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Help Me Find My Philosophy

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  • Matthew Kramer
    Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don t know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I think that I m a moderate
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 22, 2003
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      Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don't
      know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I think
      that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
      Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain. Anyway,
      do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
      profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of the
      dominant philosophic theories I best fit?
    • bluerb
      Hello, I don t know of such a test. Political party identification isn t too helpful either, since all major political parties have platforms rent with
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 23, 2003
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        Hello,

        I don't know of such a test. Political party identification isn't
        too helpful either, since all major political parties have platforms
        rent with contradictions and compromise. That is, none proceed
        consistently from fundamental philosophical principles.

        Probably your best bet is to pick up a survey of philosophy. Or, if
        you'd like to state specifically what your convictions are, I'm sure
        this group would be happy to suggest further readings.

        Best,
        Blue
      • jgbardis
        ... think ... Anyway, ... Read Plato
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 23, 2003
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          --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Kramer" <matthew@c...> wrote:
          > Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don't
          > know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I
          think
          > that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
          > Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain.
          Anyway,
          > do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
          > profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of the
          > dominant philosophic theories I best fit?


          Read Plato
        • Leon McQuaid
          ... Then read Nietzsche (the anti-platanist)... actually please don t read Nietzsche untill you are steeped in Philosophical thinking. Most people have
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 23, 2003
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            >From: "jgbardis" <jgbardis@...>
            >Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
            >To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: [Sartre] Re: Help Me Find My Philosophy
            >Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 23:18:07 -0000
            >
            >--- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Kramer" <matthew@c...> wrote:
            > > Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don't
            > > know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I
            >think
            > > that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
            > > Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain.
            >Anyway,
            > > do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
            > > profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of the
            > > dominant philosophic theories I best fit?
            >
            >
            >Read Plato
            >
            Then read Nietzsche (the anti-platanist)... actually please don't read
            Nietzsche untill you are steeped in Philosophical thinking. Most people
            have horrible missinterpertations of him.

            The anchients are pretty cool (though I really am no authority on them)... I
            like the germans like Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Heidigger.

            If I were you I'd stay away from the Post modernist for now. Personally I
            think that the best philosphers are the existentialist like Sartre,
            Nietzsche, Heidigger, Camus, Dofstoyefsky.

            If you want to be bored to tears you can read some Mill, Quine, Hobbes,
            Putnam, (really most things british or north american). Not to say that
            they're worthless... just really really boring.

            Just pick up a book that carelessly glosses over alot of philosophers. I
            think the only way to learn things is to start with a stupid bastardized
            version of the general ideas, then gradually take things more and more
            seriously (but never too seriously of course. For if you take things too
            seriously you may just fall into the dreaded 'analytic tradition')

            My first reader was a little 150 page book called "get a grip on
            philosophy." I read it twice... very short and sweet.

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          • jgbardis
            ... don t ... the ... read ... people ... them)... I ... Nietzsche was really an anti-Schopenhauerian (although he loved Schopenhaur). You really can t
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 24, 2003
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              --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "Leon McQuaid" <leonpmcquaid@h...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > >From: "jgbardis" <jgbardis@m...>
              > >Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              > >To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              > >Subject: [Sartre] Re: Help Me Find My Philosophy
              > >Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 23:18:07 -0000
              > >
              > >--- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Kramer" <matthew@c...>
              wrote:
              > > > Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I
              don't
              > > > know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I
              > >think
              > > > that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
              > > > Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain.
              > >Anyway,
              > > > do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
              > > > profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of
              the
              > > > dominant philosophic theories I best fit?
              > >
              > >
              > >Read Plato
              > >
              > Then read Nietzsche (the anti-platanist)... actually please don't
              read
              > Nietzsche untill you are steeped in Philosophical thinking. Most
              people
              > have horrible missinterpertations of him.
              >
              > The anchients are pretty cool (though I really am no authority on
              them)... I
              > like the germans like Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Heidigger.


              Nietzsche was really an anti-Schopenhauerian (although he loved
              Schopenhaur). You really can't understand Nietzsche unless you've
              read Schopenhauer. But to understand Schopenhauer you need to know
              Kant's first critique (and Plato too if possible).

              For modern philosophy the place to start is definitely
              Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason".

              John
            • Tommy Beavitt
              Hello Matthew, ... Thanks for your interest in philosophy. However, this isn t a general philosophical forum but one specifically aimed at those interested in
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 24, 2003
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                Hello Matthew,

                At 11:31 pm +0000 22/6/03, Matthew Kramer wrote:
                >Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don't
                >know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I think
                >that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
                >Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain. Anyway,
                >do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
                >profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of the
                >dominant philosophic theories I best fit?

                Thanks for your interest in philosophy. However, this isn't a general
                philosophical forum but one specifically aimed at those interested in
                the philosophy of Sarte, ie. existentialism and, to a lesser extent,
                Marxism.

