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?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
Post Reply
User avatar
Janny909
New Trial Member
Posts: 1
Joined: May 30th, 2019, 1:13 am

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Janny909 » May 30th, 2019, 1:51 am

I like to consider myself a scholar, yet I don't have the foggiest idea what "qualifications" or "characteristics" I need with the end goal for others to take a gander at me as a "logician." Then once more, I couldn't care less in the event that others consider me to be a rationalist or not, I'll continue appreciating reasoning whichever way :)

User avatar
Scruffy Nerf Herder
Posts: 24
Joined: November 29th, 2016, 3:51 am

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Scruffy Nerf Herder » May 31st, 2019, 11:32 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
May 29th, 2019, 10:17 am
Well Scruffy, I agree with some of this. What is missing is content. or, the value and meaning of these "foundational relationships". If philosophy does, as you say, underpin all we do and think about, what is it that informs the questioning mind that is philosophical, that is so important? All categories of inquiry are general, but they are not denied their "field" of thinking. Is philosophy so vague to you? If so, you would have to address what it is that binds their literature together.
Who do you read, Scruffy?
-What is the value and meaning of the foundational relationships? Well, I'll try to answer that and some other questions you have here but with brevity as clearly it's an expansive subject.

So far as how I understand the meaning of the foundational relationships, being a holistic thinker I am against the Aristotelian concept that it's inappropriate to engage in multidisciplinary studies and that the various areas of academic inquiry should be bracketed. On the one hand I don't subscribe to the modern Kantian trend of reducing everything to a glossary of terms ending with isms and other various technical expressions, using them as a matter of convention and really more as shorthand for a general group of propositions (e.g. theism can be a meaningful ism but as Scotus would have loved to say, there are always more subtle distinctions to be made), and on the other hand I don't subscribe to Wittgenstein's early work in the Tractatus on language being as representative of reality as a picture. I think in terms of degrees of explanatory power and scope, and gradual improvements, that there are seemingly endless questions to be had and that there is probably a seamless continuum between them all in which the academic project as a whole is intimately interrelated. Yes, there are answers/theorems that don't play well with each other but the underlying questions themselves are quite intimate.

If you'd like more concrete examples of that way of thinking I'd be perfectly happy to go into more detail. Often in my mind metaphysical questions naturally lead into epistemological questions, or into questions about logic and language. One second it's a discussion about QM and this leads into metaphysical suggestions about determinism and causality.

-What is it that informs the question mind that is so important? Why, the questions themselves. The questions in philosophy prefigure the interests of the stratified fields. Every wrinkle in a subject found by a question is another legitimate avenue for curiosity and I must admit that I'm such a maddeningly curious person that for a long time I haven't been sure where my curiosity begins or ends.

-Is philosophy so vague to me? You've asked quite the grand question, friend. In some respects it could be accurate to say that I'm a thorough-going skeptic and that I think language itself is vague, that there is no such thing as a discussion that doesn't suffer from mountains of vagueness waiting to be teased out by questions concerning, for example, definitions.

When do grains of sand become a heap? How many steps before the simple becomes the complex?

-Who do I read? Well you've got me there. That's the one question I don't know how to answer. I mean, I'll read anything if I have the time and hopefully the mental energy or am not too distracted. Lately I've been looking into African Sage Philosophy, medieval Muslim philosophers such as Al-kindi, Averroes, and Avicenna, the Byzantine bibliophile Photius, and Duns Scotus to round things out.

Kaz_1983
Posts: 355
Joined: May 26th, 2019, 6:52 am

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Kaz_1983 » June 5th, 2019, 6:11 am

Nahh I don't find myself as philosopher.

User avatar
Hereandnow
Posts: 2505
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Hereandnow » June 5th, 2019, 12:52 pm

