What Happened to Philosophy?

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Philosophy Now
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What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Philosophy Now »

Alexander Jeuk says overspecialization, academic debate focusing, and simplistic argument structures, are prominent missteps in modern philosophy.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/158/What_Happened_to_Philosophy
Impenitent
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Impenitent »

academic authors are expected to perform academically...
the expectation of the author's effort will be illustrated in his style and his audience...

in order to change the robustness of philosophy, you must change the target...

Theodore Geisel was a great philosopher

-Imp
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Angelo Cannata
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

I think that philosophy, like everything, has been taken into the spiral, the vortex of the desire of power. It is a mechanism of nature. The unsaid rule today is power, control, mastering, dominion, grasping. On the contrary, humanity, being human, is implicitly considered limited, impaired, distorted, unreliable. This explains the success of analytical philosophy. The purpose of analytical philosophy is to break the elementary components of human thinking to get human thinking under control, power, mastering. They found in language the material ground where human thinking is based on and where it can be definitely mastered. At this point we are not anymore doing philosophy; rather, we are doing science and technology.
On the contrary, continental philosophy is based on human intuition and sensitivity, it appreciates human weakness, criticism and self-criticism, tranversal intuitive connections.
Analytical philosophy brings us directly to AI: both of them aim at language as the ground for technical mastering of thinking. Chat gpt is defined as a "language processing tool". In other words, both analytical philosophy and AI have decided that machines, whose power is based on the mastering and control of language, are better, more reliable, more powerful and, not so implicitly, even more creative than humans. It is the same phenomenon that happens in music, when artists decide that electronics are infinitely more powerful, flexible and, again, implicitly, even more able to foster creativity, that wooden violins, wooden flutes, wooden guitars, pianos, drums and organs.
Technology, electronics, linguistics, are objective and powerful; their power is able to compensate any lack of personal sensitivity, you don't need to have a deeply trained, educated, sensitivity. Continental philosophy, arts, classical music, literature, intuition, are subjective and weak; you need to refine and refine, continuosly, all along your entire life, your sensitivity, subjectivity, humility, humanity, weakness.
Philosophy, as Pierre Hadot showed us, was born as spirituality, as an activity that is a lifestyle. Over time it has become more and more a technique; now, with AI, we can even say a technology. That's the reason why today we find frequent questioning about what philosophy is: we, as humans, perceive that today's philosophy, that is going to become technology, clashes quite openly with its name, its etymology "philo-sophy". "Philo" means love; "sophy" means wisdom. Machines and technology are strangers to love and wisdom; their natural waters, natural environment, is power.
I think that, in this situation, we need to recover philosophy back to spirituality, to develop all the treasure of its human potential, that has been left aside, abandoned, wasted, after taking the route of analysis and technology.
If anyone is interested in cultivating such a movement, let me know, contact me, I would like to find collaborators. You can have a look at my website to get a more detailed idea of what I am talking about.
Meanach
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What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Meanach »

A refreshing view. I agree that philosophy needs to return to its simple, systematic roots. I am surprised by the ignorance of some philosophers of other philosophical fields. Also, ignorance of what constitutes scientific evidence and how it can be used in a philosophical argument.
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Lacewing
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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Angelo Cannata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 11:13 am you need to refine and refine, continuosly, all along your entire life, your sensitivity, subjectivity, humility, humanity, weakness.
Philosophy, as Pierre Hadot showed us, was born as spirituality, as an activity that is a lifestyle.
Hello, Angelo. Yes! Our experience and awareness continues evolving if we apply a questioning and critical mind and are open to always seeing 'more', rather than just subscribing to a certain belief to use/follow for our whole lives.

I watched your video on your website, and I feel familiarity with the things you've said, such as spirituality and philosophy being...
> something we can share despite diverse beliefs or lack of beliefs
> about making meaningful connections
> reflective of our human experience

Please excuse me if I've misrepresented or oversimplified anything you said. That is what I heard -- and it describes how I experience philosophy and spirituality. Making connections with all and everyone is what feels most spiritual to me, and it is (for me) the most beautiful thing about being alive. I find that to be fairly easy in person -- and nearly impossible on this forum. :) But it has been informative and transformative for me to challenge divisive or rigid ideas and claims on this forum when I feel inspired to do so... even though I may get a bit feisty at times.

