Philosophy is as philosophy does.
“Know thyself!”
What you truly believe can be found in all your mundane thoughts and actions, minute by minute second by second.
The way you respond to the people, objects , situations in your daily life is your truest demonstration of who your are and what you feel about reality.
One of the basic conclusions we absorb in our early infancy is
“Is this a friendly or an unfriendly world?”
It is impossible to underestimate how this impression colors the way we see life.
“Are they with me or against me?”
As we mature physically , we are on automatic pilot. Our hormones take over and we think as they dictate. We are male. female, and infinite variations between.
Males are driven, willy-nilly by the surge and decline of the testosterone in their blood.
Those of us who still believe in Darwin understand that as man evolved, his brain, just as all his physical organs, was also subject to natural selection.
Those philosophies which were inimical to survival of the species were weeded out over the millennia, along with other failed attempts to become the humans we are.
There is only one authentic philosophy and each person has his own imposed upon him by his genes, his early environment and possibly some catastrophic life experiences.
And it’s function is to keep us alive.

All other so-called philosophies constitute an industry, a .source of income and notoriety that fights to perpetuate itself for its own glory.
The field of philosophy is actually a guild where you must serve an apprenticeship, study the literature of your predecessors, publish some papers which your future colleagues consider sufficiently erudite, and you are in.
You are now empowered to teach your own philosophy, and to catalog and classify and critique the writings of your peers back to the beginning of time. The vocabulary of your profession is full of obscure catch-phrases which are the grist of your lectures and writings. Many of these phrases originated in other languages and have gone through the filter of a translation.
Why is this crucial?

"The first true experimenter in chaos was a meteorologist, named Edward Lorenz. In 1960, he was working on the problem of weather prediction. He had a computer set up, with a set of twelve equations to model the weather.
One day in 1961, he wanted to see a particular sequence again. To save time, he started in the middle of the sequence, instead of the beginning. He entered the number off his printout and left to let it run.
When he came back an hour later, the sequence had evolved differently. Instead of the same pattern as before, it diverged from the pattern, ending up wildly different from the original.
Eventually he figured out what happened. The computer stored the numbers to six decimal places in its memory. To save paper, he only had it print out three decimal places.
A scientist considers himself lucky if he can get measurements with accuracy to three decimal places. Surely the fourth and fifth, impossible to measure using reasonable methods, can’t have a huge effect on the outcome of the experiment. Lorenz proved this idea wrong. "

Apply this knowledge to how we understand the meaning of words and abstruse concepts, particularly to translations from other languages.
To how many decimal places can we reach a common understanding of the terms that we use?
How often do we misunderstand each other in ordinary conversation let alone technical philosophical ideas.

"Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 - February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as the last major philosopher of the early modern period and, on anyone’s account, one of history’s most influential thinkers.
Kant is most famous for his view-called transcendental idealism-that we bring innate forms and concepts to the raw experience of the world, which , a noumenon or thing in itself (German Ding an sich) is an allegedly unknowable, undescribable reality "

This little excerpt has been the source of livelihood for thousands of teacher, lecturers and publishers for over 200 years .
There is no more harm in this than doing double-crostics if you have the leisure and enough money to take care of your family.
History however reveals that some of these philosophical interpretations have been seized upon by powers in the political and economic realms to justify to the intellectual world the profound logic of their agenda, for good or evil.

When you become aware of your own distinctive philosophy there is no compelling reason to try to fit it into any other schools of thought. unless out of idle curiosity.[/b]

If each person has his own, innate to him, that impies it is unique to him. You have yours I have mine… so how can there be only one authentic version? Let me guess, this would be the version you hold… right?

In some ways your argument sounds almost religous, infact:

Evolution is your “truth” as carried down the mountain by your God, disciple, messiah etc Darwin.

Or it is an idea, that will survive or perish on its own merits. And from that… what?

And exactly how do genes impose a philosophy? I would love to hear that. Environment and life experiences, I can see that, but how do genes influence this?

And your daily life is influenced to a large degree by the ideas of others. If you are American, everyday you wake up and walk outside you will probably influenced by the ideas of Locke, for example. How one responds to an X requires an X, the response must be related to that. I cannot truly know myself if I do not know the influence X has had on me, regardless of how closely I study my reactions. I must also know X.

