Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

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Nick_A
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Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm

Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.

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Greta
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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Greta » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:28 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
I think that setting such approaches in competition is a tad odd since they - like all human abilities - can only work in concert rather than isolation, with the perceived gulfs between approaches being only matters of degree. Basically, the most hard-nosed logical positivist will still sometimes intuit and the most starry-eyed mystic will sometimes analyse. The fact is that much analysis and intuition occurs without our conscious knowledge; the mind's working are far too complex for the conscious part to monitor it all, so a lot happens behind the scenes, generally making a mockery of our assertions online :lol:

These are simply human potentials and we hopefully use them well and appropriately for the task at hand - just as we hope to use a hammer rather than a saw to drive a nail into wood. When we do science, when we try to recognise and observe the dynamics of the patterns of nature, then we require both analytical and intuitive thought, preferably not separated but the faculties working seamlessly and unselfconsciously together.

If we "get out of our own way" this tends to happen naturally in the same way as one's breathing and swallowing food during a meal naturally work around each another. Our consciousness consists of many intertwined strands, including intuition, analysis, logic, empathy etc etc.

surreptitious57
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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:44 am

Nick wrote:
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more : Socratic ignorance ( I know nothing ) or secular intelligence
( I am an educated man ) ? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated
by debate to determine who knows more
As someone who knows nothing I have to go with Socratic ignorance since I do not think of myself as educated for I never went to university
I also prefer the dialectic method which is more about becoming a better thinker through logical questioning and less about winning debates

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:53 am

Greta wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:28 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
I think that setting such approaches in competition is a tad odd since they - like all human abilities - can only work in concert rather than isolation, with the perceived gulfs between approaches being only matters of degree. Basically, the most hard-nosed logical positivist will still sometimes intuit and the most starry-eyed mystic will sometimes analyse. The fact is that much analysis and intuition occurs without our conscious knowledge; the mind's working are far too complex for the conscious part to monitor it all, so a lot happens behind the scenes, generally making a mockery of our assertions online :lol:

These are simply human potentials and we hopefully use them well and appropriately for the task at hand - just as we hope to use a hammer rather than a saw to drive a nail into wood. When we do science, when we try to recognise and observe the dynamics of the patterns of nature, then we require both analytical and intuitive thought, preferably not separated but the faculties working seamlessly and unselfconsciously together.

If we "get out of our own way" this tends to happen naturally in the same way as one's breathing and swallowing food during a meal naturally work around each another. Our consciousness consists of many intertwined strands, including intuition, analysis, logic, empathy etc etc.
What is wisdom? Are you saying that wisdom comes from knowledge so the more facts one has the greater their wisdom? If so, aren't the dialectic and debate basically the same?

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:11 am

He among you is the wisest who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is really worth nothing at all. (Apology 23b, tr. Church, rev. Cumming) - That the wisest of you men is he who like Socrates has learned that with respect to wisdom, he is truly worthless. (tr. Tredennick) - He, O men, is the wisest who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. (tr. Jowett) - This man among you, mortals, is wisest who, like Socrates, understands that his wisdom is worthless. (tr. Grube)
Winning a debate flatters ones ego while a meaningful dialectic deflates it. Yet Socrates even after being told of his wisdom knows in truth it is worth nothing. So if wisdom is worth nothing, is the love of wisdom pursued through the dialectic just a futile love? If so winning a debate would be more advantageous in pursuit of knowledge so worth something in the cause of undersanding.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:12 am

Nick wrote:
Are you saying that wisdom comes from knowledge so the more facts one has the greater their wisdom
If so arent the dialectic and debate basically the same
Wisdom does come from knowledge but it is about the interpretation of knowledge rather than the accumulation of facts
The dialectic and debate are not the same because one is about mutual engagement while the other is all about the ego

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:41 am

Nick wrote:
Winning a debate flatters ones ego while a meaningful dialectic deflates it. Yet Socrates even after being told of his wisdom knows in truth it is worth nothing. So if wisdom is worth nothing is the love of wisdom pursued through the dialectic just a futile love? If so winning a debate would
be more advantageous in pursuit of knowledge
Debates are as much about performance as anything else and so winning one is not the same as winning an argument. It is not true that wisdom is worth nothing but there is no need to reference the fact that one has it since it could be egotistical or narcissistic. Also it takes wisdom to realise that however much one knows it is only an infinitesimal amount of all knowledge. In this respect one literally knows nothing like Socrates claimed

