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(05-08-2010, 12:39 PM)Zakhur Wrote: [ -> ]Or maybe most people just think Philosophy is boring.  And I guess they're right if by Philosophy it is meant "an attempt to contradict common sense with assertions like 'nothing moves.' "

Yes, it contradicts common sense in the case where common sense is perception based on the senses.  But that is not necessarily the "really real" as Plato attests to.  ;D
As usual, it becomes good to refer to Plato for all other philosophy is just a footnote to him.

"Plato - Theaetetus" Wrote:  Theaet. Yes, Socrates, and I am amazed when I think of them; by
the Gods I am! and I want to know what on earth they mean; and there
are times when my head quite swims with the contemplation of them.

  Soc. I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight
into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for
wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in
wonder.
He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger
of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder). But do you begin to see
what is the explanation of this perplexity on the hypothesis which
we attribute to Protagoras?

Philosophy begins in wonder; most people don't wonder - they blindly accept or wonder about mundane things.
(05-07-2010, 09:53 PM)Scipio_a Wrote: [ -> ]I grew up with it....had enough of it then to last a life time of conjecture.  Most philosophers are no good at it any way...so who really cares?  They list the name of types of arguments and declare fallacies when it suits them so they feel educated and superior to their foes..and they usually do this improperly...

Since I am unimpressed with philosophers as a race...I am typically unimpressed with philosophy as a hobby/profession.


Well, you wanted to know.

"There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it." - Cicero
(05-08-2010, 04:57 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]As usual, it becomes good to refer to Plato for all other philosophy is just a footnote to him.

"Plato - Theaetetus" Wrote:  Theaet. Yes, Socrates, and I am amazed when I think of them; by
the Gods I am! and I want to know what on earth they mean; and there
are times when my head quite swims with the contemplation of them.

  Soc. I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight
into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for
wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in
wonder.
He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger
of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder). But do you begin to see
what is the explanation of this perplexity on the hypothesis which
we attribute to Protagoras?

Philosophy begins in wonder; most people don't wonder - they blindly accept or wonder about mundane things.

I think St Thomas Aquinas would beg to differ.  Plato and neo-platonism has a fundamental flaw - denial (or perhaps ignorance) of the peripatetic axiom.  Aristotle and Aquinas stand in contrast to Plato in this regard - not as builders on his foundation.
(05-08-2010, 05:03 PM)JamieF Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-08-2010, 04:57 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]As usual, it becomes good to refer to Plato for all other philosophy is just a footnote to him.

"Plato - Theaetetus" Wrote:  Theaet. Yes, Socrates, and I am amazed when I think of them; by
the Gods I am! and I want to know what on earth they mean; and there
are times when my head quite swims with the contemplation of them.

  Soc. I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight
into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for
wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in
wonder.
He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger
of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder). But do you begin to see
what is the explanation of this perplexity on the hypothesis which
we attribute to Protagoras?

Philosophy begins in wonder; most people don't wonder - they blindly accept or wonder about mundane things.

I think St Thomas Aquinas would beg to differ.  Plato and neo-platonism has a fundamental flaw - denial (or perhaps ignorance) of the peripatetic axiom.  Aristotle and Aquinas stand in contrast to Plato in this regard - not as builders on his foundation.

Personally, I think that axiom is erroneous (a counter example is the Natural Law which is engraved on our souls and not known through our senses and seems to agree more with a Platonic form), but that's neither here nor there.

I was stealing a quote from Whitehead:

"So far as concerns philosophy only a selected group can be explicitly mentioned. There is no point in endeavouring to force the interpretations of divergent philosophers into a vague agreement. What is important is that the scheme of interpretation here adopted can claim for each of its main positions the express authority of one, or the other, of some supreme master of thought - Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant. But ultimately nothing rests on authority; the final court of appeal is intrinsic reasonableness.

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them.."
(05-07-2010, 09:57 PM)MaterLaeta Wrote: [ -> ]I have absolutely no background in philosophy and have a hard time reading some of it.  There is no way I would post a comment on it.

Ignoring your use of paralipsis I will just say that if you have trouble reading philosophy, it is because you are not starting at the very beginning. If you were to take a course in Formal Logic you would build up from there.  Until you have done that, you should not bother at all with theology, metaphysics, etc.  Logic is the essential foundation of knowledge - without it you can't deduce whether what you are reading is true or not.  Here is an example of how easy it is:

Bobo is my pet dog.  Bobo exists in reality.  In my mind I have a picture of Bobo the dog - that picture is called a phantasm.  In my mind I understand what "dogness" is - the aspects (called notes or quiddities in logic) of a dog that make him uniquely a dog and not a cat.  This idea of dogness is called the "concept".

In that one sentence you have learnt about universal concepts (dog), singulars (bobo), and the phantasm.

It all builds from there.

Oh - and just to reaffirm what I said in my previous comment - the concept of dog that you have has been learnt by you from your sense experience - it has not come from a magical "other place" as Platonists would have you believe.

