Which is First?

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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:17 pm

anon - thew first thing I did was to answer this question - I asked the epistemic questions first. And that is my answer. Epistemology is first.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby anon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:26 pm

Faust wrote:anon - the first thing I did was to answer this question - I asked the epistemic questions first. And that is my answer. Epistemology is first.

Ok then!
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:37 pm

That was a bad edit, but you got the point, I guess. I don't think you can rightly decide how to act until you've figured out if there are evil demons trying to lure you from God, or gods trying to lure you from evil demons. In that, I'll give Descartes credit.

Likewise, I don't think you need to get very fancy about what exists and what does not to make some basic decisions about the value of what you think you know is (that is, by the way, my definition of philosophy - the art of valuing what you think you know). And almost no one studies logic first - it's not really necessary - commonsense suffices in life and at first, in philosophy - I'd be shocked if anyone here disagrees, as only a handful of members here know the first thing about it.

Phenomenology doesn't even belong on the list, and you wouldn't find it on such a list anywhere but in an article about phenomenology, which is where I found it.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Nah » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:43 pm

Faust wrote:Was reading an article in the SEP and came upon this:

Ontology is the study of beings or their being — what is.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge — how we know.
Logic is the study of valid reasoning — how to reason.
Ethics is the study of right and wrong — how we should act.
Phenomenology is the study of our experience — how we experience.

Philosophers have sometimes argued that one of these fields is “first philosophy”, the most fundamental discipline, on which all philosophy or all knowledge or wisdom rests. Historically (it may be argued), Socrates and Plato put ethics first, then Aristotle put metaphysics or ontology first, then Descartes put epistemology first, then Russell put logic first, and then Husserl (in his later transcendental phase) put phenomenology first.

Which one would you put first?

I'd say the (awareness of) awareness is the first material we need to start any "study" because we can't have incoming information if we are not aware enough.

Then, the study of the nature of the awareness is the first study because we can't focus and compare different target item/zone in our field of awareness unless we are well aware and familiar with how awareness change in its density, form, etc.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168136
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=171385
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=167266

After that, we can study the nature of perspectives, which is the focused vector of awareness and combination of them and their relations.
This may include some of "logic (in the narrower, academic sense)".
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=169433
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=166613
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=169251

Now, I don't know where do these fit in the traditional classification.
I've told it's psychology, but I don't think so.
Some of them have been treated by "mystics", but I don't really like religious contamination and I think we can deal with these in the manner we can treat geometry and mechanical things.

And finally, if someone thinks it's not "philosophy", I don't really care, as I don't care about naming, so much.
I don't consider myself to be a philosopher or philosophy oriented person, either.
It's just some of my interests happened to be related to things philosophy has been dealing with.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby xzc » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:20 pm

Without a foundation for what is, I don't think you can start any other philosophical disciplines, and if you do, you're neglecting some serious assumptions about your theory. I like to think that Nietzsche was right when he put psychology above all, but that was based on a metaphysical assumption on the nature of reality and our standing in relation to it. He then made an epistemological assumption about our capacity to know, and finally arrived at a conclusion for how philosophy and philosophers ought to proceed.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby xzc » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:23 pm

I don't know though. A good argument can be made that it's silly to think you can undertake strictly epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, etc, approaches in philosophy. They seem dependent on eachother to me....then again, am i not basing that seeming on an assumption about the nature of each discipline?

This is a difficult question.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:39 pm

I think it's a difficult question, the answer to which doesn't necessarily matter. And I would agree with you that you cannot study these fields thoroughly in isolation from each other, anymore than you can study a branch of science by itself.

I think the choice you make about this list describes your philosophy more than it describes philosophy.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby statiktech » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:29 pm

Faust wrote:That was a bad edit, but you got the point, I guess. I don't think you can rightly decide how to act until you've figured out if there are evil demons trying to lure you from God, or gods trying to lure you from evil demons. In that, I'll give Descartes credit.


Doesn't this presuppose a desire to "rightly" choose your actions -- ethics first?

