Philosophy is useless

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ForgedinHell
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Philosophy is useless

Post by ForgedinHell »

In science and mathematics, one may discover truths, and answers, but in philosophy, all one encounters are arguments. In more than 3,000 years of argument, no philosopher has ever explained what is moral, what is immoral, or even if morality exists. If there is a problem that cannot be answered by science and mathematics, then it most certainly cannot be answered by philosophy. Therefore, aside from some entertainment value, philosophy serves no useful purpose. Ijn fact, it is rather harmful, because the time and energy one spends in studying philosophy could be better put to use studying math and science. Any takers?
tbieter
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by tbieter »

Yet, here you are in a forum devoted to philosophy, wasting your time. :?
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by ForgedinHell »

tbieter wrote:Yet, here you are in a forum devoted to philosophy, wasting your time. :?
Not if I convert the "masses" to my way of thinking.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by ForgedinHell »

tbieter wrote:Yet, here you are in a forum devoted to philosophy, wasting your time. :?
Actually, I am curious if philosophers can defend philosophy. I would think that in at least some respects, that this would qualify as one of the more important philosophical questions a philosopher would have to deal with. Can a philosopher justify her existence? Perhaps not?
Impenitent
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Impenitent »

justification is difficult to justify

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/

-Imp
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by ForgedinHell »

Impenitent wrote:justification is difficult to justify

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/

-Imp
There you go. A shining example of how useless philosophy is. It trains people to puzzle about the meaning of words, and because they cannot be given precise meanings, one must wonder in a perpetual fog of meaningless intellectualism. That's all philosophy teaches one? That's the best defense a philosopher can muster for the discipline? How disappointing.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

According to Bertrand Russell:

[Quote]
Philosophy, like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge. The knowledge it aims at is the kind of knowledge which gives unity and system to the body of the sciences, and the kind which results from a critical examination of the grounds of our convictions, prejudices, and beliefs.

But it cannot be maintained that philosophy has had any very great measure of success in its attempts to provide definite answers to its questions. If you ask a mathematician, a mineralogist, a historian, or any other man of learning, what definite body of truths has been ascertained by his science, his answer will last as long as you are willing to listen.
But if you put the same question to a philosopher, he will, if he is candid, have to confess that his study has not achieved positive results such as have been achieved by other sciences. It is true that this is partly accounted for by the fact that, as soon as definite knowledge concerning any subject becomes possible, this subject ceases to be called philosophy, and becomes a separate science.

The whole study of the heavens, which now belongs to astronomy, was once included in philosophy; Newton's great work was called 'the mathematical principles of natural philosophy'. Similarly, the study of the human mind, which was a part of philosophy, has now been separated from philosophy and has become the science of psychology.

Thus, to a great extent, the uncertainty of philosophy is more apparent than real: those questions which are already capable of definite answers are placed in the sciences, while those only to which, at present, no definite answer can be given, remain to form the residue which is called philosophy.

The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty.
Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.

Thus, to sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy; Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.
[unQuote]
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

ForgedinHell wrote:In science and mathematics, one may discover truths, and answers, but in philosophy, all one encounters are arguments. In more than 3,000 years of argument, no philosopher has ever explained what is moral, what is immoral, or even if morality exists. If there is a problem that cannot be answered by science and mathematics, then it most certainly cannot be answered by philosophy. Therefore, aside from some entertainment value, philosophy serves no useful purpose. In fact, it is rather harmful, because the time and energy one spends in studying philosophy could be better put to use studying math and science. Any takers?
Note Russell's take in the above post. In addition...

The mental actitivity that defines everything is philosophy, and philosophy is the only subject that defines itself. That is why we see the common, 'Philosophy of [x]".

