The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

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Alaric177
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The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by Alaric177 » January 9th, 2020, 5:16 pm

I am (regrettably) someone who generally finds philosophical problems frustrating rather than exciting. While I can appreciate the sense of importance that might come with the idea that the whole universe exists in one's own head, I'm generally less happy about the way that most problems seems to dissolve into shades of grey whenever one tries to grasp them.

However, it occurred to me recently, that I could always reconcile myself to the fact that the type of philosophical problems that cause us so much head-scratching are an entirely necessary part of existence as a subjective being. An animal can of course go through life without having to worry about whether it has a purpose or not, but ultimately any conscious being is constrained in the same way that we are ('a subjective being can never really remove its own subjectivity'). Perhaps we should see these philosophical 'problems' as less something to be solved and removed from the equation than as an enduring prerequisite for us to exist? Perhaps that says something about our nature . . .we fulfil ourselves by questioning ourselves. . .

>> Note - it also I suppose begs the question of how far philosophy and human psychology can ever really be separated. Can we ever take ourselves out of the equation in such a way that we can meaningfully analyse what is left behind.

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h_k_s
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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by h_k_s » January 9th, 2020, 11:08 pm

Alaric177 wrote:
January 9th, 2020, 5:16 pm
I am (regrettably) someone who generally finds philosophical problems frustrating rather than exciting. While I can appreciate the sense of importance that might come with the idea that the whole universe exists in one's own head, I'm generally less happy about the way that most problems seems to dissolve into shades of grey whenever one tries to grasp them.

However, it occurred to me recently, that I could always reconcile myself to the fact that the type of philosophical problems that cause us so much head-scratching are an entirely necessary part of existence as a subjective being. An animal can of course go through life without having to worry about whether it has a purpose or not, but ultimately any conscious being is constrained in the same way that we are ('a subjective being can never really remove its own subjectivity'). Perhaps we should see these philosophical 'problems' as less something to be solved and removed from the equation than as an enduring prerequisite for us to exist? Perhaps that says something about our nature . . .we fulfil ourselves by questioning ourselves. . .

>> Note - it also I suppose begs the question of how far philosophy and human psychology can ever really be separated. Can we ever take ourselves out of the equation in such a way that we can meaningfully analyse what is left behind.
I feel like you definitely should stop using the phrase "... the fact that …" because I'm convinced you haven't studied formal evidence and therefore do not have any real idea what a "fact" really is.

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Ren
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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by Ren » January 10th, 2020, 2:53 pm



After you will spend time with the philosophy you will realise how little you know... The tremendous power of knowing [in the beginning] will disappear like a cloud of smoke. Philosophy is here to teach you thinking, not to reply to the first sentence which you remember from books.

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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by Hereandnow » January 12th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Alaric177
I am (regrettably) someone who generally finds philosophical problems frustrating rather than exciting. While I can appreciate the sense of importance that might come with the idea that the whole universe exists in one's own head, I'm generally less happy about the way that most problems seems to dissolve into shades of grey whenever one tries to grasp them.

However, it occurred to me recently, that I could always reconcile myself to the fact that the type of philosophical problems that cause us so much head-scratching are an entirely necessary part of existence as a subjective being. An animal can of course go through life without having to worry about whether it has a purpose or not, but ultimately any conscious being is constrained in the same way that we are ('a subjective being can never really remove its own subjectivity'). Perhaps we should see these philosophical 'problems' as less something to be solved and removed from the equation than as an enduring prerequisite for us to exist? Perhaps that says something about our nature . . .we fulfil ourselves by questioning ourselves. . .

>> Note - it also I suppose begs the question of how far philosophy and human psychology can ever really be separated. Can we ever take ourselves out of the equation in such a way that we can meaningfully analyse what is left behind.
I was frustrated trying to walk as an infant, then I got the hang of it, but only after a lot of bad walking. Philosophy is the same way, isn't it? I mean, what are you reading that addresses your frustration?

As you read, you see that there are no solutions, only more problems. They grow as you read, then you abandon those you had because you found out you were missing the point altogether, and these new problems generate yet more problems. BUT: If you persist and continue to read on because you simply have to understand why we are born to suffer and die, or why knowledge claims, all of them, have discursive trails of justification with no end, or why metaphysics cannot be simply dismissed as an exercise in futility; then the world will begin to reveal itself at the level of basic assumptions. This "enduring prerequisite" is only a prerequisite to something, and for us to simply live and breathe and pay taxes, it is not much of a prerequisite. It only becomes so when we choose to look closely at things and try to get behind them.

If you are truly frustrated, then do something about it. Read philosophy. Start with Kant. Difficult? Absolutely. But he started what we call continental philosophy and all that lies therein exist in his shadow. Spend a year on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Read the commentaries online (or ask me to send any of many, many pdf files I have that give clear analytical accounts. I can do this). But it doesn't mean you become a rationalist. Read Kierkegaard who was partly responding to Kant; and so on, and so on.

Or perhaps you just saying you're frustrated.....

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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by Hereandnow » January 12th, 2020, 5:32 pm

Ren
After you will spend time with the philosophy you will realise how little you know... The tremendous power of knowing [in the beginning] will disappear like a cloud of smoke. Philosophy is here to teach you thinking, not to reply to the first sentence which you remember from books.
You mean how little one knows about philosophy. Your knowledge elsewhere remains unaffected.

So once the cloud dissipates, what is left? I am reminded of Pseudo Dionysius' The Cloud of Unknowing.

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h_k_s
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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by h_k_s » January 12th, 2020, 9:25 pm

Everything has its history, and philosophy has its own too.

We normally divide Philosophy into Western and Eastern.

Western came first, as far as we know, with Hesiod the ancient Greek playwright, and his comment about "moderation in all things" which is quoted by Aristotle but he does not give Hesiod the credit.

Eastern came later, much later, with Confucius in China.

Arab/Islamic philosophy came last of all, and was mostly an imitation of Greek mixed with Islam in the 7th Century forward. It is neither Western nor Eastern, but a separate category called Islamic. And like most things Islamic these days it is mostly frowned upon due to the 72 virgins thingie.

Anyone wanting to understand Modern Philosophy, Post-Modern, and Anti-Post Modern, needs to start with Hesiod and Confucius and move forward from there. It involves a lot of reading, re-reading, thinking, and re-thinking.

The reward is well worth it however because Philosophy will ultimately set your mind free.

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Re: The 'necessity' of philosophical problems

Post by Pattern-chaser » January 14th, 2020, 9:59 am

Alaric177 wrote:
January 9th, 2020, 5:16 pm
I am (regrettably) someone who generally finds philosophical problems frustrating rather than exciting. While I can appreciate the sense of importance that might come with the idea that the whole universe exists in one's own head, I'm generally less happy about the way that most problems seems to dissolve into shades of grey whenever one tries to grasp them.
I wonder if you are simply expressing your dissatisfaction that the real world is more complicated than you would prefer it to be? That some things aren't black and white, but infinite shades of grey?
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

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