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Philosophy Forum Members

  1. Dec 10, 2004 #1
    I would like to get a rough idea of the education level of the participants in the Philosophy Forum.

    What is your education in this field?

    Have you taken courses or have a degree? Or are you just interested?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2004 #2
    Well, i am that "big" participater there, but most in social sciences about religion "which has some philosophy there :biggrin: "

    I am having few courses that related to philosophy "Theory of knowldge" and "world religion" and "Psychology", and then i read a lot of books in philosophy when i feel reading but as a studying for my majors or minors. Then i have life! my favourite course :smile:

    Thats all folks.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2004 #3

    loseyourname

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    I'm an upper-division undergrad double-majoring in philosophy and neuroscience. I stayed out of school for several years though, during which time I spent an awful lot of time reading and researching various topics.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2004 #4

    JasonRox

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    So, your just a crackpot in the philosophy forum?
     
  6. Dec 11, 2004 #5

    Kerrie

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    Formal structured education or informal unstructured education? :smile: Little formal, some informal that I have gained since being a mentor on this board. Unfortunately, real life grabbed me by the horns before I was able to complete college (over 13 years ago). Still have a burning desire to learn however :biggrin:

    How about you dekoi?
     
  7. Dec 11, 2004 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    I did two undergraduate philosophy courses (101, "Ancient Philosophy", and 102, "Modern Philosophy") fifty years ago.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2004 #7

    Moonbear

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    I haven't really posted there much, just here and there when I can't keep my mouth shut (or my fingers still) on a topic. I had two undergrad philosophy courses: Intro to Logic, which was one of those formal logic classes where all your sentences get converted into symbols and proofs (being one of the few science majors in the class, I aced it! Well, as my Jr High geometry teacher always put it, this should be easy, it's all just logical), and the other was more a general philosophy class, but emphasized ethical arguments. I hated that class, because I quickly learned if my ethics were the least bit different from that of the flake teaching the class (and boy was he a flake!) then no argument was good enough, but if you BSed about his view of things, he wasn't nearly as stringent about whether every step of the argument followed from your premises. I get a little exposure to philosophers now too, because one of our faculty members studies the philosophy of neuroscience (or something like that...one of those mind/brain people). We brought in some supposedly famous philosopher that everyone in the philosophy dept was just beaming about, and had him give a special seminar to the neuroscience program. The scientists in the audience were, well, unimpressed. He kept talking about needing to define this term or that, but then he never really defined it. We wanted to just jump up and tell him we already have good definitions and to stop blathering on about the lack of definitions! I'm sure the only reason any of us stayed for the full "show" was because a donor's family was in the audience and this dog and pony show helped to get them to donate more to our program (they just ate up that stuff...the things we'll do for money in academics!). This just confirmed my general impression of philosophy...when you're at a lack of evidence for your argument, don't let that stop you, just insert a new assumption that fits with where you want to go, and keep right on arguing.

    The thing is, there is such potential to hold philosophy to higher standards, and the use of logic is important to learn, but it always seems to go one step further than I can be comfortable with.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2004 #8

    russ_watters

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    My chollege was military and we were heavy into ethics classes (either ethics or leadership every semester). We also had weekly ethics seminars. So most of my formal philosophy education has to do with ethics/morality.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2004 #9
    I am the top Philosophy student in my last year of high-school. But i hope to get accepted to the University of Waterloo for Mechanical Engineering, to get a Masters or Doctorate that field.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2004
  11. Dec 11, 2004 #10
    The only true philosophy:

    I learned a long time ago that the fundamental truth of the universe is that I'm smarter than everyone else.

    After becoming enlightened with that fact of reality I began to realize that formal degrees don't mean diddly squat.

    This conclusion should be apparent to everyone, but unfortunately most people don't appear to be smart enough to "get it".
     
  12. Dec 11, 2004 #11

    jcsd

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    I cme to the same conclusiion! No wait, that wasn't it; I came to the conclusion your an egomaniac who has a lot of time on his hands so comes onto inteent forums to waffle on subjects he doesn't have the first clue about.
     
  13. Dec 11, 2004 #12
    You're suppose to come to the same conclusion! Only about *you*, not *me*. Because everyone really does live in their own universe.

    But, you didn't "get it", and instead you thought that I was being egotisical.

    tsk tsk tsk. :tongue:
     
  14. Dec 11, 2004 #13

    jcsd

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    Okay I was too hasty, but I could of believed that you really thought it.

    Yes it is a truism, but one that should never be admitted.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2004 #14

    Kerrie

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    It took me a long time to realize this when it comes to making money in the job world. There ought to be more of a push to our young people to go to college because they love to learn as well as the security of finding a job. I know many people who hold degrees in a subject they love, but don't do any kind of work affiliated with that education.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2004 #15

    JasonRox

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    I understand what he meant.

    I don't follow my degree requirements. I take what I want to take, and if I think its useless, then I don't take it.
     
  17. Dec 14, 2004 #16
    waaaaay back in the 50's a high school diploma was an accomplishment.

    i also come to realize that i was the dumbest sumbiatch in the world. as such, i knew i had to listen to most people i met and soak up what they had to offer.

    i was lucky, without a formal education, i was able to get promoted to the point where iat 26 i had 50 year old college grads with industry designations working under me.

    i also knew that i didn't know what was going on in this world. so reading sci-fi, philosophy, metaphysics, occult, paranormal and standard historical novels gave me insight as to what the smart guys thought.

    i have me own philosophy that is a hodge-podge of just-a-bout everthing out thar.

    take what works for you. don't throw out the rest, keep it handy in case somethin happens and you need an explanation. there is at least a kernel of truth in every idea.

    love&peace,
    olde drunk

    ps:eek:h, yeah! along the way i managed to have a rip-snort'n good time, just wish i remembered all the fun.
     
