Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"). Those kind of questions can be asked in the off-topic section.
Post Reply
Posts: 60
Joined: November 20th, 2007, 10:27 pm

Post by kyle22 »

In a way I think everyone is a philosopher to some degree. All people wonder about the fundamental issues of our lives and the world. We all wonder about the meaning of life, of morality, of what we can know, and all that.
Posts: 81
Joined: November 11th, 2007, 4:54 pm
Location: Syracuse, UT

Post by Patrarch »

I agree with previous post that say every living human being is a philosopher in some way or another, it's just the dedication that varies. Everybody seeks truth in some form or another whether they admit it or not. The conception of "philosophy" and "philosophers" commonly held by the general public are people that sit around and think and question ridiculously abstract ideas that are meaningless to everyday life. This is far from true. Living is doing philosophy. Being a human being is being a philosopher.

I don't consider any objective value statement on the quality of philosopher. The only objective value statement that can be held on better or worse philosophers is their ability to be objective, their ability to listen to all views, all points equally and take them for what they are worth. The notion of "bad philosopher" only comes into play when someone posits merely their opinion with no reasoning or evidence whatsoever, or discounts all opposing views without analyzing the evidence. Being open to belief revision is another one of these qualities that distinguishes a good from bad philosopher. One is not a "bad philosopher" just because they use an invalid argument, logical fallacies or poor reasoning. This is an opportunity for learning and teaching, not a mistake. In turn, when it comes to giving a value judgment on a "better" or "worse" than scale, I do not see it fit to apply these judgments at all whether it be comparing a high school student who has never read any philosophy, the arm chair philosopher, those with a formal degree in Philosophy like myself, or the "famous philosopher" like those you speak of as "masters." Everyone is an equally great philosopher, but it is the dedication (the dedication level is how I think most people distinguish "Great" philosophers from "not so great," though I disagree with this) that is normally most salient; the amount of dedication one has to loving wisdom and the pursuit of truth. Everyone is equal in my eyes, every philosopher has value to offer and the only judgment that can be made in my eyes is how receptive they are to ideas that do not agree with their own.
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
Marcus Clayman
Posts: 37
Joined: January 3rd, 2008, 4:58 pm

Post by Marcus Clayman »

Philosopher(lover of wisdom) Yes! Every good human being would love nothing more than to live a life founded on truth, guided by virtue. It is not true that simply because you have a philosophy, you are a philosopher, more that you are a Sophist(wisdom-ist)

a real philosopher needs to think for themself, discorse with others to get the bottom of questions, but not for their own understanding, for everyones understanding. Idealy we could have conversations all the time, but our egos make us defensive and take stances rather than listen and wonder. So a real philosopher must understand their ego as something seperate than their ability to reason, and the most vital part, knowing how little you know. Ultimately philosophy is about making better(more fulfilling) lives for everyone, so lies are somewhat accepted, if they carry a vital message, like creativity, excellence in virtue, and moral guidlines for the betterment of a city. A philosopher should learn and be aware of more than express their wonder and ask questions, unless of course, in debate, then asking questions is the only thing a philosopher wants to do.
Truth is the ultimate ideal, and if there is no such thing, than freedom, most likely though, they are one and the same.
Posts: 18
Joined: May 30th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Yes, I long to find all those answers!!!!!!!

Post by Jojay »

eskimokiss20 wrote:It's important for people to understand philosophy because its always great to know why things happen and how they happen.
Philosophy isn't a science. One cannot simply look into a book and discover all the answers to everything.
Posts: 18
Joined: May 30th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Jojay »

Marcus Clayman wrote:Ultimately philosophy is about making better(more fulfilling) lives for everyone, so lies are somewhat accepted, if they carry a vital message, like creativity, excellence in virtue, and moral guidlines for the betterment of a city.
David Hume would be rolling in his grave, that racist jerk. I don't really think Machiavelli sought to make the lives of all people, or even most people better. And let us not forget Ayn Rand and her objectivist followers. Come to think of it, most philosophers throughout the ages have not had the betterment of mankind on their minds, it is pretty much a recent phenomenon. Although I'm sure that a few have written about it, what with that whole phase of creating Utopias and whatnot...
Marcus Clayman wrote:A philosopher should learn and be aware of more than express their wonder and ask questions, unless of course, in debate, then asking questions is the only thing a philosopher wants to do.
Truth is the ultimate ideal, and if there is no such thing, than freedom, most likely though, they are one and the same.
Again, Hume and the grave rolling...
On the topic of truth/freedom being the ultimate ideals, do you Know of one thing in this universe? And furthermore, do you know of anything to be completely Free? I bet you do not. I don't think anyone ever has, and if they say other wise, its most likely a lie, which is alright sometimes, as you have said.
And why are things like Truth and freedom so important? I don't think it is the philosopher's job to find Truth anymore, the scientists and theologians pretty much have that in hand. As for the notion of Freedom, it has become a matter of religion and politics.
Posts: 18
Joined: May 30th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Jojay »

philoreaderguy wrote:Do you consider yourself a philosopher? Do you think other people do? Why or why not?
Short answer: No.

