Saturday, May 9, 2009

00 The Introduction

The Introduction

When talking about philosophy people are inclined to think that it is one single subject, often associated with the question "What is the meaning of life?"
like talking about your car. You imagine it as one single object.
But when you take your car apart you will get a huge pile of parts,, none of which is called CAR
so apparently you never had a car...only parts..:-)
The conclusion is that the word CAR seems to refer to a collection of things.
When men are bragging about their car they are talking about its apperance or performance only
It is the same with the word comes in parts too
You could say that philosophy has one unique startingpoint tho: THE QUESTION
But as soon as you ask the question it is a question.....about what?
And your car, philosophy falls apart in a number of pieces.
When you take 100 philosophers it is impossible that they are dealing all with the same question(s)
So let us have a look at the philosophical question. A philosopher named Kant (we'll meet him somewhere in the future) said that he had only three questions.

1. What can I know for sure 2. How should I behave 3. What may I hope for

Question one is about the roots of our knowledge about the world, about what really exists
these are the focus of Ontology /Metaphysics (the theory on what IS)
and Epistemology (theory of knowledge) and Logic (theory of reasoning)

Question two is about Ethics (theory on good and bad) and
question three is about Teleology (theory of purpose/goal of life)

Dont confuse it with theology for that is a theory where the final goals are already defined: we are on our way to paradise
As you see asking about the meaning of life is just one of the many questions you will find in philosophy, But nevertheless all questions under one and two are finally related to that third question, for whatever we do or the end there always is the question......why am I doing this?

Related to this last question we also have to make a clear distinction between philosophy and psychology. To put it simple: the question...Why am I doing this? can be answered in two ways. Psychologically.....well, I just was in the mood...and philosphically...I have this and this argumantation for it.

To put it in other words...we are not interested in what we feel about certain statements and opinions, but we are interested in the argumatation, the valid argumentation behind it all

That will be our quest: to dig into all kinds of argumentations on all the subjects involved in the former mentioned questions. And in that quest we will walk through history, beginning with the roots of Western philosophy: the old Greeks, to begin with Thales of Milate, 620 - ?540 B.C in our next class

I have opened a blog for our class: lass-takes-off-12392/
All texts and our debates will be posted there. Dont worry if you have to skip a class. All texts will be there.

