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  • The Great Philosophers Series For Puerto Rico.com!

    I would really enjoy an in-depth analysis of the important philosophers in history series.

    We can go from A-Z or Z-A. Such as Zeno (c.490-430 B.C.) called Zeno of Elea to distinguish him from Zeno, the founder of Stoicism; his famous arguments against the possibility of motion sought to prove that the very idea of motion was full of contradictions.

    To the French philosophers, such as Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (French philosopher and social theorist)with his THE SOCIAL CONTRACT 1762 and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality 1762, French mathematicians, Russian philosophers such as George V. Plekhanov (1856-1918) who was a fine historical materialist, and many many more...

    What did Hegel do that contributed to modern philosophy? Where did he fail big time?

    How Marx changed the face of socialism by introducing some concepts that previously were not part of the development of European socialist thought.

    From the old Greek philosopher Epicurus to the most modern developments in Social Science! Yes, I would love to contribute once a week and try to read in depth on a single philosopher for that week!! Only by studying the history of philosophical thought can one see how modern society is going!!

    Please, restrict the debate to philosophical points of difference and be specific why you think the philosopher is obsolete, still valid or invalid. It will make it so much more interesting!! And it can be in English or Spanish. You may include philosophers from all over the world. Also, we can take a week to suggest reading the basic material and then meet up to discuss it online, say on the following Sunday 9pm EST, 8pm CST, and 7pm MST, and 6pmPST. This is like a BOOK CLUB PEOPLE but it will be about PHILOSOPHY and Philosophers both great and small in history and in the present. If you have not read the assigned work from the philosopher and are still interested in commenting please do. Thanks!


    The idea is to have fun, explore and analyze the concepts and also to see the progress made in philosophy over time. All philosophical concepts will be welcome. I am really enthused about this thread. If we don't get any replies, I will still contribute a summary of a philosopher for that week and keep it going as a resource for this forum. This forum is very dear to my heart, it was the reason I joined up for the first time in August of 2001 and I see the original thread I participated in has over three thousand views!! Philosophy is relaxing, and also interesting and dynamic.
    Last edited by Suki; 16th November 2006, 22:06.

  • #2
    Fun can be fascinating or it can be 'relajo'. Already, I think it was Tiana who said that Suki is too serious in what she writes, and that she ought to have a more fun and relaxed approach to posting.

    NOW, what will the critic say to this about a philosophy thread? -- since in all my readings and study in philosophy, I never found a philosopher who told a joke or was even humorous in general.

    In the Phaedo, I think it was, which was a part of Plato's work entitled "The Republic", Socrates was in prison and slated to be executed, and he was surrounded by his students and disciples, many of whom were weeping, and he chided them by saying that he didn't want any expressions of sorrow like weeping and that is why he sent all the women away. It was also a sign that he had a bit of humor in him, and after the executioner had given the hemlock poison to drink Socrates felt cold as the effects started first in his legs and began creeping up to his heart, so he asked for a sheet to cover himself, and they provided that. He covered himself head to toe, and as he felt the end was near he uncovered his head and said to one of his disciples that he owed a chicken to a neighbor who had given him one for supper, and asked the disciple to see that the chicken would be repayed. Plato who was wealthy immediately told him that he would pay the debt.

    Then Socrates covered up his head again and soon there was a shuttering of his entire body, and he died. Some who read this have found it amusing that the last words of whom was the father of philosophy should have been about a chicken. I suppose it was the start of what in modern times has been called 'gallows humor'.

    Suki I think knows that there has'nt been a woman who created a system of philosophy. It will be interesting to see what she puts forth as her system of philosophy as her new thread develops. Suki, the modern woman that she is, might be interested in another modern woman, viz., Ayn Rand who was really determined to be the first woman to create a system of philsophy, but her interests in politics, which she backed up by referring to Aristotle's philosophy wherein Aristotle stated that philosophers are kings who must develop philosophy by applying it to politics, because that is the only way a philosopher can obtain virtue.

    Plato his antecedent by many centuries used the concept of The Republic, an archtype for a "perfect' state, and he used his wisdom to create the motto for it which was that "Knowledge is Virtue".