I, too, think anyone can have a spiritual experience -- there is no certain or right way to do it. The important thing (I think) is how we are informed and refined by that.
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Angelo Cannata
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

I think that a spiritual experience should be possible in a forum, I would even say that a forum is the ideal place for it, but I am speaking ideally, theoretically, not based on my actual experience.

I agree that, in a forum, we psychologically feel like facing ideas and reasoning, rather than persons in the flesh, with all the richness of their lively presence here and now. However, I feel that, when I am speaking in person, I haven’t much time to think, to meditate about what I am listening to and what I am going to say. In a forum I can meditate as long as I like before I write an answer and the action of writing itself can become a moment of meditation and study. This way I can realize not only the logic in what we are talking about, the reasoning, the ideas; I feel able to realize the spiritual value of each involved concept.

Such experience is much less possible in social networks, because they have been purposedly designed to prevent long thinking and complex connections of ideas and conversations.

In this context books are the top experience, but they are too a slow system of exchanging ideas and making an experience alive.
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Lacewing
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Lacewing »

Angelo Cannata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 11:23 pm I think that a spiritual experience should be possible in a forum, I would even say that a forum is the ideal place for it, but I am speaking ideally, theoretically, not based on my actual experience.
I've tried to share some of my spiritual experience, but the limits of language get in the way... and then people bicker over the meanings of words, rather than hearing the intended message, or maybe they don't want to acknowledge that they heard the intended message. 8) It is funny how people prefer to maintain their attachment to familiar patterns.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 11:23 pmI feel that, when I am speaking in person, I haven’t much time to think, to meditate about what I am listening to and what I am going to say. In a forum I can meditate as long as I like before I write an answer and the action of writing itself can become a moment of meditation and study.
Yes, meditation and study is very interesting to do in the process of writing. I do very much like speaking with people in-person because it feels like there's a greater energy connection and exchange. I've been practicing present moment authenticity and flow for awhile now... and it's very energized... and it seems that everyone in the room feels it. It goes beyond words in a way that written communication seems less able to do. Maybe the in-person interaction is somewhat telepathic too.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 11:23 pmSuch experience is much less possible in social networks, because they have been purposedly designed to prevent long thinking and complex connections of ideas and conversations.
Yes, I avoid that environment. I don't feel intrigued by snapshots and soundbites -- it seems to be a shallow, surface level of people and life.

I'm interested in what you said in your bio on your website: "In 1991 he obtained a degree in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church. Until 2013 he divided his commitments between teaching the Sacred Scripture in some theological institutions and the parish ministry. .../...The same year he left priesthood, then the Catholic faith and finally his faith in God. These choices have been caused by a perception of increasingly clear incompatibility between anti-metaphysics and dogmatism of the Church first, critical thinking and the problem of theodicy later. He does not find possible to profess a faith in a God who is by definition good and omnipotent, and at the same time to maintain a living memory of his absence in front of evil in the world."

That is a fascinating journey! If you don't mind answering... I'm interested to hear how you think of the Bible now -- what do you think it is?

Secondly, how would you describe your spirituality now?

I'm curious because I grew up as a Christian, but then discovered (in my twenties) an innate spiritual perspective which made sense to me on every level of my being. It is a complete sense of belonging and connection within a vast realm of love and perfection which might not be apparent much of the time on the dramatic Earthly plane. Many things seem to be at work, and I do not need to claim to know why everything is as it is. Nor do I need to fear death, nor judgment/punishment from anyone's idea of a god -- an idea that seems very small and contrived and senseless in light of the innate and vast spirituality that I (and many, many others) have come to sense and use. It's beautiful to share acceptance and understanding with people beyond fear.
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Angelo Cannata
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Angelo Cannata »

