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A question about the use for philosophy

Seed-Wad

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I used to like the statement 'if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room'. It seemed authoritative, to reaffirm my choice of living and to hold this standard up to everyone else. But now I've come to believe it holds no truth. It presupposes that your primary goal in life is to develop yourself, whereas there are plenty of people which do not have this goal, but instead aim to rule over their fellow men, for which it would be quite useful to be the smartest person in the room. Within the statement is thus the judgment that somehow the first goal is more valuable than the latter.

For this statement to be applicable, it should be preceded by a statement about why the goal to develop oneself is superior. Would it be possible to make such a statement without using any judgments in itself?
Any kind of judgment seems to confounds what should/shouldn't be with what is/is not.

So what can you do if you value the truth above anything else, but still want to be able to make decisions in a human way? I say human way because an easy way to make decisions based on truth would be to make choices in a highly utilitarian way, removing all factors except for the logical ones -- a way reminiscent of robotic intelligence. It can be clear for many that basing one's thought only on logical input must be a very impoverished system indeed. For a human type of judgment, one has to build a scientific framework encompassing all input, which ultimately should arrive at a conclusion about what is the essence of right and wrong.

Is it because of a preference for the truth, but the simultaneous wish for judgment (for we lack it) that INTPs are so inclined to develop a very strong philosophical nature?
I always try to think less, but any time someone states a judgment, I come to philosophize on the implications and presuppositions of such an idea and have to conclude the judgment is either wrong or not specific enough, then continue to try to define it in a more correct way, but still following the same sentiment, which is often an exercise of moving in circles and counting dead ends. A comprehensive and complete philosophical system could save me a lot of trouble, but I'm pretty sure such a thing lies beyond my capacity as a mere human.

Is there a way to exercise judgment in a way that agrees with the wish for a consistent vision of truth?

ps. Sorry if I'm a bit vague, examples always escape my mind, I can only remember the essence of this stuff.
 

Animekitty

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Cherry Cola

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Read Spinoza :P

""Spinoza (1634-77) is the noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers. Intellectually, some others have surpassed him, but ethically he is supreme." Russel
 

Foxman49

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Hope this helps:

Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientist do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way the peace and security which he cannot find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience
-Albert Einstein

Ethics is also very important.
 

Seed-Wad

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Ah! I've started reading an introductory booklet about him some time ago, it was very nice, time to finish it then :) His way of thinking certainly is lovable.
 

nil

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You probably want to stay away from ethics. It really has nothing worthwhile to say.

I used to like the statement 'if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room'. It seemed authoritative, to reaffirm my choice of living and to hold this standard up to everyone else. But now I've come to believe it holds no truth. It presupposes that your primary goal in life is to develop yourself, whereas there are plenty of people which do not have this goal, but instead aim to rule over their fellow men, for which it would be quite useful to be the smartest person in the room. Within the statement is thus the judgment that somehow the first goal is more valuable than the latter.
Good observation, keep running with it and you will uncover ever greater truths which avoid the traps of ascribing or judging value in any number of things.


So what can you do if you value the truth above anything else, but still want to be able to make decisions in a human way? I say human way because an easy way to make decisions based on truth would be to make choices in a highly utilitarian way, removing all factors except for the logical ones -- a way reminiscent of robotic intelligence. It can be clear for many that basing one's thought only on logical input must be a very impoverished system indeed. For a human type of judgment, one has to build a scientific framework encompassing all input, which ultimately should arrive at a conclusion about what is the essence of right and wrong.
Then you shall have neither. You must either maintain your imperfect and untrue humanity, or rely on the corrupted systems of logic and science, and yet still arrive at nothing which is both neither true nor affirms any existence of distinction between right and wrong. Your problem is twofold: first, assuming that right and wrong exist, and second, assuming that truth may only be arrived at through the higher order faculties, primarily, logic, reason, and language.

There is no way for a judgment to be 'true': a judgment involves analyzing propositions about reality and determining which ones coincide with it. The problem is, there is no such thing as a proposition which coincides with reality, as this would assume reality is composed of aspects from which propositions may be derived. This is the furthest from the truth. In fact, reality is an amorphous void of a single entity which may or may not be, and this entity merely 'is'; it is not 'this' or 'that' or anything, it merely is. Perceiving aspects from which propositions may be derived from which judgments may be made all exist solely within the human mind, and these aspects and propositions and judgments only exist within the phenomenal reality which likewise was completely fabricated by the mind.