    BTW, I digressed and forgot to mention that Ayn Rand never got to create a system of philosophy and instead settled for the Aristotlean philosophy -- while creating a unique political ideology called Libertarianism which has lots of adherents currently. She proved at least the a woman can do something unique by critical thinking.

    So Suki, I await your weekly posts in your new thread, and optimistically await some originality to be created by you in the field of Philosophy. May it be so -- as a first!
    E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

    Comment


    • #3
      Hmm, I did notice in my long list of philosophers the absence of women in general. Why is that? Because women have always been second class citizens in many societies. The ones who had a shot at trying to be 'original thinkers' got the heaveho from the males, or the women who had the potential to be philosophical were really pressured out of the boys only club. Unfortunately many women are never given the opportunity to develop intellectually. Too much emphasis on other things, so many women 'supposedly' lack intellectual ability or they are too emotional. Lol. But I will tell you MEN lose their minds when they are trying to satiate some instinct or need. Taking care of kids, demanding husbands, brothers, fathers, male colleagues can drive any woman to distraction. Yes, we have different hormones that regulate our brains and how we react, does that mean we have nothing to offer science, or physics, or mathematics, or art, or politics, or philosophy. I don't think so. We have a lot to offer if only allowed to develop our potentials like many men are allowed to develop. But truth be known, women are the glue that binds society together---I said it before, but it is truer today more than ever, without the female labor, thoughts, and actions, humanity and human civilization would crash and burn and this species (the homo sapien will go down the tubes permanently). No doubt about it. So, men can say we have not contributed to x,y,z, but the proof is that women are extremely vital part of any human society---they are like the proletarians, always there and critical for survival but passed over for all the wrong reasons.

      History is usually written by the victors, and the conquerers, and the powerful. And women historically speaking have always been discounted in every possible way. But women and female thinking is critical in the world. It is half of humanity and it is the better half in my opinion.

      Yes, philosophy is something that does expand the mind, and I REALLY LIKE THAT, I really do. To explore concepts like idealism, materialism, dialectics, etc. But it is not for laughing or joking it is for analysis. And I like analysis in every possible way. I don't think critical analysis is male or female. It is human

      Besides if I wanted only fun and games, I would go to the joke forum and the music forum. But philosophy is like sunshine for the mind. It is. You know, sometimes I have thought why am I the only woman in pr.com writing in politics and in philosophy? And I think I know the reason. Many women have told me the reason. It is sad that they feel if they say anything it will be ignored or not listened to. When the entire society says to you so many thousands of ways that what you have to say is not valid because you were born female and you are only valuable as a pretty face or as someone's wife or someone's mother, you start losing the ability to really understand that fifty something percent of humanity is just as valid as the male fifty percent, you start to believe the lie that men are better than women. And whatever the fifty percent have to say should be respected. Philosophy is for everyone. I look forward to contributing every week. Great thinking and truth is not restricted to men only. At least I never thought so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Was it something I said???, Suki, that prompted you to say, among many other things, that:

        "So, men can say we have not contributed to x,y,z, but the proof is that women are extremely vital part of any human society---they are like the proletarians, always there and critical for survival but passed over for all the wrong reasons."

        Of course, male chauvanism is prevalent in lots of guys, and female chauvanism is not prevalent in the majority of women. You are an exception since the womens' movement of NOW has been disbanded and no longer pursued by women in general. Why is that so? The women gave up quickly, except for you. And you are to be commended for your stick-to-ativeness. However, evolution and the place of women was determined by the environment in which both men and women lived and were challenged.

        You are a cultural anthropologist by education, and you know that individuals do not change -- it is the group of men and women that changes. So don't you think it would be reasonable to put the blame for what you see as the "inferior" place of women in society on the concrete conditions which caused the group of human society to change, than to blame the will of men for what women are today in that society?

        Oh. btw, the proletarians are not glossed over or passed over since communism has been for centuries struggling to solve the problems of the working class for the betterment of human society.

