Your reasons for seeking knowledge

“I know that I know nothing.”
-Socrates

No man can ever know all there is to know, even about one thing. When you really think about the vastness of knowledge out there, it’s staggering. So why try to know anything at all? Along the same lines (and in addition to your answer), aren’t there Japanese pacts that stress doing as little as possible in life? I’ve read about it. What are they? Is this reasoning somewhat part of their motivations?

Personally i try to learn things because knowledge can make life easier in terms of pain vs pleasure.

I am chasing comfort, both material and mental.

As far as Japanese philosophies of simplicity go, i can only guess that a simple life is an easily manageable one. (a life where you can achieve a good level of happiness)

i’m fascinated with myself, quite honestly

so i’m driven to understand this manifest riddle in which i participate

i’m driven to understand myself

Because I have a small penis.

Knowledge is power, and I dont like the feeling of being powerless. Japanese are actually quite hard-working people, they just dont have a distinct sense of individuality, in the western sense anyway. The lack of ambition has to do with this diminished sense of self (importance).

Well, I think that could be relative.

If I try to know, the first reason is that everybody know something, and i want to do the same, because I am live with them.
The second reason is, what could you do in your life, if you would not even know nothing? The life is something really huge which contains knowledge, alive beeings, societies… to live within it you have to know (and work). If you don’t know, you can’t work, so you can’t live, but not by yourself.

I want to know (and work) to could make my life up! I guess everyone wants to do the same.

I do not pursue knowledge for comfort, security, or for the pleasure of it. I do not seek knowledge to make life easier- quite the contrary, it makes it more difficult. The simple fact of the matter is most of our ‘knowledge’ is rooted in faith, lies, and prejudice- and truth often begins in these things. I pursue the truth not knowledge.

I think philosophy abandoned the quest for knowledge to science a long time ago. Analytical philosophers have become what Simon Crichley rather nicely called

Continental philosophy might try to argue that its after wisdom (certainly more worth while then knowledge - if only in the sense of how to live life a bit better)

  • I doubt it though - search for meaning possibly? - But its hard to know exactly what the meanderings of a lot of continental philosophers constitute besides the search for new neologisms and university grants
    (actually the analyticals like that gravy too!)

Me personally I like trying to stretch me mind a bit and finding out new and interesting things. Very few of them though would constitute knowledge in any rigorous sense I guess and certainly not wisdom (the more you know the stupider you feel sometimes!).

Discussion is fun too - occasionaly!

kp

Because I enjoy it, much like a hobby.

~Jeff

why do you pursue truth?

I’m right behind Socrates. I think ‘knowledge’ is the greatest myth the western world has ever come up with. I should say that I find the idea of ‘pragmatic knowledge’ very pragmatic - that is useful enough to adopt. But I absolutely reject absolute knowledge. We can never be 100% certain of anything. But even in adopting pragmatic knowledge, I do struggle somewhat to come to grips with the meaning of that term. Absolute certainty is sort of built right into the meaning of knowledge. Even if you’re 99.99% sure the Sun will rise tomorrow, you would still say you were wrong - that is, you didn’t know - if tomorrow came and no Sun rose. You wouldn’t say “Well, the Sun may not have risen, but I knew it would because I could be 99.99% sure at the time”. So even in calling our confidence in the Sun’s rising tomorrow ‘pragmatic knowledge’, there is still the possibility (in principle) that it isn’t really knowledge at all. The possibility of being dead wrong guarantees that. So what does ‘pragmatic knowledge’ mean then? It can only mean belief that is, on the whole, useful. Knowledge proper, therefore, is a myth.

So the answer to your question is that I don’t persue knowledge. I persue beliefs that are, in one way or another, useful to me.

I see knowledge as a sort of virtue, in the sense that having it makes you better disposed to react prudently in difficult situations.

I have always had an innate curiosity, but moreso as a child.
As a child I was more myself, without having been conditioned by society.
I want to re-discover myself, in particular my more pre-conditioned (child) self, which I have spent many years trying to outgrow and shove away.
I now realize that part of myself is just as much a part of me as any other part.
I am part of everything.
Therefore, the more I understand about everything (what a dizzying goal), the more I find out about myself.
All I can ever be is my perception of this universe in which I live.
So the most I can possibly know is myself.
I seek knowledge to find myself–and everything.
They are the same.

And you see prudence as a virtue because…?

I seek truth because there is nothing else, nothing else but ashes and women.

Because I value the objects of my desire, and acting prudently usually means getting what I want.

The biggest benefit to me of reading philosophy is not the accrual of knowledge (I’m fairly sceptical of True Knowledge), but of clarity of thinking - the tools by which I consider things.

One of the reasons I like Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations so much is that it doesn’t point out how things are, so much as how to think about things more effectively and robustly. The maeutic approach is still valuable as a method even if doesn’t lead you to The Truth; it at least steers you away from blind unthinking assumption.

Both better!

Mind you if truth is a woman…

kp

…then my philosophy is a chloroform rag! Zing. [size=10]Rape jokes always kill around this forum. [/size]