Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

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Big Boss
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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Big Boss » January 15th, 2017, 9:27 pm

Hi all,

No, I wouldn't consider myself a philosopher. I can see that based on a read through of the forum there is different interpretations of what a philosopher is and what you need to do to be one. For me, I am more of the understanding that a philosopher is someone who is educated in logic, reason, the thoughts and processes of those that came beforehand, etc. I suppose my distinction is that just by philosophising somewhat, this doesn't make you a philosopher in the same way that adding a few numbers together doesn't make you a mathematician. I think perhaps my distinction lies in the fact that I am studying philosophy in an academic environment. That said, I have probably learned more than twice as much about the subject through my own self-made study. I suppose that while I think that philosophy is a discipline, it doesn't require university education to be a philosopher.

Now, with that idea about philosophy why don't I give myself the title? Simply put, I consider myself a student of philosophy. I don't feel I have the philosophical knowhow to be able to think or write anything of great substance. I don't think I am particularly bright, but I am working to actually obtain my, admittedly poor defined, philosophical goals. For me, I take inspiration from Socrates' wisdom through ignorance attitude. Albeit, I don't think that I have quite the same outlook as Socrates does on the subject. I am less about questioning of others (although I do this) and more about listening to the authority of philosophical authorities with an open mind and allowing myself to try and breakdown their ideas logically.

So to summarise, as I said earlier, I consider myself a student of philosophy.

Apologies if this message constitutes a rambling mess, I am writing this in a rush on my lunch break at work.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Fooloso4 » January 28th, 2017, 12:13 pm

Big Boss:
I am less about questioning of others (although I do this) and more about listening to the authority of philosophical authorities with an open mind and allowing myself to try and breakdown their ideas logically.
There is an interpretive approach that questions the texts of the philosophical authorities. It is in some ways the opposite of what Socrates did since he always questioned those who were his philosophical inferiors. Here, however, we learn to question those who are our philosophical superiors. The goal is not, as it often is within academic philosophy, to expose the weaknesses of the text, but rather to begin to look at them more carefully in order to see what the author’s expect us to work at, to think along with them, in order to see. Analysis or breaking down their ideas must go hand in hand with synthesis or putting things back together, that is, making connections that are not readily apparent but when done properly tie together the parts and reveal a whole.

I agree with your idea of being a student of philosophy (#168)

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Fire_Monkey
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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Fire_Monkey » March 31st, 2017, 8:24 pm

I personally, in my in mind, do. Though I would never call myself one to somebody else. Or list it as an occupation. I hesitate even to list it as a hobby here in my bio! And wouldn't list it as an interest or hobby in a bio outside of here. Why? Sounds too arrogant, imho. Too presumptuous. And I would really need somebody to explain what they mean by...Being a philospher. It's like when I'm asked if I believe in God. My immediate response is.......Define God.

This said, I minored in Philosophy as an undergrad. And am obviously keenly interested in the subject. Which brings me to close this with.....It's good to be here. :P

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Fire_Monkey » April 1st, 2017, 7:15 pm

I personally in my own thought think I'm somewhat of a philospher. As I've always been interested in it and even minored in the subject in undergrad school. And, well, I'm here, right? And read about it all the time. But I wouldn't ever presume to refer to myself as one to someone else. I dunno, just sounds to arrogant to me. Too presumptuous, maybe? And...I'd have to ask them what they mean by Philospher, if they asked me if I thought I was one. Just as, whenever somebody asks me if I believe in God. First question from me is.....Define God.

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Jay-P
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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Jay-P » April 22nd, 2017, 3:38 pm

I don't consider myself a grand philosopher in the same league as the greats. However, I'd say I'm an unorganised philosopher whose ponderings aren't structured. I do slip into deep daydreams during my waking moments and they do consist of me analysing something. I'm just unorganised with my thoughts and conclusions. As for the other section of the question, I believe that a philosopher is anyone who questions and generates creative theories or conclusions, children have this ability especially.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Hermes_Trismegistus » August 17th, 2017, 8:55 am

Let me respond with a syllogism.

All persons who love wisdom are philosophers.
I love wisdom.
Therefore I am a philosopher.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Namelesss » December 14th, 2017, 6:16 pm

Hermes_Trismegistus wrote:
August 17th, 2017, 8:55 am
Let me respond with a syllogism.