I'd say ethics, myself. The apparent differences between how one 'ought to' act as opposed to what natural urges he experiences would seem ample grounds to pursue every other one of those categories. Also, I tend to think that nearly all philosophy ultimately speaks to some moral or ethical doctrine. We pursue knowledge, wisdom, 'virtue', what have you, because we wish to understand life and how we ought to regard our condition and experiences therein.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Ed3 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:24 pm

How it worked for me historically (At least as I best remember).

1. Self first - Ontology
2. Non Self – Phenomenology
3. Women – Sex – Compromise – Ethics
4. Self Reflection – Epistemology
5. Desire for consistency – Logic

How should it work? Don’t know.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby fuse » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:08 pm

I consider ontology and ethics most important, and probably ontology over ethics. By no means, however, would I study ontology or ethics without regard for logic, epistemology, or phenomenology. They are all, to a large extent, necessarily interrelated. It's just that ultimately I see logic as little more than a tool and epistemology as offering a healthy dose of skepticism. I wouldn't be concerned with logic or epistemology if they were not useful for thinking about other subjects. Phenomenology can be pretty rad, but it's not my favorite.


No one area is more "philosophical" than any other. It's probably best to say that philosophy is the intersection between all these major areas.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:22 pm

statik -
Doesn't this presuppose a desire to "rightly" choose your actions -- ethics first?


It may, but the desire alone is not the study of ethics.

I'd say ethics, myself. The apparent differences between how one 'ought to' act as opposed to what natural urges he experiences would seem ample grounds to pursue every other one of those categories. Also, I tend to think that nearly all philosophy ultimately speaks to some moral or ethical doctrine. We pursue knowledge, wisdom, 'virtue', what have you, because we wish to understand life and how we ought to regard our condition and experiences therein.


Which is why I put it last. I consider philosophy an eliminative practise. This may mean that we actually agree. To me, primacy goes to epistemology, because it is in epistemology that there is the most to eliminate. In my case, it was both the demon and the god.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Aum » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:36 am

To me it seems we must begin with ontology - for the rest lack any real footing or intelligible foundation without being as such, without something, some existential medium in and through which the rest can take place.

The rest (phenomenology, epistemology, logic. ethics) are the many facets, states, and faces of a single fact of being.

The real is simply that which is, apart from our individual or collective interpretations of it.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby cheegster » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:12 am

Faust wrote:Was reading an article in the SEP and came upon this:

Ontology is the study of beings or their being — what is.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge — how we know.
Logic is the study of valid reasoning — how to reason.
Ethics is the study of right and wrong — how we should act.
Phenomenology is the study of our experience — how we experience.

Philosophers have sometimes argued that one of these fields is “first philosophy”, the most fundamental discipline, on which all philosophy or all knowledge or wisdom rests. Historically (it may be argued), Socrates and Plato put ethics first, then Aristotle put metaphysics or ontology first, then Descartes put epistemology first, then Russell put logic first, and then Husserl (in his later transcendental phase) put phenomenology first.

Which one would you put first?


OH what an interesting thread. Here is my order of what is used first and explanation of that order;

Logic
Ontology - we can't state 'what is' without adding something extra in my eyes. There needs to be a proof. A fundamental method of concluding why there is. It doesn't make sense to me to conclude that something 'is' without applyign a logic to it. The cogito, for example.
Epistemology - Ontology's best friend. The method of ontology, I guess.
Ethics - Human made, a function of society (and a construct of all of the above)

Phenomonology kind of incorperates all of the above imo.

Logic is the only one which is wholly a priori I think, that's why I put it first.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:22 am

yeah, I think what's interesting is that everyone has their own answer (or reasons for their answer). Again, my view is that there is no correct one - but it tells you something about how you philosophise, I think.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby xzc » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:31 am

Why do you think there's no right answer? What do you base that on?
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Re: Which is First?

Postby sonnen » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:37 am

xzc wrote:Why do you think there's no right answer? What do you base that on?

Maybe because one is very skeptic and doesn't necessarily thinks that there are truths

for instance, Berkeley, i guess, said that there is table until i can see it in the room. She ceases to exist when i pass the door because I cannot see it anymore.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:50 am

Why do you think there's no right answer? What do you base that on?