About the limits of language, you are right and we need the patience and seriousness of dealing with them. If we don't deal with them, spirituality becomes easily uncritical. Unfortunately, this is the kind of spirituality we most frequently find in the world: people who talk about awakening, energies, angels, soul, paranormal phenomenons, reincarnation. I think that the critical sense, the radical questioning attitude, typical of philosophy and science, are the best medicines against this confusion. Philosophy, at the same time, is able to be self-critical, which means that it can understand that questioning can be questioned itself. For example, you mentioned telepathy. If we want to talk seriously about it, we need to deal with all the criticism about it coming from philosophy and science. We know that nobody in the world has ever been able to give any evidence of the existence of telepathy. The kind of spirituality that I cultivate is meant to be acceptable to materialists as well, provided that they are open, in turn, to criticism of materialism as well. About telepathy and similar things, for example, we can consider that the lack of evidence of anything cannot exclude future discoveries of ways of existence that today we don't know. But, at the same time, this criticism forces us to keep in mind that, at present, when we talk about telepathy, we don't know what exactly we are talking about; probably something that never existed and never will. The same way, you used the word "energy" in a way that can be perceived as ambiguous. Again, criticism coming from philosophy and science, together with criticism of criticism, can help a lot to avoid low quality, shallow, commercial spirituality that today is so popular.

About the Bible, I have still a great appreciation of it. We just need to apply to its study the same criteria of philosophical and scientific criticism that I referred to. Unfortunately there is a lot of ignorance about it, both in believers and unbelievers. A lot of believers have no idea how the Bible can be studied scientifically and critically, they think that faith hasn't to dialogue science and criticism. A lot of unbelievers think they can criticize the Bible without studying it seriously. On both sides, ignorance makes both positions frequently ridiculous and both equally fanatic.

This way I have already given an idea of what (serious) spirituality is. I have also written an academic article entitled "What is spirituality?" that you can find easily on the internet. The best definition of spirituality is "inner life". In this sense, spirituality is not exclusively that positive and romantic thing that most people talk about. Hatred, mental distortions, hypocrisy, dishonesty, violence, injustice, pessimism, racism, can be considered, depending on what perspectives we want to explore, kinds of spirituality as well, because they are as well "inner life". The fact is that our present situation of confusion about the meaning of "spirituality" makes necessary to clarify how we want to interpret it every time we mention it, otherwise what we produce is just a lot of misinterpretation and low quality discussions.
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Lacewing
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 am About the limits of language, you are right and we need the patience and seriousness of dealing with them. If we don't deal with them, spirituality becomes easily uncritical. Unfortunately, this is the kind of spirituality we most frequently find in the world: people who talk about awakening, energies, angels, soul, paranormal phenomenons, reincarnation.
So, yes, I think a lot of people who use these words are truly attached to certain ideas about them. There are also people, like myself, who use words like 'energy', 'divine', 'frequencies', etc., because that is the only language we currently have to express our experience. These 'concepts' could be something else. I am simply using words as tools to describe my experience -- I'm not fantasizing about an ultimate reality/truth.

I think ideas that suggest ultimate reality/truth are worth challenging for two reasons: 1) They don't fit with the vast potential and diversity reflected throughout all beings and all of life; 2) They often include some kind of divisiveness, exclusion, and separateness... which also does not reflect the interwoven nature and connectivity throughout all beings and all of life.

For us to claim to know ultimate truth based on the fraction of what we can perceive from our very limited human states in the dream/world we exist in, is like an ant claiming to know every inch of the ocean. Now, an ant is free to do that... and draw some kind of comfort from that for themselves... but that does not apply to everyone else, nor does it make sense.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 am I think that the critical sense, the radical questioning attitude, typical of philosophy and science, are the best medicines against this confusion.
I do too... but most people don't seem to really want to question... as they are not comfortable with facing/accepting 'unknowns' that are beyond preferred/familiar beliefs.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 amPhilosophy, at the same time, is able to be self-critical, which means that it can understand that questioning can be questioned itself. For example, you mentioned telepathy. If we want to talk seriously about it, we need to deal with all the criticism about it coming from philosophy and science.
Again, I use such a word as 'telepathy' to try to describe my experience. I do not attach any seriously held concept to it. I have repeatedly experienced communication without words -- both receiving and being received. I don't know what that is. I might use the word 'angel' to try to describe when I saw and spoke with a radiant being when I was a child and critically injured on the side of the road after a car accident. But I don't really know what it was.