It is the fact that all knowledge comes from the senses that we get our first (and most important) concept: being.  In other words "I exist, therefore I don't NOT exist" - the principle of non-contradiction upon which all reality stands.
(05-08-2010, 05:12 PM)JamieF Wrote: [ -> ]Oh - and just to reaffirm what I said in my previous comment - the concept of dog that you have has been learnt by you from your sense experience - it has not come from a magical "other place" as Platonists would have you believe.

It is the fact that all knowledge comes from the senses that we get our first (and most important) concept: being.  In other words "I exist, therefore I don't NOT exist" - the principle of non-contradiction upon which all reality stands.

Just stating that empiricism is fact doesn't prove it so ;)
(05-08-2010, 05:11 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-08-2010, 05:03 PM)JamieF Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-08-2010, 04:57 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]As usual, it becomes good to refer to Plato for all other philosophy is just a footnote to him.

"Plato - Theaetetus" Wrote:  Theaet. Yes, Socrates, and I am amazed when I think of them; by
the Gods I am! and I want to know what on earth they mean; and there
are times when my head quite swims with the contemplation of them.

  Soc. I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight
into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for
wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in
wonder.
He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger
of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder). But do you begin to see
what is the explanation of this perplexity on the hypothesis which
we attribute to Protagoras?

Philosophy begins in wonder; most people don't wonder - they blindly accept or wonder about mundane things.

I think St Thomas Aquinas would beg to differ.  Plato and neo-platonism has a fundamental flaw - denial (or perhaps ignorance) of the peripatetic axiom.  Aristotle and Aquinas stand in contrast to Plato in this regard - not as builders on his foundation.

Personally, I think that axiom is erroneous (a counter example is the Natural Law which is engraved on our souls and not known through our senses and seems to agree more with a Platonic form), but that's neither here nor there.

Aquinas' use of the axiom allows for infused knowledge from God and from the deriving of further knowledge from that which was already sensed (or infused in a miraculous way) by the use of reason.  

There are so many errors in platonism and neo-platonism that I can't understand what a traditional Catholic would embrace that over the sound doctrines of St Thomas.  Anything which has merit in the work of Plato was absorbed by the Schoolmen into the Aristotelean system anyway - what is left is chaff.  Going back to Plato was a big problem (and remains so) for the Jesuits and it is tantamount to throwing out the Vulgate and starting over with ancient and disparate Biblical manuscripts.
(05-08-2010, 05:18 PM)Jesse Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-08-2010, 05:12 PM)JamieF Wrote: [ -> ]Oh - and just to reaffirm what I said in my previous comment - the concept of dog that you have has been learnt by you from your sense experience - it has not come from a magical "other place" as Platonists would have you believe.

It is the fact that all knowledge comes from the senses that we get our first (and most important) concept: being.  In other words "I exist, therefore I don't NOT exist" - the principle of non-contradiction upon which all reality stands.

Just stating that empiricism is fact doesn't prove it so ;)

The peripatetic axiom is self-evident (hence being called an axiom).  One cannot prove a self-evident proposition.
(05-08-2010, 05:12 PM)JamieF Wrote: [ -> ]Oh - and just to reaffirm what I said in my previous comment - the concept of dog that you have has been learnt by you from your sense experience - it has not come from a magical "other place" as Platonists would have you believe.

You're mischaracterizing what the Platonists want people to believe.  A dog is not a simple form.  A triangle might be.  A Platonist, especially a Neo-Platonist, might argue we know a dog because we get simple forms from the magical "other place" and combine them to construe a notion of a dog.  A dog is derivative of forms.

If you break down a dog into: fur, four paws, barks, etc.  it is true that you are referring to past sense input in that you have seen a dog before.  And you have a notion of what an animal is based on sense-perception probably as well.

But, to borrow from Plato, where does one get the idea of "equality"?  So, a dog is a dog because it has fur, four paws, etc.  Next time we see an animal with those characteristics, we think "oh, that must be a dog"  Why?  Because we have a concept of equality - this animal is equivalent to that in X number of ways therefore it is the same kind of animal.

When teaching a child, often a day comes where there are two stars and the kid yells out in delight, "Two!  Papa, two!" meaning he realized they are equal - they are both stars.  No one sat and said, "OK, there are 5 points and they have these kinds of angles with this kind of perspective".   The form of equality is pre-present in humans.

It can come from a "magical place" or it can be how the brain works (i.e., it is wired to compare and contrast and store and recall based on those comparisons and constrastings) or whatever.  That is irrelevant to the fact that it exists as much as conscience exists in the form of the Natural Law.  God could have put the Natural Law in us via wiring of our brains or impressed a form upon our soul (at the moment of creation to avoid the heresy of pre-existence of souls).  That type of impression/wiring is what later Platonists mean as forms, not the fact that we have a archetype of dogness in our brains.

ETA: qualify "Platonists" as "later Platonists"
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