Dilettantes and ILP

that we have plenty of dilettantes around here is no mystery…

so, what exactly is a dilettante?

a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without
any real commitment or knowledge…these people are a dime a dozen
here at ILP…they post like mad without any real commitment to
philosophy or without any real knowledge about philosophy…

for example, what are the two maxims of Socrates?

one is to “know thyself”
and the second…
“the unexamined life isn’t worth living”

then 2000 years later, Kant came along with his questions,
“what am I to do?” “What should I hope for?” “What can I know?”

I have expanded those questions “What should I/we hope for?”
to include not only the individual, but to include the collective,
for I hold that every question of existence that is meant to be for the “One” “individual”
is also for the “Many” or the “collective”…

I have also ask such questions as “what should we spend our energy on?”
and “What values should we hold?” as important questions of existence…

and perhaps the most important question,
“Does existence have a point, meaning to it?”

these are the questions of existence that we should, must engage with…

but think about it, who actually practices these questions of existence on ILP?

as to the first questions, “to know thyself” and “the unexamined life isn’t worth living”

I would say that IAM actually engages the most in these two questions…

he knows himself, perhaps better then anyone else at ILP know themselves…

and he is always trying to get people to engage in the question of examination
of one’s life and one’s beliefs…
and rare is someone who does so… most around here lack courage to explore
what it means to examine oneself, to know oneself…

the dilettantes around here are about attacking someone and trying to score “points” instead
of an engagement with who they are and to have an engagement with an examination
of their beliefs…

I call the kids around here dilettantes because they don’t engage in the questions
of Socrates nor do they explore the Kantian questions of existence…
and they certainly don’t explore the questions raised by Kropotkin,
“What values should I hold” for example or “what is my relationship with
the society or the state?”…

in fact, the kids around here don’t even ask questions about what it means
to be human… for to ask and answer such a questions requires a real
commitment to philosophy or some knowledge to the points raised by
the question…

they lack the courage and intelligence to commit to such questions
of existence and they would rather pretend to look smart then actually
engage in substantive discussion of what it means to be human…or what
we are to do as human beings…or how do we raise ourselves from being
animals to becoming animal/human to becoming fully human…

I read philosophers like Heidegger in some attempt to engage with
them in such questions as “what does it mean to be human?”

(I find I am getting fed up with Heidegger and his “answers”…
I am halfway through and I am not impressed… and I am seriously
ready to give up unless some real engagement begins with the
questions of who we are and what does that mean begin to
appear in Heidegger)…

anyway back at the ranch… ask yourself, are you here to just make points
and to look smart, build up the ego, or, or are you here to get serious
about what it means to be human and to engage in the questions that should
haunt you morning, noon and night… “what am I to do?” “what values should I hold?”
“what does it mean to be human?” if these questions don’ keep you at at night,
perhaps, perhaps you are just a dilettante… playing at being a philosopher
instead of a real engagement with philosophy…

I hate going to work and not just because it is work, no, I hate it
because it takes me away from my seeking what it means to be human
and what values should I hold?..

what is your level of commitment to philosophy?

if philosophical questions aren’t on your mind every single waking moment,
then perhaps you are just a dilettante…
playing at being philosophical, not really being philosophical…


Peter, Maia a while ago commented that currently there are no philosophers here at ILP, and that leaves a yes/no conclusion which may only be partially right.

There are people here, most or all of whom may love philosophy without being ‘real’ phklosophers, whatever that means.

I belong to that type, that is here to learn at whatever cost

It would be interesting to run a poll as to the degrees of reality that would satisfy the set of conditions which would qualify any one to be able to declare being over the categorical ’ dillatante’

well, this also brings up to our own image we have of ourselves…

when I was young, decades ago, I “PLAYED” at being a philosopher…
I was a dilettante… it was for show… I had read enough to fool
the average person, but I couldn’t have fooled anyone who actually
knows philosophy… I was a poser… nothing more…

but the decades passed and what I “PLAYED” at is now something
that I make time and have a commitment to…

the questions of existence mean something to me now that they didn’t years

I no longer think about how it might look to others, that I pretend to uphold
a certain image I have of myself… I simply engage in philosophy because it
is the right thing for me to do…and I am attempting to understand what it means
to be human in this modern day and age…

it is a question that I no longer play at, but I engage with, with determination
and effort…

I am no longer attempting to look “good” or to maintain a front before others, I just don’t
care anymore…I engage with philosophy seriously and with resolve not to hold to
philosophy just to stroke my ego… hay, look at me, I am a philosopher… aren’t you
impressed? please be impressed and tell me how smart I am… I don’t do that
anymore…as many around here actually do…why do you engage with philosophy?

self image or perhaps a real search for the truth?


I relate to the Scream painting more than any other philosophy.

I am subject to Life being a Mystery just like everyone else. So I qualify for this website.

I never got past the “I don’t know” conclusion of the early philosophers, and I question knowledge in general.

All pontification after those early philosophers is the assumptions and the guesswork we call logic, in my view.

So sorry I didn’t move on to the super cool nihilism superman. Because I still don’t know a damn thing.

I enjoy berkely’s ideas, but I have yet to talk to anyone here who also does. That would be kind of redundant anyway.

Have noticed that the philosophers who wrote entire books end up smashing their heads against brick walls. I guess we can glamorize that.

I have haven’t been able to leave this site for 14 years or so. But I am probably a dilettante. And I don’t feel insulted by that.

Thinking we know is a disease.

Realize you neighbors in real life indulge in philosophy even less than people on ILP.

From my own frame of mind – no less rooted in dasein – the Kids, the yak yak yak crowd and the social media sorts can all do their “thing” here.