Let's take one of the big primary questions that a philosopher takes up: Is there a god or is there not? Does it really matter if the foundational method you use to answer this question is epistemology or morality? Or something that's not on the list? These are pathways, and not the destination.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby xzc » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:55 am

Maybe because one is very skeptic and doesn't necessarily thinks that there are truths

Exactly. It's an epistemologically based opinion, arrived at through logic from some assumption about the relationship between the knower and known.

for instance, Berkeley, i guess, said that there is table until i can see it in the room. She ceases to exist when i pass the door because I cannot see it anymore.

No, God's there to see everything, so they don't poof out of existence when you're not looking.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby fuse » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:00 am

I think it's the wrong approach to prioritize these areas as if any of them could stand independently of the others. Work in any one of the areas almost necessarily involves beliefs/claims in other areas as well.

Does anyone honestly think they could do work in any of the areas without also using some system of logic?
Does anyone think they could do work in logic without relying on epistemic, phenomenological, ontological, beliefs and ideas?

Faust,

What if happens if two (or more) pathways conflict? Do you think there's any way to resolve it other than resorting to personal preference?
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Re: Which is First?

Postby xzc » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:00 am

Faust, the way I see it, you need a map of the world - just a basic layout - before you can start adding legends, scales, titles, North, and arguing about whether you're reading the map right, or if the person who drew the map did it right, or if you should travel to some location, and how to get there, and whether you can get there, etc.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Sauwelios » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:06 am

Faust wrote:Was reading an article in the SEP and came upon this:

Ontology is the study of beings or their being — what is.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge — how we know.
Logic is the study of valid reasoning — how to reason.
Ethics is the study of right and wrong — how we should act.
Phenomenology is the study of our experience — how we experience.

Philosophers have sometimes argued that one of these fields is “first philosophy”, the most fundamental discipline, on which all philosophy or all knowledge or wisdom rests. Historically (it may be argued), Socrates and Plato put ethics first, then Aristotle put metaphysics or ontology first, then Descartes put epistemology first, then Russell put logic first, and then Husserl (in his later transcendental phase) put phenomenology first.

Which one would you put first?

Ontology seeks to know beings and their being---what is.
Epistemology seeks to know knowledge---how we know.
Logic seeks to know valid reasoning---how to reason.
Ethics seeks to know right and wrong---how we should act.
Phenomenology seeks to know our experience---how we experience.

All these fields, therefore, presuppose that epistemology's basic question has been answered. But the goal of epistemology, knowledge of knowledge, presupposes itself. Therefore, epistemology is absurd. And this is completely in order, since it is prior to logic!
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Fent » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:58 am

I'd have to agree with Nah and Moreno. First is "awareness" or the "awareness of being aware"; without awared consciousness "things" can't be posited. So phenomenology comes first.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Fent » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:02 am

xzc wrote:Without a foundation for what is, I don't think you can start any other philosophical disciplines, and if you do, you're neglecting some serious assumptions about your theory. I like to think that Nietzsche was right when he put psychology above all, but that was based on a metaphysical assumption on the nature of reality and our standing in relation to it. He then made an epistemological assumption about our capacity to know, and finally arrived at a conclusion for how philosophy and philosophers ought to proceed.



Yeah, there's a lot of holes in Nietzsche's philosophy. I am now of the position he's a noble liar or myth-maker.
He can't berate Kant and like-minded philosophers for claiming to know "things in-themselves" then go on making truth statements.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:22 pm

Do you think there's any way to resolve it other than resorting to personal preference?


Probably, but I don't know what it is. I think you could philosopise for your entire life without ever once even think about this issue.
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Re: Which is First?

Postby Faust » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:24 pm

Saully -
All these fields, therefore, presuppose that epistemology's basic question has been answered. But the goal of epistemology, knowledge of knowledge, presupposes itself. Therefore, epistemology is absurd. And this is completely in order, since it is prior to logic!


Agreed.
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