        On the other hand, the NOW organisation to address and solve the problems that women face in society has collapsed and been abandoned by the feminists who started the movement. You ought not place the blame for that on men, but on the women who gave up the feminist cause -- and these women weren't ordinary since many were among the rich and powerful in many areas of the media and professional careers.
        E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

        Comment


        • #5
          Que rayos contribuye un(a) filosofo(a) a la sociedad? Siempre he sido un realista con los pies plantados en la tierra y se me hace dificil comprender cual o cuales han sido las contribuciones de un filosofo o los filosofos al bienestar de la sociedad. Sufririamos si los borraramos a todos del mapa?, notariamos su ausencia en los libros de historia?, le debo sugerir a mi hija que obtenga un grado universitario en folosofia como el comienzo de una gran carrera? Tengo mis dudas. En serio.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Yujike View Post
            Que rayos contribuye un(a) filosofo(a) a la sociedad? Siempre he sido un realista con los pies plantados en la tierra y se me hace dificil comprender cual o cuales han sido las contribuciones de un filosofo o los filosofos al bienestar de la sociedad. Sufririamos si los borraramos a todos del mapa?, notariamos su ausencia en los libros de historia?, le debo sugerir a mi hija que obtenga un grado universitario en folosofia como el comienzo de una gran carrera? Tengo mis dudas. En serio.

            Yujike, la filosofia es como un MAPA de como lidear con los problemas que experimentamos todos los seres humanos. La gente dice cosas como, "la politica por que sirve? Yo no soy politico?" Eres politico si estas vivo. Por que? Por que ser completamente neutrales en el mundo es para los muertos, no los vivitos y coleando. Lo mismo que ser filosofico o filosofica. Hasta el ser menos interesado en cosas del intelecto tiene su 'filosofia'. Su filosofia son las elecciones tomadas cuando se enfrenta a un problema. No he conocido ser humano Yujike que no tiene algo de problemas. Todos tienen problema. El religioso con sus conceptos de Dios. Los politicos con sus metas politicas, los trabajadores con su trabajo, los ninos con sus juegos. TODOS toman cientos de decisiones pequenas y grandes todos los dias. Por que toman algunas decisiones y no otras es una forma de filosofia. Las experiencias mas que el conocimiento crean la sabiduria. Los sabios son sabios por experiencia y no por boca o pensamiento superficial nada mas.

            Vivir una vida Yujike es un acto filosofico. Lo que pasa es que muchos no toman el tiempo para 'categorizarlo'. Estoy segura que me entiendes.

            Lo que es estudiar las ciencias sociales, la historia, la literatura, la filosofia, hoy en dia en este sistema capitalista no es una eleccion para lucrar Yujike. Es por otras razones. Sin embargo, muchos se dan cuenta que una buena educacion en esas materias tienen utilidad. Por que ser un ser pensante que toma decisiones concientes y bien pensadas con un proposito especifico, es algo bueno y algo productivo para toda la sociedad. Asi pienso.

            Comment


            • #7
              The power struggles between men and women

              Eddier1 said:

              "You are a cultural anthropologist by education, and you know that individuals do not change -- it is the group of men and women that changes. So don't you think it would be reasonable to put the blame for what you see as the "inferior" place of women in society on the concrete conditions which caused the group of human society to change, than to blame the will of men for what women are today in that society?"

              Eddie, I don't blame the will of men. Like many struggles in human society women have power struggles. Capitalism has placed women in really difficult positions allover the world for different reasons, all part of the dynamics of modern capitalism. I have no doubts about that. But, men in terms of the hierarchy of power in patrilineal societes, do participate in keeping women from obtaining power that is equal to their numbers.

              One can say, men are natural hunters and not nurturers, so they will behave in a way that is different than women. Women and men have different hormones, and react differently to not only foods, chemicals, and external stimuli, but to disease, stress, language and information in very different ways. Many scientific studies also realize that each gender have unique strengths. The social part is that male strengths are given a lot more weight in the socioeconomic power structures than women's strengths were in patriarchal societies. In a socialist society on its way to communism one would think women's contributions would always have equal weight in forming society as the men's contributions would. What do you think?

