Hello. I have just read the introduction to this site and was interested in the "paradox" you mention -- that everyone confronts philosophical issues but not everyone has the opportunity to learn philosophy.
In my ears, this statement has a twinge of arrogance about it, and my question is whether you think philosophy must, almost necessarily, make its practitioners arrogant.
In the first place, regarding the claim itself: it seems that far from everyone confronts philosophical issues in their lives. Many people are confronted with practical issues, like how to get themselves out of poverty, or save their daughter from leukemia. Philosophy has nothing to offer here, it seems.
Secondly, still regarding the claim that everyone confronts philosophical issues: while it may be true that many people (though probably mostly wealthy people, no?) confront SOME philosophical issues, there seem to be a great many philosophical issues that would never occur to people to be interested in. Issues in the...
Why do I ask questions that I already know MY answer to? Why would I change my mind if I am already sure that, for example, 'knowledge comes from experience' or that, 'there is no life after this one'? Are there any instances in which any of the philosophers on this site have radically changed their minds or caused others to change theirs?
I have always been curious how the typical, bright Western philosopher views Eastern philosophers and sages. Quite a few sages and philosophers of the East seem to feel as if they have attained 'truth' or 'enlightenment'. I wonder sometimes what a Western philosopher is hoping to reach or attain in life through philosophy. Is it the same 'truth' or 'enlightenment' that the sages of the East strive for? Is there a common goal between the two different philosophies? It seems to me as if the stress of Western philosophy is on sound logic and reason and clarity of thought. Many times, this is not the stress of Eastern thought. It stresses intuition, metaphors, meditation, and faith (at least in Vedanta). So I guess what I'm really interested in is, does the Western philosopher believe that a 'sage' or great philosopher of the East has truly attained truth or enlightenment (even though the emphasis and stresses in 'philosophy' are very different [often times])? Or, rather is the eastern sage or philosopher...
A very popular view in academic philosophy is that knowledge of the history of philosophy is important for doing contemporary work in philosophy. But so much of the history of philosophy is filled with bad arguments and false theses, which serious people would never subscribe to.
How does painstaking familiarity with ancient mistakes and false propositions help us do philosophy today? It seems to me that false claims cannot ground anything -- or add anything valuable to what we know now. They are false!
I have long wondered of some of the questions I have seen on this website and I am glad to see them answered after discovering this website. But I too have a question, more personal though. This message was not written with intent to be posted but I just wanted to ask everyone this. I have been following this site for a couple of weeks now. I am a sophomore in high school. My Algebra teacher often tells me things that make me "freak out". He once got so deep in this conversation about reality and the universe he just said "It gets to the point where you have to ask yourself, Is any of this any real?". My mind have been permanently scarred by thoughts of reality and I find myself shaking at night, scared, thinking of all these things especially while reading questions on the website. I have recently been showing my friend this site and he has had the same experiences as me. Now to get to the question. Have any of you almost "Lost your mind"? I mean like has your life been changed forever after...
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