Scruffy Nerf Herder

On the one hand I don't subscribe to the modern Kantian trend of reducing everything to a glossary of terms ending with isms and other various technical expressions, using them as a matter of convention and really more as shorthand for a general group of propositions (e.g. theism can be a meaningful ism but as Scotus would have loved to say, there are always more subtle distinctions to be made), and on the other hand I don't subscribe to Wittgenstein's early work in the Tractatus on language being as representative of reality as a picture. I think in terms of degrees of explanatory power and scope, and gradual improvements, that there are seemingly endless questions to be had and that there is probably a seamless continuum between them all in which the academic project as a whole is intimately interrelated. Yes, there are answers/theorems that don't play well with each other but the underlying questions themselves are quite intimate.
I'm not sure about the "technical expressions' you have in mind, but it sounds like you resent the way philosophy introduces its own complications which are not in keeping with the "explanatory power and scope" the world deserves. There is a strong argument here, I believe, but one finds this within the context of those systematically designed theories you take issue with. Take Kant: there are serious problems in prioritizing rationality to the point that experience and the depth of meaning that rises out of it are pushed aside. Kant's ethics, for example, is, while I believe excellent for underscoring the dimension of duty in a moral act, an absurd reduction of the passion, the compassion, the empathy, the caring we have for one another, and so forth, to an abstraction. BUT: it is through Kant's thinking that we see more clearly what can be disclosed. This is a Heideggerian idea, that language opens possibilities and through these we can broaden our inquiries. Kant said a lot about the structures of thought and judgment and he and the subsequent thinking that ensued, taught me about the very limitations of philosophy. This is philosophy's purpose; think of it as a kind of jnana yoga, or apophatic theology whereby one learns what is the case (or, what to do with one's time and experience) by an intensive examination of arguments that clarify delimitations. Wittgenstein and many others showed me the way to think about the way I am attached to the world: Buddhists had it right, our foundational attachments are in language and logic as well as gratification. Language holds the world still, as Parmenedes illustrated. But the world is not Parmenedean, it is Hericlitean.
But if i take your meaning, you are right to say philosophy has a great deal of reductionism in it, as thought itself is inherently reductionist, systematic, and it gives the impression that the whole affair is augmentative, a building up of knowledge, rather than a destruction, or deconstruction, this latter being a term that presents the true end of philosophy: one must be silent to let the world "speak".
What is it that informs the question mind that is so important? Why, the questions themselves. The questions in philosophy prefigure the interests of the stratified fields. Every wrinkle in a subject found by a question is another legitimate avenue for curiosity and I must admit that I'm such a maddeningly curious person that for a long time I haven't been sure where my curiosity begins or ends.
One of my favorite quotes of Heidegger's is "questioning is the piety of thought". Now, one has to, well, embrace phenomenology for this, and drop any empirically based pretensions to knowing. This latter, as i think you are aware, is derived from the way things present themselves as phenomena prior to being taken up in science. Questioning is language's way to terminate thought, and therefore the world as it progresses along in time. In the question lies true freedom, for it is in engagement, the automatic participation in which the question is most unwelcome as it intrudes into the spontaneous production of activity, that one truly loses oneself in the behavior and language of Doing. Questions bring one to the real: for at te "center" of engagement is the actuality that goes ignored otherwise; the actuality that is skipped over in the blind rush to think, to Do. This kind of blindness is what is commonly called conformity, dogmatism, just as i dogmatically adhere to the rules of language use when I produce a hypothetical, a negation, when I use an idiom or a literary devise. Foucault once said we are being ventriloquized by history, for how am I ever OUT of my recollections which inform this Heraclitean river (or, as James put it, stream) of thought? I would say we are directed OUT through questioning.
-Is philosophy so vague to me? You've asked quite the grand question, friend. In some respects it could be accurate to say that I'm a thorough-going skeptic and that I think language itself is vague, that there is no such thing as a discussion that doesn't suffer from mountains of vagueness waiting to be teased out by questions concerning, for example, definitions.
But philosophy has its very purpose in exhausting all that language can do and coming to the fascinating existential crisis where one faces metaphysics in everything that is, and having this work its way into the way we appercieve the world, displacing the commonplace and thereby bringing about an epiphany. I literally believe this to be true: Philosophy is the one true religion as all questions ultimately present basic questions, and these are at the threshold of divinity (a term not diminished by naive atheism).
Who do I read? Well you've got me there. That's the one question I don't know how to answer. I mean, I'll read anything if I have the time and hopefully the mental energy or am not too distracted. Lately I've been looking into African Sage Philosophy, medieval Muslim philosophers such as Al-kindi, Averroes, and Avicenna, the Byzantine bibliophile Photius, and Duns Scotus to round things out.
I am reading, again for the first time, Levinas' Totality and Infinity. Difficult, but worth every moment. I appreciate the breadth of your interests and I am curious. On the other hand, It is the Kierkegaard (Concept of Anxiety, Sickness Unto Death, and so on), Husserl, Heidegger, postmodern train of thought that possesses me now. But then, they only have value in that they tear apart standing thought and demystify The Cloud of Knowing. Kierkegaard starts a discourse that is forever tearing at the seams of the world.


logical structures and meaning. Are propositions' sense derived from truth value? Or, is truth value not "open" given that all propositions posit meaning that is merely tentative, approximate (to use Kierkegaard's term).

Kaz_1983
Posts: 355
Joined: May 26th, 2019, 6:52 am

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Kaz_1983 » July 6th, 2019, 8:48 am

Not really but I try my best.

User avatar
Kilvayne
New Trial Member
Posts: 2
Joined: August 16th, 2019, 9:46 pm

Re: Do you consider yourself a philosopher?

Post by Kilvayne » August 16th, 2019, 10:44 pm

In my opinion, a philosopher is somebody who expends effort thinking about topics that are greater than themselves. On second thought though, Philosophers can think about themselves as well, I.E. the topic of free will. Either way, I'd definitely like to consider myself a fledgling philosopher.

Post Reply