The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy Forums

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Samhud
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Samhud » December 3rd, 2011, 3:31 pm

Thank you Belinda and Scott for these important guidelines.

Typist
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Typist » December 15th, 2011, 8:16 am

I agree with all the wise words above in regards to clarity, spelling, grammar and keeping things as simple as possible etc. All good reminders.

The issue of manners is more complicated, imho. I suggest the following in regards to emotional content.

1) There are no victims within the context of internet forums. Each reader has control over who and what they read, when they read it, how often they read it, and how they wish to experience it. Thus, readers can reasonably be asked to surrender any claim to victim status.

2) Putting the responsibility on the reader, is helpful to the reader. The world is full of an endless ocean of people who might upset us. It is an impossible fool's errand to try to control them all. What is doable however, is controlling how we experience other people. That's only ONE brain that we have to manage, the one we actually have access to. This is the mature, practical, productive, and logical way to define the challenge.

3) My mess is my business. As example, suppose I decide to make a big bowl of spaghetti, and drink a lot of wine. And then I spill the spaghetti all over the white living room carpet in my house. It's my house, my spaghetti, and my job to clean it up. Right?

Ok, the same goes for my brain. If I decide to engage content that is likely to make me upset, and then I decide to get upset, it's all happening in my brain. If I wish for this little mess to be cleaned up, it's my brain, my mess, and my job to clean it up.

4) Finally, emotion is the primary driver of the vast majority of intellectual discussion on Internet forums. This motivation may be subtle, or it may be dramatically obvious, but it's usually there somewhere. Pushing emotion underground and pretending it doesn't exist is not good philosophy. It's better to get everything out on the table, and examine it.

And besides, without a good argument, we'll miss out on the kissing and making up. Please reference the concept "marriage" for further detail. :-)

Bill Wiltrack
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Bill Wiltrack » December 18th, 2011, 1:11 pm

.





Oh. My. God.

You've got to be kidding me.




.

Scottie
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Scottie » December 24th, 2011, 1:27 pm

First post - I'd like to think I'm doing my due diligence by acquainting myself with the suggested ideas for effective communication and healthy social living. . . so I'll beg your indulgence.

Perhaps we, as individuals, have to decide for ourselves whether we're on this board to defend positions or to explore ideas.

Sure one may need to clarify or defend a position in the present in order to participate in debate in the present and observing conventions of civil discourse (common courtesy) will aid in this process. People will likely want and need to understand a given poster's position in order to reply to it and posters should understand that sometimes their "ideas" are being tested or that someone is trying to reframe the idea because perhaps it warrants consideration in other area or on other levels.

If we're here merely to state and defend our positions on issues, however, it just descends into polemics. If I want polemics i can to go Free Republic and type in all caps. There's plenty of nasty and ill mannered to go around several times over.

Belinda
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Belinda » December 30th, 2011, 4:35 am

But holding particular stances and defending them is not necessarily polemical because any person can post a balanced discussion. However adversarial discussion is useful because in a free forum like this one anyone may read anyone elses' opinions and arguments. In real life and in any internet forum it is not possible to rule out rhetoric. Scott's rules(above) for polite discussion are fair and useful as they allow participants to exchange views without undue hurt to persons. I say 'undue hurt' for good philosophy is potentially disruptive.

The power status of any point of view is fact of life, and in a free and open society such as the internet we are able at this time to welcome all points of view and long may the internet remain so!
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Typist
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Typist » December 30th, 2011, 5:10 am

Belinda wrote:Scott's rules(above) for polite discussion are fair and useful as they allow participants to exchange views without undue hurt to persons.


Within the context of Internet forums....

Are either participants or views the source of hurt to readers? If we are precise, I believe we will see they are not. I propose that readers are the source of hurt to readers. An example...

Dear reader, whoever you may be, I hereby proclaim you to be an ignorant slut. Your views, whatever they may be, are idiotic and you are too dumb to be here.

Ok dear reader, what will you do with this insult?

You will do whatever you want to do. Nobody can force you otherwise. You may ignore the insult, and scroll on by. You may feel pity for me. You may take it as a joke. Or you may engage the insult and whip yourself up in to a fit of hysterical outrage.

It's your computer, your eyes, your brain, and entirely your right and your call to feel whatever you want to feel. It's also your responsibility. Within the context of internet forums, you are not a victim of anything or anybody. That's the beauty and burden of forums. Whatever experience you're having, is up to you.
Belinda wrote:I say 'undue hurt' for good philosophy is potentially disruptive.
I agree.

Deadred
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Deadred » March 10th, 2012, 2:24 pm

This is my first post, and I am happy to have found this website. I believe in genteel discussion and hope I can add something worthwhile here. I like the title of this thread, but wonder if the word "precision" doesn't combine the meaning of concision and clarity? Either way you are right on point, Scott. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute. My computer ate my introduction, but I'll put up another one in a few minutes! Rick

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Hjarloprillar
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Hjarloprillar » April 25th, 2012, 4:33 am

stormy phillips wrote:If you want better quality posts then "make everything as simple as possible, just not simpler."
Stormy While i understand what you imply. Your parameter removes 98% of all questions? Example. I understand what is being said on near all the posts [some are religious :? ]
making them as simple as possible. Allowing for lowest common denominator.

Makes this forum defunct

Prill

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Robert A Stephens
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Robert A Stephens » April 30th, 2012, 6:59 am

Scottie wrote:First post - I'd like to think I'm doing my due diligence by acquainting myself with the suggested ideas for effective communication and healthy social living. . . so I'll beg your indulgence.

