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Thread: "The Value of Philosophy" - Bertrand Russel

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    Default "The Value of Philosophy" - Bertrand Russel

    I had to read this for one of my college classes and I recognized right away that this excerp is totally Ne dominant and I was like woah! I really like this class!

    Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Philosophy" Chapter XV

    The Problems of Philosophy[/U]]Having now come to the end of our brief and very incomplete review of the problems of philosophy, it will be well to consider, in conclusion, what is the value of philosophy and why it ought to be studied. It is the more necessary to consider this question, in view of the fact that many men, under the influence of science or of practical affairs, are inclined to doubt whether philosophy is anything better than innocent but useless trifling, hair-splitting distinctions, and controversies on matters concerning which knowledge is impossible.

    This view of philosophy appears to result, partly from a wrong conception of the ends of life, partly from a wrong conception of the kind of goods which philosophy strives to achieve. Physical science, through the medium of inventions, is useful to innumerable people who are wholly ignorant of it; thus the study of physical science is to be recommended, not only, or primarily, because of the effect on the student, but rather because of the effect on mankind in general. This utility does not belong to philosophy. If the study of philosophy has any value at all for others than students of philosophy, it must be only indirectly, through its effects upon the lives of those who study it. It is in these effects, therefore, if anywhere, that the value of philosophy must be primarily sought.

    But further, if we are not to fail in our endeavour to determine the value of philosophy, we must first free our minds from the prejudices of what are wrongly called 'practical' men. The 'practical' man, as this word is often used, is one who recognizes only material needs, who realizes that men must have food for the body, but is oblivious of the necessity of providing food for the mind. If all men were well off, if poverty and disease had been reduced to their lowest possible point, there would still remain much to be done to produce a valuable society; and even in the existing world the goods of the mind are at least as important as the goods of the body. It is exclusively among the goods of the mind that the value of philosophy is to be found; and only those who are not indifferent to these goods can be persuaded that the study of philosophy is not a waste of time.

    Philosophy, like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge. The knowledge it aims at is the kind of knowledge which gives unity and system to the body of the sciences, and the kind which results from a critical examination of the grounds of our convictions, prejudices, and beliefs. But it cannot be maintained that philosophy has had any very great measure of success in its attempts to provide definite answers to its questions. If you ask a mathematician, a mineralogist, a historian, or any other man of learning, what definite body of truths has been ascertained by his science, his answer will last as long as you are willing to listen. But if you put the same question to a philosopher, he will, if he is candid, have to confess that his study has not achieved positive results such as have been achieved by other sciences. It is true that this is partly accounted for by the fact that, as soon as definite knowledge concerning any subject becomes possible, this subject ceases to be called philosophy, and becomes a separate science. The whole study of the heavens, which now belongs to astronomy, was once included in philosophy; Newton's great work was called 'the mathematical principles of natural philosophy'. Similarly, the study of the human mind, which was a part of philosophy, has now been separated from philosophy and has become the science of psychology. Thus, to a great extent, the uncertainty of philosophy is more apparent than real: those questions which are already capable of definite answers are placed in the sciences, while those only to which, at present, no definite answer can be given, remain to form the residue which is called philosophy.

    This is, however, only a part of the truth concerning the uncertainty of philosophy. There are many questions -- and among them those that are of the profoundest interest to our spiritual life -- which, so far as we can see, must remain insoluble to the human intellect unless its powers become of quite a different order from what they are now. Has the universe any unity of plan or purpose, or is it a fortuitous concourse of atoms? Is consciousness a permanent part of the universe, giving hope of indefinite growth in wisdom, or is it a transitory accident on a small planet on which life must ultimately become impossible? Are good and evil of importance to the universe or only to man? Such questions are asked by philosophy, and variously answered by various philosophers. But it would seem that, whether answers be otherwise discoverable or not, the answers suggested by philosophy are none of them demonstrably true. Yet, however slight may be the hope of discovering an answer, it is part of the business of philosophy to continue the consideration of such questions, to make us aware of their importance, to examine all the approaches to them, and to keep alive that speculative interest in the universe which is apt to be killed by confining ourselves to definitely ascertainable knowledge.

    Many philosophers, it is true, have held that philosophy could establish the truth of certain answers to such fundamental questions. They have supposed that what is of most importance in religious beliefs could be proved by strict demonstration to be true. In order to judge of such attempts, it is necessary to take a survey of human knowledge, and to form an opinion as to its methods and its limitations. On such a subject it would be unwise to pronounce dogmatically; but if the investigations of our previous chapters have not led us astray, we shall be compelled to renounce the hope of finding philosophical proofs of religious beliefs. We cannot, therefore, include as part of the value of philosophy any definite set of answers to such questions. Hence, once more, the value of philosophy must not depend upon any supposed body of definitely ascertainable knowledge to be acquired by those who study it.