All persons who love wisdom are philosophers.
I love wisdom.
Therefore I am a philosopher.
That is a cute bumpersticker, but an idiot can claim love of wisdom (in the eye of the beholder), and he's no philosopher.
Philosophy is original critical thought, along with every other means of Knowing.
Most can barely decide how much cheese to put on their nachos, and yet would consider themselves to be philosophers.
It's all ego!
Philosophical thought is the rarest and finest of ego masturbation! Few achieve those masturbatory heights, fewer every year!

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Hereandnow » December 14th, 2017, 10:48 pm

Begs the question: what's an ego? Now THAT is what a philosopher is made out of: unsettled inquiry.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Namelesss » December 14th, 2017, 11:21 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 10:48 pm
Begs the question: what's an ego?
Ego = thought! *__-
Now THAT is what a philosopher is made out of: unsettled inquiry.
And good theories! *__-

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Greta » December 14th, 2017, 11:44 pm

Ego acts as a shield. It is our care about staying in one piece. The "masturbation" is the stimulation of empowerment. Philosophical thought can empower our egos to help shield us from the impacts of life's travails, and can also be useful to drive people off when you seek space. It can also impress some people - you are so deep! - hence Nameless's use of "masturbation :)

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Namelesss » December 15th, 2017, 2:01 am

Greta wrote:
December 14th, 2017, 11:44 pm
Ego acts as a shield. It is our care about staying in one piece. The "masturbation" is the stimulation of empowerment. Philosophical thought can empower our egos to help shield us from the impacts of life's travails, and can also be useful to drive people off when you seek space. It can also impress some people - you are so deep! - hence Nameless's use of "masturbation :)
More like believing the 'simulation of empowerment'! *__-
Actually, I was not attempting to impress with anything deep, quite the contrary, my use of 'masturbation' was almost literal.
When the Wise Know not to believe anything that we think/feel, that to think/speak is to lie, when we continue to go about with all these great thoughts, feeling good from all the revelations, all the epiphanies, and on a Universal scale to boot, is most certainly a heady mixture, but a mixture of lies that we's gettin' off on! Hence the 'masturbation' reference.
A lot of useless action resulting in nothing but fleeting good feelings is certainly one definition, anyway.

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Greta
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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Greta » December 15th, 2017, 5:30 am

That's a different take on it. However, rather than feeling dismissive towards human knowledge; I am in awe of what I see as a tremendous achievement, rather than lies. There's much we still don't know but great strides have been made to amass a pretty extraordinarily huge and wide ranging body of knowledge.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Hereandnow » December 15th, 2017, 10:44 am

Greta:
Ego acts as a shield. It is our care about staying in one piece. The "masturbation" is the stimulation of empowerment. Philosophical thought can empower our egos to help shield us from the impacts of life's travails, and can also be useful to drive people off when you seek space. It can also impress some people - you are so deep! - hence Nameless's use of "masturbation :)
Puzzling things here. A shield sounds like something Freud would say. Of course, there is a question begged here as well: Protecting "whom" ? This goes too an entirely different idea of ego, one that is more difficult to classify because the moment we raise the question it slips away. A very curious part of the structure of conscious events as such, and certainly, as with many things, easy to dismiss, as a positivist readily does, but cannot in good intellectual conscience since this elusive ego is part and parcel real events, that is, as some have put it (I won't drop names. Never sits well) it is a structural feature of our being here.

I also find a bit of Hume here, in his critique of religious belief; as if philosophy is a refuge from things that can't be controlled. Well, if you go this way, then I would bring Freud (and others) to the table: everything is like this, and so it is fair to say that such a thing is trivially true.

Driving people away? Absolutely alienating! My understanding is that no one wants to think about basic assumptions, basic questions. Too scary. And they're right about this. Philosophy is not helpful for a happy life, for the most part at any rate. This is because it tears down institutions of culture and language. But beneath these there is something more than masturbation and shelter from the cold. That goes to some very interesting and even, as you pejoratively put it, "deep: discussion.

No. No one is impressed any more. Philosophy is a ship buried in the sand waiting for the tide to change.

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Namelesss » December 15th, 2017, 4:02 pm

Greta wrote:
December 15th, 2017, 5:30 am
That's a different take on it. However, rather than feeling dismissive towards human knowledge; I am in awe of what I see as a tremendous achievement, rather than lies.