The Class

[13:18] You: So far my intruduction...
[13:19] You: if you have ay questions, please feel free to ask
[13:19] herman Bergson bangs on the stand trying to wake up the audience
[13:19] EliteData Maximus: lol
[13:19] Devil: hehe. funny
[13:19] Osrum Sands: sorry
[13:20] Cailleach Shan: Is Mary Wollstonecraft the only woman philosopher on the list.
[13:20] Penumbro Eclipse is Online
[13:20] You: No..Simone de Beauvoir is there too
[13:20] Osrum Sands: Sir we may well and truly beleive something to be true. But that does not make it true.
[13:20] Giselle Christensen: its just western no eastern philosophy?
[13:20] Cailleach Shan: ok
[13:20] Osrum Sands: there fore how do we know our thougths on the questions are correct
[13:21] You: no....thruth isnt a matter of believe
[13:21] You: it is a matter of definition of the concept
[13:21] Osrum Sands: its fact
[13:21] Osrum Sands: ok
[13:21] Pearl Moonlight: /eme shakeing my head no
[13:22] You: we will encounter the problem of truth often enough I guess
[13:22] Osrum Sands: hahah
[13:22] Arthur13 Rimbaud: 10 different people....10 different sets of facts...heehee
[13:22] You: you shaked your head have a different oppinion?
[13:22] Mot Mann is Offline
[13:22] Giselle Christensen: heh
[13:22] Osrum Sands: the lonley voice of youth crying in the night " What is TRUTH"
[13:22] Devil: Is it playtime?
[13:23] EliteData Maximus: truth is defined within ones self
[13:23] You: if it were the case that 10 people make 10 differnet opinions about reality no shared knowledge would be possible
[13:23] Osrum Sands: within ?
[13:23] Sandwoman Petion is Offline
[13:23] You: but we have science
[13:23] Osrum Sands: the truth of the cars motor is a fact
[13:23] Osrum Sands: not within
[13:23] Arthur13 Rimbaud: thats the point
[13:23] EliteData Maximus: its a fact, but many components make the engine
[13:24] Osrum Sands: thats my point ist external not internal
[13:24] Arthur13 Rimbaud: facts are not always facts....there are mistakes mistakes about truth
[13:24] EliteData Maximus: i meant within a person's self
[13:24] You: you mean the concept of truth is an external thing Osrum?
[13:24] Osrum Sands: go on
[13:24] EliteData Maximus: you can choose to believe
[13:24] Osrum Sands: yes
[13:25] You: Plato was the one who thought so too
[13:25] Osrum Sands: back to my point - Just because you beleive something does not make it true
[13:25] You: no /not at all
[13:25] oola Neruda: at least we WANT it to be external
[13:25] You: very true ola
[13:26] Osrum Sands: not really
[13:26] Arthur13 Rimbaud: that is arguble in terms of quantum physics
[13:26] Penumbro Eclipse: Is this a lecture or a moderatedd discussion? :)
[13:26] EliteData Maximus: lol
[13:26] Arthur13 Rimbaud: our thought may create the truth
[13:26] Cailleach Shan: One can respect anothers view of 'their' truth without agreeing with them.
[13:26] Devil: Was that funny??
[13:27] Osrum Sands: my Q was related to the first of the 3 questions proposed
[13:27] Osrum Sands: thats all
[13:27] You: I think you have to make a distintion in what you apply the concept of thruth to
[13:27] Arthur13 Rimbaud: thats true
[13:27] Arthur13 Rimbaud: and a pun
[13:27] Osrum Sands: its a word
[13:27] Chloe Eisenberg is Offline
[13:27] You: when I say that a circle is round and that that staement is true
[13:27] Arthur13 Rimbaud: true
[13:28] Zenobia Vertes is Offline
[13:28] Osrum Sands: only by convention and agreement
[13:28] You: we have a complete different situation when I say that the statment MR. X is a nic eperson is true
[13:28] Cailleach Shan: Can truth ever be an absolute if it is a concept.
[13:28] Giselle Christensen: there are variables
[13:28] Arthur13 Rimbaud: true
[13:29] You: I think one of the problems is that people love the absolute
[13:29] Cailleach Shan: true.
[13:29] You: I think we willoften run into this question
[13:29] Osrum Sands: haha that word
[13:30] Osrum Sands: Sorry Sir I am one who will easly start a conversation if needed and just love the debate. But I can shut up if needed
[13:30] Osrum Sands: you did ask for Q"s
[13:30] Osrum Sands: thats all
[13:30] You: No..I thin k you made a good point
[13:30] Osrum Sands: if you have material to cover go for it
[13:30] Devil: I'm a BAD Devil !!
[13:31] Pearl Moonlight smiles
[13:31] You: I dont want to make the intruduction to heavy....:-)
[13:32] You: we still have to find the right format for this way of education
[13:32] Cailleach Shan: I like it so far...
[13:32] Arthur13 Rimbaud: me too
[13:32] You: thank you..:-)
[13:32] Penumbro Eclipse: I would prefer a more focused topic
[13:33] oola Neruda: me too
[13:33] You: There will be.....Penumbro
[13:33] Osrum Sands: How do do resopnd to the three big Q's being put this way 1. The nature of reality. 2. How do I conect with that reality. and 3 what is right and wrong within that reality
[13:33] You: Every lecture from now will be about one philosopher
[13:33] You: we have a 100 to go
