a modern philosophical rant....

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Peter Kropotkin
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:11 am

a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Peter Kropotkin »

I have engaged with philosophy for over 40 years...and
quite often, I have suggested that the reason that philosophy
isn't working anymore is because we approach it the wrong way...
we take the classroom approach to philosophy...
we study it within the ''classroom'' read it, take tests in it,
but once we leave the classroom, it is forgotten...
the question has been for me anyway, how do we apply this
thing we call philosophy, to our day to day lives?

philosophy has been, perhaps always been, very abstract...
we pursue the questions of philosophy, what is the nature
of knowledge, epistemology, for example.... and around
here we argue about this thing called epistemology...
what is the limits, the scope of, the boundaries of our knowledge?
and that is all well and fine, but out in the ''real'' world, what does
that information mean, how does that knowledge help us maneuver around
the ''real world?''

We have 7 branches of philosophy... metaphysics, axiology, epistemology,
logic, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics...
and around here, every day we struggle with these concepts,
and it is good, but how do we take these concepts and use
them in the real world? How do I apply the concept of ethics, for
example, and use that in the real world? We philosophers, we lucky few,
how do we use this concept of ethics in the real world?
Granted, I am supposed to be good, honest, decent and kind,
all those ethical words that we rarely if ever, actually use
in the real world... in my day to day life, do I actually ever
think to myself, or do you ever think about the ethical content of
your actions? the old boy scout thing about walking a little
old lady across the street...do we even do this and what
ethical ideas are we engaging in when we walk the little old
lady across the street.. and just as importantly, has anyone
actually, done this in the last 30 years?

an action that is lauded as being ethical but never really actually
practiced, is that really practicing philosophy? It really becomes
a model that is never engaged with or practiced in our lives...
it exists as an ethical model that isn't done.. and what is the point
of an ethical model that is never done?

In the grocery business, I see people stealing all the time... I would
say at least once an hour someone will take some booze or steal some
food, or both... and I believe that stealing is wrong, unethical,
and yet, that doesn't seem to stop the stealing that goes on
every day... how do I reach these people about the unethical
nature of stealing? and therein lies the point, they don't care...
ethical.. unethical, who gives a shit? people just steal the beer...
and here I am, with all this philosophical knowledge about
ethics, and has it stopped one single person from stealing?

and some, some might say, but Kropotkin, that means that
we don't have god in our hearts, if we only returned to god,
and no one will steal anymore... it has been my own personal
experience that those who proclaim the greatness of god,
are quite often the ones who steal the most...why not?
we will be forgiven by god and enter the holy house of heaven....
no matter how much we steal... its all good... for we are the
saved...and we don't even need to ponder this question of ethics,
because we are already saved.....so, I am here to steal away...
and I will be forgiven by god....
and there is no philosophical content here.. just righteous smugness......
and what possible response can I even give to those who have no
ears to hear about real ethics?

In a very real way, our problems stem from the very fabric of
modern day society...we have, by social pressures, economic
isms, political expediency turned into discrete, atomic,
isolated humans with no real connection to other human beings
or a society at large..... it is easy to steal when we have no
real connection to the state, the society, our day to day lives
are separated and apart from other human beings....
it is easy to steal when I feel no connection to the state, to
the society, to other human beings....and in a very real sense,
that is baked into our society, state today... capitalism by its
very nature is forcing us into competing for a small amount of
resources... we have a large number of people competing for
a very limited amount of resources....a dog eat dog world...
we are told this every single day... keeping up with the Joneses..
that is our national pastime... and to what end? to what end?

and here I will introduce a minor tale of the results of
our modern lives....

and I will be using myself, Kropotkin, as a tale of the
modern world......

next post....

Kropotkin
promethean75
Posts: 4749
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:29 pm

Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by promethean75 »

In forums soon....

Kropotkin; A Tale Of The Modern World
Peter Kropotkin
Posts: 1430
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:11 am

Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Peter Kropotkin »

I am using myself as a modern tale of our modern world....