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Greta
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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Greta » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:46 am

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:53 am
Greta wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:28 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
I think that setting such approaches in competition is a tad odd since they - like all human abilities - can only work in concert rather than isolation, with the perceived gulfs between approaches being only matters of degree. Basically, the most hard-nosed logical positivist will still sometimes intuit and the most starry-eyed mystic will sometimes analyse. The fact is that much analysis and intuition occurs without our conscious knowledge; the mind's working are far too complex for the conscious part to monitor it all, so a lot happens behind the scenes, generally making a mockery of our assertions online :lol:

These are simply human potentials and we hopefully use them well and appropriately for the task at hand - just as we hope to use a hammer rather than a saw to drive a nail into wood. When we do science, when we try to recognise and observe the dynamics of the patterns of nature, then we require both analytical and intuitive thought, preferably not separated but the faculties working seamlessly and unselfconsciously together.

If we "get out of our own way" this tends to happen naturally in the same way as one's breathing and swallowing food during a meal naturally work around each another. Our consciousness consists of many intertwined strands, including intuition, analysis, logic, empathy etc etc.
What is wisdom? Are you saying that wisdom comes from knowledge so the more facts one has the greater their wisdom? If so, aren't the dialectic and debate basically the same?
Not sure I'm saying anything so much as mulling the ideas over. It seems to me that intellect and intuition can be thought of separately but in truth are no more separate than your mind and body.

What is wisdom? When/if I achieve wisdom I will be better equipped to answer but for now I'll have to leave I'll the definitions to the experts.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:58 pm

Nick_A wrote:Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
Have you ever read Plato's Socrates? He thought he knew a lot in my opinion.

The dialectic method is if you wish to discover stuff with others, the debating method is if you wish to convince others of your position over another's. Ironically enough you debate.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:08 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:41 am
Nick wrote:
Winning a debate flatters ones ego while a meaningful dialectic deflates it. Yet Socrates even after being told of his wisdom knows in truth it is worth nothing. So if wisdom is worth nothing is the love of wisdom pursued through the dialectic just a futile love? If so winning a debate would
be more advantageous in pursuit of knowledge
Debates are as much about performance as anything else and so winning one is not the same as winning an argument. It is not true that wisdom is worth nothing but there is no need to reference the fact that one has it since it could be egotistical or narcissistic. Also it takes wisdom to realise that however much one knows it is only an infinitesimal amount of all knowledge. In this respect one literally knows nothing like Socrates claimed

You seem to have a natural inclination to respect the essential difference between debate and dialectic and the importance of remembering their difference in the context of wisdom. IMO that makes you fortunate. Debate as I understand is head oriented and concerned with concepts defending egoism while the dialectic opens us to “meaning” experienced with the whole of ourselves. If wisdom reveals we know nothing even though it is worthless for debate, it reveals that “meaning is beyond debate. Where contradiction is a weakness for debate it is a strength for the dialectic. Simone Weil explains: "When a contradiction is impossible to resolve except by a lie, then we know that it is really a door."

Assume for a moment that it is accurate to say that for modern philosophy debate has become dominant over the dialectic, does the beginning of this Needleman interview resonate with you? Do you sense truth in it or it or just old fashioned foolishness?

http://www.williamjames.com/transcripts/needle.htm
MISHLOVE: It's a pleasure to have you here. Let's start with perhaps the greatest figure in all of philosophy, that of Socrates. Socrates seems in his life to bridge this gap between the spirit and the intellect, and most people would agree that he is one of, if not the greatest, philosopher; and yet he never left any writings whatsoever.

NEEDLEMAN: Well, he was a philosopher in the original sense of the term, which is a lover of wisdom. That's what the word means -- to love, to seek wisdom. And wisdom is not just something in the head. Wisdom is a state of the whole human being. A person who is wise not only knows the truth, but can live it. So the philosopher Socrates was someone who seeks to be wisdom, not simply to know facts and propositions and ideas. He was a teacher of wisdom in that sense, a seeker.

MISHLOVE: One has the sense -- and I imagine you feel this quite acutely yourself -- that contemporary philosophy, academic philosophy, has deviated a great deal from the path that was set down by the ancient philosophers such as Socrates.

NEEDLEMAN: The whole culture has deviated from that. We've all deviated from that. The whole modern culture tempts us and draws us into just one part of ourselves, and Socrates and Plato after him taught that only the completely integrated being is a true human being. So yes, academic philosophy has deviated from that. But almost all of our lives, we no longer have that in our hands.