Just not on the boards set up for those who really do “love philosophy”. In however many different ways that can be communicated.

These boards:

Society, Government, and Economics
Science, Technology, and Math
Psychology and Mind
Religion and Spirituality
The Sandbox

There are plenty of “non-philosophical” boards for what they seem to have come in here for.

Even the more “serious” philosophy sites like The Philosophy Forum and Philosophy Now have what they call “the lounge” for that sort of chit chat.

As for what I call the fulminating fanatics, that gets trickier. Some are clearly more inclined to think through their arguments than others.

With me, for those who clearly are not, I either ignore them or use them for entertainment. There is almost no possibility of actually “reasoning” with them.

If by “reasoning with them” you mean converting them to your way of thinking, like disciples, yeah, no chance. I’ve tried.

As for making some connection . . . with other minds. . . this will just have to suffice.

No, I would never seek to convert anyone to my way of thinking because my way of thinking is to suggest that there are no wholly rational/virtuous arguments around to actually resolve conflicts of the sort that interest me. That “I” here is rooted in the arguments I make in my signature threads.

As for what is deemed to be “clearly thought out” arguments, that in turn seems to be embedded in subjective assessments.

Who I construe to be a “fulminating fanatic” here may be seen by others as anything but. And, in fact, they will then argue that I am myself a “fulminating fanatic” in regard to the arguments I make.

And around and around and around that will always go here.

But then that’s sort of my point.

Sure you don’t value the act of arguing itself?

I imagine for there to be some type of conflict resolution you would ultimately have to come to an agreement.

Otherwise how might that resolution be useful?

People at ILP usually reply more often if they disagree from the start. And barely anyone wants to publicly admit they are wrong, even after your most successful reasoning campaign.

K: as for me, I hold that my beliefs, are the results of my birth, my childhood
upbringing and, and indoctrinations and my 60 plus years of existence…

the beliefs that someone brings to the table is the result of their childhood,
their family, their schooling, their life to this point…and it isn’t any interest to
me to “convert” someone to my way of thinking as my way of thinking is my way,
my beliefs are directly tied into the life I have had so far…
as your beliefs are tied into your life… so far…no, what I seek
is something different… that is to get you, the reader, to
reexamine your values and discover if those values you hold are
really your values or are they the values of your childhood indoctrinations…

as it seems to be with most people…do I really hold these values or do
I hold them because it is easier to hold them instead of a real reexamination
of one’s values… why do you hold the beliefs you hold? I believe that most
people hold their values due to laziness… they are to lazy to reexamine their values…

or perhaps, as with some people, they have an image of themselves
and they hold beliefs to maintain or to uphold that image… it has nothing
to do with the beliefs and more to do with mixing in the right beliefs with
the right self image…the point is the self image and not the beliefs…
my image of myself requires that I hold certain beliefs and the beliefs are
there as part of an image issue…not as beliefs worth or not worth holding…

as that is part of growing older, your image of yourself become clearer
and “truer”… the fake false images I once held of myself have gone away
because of reality hitting me in the face, and hitting me rather hard…

I hold that most people around here are dilettantes because their beliefs and values
are held to support their self image…and not about the beliefs themselves…

so for me, I don’t really care if one follows or doesn’t follow me…

all I care about is this…why do you hold the beliefs you hold and why?

examine who you are and ask yourself, are these beliefs I hold really my beliefs
or are they just show pieces meant to impress or elevate my own self image?


K: and I want to know if I am wrong and why I am wrong…
I am not afraid of being wrong nor am I afraid of failure…
they are part of life… no different then being born or having a disease…

and the reason people have such a fear of publicly saying, I am wrong…
is twofold, one is ego and two they are afraid of what they really believe or
hold to be true… their beliefs are meant to support an self image,
not to find a truth…

why do you hold your beliefs? is it to feel better about yourself or, or is it
a path to finding out what is really and truly your beliefs?


I value peace. But um, the world, doesn’t listen to me. Yeah, hell yeah, I want them to follow me. But I don’t expect them to. Still, I retain the idea that peace is the highest value.

Now to why, which would be interesting, but I still can’t even tell you why I like the music I do. And I’ve never got an answer from anyone else why the beats and chords correspond with their bodily rhythms. Why anything, really. But values is a good starting point.

K: and peace is an outstanding value…so, how are you going to find peace, both
individually and AND collectively? I am hard of hearing and I love to listen to music…

I can’t hear violins or flutes without my hearing aid, but I listen to all kinds of music…

I enjoy classical and new age music and mediation music… but I still listen to Pink Floyd,
the Beatles, the Who and Green day…my very first concert I went to was the Who and I was
40… I avoided concerts on the advice of my audiologist who thought the loud music
might damage what little hearing I have…

and as for values, they are a great place to start… so what are your values and why
those values?


I think I will get true peace after death.

Yes, some of the best music, most beautiful is internal, originating from somewhere, composed by who, I can’t answer.

Peter is a dilettante who is a cashier at Costco, I guess it takes one to know one. :sunglasses:

K: feel free to make a poll about this… is Kropotkin a dilettante or or is he a real
philosopher? It won’t rock my world either way and you will get some verification,
either way…


ps, I don’t work at costco…


It is now confirmed that he totally works at Costco, always wait for the public denial first. :sunglasses:

K: and in fact, I don’t work at Costco but never let the truth interfere with
deeply held beliefs…


Your guy’s prices suck by the way, ninety five dollars a year just for a grocery store membership? Pathetic. :sunglasses:

I can go to Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club for free. :laughing:

Cogito ergo sum dilettante.

who even really buys groceries?