Philosophy

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    Riprock
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    Philosophy

    Post by Riprock on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:40 pm

    I really had no idea what to name this thread, but I am hoping we can bounce ideas of one another, with anyone who may have any background in Philosophy, or even anyone who wishes to argue about certain issues.

    Just to give some info, I have transferred to Carleton U and I am studying Philosophy, Public Affairs and Ethics in an honours concentration program.

    I enjoy discussing and arguing things, but ancient philosophy I find really dry and boring. The way ti tis written gives me a headache and I want to fall asleep. I find Socrates argued just about anything and felt he was right all the time. I guess a lot of us can feel that way. But I imagine Socrates to be that old, dirty guy in a busy downtown metropolitan city rambling and causing a disturbance that you'd be likely to call a crazy, mentally ill person.

    I get that there's no right or wrong answers in Philosophy, though everyone wants to believe their argument is right.

    Anyone here study Philosophy? Anyone able to give me some pointers?
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    asq2
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    Re: Philosophy

    Post by asq2 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:07 pm

    I took courses where we studied Socrates but only through Plato (not really Xenophon; I did read The Clouds by Aristophanes but that's not a particularly accurate depiction). And some Neoplatonism.

    I don't think your depiction of him is entirely fair, or at least I don't see him as a dogmatist (in fact he's the opposite). On the most basic level it's just getting others to question their own beliefs to see if there's any fault in them. But the conclusion you've drawn in your second last line (whether right or wrong) is definitely something Socrates (or at least Plato) would disagree with. This area of philosophy believes in capital T Truth, which is comforting in a way.

    As far as the writing goes, I agree that for contemporary readers Plato has no ear for dialogue (once Socrates starts expounding the others kind of just kind of say 'yes,I agree' in thousands of different ways) but apart from that I think some of his works are quite beautiful. The Republic is a great text if you don't get bogged down in the "political" side of it (IMO). His philosophy also eventually shows up (albeit in an altered, expanded form) in Dante's Divine Comedy, if you're wanting a more artsy presentation. But to get the full philosophical experience you'd have to also at least read some Aristotle, who is much more dense in presentation than Plato is.

    If you wanted to read some Plato (I don't really get that feeling though) I would recommend works like the Apology and Crito and Meno to begin with. But it sounds like you may have already read them. If you're looking for something completely different you could look at Eastern texts like the Tao Te Ching or the Upanishads.

    Couldn't tell you much about modern philosophy, unfortunately. Have you read Leviathan or the Prince or Rousseau's second discourse on equality?
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    Riprock
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    Re: Philosophy

    Post by Riprock on Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:12 am

    We are on Hobbes' and the Leviathan now.

    When I meant reading Socrates, I meant reading Plato, of course, because Socrates never wrote anything, was only quoted in Plato's work.

    Socrates/Plato may disagree, but really, Philosophy at it's core, is arguing your beliefs or not, and the way you do it is what matters, not if it is right or wrong. That's what I am getting at. Because as long as you make a valid and sound argument, you cannot be wrong.

    Socrates, according to Plato's Crito, was charged, sentenced and executed because he was "corrupting youth" in Athens. He did this by challenging them to think for themselves, as you said. But basically he did not believe in a divine State. He believed in the state though, as he respected their decisions. my comparison to the "old, homeless, mentally ill guy" is because while we say without uncertainty they are crazy, people surely said the same about him, because when people go against the norm, they are often deemed insane. Sure, he may not have been an idiot, but a lot of geniuses are bi-polar depressive, manic depressive, etc. and they can appear to be "crazy" to those that do no understand them.

    Thanks for your input. I'm barely managing to keep up with my assigned readings right now, so I won't be reading anything extra yet.

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