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Sun Jun 29, 2014, 09:57 PM

I don't see how there can be a goal, in philosophy.

We all know that to set a goal is to set up a means to defeat it.

So, what is it that "philosophers" do when they "philosophize"?

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Reply I don't see how there can be a goal, in philosophy. (Original post)
delrem Jun 2014 OP
TM99 Jun 2014 #1
delrem Jun 2014 #3
Sweeney Nov 2014 #15
TM99 Nov 2014 #18
Sweeney Nov 2014 #19
Sweeney Nov 2014 #21
Fortinbras Armstrong Jun 2014 #2
delrem Jul 2014 #4
Fortinbras Armstrong Jul 2014 #5
delrem Jul 2014 #6
Fortinbras Armstrong Jul 2014 #7
delrem Jul 2014 #8
Sweeney Nov 2014 #14
delrem Nov 2014 #16
Sweeney Nov 2014 #20
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2014 #17
Sweeney Nov 2014 #22
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2014 #24
Jim__ Jul 2014 #9
delrem Jul 2014 #10
Sweeney Nov 2014 #23
Expat in Korea Oct 2014 #11
delrem Nov 2014 #12
Sweeney Nov 2014 #13

Response to delrem (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 12:36 AM

1. To the sages of old,

 

philosophy was not some intellectual pursuit only that was relegated to academia. Philosophy was about how to think and therefore feel and therefore act in life in order to pursue the 'good'.

Each school of philosophy sought the answer to the question - How do I live the good life?

So for me personally, I still view philosophy in that way. How I think, feel, and act with regards to the areas of life from metaphysics to ethics will influence what I define as the 'good life' and will either assist me or not assist me in achieving it.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 03:24 PM

3. That's very well said. nt

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Response to Sweeney (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 07:39 AM

18. What you wrote does not contradict nor correct me.

 

Read some 19th and 20th century Christian philosophers from Tillich to Kung to Kierkegaard and you will still see the pursuit of the 'good life'. Do not confuse fundamentalism's belief in the afterlife as the only goal of Christian thought with mainstream Protestant and Catholic philosophy and theology.

You sound rather Neo-Platonic in your writings. You are describing archetypes and 'forms' which give your philosophy meaning and assist you in pursuing the 'good life'. Or are you just doing as I alluded to and are merely conceptualizing and intellectualizing away from action and the here and now?

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Response to TM99 (Reply #1)


Response to delrem (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 08:45 AM

2. When I read the OP

What flashed through my mind was Robert Browning's lines from "Andrea del Sarto",

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?

I tend to agree TM99. Philosophy is devoted to questions about how to think -- indeed, epistemology, which is one of the basic studies in philosophy, considers the question, "How do we know something?" -- and how to live. I happen to have Asperger's Syndrome, and one of the effects of it on me is that I have what can best be described as a rudimentary sense of morals. I realize that this is a flaw in my psyche, and so I have become a student of ethics to compensate.

I am a Catholic, so much of that study in ethics has been devoted to what Catholics call "moral theology". Unfortunately, a lot of Catholic moral theologians start with a pre-ordained conclusion and work to justify that conclusion. If you are a Catholic moral theologian, you had better support the official party line that contraception is immoral and gay marriage is wrong if you want to keep your job. Just ask Charles Curran.

But, basically, I am trying to live the good life, so I study philosophy.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 10:01 PM

4. I would take your questioned ethics/morality

over any unquestioned idea any day.

"Rudimentary sense of morals" seems to be a bigoted expression, when applied as some kind of medical condition.

Some of those whose morals seem rudimentary, to me, and where I've had years to question and interact with them, are also very bright, clever people, who can manipulate both things and people to their will.

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Response to delrem (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 3, 2014, 06:36 AM

5. You seem to be saying that I am bigoted against myself.

Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. What I meant to say is that one of the effects my Asperger's has been to limit my sense of what is and is not morally right. For example, if you had something that I wanted, and I believe I could get away with taking it, I would have no innate sense that this is wrong. I know, intellectually, that it is wrong, but I have no instinctive sense that it is.

Could I be a sociopath? Actually, probably not. The main effect of Asperger's Syndrome is an inability to read other people, which would be key to manipulating them.