The more you search for the truth, the harder it shall be to find it, but when you relinquish your desire for the truth, then shall you have it. You seek the truth through logic and language and classification, but truth is immune to these. It cannot be known or understood, it merely is, and the only way true way to ascertain it is to be content in this fact.

A comprehensive and complete philosophical system could save me a lot of trouble, but I'm pretty sure such a thing lies beyond my capacity as a mere human.
Nah, it's actually really easy, just believe a lot of things that are logically consistent with each other but have no relation at all with truth. That's what logic is anyway.

As far as I'm concerned, the only 'proper' use of philosophy is to (attempt to) determine what is true and what is not true. Of course, if philosophy and philosophers ever actually did this rather than be inflated with a sense of self-importance at how perfect their systems are, philosophy would cease to exist.

Then again, the more I go into philosophy and the more pessimistic and nihilistic I become, the more I realize that philosophy and the search for some illusory truth is just as meaningless as anything else. So take your pick concerning beliefs, choose whatever you want, or whatever makes you happy, or whatever makes life worth living. Maybe one day I'll follow my own advice and do that.
 

Seed-Wad

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Wow, interesting read. You make some good points, equal parts clever and wise.
 

doncarlzone

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Is it because of a preference for the truth, but the simultaneous wish for judgment (for we lack it) that INTPs are so inclined to develop a very strong philosophical nature?
I always try to think less, but any time someone states a judgment, I come to philosophize on the implications and presuppositions of such an idea and have to conclude the judgment is either wrong or not specific enough, then continue to try to define it in a more correct way, but still following the same sentiment, which is often an exercise of moving in circles and counting dead ends. A comprehensive and complete philosophical system could save me a lot of trouble, but I'm pretty sure such a thing lies beyond my capacity as a mere human.

Is there a way to exercise judgment in a way that agrees with the wish for a consistent vision of truth?

ps. Sorry if I'm a bit vague, examples always escape my mind, I can only remember the essence of this stuff.
Great post, I can really see myself in your reasoning.

This philosophical nature has always been very apparent when I'm with my INTJ and ISTJ friends. If we are discussing a subject in detail, I always go just a bit deeper than them consistently.

This can either cause some sort of enlightenment or basic human irritation. Because when should I go deep? When should I not? When I don't go deep, I allow myself to conform, be human and irrational in my statements. I simply don't think things through and I will inevitably say ignorant things repeatedly. There is no way around it.

This I think is the one of the main reasons humans have such a hard time getting a long. It is impossible for humans always to be in sync when it comes being deep and not being deep. Not to mention that people are only capable of going deep into some subjects and arguably some people can never go deep at all.

As an example:

ISTJ: I really don't get the idea that people just love these really old films.

Here I knew that he had this feeling: People who like old movies don't really like them, they just pretend they do, they're all pretentious.

I pointed the ignorance of this statement out to him he eventually agreed but was annoyed that I always have to go so much into detail. As he said: "We were just having a fun chat here".

Another example:

INTJ: 99% of the people who listen to rap music are just stupid douche bags
And again, the exact same outcome.

In other words, we were not in sync. It's easy to argue that I should just have ignored it. However, nobody would ignore a racist statement? So it is just a matter of when do we interject? Again when do we go deep.

If you look at ethics and morals in a historical perspective, then we are never quite deep enough. Look at the French Revolution, freedom for everyone - well except for women and blacks. Where are we now?
 

paradoxparadigm7

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The more you search for the truth, the harder it shall be to find it, but when you relinquish your desire for the truth, then shall you have it. You seek the truth through logic and language and classification, but truth is immune to these. It cannot be known or understood, it merely is, and the only way true way to ascertain it is to be content in this fact.
As my name suggests, truth is found in paradox. :D
 

RubberDucky451

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The INTP weakness would be to know every ethical system inside and out, yet have no attachment to any of them. It may sound anti-philosophical, but at a certain time every person has to choose what they believe. Do you want to be Spock (cold, logical and detached from the world), or something a bit more human?

Also, pragmatically speaking, who gives a shit about truth if you're unhappy?
 

Words

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"Use" is subjective. It's dependent on one's values. Choose your values(much easier to have a non-contradictory few), then rationalize what can be utilized to achieve the goals pressured by those values. Or you can just let nature(e.g. the INTP's inclination for truth, survival..) or nurture(e.g. conditioned values, relationships..) dictate these for you. Going with nature certainly seems like less strain on your biological brain and therefore more "happiness." It's uncertain whether you can actually 'choose' values.

