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Thread: Philosophical Beliefs

  1. #1 Philosophical Beliefs 
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    Solipsism is the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists." Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside the mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist.

    Nihilism is the philosophical position that values do not exist but rather are falsely invented. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without meaning, purpose or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not exist, and subsequently there are no moral values with which to uphold a rule or to logically prefer one action over another.

    Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences.

    Stoicism was a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early third century B.C. The stoics considered destructive emotions to be the result of errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not have such emotions. Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how he behaved.

    Plato's Theory of Forms asserts that Forms (or Ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. The Forms are the only true objects of study that can provide us with genuine knowledge.

    Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry, where this is not to be expected. Thus, some philosophers may hold that the Universe is really just one thing, despite its many appearances and diversities.

    Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to overall utility: that is, its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. Utilitarianism is described by the phrase "the greatest good for the greatest number of people".

    Structuralism is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze a specific field (for instance, mythology) as a complex system of interrelated parts.

    Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. 341Ėc. 270 BCE), founded around 307 BCE. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention.

    Positivism is a philosophy which holds that the only authentic knowledge is that based on actual sense experience. Metaphysical speculation is avoided.

    Hegelianism is a philosophy developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel which can be summed up by Hegel's "the rational alone is real," which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories.


    Which of these do you agree and disagree with?


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  3. #2 Re: Philosophical Beliefs 
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    I agree with:
    Solipism
    Stoicism
    Utilitarianism

    As for the nihilists, fulfill your philosophy and kill yourselves.


    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Platoís forms have led Humanity (Western Division) on a wild goose chase for millennia. Itís time to get real.

    What about Pragmatism?

    And solipsim, determinism, nihilism, probably several other -isms, they may all contain some physical truth, but are worthless as a philosophy for living. Neuroscience enables us to dig deeper into how the brain works to produce mind, but it doesn't help with how to live life, except perhaps (and importantly) to dispel the cartesian myth. The three isms I mentioned above can all in principle be elucidated by science, so the scientific part and the philosophical part should really be thought about separately.
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  5. #4 Re: Philosophical Beliefs 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Which of these do you agree and disagree with?
    Solipsism No. With regards to epistemology I am a critical realist. This means that I believe there is a independent physical reality out there and it is the source of the data which our perceptual process gives meaning to, so that even though this data passes through the perceptive filter of our beliefs, it nevertheless does press limits on how we can interpret the data. This is the fundamental experience of the scientist that however much we might succeed in forcing reality into our perceptual categories it occasionally defies our rational process and forces us to conclusions that we find surprising and even incredible.

    On the other hand, I also believe that this physical reality is not the totality of reality and the subjective aspect of reality (obviously different for each person) cannot be objectively examined for the perceptions, beliefs, and will of that person is a central part of its nature.

    Nihilism No. With regards to ethics I am a pluralist. A pluralist is a median position between absolutism and relativism, who recognizes that many elements of morality and ethics are arbitrary convention, but who also recognize that there is also a hard core of absolutes underneath all this which ultimately derive from considerations of logical consistency. I furthermore believe that if you seek these absolutes in God then it is a part of His necessary knowledge and not a product of His abitrary decisions (and that means that arguments from morality or ethics for the existence of God have no objective validity).

    Determinism No. I recognize and declare that physical determinism is certainly dead, but I do realize that the concept of free will makes no sense unless you go outside the bounds of time-ordered causality. Therefore I do, since the concept of free will and life is at the heart of my whole philosophical outlook.

    Stoicism No. For an accurate understanding of reality and human existence one must not a-priori reject and dismiss some of the data - i.e. emotions and feelings. The objective and the subjective are both important because reality itself is not completely objective. Objective reality, as we know it, is in fact an abstraction, because our immediate experience of reality is subjective, BUT that doesn't mean that the objective physical reality does not exist or is completely unknowable.

    Plato's Theory of Forms No, modern psychology can do better than this. Perception is a process by which we make sense of sensual data which has as it origin or medium a material existence and our beliefs are a part of the process filtering and altering what we sense in the process of making sense of it. However I do embrace a modern scientific version of Aristotles matter-form ontology, which could be better named substance-form or energy-form ontology.