Apply this knowledge to ideas, and abstracts such as truth, and what will that tell you? From Predicate Logic and Finite math I have seen that if you hold 1 as true, 0 as false, in the real world, prescious little can reach 1. But i am getting off topic.

None. Because truth would be the ultimate certainty. truth requires no decimals. Actually that is the ideal. Some presuppose it cannot be reached and thus settle for decimals. To each their own.

Before it was tested and “proven” empirically, the theory of Evolution is an example of this.

No doubt hundreds if not thousands of Evolutionists have made a rather nice living from this as well.

And how, pray tell, would I ever know if it was distinctive unless I studied all the others and looked for distinctions? And how, exactly, would you know any other being has a distinctive philosophy all their own unless you were, ultimately, them?


Great, call me when you can prove it.

For people the world over, the Gordian Knot represents the difficult, the intractable and often the insolvable problem.
Like Alexander. I am cutting through the convolutions of perennial debate instead of adding to it.
You ask first whose view of the world is right? Mine?
Of course not! Yours is as valid as mine and I don’t think I could change your mind even I wanted to. you think the way you do because you are you.
How do genes impose a philosophy?
There has been sufficient evidence in the studies of identical twins who have raised apart to convince me that heredity plays at least a 50% role in how we think and feel.
You may not accept these findings, because again, you are you. You are not wrong!
About the influence of others, I have found that most people I know gravitate to those who express for them the ideas they already have but were unable to express with sufficient grandeur and authority.
You say, “truth requires no decimals” followed by the dismissive.“To each his own.”
Here we agree. So much for verbal gymnastics.
The main thrust of my argument you have chosen to ignore. Our true philosophy of how we view the world is in how we ACT, not in what we say nor with what erudition we say it.

So your basically a relitavist when it comes to truth? Is that what your trying to get across? And if so, whats your problem with 7, 8, or 20 people who have a personal belife that a certian activity, namely argueing with one another, will help them reach truth. If your truly a relivist I don’t think you can disreccomend the practice of western philosophy, as it is known.

Please tell me if I am misunderstanding you.

I don’t want to be petty, seriously I don’t. But if you truly believe this you will have to advance the argument further.

You agree that truth has no decimals, so to speak… yet mention “sufficient” evidence in regards to twins. If such evidence proves to be true in (example) 80% of the cases, thats .8 ergo not true.
And not to belabor the point, but similarities between twins (in terms of philosophical outlook) could be the result of some cosmic karma perpetrated by splitting one being into two before reincarnation. As silly as that sounds to me, I don’t believe anyone can prove it to not be true, nor can they prove as true the role genes play in development of higher thinking. I admit that I can accept it as being true, but what i accept and what is actually true are not necessarily related.

our true philosophy, being innate in each person, again, is only provable if you know the philosophy of each person. How they react (not act) to the world could be one indication, but it is not, and cannot be, completely certifiable unless you are inside the mind of each and every person.

I submit that how a human being views the world and how he reacts is not limitless, therefore it cannot be unique to each and every human being. If, as you say yourself, humans are predisposed to a certain philosophy by virtue of our shared genetic heritage, then elements of those world views should be shared by all. In fact, if it is ultimately true that how we see the world is the result of genetics alone, there can only be one “true” philosophy for human beings to undertake. All others must be, by definition, false.

It is your contention that they are not false, but that truth is somehow a shared experience, via our genetic heritage. This does not answer why some humans murder, rape, and generally act like assholes, while others give to charity, defend strangers, and sometimes give their lives for what they see as a noble cause. Nor does it explain how human beings have the potential to do both at the same time.

If human beings have a nature (thus human nature) as the result of something so basic as genetics, and this translates over to philosophy, there should be some kind of universal characteristic that all share from their genetic base. If you could prove one absolute in terms of human behavior in accordance with one’s philosophy, and extrapolate that beyond that each being has a philosophy uniquely ther own via past experience and environment, I would be more then willing to buy it.

You understand me well.If the word “relativism” helps, use it.
Talking about philosophy is great fun. Keep it up.
My objection is to the suits who have commanded the respect of the intellectual world because they have pursed concepts which are innately indefinable.
Man has evolved with more brain power than he requires for survival, and so he sets up puzzles to occupy himself.
He uses words like"infinity".“truth”,“spirit” and argues about their meaning while creating new indefinables to explain himself.
Just go over any of the posting on this site. “Do I understand you? Is this what you mean?,”, “is this what you are trying to get across?”
You will find these in almost every one.
And mind you, this is within one language and a common culture.Where did we find the infinite gall to presume that any conclusions we come to are universal?