I about two weeks away from turning 65... and with every
passing day, I get closer to my, possible, possible retirement....
but what isn't talked about is with the passing of that every day,
comes the reality of old age....day by day, I am slowly losing
control over my own body... actions that a time ago, that were
easy to do, today, I struggle with... I can't bend over to pick
up something off the ground because frankly, I can't get back up anymore...
it has become a real struggle to get off the ground these days.. even to
tie my shoes has become a struggle...and I too struggle with
the memory losses and ongoing struggle to remember things...
both my body and mind is failing.. a little bit every single day....
so here we stand with the reality of growing old...
and it has become a real concern with me... I will call it
brick in the wall number one...a worry that keeps me up at night...
like tonight... it is 2:30 in the morning and I can't fall asleep to
save my life..... and this lack of sleep is not a major concern,
but it has become a greater concern over the years... it has
become brick number 2

and the reality of modern life lies within paying bills..
we own rental property in Silcon Vally... and the other month,
we received a water bill for 5,000 dollars... for one month...
well, our normal bill is around 250 dollars a month...
so, we of course have protested that water bill to anyone
who will listen, and because its a water bill, the way the
water company is set up, is that there is no appeal process
if you get a bill that is as outrageous as our bill....
we can't pay that bill... and all we get from the water company
is sorry, but you owe us 5,000 dollars...we take checks and credit cards...
but we can't pay.... again, sorry, ( we have gotten a whole lot of sorry,
but no one can resolve our situation) where is our money?
I call this brick number 3

as my health has been shaky, at best, over the last few months,
several trips to the ER, and doctor visits, our medical bills has
gone through the roof...even though we have insurance.. we still
have to pay 20% of all medical bills....this last medical crisis has
been a possible heart condition, which entails many tests to
see how healthy or not, the heart is... as of this moment, I
am wearing a heart monitor... and trust me, that ain't cheap....

if you want many sleepless nights, try having a possible medical condition
with the heart...after several tests, it seems that my heart isn't as
bad as my primary doctor, soon to be ex-primary doctor believed...
in any case, we have brick in the wall number 4...... and those random,
few bricks start to add up in weight.. they begin to become
heavier and heavier and heavier.... which adds to my stress of
my ''modern life''

and that has become the story of my last few years...
the various aspects of modern life has become a weight
that is becoming harder and harder to struggle against...

my job sucks.. I hate it there, but I have no recourse because
I need to put in my time to get my full social security checks..
as we can barely make it as it is and social security will be a major
drop in income...and we reach brick number 5... this whole
retirement thing.... mentally and physically, I really can't work
anymore, but I can't afford to quit... not today, not tomorrow
and possibly not ever....and that thought, frankly terrifies me...
for I can't really go on much longer.. but I must...

and it is not just one thing, but several things that are bricks on
my shoulders these days... and the weight has become, unbearably....
and we reach brick number 6....the weight of the world seems to
harder and harder to bear...

as the weight of the world has become unbearably, I
slowly retreat into my studies, my philosophical studies....
I don't pay attention to the news of the world, nation,
state or city anymore... I can't bear that weight anymore...

and then we return to the original problem...
that of making some connection of philosophy to
real world problems.... how do I connect philosophy
to my real-world problems?

what aspect of epistemology or ethics will lighten the burden
of existence for me? what aspect of logic or Aesthetics will
lighten the weight of the many bricks on my shoulders?

and here we see the failure of modern day philosophy....
it cannot see us through, to find solutions to our
modern world of day to day crap that weighs a ton....

for philosophy to have any impact, it must be adapted to what
the modern world is...and the modern world is an ever present,
every larger brick after brick of existence... of taxes, of voting,
of science and health and bills and other day to day problems
of existence....

we can no longer separate out philosophical problems like
epistemology or ethics into isolated, separate fields of study....
because that path solves nothing, understands nothing,
believes in nothing....

