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Does Philosophy Have a Purpose?

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posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


You've been a great contributor, your posts will be missed by many. Maybe you can return under another incarnation. Take it easy.




posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by ImaFungi

Originally posted by tachyonmind

of course it was a joke xD

Seriously though, i am a philosophy professor, although i also teach physics and chemistry.. My interests include everything, nuthink is beyond investigation when you dedicate your life to education..
edit on 6-8-2013 by tachyonmind because: (no reason given)


wow interesting. My favorite academic topics are Philosophy and Physics. Whats your view of the universe, from a philosophical standpoint and a physics standpoint?

Tell me if im wrong but it seems that you are somewhat of a kid, who is posing as a professor, therefore actually a troll?
edit on 6-8-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)

a kid huh? Why do you say that? Aren't i allowed to have a sense of humour after the age of 30?

Not sure what you mean by "view of the universe".. But from a philosophical standpoint i rather like the existentialist perspective.. Physics is physics, it doesn't really affect my views..
edit on 6-8-2013 by tachyonmind because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by tachyonmind
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


My point was that teachers and philosophers consider everythink, regardless of the context in which it was thunk.. life is serious business, unless you're a clown



edit on 6-8-2013 by tachyonmind because: (no reason given)

Life seems serious when you are in fear.
Life is art when the fear drops away.

Life is a mystery but the mind seeks security.
edit on 6-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


You have to take life and your decisions seriously if you wish to understand them, taking the art of life seriiously does not mean you're afraid..



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by arpgme
It depends which philosophy you live by.

Nihilism - No purpose.

Hedonism - Personal Happiness

Utilitarianism - Being useful to others, working together.

Monism - Feeling oneness, unity.

Dualism - Trying to keep individuality, differences alive by disagreeing with others and creating opposites.



edit on 5-8-2013 by arpgme because: (no reason given)


Thinking by whatever "philosophy you live by" is no different than being spiritual according to which religion you live by. Both are oxymorons because philosophy and spirituality are personal journeys away from your environment; your material surroundings and conformity. Spirituality is about "waking up" (spiritually,) while philosophy is about thinking (questioning everything.) Finding a philosophy or religion as a starting place (a first step) isn't a bad idea, but that's about all they're good for.

To quote Carl Jung: People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.

I've been heavily inspired in my life by Joseph Campbell. His work (the 'hero's journey') heavily inspired George Lucas in his early years of filmmaking, which in turn heavily inspired me in my youth through his Star Wars films. When I was a teenager I watched Campbell's interview with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth. I proceeded to read the book version of the talk a number of times and have recently started reading more of Campbell's books. But, I would never base my understanding of the world around his. I've always questioned everything, by my own incentive, including Campbell's own ideas. We all need inspiration: nothing is ever truly original. However, independent thinking is just that: 'thinking outside the box.' Both Jung and Campbell would encourage people to do their own thinking; follow their own paths and make their own discoveries, as I would.

To quote from a sillier source, Spock in Star Trek once said: Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.

Art, thought and spirituality all lead into one’s soul, and thus, as all things connect (as Jung and Campbell both understood,) into the heart of all things. The journey for personal truth is a long, dangerous and painful one: constantly finding your own self-deceptions and false assumptions, some of which your psychology may have been built upon (especially in early childhood.) You keep ripping away the layers, healing and learning to readjust as your previous securities have been shaken or shattered, and then continuing in your journey once you’re ready again. Sharing what you find as you go can be inspiring for others, but there are no answers (at least not outside The Divine.)

There is a central place, where all reality meets. I call it The Light. Many artists have commented on how they've felt so frustrated that they'd come so close to finding “it” (the source behind their inspiration or muse.) There is that “unseen something” which pulls you out of bed every morning, keeps you going onward despite all the setbacks and frustrations of life. Why do trees reach for the sky? Why do birds sing? Hell, why do people sit on a bench every Sunday and listen to some minister read from an old book? What is driving us? What are we looking for?

Campbell would point out that it’s not “the meaning of life” that people are looking for but “the experience of being alive.” What does being alive mean? Hell, what does inspired mean? Are they two of the same; a direct connection to that inner source? Why is it so compelling? Like a moth into the flame, some of us just more enticed than others to keep going further and further: exploring, exposing, challenging and sharing.

Leonard Cohen sung about “waiting for the miracle to come,” but is that miracle really out there, somewhere unseen, or is it inside you, whispering, begging to be found and expressed? Maybe it has no face, no language and no identity that can be articulated. Maybe everything that we perceive outside of it (and which would thus used as a basis to judge it by) is just an illusion: a creative work in creative motion, creating more creations, while the force behind it watches and waits for those who stop and say: “Hey, wait a minute...who am I? What is this? How is it? Why?”