Ok I’m glad I understand, but I must say, its been a long time since I’ve taken reltavism serionsly. For two reasons. First of all it can’t help me with the overall normative project- that is to say it can’t help be decide what to do, not really. After all no matter what I think or say or do, its all supposed to be equally valid.

Secondly, their is a quickly implied contration if its ever the case that relativism is true. If relativism is true, than it is the case that relativism, and absolutism, (and consistivism) are all ‘equally valid’. Ergo, if relativism is true, then absolutism is true. And of course be definition if absolutism is true then relitivism is false.

Now contradictions bother me, because if even one contridtion is true then my girlfriend dies.

for gate control theory
“It is your contention that they are not false, but that truth is somehow a shared experience, via our genetic heritage. This does not answer why some humans murder, rape, and generally act like assholes, while others give to charity, defend strangers, and sometimes give their lives for what they see as a noble cause. Nor does it explain how human beings have the potential to do both at the same time.”

A course in behavior and evolution, taught by chimps
Nicholas Wade NYT
Thursday, November 27, 2003
A principal assumption is that chimps, unlike people, have changed little and so their social behavior is a good guide to that of the common ancestor.
A major surprise has been that chimps turn out to live in territories whose borders are aggressively defended by roving parties of males. Jane Goodall, who pioneered long-term studies of chimps at Gombe, at first believed she was watching a single peaceful community. But as researchers started to follow animals throughout the day and watch their interaction with others, they found that groups of male chimps went out on border patrols, ready to attack and kill the males of neighboring communities…

The males’ operational strategy seems to be to defend a territory as large as possible so as to improve the community’s food supply, which is principally fruit, and thereby their reproductive success. Anne Pusey of the University of Minnesota has found that the larger the female chimp’s home feeding area, the shorter the interval between births.

In two known cases, a chimp community has wiped out all of a neighbor’s males.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then, I contradict myself!
I am large. I contain multitudes!
Walt Whitman

I often think famous, genius philosophers are guilty of pedantry, mellodrama, and being unclear. So it’s no surprise to me that most of you folk exhibit the same, and even moreso. And me too I’m sure. Obviously there are many holes is yarrum’s little “poems” about his mood. Suffice it to say that if a child’s arm is severed, I need to ascertain a way to stop the bleeding lest he die. For this, epistemology comes in handy. And the same for any other crisis that happens, phyically or mentally. Philosophy can be a tool to empower action that can yield better results in this “game” we are forced to play. In this sense it’s not relativist. This tells us nothing about reality, purpose, why there is stuff, and what is the ultimate nature of stuff…it only comments on what is experienced. I think Yarrum is an existentialist…I agree we’re all unique down to the decimal point, and thus, our “philosophies” are unique, but only by tiny increments, and most fall into one general class or another.

I have been thinking about this thread… what I believe yarrum was saying vs what he said… perhaps I assumed something that was not necessarily so, or so obvious I missed it.

In terms of thought, what humans share is common sense. Examine the phrase common sense and I think what I mean gains a little practical clarity. You could call it “shared reasonableness” and it would be the same thing.

If you were to say, man shares in his capacity to reason, Rationalists will not object.
If you can prove this as being the result of a shared genetic heritage, or to put it bluntly, the result of Evolution… you would show that reason evolves.

If you argue then that where men differ, and where men are unique, is in how this reason is accorded to each individual’s environment and experience, and, in turn, how men employ their unique perspective relative to the world around them, I think you would basically be saying the same thing you started with, but the argument would be tighter.

It would kind of unify Empiricism with rationalism, and probably some other things I am not familiar with.

But, unless i am mistaken, Aristotle argued something very similar… that man has reason but reason is useless without sensory data to apply it to.

You may also have to contend, if you argue evolution, that there can (possibly) be a point which we are evolving to. This in no way would contradict your argument, and it would probably calm your average idealist.

The thing about philosophy is, this idea is probably not original. If anyone knows more, post some info plz.

