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disagreeablemediocrity

Philosophy Anti-Philosophy History of Philosophy

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 7: History of Philosophy

THE LATER GREEK PHILOSOPHERS I was amazed by Socrates the first time I came across him, sitting in the empty market-place before breakfast with people gathered round him, and drawing them out with his quizzing.  He asked questions like: What is Courage? What is Virtue? What is Duty? and asked them one by one to come up with their examples of each.  Some of these examples were contradictory to each…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Leavis

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 2: It lacks sensibility to human life. 

Philosophy is a high logicking that the rest of us can’t manage, but it isn’t wisdom.  Wisdom should be about human life, but human life is something that philosophers have the wrong kind of minds for. Philosophy lacks ‘human sensibility to human life’.  It lacks that particular human faculty of feeling for human matters.  What it has always offered is logic, maths and science, which aren’t the appropriate mental methodologies…

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Archbishop Tutu Palestine-Israel

Tutu 2: Jews and Arabs

In his heart, Palestine has a special place .  He comes out of retirement in December 2017 to say: “God is weeping over President Trump’s inflammatory and discriminatory recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Those who claim divine rights..to physical property..are false prophets….”  (from here). He complains about Jewry’s ‘monopoly of the Holocaust’, and tells them that they aren’t being sufficiently forgiving to those who did it to…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Descartes Dualism

Descartes 3: his dualism – a problem for philosophers!

Descartes proposed his’Ontological Dualism’:  that some things such as the brain are material, and others such as the human mind and God are spiritual.  So what’s wrong with that?  Isn’t it just obvious, unproblematical and commonsensical, almost by definition of the words used?  But it was the one fraction of his thought that later philosophers weren’t impressed by. ‘Cartesian Dualism’ became the basis for  ‘The Mind-Body Problem’ for subsequent philosophers (from…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 4

Wisdom is learning about oneself and about Adam and Eve.  It is not some kind of objective knowledge arrived at by logic, mathematics or science, that can be argued, and demonstrated to other people for them to agree with, and that students can write down in their lectures. It requires another kind of intelligence which perhaps can be called Sensibility to Human Life, see previous post.    Philosophy hasn’t got…

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Philosophy Anti-Natalism

Benatar’s ‘Anti-Natalism’ is philosophers’ logicking, not Wisdom on Life.

I have always had a distant image of philosopher David Benatar as having a lot to contend with in a difficult place at a difficult time.  The idea of his that I examine here, I chanced upon on on the Web, here, here and here; and for personal flavour, here,  here and here. It is the idea that human life is so miserable, that ergo it is immoral to bring…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy History of Philosophy

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 6: The Pre-Socratics.

THE BEGINNINGS OF REASON IN ANCIENT GREECE This may be a popular version of the History of Philosophy but here it is: Reason, I have read, was synonymous in ancient Greece with Logic, with Argument, with Thought and with Philosophy, and that it hasn’t always been with us.  The Classicists tell us that the pre-Socratic philosophers started it, for the Western world, in about 580 BC. But surely, wasn’t primitive Man…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 3

PHILOSOPHY USES THE WRONG METHODS FOR ‘WISDOM’  Wisdom is about human life which philosophers are simple-minded about. They lack sensibility to human life, here. They have always lacked that special intelligence and capacity for understanding that human beings have been blessed with   Philosophers either lack it or leave it disregarded and fallow. The birth of philosophy was in some ways a regression from the wisdom already present in the…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

What’s Wrong with Philosophy? 5

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.    When I started reading interpretations of the great Philosophers of the Western World, from Thales of Miletus onwards, I couldn’t believe they were really serious in expounding…

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Africa Palestine-Israel Personalities

Allister Sparks, trumpeter against apartheid and Israel

One shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I’ve only just got a site organized.   What I’m also scratching my head about here is the techniques and qualities of senior opinion journalists. Allister was chief editor of the Rand Daily Mail from 1967 till 1981.  He was a briar and a thorn in the eyes of National Party apartheid governments, and in that sense a great hero.  According to his…

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