Bertrand Russell Anti-Philosophy

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 13: Bertrand Russell 1: his human wisdoms

Bertrand Russell always struck me as conspicuously lackingin human intelligence, otherwise known as Wisdom.  He showed no awareness of the darkness and depth in men’s souls.  His mind whirred like a clock endlessly doing logico-mathematical puzzles, and applying it to human matters.  He was rationalistic, humanistic and pacifistic, and believed in his own goodness because goodness is what he intended, you see. When I was a little boy, a close…

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Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Philosophers logicking on Identity

(This is a long post which I have been unable to break up.  Take it in stages.)    Philosophers since Plato have worried at what exactly Identity and Personal Identity are. They do this by logicking on the words (or ‘concepts’).  The literal  meaning of ‘identity’ from its Greek origins is ‘sameness’ or ‘state of being the same’.  But this is not enough for philosophers. Identity, or what it is…

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Bernard Williams Philosophy Anti-Philosophy

Bernard Williams 2: Self-hood, Cogito, Freedom of the Will

Self-hood or Personal Identity. (What I have written here is the same as in my post on Identity, here.; and represents my understanding of BW from here.)    BW  logicked his way through the question of whether Self-hood or Personal Identity belongs to one’s body or one’s mind.  It seems he was speculating on what ordinary people’s intuitions on this matter are, rather than offering a theory of his own. …

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Structuralism Linguistics

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 19: Saussure’s Structuralist Linguistics

Reading repeatedly through sites on Saussure, I have been beaten back each time by my disbelief that it could have been taken seriously as Science (or as Philosophy).   It seems to me to have been handing out nothing but the most obvious of truisms.  Saussure, for a start, tells us that things in the world don’t come with the right words for them hanging round their necks! but that different…

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Anti-Philosophy Plato

Philosophy has always been bunk, 10: Plato’s inconstancy in defining his Forms

Plato is most famous for his Forms but what exactly he meant by them is confusing.  It  took me a lot of reading to get to this amazing fact, that Plato himself differed in what he meant by his Forms! To re-cap the old story:  Plato [or was it Socrates? — it is the ‘Socratic Problem’ that we are never sure which, see here] was bothered by the status of words…

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South Africa Apartheid White liberals

South African liberals fled to whiter colonies

Where have so many white liberals of South Africa dribbled away to, in the decades since 1948 when apartheid started?  They’ve gone to colonialist countries that practise liberal democracy to their heart’s content because that’s what Western White people do.  The few natives who were originally there, were further reduced by genocides, by John Wayne and the US cavalry, and by Australian armed police (as I choose to believe).  The…

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Anti-Philosophy Descartes

Philosophy has always been bunk, 12: Descartes drops Cogito!

Descartes later did a volte-face by jettisoning his Cogito ergo sum entirely, and now accepting what his senses tell him! He did this by using entirely separate arguments, not deduced from the Cogito at all, to prove that God did after all exist!  And that He was not a Great Deceiver who would deceive Descartes about what came to him via his senses.  So Descartes could now accept what his senses…

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Anti-Philosophy Descartes

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 11, Descartes: His Cogito

Let me jump to about 1637 AD for another example of the pottiness of Philosophy:  ‘Cogito ergo Sum’ – ‘I think, therefore I am’ – wrote Descartes.    Descartes couldn’t convince himself he existed till it occurred to him that he was thinking!  Therefore he must exist!  Did he really think as an adult person that he couldn’t believe he existed until the logic of words proved it?   But, he later …

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Anti-Philosophy Socrates

‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 8: Socrates

I was amazed by Socrates the first time I came across him, sitting in the empty market-place before breakfast with people gathered round him, and drawing them out with his quizzing.  He asked questions like: What is Courage? What is Virtue? What is Duty? and then asked his listeners one by one to speak  up with their examples of each.  Their examples were often contradictory to the definitions they had…

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‘Philosophy’ has always been bunk, 3: its belief in logicking rather than sensation

‘Philosophy’ has always been considered to be all of the following:  the love of wisdom, the search for Wisdom, the foundation of Western civilization, of the uniqueness of the Western mind.  But what does it actually do exactly?  Someone said it is just  informal logic.  I am ashamed to say that I don’t know exactly whether that is true.  It sounds about right.  Philosophers are very good at it but…

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