The point of philosophy is exactly that: searching for the point; the source; the essence of why.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

Good philosophy, like good humor, has a certain sense of malice towards all that is ignorant, so it intentionally and with absolute awareness, tears down and deconstructs everything that must either be discarded and/or accepted and reintegrated.

It's more of a sword, a sharp, double edged sword, than a shield.

I've been somewhat hard on you at times LesMis, for what I perceived to be a type of hardened shell that you'd constructed by which "philosophy" is employed as a defense of a materialist worldview or moreso against the vast invisible realm of the spirit that gives life meaning and purpose.

Philosophy of this nature, of the cold, impersonal, purely intellectual variety when taken to it's logical conclusion renders the phenomenal world and the occurrence of life to be meaningless and absurd, and thus any inquiry into it's most fundamental nature, meaning and purpose, a meaningless task.

To the hardened intellectual philosopher, this is painful, until he cracks open, and then it's humorous.

It is interesting therefore to see you lay down your persona, and perhaps also your shield.

May the double edged sword of truth, and humor, serve you and through you others.

Please forgive me my judgements, and the insults of "materialist", and know that in the final analysis I just wanted to help you shed a tear, and find the joy and humor who's malice towards our defenses liberates the spirit of a person in the knowledge that it is good (meaningful) that there is something and not nothing at all.

I wish you a fruitful journey filled with new discoveries worthy of your exploration and appreciation, and I thank you for recognizing in me the heart of a philosopher.

Best regards,

NAM


edit on 6-8-2013 by NewAgeMan because: typo



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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"Truth? What is the truth?" said Pontias Pilate, turning to wash his hands, nervously, in a bowl of water.


Oh it (philosophy) has a purpose all right, to slice through to the very heart of things including the heart of a man so that he can be real and authentic and true.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 06:32 PM
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I agree with a lot of what you have written. Studying philosophy is also beneficial for the individual, as it provides essential skills and improvement of skills.It is quite understandable for someone to assume that philosophy in general is useless, because many of the questions appear useless, especially when one considers that there are many philosophical problems that we simply cannot answer. It almost seems like a vicious cycle of points and counterpoints, with no conclusions being drawn. And then even when conclusions can be drawn, they are not always useful, or do not seem to be on the surface.

I think it is important to realize that philosophy was linked with science in earlier times. Natural philosophy, as it was known, was developed through philosophy in a way, so without philosophy, science would not have developed in the same manner, at least in my opinion.

The greatest benefits from philosophy come in the area of ethics. The development of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence were based on the philosophies found around the same time in France and other European countries. The idea of individual rights was extremely philosophical in nature, therefore without philosophy, things would probably be much worse at this point in time. The US definitely would have been different, IF it would have formed at all. Without these philosophical ideas, it is unlikely that there would have been any challenge to English sovereignty...

And then there is the field of logic, and the field of mathematics. Philosophy has definitely advanced both. And thinking about it, there are many mathematical subjects that appear useless as well. They focus on things that are not found in nature, things that have no broad use at all. But there are many things that may have use in the future as well, and certain philosophical ideas could prove to be the same way. So I think philosophy is highly useful as a whole, although certain parts and certain ideas may not be all that useful.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


You will be sorely missed, Le Mis. Yours are some of my favorite threads on ATS, because I always feel you you use your words to point at something besides their obvious meaning, in an effort to make us challenge our own beliefs.

I think the title of your OP was rhetorical, but I'm going to answe anyway: Yes, yes it does.

I hate to use a quote I have in my signature, but "we can't solve the world's problems with the same thinking we used to create them."

People ignore philosophy because it makes us question the way we live our lives (and nobody wants to live a meaningless or insignificant life), but in a culture tha cares more about Keeping Up With the Kardashians, than keeping up with world affairs, I'd say philosophy has never been more sorely needed.

Here's to hoping the departure of 'Le Mis' leads to the addition of another ATS alias from the man behind the mask.
edit on 6-8-2013 by ddaniel because: Rephrase



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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Wherever you go, whatever you do, I wish you a good journey. You will be missed by many.




posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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You ask if philosophy has purpose, then wax philosophic.




posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by tachyonmind

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by tachyonmind
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


My point was that teachers and philosophers consider everythink, regardless of the context in which it was thunk.. life is serious business, unless you're a clown



edit on 6-8-2013 by tachyonmind because: (no reason given)

Life seems serious when you are in fear.
Life is art when the fear drops away.

Life is a mystery but the mind seeks security.
edit on 6-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


You have to take life and your decisions seriously if you wish to understand them, taking the art of life seriiously does not mean you're afraid..

Do you believe life can be understood?



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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OP - Philosophy. Figuratively, it means “love of wisdom”;



A few mentions of Socrates but no mention of one his greatest quotes

''The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.'' - Socrates



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 03:56 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



Do you believe life can be understood?