    Monism Yes and no. I am a monist in the sense that I believe that there is one stuff, i.e. a kind of nondifferentiated "energy" which is the pure potentiality of being, but not that there is a single form of that energy. I believe the physical universe is a single form or structure of energy, but there are forms of "energy" which are not a part of it, but which exist according to their own nature apart from the physical and these are not all a part of some greater whole. Thus the physical universe is really just one thing but that is not the totality of existence, which is not all one thing - thus ultimately there is a unity of substance (all is of the same stuff, energy) but a plurality of form.

    Utilitarianism No. On the question of normative ethics, I am a virtue ethicist, and that means that the primary and most important question of ethics is in regards to what kind of person does an action or choice make you.

    Structuralism Yes and no. Structures are useful tools and so we should indeed construct them but we should also be able to go beyond them and see things from the different perspective of a completely different structure. So guess you could call me a pluralistic structuralist. I consider deconstruction to be an unimaginative waste of everyones time.

    Epicureanism No.

    Positivism NO! Since perception is a process by which BELIEFS derive meaning from sense experience, that means that metaphysics is essential and unavoidable.

    Hegelianism No. Besides being a critical realist I am also a pragmatist. The pragmatist believes that the effects of believing something is part of its truth value. This means that rationality is not always the bottom line, for the truth of something cannot always be determined purely by rational means but sometimes requires the more pragmatic approach of just seeing if it works for you. This is also a theory of knowledge which is more consistent with evolution as opposed to an insistence that all must be designed.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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    Metaphysical solipism
    Nihilism
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  7. #6 Re: Philosophical Beliefs 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I agree with:
    Solipism
    Stoicism
    Utilitarianism

    As for the nihilists, fulfill your philosophy and kill yourselves.
    Its ironic that you agree with Solipism.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    How is that ironic?
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  9. #8  
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    Closest to:
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    I believe in existential determinism

    As to ethical theories, I tend to be a supporter of libertarianism.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    stoic nihilism: there is nothing until we make it, through will and not desire
    structural monism: knowledge of Many without knowledge of One is ignorance
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Time to add more "isms" to the list? (even avoiding/skiping the political religious and theological ones, there are still too many for 1 post, so here is a seclection)

    First those I have already mentioned but not according to my explanation:

    Absolutism - the position that in a particular domain of thought, all statements in that domain are either absolutely true or absolutely false: none is true for some cultures or eras while false for other cultures or eras. These statements are called absolute truths. A common reaction by those who newly criticize absolutism is the absolute truth statement: Absolute truths do not exist. Moral absolutism is the position that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.

    Critical realism - a view that certain types of sense data accurately represent a mind-independent reality while other types do not. A key example is the primary/secondary quality distinction.

    Pragmatism - philosophy which originated in the United States in the late 1800s. Pragmatism is characterized by the insistence on consequences, utility and practicality as vital components of meaning and truth. Pragmatism objects to the view that human concepts and intellect represent reality, and therefore stands in opposition to both formalist and rationalist schools of philosophy. Rather, pragmatism holds that it is only in the struggle of intelligent organisms with the surrounding environment that theories acquire significance, and only with a theory's success in this struggle that it becomes true.

    Relativism - the view that the meaning and value of human beliefs and behaviors have no absolute reference. Relativists claim that humans understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of, for example, their historical and cultural context. Philosophers identify many different kinds of relativism depending upon what allegedly depends on something and what something depends on. Moral relativism is the belief that there is no one universal set of morals; i.e., that each individual has his or her own moral beliefs, usually based on personal experience or perception, and that those morals are valid and true for those individuals.

    Pluralism - Many uses and definitions and mine was not a very standard one. For example, in the area of philosophy of the mind, distinguishes a position where one believes there to be ultimately many kinds of substances in the world, as opposed to monism and dualism. In ethics, value-pluralism is the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other.

