I mean. There is a perspective by some folk that philosophical ideas are eternal, ever open for question. But if a philosophical idea has been tried out for years, decades, even centuries or millenniums: can it still prove useful? Or are we just clinging to the past?
Let's talk examples, for instance. Now I don't want any affiliation here, I want to stick to the philosophy and argue its usefulness from anybody's point of view (so doesn't matter whether you agree or not), and I want to ask: how much of the past in these people can we still use?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx# ... al_thought“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1754"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_to_po ... pretations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche)"The fact that man is a corporeal, actual, sentient, objective being with natural capacities means that he has actual, sensuous objects for his nature as objects of his life-expression, or that he can only express his life in actual sensuous objects."
The point make here is that if philosophy is the Love of Wisdom, and Wisdom is the efficiency of knowledge, that efficiency has to be relative to something. And that something would be us, our time, our world. All of the above, CAN, be used in our world, but its not natural ideas to think of, they do not make sense in our world for the commoner because relative to hers/his life the world does not pop questions like these ones, and the paths to the future does not lead along these tracks. So what use do these people have in our world, in our time? Speaking specifically for myself and my people at my own age (20 years old), and after me and just before me. Does thinking along these lines actually make me wiser to the world I live in? Or do they make me cling to a past that has already been and is out of date, out of context?"To speak of just or unjust in itself is quite senseless; in itself, of course, no injury, assault, exploitation, destruction can be 'unjust,' since life operates essentially, that is in its basic functions, through injury, assault, exploitation, destruction and simply cannot be thought of at all without this character. One must indeed grant something even more unpalatable: that, from the highest biological standpoint, legal conditions can never be other than exceptional conditions, since they constitute a partial restriction of the will of life, which is bent upon power, and are subordinate to its total goal as a single means: namely, as a means of creating greater units of power. A legal order thought of as sovereign and universal, not as a means in the struggle between power complexes but as a means of preventing all struggle in general perhaps after the communistic cliché of Dühring, that every will must consider every other will its equal—would be a principle hostile to life, an agent of the dissolution and destruction of man, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of weariness, a secret path to nothingness"
Personally I find these things more fun than present philosophy since contemporary professional philosophy is such a dull gang of men and women. And yet, the past is so useless in my eyes because it's so void of context to our own. Contemporary philosophers don't seem to have balls enough or creativity enough to pull things into the future, whereas the past of great personalities seems to be like awesome but rusty old cars, or a legendary sportman who's beginning to reach a really old age. So, what do you think, how can the past be useful? Or should be make more effort to pull things ourselves into the future?