Author Topic: Purpose of Phillosophy  (Read 252 times)

Offline james03

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Purpose of Phillosophy
« on: June 24, 2022, 07:04:08 PM »
I've heard it described as this: "The purpose of philosophy is to answer the Big Question: What is being/existence/reality".  True.

But I like to rephrase it this way: "Is reality absurd?".

Imagine NULL.  "Nothing" really doesn't go far enough because it has the savor of potential.  I'm talking NULL.  It is Null.  Why is it not absurd that anything should ever come into existence or exist?

(And thus, without I Am, reality itself is absurd.)
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline Justin Martyr

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 08:08:17 PM »
The purpose of philosophy is the contemplation of the eternal forms and the cultivation of the love of wisdom that we might more readily adore the Divine (according to Plato). The origin of philosophy is wonder (according to Aristotle).
One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?
The Canticle of Canticles, 6:8-9
 
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Offline AlNg

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2022, 11:15:11 PM »
Is it possible that the contemplation of eternal forms can result in the armchair  philosopher easily falling into simple errors due to his failure to check up on the place of these eternal forms in the real world which we observe and live in?
 

Offline james03

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 04:56:45 PM »
Is it possible that the contemplation of eternal forms can result in the armchair  philosopher easily falling into simple errors due to his failure to check up on the place of these eternal forms in the real world which we observe and live in?

Yes.  It's the difference between a Platonist and an Aristotelian in a way.  Kind of like a reverse Plato's cave.  You get blinded by the eternal forms.  If you instead observe reality participating in the form, then you can understand it better.  Probably best to have a balanced approach.

And even more there is spending too much time on it such that he can neglect his duty.  Imagine judgement day and a layman says, "I spent all my time contemplating your Infinite Beauty."  And hearing in reply, "What about that hungry man you always walked past?  You didn't see Me there."  Not a good scene.

This does not impugn the contemplative orders however.  For their office and duties regard prayer and contemplation, so they fulfill the requirements of their office.  But they are not armchair philosophers.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 
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Offline james03

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2022, 01:00:58 PM »
Hat tip to Ann Barnhardt.  Seems apropos: 

Quote
“Any old woman can love God better than a doctor of theology can.”
-St. Bonaventure
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2022, 03:12:49 PM »
Philosophy is for the understanding and explaining of naturally known truths i.e. Those that can be perceived by our intellect through the use of our exterior senses.
Your original question is not absurd, since nothing that we can perceive or know through our senses, is self existing and necessary i.e. Contingent. If it does exist, it necessarily exists because of a cause; and that cause must be a self existing necessary being, which we would call God.
If the necessary being did not exist, then nothing would exist and null would be what we would have. So it is not absurd. 
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Offline james03

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2022, 08:54:29 PM »
Quote
If the necessary being did not exist, then nothing would exist and null would be what we would have. So it is not absurd.
  So it is absurd.  You're jumping to the conclusion.

Normally the starting point of Philosophy is "What is.".  And then you notice change, move on to act and potential, and on until you arrive at the Necessary Being and First Cause.  I'm not criticizing that approach at all, it is great approach and profitable.  As an aside a most excellent book on this topic is Feser's The Five Proofs.

I'm just looking at it from a different starting point: reality is absurd.  And ironically that was how Greek Realism, the philosophy of the Catholic Church, was derived.  Aristotle dealing with the problem of absurdity introduced by previous Greeks, either arguing that change was impossible, or stasis was impossible, and thus reality is absurd.

Now you don't have to go down the Greek Realism route, you can go by mathematics, e.g. Goedel.  For any system you define, it is incomplete and there must exist something external to the system.  If you expand the system to include the external, you introduce the need for a new external.  And it is an infinite series, and thus mathematics is absurd.

The answer must be something infinite.  Something that is self contained.  Something that is just I Am.

It's interesting.  You keep ending up with God as necessary no matter how you start your approach.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."

"Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him"
 
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Offline diaduit

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2022, 03:38:09 AM »
Hat tip to Ann Barnhardt.  Seems apropos: 

Quote
“Any old woman can love God better than a doctor of theology can.”
-St. Bonaventure

Phew  :cheeseheadbeer:
 
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: Purpose of Phillosophy
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2022, 08:22:25 PM »
Hat tip to Ann Barnhardt.  Seems apropos: 

Quote
“Any old woman can love God better than a doctor of theology can.”
-St. Bonaventure

Phew  :cheeseheadbeer:


I mean, right?!  St.Bonaventure, ora pro nobis!
 
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