If one defines philosophy narrowly, then one reaps narrow-mindedness.
Philosophy in its widest sense, is the 'love' of wisdom that is aligned with reality (the whole, not partial).
'Love' does not mean the emotion, an obsession for, merely admiration, but rather, a strong drive, inclination and determination for, striving, tendency, etc.
'Wisdom' means, theoretical and practical knowledge directed at the highest, the best and optimal good for the well-being of the individual and humanity.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by ForgedinHell »

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
ForgedinHell wrote:In science and mathematics, one may discover truths, and answers, but in philosophy, all one encounters are arguments. In more than 3,000 years of argument, no philosopher has ever explained what is moral, what is immoral, or even if morality exists. If there is a problem that cannot be answered by science and mathematics, then it most certainly cannot be answered by philosophy. Therefore, aside from some entertainment value, philosophy serves no useful purpose. In fact, it is rather harmful, because the time and energy one spends in studying philosophy could be better put to use studying math and science. Any takers?
Note Russell's take in the above post. In addition...

The mental actitivity that defines everything is philosophy, and philosophy is the only subject that defines itself. That is why we see the common, 'Philosophy of [x]".

If one defines philosophy narrowly, then one reaps narrow-mindedness.
Philosophy in its widest sense, is the 'love' of wisdom that is aligned with reality (the whole, not partial).
'Love' does not mean the emotion, an obsession for, merely admiration, but rather, a strong drive, inclination and determination for, striving, tendency, etc.
'Wisdom' means, theoretical and practical knowledge directed at the highest, the best and optimal good for the well-being of the individual and humanity.
I read te post from Russ. So? He admitted that one looks to science for answers. It doesn't matter that those sciences were once called philosophy, they are now science disciplines, and they deliver the goods, while philosophy does not.

Now, the claim is that there is somehow value in not knowing anything, and just coming up with arguments. How so? If none of the arguments can be shown to be valid, who cares about them? There is not a single question that philosophy can answer that science can't. If science is stumped, then philosophy is not going to come in and save the day. And, if a philosopher did come up with an "answer," which was shown by science to be false, then what would happen? The philosophy would be junked by anyone with a rationally functioning brain.

While philosophers can learn how to argue, so can scientists, historians, attorneys, etc. So, what is gained by philosophy? It's not thinking skills because those exist quite well in physicists. It's not the tools to come up with answers, because one has to learn science for that.

Are there "truths" out there that can only be grasped by philosophy? If so, what are they and why? If not, then why isn't philosophy useless?
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

ForgedinHell wrote:I read the post from Russ. So? He admitted that one looks to science for answers. It doesn't matter that those sciences were once called philosophy, they are now science disciplines, and they deliver the goods, while philosophy does not.

Now, the claim is that there is somehow value in not knowing anything, and just coming up with arguments. How so? If none of the arguments can be shown to be valid, who cares about them? There is not a single question that philosophy can answer that science can't. If science is stumped, then philosophy is not going to come in and save the day. And, if a philosopher did come up with an "answer," which was shown by science to be false, then what would happen? The philosophy would be junked by anyone with a rationally functioning brain.

While philosophers can learn how to argue, so can scientists, historians, attorneys, etc. So, what is gained by philosophy? It's not thinking skills because those exist quite well in physicists. It's not the tools to come up with answers, because one has to learn science for that.

Are there "truths" out there that can only be grasped by philosophy? If so, what are they and why? If not, then why isn't philosophy useless?
So you define philosophy as 'the creation of arguments'. This is a very specific and narrow definition and thus narrow your perspective. Russell did not define philosophy as 'the creation of argument' or in any similar sense. The above definition by Russell is just one aspects of philosophy. Russell presented philosophy is a wider scope in his other writings.

Argument is just one little tool that is used by philosophy for its wider purpose of cultivating wisdom for the total well being of the individual and therefrom humanity.

Russell did not imply 'not knowing anything' but rather one cannot know anything with 100% certainty and the gaps are to be filled with doubts and questions. This is exactly what Science is and its fundamental principles are from philosophy.

