is that !?

    http://articles.thephilosophyforum.com/the-argument-for-indirect-realism

    How interesting would it be to ask the author about the whole philosophical process.
    From initial idea, reading, note taking to end product.
  • Willpower - is it an energy thing?
    I would say classifying will power as an energy thing dismisses it's complexity.LuckilyDefinitive

    Yes. We have had quite an interesting discussion from various perspectives. A good summary might be useful at some point.
    So, what is your view of 'willpower' both as a concept and how it operates in life ?
    How do you understand it ?
    Thanks.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    For some philosophy is a way of life, what Socrates calls the examined life.Fooloso4

    Yes. That is my view of philosophy. As you have suggested in a few threads, there is a tradition of philosophy as therapy. Which philosophers help best ? Who would be in the top 10 ?

    I understand the inclusion of Socrates. But Wittgenstein ? Really ? How so ?
    I would count Marcus Aurelius.The Stoics. Anyone who can offer insight into how to live well with a degree of self-knowledge based on life experience. No academic degrees necessarily required.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    is it as simple as picking up a book and reading it? Is there any other mystery behind it? Do you test yourself or summarize?Drek

    This ties in with your question re Argumentation. I watched a few of the lectures on critical reasoning. Trying to follow the logic behind deductive and inductive arguments reminded me how I struggled with it.

    Rather than give up the whole enterprise of philosophy, I recognised my weakness at logic. I now simply try to find the main thrust of a point of view ( conclusion) and then look to see what the supporting evidence is ( the premises ). I then analyse starting with 'Is it true that...'

    As a philosophical explorer, rather than a strong believer - I start with a feeling about something - or a critical thought that something isn't right here. So, a question starts the process. Writing on a forum is a good way to challenge and be challenged. As long as you don't take things personally !
    If I do have a particular view, then I give it and try to support it with 3 reasons.

    Reading. Following and Understanding. As you probably already know, it is never all that simple. Particularly dense philosophical books or some convoluted articles.

     
    I read and take notes (Evernote) and try to study the notes periodically.Drek

    Note taking has always fascinated me. How best to do it so that there is not an overwhelming amount or too little to make sense on a reread.

    Some people use mindmaps. I think it depends on what kind of a brain you have.
    I eventually sussed out an Outline tool which then proved useful when I in turn had to produce an essay.

    Other very helpful ideas came from here:

    https://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/courses/notes.htm

    I share your interest in how others navigate their way through reading. Especially if they wish to start a discussion.
    Great questions, very motivating.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    Found the guy I found useful a good few years ago.
    Quite a number of videos here. You will have to scroll down to find the one on critical thinking. And others on logic.

    https://m.youtube.com/user/teachphilosophy/videos
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    This is amazing! Gobble Gobble.Drek

    :)
    Well I haven't gobbled it yet but I do hope it is useful.
    I have 2 books on critical thinking taking up space on my shelves. Bought years ago, and now can't remember if they helped me at all.

    1. Critical thinking by Kirby, Goodpaster and Levine
    2. An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis by John Hospers.

    I wish I could find the YouTube tutorials on practical logic which were excellent.
    Anyway, while searching I found this. One tutorial out of 10.

    https://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/video.php
    Brilliant succinct videos.
    1. 5 mins images, words and voice.
    2. 2 minutes of Bertrand Russell. Message to future generations.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/nature-arguments

    I note in addition to video, other media includes audio and a downloadable document in the form of slides.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    A related question is who it is that you wish to defend them to and against?Fooloso4

    That's an excellent question which just happens to begin the lecture series by Oxford University's Marianne Talbot ( see link in previous post). She poses it to the students, immediately involving them with a nice mix of serious and humour.
  • What are some good laymen books on philosophy?
    Seems like a lot of people have a Master's in philosophy or more, but can anyone give me some laymen books in order to argue and defend my beliefs? Intellectual self-defense?

    I have an AA in Liberal Arts and an AS in Business... that's the extent of my formal education. I've read a few basic critical thinking books, and had 3 Philosophy classes (Logic, critical thinking, and Ethics).
    Drek

    How many people here have a Master's in philosophy?
    Compared to how many beginners or middlers ?

    To argue against and defend beliefs I think takes practice which is not always found in books.

    I've been looking online - it's good to do your own research to find out what might best fit your specific needs. The Resource section here is a great start.

    I found this:

    http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/oxfords-critical-reasoning-for-beginners-will-teach-you-to-argue-like-a-philosopher.html

    I only listened to the first 5 mins but impressed by the initial questions and humour. Will be taking a closer look.
  • Philosophy Book Club Thread
    Following a trail from the Resources section.
    [ Some free ebooks might not be the best translation of a work. However, they can provide a starting point]

    http://www.openculture.com/free-philosophy-ebooks
  • Philosophy Book Club Thread
    Unfortunately, some of my earlier threads on Schopenhauer's WWAR or the Tractatus died out. I hope, therefore, to propose a reading group thread where we can have an active discussion about what new books to read or talk about.Wallows

    I have tried different ways to discuss a book I am currently excited about, as a beginner.
    Basically it was my trip and others could join in as fellow beginners or as guides along the way.
    Another way was to find a free online course based on a lecture series involving book, video, audio and transcript.
    BTW, The resources section in this forum is wonderful. Thanks.

    I think the success and failure of online groups depend on many factors. Different abilities, personalities and so on.
    So you could look at why some threads die out, others stumble but move along, following a structure.

    I found this suggestion which might be good for beginners.
    From :
    https://www.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/3i9lac/help_on_starting_a_philosophy_club/

    'As a slightly casual thing, like a weekly discussion group or something: get a hold of a copy of The Pig that Wants to be Eaten (Amazon link here), read through one entry per week (maybe with Baggini's discussion, maybe without), and have a discussion about it.'

    'The book that got me into casual philosophy and generally the embodiment of what I love in philosophy.'
  • Willpower - is it an energy thing?
    There are so many indictments of character made in varying levels of subtlety that make me think I am not just being sold a bill of goods but am reading a diagnosis.Valentinus

    I wonder if you can show me any examples. I am interested in reading the Republic.
    Also fascinating piece of serendipity that we both just talked of 'diagnosis'.
  • Willpower - is it an energy thing?
    a person can get conflicted within, torn up and undecided.Metaphysician Undercover

    Indeed. And much more besides.
    There are so many ambiguous terms, conflicting views and arguments in philosophy that we might never get off the merry-go-round.

    I think what matters is how concepts are applied in real life.
    Especially at this time of year when resolutions get broken as soon as they are made.
    You got no willpower, babe !
    This kind of negative message can stick in a person's head.
    Sometimes aggravating an already poor self-image.

    Philosophy as in questioning the 'diagnosis' might help if the person has the confidence, knowledge and experience so to do. Or access to external resources who aren't interested in playing word games just for the sake of it.