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A beginner question, and introduction

Please post all introductions in this forum. Tell us how you found the philosophy forums, what interests you about philosophy, and a little about you, such as your age, where you live, what you do for a living, etc.
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TheoDoesBurg
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by TheoDoesBurg » January 31st, 2019, 10:20 am

Hahaha, thanks Burning ghost, Arjen. Looking forward to seeing (and probably arguing) with you down there then!

Belindi
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Belindi » January 31st, 2019, 12:27 pm

TheoDoesBurg, pessimism is a safer bet than optimism .Your scepticism having reached rock bottom you can now begin to build a more reasonable set of ideas. I recommend a history of humankind rather than philosophy .
Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari 1988 available in paperback now.

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TheoDoesBurg
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by TheoDoesBurg » February 6th, 2019, 9:52 am

Hi Belindi, thank you for replying!
I do agree that a healthy amount of skepticism and critical thinking is a good thing as it prevents you from having a bias towards positivity.
But in my understanding, pessimism is also a bias towards negativity, and it too must be tempered by a healthy amount of critical thinking.
Unless, the unknown is itself biased towards negativity - i.e. there is a much higher chance that something undesirable will happen than something that is desirable.
Or that our minds are somehow naturally biased towards optimism.
In which case I would be very intrigued to see if there is some kind of proof. Is that why you recommended Sapiens?

In the end though, I do not think I can even move forward if I follow my pessimism and always assume the worst.
I think of it like, while it is true that pessimism is a safer bet, a more risky bet usually gives better returns.
We do our best to find out our odds, and improve them where possible of course, and to do that I think we need to have an unbiased view about our odds.

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Arjen
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Arjen » February 6th, 2019, 12:34 pm

TheoDoesBurg wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 9:52 am
Hi Belindi, thank you for replying!
I do agree that a healthy amount of skepticism and critical thinking is a good thing as it prevents you from having a bias towards positivity.
But in my understanding, pessimism is also a bias towards negativity, and it too must be tempered by a healthy amount of critical thinking.
Unless, the unknown is itself biased towards negativity - i.e. there is a much higher chance that something undesirable will happen than something that is desirable.
Or that our minds are somehow naturally biased towards optimism.
In which case I would be very intrigued to see if there is some kind of proof. Is that why you recommended Sapiens?

In the end though, I do not think I can even move forward if I follow my pessimism and always assume the worst.
I think of it like, while it is true that pessimism is a safer bet, a more risky bet usually gives better returns.
We do our best to find out our odds, and improve them where possible of course, and to do that I think we need to have an unbiased view about our odds.
You should read this book, especially with the addittion of Slavoj Zizek, Schelling's work describes exactly what you are contemplating in your post: The Ages of the world; The Abbyss of Freedom.

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TheoDoesBurg
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by TheoDoesBurg » February 9th, 2019, 2:34 am

Thanks Arjen, definitely on my reading list!

Tractatus Theologico-Politicus - Baruch Spinoza
Beyond Good and Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
Man and his Symbols - Carl Jung
The Abyss of Freedom/Ages of the World - Slavoj Zizek, F.W.J. von Schelling
Either/Or - Søren Kierkegaard

The Sacred and The Profane - Eliade


Still on Tractatus right now though, haha.

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Burning ghost
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Burning ghost » February 9th, 2019, 6:36 am

Jeez! Don’t forget to form your own ideas whilst reading and STOP reading in order to do so. It seems to me a lot of people get caught up parroting the opinions of others.

I didn’t start reading “philosophy” until I was about 33.

Spinoza I’ve not managed to get to myself. He seems pretty interesting from what little I know of him though - good choice I hope. I’d go straight for Jung after that to chill out a little; and cetainly prior to Nietzsche. Eliade is niche, but should be useful to you if it strikes the right note (I believe if ou search this forum you’ll find some notes I posted about the first half of the book).

Enjoy exlporing and expanding your ignorance :)
AKA badgerjelly

Belindi
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Belindi » February 9th, 2019, 7:15 am

TheoDoesBurg wrote:
In the end though, I do not think I can even move forward if I follow my pessimism and always assume the worst.
I think of it like, while it is true that pessimism is a safer bet, a more risky bet usually gives better returns.
We do our best to find out our odds, and improve them where possible of course, and to do that I think we need to have an unbiased view about our odds.
In view of your helpful comment I'd draw a difference between pessimism and fatalism. To "find out our odds" I'd call pessimism if the research is as rigorous and unbiased as possible, and to invest in the future despite bad odds is to avoid fatalism and hopelessness.

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Arjen
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Arjen » February 9th, 2019, 5:08 pm

TheoDoesBurg wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 2:34 am
Thanks Arjen, definitely on my reading list!