philosophy must become what religions ought to have been,
which is a ''way of life''... instead of thinking about philosophy
as something out there, we should make philosophy something
inside of us... as a ''way of life'' how am I to live? and we
use philosophy as a means to engage with the problems of
existence...

so, let us take the sorry case of Kropotkin... how does philosophy,
properly understood, help Kropotkin with his bricks in the wall?

we no longer look at philosophy from inside out, we see the problems
that exists, existing outside of us.... we experience the problems
as spectators.... to truly experience philosophy as a ''way of life''
we use philosophy to come to terms with the reality facing us...
I am growing old... I can use philosophy as a means of coming to
grip with that growing old crap... the philosophy we use comes
from us, from inside of us, as a way of life...

my wife and I have a serious of financial problems...
we simple work them out, one at a time...
and as for my retirement.... I must come to grips with
the fact, that maybe I can't retire for quite a while...
but I can't hide or run away from facts... I must look at
this fact as being really possible and accept it,, as best
as I can... which is accepting it as stoically as I can...
I don't have to be happy about it, but it is what it is...
and I can't change what I can't change... as much as it kills me...

so, I haven't really solved any problems, but I have changed
or adapted my thoughts and feelings about it the many
bricks in the wall for Kropotkin...
the weight of the world remains on my shoulders, but I can whine
about it, get sick over it, or, or I can simply take a deep breath,
and be in the moment... that is philosophy as a ''way of life''
to change one's mindset about the reality around one... into
taking a deep breath... the problems don't change but
my thinking about it does.... and that is all philosophy can
do....allows one to accept the shitty world and not panic
about the weight of the world.. it is what it is...
and no amount of panic or worry will change that weight of
the world...and maybe, just maybe, I can go back to sleep...

Kropotkin
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Peter Kropotkin »

now it is also possible to take a different philosophical approach....

to solve problems using logic and reason to attack the multitude of
bricks on my shoulders.... game out a plan to reduce or eliminate
my various bricks.. health wise, plan a, plan b, and plan c....
financially plan a, plan b and plan c... retirement,
plan a, plan b, plan c....

and this approach is certainly logical and very practical and an
excellent use of reason, but is it a philosophical approach?
do we just abandon philosophy when its convenient?
and rely on other methods that seem to better answer
the problems at hand..... which leads us to wonder if
philosophy really doesn't have anything to offer us in
real life?

Kropotkin
Skepdick
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Skepdick »

Peter Kropotkin wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:34 pm now it is also possible to take a different philosophical approach....

to solve problems using logic and reason to attack the multitude of
bricks on my shoulders.... game out a plan to reduce or eliminate
my various bricks.. health wise, plan a, plan b, and plan c....
financially plan a, plan b and plan c... retirement,
plan a, plan b, plan c....

and this approach is certainly logical and very practical and an
excellent use of reason, but is it a philosophical approach?
do we just abandon philosophy when its convenient?
and rely on other methods that seem to better answer
the problems at hand..... which leads us to wonder if
philosophy really doesn't have anything to offer us in
real life?

Kropotkin
Philosophy is the 1st step of problem solving: (re?)thinking the problem, understanding it from multiple perspectives, (re?)defining the problem. If there even is one. Defining the problem, or inventing the language necessary to think and talk about the problem is half the solution.

The trouble is that people get stuck in phase 1 in perpetuity. That's when philosophy devolves into navelgazing.
promethean75
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:29 pm

Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by promethean75 »

I agree with skepdick, Wittgenstein and Zizek when I say

Or as Zizek explains more thoroughly: https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkx62rPZp2-Ka ... U-iI9j4kfq
Walker
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Walker »

Skepdick wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:01 pm Philosophy is the 1st step of problem solving: (re?)thinking the problem, understanding it from multiple perspectives, (re?)defining the problem. If there even is one. Defining the problem, or inventing the language necessary to think and talk about the problem is half the solution.

