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the forum has numerous philosophical threads spread about, so why another one?

notice i havnt mentioned plato or aristotle and please let's not delve into these bozos,,

just kidding just kidding,    :D

 

just because they are probably my least 2 favorites, just slightly ahead of socrates. or did i mean that the other way around?

you can of course cover them again here on this thread too,,, :)

i may even comment on them if they show up on the thread   <_<

 

starting off easy is eric dodson's youtube video on sartre

 

 

 

 

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You realise Plato and Aristotle are complete opposites ?

Plato lead to Nazism, Mao and Stalin. Aristotle to democracy.

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I never could read Sartre.  The Greeks are too long ago in my readings to be able to carry on a conversation about them.  Maybe I could talk about Nietzsche here?

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I still have my copy of L'existentialisme est un humanisme from my school days, as well as Plato's The Republic, Mill's On Liberty, and M&E's The Communist Manifesto.

 

They each made some kind of sense to me at the time (around 18yo), and I'm sure if I read them again they would still be making somewhat convincing arguments for their particular agendas, but... Sartre is the only one I still share any connection with.

 

We are freedom. If only we knew.

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that's why i played the easy video --so you wouldnt have to read haha

That was actually a good video.  I can't, of course, speak to its validity.

 

I had always thought Sartre was nihilistic but the video didn't present him as such.

 

And more important, much of what was said I am in agreement with.

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I had always thought Sartre was nihilistic

 

Not in the least. Well, I don't know what many things might be meant by 'nihilistic', but we don't need to get into that; suffice to say, reading Existentialism is a Humanism leaves me feeling uplifted and positive -- certainly not pessimistic or negative in any way.

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Not in the least. Well, I don't know what many things might be meant by 'nihilistic', but we don't need to get into that; suffice to say, reading Existentialism is a Humanism leaves me feeling uplifted and positive -- certainly not pessimistic or negative in any way.

it's empowering isn't it?

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That's a pretty good video on Nietzsche.

 

Although I sure wish the Brits would learn how to speak modern English.  It is so hard for me to understand them.

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nietzsche, sartre, heidegger, kiekegaard, camus,,

from my limited view all relate with existentialism.

i agree that we do in fact exist 

we can make choices and take actions

although i do feel there is also elements of determinism mixed in as well, for example our dna

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nietzsche, sartre, heidegger, kiekegaard, camus,,

from my limited view all relate with existentialism.

i agree that we do in fact exist 

we can make choices and take actions

although i do feel there is also elements of determinism mixed in as well, for example our dna

Yep.  You know I am a holder of the concept of free will.  However, each of us will have our own set of limitations.  Sure, we can call these our "determinism". 

 

Nietzsche died of a life-long illness (some suggest syphilis) and Camus died in an auto accident.  (Don't know about the others.)

 

Even though Camus denied being an Existentialist people put him in that basket anyhow.

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I had a chance to meet a British (currently teaching in the US at one of the best colleges) philosopher a couple of months ago, and among other things, asked him who his favorite philosopher is.  He said, Iris Murdoch.  I know her as a very good novelist, but I had no idea she's also a philosopher.  He said, yes, and her definitive work on philosophy is his personal favorite.  Has anyone ever encountered that?  I keep meaning to find out but I have a huge back burner of this kind...  the to-find-out-more-about authors, subjects and projects.

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You realise Plato and Aristotle are complete opposites ? Plato lead to Nazism, Mao and Stalin. Aristotle to democracy.

 

 Plato was as much responsible for what you accused him of as a mirror is responsible for a monster who happens to reflect in it while applying his makeup.  If it's a perfect Platonic monster, the mirror will reflect that -- but it didn't create or encourage its appearance.  Plato is actually awesome and the father not of totalitarian regimes (originating in something as far removed from philosophy as the constellation of Draco) but of Western brand of taoism (he is likely to have had taoist teachers, or their Arab students for teachers.  Incidentally, falsafa is the Arabic loan word for the Greek φιλοσοφία -- philosophy, but they cite a completely different source for the origin of what it tackles -- hikma, perfect natural wisdom) and a whole bunch of worthwhile sacred-geometrical pursuits leading to both external and internal alchemy, the favorite pastime of all philosophers and scientists with a clue. 

 

Aristotle, meanwhile, was hardly the father of democracy -- he was the teacher of Alexander the Great, the unprecedented imperialistic conqueror.   I wouldn't blame Aristotle for this though, anymore than I can praise him for democracy, which in its turn is something a mathematician (unlike a politician) would define as "an empty set."   