              Do you think both men and women working together for a better society is important? Of course. How does a man show he respects women in society? Men and women are not that different in the essentials. Not really.
              Last edited by Suki; 19th November 2006, 01:19.

              Comment


              • #8
                In order for many in modern society under capitalism to understand what another society with totally different cultural mores, values, experiences and thoughts and concrete living conditions are like, it is important to have a certain empathy.

                How is it like to be a man? Think like a man? Act like a man? Walk like a man? Talk like a man? If one has been a woman all of one's life? I guess that is what many actors must have done when long ago in Europe and in Ancient China women were prohibited from playing parts in the theater, and female parts were played by men. Straight men by the way not gay men had to play the female roles in the theater and make it 'credible'. How did they try to capture the other gender when it is not natural?

                Can a male ever understand what it is like to be female? Really understand? Can a female ever understand what it is like to be a male? Or is it something beyond comprehension for either gender? Apparently it is not impossible. A member of the opposite sex can take hormone therapy and do everything biologically possible to 'convert' to the other sex. What I find very interesting is that the majority of the 'transexuals' are male to female. The proportion of female to male is drastically lower. Partly because it is easier for a male to 'become' a female, than it is for a female to become a male. But also because men with strong female tendencies suffer a lot more socially than females with male tendencies. At least that is what studies have concluded.

                What I found very interesting in a documentary that I saw recently was a brilliant physicist or scientist who had an excellent career in his chosen work, and he became a 'female' and moved to a new university to teach and changed his name. He was the same in his intellectual capacities supposedly but his work got 'discounted' by his peers in a way that never had been done to him as a male. It could be though the woman he was, was too self conscious and not comfortable in her new role. But, interesting nevertheless.

                What do I know? I know I like being a woman. That is what I am. And I like it. I find myself comfortable being a woman. If given the choice (if possible) of choosing to be a woman or a man, I would choose woman many many times. Why? Because I think women are like the earth. The foundation of all that grows. And men are the sunlight that make the flowers grow. But without the earth as fertile ground how can anyone notice the fine results of all that sunlight? Both are essential to keeping life going. You need both to make life keep renewing itself. Along with rain and photosynthesis and so on.

                What does a woman feel that a man doesn't feel at all? That is a good question. Interesting studies on mapping the brain and categorizing the different parts of the brain that control many aspects of brain activity in both sexes, and that are similar and dissimilar is fascinating. Apparently women have a larger part of the brain than men in terms of detection of emotion and action that is motivated by feeling, while men concentrate more on external stimulation and kinetic information and they respond in terms of problem solving. It is interesting the studies. Women take a lot less time figuring out what their 'infant' needs, than men do. Men tend to do the trial and error more to figure it out. It is all very biological and genetic to a certain degree. The approaches in problem solving vary a lot. Yet both men and women respond similarly to certain actions. It all is rather complex.

                Women should never give up in the struggle to be listened to and taken into consideration when planning a society. They should participate actively in politics, in history, in science, in sports, in the arts, everywhere.

                I hope Eddie saying he awaits originality from me is true. If not, studying all the ways human beings have thought about solving the problems of life for all of us through philosophy is certainly worthy of discussion. Asking a question is never the wrong approach to begin exploring it all.

                How well can we truly be empathetic to those who are different than we are? How much can we understand a woman if one is a man? I think if we are connected to another human being and we create a certain rapport, we start to understand that other person's innate humanity. And we sometimes stop seeing them as 'male' or 'female' or as 'old' or 'young' or as 'this' or 'that'. We just see them as this being in which we have come to deal with and what we have inside our heads, they just might have similar thoughts. Eureka!! They dream, they think, they have consciousness, they have a physical body even if it is anatomically dissimilar to ours. But there is something there---there is that similarity of experiences somewhere....there is connection. That is what social interaction is all about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Suki wrote:

                  studying all the ways human beings have thought about solving the problems of life for all of us through philosophy is certainly worthy of discussion. Asking a question is never the wrong approach to begin exploring it all.
                  Voila! I did not wait in vain. Yujike wrote about his daughter and if she should study philosophy in college, and he not only was in the negative about it, but also did a barbaric thing in suggesting that it might be helpful if all philosophers met a destiny similar to that of Socrates. Surely he was referring to his distaste for the critical thinking that philosophy requires, and was low-down in savagery about the philosophers who do the works.