I just don’t follow it. Humans are reasonable animals. Saying that humans share shared humanness doesn’t seem like unifying rationalism and empiricism. Explain what you mean about apllying unique perspective to suuroundings, and what this has to do with reason. Reason, a=a, is a constant, not a uniqueness, or something that evolves incrementally. it comes all at once, and it is what it is.

I still think he’s a relativist, i.e., in a bad mood.

I really do have to take some offense to you calling the single most important project of man’s existance idle pleasure. It’s so easy to lose sight of everything that philosophy has done for us, but I do reccomend you take another look. Especcially because you seem to use a scientific perspective. Science trying to discredit Philosophy is like going back in time and killing one’s own mother.

Yes, I do not disagree that a=a is innate in man. If yar can show innate human reason as being the result of evolution, coupled with each individuals unique philosophy as being a result of

  1. The rational mind all men share
  2. the personal thoughts, ideas, and worldview that results from seperate environmental factors combined with past experiences (past environmental factors)

I don’t think this would unify Emp. and Rationalism totally… but in a general way to serve as a feasible explantaion of human similiarity and human difference in matters of thought.

First let me boil down your thought…

Premise: a=a is innate in man.

the belief a=a stems from evolution + individuals unique philosophy, the latter being a result of (rational mind all men share + personal worldview [latter stemming from personal experience])…explaining human similiarity and human difference in matters of thought.

Now let me state it the way I think it could go…

the belief a=a stems from evolution, (innate to humans, natural a priori ). The technique of developing a=a into its more complex ramifications, i.e. a2 + b2 = c2 depends on (varying biological ability to do so + intention to do so [latter stemming from a variety of cultural influences and culminating unique eperiences]).

Our differences and similarities are always result of the ratio nature/ nurture. Nature being evolution. Nurture being experiences. This doesn’t sound all that NEW per se, but it needs to be said…

Most average people I know avoid this basic subtlety and often credit only nature, or only nurture, as it suits their argument.


A few thoughts/questions…

  1. What role does instinct play? How much influence does human instincts have on human thoughts?

  2. If this theory is true, would it mean that someone born blind and deaf would be a less complete thinker, in comparison to his brethren?

3)Human beings prioritize their past in terms of what is important to them. Is what happened to them in the past solely determinant of what they view as being the most important (and thus what they might unconsciously base their philosophy on) or is it combined with their current environment… either way, is the mechanism that allows one to do this a result of human reason? Thus, are all thoughts reasonable? (that would be the relativism I suppose).
3 b) If I find someone else’s thinking to be more reasonable then my own… how is this possible?

  1. What role does imagination play in this process? Also, If we imagine enough experiences… does that make a philosophy stemming from that less real?

  2. This process would seem to entail how human beings think and arrive at their views of the world… it presupposes experience to be sensed. It cannot answer whether or not there is more to the universe beyond what we can experience, thus it is still falsifiable, correct?

  3. If true, shouldn’t women have vastly different outlooks on life compared against men? Or am I overestimating the importance of physical/emotional differences when configuring human response to stimuli?

Philosophy, for the most part, has nothing to do with what people think.

maybe am I am misunderstanding you, but isn’t every proposition put forward by a philosopher conceived in his or her mind. Thus all of philosophy is a direct result of what philospher’s have thought? Does philosophy, to be philosophy, require one to think of something else while one writes down all of one’s wonderful ideas?

Maybe, but from a strictly philosophical stand point I don’t care. To say that those propositions that come from human minds are better than ones that say emminate from mindless rocks, would clearly be an argument from authority. This is why questions concering knowledge about the past don’t intterupt my study of philosophy. Even if the whole universe is just an hour I spend in the library reading Plato, and thus there was really no Plato, it should not effect my evaluation of his arguments. Similiarly if you give me an objection by saying"Kant said, ‘[Insert argument here]’" you really didn’t need to bother with the Kant part, the argument would be just as valid or invalid if a delusion told you why you were high.

Well while someone’s though may have something to do with it, I would hope logic and perhapse even the world would be the main engins. I like to think as a philosopher I’m only lending out my brains computer time to a project that would come to the same conclusions with or without me. It seems to me that any solid argument one could remark “Someone would have thought of that eventually.” For a funny example look at Popper and Duhem; Duhem actually cricticizeing falseificationism before Popper presents it.

Well yes actually. If you are only thinking of philosophy, and not its current topic, then you have made the uncermonious leap to studying literature. One must always be thinking about the world or some subset there of.