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Knowledge gap

  1. Dec 25, 2004 #1
    I recently took an IQ test and the result came back 140 and suggested I should persue a career as a Theoretical Philosopher.
    What's a theoretical philosopher, how much will I get paid and how many job opportunities are out there?
    actually I have never studied philosophy at all. What is your definition of it, and what do I need to know to not sound like an idiot if the subject ever comes up?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2004 #2

    Les Sleeth

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    I'd say virtually any philosophy has theoretical aspects to it. As far as a career, outside of teaching at a university, examples might be any sort of endeavor where one takes an idea about the nature of reality and tries to sell it. Politicians sell theoretical philosophies, as do religious ministers, and authors who specialize in self-help philosophies. John Gray's book "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" is a philosophy about human nature which he's sold quite well in books and through seminars.

    While money can be made by such a career, it is obviously not easy be successful. For example, if one were to start by being published, a large publisher like Harper SF will receive receive 10,000 manuscripts per year (all from agents too) and only pubishes 75 of them (the percentage is better with smaller publishers, but they still typically reject hundred titles).

    But of course you don't have to make something a career to utilize or enjoy an aptitude you might have. :smile:
  4. Dec 25, 2004 #3
    Should I buy a robe? no not a robe, what'd Plato wear? a toga. do I need one?
    I'm just joking about the career questions how about the second part of my first post. Give me a good definition and a quick tutorial on philosophy. I'll read it if you write it, but probably won't go look anything up, plus I figure everyone's world revolves around me so you shouldn't have anything else to do.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2004
  5. Dec 25, 2004 #4

    Les Sleeth

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    Lol. Quick eh? Okay, here's my personal little formula, which I am sure plenty of people won't agree with, but it works for me:

    1. Understand your own nature as consciousness.

    2. Believe only what you have experienced.
    2b. Consider "credible" what you can be certain others have experienced.

    3. Be willing to study subjects that help you understand and acquire facts about reality's key aspects (to me those aspects are physicalness, aliveness, and consciousness).

    4. Study the history of world philosophies. You said you probably won't do that, but if you ever change your mind, I'll recommend three books with the idea of giving you the quickest overview of world philosophy. (The list is at the end of this post.)

    5. Learn the rules of logic.

    6. Look at the world with as big a perspective as you can manage, and try to see common threads running through creation's most important aspects.

    7. Reason sincerely, with facts, and with impeccable logic while maintaining the largest perspective you can . . . all with the objective of getting at the truth of some particular situation.

    Recommended Reading

    There are three great philosophies: Western, Chinese, and Indian. All of them have several areas which are important, but studying all that would be a lot of work. So if I am to keep the list short and only suggest one book to read (:cry:) for each, then I would choose the aspect of each philosophy which I consider the most important development. With that in mind, I might recommend the following (all of which can be found used at Amazon):

    A. For Western philosophy I might recommend "Western Civilization - Ideas, Politics & Society" by Perry et al (fifth edition). It is a history book, but one which emphasizes the history of ideas. The one volume edition will take you from the earliest thinkers and show how that eventually led to the most important development of Western philosophy: empiricism. Interesting reading too.

    B. For Chinese philosophy I'd recommend the "I Ching" by Wilhelm (translated by Baynes). Stumbling on the Chinese study of symmetry (sometimes referred to as yin yang philosophy) was probably the greatest find of my philosophic career. It is very underappreciated in the West, mostly I think because of those who relate to it in occult ways, instead as a book of wisdom. I have about 18 different versions of the book, and Wilhelm's version is still tops in my opinion (plus it contains excellent supplimentary information).

    C. The most important development of Indian philosophy, in my opinion, is the realization of a certain consciousness potential embodied in the idea of "enlightenment." Now, everybody and their uncle has concepts about this today, but the first person recognized to have achieved it through personal effort, and who taught methods (for forty years) to other on how to realize it for oneself was the Buddha. His words are probably better documented than any other teacher of enlightenment, so I would recommend reading him directly (i.e., rather than later interpreters). On of my favorite books is "Thus Have I heard - The long discourses of the Buddha" translated by Maurice Walshe.

    Good luck! :smile:
  6. Dec 25, 2004 #5
    thank you
    by the way, how far North of SF are you?
    I have to do some work in the area from the 4th through the 9th
    I'll buy you lunch
  7. Dec 25, 2004 #6
    IQ test results do not arrive accompanied by career recommendations. You did not take an IQ test. To help you tell the difference between a real and a phony IQ test, I suggest reading about IQ test construction in Arthur Jensen's Bias in Mental Testing.
  8. Dec 25, 2004 #7

    Les Sleeth

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    About 60 miles (wine country/Santa Rosa area). Let me know.
  9. Dec 25, 2004 #8
    lol, I wasn't really using it to make a life change. it was a pop up ad, you take the test and receive your overall score and they tell you what type of people have that overall score. If you pay them you get a breakdown of where you are strong and weak. It's a rip off I'm sure. I also think it is probably pretty close +/-10, but that is pure speculation on my part. I simply used it as a way to start my post, I like to sound somewhat entertaining when I post. Makes reading more interesting.
  10. Dec 26, 2004 #9
    There are rules? :uhh: Do you mind posting them? I would really like to know them. :smile:
  11. Dec 26, 2004 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    If you aren't ready or able to take a college course, do some Google searches for logic articles and papers. There are lots, such as some of the papers listed here.
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