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Anti-Philosophy

Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Structuralism Linguistics

Saussure’s Structuralist Linguistics

I have gone through the numerous articles on Saussure’s Structuralism of Language three times, and been beaten back each time by my disbelief that it could have been taken seriously as science or philosophy. . Structuralism from its beginning seems to me to have been handing out nothing but the most obvious of  truisms.  Saussure, for a start, tells us that things in the world don’t come with the right…

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Anti-Philosophy Plato

Plato: his inconstancy in defining his Forms

Plato is most famous for his Forms but what exactly he meant by them is confusing.  It  took me a lot of reading to get to this amazing fact that Plato himself differed in what he meant by his Forms! To re-cap the old story:  Plato — [or was it Socrates?  Due to the Socratic Problem, see here, we are never sure which] — was bothered by the status of…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Descartes

Descartes 2: He drops the Cogito

Descartes later cheated on himself by using entirely separate arguments, not deduced from the Cogito, to prove that God did after all exist and that He was not a Great Deceiver who would deceive Descartes about what came to him via his senses.  So Descartes could now accept what his senses told him, and discard Cogito ergo Sum entirely! His arguments that God existed were painfully feeble.  But they gave him…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy Descartes

Descartes 1: the Cogito: schoolboy-level philosophizing, .

Let me jump to about 1637 AD for another example of the pottiness of Philosophy:  ‘Cogito ergo Sum’ – ‘I think, therefore I am’ – wrote Descartes.    Descartes couldn’t convince himself he existed till it occurred to him that he was thinking!  Therefore he must exist!  Did he really think as an adult person that he couldn’t believe he existed until the logic of words proved it?   But, he later …

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Anti-Philosophy Socrates

Philosophy has always been bunk, 7: Socrates

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 then asked his listeners one by one to speak  up with their examples of each.  Their examples were often contradictory to the definitions they had…

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Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 2: its belief in logicking rather than sensation

‘Philosophy’ is a term of high approbation.  It has always been considered to be:  the love of wisdom, the search for Wisdom, the foundation of Western civilization, of the uniqueness of the Western mind.  But what does it actually do exactly?  Someone  said it is just  informal logic.  I am ashamed to say that I don’t know exactly whether that is true.  It sounds about right.  Philosophers are very good…

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Anti-Philosophy History of Philosophy

Philosophy , 8: its deductive logicking

PHILOSOPHERS FASTENED ONTO DEDUCTIVE LOGIC AS THE WAY TO WISDOM We are told that the first philosophers thought that, to arrive at true knowledge, they first had to start with axioms (I think that’s the right word) which are self-evident postulates that couldn’t be wrong, and then use deductive logic on them to reach further truths.  They didn’t use their senses because these had sometimes fooled them; and because their…

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Anti-Philosophy

Philosophy has always been bunk, 1: lacks human sensibility to human life. 

What has always been called Philosophy has been produced by minds very different from my own.  They see Wisdom as coming from logic, maths, and in recent times as coming from scientific method too.  ‘Philosophy’ is synonymous  with it. Philosophers trust the logicking they do with words to reach a higher truth than what comes to us in our senses.  But, for me, words are lame things that we have…

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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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Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 4: try literature instead

Wisdom 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.  (Perhaps that’s more an argument against science being applied to human matters, than against philosophy.) It requires another kind of intelligence which perhaps can be called Sensibility to Human Life, see previous…

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