What defines the philosopher is firstly his commitment to verbal logicking as the path to knowledge; and secondly, a lack of human sensibility to human life, which I shall go into in my next post. These are the two concepts that are the nearest I have yet got to understanding my exasperation with Philosophy.
The small thing that is missing from Philosophy and Philosophers is human self-knowledge. It is something that doesn’t come by way of logicking, mathematicking or scientificking.
Descartes for example couldn’t convince himself he existed till it occurred to him that he was thinking! Therefore he must exist! Cogito ergo sum! Did he really think as an adult person that he couldn’t believe he existed until the logic of words proved it? But this being led by the logicking of words to say absurdities, is what Philosophy has always been,
Descartes later changed his mind and said he can trust his senses that he does exist, and discarded Cogito ergo sum!
Philosophers follow where their logic leads them, regardless of sensory perception of the concrete, regardless of human sensibility, regardless of adult sophistication, like schoolboys. Bertrand Russell said somewhere that philosophy is about what you can say, i.e. what you are justified in saying, i.e. logic. Verbal and logicistic reductionisms!
Philosophers unscramble the wisdoms we already have, such as that we exist and that there is a world out there that we appreciate with our senses, and start again from the bottom, going back to a beginning that we never previously had even as infants. They start all over again from the bottom with the tool of logicking with words.
They are then misled by the logic of words into a maze of abstractions winding upwards into nonsense, the very opposite of rationality. An intelligent, reasonable, rational stopping before that point is required. What they call rationality is a putting aside of the human intelligence already present in our words, and ending up with something silly instead.
Also, how on earth can one get wisdom about oneself and other people and humanity through logicking, and mathematicking, and scientificking too? It is absurd that this was called ‘Philosophy’. It has been a stupidity for 2500 years. It is amazing that no-one has objected. How can people with minds similar to those of scientists give us Wisdom on human life? It is absurd, a gigantic Category Mistake. (What I mean by this big philosophical term is the application of mental methods appropriate to one field to others where they aren’t.)
Knowledge of this kind isn’t wisdom. Philosophers and scientists are prodigies of thinking, but it is of the kind that one can well believe that Artificial Intelligence will one day be its equal.
Logic, mathematics and science have been the extent to which the minds of philosophers work. They take these as comprising Reason, and then use it as a basis for step-by-step logicking into ‘abstractions’ which impress people as Wisdom on human life for which they retain a really facile understanding. To me, it is a mechanical kind of intelligence No wonder it is said that Artificial Intelligence will one day emulate it.
Many people come to Philosophy expecting something high and deep, from the depths of human experience and self-knowledge, something to rival and supersede religion, but what they get is logicking! They were right in their original expectations of what Philosophy should be.
I feel that philosophers deal in a nitpicking of logic with logic, a bending backwards to eat their own tails, some kind of weakness for obsessive logical certainty and completion that the human mind is prey to. I wanted to say to them, ‘Just stop, stop, when you feel yourself slipping down this path, just break through and use language for what it was invented for!’
Language was created by Homo sapiens on the savannahs, in the caves by the fire, and later in the streets and market-places. Language has already taken these problems of its own imperfections into account with a nod and a wink. Language already contained some wisdom before philosophers wiped it away with contempt and started logicking from the beginning.