                  You have refuted Yujike in what you wrote above. Yes the use of questions is Socratic and the Pre-Socratics did not have the dialectical method nor the system building which Plato -- Socrates's disciple accomplished.

                  Because of the combo of Socrates and Plato, the history of philosophy is able to draw a valid difference between the Pre-Socratic thinkers who lacked both the dialectical method and systematic development of their "philosophies"; since most of their notions are almost stories with metaphors like that of Heraclitus and the river that one can never cross twice, since he held that everything is change. Or that of Parmenides who used the metaphor of the arrow to show that all is not change since at each point of an arrow's flight it occupies a distinct or separate location, and therefore change is an illusion, and the arrow hitting the target is an illusion also.
                  Then there was Democritus who held that the only existence is that of atoms, and the reality of all is only atoms in a void. There are no individuals, nature, animals etc. they are all illusions, since for him only atoms in a void was reality.

                  This philosophy of Democritus is materialism in its most primitive stage, whereas Karl Marx, voted the greatest philosopher of all times in a recent BBC poll is the author of a philosophy of dialectical materialism which is materialism at it most advanced level. One philosopher was a Pre-Socratic and the other was a Post-Socratic. It makes a difference, indeed! Thank goodness for Socrates who taught that 'knowledge is virtue'. And thank goodness of Marx who taught that the knowledge of what is necessary is freedom. Both did justice to philosophy and its importance for critical thinking.
                  E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Eddie, I do think seeing how it all developed over time from one philosopher to the next and what was so critical in the newer developments is definitely something worth doing in philosophy. Let us start with Zeno of Elea who was a contemporary of Plato's. A good biography of his for summary is this one:

                    Zeno_of_Elea biography

                    What is interesting is he used mathematical concepts to question philosophical questions. I think the classical period in Greece and Italy were the early beginnings of the Scientific Method for Occidental (Western) Civilization. And it all starts with asking questions. The right questions.

                    Common sense explanations prevalent at the time are not enough to accept what a 'thing' is according to Zeno. So what can one use? We won't be able to cover all the philosophers in all of the nations of the world through history. But we can definitely do a 'continuum' (a word Zeno used as well) so that readers have an idea of how it came about.

                    Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle all should have their own week. The Age of Enlightenment and how that changed European history since previously it had been in a long middle age of Theocracy and the return to humanism and the classical philosophers is also very interesting.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In the era before Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Vladimir Lenin and all that followed socialism was basically utopian and did not have a scientific basis or method in which socialism would become manifest in human society.

                      But before we get to the revolutionaries and before we get to the 20th century it would be valuable to have time to study the classical period of philosophy. I also want to note that Confucius, and other philosophers from other cultural traditions are welcome to be discussed if there is a great interest. Many do believe studying philosophy is something that is too abstract, too unreal, etc. No, it is not at all that. Philosophy if studied judiciously enhances science, reason, critical thinking, politics, art, and everything that human society engages in and finds meaningful. The problem I see is that in today's age youth are encouraged to only study what is quickly acquired, and that there is some form of immediate financial gain to be had. Accounting, business, law, medicine, computer science, technology, information systems, and maybe something more conventional like education and engineering. Philosophy is given short shrift. WHY? Because it is not something capitalism wants you to do. Analyzing the 'whys' of how a human society works and how it works, makes people who have critical minds want to change society. Philosophy is the foundation for revolutionary thoughts, and that by all means is threatening and to be discouraged at all costs.

                      But people who take the time to do the work of studying the history of philosophy will find pleasure in it and will find meaning and purpose. For all of us learn from the great thinkers who wrestled with these same questions many many years before any of us were born. It is uncanny how many problems people had many centuries ago, are still common human problems today. De verdad.