I think the way we are informed and evolved by our experiences can be fascinating when we don't try to create epic stories and ultimate truths out of them. A person might say they have experience with a deity. Well, we can all experience all kinds of things -- but the framework in which we experience doesn't matter as much as how we are affected and improved in our own life and being. I'm interested in hearing about the actual results that have been realized for a person... not a story that is imposed/projected onto other people (there is enough of those imaginings in the world). I think each person is capable of tapping into their own spirituality in whatever way benefits them.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 amAgain, criticism coming from philosophy and science, together with criticism of criticism, can help a lot to avoid low quality, shallow, commercial spirituality that today is so popular.
Good point. We need not be afraid of criticism. The process can be informative. What other people see is their own affair.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 amAbout the Bible...
I think there is some wisdom in it, just as there is wisdom in so many places, and there is insight into the fears, ideas, and lives of humans at that time. I think it is bogged down by archaic stories, and the way some theists focus on it reminds me of idol-worship. As with all things in life, there's value in discerning wisdom and insight without worshipping stories/structures that provide the frameworks.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 amThe best definition of spirituality is "inner life".
Agreed.
Angelo Cannata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:50 amThe fact is that our present situation of confusion about the meaning of "spirituality" makes necessary to clarify how we want to interpret it every time we mention it, otherwise what we produce is just a lot of misinterpretation and low quality discussions.
Yes. I prefer to think of sharing spirituality in a way like a group of explorers might do upon travelling many diverse paths individually, then meeting up to express insights we gained. The individual paths don't matter. And there need not be a singular ultimate destination for all or at all.

Thanks for the discussion. :)
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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I do not agree with this and period.
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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puto wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:38 am I do not agree with this and period.
Can you articulate?
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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From the article:
If we want to see a re-emergence of great philosophy, we should strive for a rebirth of the way great philosophers thought and wrote. They thought systematically, and they wrote systematically. Their thought was systematically directed at phenomena, and they wrote systematically about phenomena.
I think most "great" philosophers existed in times when cutting edge information and knowledge was relegated to a relatively few privileged minds. Today, many can Google information and potentially know as much as a Descartes or a Kant.
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by attofishpi »

Gary Childress wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 1:27 am From the article:
If we want to see a re-emergence of great philosophy, we should strive for a rebirth of the way great philosophers thought and wrote. They thought systematically, and they wrote systematically. Their thought was systematically directed at phenomena, and they wrote systematically about phenomena.
I think most "great" philosophers existed in times when cutting edge information and knowledge was relegated to a relatively few privileged minds. Today, many can Google information and potentially know as much as a Descartes or a Kant.
"Cutting edge information and knowledge" isn't what made them great philosophers though was it. It was their ability to apply their intelligence upon that knowledge and articulate their anaysis in a way that the rest of people in their time and now found rather profound.
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

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Does spirituality imply a perennial effect, an empathic collusion with the unseen, or is it mostly a collection, a remembrance of our most intense experiences. I find that the catalysts for spirituality are endless and, as such, the nature of it almost impossible to explain.

Spirituality can deceive as much as enhance. I think it reveals itself most potently by the unsupervised influx of foreign material...the shock value of the unexpected. It's that sense of gratuitous grace which requires no god to inculcate but only the elasticity of the mind, meaning its ability to merge with offshore content extraneous to any analysis which quells or limits the experience of time standing still.

An emergence of soul or the feeling of one cannot be vivisectioned to discover the organs which generated it…or as stated in a trite little poem I continue to remember...
May fugal empathy rise to ponder
Pantheistic in the world's wonder
To comprehend the foreign sense in all profound
Where the twilight soul may itself expound.
It's the soul which navigates all of its multitudious meanings measuring itself in the process.

It's a small part of a longer poem but can't recall the rest of it!

C'est la vie!
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Re: What Happened to Philosophy?

Post by Wizard22 »

Raw data and unfettered access to it, via the internet, does not account for the Genius-level users who can take advantage of all of it.

How many gorillas or monkeys use the internet to display their four-digit IQ??? ...what's that, zero?! Why not???

The same applies to humans.
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