In his 'History of Western Philosophy', Russell weighed and countered the 'less than 100% certainty of philosophy' against the '100% certain revelations of theistic religions'. In theistic religions, there is no room for arguments as it is 100% certain as presented in the holy texts. One can thus use philosophy with its need for argument and questioning to limit the absoluteness of theistic religion. The rise of philosophy-proper is the downfall of the power of the Church.

IMO, philosophy is not after truths, but it provides the framework to establish the credentials for truths.

The most important question that philosophy can raise is the meaning of life. This ongoing question cannot be solved with certainty via objective truths. To cover such a difficult question, philosophy will use all sort of tools from the Sciences, the Humanities and the Arts. As you can see, while the individual subjects are specialists, it is only philosophy that has the passport to be cross-functional and inter-discipline.

I think you still have a lot of literature review to do on this topic.
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by MGL »

ForgedinHell wrote:In science and mathematics, one may discover truths, and answers, but in philosophy, all one encounters are arguments. In more than 3,000 years of argument, no philosopher has ever explained what is moral, what is immoral, or even if morality exists. If there is a problem that cannot be answered by science and mathematics, then it most certainly cannot be answered by philosophy. Therefore, aside from some entertainment value, philosophy serves no useful purpose. Ijn fact, it is rather harmful, because the time and energy one spends in studying philosophy could be better put to use studying math and science. Any takers?
Do I take it from this, that your objection to taxation and socialism is not really sincere and you simply raise these objections for the sheer entertainment value and are now rather ashamed of yourself becasue you are wasting your time even though you are prepared to do so again in another pointless debate?
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Notvacka
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Notvacka »

I agree that philosophy could be deemed "useless" in some narrow, practical sense, just like art, music, poetry, religion and sports could be deemed "useless". But I would like to propose that only such "useless" activities are truly meaningful in a human sense.

As humans, we do all the useful, necessary stuff in order to make time for activities that give life meaning, things that are ends in themselves. Any animal can gather food and procreate. Which, when you think about it, is rather pointless unless it leads to something more.

Being human, as opposed to being an animal or a plant, is to reflect upon existence, to ask questions that have no answer. In that way, philosophy is the art of being human in its most refined form.
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by Satyr »

Philosophy is "useless" to the contained, institutionalized mind who only uses it to adopt concepts and perspectives (s)he does not fully understand but repeats verbatim.

Philosophy is a word derived from the Greek: philos sofia...friend of wisdom.
If wisdom is useless to these retards then it says a lot.
But what these morons mean by the term "philosophy" is the stale, institutionalized, academic jabber-jabbering, that stays well within the established norms, never dares to go beyond them and then finds the repetition of mediocrity dull. In this case philosophy is used as mind-candy, mental masturbation, to be parroted, big fancy words and all, by imbeciles who simply want to posture and whose mind is already infected with a philosophy they do not question.
In their case reading an other's perspective is like embodying a fictional character which is then abandoned to return to "real life", where none of his views apply. For these brain-dead sheeple philosophy has no personal reference because they live their life as they were told was "proper", in accordance to the principles and values and morals they cannot think outside of, and only visit these intellectual forums as a sort of mental vacation from the mundane reality they are trapped within.
This is why they can go on and on about important issues with the aloofness of a doe-eyed moron, trapped in a mental institution.
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John
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by John »

ForgedinHell wrote:If there is a problem that cannot be answered by science and mathematics, then it most certainly cannot be answered by philosophy.
I have some sympathy with this, particularly around some of the more esoteric branches of philosophy that don't tend to interest me as much as ethics or political philosophy does. However, that said, science may provide answers to questions like "can we build a bigger bomb?", or "can we screen embryos for a tendency towards particular conditions?", or "can we send people to the Moon?" but it doesn't say anything about whether we should do these things or how we should use new technologies.
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Re: Philosophy is useless

Post by artisticsolution »

Science could never have discovered facts about anything without first asking philosophical questions.
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