What good is philosophy?

I fail to see the relevance, the need, the uses.

Isn’t it just entertainment? Replaced by science?

Moved to Hall of Questions, Shadow Topic left in place.


What do you want in life?

Yep. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is a nihilistic pursuit i.e. the academic side of things. On the other hand, I still think ‘philosophy’ serves a purpose if you wish to untangle the mess that might be inside your mind, or to in some way, calm the fires of confusion.

Perhaps, Trevor. But I don’t see how discussing philosophy with others outside of searching for clarification of someone’s writings aids your ability to philosophize as much as insult others’ intellect…so many Nietzsche fanboys believing they are the ubermensch.

Then please point me towards some answers, as i see it, science gives the answers, not philosophy. Philosophy today are mere guesswork born from the free imaginative mind of random people.

The relevance to what? The need by whom for what purpose? The use for what?

You could say, philosophy had no relevance to my old job as a bar manager. But then, by old job as a bar manager had no relevance to philosophy. So what?

Before you decide on anything like this, you need a grounding. What do you mean by ‘the need’? ‘The need to survive’ (but then, whats the need for clothes in hot countries, or ice creams, or the internet??!). ‘The need’ for human progress? ‘The need’ to contribute to society? In what way does something need to be needed in order for it to be considered useful?

What’s the point of any art? I mean really, the point of course is to refine the way we think, so it is important to all areas of study especially science.

You have to ask a specific question first to get an answer. “What good is philosophy?” is too broad. Do you have a specific topic/issue in mind?

So I think I can give definite indisputable answers here. Isn’t it just entertainment? In as much as everything beyond surviving is entertainment, yes. Otherwise, no. Can it be replaced by science? Science grew out of philosophy. The scientific method is (really) a specific type of philosophy. Philosophy however is broader than science. So no, science cannot replace philosophy.

Does the shoot not replace the seed from which it sprouts? If philosophy was the egg in which science incubated, why could science, after growing strong, not discard philosophy as the chick does its shell? The hen lays more eggs, but these chicks too outgrow their shells.

I’m not sure we could altogether discard philosophy, but cyclically replacing it is not only possible but inevitable. Knowing the composition of the atmosphere, we no longer philosophize on why the sky is blue…and why should we? Perhaps philosophy and hypothesis are synonymous.

Le Corbusier’s philosophy (for instance) has had a profound effect on the form and structure of our cities. I’m not sure how fantasies such as Escher’s have anything to do with real-world philosophy.

We don’t philosophize about why the sky is blue, just as we don’t philosophize about why steel is stiffer than aluminum. I think you’re mixing things up.

Per my signature, my point exactly. It is a jab at certain individuals whose arguments remind me of Escher’s illustrations, hence “some seem to be under that impression.”

Per the second statement, I don’t feel I am…although it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

What I am suggesting is that once something can be definitively, empirically proved it no longer requires philosophizing.

I thought you were saying all philosophy is like an Escher drawing. My mistake.

I don’t know. I think maybe your philosophy determines whether empirical proof provides a full and satisfactory explanation. A specifically empirical question always has an empirical answer, but this empirical answer doesn’t answer the philosophical ramifications of the question, considered in its broader sense.

Are you an architect or an architecture student? If so, think of Aalto’s criticism of modernism - that modernist designs weren’t rational enough, as they didn’t take into account human (and regional - i.e. non-universal) concerns such as the coldness of metal chairs to the touch.

Or think of Hawking’s assertion that science can explain the origin of the universe, or Dennett’s book title “Consciousness Explained”! (my emphasis) - Many disagree completely, which demonstrates that empirical data only answers philosophical questions for people with certain kinds of philosophies.

Oh…now that you mention architecture…

Most structures have a philosophy behind their design which is ingrained in the structure itself–the structure never discards its philosophy. June 2011 Architectural Record has some great examples, specifically the Museum of the Holocaust (Los Angeles, Belzberg Architects) and the City of Culture of Galicia Archive and Library (Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Eisenman). So my previous argument (though I think you may have read too much into it) is kind of shabby in light of that…

For the record, I am a lowly CAD tech. My father is the Architect. I would love to design, but that’s not architecture (if you are a student yourself, I’m sure you’re becoming aware of this). You would have to be a masochistic loony to go into architecture, especially these days. My father graduated from UGA for landscape and RISD for the whole shebang…now we work primarily on R.O. buildings. Meanwhile, Frank Gehry is out there sexually assaulting every piece of property he can…but I guess he’s got a philosophy behind his buildings too…

Haha, yes, he does. :slight_smile:

In this case, philosophy is not like a plant. lol. Philosophy is not a specific philosophy or method (e.g. science). It is much broader. The only way science could replace philosophy is if science expanded the scientific method to the point where it was no longer science. That is, the only way science could replace philosophy is if science became philosophy. So the answer is no.

As long as we are human, I don’t see how or why philosophy should be replaced.

That would suggest that there are many jobs for philosophers, out of the millions of jobs world wide, how many have philosophers on their payrole? Just a few hundreds?

Philosophy is part of many jobs. Consider the architect, as I’ve mentioned. Le Corbusier’s monolithic apartment blocks set in huge nature parks are the expression of a philosophy.

I need to see some documentation of such claim, else i have to consider it an imaginary conclusion.