                      Eddie, it is a pleasure to have you in this thread. And I hope you don't need advice on how to cook your turkey for Thanksgiving, one of your most favored holidays. If you do. You know who to call.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Suki, Zeno was a disciple of Parmenides, and the paradoxes of Zeno were taken from Parmenides's work. Zeno was therefore not an original thinker; he was to Parmenides what Plato was to Socrates. Plato, however, was a great writer which Zeno was not, and Plato's ability to cover so much ground in philosophy, including his own
                        cosmology, apart from Socrates, made Plato so much more important to the development of philosophy.

                        Actually, it is better to start at the beginning like Aristotle shows by example when he wrote to effect the conclusion:

                        Aristotle, the major source for Thales's philosophy and science, identified Thales as the first person to investigate the basic principles, the question of the originating substances of matter and, therefore, as the founder of the school of natural philosophy.
                        So Aristotle is recommending the study of Thales of Miletus as the first of the pre-Socratics who was totally original and the prime mover of philosophy. This starting point is endorsed by Diogenes (of the lamp in the night fame) when he endorsed Anaximenes letter:

                        Thales was highly esteemed in ancient times, and a letter cited by Diogenes Laertius, and purporting to be from Anaximenes to Pythagoras, advised that all our discourse should begin with a reference to Thales (D.L. II.4).
                        So if you want to start at the beginning as is always best, then my recommendation is tantamount to Diogene's, and starting with Thales of Miletus would be best.
                        E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          SUKI wrote:

                          I hope you don't need advice on how to cook your turkey for Thanksgiving, one of your most favored holidays. If you do. You know who to call.
                          Yes, I already got your endorsement for using Majorum as seasoning over the outside of the turkey. And it was delicious. I remember that.

                          It lasted me about three weeks. However, this "Dia de las Gracias", I won't be making a turkey roast. Once was enough for me, although it is said that guys make the best chefs -- LOL!, don't worry since it isn't anti-feminist to say that, because it is the truth.
                          E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thales of Melitus it is then. Let us start with him.

                            I will be back with more information on the early Western Civilization philosophers. I got to do some domestic tasks today. The holiday is ticking away. And since I am a fine 'chef' being female and all, everyone wants me to cook for them something special. What are my big strengths according to the people who have tasted all my food? SALADS and seafood and rice dishes and excellent tasting beans. I also bake and am good at that but prefer making really creative salads and rice dishes more than anything else. No se por que. Do you like rice dishes Eddie?

                            Let me get some info on Thales of Melitus then.

                            Interesting Eddie, it looks like a branch of medicine still uses Thales of Melitus' theories on matter as a basis for treating patients!! Look:

                            Concept of Matter in Unani Medicine

                            Also a readable summary of Thales of Melitus who contributed to geometry among other sciences:

                            Douglas T. Smith Editorial Services

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Then we are agreed that Thales of Miletus was the first recognised philosopher of the Greeks, even though he held that water (Oceania) was the main substance out of which the world is made. And he was correct since today's scientists have proved it by their exhaustive studies of our changing world. Land masses which are still in the minority have formed, variably due to climate changes, inclusive of the melting of ice at the polar caps, and the geography of the world has changed accordingly.

                              Thales was also a brilliant mathematician -- all of this not too shabby for the first recognized philosopher from ancient times. Nonetheless. the pre-Socratics had to give way (or make way) for the Socratics, chief among them being Plato who absorbed the philosophy of Socrates who is generally held to replace Thales as father of philosophy.

                              Plato, who by the way was totally original in his cosmology found described in his Timaeus also if memory serves found in the "Republic" -- brought metaphysics to its starting point, which galvanised Aristotle a few centuries later to formulate his Ontology, which held sway for so many centuries right through Thomas Aquinas (the saint) up to the present day with such followers as Ayn Rand - a mod' Aristotlean.

                              However great Aristotle was, noneheless, the laurel leaf goes to Plato, since all of modern philosophy is a "footnote to Plato" as Alfred North Whitehead, the author of "Process and Reality" (an original modern system of philosophy) averred.
                              E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

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