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Plato was as much responsible for what you accused him of as a mirror is responsible for a monster who happens to reflect in it while applying his makeup. If it's a perfect Platonic monster, the mirror will reflect that -- but it didn't create or encourage its appearance. Plato is actually awesome and the father not of totalitarian regimes (originating in something as far removed from philosophy as the constellation of Draco) but of Western brand of taoism (he is likely to have had taoist teachers, or their Arab students for teachers. Incidentally, falsafa is the Arabic loan word for the Greek φιλοσοφία -- philosophy, but they cite a completely different source for the origin of what it tackles -- hikma, perfect natural wisdom) and a whole bunch of worthwhile sacred-geometrical pursuits leading to both external and internal alchemy, the favorite pastime of all philosophers and scientists with a clue.

 

Aristotle, meanwhile, was hardly the father of democracy -- he was the teacher of Alexander the Great, the unprecedented imperialistic conqueror. I wouldn't blame Aristotle for this though, anymore than I can praise him for democracy, which in its turn is something a mathematician (unlike a politician) would define as "an empty set."

Exactly, but the fact remains, philosophy builds belief and sways development. Everyone of us is affected by past philosophies that we have soaked up through generations of education.

 

It's why I don't have a favourite philosopher, or an adherence to a particular philosophy, although my preference would be closer to an Aristotle than Plato. I have said several times now that Aristotle was the educator of politicians and he taught logic as a means of rhetorical persuasion in political life.

 

I think it's far better to have the tools of cognition and to understand any philosophical discourse on its own terms. Regard every philosopher as being wrong until you can personally prove otherwise through your own efforts.

 

Walk your own path through the briar patch.

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Exactly, but the fact remains, philosophy builds belief and sways development. Everyone of us is affected by past philosophies that we have soaked up through generations of education.

 

It's why I don't have a favourite philosopher, or an adherence to a particular philosophy, although my preference would be closer to an Aristotle than Plato. I have said several times now that Aristotle was the educator of politicians and he taught logic as a means of rhetorical persuasion in political life.

 

I think it's far better to have the tools of cognition and to understand any philosophical discourse on its own terms. Regard every philosopher as being wrong until you can personally prove otherwise through your own efforts.

 

Walk your own path through the briar patch.

 

Thank you for the advice. 

 

My most memorable encounter with Western philosophy was a sign from heaven, I never forgot the lesson.  Lend me your ear.

 

I was returning a few books to the library.  I had other stuff in my hands that I wanted to put in the car, so I put the books on the roof and then returned for something and then got in the car, forgetting about the books on the roof.  I'm driving towards the library and for some reason everybody is honking at me.  What's wrong, I wonder.  I start checking -- is a door open?  Is my trunk open?  I turn my head to glance back to check the trunk, when I look forward again I see that the car in front of me had stopped at the light, so I have to hit the brakes hard and stop quite abruptly.  And books start raining down my windshield, one of them slides slowly down showing me its front cover -- Ludwig Wittgenstein.  I am baffled.  Why are books falling out of the sky, and who could it be in New Jersey who'd be reading Wittgenstein, on earth or in heaven?..  Then I remember who it is.  It's me.  It's my books.  They are not falling from the sky, they are falling from the roof of my car.  And people had been honking about that. 

 

This is a very logical explanation, and if we went with Aristotelean philosophy, this would have been the end of the story.  But I went with Wittgenstein's philosophy instead. 

"The world is everything that is the case.  The general form of a truth-function is 01a3cf5f91211db95ef402b4bd20508b.png. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."  

I was a couple of years away from my first encounter with Laozi, but I caught the shadow the future was casting over the roof of my car.  The logic of the situation was koan-like, illogical and therefore capable of speaking to me above and below the level of the neocortex, the only one confined to linear logic.  I understood the message perfectly. 

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Thank you for the advice.

 

My most memorable encounter with Western philosophy was a sign from heaven, I never forgot the lesson. Lend me your ear.

 

I was returning a few books to the library. I had other stuff in my hands that I wanted to put in the car, so I put the books on the roof and then returned for something and then got in the car, forgetting about the books on the roof. I'm driving towards the library and for some reason everybody is honking at me. What's wrong, I wonder. I start checking -- is a door open? Is my trunk open? I turn my head to glance back to check the trunk, when I look forward again I see that the car in front of me had stopped at the light, so I have to hit the brakes hard and stop quite abruptly. And books start raining down my windshield, one of them slides slowly down showing me its front cover -- Ludwig Wittgenstein. I am baffled. Why are books falling out of the sky, and who could it be in New Jersey who'd be reading Wittgenstein, on earth or in heaven?.. Then I remember who it is. It's me. It's my books. They are not falling from the sky, they are falling from the roof of my car. And people had been honking about that.

 

This is a very logical explanation, and if we went with Aristotelean philosophy, this would have been the end of the story. But I went with Wittgenstein's philosophy instead.

