Should philosophy be easy to understand? | Page 5 | INFJ Forum

Should philosophy be easy to understand?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Ren, Sep 4, 2018.

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  1. hn&#Gu

    hn&#Gu Community Member

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    You're not wrong. I wouldn't say I am labeling anyone though. You took it as that but in reality it was a statement not an accusation, very big difference.
     
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  2. wolly.green

    wolly.green Community Member

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    Have you read Malcolm Gladwell? Or Steven Pinker? Or Karl Popper? They are all clear examples of how good writing can make complex ideas extraordinarily simple to understand.
     
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  3. hn&#Gu

    hn&#Gu Community Member

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    I have not sir. That's great that they are in a simple format. I will have to check it out.
     
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  4. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    According to the general spirit of this thread, I should take it that Hegel's fame is entirely undeserved. :smile:
     
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  5. hn&#Gu

    hn&#Gu Community Member

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  6. bonfire

    bonfire Community Member

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    Nothing that can explain complexity of life is ever easy to understand.
     
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  7. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    What about Plato? He's fairly easy to understand. :)
     
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  8. Rowan Tree

    Rowan Tree Community Member

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    I once thought so too, but then a friend of mine decided to make Plato the focus of his doctoral research. Now, if I say anything more complicated than 'Plato was a philosopher,' he corrects me.
     
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  9. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Haha, that's funny. Do you think your friend might be a little "protective" of Plato, somehow, as a result of having made him the subject of his/her research?

    I sincerely don't think Plato isn't all that hard to understand, though this is not to say that his depth is as easily grasped.
     
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  10. Rowan Tree

    Rowan Tree Community Member

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    That's a good way of putting it.
     
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  11. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Another way of putting it is that highly educated people tend to be arrogant assholes on some levels, much like Plato.
    Socrates was a bigger asshole though, that's how you know he was smarter than Plato.
     
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  12. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    I know you said this partly in jest, but actually, I've always preferred (my mental image of) Plato than Socrates. I have always felt a certain sense of covert arrogance oozing off Socrates, a silky condescension of sorts towards the people he debates with in the dialogues.

    I've never liked him. How do you guys feel about the dude?
     
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  13. Rowan Tree

    Rowan Tree Community Member

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    One of the greatest literary geniuses of all time.

    Almost everyone he met either loved him or wanted to kill him. It's hard to trust anyone like that. But yeah, his answers are often inadequete and you can tell Plato is often trying to add content to all the winking knowingness.
     
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  14. In the Wings

    In the Wings Community Member

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    Enh, I think that whether you're losing something in translation depends a lot on your skill at explaining things. Some people may be unable to explain something well enough to get the important points across, and for them a vaguer/fuzzier phrasing (which is usually what differentiates academic and non-academic language) is enough. But even in those cases, running it by people you know are good at explaining things to translate would be a good thing for philosophy as a field.

    Unless you're talking about like, specific examples making people not realize that the rule applies in other contexts, but you can do stuff like dedicate a paragraph to the example and one to the broader context.

    Plus, when using language in a new way you get the possibility of repeating a point that isn't actually new, but not realizing it because it doesn't look the same.
     
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  15. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    It's tricky because Socrates is Plato, or at least, we only really know of Socrates through Plato.

    Socrates is just a mouthpiece for Plato, so finding the real historical character is somewhat difficult.

    He's either the most humble guy ever ('the only thing I know is that I know nothing' blah blah), or this is just a front for a monumental condescending arrogance.
     
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  16. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Agreed. I actually kinda prefer the honesty of Nietzsche who started signing his letters "Kaiser Nietzsche" towards the end of the 1880s.
     
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  17. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    I feel like I would have found him to be hilarious but also not my friend

    Also this. It's hard to tell where his heart was really at. I'm guessing it came from a good place but he felt that aggravating people was the most effective way of motivating them.
     
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  18. OP
    Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Haha, true. Better not be INFP easily butthurt with Socrates. :p

    I love you INFPs btw
     
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  19. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    Down that road lies madness. The thought that 'I do humble things, but am I really humble?' is just a trap, a bit like how we sometimes ask ourselves if charitable giving is really not just about making ourselves feel better.

    If we aren't careful about doing this to ourselves and to others, we may accidently create a culture of self-flagellation.

    I actually think that the vast majority of people are humble, which is why those few who are truly arrogant really stand out a mile (Mr President).

    (I may be going off on a tangent here, but I think it's all fundamentally about humility:)

    Personally I've tried to cultivate a sense of knowing whether my outwardly charitable actions are really motivated by compassion or maintaining my own sense of self.

    To be honest, most of the time I do things automatically out of duty and loyalty to a set of principles (that's a bit Kantian, I suppose).

    Occasionally, however, I will feel moved and will act purely out of compassion. I will feel a 'welling up' of emotion and then a determination to help.

    E.g. In terms of the homeless, which I've come to realise over the past few years really fucking disturbs me, I promised myself to try to give something everytime I saw such a person in need, non judgementally. Occasionally I will talk and feel overwhelmed by compassion (it's hard to write this now, even - don't want to cry in Starbucks!), but most of the time it's just duty and cohering with my own principles and I'll throw some money in the hat and say 'take care' then go about my business.

    So the motivations are both selfless (compassion) and selfish (my own sense of honour/whatever), but they seem to work together. It's like the man is listening to the child in me or something.

    Is there anything wrong with this? If not, then I'm not sure we should worry about whether humility is felt in that moment or not, as long as it is done.
     
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  20. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    I'm not sure if perhaps you misinterpreted something I said or I didn't articulate well enough (probably) but in any case, this is correct as far as I'm concerned
     
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