MISHLOVE: And if our culture as a whole is really moved away from this sense of being whole people, then I guess we have to look at alternatives to the mainstream culture -- to the esoteric or counterculture examples, perhaps, which I know you've explored extensively -- to get a handle on what was once mainstream ancient wisdom.

NEEDLEMAN: Yes, we have to look. Many people are looking, and many things are breaking through that we didn't know about or take seriously before -- from ancient times, from the East, from God knows where. This seems to be a time when everything is pouring in. And certainly we need some new life, new understanding, in our culture.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by -1- » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:46 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
So... you are saying that the efficient proliferation of stupidity (stemming from Socratic Ignorance) advances wisdom more than knowledge would.

In this case you are very strongly implying that stupidity, stemming from ignorance, is preferable to having knowledge.

I believe you are a true philosopher, Nick_A, for you truly practice what you preach.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:01 pm

Nick_A wrote:Winning a debate flatters ones ego while a meaningful dialectic deflates it. ...
They are not in opposition as they have two different goals.
Yet Socrates even after being told of his wisdom knows in truth it is worth nothing. ...
You haven't read Plato's Socrates have you. He did not think it worth nothing, he thought that because he knew he knew nothing this was worth him being called wise.
So if wisdom is worth nothing, is the love of wisdom pursued through the dialectic just a futile love?
No, as wisdom is not worth nothing.
If so winning a debate would be more advantageous in pursuit of knowledge so worth something in the cause of undersanding.
It can be used to further the understanding as it is designed to help others make a reasoned choice.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:51 pm

-1- wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:46 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:58 pm
Which do you think serves the love of wisdom and the goal of philosophy more: Socratic ignorance (I know nothing) or secular intelligence (I am an educated man)? Socratic ignorance is pursued with others through the dialectic method while secular intelligence is demonstrated by debate to determine who knows more.
So... you are saying that the efficient proliferation of stupidity (stemming from Socratic Ignorance) advances wisdom more than knowledge would.

In this case you are very strongly implying that stupidity, stemming from ignorance, is preferable to having knowledge.

I believe you are a true philosopher, Nick_A, for you truly practice what you preach.

You re beginning to question Socrates and that is good. Perhaps education hasn't been a total loss.

Of course you don’t understand any of this because you lack meaningless wisdom. Stick with debate and become a communist. Then you won’t have to reason. People will tell you what to believe and do which you will repeat and then you will be considered a man of wisdom and a skilled deabtor.
Query: how can Socrates be the wisest of men if Socrates is without wisdom? (the Delphic riddle)

That is the Socratic paradox, and it is about wisdom in philosophy. Plato explains the paradox this way: Socrates' wisdom is that Socrates doesn't think he is wise when he is not. For when the people Socrates questions are shown that they don't know what they think they know, they go on thinking they do anyway, whereas Socrates is at least wise enough to know when he doesn't know (Apology 21d). His entire wisdom in philosophy according to Plato is this, that Socrates doesn't think he knows what he doesn't know, and, as Plato's dialog interprets the oracle's words, that is the only wisdom any human being can have (Apology23b).
And so the form of expression is contradictory, but its meaning of course is not. Socrates has no wisdom other than the wisdom that he is not wise, and so he is both wise and not wise, in different senses of the word 'wise' of course.

The Socratic paradox, namely that the wisest of men has no wisdom beyond knowing that he is not wise, might also be called the Apollonian irony.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Nick_A » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:16 pm

"A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering". ~ Buddha
It seems that Buddha agrees with Socrates that there is a certain suffering and loss of understanding acquired through the glorification of debate. You will say that those like Socrates and Buddha never experienced a modern education so cannot be expected to appreciate the foolishness of favoring efforts to "know thyself" over debating concepts. Forgive them. They were an expression of their times so naturally ignorant.

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Re: Socratic Ignorance vs Secular Intelligence

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:50 am

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:16 pm
"A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering". ~ Buddha
It seems that Buddha agrees with Socrates that there is a certain suffering and loss of understanding acquired through the glorification of debate. ...
How did you get that from the quote?
You will say that those like Socrates and Buddha never experienced a modern education so cannot be expected to appreciate the foolishness of favoring efforts to "know thyself" over debating concepts. Forgive them. They were an expression of their times so naturally ignorant.
You seem to like saying what others will say before they say it?

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