unshackled: I must read that book!
"Philosophy is disfunctional" - Hallq
sab: I dont see how the categorization in wikipedia is connected with how functional or disfunctional philosophy is as an academic disipline... i think his argument has to do with the kind of attitude which he see in philosophical work.
Maybe I am actually in agreement with the OP article as you said eariler, let me think.
I didn't like the term dysfunctional when relating to philosophy in any form. Dysfunctional is another way of saying something is "wrong" or maybe just "not right" and if we ever define a type of philiosophy (as the OP article is doing) as such then we might as well not have philosophy at all. Sorry for the rants, lol. I just got back to the forum and I guess I am making up for lost time.
I think this is only a problem if you consider philosophy to be a path to truth. It's not. Philosophy is an excercise in reasoning, rhetoric, and logic. Science reveals solid truths about our universe and has an actual end, and a methodology to reach that end. Philosophy is an exercise with no real goal other than fitness. The ancient greeks had a different definition of philosophy that terry pointed out above, it was just the love of wisdom. Science, religion, ethics, law, math, rhetoric, politics, it was all under the umbrella of philosophy. But civilization grew up and science became the arbiter of truth, math was it's torch, laws and ethics were left to shape society and politics, and the vague notion of philosophy is now just pure logics without an end. A great academic excercise, it's a necessary tool in developing ethics and law, and great for sharpening one's critical reasoning, but it has no end unto itself.
The real problem is when philosophy elevates itself to the realm of science. This is frequently called theology, but it has other avenues as well. The problem is when the assumption is made that our understanding of the universe can be moved by pure reason isolated from logical positivism, or the assertion is made that science is just a philosophy. To which the only decent reply is "show me a philosophy that cures disease, or a theology that gives positive information about the universe". Philosophy is an interesting intellectual excercise, but science get's shit done. So as long as that is understood and no one is expecting or claiming that philosophy is TCB'n (Takin' Care Of Business) then it doesn't matter if they can agree on the color of the sky or not. It's a rhetorical excercise. Not everything is science.
Bohm said: Most obviously, it makes philosophy not so useful to non-philosophers, since they can’t figure out what to believe based on expert consensus.
It’s not the job of philosophy to provide a belief system for the general public. Philosophy provides a logical and skeptical framework, a method for developing arguments. Whether or not philosophers agree with one another is irrelevant to the discipline as long as their arguments are logically sound. There are plenty of books by philosophers analyzing the fallacies of other philosophers.
Bohm said: while philosophers pride themselves on caring about producing good arguments and getting at the truth, if they don’t agree what arguments are good or what the truth is, they can’t reward each other for doing either of those things. So philosophers aren’t under any pressure to get anything important right, and I don’t think they’re under any significant pressure to actually produce good arguments. What they are under pressure to demonstrate cleverness, and demonstrate being in tune with philosophical fads and cliques.
It seems to me that the author’s complaint is more with academia than with philosophy itself, and philosophy certainly isn’t the only discipline to suffer institutional bias.
Bohm stated: I dont see how the categorization in wikipedia is connected with how functional or disfunctional philosophy is as an academic disipline... i think his argument has to do with the kind of attitude which he see in philosophical work.
If that is what he meant, he should have titled the article Philosophy as an Academic Discipline is Dysfunctional. His title is misleading.
Unshackled said: Not to spin your thread off topic bohm...but thought I'd add that Stephen Hawking says philosophy is dead...in fact, those are the first words in his book The Grand Design. He goes on to say:
"Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge."
That’s a pretty biased statement though. With all due respect to Stephen Hawking, he espouses materialism as truth. I have the same contention with Richard Dawkins. Materialism is only one branch of philosophy. Both are excellent scientists, but they hold that their philosophical view of the world is right and others are wrong. Therefore, modern philosophers who are trending down paths in phenomenology and existentialism are not keeping up.
In fact, they’re simply diverging. Science plays an important role in our quest for knowledge about the material world, but philosophy continues to challenge assumptions and beliefs with logic and skepticism. Because other branches of philosophy challenge materialist assumptions, materialists often try to elevate science as the champion for reality. But materialism is subject to logic just like any other branch of philosophy.
JohnathanH said: Not everything is science.
Your comments are dripping with bias. Science may get things done, but that only means that it has a strong functional value. The truth value of materilist claims may still be subjected to critical analysis. There is no justification for elevating science to a level that escapes logical critique. I also see no reason that a person can't value science and philosophy equally. Both employ logical, objective methods that enable us to make meaning out of what we experience.
I find that a good philosopher is one who, despite his own bias, is able to see value in many different philosophical arguments. Many philosophers will admit to arguing with themselves because a good argument to the contrary may sway their thinking to some extent. Unfortunately, a lot of materialists want to elevate their position to some level of truth, nearly making science a religion, as though we should believe it based on the authority of science alone. Don't get me wrong, I love science and I enjoy reading Hawking, Dawkins, and Dennett. Their science is fascinating. But when they start promoting materialist assumptions as truth, they leap out of the realm of science and into philosophy. At that point, their musings are as subject to scrutiny as any other philosophical position.
Case in point.
Materialism is the pragmatic view. Anything else is imagination. If something interacts with our universe, it is natural and describable, quantifiable and ultimately explainable by science, because it is natural. If psychic forces, or gods were discovered, they would be natural and materialistic for the very reason that they exist with or interact with our universe. We may not at present have the means to describe it, but if it has something to do with empirical reality, it is in the realm of science. If it does not interact with our universe then it cannot be demonstrated to exist, only asserted or assumed. That is the problem with non materialist views, there is no means of demonstrating one is more correct than the other, or that they are in anyway correct at all. As such any claim becomes equally valid as long as it isn't self contradictory (and in some philosophical circles, that isn't even a criteria for it being incorrect).
The only thing that I think isn't in the realm of science are things that are human constructs such as art. But it's because they are by nature subjective to taste, and experience, preference and as such there is neither a correct or incorrect for it. There is no "truth" to be had. Gravity is not a preference. Existentialism cannot be said to be "true" or "false" because it is a human construct of what it means to exist.
Scientist are still waiting for some one to demonstrate that materialism is false, or that there are other paths to understanding the universe other than logical positivism and science. To claim that something is true is to say that it is real, and any claim of something being real (that is to say exists) requires some demonstrable evidence and evidence comes in the form of logical positivism, materialism and science. If you cannot offer evidence of something, then you cannot say it is real or that it exists, it is just assertions of one's imagination. So we merely have the assertion that materialism is false without evidence that it is. If somebody wants to go down the road of epistimological nihilism and assert that we can't really know anything in order to destroy materialism, let them. And then ask them if they want some antibiotics next time they are ill. Science FTW!
Your Korzybski is showing.
Bohm: Your spelling is "dysfunctional"
It was in another topic, and I THINK (I would need to double check, so I just won't assert it) that it was you Nadia that posted that science can talk about the universe but what came before the universe science can't answer and it is best left to philosophers and theologians to figure that out. If that wasn't you my apologies, I'm not bringing it up because you posted it, but because it is relevant to the point I'm making. Now I would ask of that statement "Why should philosophers and theologians be consulted on what existed before our universe?" We might as well ask a baker or a pilot. They are all going to do the same thing, namely make blind unfalsifiable assertions that make sense to them personally. The only real difference is that the philosopher and theologian will be much more obscure in their language. It makes me think of antony flew's article on theology and falsification, let me see if I can find a link to it....
In order for an assertion to be deemed true or false, it must have something to check it against, anything that it is checked against is going to fall into the realm of empirical materialism. If there is nothing to check it against, then the statement cannot be said to be true or false.