The one thing I’ve learnt from philosophy is that the only thing you can assume is that you can’t assume anything…
So that would make philosophy, ‘‘the art of assuming things using more assumptions’’.
So effectively, since we are imperfectly perceptive and since our logic is limited too, no matter what you assume, you will never know.
So the joy of philosophy must come from the joy of being able to assume for the sake of it and being able to apply logic to assumptions for the sake of it. Even though any assumptions can be disproved by showing they are in fact merely assumptions getting you nowhere.

Personally I’m a perfectionist and an idealist so although I take pleasure and pride in being able to observe and analyse with relatively superior ability so I can assume certain things that aren’t always obvious from these observations, I find the fact that nothing I have assumed is in fact a fact quite demoralising and humbling.

So what is the point of philosophy, other than to achieve these fickle states of pride and pleasure?

Dame it! the games up lads, we all migth as well go home now. :laughing:

True philosophy is based off assumtions but you have to start somewhere, Decartes “I think therefore I am” is not an assumtion. That’s about all philosophy can prove.

Philosophy can prove that reality exists (which is what that statement is).

Based on that fact, philosophy is the science of determining, through reason and logic, which perception of reality is correct and thus how best to deal with it.

But surely that statement is assuming three things:

  1. In existence, the term ‘I’ actually means anything,
  2. This ‘I’ can think,
  3. This ‘I’ or anything actually exists.

Philosophy is in my opinion largely about justifying your urges and prejudices and finding the best way to enact them.

Here are two links on the subject: In the first link in my posts talk about the I in Descartes. The second is a more general overall look at his thought.

Two Mistakes and Scepticism
Rene Descartes: Discourse on Method

in reference to silhouette, perception is only half the battle.

In reference to pax vitae, I don’t really know why one needs to prove that reality exists anyway or as Heidegger might say, “why is there something rather than nothing?”. It is obvious that we live a life and that it occurs in a context or in something we have dubbed “reality”. Proving reality is silly, it is like wanting to see god just to make sure. I am reaching the point where I am wondering if something is worth thinking just because you can think it. I am starting to see Kant’s philosophy as a barrel of monkey s***. Descarte’s philosophic probes seem to me like more desperate groping for an escape route out of reality because it is too unbearable. Do you ever wonder why most philosophers weren’t considered happy men and women? Or why most philosophers either were never happily married or never even married. My answer to all this: life is what you make it whether it is real or not.

Whats the other half?


It is obvious that we live a life and that it occurs in a context or in something we have dubbed “reality”, yes. But what is something that is ‘obvious’ other than just another observation? No matter what is obvious, doesn’t mean its true or real or correct. It just seems to be. We just assume its there coz we sensed it - whatever we are that are observing it and to whatever limited degree of imperfect accuracy.

But really, what is so valuable about things being true, real, correct, being different or having any point whatsoever anyway? These are just abstract ideals that we have been taught to seek in social life giving a false short-sighted sense of motivation to change the world. Regardless that this has no ultimate meaning beyond life. Everything would still exist in some form or other whatever u did - differences can cause more trivial differences, but ultimately everything stays the same.

And so what if the end of the universe came and u’d made a difference? The universe would still be gone. These ideals that we seek mean nothing in the long run.

Life seems funny to me. It just seems like just living for the sake of living. Just coz we can. Ultimately, assuming my atheistic beliefs are true, there would be absolutely no difference whether there was life or not. Or even existence or not. But then assuming theist beliefs are true, I still see no ultimate difference in living a good life or a bad one either. It might affect life’s course of action and degree’s of suffering which u endure but in the long run, that means nothing. When you’re dead and everyone who remember’s you is gone, did u live? So u changed the future? Wow well done… so what?

But then there’s nothing wrong with living for the sake or living. It just seems like u may as well live how u want, naturally. But it makes no ultimate difference if u don’t.

But how do they all philosophs come to their conclussions?
The examples are taken from their lifes and own expiriences and from observing other poeple and analyzing their behaviour etc.
And I truly believe in Descarte’s ‘I’ and in his thesis :slight_smile:

Erroneous quotation! it wasn’t Heidegger that wrote that it was Schelling.
Anyway the main impetus behind philosophy is to answer questions that cannot be answered on empirical grounds.

Metavoid, its is obvious that you have never read Heidegger because he is very concerned with that question as well. And that might be the main interest of academic philosophy but its not my main interest.

Regardless of if I have read Heidegger or not, it was Schelling that wrote it first and Heidegger attempted to answer it.

Hediegger is the bigger name in philosophy, that should show you something. People that like philosophy may have never even have heard of Schelling, who really was just a misguided Kantian, but if they have never heard of Heidegger than they plainly have no clue.

Some would argue that Hediegger was a misguided phenomenologist or even just misguided full stop.

Despite his horrible record as a Nazi oppurtunist, he was an excellent philosopher, perhaps the best that ever lived. Maybe a close second to Plato. But then again I would advise you to first read him and then get back to me.

I think saying that he was the greatest philosopher of all time except Plato is overstating it. It would be more astute to say he was the second greatest philosopher of the 20th century after Wittgenstein.

