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    Thread: How would you define modern philosophy?

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      How would you define modern philosophy?

      It seems to me that philosophy can be concisely defined as the fundamental nature of existence, our experience of it, and, not novelly, their connection. This human activity has produced very different kinds of ideas with very different kinds of consequences. Religion seemed to be the most common product of this activity at one time, and now it seems that science has taken more of a hold. My question is, in today's world, what does philosophy consist of? Science obviously rests on philosophy, it's origins, but considering how it's success is so distinguishing and thorough, what does that leave philosophy to do? Freewill seems to be a somewhat arbitrary subject that wouldn't fall under science, unless it would really be a question of psychology.

    2. #2
      Xei
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      I like your definition of 'philosophy', although I'm not sure what you mean by 'novelly'.

      I guess there are two ways to interpret your question though. Are you asking what is the general philosophy of the times? Or are you asking what professional philosophers (they exist) actually do?

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      I'm asking what topics does it consist of that isn't already covered by or solely meant to define the contents of workable scientific theories?

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      Philosophy is the application of the scientific method to ascertain a greater understanding of the relationships within a system. The relationships we establish are called laws, and we use the laws to further relate other phenomena into these established relationships.

      A science is the exploration of a phenomena understood and explored through established relevant relationships

      In attempting to understand Freewill, for example, you would take a philosophical approach, and like any other scientific inquiry,
      draw from relevant relationships to understand its relationship to your established relationships.

      So when you ask what relationships exist in philosophy to a particular science, its a erroneous question.
      The philosophy of a phenomena is defined by its respected sciences, and from the relevant sciences that describe its relationship.
      So the answer to your question would really be that there is no topic in science that doesn't exist in philosophy, as philosophy itself
      is a culmination of all observed scientific relationships.

      You're looking at philosophy as distinct from other sciences, what you are really wondering about is the commonly attributed "philosophical" sciences
      (say physics) to another science like psychology.

      Your question was quite vague but I did my best.

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      Science only remains relevant through philosophy. Falsification vs Validation, epistemology, etc. Then there's solipsism, existentialism, et al where philosophical arguments are made regarding the nature of perception vs truth and experience vs concepts. There also comes into play ideas such as identity which one cannot use science to solve. Finally, whether or not one should commit suicide is a philosophical question, as well as the primary question to existence. All scientific reasoning is secondary to philosophical reasoning.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-06-2013 at 05:52 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      I define it as things that seemed profound and insightful when you were on drugs and which you've not really bothered to think about enough while sober to realize how little sense they make.

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      Sorry, I meant "study of the fundamental nature..." in the original post.

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      EnT
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      Hi Wayfaerer, not sure if anyone is still following this thread but here's my 2 cents worth. I'll respond to your post in 2 parts:

      1. I feel like your definition "the study of the fundamental nature of existence..." is more a definition of metaphysics; a branch of philosophy, under which you could also include freewill. Philosophy is much broader than just this. Of course philosophy is literally the love of wisdom and to me that encapsulates its broad goal - to really understand a thing. This leaves the door open for philosophy to impact any and every area of life, from the deepest truths of existence (what is being? what different ways of being are there? etc) to the truths of law (what is law? is there such a thing as 'natural law'? etc) to the truths of ethics (what makes an ethical code? why should we adhere to one? etc) and everything in between. Philosophy is not really a subject about something, like other subjects; it is more like a meta-subject; that is, a subject about all subjects; the assumptions behind them, how we should think about them, the ways we should interpret their conclusions, etc. It gives us rigorous ways of thinking critically about a topic and asking deeper questions about that topic that often go unasked.
      2. You are dead right that science has replaced much of what used to come under philosophy but this is not a bad thing. Science has been astonishingly successful in it's domain (the objective, physical world) but to bring this success back into something meaningful we need the input of philosophy. Science tells us what is, philosophy tells us what it means to us. Science investigates the physical world while the philosophy of science investigates science itself.

      Anyway, that's what I think...

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      Philosophy questions everything, something i learned in Philosophy class in high school.

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      Xei
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      Does it, though?
      Original Poster likes this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ♥Mark View Post
      I define it as things that seemed profound and insightful when you were on drugs and which you've not really bothered to think about enough while sober to realize how little sense they make.
      A Philosopher would say, "How do you know when someone is on drugs and make no sense?, what if the one on drugs made more sense than sober?"
      A great debate starter.

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