Perhaps we, as individuals, have to decide for ourselves whether we're on this board to defend positions or to explore ideas.

Sure one may need to clarify or defend a position in the present in order to participate in debate in the present and observing conventions of civil discourse (common courtesy) will aid in this process. People will likely want and need to understand a given poster's position in order to reply to it and posters should understand that sometimes their "ideas" are being tested or that someone is trying to reframe the idea because perhaps it warrants consideration in other area or on other levels.

If we're here merely to state and defend our positions on issues, however, it just descends into polemics. If I want polemics i can to go Free Republic and type in all caps. There's plenty of nasty and ill mannered to go around several times over.

Good post and statement. Often times we must consider the full view and what it might entail for possibility. Right now, I am vexed over the "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you"---Friedrich Nietzsche and what this might entail for the reader, our lives and the rest of us.

It is not all a cut and dried road and we sometimes must embrace the implausible, only because it presents itself inexplicably and forces the issue.

The results are what count in what we actually end up doing. Thus, it is not only opposing view that may cause us to consider, or perhaps a like spirit that agrees hands down with one' stated fact or belief and thus, agrees.

I am in the arts on the one hand and techno stuff as well on the other, with regard to NASA and the end of shuttle program.

Thus, should this nation have stopped the shuttle program, even if Endeavor and Atlantis were still basically new vehicles.

Thanks,

Robert

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Grecorivera5150
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Grecorivera5150 » June 9th, 2012, 6:32 pm

What of the danger of orthodoxy? Also is not subjectivity the ying to objectivity's yang? I certainly understand a need to be concise and to use good grammar because I have a tendency to fail in these areas from time to time. I do think we can be concise and subjective simultaneously. From my perspective philosophy can not be about ideas without being about us and how we interpret ideas subjectively. Logical proofs often fail where expressionism and poetry can prevail and in this instance by prevail I mean bring clarity. Its good that there is a section on art in these forums but we should not limit its use it to only that forum. Philosophy is a conglomerate of art, science and spirituality and to try and proceed with an incomplete repertoire of tools from the entire scope of philosophy can cause us to sway and in the direction of greater cognitive dissonance.

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EMTe
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by EMTe » June 29th, 2012, 4:18 pm

Scott wrote:on what I see

We are pwned by you. Some probably want to see otherwise, but they don't have a choice. :wink:
Scott wrote:we want to have in depth discussions about complicated topics
Well, I want to make SIMPLE discussions about SIMPLE TOPICS. As far as I understand philosophy it gives people a certain degree of freedom. So, if your understanding of philosophy allows me to be not that in-depth and complicated, please let me stay. 8)
The penultimate goal of the human is to howl like the wolf.

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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by MalkuthSamanera1 » July 2nd, 2012, 11:21 am

Grecorivera5150 wrote:What of the danger of orthodoxy? Also is not subjectivity the ying to objectivity's yang? I certainly understand a need to be concise and to use good grammar because I have a tendency to fail in these areas from time to time. I do think we can be concise and subjective simultaneously. From my perspective philosophy can not be about ideas without being about us and how we interpret ideas subjectively. Logical proofs often fail where expressionism and poetry can prevail and in this instance by prevail I mean bring clarity. Its good that there is a section on art in these forums but we should not limit its use it to only that forum. Philosophy is a conglomerate of art, science and spirituality and to try and proceed with an incomplete repertoire of tools from the entire scope of philosophy can cause us to sway and in the direction of greater cognitive dissonance.
I am completely in accord with the above quote.

Poetry is known for communicating certain truths, including paradoxes that are not sufficiently expressed by prose. Logical thinking is predominantly a left brain hemisphere function (although enabled by right hemisphere) -yang as Greco says- and poetry is predominantly a right brain hemisphere function -yin as Greco says. Perhaps we need to discern a little between where poetic expression might not be so relevant (politics) to where it might be more relevant (metaphysics / general philosophy). Or alternatively, since it is Scott's prerogative as administrator to suggest boundaries, perhaps a good compromise would be a 'Philosophy of poetry /poetry of philosophy' forum where we could give a freer reign to this kind of thing.

-- Updated July 2nd, 2012, 11:42 am to add the following --

My point in raising the brain hemispheres was that balance in everything is always desirable.
Every statement contains some truth.

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Elix
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Elix » July 12th, 2012, 1:16 pm

stormy phillips wrote:If you want better quality posts then "make everything as simple as possible, just not simpler."
Crystal-clear: originally, philosophy was striving to simplify, to reduce to one. As for me, the time of Thomas is over: Jesuitic distincions, never-ending quotes, lead my mind in the wrong direction. So, after few lines, I stop reading some posts. I don't intend to offend anyone who like them, I'm open-minded: to each their own. :)

Teknix
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by Teknix » July 20th, 2012, 2:27 am

Thanks for the warning!

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BadgerBob
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Re: The Need for Concision and Clarity on the Philosophy For

Post by BadgerBob » August 4th, 2012, 9:15 pm

Thank you Scott. I heartily agree. When once training a young journalist, and to demonstrate a point, I called up a story I had myself written some years before. Even although I had initially edited it, and had cut out superfluous material, I was still able to reduce its length by another 40%. This was without losing any of the meaning and, at the same time, making it more readable. Writing to fill a pre-determined space - even one you have yourself set - is a good discipline. Make every word count. Hone in on the main message and address your target readership - this means if you are conversing with scientists or academics, use the language and terms they understand. If you want to reach a larger audience, use language to which any educated person can relate. If you subsequently have to explain what you meant, then you haven't done your job.

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