Tractatus Theologico-Politicus - Baruch Spinoza
Beyond Good and Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
Man and his Symbols - Carl Jung
The Abyss of Freedom/Ages of the World - Slavoj Zizek, F.W.J. von Schelling
Either/Or - Søren Kierkegaard

The Sacred and The Profane - Eliade


Still on Tractatus right now though, haha.
Haha, you've got something to do!
Take it 1 book at a time.
No one will hold it against you if you don't get around to the rest due to other inspirations.
:)

But they are great picks.
:)

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TheoDoesBurg
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by TheoDoesBurg » February 11th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Doing my best! Hahahaha

On the topic of other inspirations, would you also recommend "The Brothers Karamazov"?

Also, is it okay to discuss/ask about the meaning of some of the phrases in a book in the Lounge section?

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Burning ghost
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Burning ghost » February 11th, 2019, 10:06 pm

TheoDoesBurg wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 2:52 pm
Doing my best! Hahahaha

On the topic of other inspirations, would you also recommend "The Brothers Karamazov"?

Also, is it okay to discuss/ask about the meaning of some of the phrases in a book in the Lounge section?
Never got around to finishing it tbh. I would recommend “Crime and Punishment” though.
AKA badgerjelly

Belindi
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Belindi » February 12th, 2019, 5:41 am

Arjen recommended a book and here is a interesting bit of precis:
----------the most eloquent and definitive encompassing of Schelling's lyrical thought. It centers on the problem of how the Absolute (God) himself, in order to become actual, to exist effectively, has to accomplish a radically contingent move of acquiring material, bodily existence.
I gather that Schelling is using 'God' to stand for the absolute and existence to stand for the absolute- made- manifest. This has echos of the other more famous incarnation of the absolute.

The Abyss of Freedom/Ages of the World (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism) Paperback – May 29, 1997
by Slavoj Zizek (Author), F.W.J. von Schelling (Author), Judith Norman (Translator)

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TheoDoesBurg
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by TheoDoesBurg » February 13th, 2019, 6:13 am

Jeez! Don’t forget to form your own ideas whilst reading and STOP reading in order to do so. It seems to me a lot of people get caught up parroting the opinions of others.

I didn’t start reading “philosophy” until I was about 33.

Spinoza I’ve not managed to get to myself. He seems pretty interesting from what little I know of him though - good choice I hope. I’d go straight for Jung after that to chill out a little; and cetainly prior to Nietzsche. Eliade is niche, but should be useful to you if it strikes the right note (I believe if ou search this forum you’ll find some notes I posted about the first half of the book).

Enjoy exlporing and expanding your ignorance :)
Yeah I do feel like right now my opinions are still pretty much heavily influenced by only a few people.
Jung is for chilling out? Hahaha, I can only imagine how heavy Nietzche's books are for you to say that.
Thanks for the advice Burning Ghost!
P.S. Somehow I missed this reply, must've been my sleepy eyes.
In view of your helpful comment I'd draw a difference between pessimism and fatalism. To "find out our odds" I'd call pessimism if the research is as rigorous and unbiased as possible, and to invest in the future despite bad odds is to avoid fatalism and hopelessness.
I see! Thank you for pointing the distinction Belindi. I've never even heard of fatalism before, is it similar with nihilism?
I gather that Schelling is using 'God' to stand for the absolute and existence to stand for the absolute- made- manifest. This has echos of the other more famous incarnation of the absolute.
I assume this is talking about creation?

Belindi
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Belindi » February 14th, 2019, 8:23 am

TheoDoesBurg wrote:
I gather that Schelling is using 'God' to stand for the absolute and existence to stand for the absolute- made- manifest. This has echos of the other more famous incarnation of the absolute.
I assume this is talking about creation?
It's about God or the absolute made manifest in nature, or 'incarnation'.

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Burning ghost
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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Burning ghost » February 14th, 2019, 8:56 am

Theo -

That particular book (“Man and his Symbols”) was written for public consumption. Some people do struggle with Jung anyway though. Depends on the individual in question - I didn’t mean he was easy going, but that particular book is certainly more “chill” than his main work and any other books suggested to you (imo).

Neitzsche is a toughy for me. Maybe other people don’t have as hard a time as I do just like I don’t too hard a time with Jung ... I doubt it though. A quite thorough understanding of Neitzsche’s early work is required to get to the depth of his more famous work (thinking Thus Spake ... I left that one alone until I’m fit to come back to it in the distant future).
AKA badgerjelly

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Re: A beginner question, and introduction

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 6:41 am

@Burning ghost : It sounds like we are opposites. I thought Nietzsche was light reading. And Jung and I have issues. I don't agree with him on crucial points. :) The thing that you have to remember with Nietzsche is that he can say the opposite of what he means. Like I would say that I agree with Jung, while actuallly not agreeing. But Nietsche typically first states what he is actually thinking. After that, he explains different aspects of why he thinks that; which can be (often are) cynical. Which means it is not what he actually thinks. It is just a way of showing what he feels is ridiculous.

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