A Critique of Philosophy

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A Critique of Philosophy

Postby Chessplayer » 05 Apr 2019, 13:42

Greetings to everyone. Recently, I came up with an interesting idea that I wished to flesh out in the form of an essay. As not to flood my post with one long block of text (and because I have not completed all of it yet), I decided to break it up into chunks. This first part is a general introduction to my theory. The latter parts will discuss Logic, Pragmatism, and a Recommendation based on my idea. Please comment, and refute, refute, refute. I am very much a newcomer to philosophy and would love to have other's input.


Part 1:
The ideas presented in this essay I by no means assume will be generally accepted. Being an amateur to the discipline of Philosophy, I am confident numerous errors in reasoning will be apparent to my betters. I write now only to make record of a persistent notion that refuses to leave my thoughts. Namely, that devotees of Philosophy down through the ages have progressed little, if at all, in achieving the object of their study.

For the purposes of clarity, I will define Philosophy as the attempt to achieve understanding of the abstract through the logical faculties of the mind. Philosophy, it seems to me, is little more than a cluttered storehouse of theory that is made all the more untidy with the additions of each passing century. Ideas, once valued highly may be thrust into lightless depths, never to emerge for centuries. Old forgotten concepts may reemerge into the light of day to be put to use again.

The explanation for this clutter is quite simple - no philosophical principle can be proven accurate or inaccurate. Therefore, any and all ideas proposed must be kept for future reference, as they very well could prove true. As Philosophy, unlike Mathematics and Science possesses few starting principles by which Truth can be reached, only uncertain conclusions can be drawn within its realms.
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Re: A Critique of Philosophy

Postby Adm.Vogel » 02 May 2019, 15:55

Plato vs. the Sophists highlights this argument about philosophy rather well. Aristotle, of course, demonstrates how one evaluates rhetoric through logos, pathos, and ethos. Aristotle's view is especially useful when it comes to arguing uncertainty (which is 99% of philosophy).

Here is a good read on the subject;
Herrick, James A. The History and Theory of Rhetoric, 6th
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Re: A Critique of Philosophy

Postby Chessplayer » 04 May 2019, 03:49

I thank you for your comment. For a while, I was a bit discouraged by the low activity. I guess Philosophy isn't exactly a hot topic. Here is Part Two:


The quest for Truths (by which I mean conclusions functioning within the parameters of general assumptions) in Philosophy is futile when no foundational principles can be agreed upon. Even the most reasonable of assertions can and have been debunked for potentially being untrue. This skepticism leads nowhere except to stagnation and perpetual bickering. I agree with the Pragmatists that it is high time to abandon the notions of "right" and "wrong" and replace them with the "useful" and "unuseful". Let me illustrate with an example. The belief that one must move left in order to move right cannot be proven correct or incorrect. Perceptions can easily form a false version of reality. After all, the senses are not immune to optical illusions. However, this belief would not be useful at achieving the goal of moving right in YOUR reality.
Basic principles accepted by both Science and Mathematics have so far yet to be incorporated into Philosophy. Such ideas that an outside world exists outside of consciousness and that the senses can be trusted ought to be welcomed into the fold.
Skeptics may claim that doubt is necessary to result in a much-needed revising of ideas. They would be entirely accurate. A healthy dose of skepticism is entirely necessary to prune rotten theories to make way for new growth. However, relentless doubt is like a raging inferno. It consumes ALL ideas, the practical and impractical. The key difference is that controlled doubt proposes a new theory in place of the old whereas full blown skepticism creates nothing.
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Re: A Critique of Philosophy

Postby Adm.Vogel » 09 May 2019, 15:56

"Useful" and "non-useful" are still judgement statements. Mathematics has long been introduced to philosophy through the study of logic. Problem is the vast majority of our understanding lies in the realm of inductive argument. As Rufus the 13th apostle says, "humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it. I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier..."
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