    Deconstructionism - school and a set of methods of textual criticism which aim at understanding the assumptions and ideas that form the basis for thought and belief. Also called "deconstruction", its central concern is a radical critique of the metaphysics of the Western philosophical tradition, in which it identifies a logicentrism or "metaphysics of presence" which holds that speech-thought (the logos) is a privileged, ideal, and self-present entity, through which all discourse and meaning are derived. This logocentrism is the primary target of deconstruction.


    And now some additional ones

    Cynicism - was originally the philosophy of a group of ancient Greeks called the Cynics (main article), founded by Antisthenes. Nowadays the word generally describes the opinions of those inclined to disbelieve in human sincerity, in virtue, or in altruism: individuals who maintain that only self-interest motivates human behavior. A modern cynic typically has a highly contemptuous attitude towards social norms, especially those which serve more of a ritualistic purpose than a practical one, and will tend to dismiss a substantial proportion of popular beliefs, conventional morality and accepted wisdom as irrelevant or obsolete nonsense.

    Consequentialism - the belief that what ultimately matters in evaluating actions or policies of action are the consequences that result from choosing one action or policy rather than the alternative.

    Deontologism - ethical theory considered solely on duty and rights, where one has an unchanging moral obligation to abide by a set of defined principles. Thus, the ends of any action never justify the means in this ethical system. If someone were to do their moral duty, then it would not matter if it had negative consequences. Therefore, consequentialism is the philosophical antithesis of this theory.

    Dualism - a set of beliefs which begins with the claim that the mental and the physical have a fundamentally different nature. It is contrasted with varying kinds of monism, including materialism and phenomenalism. Dualism is one answer to the mind-body problem. Pluralism holds that there are even more kinds of events or things in the world.

    Existentialism - the philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existing, that are primary. That is, they cannot be reduced to or explained by a natural-scientific approach or any approach that attempts to detach itself from or rise above these themes.

    Holism - the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its constituent parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave. The general principle of holism is concisely summarized by the phrase "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." Holism is seen as the opposite of reductionism.

    Hylozoism - the philosophical conjecture that all or some material things possess life, or that all life is inseparable from matter.

    Idealism - the doctrine that reality or knowledge is founded on ideas (mental experience). Depending on the specific ideal, idealism is usually juxtaposed with materialism or realism.

    Optimism - historically, the philosophical position that this is the best of all possible worlds, usually associated with Gottfried Leibniz.

    Materialism - the philosophical view that the only thing that can truly be said to 'exist' is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of 'material' and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.

    Phenomenalism - in epistemology and the philosophy of perception, phenomenalism is the view that physical objects do not exist as things in themselves but only as perceptual phenomena or sensory stimuli (e.g. redness, hardness, softness, sweetness, etc.) situated in time and in space. In particular, phenomenalism reduces talk about physical objects in the external world to talk about bundles of sense-data.

    Postmodernism - philosophical movement characterized by the postmodern criticism and analysis of Western philosophy. Beginning as a critique of Continental philosophy, it was heavily influenced by phenomenology, structuralism and existentialism, and by the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. It was also influenced to some degree by Ludwig Wittgenstein's later criticisms of analytic philosophy. Within postmodern philosophy, there are numerous interrelated fields, including deconstruction and several fields beginning with the prefix "post-", such as post-structuralism, post-Marxism, and post-feminism. In particular postmodern philosophy has spawned a huge literature of critical theory.

    Transcendentalism - a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that advocates that there is an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through a knowledgeable intuitive awareness that is conditional upon the individual. The concept emerged in New England in the early-to mid-nineteenth century. It is sometimes called "American Transcendentalism" to distinguish it from other uses of the word transcendental. It began as a protest against the general state of culture and society at the time, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church which was taught at Harvard Divinity School. The term transcendentalism sometimes serves as shorthand for "transcendental idealism" - a Kantian view according to which our experience is not about the things as they are in themselves, but about the things as they appear to us.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  13. #12 Re: Philosophical Beliefs 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravendell
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I agree with:
    Solipism
    Stoicism
    Utilitarianism

    As for the nihilists, fulfill your philosophy and kill yourselves.
    Its ironic that you agree with Solipism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    How is that ironic?
    You are the only person on the forum who doesn't recognise your immense ego.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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