[13:33] You: First one will be Thales of Milete
[13:34] Arthur13 Rimbaud: I think we might alternate between your focused lecture and break it up with a period of 15 or so minutes of questions and debate.
[13:34] You: A remarkable moment in history
[13:34] You: yes...that was my idea too
[13:34] Arthur13 Rimbaud: fantastic
[13:35] Osrum Sands: love it
[13:35] You: I want to use the short introduction on a philosopher as a starting point for questions
[13:35] Osrum Sands: COuld you offer any pre reading befor the lecture
[13:35] Osrum Sands: / meeting
[13:35] You: and I would like to focus these questions on one of the topics I mentioned in my introduction
[13:36] Arthur13 Rimbaud: the Q&A and debate will resolve issues of bordom....and cutting it off will stop the onslaught of philosophical chaos
[13:36] Sandwoman Petion is Online
[13:36] You: Yes ...I have been thinking about writing a notecard as prereading
[13:36] Osrum Sands: Ta
[13:36] Arthur13 Rimbaud: cool
[13:36] Devil: Your cool
[13:37] You: maybe I could already put in the relevant questions related to the philosoppher
[13:37] You: it could focus the debate
[13:37] Cailleach Shan: Good. I need all the focus I can get.
[13:38] You: ok...the system might be like this....
[13:38] You: in stead of a notecard I could use the blog
[13:38] You: I could put my text and questions for prereading there
[13:39] Osrum Sands: Whatever works
[13:39] You: but maybe people prefer a notecard...besides that is pushed under their nose..:-)
[13:40] Osrum Sands: cut and past for both
[13:40] You: ok..a notecard in advance....
[13:40] You: ok
[13:40] You: in intruduction to the philosopher at hand
[13:40] Cailleach Shan: Why not do both... publish you rnotecard on your blog.
[13:40] You: and third a debate on related questions
[13:41] You: depending on the philosopher they may be on epistemology or ethics or logic
[13:41] You: is an issue shows up that needs special attention I could elebaote on that issue before we continue the philosophers series
[13:41] Arthur13 Rimbaud: You may want us to send you our most significant questions in return before the lecture and make those questions primary.
[13:42] You: very good
[13:42] Devil: I'm a BAD Devil !!
[13:42] Arthur13 Rimbaud: ignore him
[13:42] Osrum Sands: Yes a little diciplined pre thinking will be a help I think
[13:43] You: like today..the concept of truth and how to deal with it philosophically might be a theme for a seperate lecture
[13:43] Arthur13 Rimbaud: yes
[13:43] You: good
[13:43] Devil: Good is bad
[13:43] Osrum Sands: good one
[13:43] Devil: Good is boring !
[13:43] You: lol
[13:43] Devil: lol.
[13:43] You: he is consistent
[13:44] Arthur13 Rimbaud: Ive taken him twice and deleted him once....egad!
[13:44] Cailleach Shan: Can there ever be a good devil?
[13:44] Devil: Good is bad
[13:44] You: I think class shouldnt take more than 30 to 45 minutes max
[13:44] EliteData Maximus: lol
[13:44] Devil: hehe. funny
[13:44] Giselle Christensen: I guess if good is bad there can be
[13:44] Devil: I'm a BAD Devil !!
[13:44] Arthur13 Rimbaud: sounds good
[13:44] Devil: I'm a BAD Devil !!
[13:44] Cailleach Shan: It's all concepts.
[13:44] Giselle Christensen: :)
[13:45] You: after 45 minutes we stop....
[13:45] Cailleach Shan: ok
[13:45] You: otherwise we can run in to endless debates...
[13:45] Osrum Sands: Individuals may well want to continue any discussion in the gardens outside
[13:45] You: oh sure....
[13:46] You: I already put a bench near the entrance
[13:46] You: class ends, thinking doesnt I hope
[13:46] Osrum Sands: ahaha
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: We'd all be dead if we stopped thinking.
[13:47] Giselle Christensen: hmmm?
[13:47] EliteData Maximus: the brain continues to live for a certain time after the death of the body
[13:47] Arthur13 Rimbaud: egad
[13:47] Osrum Sands: Questions Questions and Q within Q's
[13:47] You: if we did we could still join the chimpansees
[13:47] EliteData Maximus: haha
[13:47] Guitar Stantz is Online
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Hehehe Primates.
[13:49] You: Well..I think with the concluding observation that there still is a place for us under the Primates I dismiss class for today
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: Thanks Herman...
[13:49] Osrum Sands: ahahah
[13:49] Arthur13 Rimbaud: thank you
[13:49] EliteData Maximus: thank you Herman
[13:49] You: thank you for your attention
[13:49] Osrum Sands: indeed thanks
[13:49] Osrum Sands: CU later
[13:49] Pearl Moonlight: very nice herman
[13:49] oola Neruda: this is going to be so interesting
[13:50] Giselle Christensen: thank you Herman *Hugs*
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: Bye everyone...
[13:50] Osrum Sands: bye
[13:50] Giselle Christensen: ao on
[13:50] You: Bye Cailleach

Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-10-01 14:51:01

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