There's no ultimate truth, but there's 'order': Logic, Math, Evidence, Deduction, Induction. Rationalism + Empiricism. I think these lesser truths are enough to satisfy the abstract INTP's nature.

You probably want to stay away from ethics. It really has nothing worthwhile to say.
Yeah, A lot of the stuff in this world is bullshit, and a "study" on ethics is one of the most bullshit of all. It doesn't make sense. Ethics is subjective. I don't understand why not many realize this. So many people spending their lives on utter nonsense and so many people validating nonsense. So many institutions built on the foundations of nonsense. Thousands of bullshit books published everyday. Millions of bullshit redistributed. There's more 'fiction' in this world than what is commonly understood. Before reading and writing about anything related to knowledge, one has to scrutinize its epistemological foundations first. It doesn't happen. It's no wonder why there's a movement that's hyper-fanatic about the superiority of Science.

Then again, the more I go into philosophy and the more pessimistic and nihilistic I become.
"Pessimism" is a social construct. Nihilism is essential for removing garbage.
 

nil

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"Pessimism" is a social construct. Nihilism is essential for removing garbage.
A great many ideas are social constructs, and I suspect that what is not a distinctly social construct is instead a construct of the members of some society (ie. individuals).

Note, however, that I am using the term 'pessimism' in its truest meaning; that is, denying 'hopeful' and faith-filled ideas such as 'progress', etc.
 

Words

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A great many ideas are social constructs, and I suspect that what is not a distinctly social construct is instead a construct of the members of some society (ie. individuals).
Social constructs are concepts whose definition rely on societal perception or standards. Like north and south, good and bad etc. These things have no logical or empirical basis. I guess you can say that all things are partially social constructs in the sense that we conceptualize, but what's important is reference. There's both a subject who perceives and an object that is being perceived, rather than a relationship between a subject perceiving another subject or collective of subjects or their concepts. Unless you want to question Empiricism, the computer in front of you is not a social construct. Your idea of a computer is not a social construct, not entirely at least.

Note, however, that I am using the term 'pessimism' in its truest meaning; that is, denying 'hopeful' and faith-filled ideas such as 'progress', etc.
The idea of "pessimism" depends on the idea of "optimism." It's reactionary. Optimism is subjective. Progress is subjective. "Hope" is subjective. Progress can mean destruction for one person and creation for another. Pessimism is a concept that is defined by a concept that relies totally on a subject or a collective of subjects. It's subjective.
 

Milo

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I found that the more I studied philosophy, the more nihilistic I became. Ethics seems to more or less dismiss nihilism completely.

Once I reached the point of complete nihilism, I dismissed logic as a philosophy to live one's life--this shut up all those questions that always flooded my mind. Now that I realized life is intrinsically meaningless, all social constructs have no influence over me.

So from my experience, absolute freedom of mental constructs is the end to philosophy. It's like a giant maze that leads to nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
 

nil

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Social constructs are concepts whose definition rely on societal perception or standards. Like north and south, good and bad etc. These things have no logical or empirical basis. I guess you can say that all things are partially social constructs in the sense that we conceptualize, but what's important is reference. There's both a subject who perceives and an object that is being perceived, rather than a relationship between a subject perceiving another subject or collective of subjects or their concepts. Unless you want to question Empiricism, the computer in front of you is not a social construct. Your idea of a computer is not a social construct, not entirely at least.
It is never my intention to cast doubts upon the validity of empiricism, it just happens to be a side-effect of most everything I say.

I also didn't say that everything is a social construct. I said many things are, and that most everything else is an individual construct. But I changed my mind; there's hardly any difference between the two. A 'social construct' is just an individual construct that was then adopted by other individuals. In this way, society itself is a social construct.

The computer that I type at may or may not be a social construct, but it is nonetheless a construct. Language itself cannot exist outside of the realm of abstract ideas, so no one can really name one thing that isn't a construct. If it has a definition, it's an abstracted idea.

A subject perceiving an object is fine, but that doesn't mean the subject is perceiving the object as it is, or, even if he is, that other faculties aren't warping this perception and giving him something different than what he is directly perceiving. Nothing has any logical or empirical basis if you do not accept the axioms of logic and empiricism.
The idea of "pessimism" depends on the idea of "optimism." It's reactionary. Optimism is subjective. Progress is subjective. "Hope" is subjective. Progress can mean destruction for one person and creation for another. Pessimism is a concept that is defined by a concept that relies totally on a subject or a collective of subjects. It's subjective.
Ok, sure, but you're missing an important piece of data: every idea relies on a subject, else that idea could have never been conceived to begin with.
 

