a cry towards the absurd

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
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( the cry ) Philosophy Discussion Board

Re: philosophy and pysch/ nat sciences


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Posted by km on Saturday, December 07, 2002 at 21:13:27 :

In Reply to: Re: philosophy and pysch/ nat sciences posted by trablano on Friday, December 06, 2002 at 09:03:14 :

By eliminating "borders" philosophy would have to concede that it cannot produce answers.

But, of course, an issue that has been present in philosophy for a long time, and has been given significant attention in recent years, is the legitimization of philosophy itself. Should philosophy become purely speculative and theoretical (i.e. to no longer carry itself on in the form of "papers" found in "journals" that purport to "answer" or "make progress" on a certain question), the question of its own legitimacy becomes urgent: why should it be considered an intellectual discipline?-- i mean: why should colleges and universities have "philosophy departments"?

An interesting note is that most or all philosophy depts., so far as i know, claim that their goal is to train their students to think and reason in a broad sense. This is why many philosophy majors go on to law school, and generally score well on the LSAT exam. However, there seems to be a rift between this method of teaching (which aims at producing thought in its students) and philosophy as found in various journals and books (wherein former "students" of philosophy, no longer content to simply think, offer answers).

I think the question can be rephrased via the classic image of the thinking man with his head leaning on his hand, apparently in deep contemplation: does a philosopher simply remain in this pose of contemplation and perplexity, or does (or should) she one day rise from this state of contemplation and proclaim that she is done thinking, and has found an answer?

Is the value of philosophy the thought, contemplation, and perplexity, or the answers, solution, and progress that it purports to produce?




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