The trouble is that people get stuck in phase 1 in perpetuity. That's when philosophy devolves into navelgazing.
How do the stuck people move out of phase 1?
Skepdick
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Skepdick »

Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:13 am
Skepdick wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:01 pm Philosophy is the 1st step of problem solving: (re?)thinking the problem, understanding it from multiple perspectives, (re?)defining the problem. If there even is one. Defining the problem, or inventing the language necessary to think and talk about the problem is half the solution.

The trouble is that people get stuck in phase 1 in perpetuity. That's when philosophy devolves into navelgazing.
How do the stuck people move out of phase 1?
Act on your best idea.

Doxastic commitment.
Walker
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Walker »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:42 am
Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:13 am
Skepdick wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:01 pm Philosophy is the 1st step of problem solving: (re?)thinking the problem, understanding it from multiple perspectives, (re?)defining the problem. If there even is one. Defining the problem, or inventing the language necessary to think and talk about the problem is half the solution.

The trouble is that people get stuck in phase 1 in perpetuity. That's when philosophy devolves into navelgazing.
How do the stuck people move out of phase 1?
Act on your best idea.

Doxastic commitment.
Based on this, would you say that if Peter Kropotkin is stuck in phase 1, that he should define his best idea, and then act on that idea?

Would you also say that defining that idea publicaly adds power to the action, as it commits one to that idea and action?
Skepdick
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Skepdick »

Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:34 am Based on this, would you say that if Peter Kropotkin is stuck in phase 1, that he should define his best idea, and then act on that idea?

Would you also say that defining that idea publicaly adds power to the action, as it commits one to that idea and action?
I would say that philosophizing about ideas only gets you up to idealization. And ideals never survive contact with the ground.

Either way - if you don't reify your ideas through action, you've wasted your entire life in contemplation.
Walker
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Walker »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:47 am Either way - if you don't reify your ideas through action, you've wasted your entire life in contemplation.
I would say that one who spends their entire life in contemplation, has a different view than you. Other than that, you speak only of yourself and your values.

Personally, I would say that someone who, like you, plays loose with another man's blood (life purpose) has a limited horizon. That's my "values".

Because it is your view that another has wasted their life, perhaps in poor planning for their older years, then I have a view of you, that may not correlate with your view of yourself.

And you know what that means? It means, so what.
Walker
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Walker »

The point is, what are your answers to these valid questions, answers that could be of specific and philosophical benefit to Peter Kropotkin, as he defines his circumstance?
Based on this, would you say that if Peter Kropotkin is stuck in your definition of phase 1, that he should define his best idea, and then act on that idea?

Would you also say that defining that idea publicaly adds power to the action, as it commits one to that idea and action?
Skepdick
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Skepdick »

Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:03 am I would say that one who spends their entire life in contemplation, has a different view than you.
An infinitude of different views are possible if you waste infinitely many lives in contemplation.

None of those views matter in practice if not acted upon.
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Sculptor
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Sculptor »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:47 am
Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:34 am Based on this, would you say that if Peter Kropotkin is stuck in phase 1, that he should define his best idea, and then act on that idea?

Would you also say that defining that idea publicaly adds power to the action, as it commits one to that idea and action?
I would say that philosophizing about ideas only gets you up to idealization. And ideals never survive contact with the ground.

Either way - if you don't reify your ideas through action, you've wasted your entire life in contemplation.
So you reify your ideas through verbal masterbation, in that you attack every post on the thread and contrinute nothing.
Who is to say that a life of quiet contemplation is not a better? Why is it wasted?
Why is it better to snipe at other people rather than stay under your rock and STFU?
Walker
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Re: a modern philosophical rant....

Post by Walker »

Skepdick wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:25 am
Walker wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:03 am I would say that one who spends their entire life in contemplation, has a different view than you.
An infinitude of different views are possible if you waste infinitely many lives in contemplation.

None of those views matter in practice if not acted upon.
Right. So what. How does this apply to Kropotkin?
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