Cherry Cola

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yes I am, seeing as I'm a human being without some impossible form of cognitive deviation and; thus, not immune to all social constructs.

Geez Louise man, don't be so naive.
 

Hawkeye

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Nihilism is probably the most accurate ism regarding existence; however, it is also the most boring.

I also believe it's the only ism that has the ability to satisfy philosophical truth. - Ooh the irony.
 

Words

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It is never my intention to cast doubts upon the validity of empiricism, it just happens to be a side-effect of most everything I say.

I also didn't say that everything is a social construct. I said many things are, and that most everything else is an individual construct. But I changed my mind; there's hardly any difference between the two. A 'social construct' is just an individual construct that was then adopted by other individuals. In this way, society itself is a social construct.
Adopted? Morelike modfied I think. A dollar bill passed unto the hands of a million people is no longer the same dollar bill it initially was. People don't just copy things. They convert things and if you multiply that conversion enough...only then do you get a social construct. What's happening in congress? Obama passed the Obamacare or the ACA. Republican extremists refused a compromise and instead chose a shutdown of government. A compromise..this is needed for a social construct.

The computer that I type at may or may not be a social construct, but it is nonetheless a construct. Language itself cannot exist outside of the realm of abstract ideas, so no one can really name one thing that isn't a construct. If it has a definition, it's an abstracted idea.
You have an abstracted idea that has no reference to logic and empiricism, and you have abstracted ideas that has reference to logic and empiricism. Social constructs belong to the former. The quality that makes social constructs convincing to many is because it's "social." This is a fallacy of appeal to popularity. Also, maybe appeal to established ideas. Individual constructs are no problem to collective knowledge since most are dismissed and devalued as "crazy."

A subject perceiving an object is fine, but that doesn't mean the subject is perceiving the object as it is, or, even if he is, that other faculties aren't warping this perception and giving him something different than what he is directly perceiving. Nothing has any logical or empirical basis if you do not accept the axioms of logic and empiricism.

yes. that is, if you do not accept logic and empiricism.
Ok, sure, but you're missing an important piece of data: every idea relies on a subject, else that idea could have never been conceived to begin with.
The subject without the object is endless fiction. Imagination isn't bounded by rules. It's infinite.

Nihilism is probably the most accurate ism regarding existence; however, it is also the most boring.

I also believe it's the only ism that has the ability to satisfy philosophical truth. - Ooh the irony.
Boring? It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. How is that boring? For me, nihilism is the same thing as existentialism. The freedom to give any meaning to yourself only happens when you discard all meaning.
 

Grayman

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Boring? It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. How is that boring? For me, nihilism is the same thing as existentialism. The freedom to give any meaning to yourself only happens when you discard all meaning.
The understanding I have of this statement is that in the beginning the world shapes you. You are not an individual at this point. When you realize the world is meaningless you gain the freedom to shape who you are as an individual. Is this correct?
 

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Boring? It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. How is that boring? For me, nihilism is the same thing as existentialism. The freedom to give any meaning to yourself only happens when you discard all meaning.
Think about it; at this point, it is no longer nihilism. If subjective meaning is not applied after this transitional phase, then it is not only boring, but self-defeating.
 

Words

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The understanding I have of this statement is that in the beginning the world shapes you. You are not an individual at this point. When you realize the world is meaningless you gain the freedom to shape who you are as an individual. Is this correct?
Works for me. I see nihilism as a necessary phase of "garbage dumping" of the ideas conditioned to you by society.

Think about it; at this point, it is no longer nihilism. If subjective meaning is not applied after this transitional phase, then it is not only boring, but self-defeating.
Can you be nothing and something at the same time?

I don't know if that question meant anything but it just popped out of my head. I guess you're right in that one can remain in the nothingness, or something like that.
 

Milo

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yes I am, seeing as I'm a human being without some impossible form of cognitive deviation and; thus, not immune to all social constructs.

Geez Louise man, don't be so naive.
Listen to Words, I agree with him. It's however you make it once you get through the maze. That's why it leads to nothing then everything at the same time. Everything means you have a choice.
 
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