I have been studying the 'pudding' of "human knowledge" since the first of us monkeys climbed down from the tree and started making Cadillacs and guns! The state of humanity, as observed today, all over the world; the same old wars and starvation and illness and greed and selfishness and need and violence, etc...
All just getting nastier by the day, all from believing lies!
THAT leaves me far from 'awestruck'.
When one human transcends the swamp of thought/ego and 'belief' into the light of unconditional Love/Enlightenment, now THAT is where I find my awe!
That is the difference between (gee, I don't know another word for it that might not upset you) the intellectual masturbatory wonderful fun "feelings" of 'thought well done', philosophy, and wordless, thoughtless, egoless... 'awe'!
There's much we still don't know but great strides have been made to amass a pretty extraordinarily huge and wide ranging body of knowledge.
All is Known, Here! Now!
Access is limited for us all to a "need to Know" basis! If the telescope is pointed at the moon, it doesn't need to Know the sun, at that moment.
Knowledge does not necessarily have anything to do with 'thoughts/ego'!

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Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Greta » December 15th, 2017, 7:44 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
December 15th, 2017, 10:44 am
Greta:
Ego acts as a shield. It is our care about staying in one piece. The "masturbation" is the stimulation of empowerment. Philosophical thought can empower our egos to help shield us from the impacts of life's travails, and can also be useful to drive people off when you seek space. It can also impress some people - you are so deep! - hence Nameless's use of "masturbation :)
Puzzling things here. A shield sounds like something Freud would say. Of course, there is a question begged here as well: Protecting "whom" ? This goes too an entirely different idea of ego, one that is more difficult to classify because the moment we raise the question it slips away. A very curious part of the structure of conscious events as such, and certainly, as with many things, easy to dismiss, as a positivist readily does, but cannot in good intellectual conscience since this elusive ego is part and parcel real events, that is, as some have put it (I won't drop names. Never sits well) it is a structural feature of our being here.
That's the basic point of an ego, isn't it? It is basically the personal aspect of the survival instinct.
Hereandnow wrote:I also find a bit of Hume here, in his critique of religious belief; as if philosophy is a refuge from things that can't be controlled. Well, if you go this way, then I would bring Freud (and others) to the table: everything is like this, and so it is fair to say that such a thing is trivially true.
For sure. It's been a potted path towards my fauxlosophising today. I was always curious about nature but was damaged at school and my focus shifted to trying to understand why I failed socially (this is before knowledge about high functioning autism). So self-help books followed and, as with any line of inquiry, one piece of information can lead to another, and in a few years I was immersed in Buddhist philosophy and metaphysical ideas. Meanwhile my work, along with my instinct to support underdogs, lead me to corporate ethics - OH&S, privacy, anti-bullying and EEO.

What pushed me, not towards philosophy per se so much as existentialist thinking, was the death in quick succession of my sister and Dad a few years ago. Hello mortality! Soon afterwards some lung problems and a nervous wait over a weekend for the results of a Friday scan had a profound effect on me. If cancer was diagnosed, the life I'd had would be over.

So I started to see the world through the eyes of the doomed, as though I'd be seeing my home and local area for the last time. It's then that you realise how much you love life and how much you take for granted; also how entangled in we are in the human social meta-reality, often oblivious to oceans of actual reality occurring while obsessing over the social surface foam (as Buddhists et al have observed).

I wanted - and want - to simply better understand the nature of reality - out of both curiosity and a wish to better understand our posthumous prospects. Many hold tribal-style allegiances as regards their methods of dealing with and understanding reality. As far as I'm concerned the tool of inquiry is only important insofar as its usefulness - science, philosophy, introspection/meditation, the arts, work, asceticism, mythology, nurturing, intellectual immersion, emotional immersion, and so on - whatever works at the time.
Hereandnow wrote:Driving people away? Absolutely alienating! My understanding is that no one wants to think about basic assumptions, basic questions. Too scary. And they're right about this. Philosophy is not helpful for a happy life, for the most part at any rate. This is because it tears down institutions of culture and language. But beneath these there is something more than masturbation and shelter from the cold. That goes to some very interesting and even, as you pejoratively put it, "deep: discussion.
Yes. Arguably the best advice for deep thinkers is to exercise outdoors daily and be grounded by interaction with simple beings like children, animals and plants. Whatever, for many regulars of philosophy forums a happy life probably won't be found in the cautiously vacuous exchanges of well-mannered society. Sometimes the grapes really are sour, at least relatively so :)

As a matter of interest, what aspect/s of "deep discussion" were you thinking about at the time?
Hereandnow wrote:No. No one is impressed any more. Philosophy is a ship buried in the sand waiting for the tide to change.
You're right. From memory, it's only those who use easily-won supportiveness as a bonding tool who seem impressed. Then they gracefully, but quickly, flee.

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