                I shall therefore "answer" your question within the scope of Sartrean
                existentialism and, as you will see, this will show that the question
                itself is probably bogus.

                First of all, your declared political affiliations. It is probably
                meaningless to try and trace these back to some philosophical
                foundation. A relationship between philosophy and politics does exist
                - and there are thinkers active in politics who found their political
                activity on philosophical principles. But this is the exception
                rather than the rule. Particularly when we are talking about party
                politics such as exists in the US and the UK, what we are talking
                about is political SCIENCE, the mechanics of obtaining power through
                an exercise in democracy. Political science does not need to concern
                itself too much with philosophy in order to obtain a result.

                There has been some discussion on ethics recently on this board. Look
                back through the archives by approximately one week and you will see
                some comparisons between deontology, utilitarianism and Marxism with
                reference to Sartre.

                With reference to your query about on-line personality/philosophy
                profile tests, well, this is an area where a reference to Sartrean
                ontology might prove enlightening. First of all, it is a myth that
                personality tests reveal any inherent truth to which can then be
                referred. Because existence is prior to essence, any results obtained
                through the taking of tests, can only reveal certain aspects of the
                structure of consciousness as it is manifested through the cognitive
                ability of a subject to negotiate the linguistic aspects of the
                tests. It is misplaced to imagine that tests can tell you anything
                about how you "actually are". Because what you "actually are" is
                precisely nothing.

                Having understood this (and I suspect that, unless you have thought
                through some of the philosophical issues to which this post refers,
                you will not immediately understand it) it will be possible to start
                taking "philosophical tests", preferably through reading and debate,
                to clarify your understanding of philosophical identity. One
                suggested starting point is a commentary about Descartes. You will
                find literally hundreds of these on Amazon or elsewhere. Descartes
                was famously responsible for kick-starting the Enlightment by
                suggesting that reality begins with man (and individual man at that):
                "I think therefore I am". Much of what has ensued in philosophy since
                has been a refinement of this basic anthropocentric position.

                Sartre took issue with Descartes and many of his commentators by
                drawing our attention to the assumption contained in Descartes' "I".
                Mainstream post-enlightenment philosophy, especially those strands of
                thought within the "Anglo-Saxon" school predominant in the UK/US,
                tend to gloss over this point. "I am what I am" is usually thought to
                suffice. But existentialism refuses to let this pass. There is a
                facticity of being, agrees Sartre, to which a human conforms: like
                any other object, a human can be said to exist. But as what? To
                describe a human being in physiological terms, ie. in terms of its
                DNA, vital organs, brain neurons etc. quite patently does not
                suffice. Sartre resolved this by insisting that a human is both a
                being in-itself, similar to any other collection of matter in a
                discrete object, to which - for example - the law of gravity applies,
                but he or she is also a being-for-itself, that constitutes
                him/herself "as" something according to the world in which he or she
                finds him or herself. This ability on the part of a being-for-itself
                to constitute him or herself "as something" is by far the most
                salient aspect of a human being.

                There have been a number of good suggestions from other Sartre
                contributors which I would like to endorse. I agree with jgbardis who
                said:

                At 8:51 am +0000 24/6/03, jgbardis wrote:
                >For modern philosophy the place to start is definitely
                >Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason".

                I am reading this at the moment and it is quite a good read as well
                as being one of those pivotal texts in the history of philosophy.

                Hope this helps.

                Tommy

                >Hi. I recently discovered an interest in philosophy, but I don't
                >know much about the main philosophical theories. Politically I think
                >that I'm a moderate Republican with some Libertarian sympathy.
                >Ethically, I think I'm a Utilitarian, but I am less certain. Anyway,
                >do any of you know of some on-line personality/philosophy
                >profile "tests" that I can take to help me determine which of the
                >dominant philosophic theories I best fit?


                --
                Join us at Communicationalism, the attempt to find a basis for ethics
                in communication rather than survival
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/communicationalism/
              • Leon McQuaid
                well... though Nietzsche was anti-Schopenhauerian, he did call himself an anti-christian; and he did call christianity something along the lines of
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 25, 2003
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                  well... though Nietzsche was anti-Schopenhauerian, he did call himself an
                  anti-christian; and he did call christianity something along the lines of
                  "dumbed-down neo-platanism for the masses".
                  As for Schopenhauer... I thought he was mainly characterized as the
                  essential anti-Hegelian.
                  >
                  >Nietzsche was really an anti-Schopenhauerian (although he loved
                  >Schopenhaur). You really can't understand Nietzsche unless you've
                  >read Schopenhauer. But to understand Schopenhauer you need to know
                  >Kant's first critique (and Plato too if possible).
                  >
                  >For modern philosophy the place to start is definitely
                  >Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason".
                  >
                  >John
                  >
                  >

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