The only conclusions philosophers ever come to are based on fundamental assumptions. Any observations they make are imperfectly perceived and any logical progression of those observations are limited to the mental capacity of an imperfect human making them.

I for one disagree, although I would not claim that there is perfect knowledge, some people have come pretty close to describing the way things really work, as to where no human with an honest bone in their body could disagree. I feel like you are floundering with this comment. For example, great philosophers and scientists and men of learning are judged upon how close their theses correspond with real processes, not how much they are off the mark.

Also, I don’t know what the big deal is with Wittgenstein, I personally think that his analytic type thinking really provoked the end of truly useful philosophy and all but destroyed “true” philosophy in the process. Its like Plato saw that conversation with others as the way to achieve the highest truths, where with Wittgenstein conversations with concepts that have no ground in reality became the key to progress. Heidegger’s ‘kehre’ (turn) in his later philosophy was really about him realising the traps set by him by earlier philosophers with identifiable agendas to move the tradition of thought in a more rational/analytical direction. He backed out when he realised this direction would prove most dangerous for humanism, which on a whole is shockingly odd since he did of course back the Nazis. I think that it was perhaps the “horror” of the Nazi invasion and its most obvious byproducts that made him realize the actually flaw in society and in his own thinking was the lack of communication of ideas that can be easily understood by anyone. The problem with Wittgenstein’s brand of philosophy is that even for a professional, it is hard to grasp exactly what he is talking about, if only for the fact that it was his own specialized brand of Bs*. Even with his most well known work, Being and Time, Heidegger wrote only about Being in its relation to Time, two concepts which if you give them the proper time are not hard to understand. The problem with analytic philosophy is that it often deals with concepts like mathematical or logical proofs that have no direct correspondence to something you can see. As silly as it sounds, you can go outside and experience a field setting with trees that you could genuinely call a “piece of reality” or you can look at a clock and see “a representation of time progressing”.

What Wittgenstein doesn’t realize is what I said in a different post, just because you can think something doesn’t mean it is important. He doesn’t pay heed to the difference between sense and non-sense in a serious way, because once you do, you always have to hold human language (which was of course one of his main interests) suspect.

But because he didn’t realize these things (although of course he was not the only one) he was able to furtherly push his agenda in turning philosophy into a something much like a trivial card game played by human ghosts, so that science could remain unadulterated in its progress. The fact that most people often do not heed common sense and especially intellectuals who are the most notorious at being trapped with and perhaps by their thoughts inside their heads, also went a long way in helping us to refuse to guard the gates of the future from ominous and life altering scientific decisions. The scariest fact of all of this is that in his searching out of all his predators, men failed to see what was and is probably his worst enemy, himself.


I cannot watch you sit there and chip away at mans perception. Without those perceptions you could not type your last few threads nor have ever learned what philosophy was. Even if man’s perceptions are imperfect, which you have not proved to be true, they are still his only tools.

“So effectively, since we are imperfectly perceptive and since our logic is limited too, no matter what you assume, you will never know.”

How is logic limited? From the position you described man has no ability to interact let alone understand the universe, but men do both of those things. Explain. How does your philosophy allow you to interact in the world?

I never said man was the equivalent of a rock in terms of observational ability and logical thinking ability.

I know that I appear to be able to perceive and analyse and I know everyone else seems to be able to do so in a similar way. I am merely stating that man is by no means the equivalent of a ‘god’ in terms of observational ability and logical thinking ability.

There are many things we can observe that can get us far. But we are so limited - in terms of senses we already have, we cannot see as far as we want, hear the smallest of atoms vibrate or smell a star in a distant galaxy. We cannot sense into the future if there is one. And in terms of senses we don’t have, we have no sense to detect radiation for example. We have discovered that its there, and invented a means of detecting it by using something that we can apply our senses to, but what if there were millions of other things that we haven’t discovered that are there. We would need to know they were there to understand everything. Otherwise there will always be a missing link.

And logical thought is only limited to a man’s imagination which is only limited to adapting and manipulating what we know, which is limited to what we have observed. You can only learn what you know. We find it impossible to conceive infinity in whatever dimension because we can’t sense it. We find it only possible to conceive things in terms of frameworks that seem to fit. Frameworks, by definition being a limited scope of thinkin. Just because things correspond to what we observe, doesn’t mean they correspond to things that we can’t observe.

We are getting better at manipulating our environments to help us perceive things that are impossible to perceive with our deeply limited physical capacities, but what if there were an infinite amount of things to observe? No matter how clever we get at discovering one thing at a time, we’d never get there.

Its like an infinitely big web. We are trying to get to the centre which all the web comes from so we can understand everything. And we do this by starting where we are which could be anywhere on this infinte web. Just because we appear to be moving forward, we could be moving even further away from the centre of the web. We even assume by our limited logic that there is a centre of the web. What if there isn’t? What if we only think we are thinking or sensing? Anything could be happening, things what we couldn’t possibly conceive even. None of this could be true at all.

My point is that as imperfect as we are, we enjoy searching for the truth and I appreciate that and enjoy it personally. But since it seems so irrational when I analyse our ultimate goal that we only assume to be there at all when I look at it from my perfectionist and idealist point of view.