Why bother with Philosophy?

People wonder what the meaning of life is. However, reality is unexplainable.

Just accept that the majority are dumb, and that utopia is a pipe dream. Our thinking should be used to solve problems, rather than achieve some illusory goal.

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  • I believe all philosophers end up in philosophy prompted by the question of Fate or Free Will. Between the lot of them (I'm generalising a bit, but not much), they could've written The Matrix. 

    Philosophy isn't actually about the meaning of life, that's a spiritual quest. It's a science and like all sciences will help give identification to seemingly invisible systems at play. Without philosophy we wouldn't have the fundamentals needed for the Justice System, Education or Psychology. We wouldn't have rules to measure science by, the construct of ethics or aesthetics and right about now, the quest for expressing aesthetics is almost becoming a measure of survival for hyper-sensory individuals. 

    I'd say definitely bother with it! But one doesn't need to start with Plato. Peel through the philosophy section of a library and find someone who speaks to you. 

  • How about if you were recommending philosophers JFG?  I am absolutely curious about who your favourites are.  I promise no combat in my responses.  This purely a knowledge quest for me. Slight smile

  • I started out with a bit of exploration. But I discovered I tend to like the Germans and the French. Haha. Kant, a (gain of salt with) Nietzsche (he seemed bitter), Foucault, but there's a wealth one ends up peeling through just by reading any philosopher. I've been studying Deleuze for 8 years now and the books he co-wrote with Felix Guattari are life altering - they changed my ability to navigate society, helped finalise an internal check-list and set of rules with which to understand NTs and really have laid out exactly why and how Autists are marginalised within society. But on a sociological side, I really love Erich Fromm. He's not as difficult, more of a social philosopher. 

    In my late teens I had been interested in philosophy but at that age one is easily steered toward investigating religions - so I had gone east to west but some are a bit too pious to suffer (I did appreciate Thomas Merton). To be fair, I would always suggest starting with a bit of symbolic logic or just learn a little on how arguments are structured. It makes it easier to understand the rules philosophers follow when crafting their concepts or laying out a philosophy.

  • That is interesting you are drawn to French and German philosophers because the English, Germans and French are all interrelated, we are all descended from each other e.g. the Anglo Saxons who invaded were Germanic, the Norman French were Norse and French. England was ruled by France for 300 years. So we are all the same people.

    I think there is a very different mindset of us compared to Americans i.e. Europeans, especially the more East you go, tend to be far more gloomy than Americans, who seem to value optimism much more highly.

  • Happiness is a selling point apparently. Constructivism is a good one to look at from a philosophical point of creating a cultural identity and values. Where as in the States, the ideal of 'happiness' is written into the fabric of what it's supposed to mean to be American with the Motto "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

    I do have a thing for the Scots as well... mathematicians, logicians and psychoanalysts alike. Culture plays an integral role in the human existence. Things which happen politically and socially can affect moments and the philosophical inquiry to follow. I'm not sure I'm specifically drawn to a particular country. The French are SO radical and the Germans can be SO exacting. Perhaps it's the balance between these poles I'm fascinated by - but honestly, I would love more time to read. 

    To one extreme it does seem as though 'racism' is actually about cultural 'isms', and not always a matter of systemic injustice but individuals being excluded by another group because don't 'fit in with the current norms'... some are too loud, others seem too arrogantly quiet. Some value saying whatever comes to mind and others thinking it through. Mannerisms can cause wars. I wish this was examined better within social groupings of similar percentages melanin types. But... that might demand better of individuals and we can't have that (wink!). According to most philosophical arguments around this, regardless of colour it can come down to economical standing. 

    Which, back to Trade, one can take a whole nation and give it a whole new culture. East India Co. for example. 

    I have a feeling capital has a lot more to do with indoctrination of culture than we can imagine. And that definitely can change values and behaviours. 

  • I'm just laughing about the European stereotypes you mention. But they are all so true. Europeans spend their time making fun of each other's habits.

    Did you see a 1980s show called Allo Allo? It is a parody of WW2. The European stereotypes are so painful and so true.

  • Oh wow!! I used to watch that when I was young on - what must have been - the world's smallest B&W TV screen. But only if my mother wasn't home (she wouldn't let us watch TV and if she was out late and it was on, it was one of the few things I liked watching...LOL)

  • Oh haha, my parents disapproved of TV as well. We were allowed to watch BBC but ITV had adverts on! Horror of horrors! So I didn't watch ITV til my teens.

    Those Allo Allo stereotypes, OMG how true.

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