"life is a matter of a miracle that is collected over time by moments flabbergasted to be in each others' presence.. the world is an exam, to see if we can rise into the direct experiences.. our eyesight is a test to see if we can see beyond it, matter is here as a test for our curiosity, doubt is here as an exam for our vitality..

thomas mann wrote that he would rather participate in life than write a hundred stories.. giacometti, was once run down by a car, and he recalled falling into a lucid faint, a sudden exhilaration, that finally something was happenning to him..

an assumption developed that one could not understand life and live life simultaneously, .. i do not agree entirely, which is to say, i do not exactly disagree.. i would say that life understood is life lived.. but.. the paradoxes.. bug me.. and i can learn to love, and to make love to the paradoxes that bug me.. on really romantic evenings of self, i go salsa dancing with my confusion.." -speed levitch

i believe that to understand life you have to live it, directly experience it as objectively as possible, shed whatever preconceptions you have and just watch it unfold before you, feel its momentum as it sweeps along.. life is not something you can understand from reading a book or listening to a lecture.. it's alive.. in order to understand life you have to understand yourself, that is what philosophy is about..
edit on 7-8-2013 by tachyonmind because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by tachyonmind
 

Life is alive right here and right now. Living is happening presently.
The one who wants to understand or control life has separated itself from life.
Life is this hereness and nowness.
No one can do life because it is done.

This is life. It is a mystery. This brings the first verse of the Tao Te Ching to mind.



The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.



edit on 7-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:18 AM
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Originally posted by tachyonmind
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



Do you believe life can be understood?


"life is a matter of a miracle that is collected over time by moments flabbergasted to be in each others' presence.. the world is an exam, to see if we can rise into the direct experiences.. our eyesight is a test to see if we can see beyond it, matter is here as a test for our curiosity, doubt is here as an exam for our vitality..

thomas mann wrote that he would rather participate in life than write a hundred stories.. giacometti, was once run down by a car, and he recalled falling into a lucid faint, a sudden exhilaration, that finally something was happenning to him..


Life is not collected over time. Life is timeless being. The mind tells you about past and future and things that can be collected but where are those things now? What can you see with your eyes? Can you see what is behind those eyes? Can the unseen be seen? What is it that is seeing what is seen?
Life is not a story made of words that write your history or your future. Life is this moment of presence. What is happening is life - it happens always presently and is non conceptual.
All concepts arise in the non conceptual. Ideas about other times and places arise and subside here and now.
This is it - this is the One out of which a whole (imagined) world is born. Words make believe there is so much more than there really is.
edit on 7-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 




Exactly =)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:29 AM
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We need philosophy to keep us sain



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by spartacus699
We need philosophy to keep us sain


I think you mean SANE




Definition of SAIN 1 dialect British : to make the sign of the cross on (oneself) 2 dialect British : bless Origin of SAIN Middle English, from Old English segnian, from Late Latin signare, from Latin, to mark — more at sign First Known Use: before 12th century





sane adjective \ˈsān\ 1 : proceeding from a sound mind : rational 2 : mentally sound; especially : able to anticipate and appraise the effect of one's actions


A philosophy to make us "Sane" might be rationalism. Fat chance of that ever happening....see my sig.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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Allow me to quote the great Manly P Hall



On the importance of Philosophy:
Understanding sustains faith and faith, in turn, releases the human soul from fear and doubt.
This is why we recommend that you build your philosophy of life upon the solid foundation of one of the world's great systems.
Peace of mind does not depend upon what is done to us but rather, it depends upon the degree of internal enlightenment with which we react to the pressures of existence.
The moment we realize that we can live serenely even in the most unsettled environment, we begin to appreciate the utility of philosophy.
~ Manly P Hall, "Think on These Things"



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Philosophy is not really "love of knowledge"; it is a "love of Sophistry". Centuries before the rise of Philosophy, Sophists developed an elaborate allegoric code that was used as the foundation of religion. In order for religions to survive and flourish, the secrets of this code had to be carefully kept and thus oral transmission of this knowledge was the preferred. However, as the code spread and was incorporated by other cultures, the rules governing it became corrupted and inconsistent. Philosophy was created as a means to organize allegoric rules and concepts and preserve them in written form without exposing any true meaning.

The greatness of Aristotle was not in his thought; it was in his comprehensive effort to define metaphors in relation to other metaphors. This meant that the reliance on oral transmission was greatly reduced. The initiates only needed to learn some basic rules and the real world meanings of certain key metaphors and the rest could be learned from written works. In the Old Testament, books such as the Song of Solomon and Proverbs served a similar purpose; however, since phonetics often played a role in the determination of metaphoric meaning, there were difficulties in translation. Philosophy also attempted to employ a system of logic that could be used to overcome phonetic issues found among the various languages in which the code was employed. This improved system meant that the Laws of Moses were no longer vital to the understanding of the allegory.




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