Has Philosophy Gone too FAR?

Has Philosophy gone too far? :confused:

Being a philosopher myself I have wondered whether this article should be written but to be honest I think that just getting the opinion of others may be able to help me in finding an answer.

Really I could of called this “Is philosophy needed in this day and age” compared to back in the days of Aristotle and Plato. The reason I say this is because philosophy caused the emergence of modern day maths and science which have been beneficial to this day and age and which we are all grateful (hopefully :slight_smile: )

However, my curiosity comes from when I read an article called “the philosophy of facial” which is a fantastic and comical read. But does this not show how low philosophy has gone by merely analysing EVERYTHING! I mean really is there any underlining about wanted to shoot on a woman really??

This makes me wonder what people are trying to say. its like is there anything in this day and age that we can discuss that we may be able to find an answer for that could cause revolutionary turn of events that could change the fate of world.

BUT, there is one thing i do want to add and that is im not insulting anyone by this post i am merely trying to find out why we have to go into discussion about irrelevant things and how far is too far in the realms of normal discussion.

EXAMPLE: - English is now what some people call a “mini philosophical debate” WHY? You might ask? Think about it "why did this poet write this poem? What was he REALLY saying? Also, in Drama why did he use this chair?? TO SIT ON FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! It’s these pointless things that bother me the most!!

This may be taking it too far, but surely it is mans nature to be curious, and I agree its less of a philosophy and goes more into psychology.

I don’t believe its trying to find an answere that could change the world, Its more finding answeres to understand the world. Its the basic core of philosophy.

Irrelevance is simply down to ones opinion. The things we discuss as philosophers arn’t the everyday things you would talk about, so already beyond the realms of normal discussion

I do get you on this, Shakespear for example, we are taught many deep meanings into his plays, however the meanings that we see may not of been intentional, and is merly created by pretensious english teachers.

One way I may agree with you is the debate over the exsistance of God, I have had this thought for a while. If there is no way to prove or disprove his exsistance then there is no point in trying. Instead believers should focus on the Nature of God. Athiests should simply go along looking for something to believe in. However this does leave a problem for agnostics such as myself.

This is very true and I like the reply to this. (Love the spelling also!) :slight_smile:

Are you saying that philosophers are better than normal people or is it just that we discuss different things?

I have to say i think that philosophers talk more relevant things to the world than normal people because our race has to talk about things and act upon then in order for the human race to evolve.

True the God argument has gone on for a very long time and there are newer arguments everyday being posted about god not existing because science proves this… etc. But then it poses more questions which can be answered by an existence of god.

True also that atheists need something cause you are travelling done a long and lonely road to despair because if there’s nothing for you to believe in even the fact that you have to right to become the best person you can be you’ll settle for nothingness and surely that cant grant you pleasure!

Agnostics will find something soon just needs to have faith

In fact a lot of topics may appear irrelevant, and few of them even stay on the point that started it for long.
But …
is that not really the point? how can we know in advance what seemingly irrelevant starting point will meander towards something important and useful?
The one you mentioned, facials, has gone on now to products and markets.

from a tiny acorn the mighty oak grows

I would be careful when saying something this difinitive. In reality, early Greek Philosophers were also Mathematicians and Scientists and the two subjects went hand in hand. I believe they still go hand in hand today. In fact, I am a great believer in the interlocking of all subjects. I believe philosophy is, to make a crappy metaphor, the glue that holds them all together.

I think this is a bit narrow minded. It is true that poems and plays have been over analysed, but do not underestimate the subtlety of playwrights and poets. Similarly with:

I think you have to remember that Hamlet, for example, is a philosopher prince, and that many of the insights Shakepeare gives us through the character are quite modern concepts.

Another strange coincidence, I was thinking along the exact same lines as your header post… Perhaps I’m just suffering a temporary lack of interest or (quite literally) a disillusionment with discussing things in general, but in the last few weeks I’ve begun to wonder if it is at all benficial to mull over with unlike others any belief or rule of thumb you hold dear, have previously lived by, or a least tried to adhere to…

I know that throughout history philosophically-based movements have done some great and terrible things - the American constitution borrowing heavily from Locke I believe, and of course the dubious path of Communism, and Hitlers übermensche-driven tendencies, but I see little that is applicable to the nuts and bolts of common living at least here, at least of late.

Perhaps I’m just too dumb to sort the wheat from the chaff, but at the moment I lack even the willpower to try and bend my brain around some of the discussions and the syntax used to decribe some of the concepts bandied about. They just don’t speak to me.

I suppose I look for answers, I suppose, deep down, I’d like to feel that someone actually has a clue on how to live life. I want the black and the white back.

But all my ideals get for their daily entrance fee is a bat around the back of the head, accompanied by a greater or lesser degree of sophisticated laughter. The basic tenents of a personal way of life and way of being that I’ve cobbled together over the years from watching/being watched over by my father and mother, from experiences both at home and abroad, from love, from friends, from loss, and death - all swatted away like so many flies.

Perhaps they deserved to be swatted, perhaps they held no ‘realistic’ value - perhaps they were wrong - but they were nice, they were comforting, they defined parts of me. And now I mourn their loss.

I wonder what I am going to be able to tell my child when he grows up sufficiently to ask me the big questions… A year ago I had it all down pat - I spoke words of power in a calm and confident voice, I saw my child/man’s eyes grow round that his old Dad could be such a source of worldly wisdom… But now…

“Well, you see son - apparently were all just a bunch of selfish cretins, lacking any and all of the saving graces I thought we had, so go on, screw it - become a crackhead and knock up your girlfriend and disappear, it’s all bloody relative in the big scheme of things anyway…”

“Er… Thanks Dad - Can I borrow 50 quid, I’ve, uh - gotta see a man about a dog…”

Destroy the old answers and create only more questions, deconstuct, demolish, disillusion, and that is somehow… Better…?