I should say that there are things I find morally repugnant. Murder, rape, torture, failure to treat others with dignity -- I was bullied as a boy, and I have a natural feeling that this is wrong.

My point was that I realize that my atrophied sense of morals is a flaw in myself, so I have trained myself to develop what might be called an artificial one. As I said, I have become a student of ethics in order to live as I should.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 3, 2014, 09:59 PM

6. I was only questioning your language.

In the form
"Asperger's syndrome" -> "rudimentary sense of morals"
the term that stands out (to my sight) is "rudimentary".
"syndrome" is a totally "scientific" term, but "rudimentary" is not, esp. when coupled with some generic term for morality.

I don't understand WHY you distinguish so absolutely between "I know, intellectually, that it is wrong" and "I know, instinctively, that it is wrong". I don't think there's any pure sense where anybody knows either "intellectually" or "instinctively" between right and wrong.

You go on to say: "I should say that there are things I find morally repugnant. Murder, rape, torture...", but this contradicts your denial of "instinctive" knowledge. Is it that you don't make the connection between the repugnance that you feel toward certain acts, and the moral choices *to act this way and not that way* that you make in day to day life?

OK, finally: what I read about how you care about this subject totally contradicts your diagnosis of yourself, as having the syndrome as you describe it.

On the contrary, I'm acquainted with someone who I'd call a "socio-path". Not a "psycho", a totally nuts killer. But a socio-path whose sense of morality is entirely determined by self-centeredness, with what is good for him, pretty much regardless of damage done that can be gotten away with, legally.

eta: the socio-path mentioned relies 100% on his ability to "read people".
An ability to "read-people" has nothing to do with a sense of morality or ethics.

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Response to delrem (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 4, 2014, 06:32 AM

7. It appears that you did not understand me

First, I did NOT say "Asperger's syndrome" -> "rudimentary sense of morals". I said, "I happen to have Asperger's Syndrome, and one of the effects of it on me is that I have what can best be described as a rudimentary sense of morals." Did you notice the words "on me"? I was saying that MY Asperger's has that effect on ME, not that it was a general tendency among Aspies.

Second, I said that I had a "rudimentary" innate sense of morality, not that I was totally amoral. "Rudimentary" as in "not wholly developed". I said that there are some things I find morally repugnant, not that there were no things I find morally repugnant.

I said that I realize that my under-developed moral sense is a flaw, and so I have become a student of ethics and moral theology as a compensatory mechanism. This sort of thing is common among Aspies -- some abilities which are innate to most people are either under-developed or even totally missing in us. So we have to learn them if we are to get along.

One minor point: The word is "sociopath", not "socio-path".

I realize that an ability to read people has nothing to do with morality. Asperger's is a syndrome. According to the on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "syndrome" means " disease or disorder that involves a particular group of signs and symptoms". It's not just one thing that marks Asperger's, it's a number of things. The universal symptom is difficulty in social interaction and nonverbal communication. For a small group of Aspies, including myself, it includes an under-developed sense of morals. There are other symptoms: I am, as is common among Aspies, physically clumsy, and border-line obsessive compulsive. Many Aspies have problems with mathematics, others (including me) are very good at it. We tend to be extremely precise in our language, and delight in unusual and often archaic words. We regularly have intense interests in one or a few subjects -- I can tell you more about English history, the history and dogma of the Catholic Church, or Northern Italian cooking than you may ever want to know. (My father, who also had Asperger's, was one of the leading experts on fuels and lubricants for gasoline and diesel engines. His father, who also had it, literally wrote the book on the law of local government in England. And so on.)

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 4, 2014, 08:47 PM

8. You aren't alone. I don't understand many people.

I antagonize a lot of people on DU.
But on the other hand, I do have good friends here.

I've been reading an article that *almost* made me cry. It was posted by DU's Judi Lynn, who has a knack for posting links to articles that strike me as being important, in some way.

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/11036214/while-world-watched-world-cup-brings-back-memories-argentina-dirty-war

I say *almost* made me cry because I didn't cry, I couldn't cry, because I simply couldn't reproduce, in my sympathetic nervous system, the cruel scenes being described. I couldn't and can't imagine what it is like to be a victim or a perpetrator of the scenes described -- even though, because I've read the words of the article and know what they mean, I have a certain intellectual understanding.

