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Uses of Philosophy - Is it the most useless subject on Earth?

  1. May 24, 2004 #1
    Penny 4 your thoughts.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2004 #2

    honestrosewater

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    My advice? Duck! :rofl:
     
  4. May 24, 2004 #3
    lol...........
     
  5. May 24, 2004 #4
    Actually, I think it is the most useful. If you think in terms of physics and use Einstein as an example, without philosophy would he have ever come up with the Theory of Relativity? Most groundbreaking advances in science start with philosophy...IMO. The theoretical physicist is also a philosopher...

    My 2 cents... :)
     
  6. May 24, 2004 #5
    Without philosophy, would we have the USA? Ethics? Society would certainly break down without ethics. Would we have a good laugh at the results of Socrates's questions?
     
  7. May 24, 2004 #6
    The value of being useless is the possibility of incorruptibility. Useful subjects get invaded and commandeered by commercial and power interests and risk being taken downhill.

    Actually, philosophy has some limited uses: the basis for some writing and drama. Professors of the subject get employment and even advancement at times.

    I knew someone who, while working on a doctorate in the subject of Philosophy (yes, it was a Ph. D.) at UC Berkeley, got hired temporarily by the Lawrence Laboratory with the title "Philosophy Consultant". Evidently the directorate of the lab thought there was some value in having a philosopher on hand for deep discussions of scientific principles as well as ethics.
     
  8. May 24, 2004 #7
    Intersting what u say quartodeciman.

    Dissident Dan, what you're saying is liek saying without science we wouldn't know hot to invent the wheel or strike up a fire to cook. I partially agree, what i meant was Proper philosophy - deep stuff the common man doesn't care about (not too much anyway).
     
  9. May 24, 2004 #8
    How is going to the moon useful? Useful for science? How is that useful? How is life useful?

    Nobody can tell you what is useful or worth your time, you have to decide that for yourself. :approve:
     
  10. May 24, 2004 #9

    Njorl

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    Professional philosophers are not in high demand. That is not the same as saying philosophers are useless. Philosophy is very useful. Unlike physics though, most of us do our own philosophy. Professional philosophy has a very slow, very weak trickle down effect. We hardly notice it. Do you respect the rights of others to think what they wish to think? That is the result of philosophy. Not all that long ago, people were most assuredly not allowed to think what they wanted. That is so alien to me, I can barely comprehend it.

    Njorl
     
  11. May 24, 2004 #10
    Well summed up Njorl ... i guess 'trickled down' is the key phrase would explain the apparent uselessness of philosophy - as the common man seeks to emulate the great men. What I was trying to get at was the junk-philosophy, that doesn't actually make us think - but rather makes us more close minded. It is learning without practice - scholasticism etc... Philosophy as just a subject - not a living thing.
     
  12. May 24, 2004 #11
    Sometimes things run in the opposite direction. Philosophers had a lot of control over science in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Some were designated as academicians and often wielded the political power of the communist party and government. They could make or break mere scientists and professors, and often did so. All speculations about fundamental science in the former U.S.S.R. were subject to the test of Marxist-Leninist dialectical historical materialism. Anything smacking of idealist or positivist thinking, or thought to be so, was apt to be condemned. It got a bit better by the 1960s, when the government there wanted to keep pace with the theoretical science of the west.
     
  13. May 24, 2004 #12

    honestrosewater

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    "Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason--I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other--my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen."

    -Martin Luther, when he appeared before the German Congress at Worms in 1521.

    Was that not a useful philosophical statement?
     
  14. May 25, 2004 #13
    Philosophy is not a subject, it is something you do!
     
  15. May 25, 2004 #14
    Ah Stevo! But it *is a subject to sum peoiple.
     
  16. May 25, 2004 #15
    I think that the way that typical philosophy classes go about things turns people off to "philsophy". The classes cover topics that the students could care less about and don't go into any explanation of how the information could help the students. That is the wrong way to go about it.
     
  17. May 25, 2004 #16

    jcsd

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    Philosophy today is redundant, all the useful asres have branched off and formed disciplines such as psychology, social science, physics, etc, leaving a philosophers unqualfied to do little more than teach philosophy.

    All philosophers should eb rounded up and made to pull a big wheel around like the one in Conan the Babarian.
     
  18. May 25, 2004 #17
    Wouldn't ethics fall under the general category of philosophy? I consider rthat highly important. Thoughts regrding deitical existence are philosophica and importance. Holding that philosophy is useless is a philosophy.
     
  19. May 26, 2004 #18

    jcsd

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    No I'm holding thta the subject of philospohy and professional philosphers are useless in the modern age
     
  20. May 26, 2004 #19

    Njorl

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    While no one ever says,"Hmm, we've got a problem here. We better call in a philosopher!", there are material benefits to studying philosophy. At good schools, the philosophy major is a challenge. Doing well in it is a demonstration of the ability to think well and think critically. Excelling in one of these programs is probably the surest path to getting into a good law school, and helps getting into grad school for other majors.

    Njorl
     
  21. May 26, 2004 #20

    jcsd

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    I still think my big wheel idea is a good one. I'm going to contact the Governor New Mexico and discuss the possibilty of building it there.
     
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