Love…? Pfff - just chemistry, at best a temporary spur to bind desperate people into procreative madness, to ensure the empty shell of life marchs through the dust into eventual oblivion… Peachy.

Selflessness…? Nah mate - gave at the office didn’t I… You know - wink-wink, so I could get into the new secretary’s knickers… make myself look good… Keen.

God…? - So diffuse now she/it/he’s hardly there anymore… Religion(s)…? Always a joke…

Tolerance…? Acceptance…? Hands across the deliniations of religion, colour and creed…? Ooh no - prise my gun out of my cold dead hands mate and fuck you towelheads while you’re at it… Don’t blame me… My hind-brain told me to do it your honour…

Life have any intrinsic worth…? Nope. Are we special, even in potential…? Ditto. Will we ever see anything truly new under the sun…? Don’t hold your breath.

Hope…? :laughing:

Gee, thanks Philosophy, I think I’ll just go and shoot myself, why prolong the pain…?

It’s not that philosophy has gone too far, it’s that it never seems to go far enough, never seems quite to be able to punch out through the other side of grey, and shed some real light around the empty spaces it leaves in its wake.

I think before too long the world is going to face some real serious black and white situations, and perhaps then, when it’s just too damn late, the more philosophical of us will regret perhaps that they spent so much time splitting hairs, embellishing their semantics, and pulling down old statues - But had actually tried harder to pull out something more defined to live by, that people who have never heard of Hume and Spinoza and Wittgenstein, could still feel a kinship with, and use as a way to become better.

Sorry to dump, it’s been a bad week. I still stand by the above though.



Those thoughts are extremly moving, and actualy an eye opener.

It makes me think that its easy to destroy but hard to create, there certainly does seem to be a lot of destruction in philosophy nowadays, and I see less construction, and improvements in how to live our lives to the fullest extent. Maybe someone should create a thread simply for discussion on a new “religion” in which we could explain and give order to the chaos. Possibily just something created to achieve greater happyness, self awareness.

Granted we may even come up with someone close to the bible, but it would be interesting.

Got a small thread goin about this idea, check it out ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/vi … p?t=145887

The reason why philosophy can never go too far is that people go with it, as people go with all creations and embrace all creativity. The things that remain unchanged from the big bang, philosophy can never take them with it, it merely makes manifestations about them. Think about the 12 notes of music, how Mozart made people cry, Beethoven made people philosophise, Shostakovich made politics, all by nothing but arranging the notes in different ways. The ancient Greek musician’s wildest dream was no more than using sound to imitate. Actually back then, the world could not possibly make demands from music other than accompaniment and imitation, it was not sophisticated enough. This is the perfection of the universe, that time and time alone, takes care of the integration of all things. There is no real ‘odd one out’. What is said to have surpassed contemporary creativity is illusion, is a metaphysical creative concept itself. Genius is the word for it, but genius is not an object that defies the principle of time. Hence there is no need to even think about 'has somthing went too far". We have been creating ourselves. We are more than what we were. That is the entire human ardour, to endlessly create, renew, remerge. What has never changed is the driving force behind it all, that is the will to concievablise, control, conceptualise, it is the will to power. Follow the will and embrace the new, there is hardly any alternative except to cease, but time does not cease, so the only way to cease the process of revolution is to perish for the last time. This is why pedanty is the only tool to keep philosophising, the pedant has newfound space for construction. Telling an atomic physicist to stop looking for things smaller than gauge bosons is tantamount to end his career. It is the same for a philosopher, what he does is filling old holes and drilling new ones, on the boundless tabula rasa that’s been there since time itself came into existence.

Philosophy still contributes loads to culture, and inspires new ideas, inventions, conceptual schemes and so on. Remember the Monty Python Philosophers Drinking Song…

That’s more semiotics than philosophy, but the line is blurry at the moment. It calls itself ‘philosophy’ in the vernacular sense of the word, like a man on a soap box might announce his philosophy of the factory or philosophy of football.

We live in times when we are closer to the echoes of our words than ever before. We can say that two people whacked out of their noggins on ecstasy are having as profound a conversation about the lights in the club as those depicted in Plato’s dialogues and perhaps to them, for that short time, it is true.

It depends on your aim for philosophy. If you want it to continue building ivory towers then such discussions will seem irrelevant (as you say) but if you are happy for philosophy to simply be the reflective, creative process of interpreting the world then it’s got to be accessible on the street, not just in the tower.

Come on, such queries are as old as philosophy. People have been arguing about the meaning of texts, plays, paintings, sculptures for as long as they’ve been arguing about the ideal political system or the meaning of truth or the nature of the world or…

Yes this very true but you must even realise that there is some times reading between the lines and going too far.

“Why did this great poet write this” some of the poems are self explanatory some can even be found out from the artist or poet themselves and from they have experienced in their life.

Why try and read between BETWEEN the lines they try and make it in to a political agenda when it just ends up being that he was intoxicated or maybe under the influence when writing it so it is more about just his emotions.

Nirvana (great band) “smells like team Spirit” great song written when they were under the influence and still people today argue about the meaning.

This is a great Quote. Another question i then have to ask is this…

Is philosophy easier to understand/talk about while under the influence or not?

philosophy is so very important in todays society… without it we shall let the scientists rule and decide reality for us. We must make up our own minds on reality and not let natures illusions fool us. Use your reason when you think not just what youve been told.