Part of that intellectual understanding is the knowledge that no doubt the largest majority of the perpetrators, the salaried employees who actually carried out the atrocities described, went home after work to their wives and kids, to see their neighbours and friends and to continue what to all appearances must have been a normal middle-class life. They didn't have horns.

I imagine a lot of them went to church, and to PTA meetings.

What kind of "syndrome" could explain that?

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #7)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 02:06 AM

16. I like your posts!

Very much!

"This emotional bond of morality is a spiritual connectedness with ones group, and so for the life of the people who are our life, and who share our common life."

That is poetry.

I think a problem arrives when a spiritual connectedness with ones group becomes formalized under a tribal totem, a 'god', with the 'god' having equally formalized spokesmen issuing edicts, including edicts pertaining to the treatment of the heathen, the enemy without. Then you have war.

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Response to delrem (Reply #16)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 25, 2014, 07:24 AM

17. All I can do is repeat what I said before.

I have an underdeveloped innate sense of morals. I realize that this is a flaw in myself, so I have studied morals in order to compensate. In my case, reason HAS improved my morals. Thus, your initial statement is wrong.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #17)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 07:11 PM

24. First, the paragraph is your friend, and even more the reader's friend

Second, your blanket statement "Reason does not get you to moral, but immoral." I find frankly insulting. You are saying that I have been wasting literally years in an effort to make my actions more moral; indeed, you are saying that my effort has made me less moral. I KNOW you are wrong. I am a considerably more moral person than I was, say, forty years ago. I have trained myself to act in a more moral way, by simple force of habit, if nothing else.

To you, morality is only innate. Well, it's not true of everyone. Simply put, you're full of crap.

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Response to delrem (Original post)

Thu Jul 10, 2014, 12:22 PM

9. Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language - Wittgenste

From Philosophical Investigations:

109. It was true to say that our considerations could not be scientific ones. It was not of any possible interest to us to find out empirically 'that, contrary to our preconceived ideas, it is possible to think such-and-such'—whatever that may mean. (The
conception of thought as a gaseous medium.) And we may not advance any kind of theory. There must not be anything hypothetical
in our considerations. We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place. And this description
gets its light, that is to say its purpose, from the philosophical problems. These are, of course, not empirical problems;
they are solved, rather, by looking into the workings of our language, and that in such a way as to make us recognize those
workings: in despite of an urge to misunderstand them. The problems are solved , not by giving new information, but by
arranging what we have always known. Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.


And, yes, by setting up philosophy as a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence, we risk bewitching our intelligence through philosophizing. It is an on-going battle, and if we tend to increase our bewitchment, hopefully, someone points that out to us.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 11, 2014, 09:28 PM

10. I'm not a fan of Wittgenstein.

albeit from wiki (I did study it in classes).

1. The world is everything that is the case.
2. What is the case (a fact) is the existence of states of affairs.
3. A logical picture of facts is a thought.
4. A thought is a proposition with a sense.
5. A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions. (An elementary proposition is a truth-function of itself.)
6. The general form of a proposition is the general form of a truth function, which is: . This is the general form of a proposition.
7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

I thought that was shallow, as I thought the entire reductionist program intended to overthrow general Aristotelian logic and replace it with a (Boolean) mathematical logic, was shallow. And ultimately wrong.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #9)


Response to delrem (Original post)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 12:37 AM

11. To defeat a goal?

We all know that to set a goal is to set up a means to defeat it.

So, what is it that "philosophers" do when they "philosophize"?


People, as far as I know, set goals in order to achieve them, not to defeat them. I imagine that every philosopher has his/her own goals, so I don't see much way to generalize without egregious error.

That said, in at least the past few decades philosophy seems to have deteriorated into a mere intellectual exercise, obscure and largely irrelevant (with certain noteworthy exceptions). In the ancient world, one's philosophy was often measured against how well one lived. I, for one, am uninterested in abstract hypotheticals. If it doesn't help me live a better life, it's a waste of effort.

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Response to Expat in Korea (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 17, 2014, 10:45 PM

12. I like this answer. nt

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Response to delrem (Original post)

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