"The world is everything that is the case. The general form of a truth-function is 01a3cf5f91211db95ef402b4bd20508b.png. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

I was a couple of years away from my first encounter with Laozi, but I caught the shadow the future was casting over the roof of my car. The logic of the situation was koan-like, illogical and therefore capable of speaking to me above and below the level of the neocortex, the only one confined to linear logic. I understood the message perfectly.

It wasn't really advice, that's just what I do. Everyone to their own.

 

That also a form of apriori. That's very much Von Mises philosophy, which lead to praxeology and finally to the outgrowth of libertarian thought. That's not to say there is a direct path from LaoTzu to Rothbard, but they certainly share some very fundamental principles which are far removed from Plato's Republic-if you ignore the Straussian interpretation.

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Funny.  I started reading religion and then philosophy, not to become something other than what I was, but to be able to define who and what I was.

 

I admit that I fell in love with Nietzsche and Camus.  But there was still something missing.  Finally I came upon a translation of the TTC.  Read it and thought, WTF?  I read a couple more translations but the response was the same, WTF?

 

But I couldn't let it go.  I then came upon the Chuang Tzu.  My response was, Oh!  Okay.  Then returned to the TTC and felt so much better reading the various translations.  Yes, I did try Religious Taoism but had to put it down.

 

I can now define myself and I am at peace with that.  (Others think I am totally lost though.)  I mean, what else could a religious person think of me?

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I had always thought Sartre was nihilistic but the video didn't present him as such.

 

I thought that Sartre held to the idea of always 'becoming' something (such that you cannot say I am this or that as it could change tomorrow)...  The first time I read this, I felt it was a slightly Buddhist idea on some level. 

 

Even though Camus denied being an Existentialist people put him in that basket anyhow.

 

Most of them denied such a label ;)

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And whether there are those who practice Chan?

 

Around here it is known as Zen.  Some people practice that.

 

I practice Chen. :)

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Around here it is known as Zen.  Some people practice that.

 

I practice Chen. :)

For many years I practiced Zen, but then went to the Kabbalah. Do you believe in the reality of things?

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For many years I practiced Zen, but then went to the Kabbalah. Do you believe in the reality of things?

 

Well, it's not a simple yes or no question.  One would have to define "reality" and "things" first. 

 

I am a taoist.  I define reality as tao which simultaneously exists in its manifest and unmanifest state. Reality is a cycle of being and nonbeing that has no beginning and no end.  Being comes from nonbeing, nonbeing reverts back to being.  Neither one is more real than the other, or less. 

 

So "things" that are of the realms that have form and substance are equal in their reality or unreality to things that belong to the realms of no form and no substance.  It's just that they locally behave differently in terms of the way they can or cannot be perceived and accessed.  Ultimately everything is real and nothing is a permanent reality,  Change and no change are reality, and tao continuously changes all things arising from it yet remains unchanged.

 

We don't separate the material world from the world of the spirit, mind, ideas, no-mind, no ideas -- it's all one snake.  It's all tao.  When it is set in motion, it produces phenomena and things -- the "ten thousand things."  When it reverts to stillness, it "reabsorbs" them into nothingness which is simultaneously a kind of "everythingness," all potentials frozen in nonbeing.  Tao-in-stillness is in perfect balance, hence no manifestations.  Tao-in-motion manifests both the perceivable "tangibility" of "things" and phenomena and one's ability to perceive them.  So reality is a co-creation between what is "there" and what you make of it, do with it, or don't do with it. 

 

We are not fundamentally different from tao in the grand scheme of things; however we are locally screwed because instead of co-creation of what is natural we've been engaged in defying the creation, going against the flow, inventing our own unreal worlds that don't "manifest" or "grow" -- we make them, slap them together hastily and haphazardly without using the mind of tao -- we use the superficial layer of the human mind to make them instead .  We don't make them in harmony with the way tao makes them.  We make them in a way that goes against the Way. 

 

This state of affairs is at least 10,000 years old, give or take, and it is a local aberration, a moment of extreme imbalance, which taoism as a philosophy-science-practice-art-religion-way-of-life seeks to correct.  As the classics put it, "in the human world, tao has been destroyed."  Key words "in the human world" -- of course tao is indestructible, but we can destroy ourselves by arranging our human world differently from the way tao arranges hers.  Which we did.  We make our "things," as Terence McKenna put it, "out of the bones of a dying world."  

 

Taoists seek to fix that -- via personal effort and participation, or via withholding effort and participation, depending on the situation.  Wish us luck.   :)     

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From what I hear, chen can be merciless; that has a realistic tone to it....

 

Chen is the ultimate reality, because it is the ultimate taiji (well, for the chenster -- with bows of apology to Yang and Wu and Wu-hao and Sun players), and "taiji" is known as The Supreme Ultimate --

so Chen taijiquan means "the Supreme Ultimate Fist of Chen."  That does sound as something pretty realistic, come to think of it.  Even pragmatic. :) 

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