  18. Dec 14, 2004 #17

    hypnagogue

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    I have a BS in computer science with a concentration in cognitive science. I took a philosophy class or two in college, but for the most part my exposure to philosophy has been from reading books and material on the Internet on my own time.
     
  19. Dec 14, 2004 #18

    Tom Mattson

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    BS Engineering/MS Physics, and working on the PhD in the same.

    Had no appreciation for philosophy until about 2 years ago when I started really looking at logic. Then some PF discussions prompted me to become interested in epistemology and some metaphysics. There's still a lot of philosophy that bores me to death, but that part of it in which I am interested in holds my attention. I'm reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Goedel, Escher, Bach. My philosophical excursion will be Penrose's The Emporer's New Mind.

    Other than that, most of what I know of philosophy comes from the online Stanford Encyclopedia.
     
  20. Dec 14, 2004 #19

    Les Sleeth

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    The Making of a Philosopher Wannabe

    Since for some reason my “Journal” doesn’t work for me, I thought I’d elaborate on my background here (probably more than anyone is interested), and why I consider myself a full time philosopher (hoping to get paid for it one day). My obsession with philosophy started when I moved to New York City after friends I’d met in Viet Nam told me it was the most awesome place on the planet. If you like lots and lots of concrete, then maybe it’s the place for you!

    In my tiny little apartment, living there alone, I started reading Nietzsche, and read almost everything he wrote. I accepted his ideas blindly, believing he was a genius who needed to be understood by the ignorant masses (now there’s an oxymoron). His anti-Christian sentiments appealed to me (being an atheist at the time trying to recover from Baptist upbringing), and I remember irritating the crap out of my friends and customers at the job I had by extolling the profundity of Friedrich.

    But soon I moved on to the Greeks (Socrates stopped me in my tracks, still just about my favorite, so much better than Freddie’s ravings), the existentialists (deeeeeepressing), Leibnitz, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer and other idealists (way out there), Descartes, Spinoza (liked him), Locke (awesome), Ayer (I was starting to believe in science!), Quine (his positivistic views fit my radical outlook perfectly), Peirce (wow, how could anyone make so much sense?) . . . and so on. I was exhausted, but thinking I was getting wiser by the day!

    I was heavily involved in drugs, being a “hippie” and all, and managed to get deathly ill on . . . (I’ll leave that one a mystery). While in the hospital, a lady intern came around to check on me. I had been thinking about medicine as a career, so I asked her about it. At some point she said, “anyone can be a student, but few are good students.” That inspired me to leave NY, return to where I was raised (St. Louis locale), and go back to school.

    I started out as a biology major, and managed to get a scholarship to the top university in the area. While in school however, I’d started reading Carlos Castaneda, and then Zen. I regularly took peyote as part of a consciousness exploring method (a couple of hundred times at least before I stopped 15 years later). I began meditating too, and started having a crisis of faith in science (which I thought could reveal every revealable truth). I was having trouble studying, and finally had to give up my scholarship :cry: .

    I moved to California and took a year off to think about what I wanted to do (plus establish residency, which at the time made state universities almost free). When I returned to college, I started taking philosophy classes. After a year I decided it was boring (too mental, no one ever seemed to decide anything). Empiricism still had the edge in my opinion because they relied on experience and produced results.

    About then I learned to meditate in a new way, a way dedicated to “union.” My former science training and empirical leanings made me wonder why the union experience should be possible at all for consciousness. I was so moved by the experience I decided to change my major to World Religions so I could study its history. To my great surprise, there was a history of the practice stretching back 2500 years, and across several cultures, East and West.

    After getting my degree, I continued studying and meditating daily. I expanded my studies into the history of the regions where union was practiced. I also decided to study Chinese philosophy, particularly Yin Yang theory, which is probably the most enduring of all Chinese concepts (in particular I focused on the I Ching). I also delved into Indian philosophy and history since that is where the practice of union originated.

    I had my own business for a while (a community newpaper), and then decided to go back to school. I got a couple of grad degrees, in the area of psychology, and had an interesting middle life trying out practical application of psychology to business. All the time, however, I kept studying philosophy and the history of union. I got an idea for a book, and started studying specifically for that. Ten years passed.

    Then a few years ago I decided to start writing the book, and began working on it full time. In it I employ a new approach to philosophy which I think is more suited to our current understanding of consciousness and reality. The idea is that the closer philosophy stays to facts and evidence, the more realistic it will be. My personal imput to that has been, much of what you hear from me I actually have attempted to try, or at least find some evidence which indicates the possibility. To me, philosophers who aren't experimenting with or seeking evidence for their own theories aren't worth listening to.

    I joined PF to test out my ideas for the book, which I hope to publish in the near future. I’ve appreciated the feedback I’ve gotten here immensely. If you do see my book one of these days, and we’ve debated, you can be assured you have contributed to my understanding of things (especially patient science mentors and members who’ve compassionately indulged my wonderings, and guided and corrected me when needed).
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
  21. Dec 14, 2004 #20

    Kerrie

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    Les, that is a terrific story, I would love read your book once it is published. :smile:
     
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