I am not a philosopher in any sense of the word. I am merely a human. I hold opinions about different things, I think some things may be true, but I could be wrong. "Rationalism", "Logic", "Truth" and all those other deified words are nothing but theoretical used to present others of a one dimensional certainty in a multidimensional world.

Everyone on this board has a concrete definition of what a philosopher is, some people say being like other "master" philosophers qualify as being a philosopher, or that everyone is a philosopher. What does that say about us? That because we all ask questions, we automatically are super wise beings? Or that only those with superior intellects can truly attain the title of philosopher?
Philosophers are those that loathe being called philosophers, they wish that terrible word never existed.
In short(once more): philosophers are more than likely not concerned with any of the semantics accompanied with finding out if someone is a philosopher or not.
User avatar
Posts: 30
Joined: December 25th, 2007, 6:14 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain

Post by elililly »

I'm crap at making up my own original statements, but hey, I'm new to this philosophy gig, so I'll quote Jostein Gaarder, in Sophie's World:

"the only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder"
"Our similarities provide us with a common ground, but our differences allow us to be fascinated by one another. Differences give human encounters their snap and their fizz and their brew."
Tom Robbins ~ Skinny Legs and All
Posts: 4
Joined: January 8th, 2008, 12:09 pm

Post by Against-Odds »

Everyone should learn the difference between a philosopher and a man who philosophies. To philosophy is not deep and not important or interesting. It is just a bla-bla-bla. One should at first think and then speak about what you have learned. I do not consider myself a philosopher, I just try not to philosophy.
Posts: 2
Joined: January 9th, 2008, 10:18 pm

Post by penkem »

I think i'm a philosopher.i think why i'm here?who'm me?what should i do in my life?i judge right from wrong by wether it is good for the life.

I think any man who once thought about these is a philosopher.
User avatar
Posts: 78
Joined: December 5th, 2007, 1:10 am
Location: Emmaus, PA

Post by coffeeprincess »

No. Not everyone is a philosopher.

To be an actual philosopher I think you have to not only seek truth but you have to DEVOTE YOUR LIFE to that search and do everything in your power to find it.

It is not enough to think from time to time about philosophical questions. What matters is that you try to live your life according to the principles you teach and expound upon. Furthermore I think it is important to share whatever truth you have found if people are wiling to hear you. Even if they are not you can always be that gadfly like ol' Socrates.
"I'm not down here for your money, I'm not down here for you love, I'm not down here for your love or money, I'm down here for your soul"

-Nick Cave "Deanna"
Posts: 105
Joined: April 2nd, 2008, 3:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Brodnax, Va. 23920

What makes a person a philosopher? Devotion!

Post by Mortalsfool »

I think that the one defining characteristic that determines whether or not you are a philosopher, is the practice of applying what you learn. If you discover some philosophic principle that promises to improve your experience of life and you don't apply it, you are merely gaining an intellectual understanding of philosophic theory.

It could be compared to a philosophy professor who intellectually knows everything about the subject, but suffers his own life in shambles because he hasn’t applied the philosophic principles he understands.

I think that the whole purpose of studying philosophy is the devout application to your own life, thereby seeking for yourself the 'changes' touted by those that espouse it's virtues. It is these ‘changes’ that make a philosopher ‘different’ from others.

Indeed, these changes in the way the real world is perceived by a philosopher, has caused many radical personalities throughout history, including today; so if you don’t like appearing different from the norm be careful.
Posts: 515
Joined: February 28th, 2008, 4:23 pm
Location: Maryland

Post by anarchyisbliss »

I think I am a philosopher because I am a revolutionary of the nonconformists which most philosophers probably were.
"If there is hope, it lies in the proles." - George Orwell, 1984
Posts: 151
Joined: July 8th, 2008, 11:59 am
Location: In the moment

Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by willowtreeme »

I never studied philosophy. I have no degree or credentials. I really have no idea of what this philosopher or that philosopher believed. And some of what I read in this forum boggles my non-analytical mind but I do find it very interesting. There is no one in my life with whom I can discuss my thoughts and feelings about LIFE, TRUTH, GOD.

But yes, I do consider myself to be a philosopher, and I have been told jokingly that I am (in the broad sense). A philosopher is one who loves wisdom, who searches after the truth, and I believe tries to live one's life by certain a certain truth and/or principal.

I am always questioning life, the "why", the "what is", trying to come up with a question that is original -- is that possible though. I bet all of the philosophers written about in the books in one way or another "borrowed" their "original" truths about life from others' strands.
Posts: 4
Joined: November 13th, 2008, 8:53 am

Post by grawler »

Yes I am a philosopher. I don't need any credentials to tell me so. I am a thinker, critically asessing all situations, including my purpose in life, and attempting to see through b.s. in order to see reality, or as close to reality as I can.
Posts: 125
Joined: October 7th, 2008, 1:42 pm
Location: nr. Leigh on Sea, Essex UK

Post by celebritydiscodave »

I think of a philosopher in terms of a person possessing well beyond the average range of philosophical powers,whether currently recognised,or not,by the greater public. The capacity for thinking outside of being human(beyond one`s personal programming)is essentially in my view what defines philosophers from the rest. Am I?
Post Reply

Return to “General Philosophy”

Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021