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|( the cry ) Philosophy Discussion Board|
Posted by km on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 22:25:11 :
In Reply to: social pyramid namedropping posted by shane on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 07:26:08 :
At the very least, using the name of a famous philosophy or a generally well known philosophical/ scientific doctrine (materialism, pyschoanalysis, etc) can serve to facilitate communication, assuming that participants in the discussion are familiar with the thinkers and theories that are being NAMED. By NAMING a thinker or theory, we can avoid having to make long-winded explanations of a position that either we hold or that we want to discuss. I can, for instance, in a certain context, say "Tarski's theory of truth" rather than having to explicate everything that Tarski said about truth.
However, this does have the set back of leading to generalizations, and sometimes even causing confusion (say, if two people understand a theory differently, they can think they are talking about the same thing but really aren't). Not only is this problem in situations such as these, but also a SERIOUS problem in the intellectual discipline of philosophy (journals, books, etc).
Also, knowing about other theories, and discussing them, often helps for one to understand one's own views, and sometimes to lead one to recognize that what one believes isn't all that original (which isnt at all a bad thing). Our thought and language is largely conditioned by the world in which we live and the influences that we encounter; i dont think we should turn around and reject our own foundations (as if we taught ourselve to talk). For instance, I am curious what has led you to believe that self-discovery is such a profound and important task.
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