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 Wordsmith on Friday, December 13, 2002 at 16:15:07 :

In Reply to: Re: philosophy and pysch/ nat sciences posted by trablano on Monday, December 09, 2002 at 07:46:46 :

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

: ----------

: But what if those "borders" limit the understanding of reality? Descartes himself described his certainity as the certainity of doubt alone ... and is doubting so good?
: Can doubt alone produce answers?

No, but doubt is a good fulcrum on which to
pivot an idea or three.

: When is an answer definitive?

They never are. Someone will always come around and challenge it. That's dialectic
for you.

When does an answer mean the end of argument?

When the other guy gets too tired to rebut.

: : 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?

: Isn't it both? I agree that philosophy is to great parts a wondering about whys and hows, but without ever giving an answer, may the answers be only small ones, it would never feel the urge to question.

Questions can be as satisfying as answers, if
they're posed properly.

Wordsmith : )

: Solutions are a different matter, I think. I suppose that for a solution one needs to have an aim, the idea of completition could be one.




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