    The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find, as we saw in our opening chapters, that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.

    Apart from its utility in showing unsuspected possibilities, philosophy has a value -- perhaps its chief value -- through the greatness of the objects which it contemplates, and the freedom from narrow and personal aims resulting from this contemplation. The life of the instinctive man is shut up within the circle of his private interests: family and friends may be included, but the outer world is not regarded except as it may help or hinder what comes within the circle of instinctive wishes. In such a life there is something feverish and confined, in comparison with which the philosophic life is calm and free. The private world of instinctive interests is a small one, set in the midst of a great and powerful world which must, sooner or later, lay our private world in ruins. Unless we can so enlarge our interests as to include the whole outer world, we remain like a garrison in a beleagured fortress, knowing that the enemy prevents escape and that ultimate surrender is inevitable. In such a life there is no peace, but a constant strife between the insistence of desire and the powerlessness of will. In one way or another, if our life is to be great and free, we must escape this prison and this strife.

    One way of escape is by philosophic contemplation. Philosophic contemplation does not, in its widest survey, divide the universe into two hostile camps -- friends and foes, helpful and hostile, good and bad -- it views the whole impartially. Philosophic contemplation, when it is unalloyed, does not aim at proving that the rest of the universe is akin to man. All acquisition of knowledge is an enlargement of the Self, but this enlargement is best attained when it is not directly sought. It is obtained when the desire for knowledge is alone operative, by a study which does not wish in advance that its objects should have this or that character, but adapts the Self to the characters which it finds in its objects. This enlargement of Self is not obtained when, taking the Self as it is, we try to show that the world is so similar to this Self that knowledge of it is possible without any admission of what seems alien. The desire to prove this is a form of self-assertion and, like all self-assertion, it is an obstacle to the growth of Self which it desires, and of which the Self knows that it is capable. Self-assertion, in philosophic speculation as elsewhere, views the world as a means to its own ends; thus it makes the world of less account than Self, and the Self sets bounds to the greatness of its goods. In contemplation, on the contrary, we start from the not-Self, and through its greatness the boundaries of Self are enlarged; through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some share in infinity.

    For this reason greatness of soul is not fostered by those philosophies which assimilate the universe to Man. Knowledge is a form of union of Self and not-Self; like all union, it is impaired by dominion, and therefore by any attempt to force the universe into conformity with what we find in ourselves. There is a widespread philosophical tendency towards the view which tells us that Man is the measure of all things, that truth is man-made, that space and time and the world of universals are properties of the mind, and that, if there be anything not created by the mind, it is unknowable and of no account for us. This view, if our previous discussions were correct, is untrue; but in addition to being untrue, it has the effect of robbing philosophic contemplation of all that gives it value, since it fetters contemplation to Self. What it calls knowledge is not a union with the not-Self, but a set of prejudices, habits, and desires, making an impenetrable veil between us and the world beyond. The man who finds pleasure in such a theory of knowledge is like the man who never leaves the domestic circle for fear his word might not be law.

    The true philosophic contemplation, on the contrary, finds its satisfaction in every enlargement of the not-Self, in everything that magnifies the objects contemplated, and thereby the subject contemplating. Everything, in contemplation, that is personal or private, everything that depends upon habit, self-interest, or desire, distorts the object, and hence impairs the union which the intellect seeks. By thus making a barrier between subject and object, such personal and private things become a prison to the intellect. The free intellect will see as God might see, without a here and now, without hopes and fears, without the trammels of customary beliefs and traditional prejudices, calmly, dispassionately, in the sole and exclusive desire of knowledge -- knowledge as impersonal, as purely contemplative, as it is possible for man to attain. Hence also the free intellect will value more the abstract and universal knowledge into which the accidents of private history do not enter, than the knowledge brought by the senses, and dependent, as such knowledge must be, upon an exclusive and personal point of view and a body whose sense-organs distort as much as they reveal.

    The mind which has become accustomed to the freedom and impartiality of philosophic contemplation will preserve something of the same freedom and impartiality in the world of action and emotion. It will view its purposes and desires as parts of the whole, with the absence of insistence that results from seeing them as infinitesimal fragments in a world of which all the rest is unaffected by any one man's deeds. The impartiality which, in contemplation, is the unalloyed desire for truth, is the very same quality of mind which, in action, is justice, and in emotion is that universal love which can be given to all, and not only to those who are judged useful or admirable. Thus contemplation enlarges not only the objects of our thoughts, but also the objects of our actions and our affections: it makes us citizens of the universe, not only of one walled city at war with all the rest. In this citizenship of the universe consists man's true freedom, and his liberation from the thraldom of narrow hopes and fears.

    Thus, to sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy; Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

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    At least that is more enjoyable/easier to read than this other foul writting. I'm in "reason and religion", and clowns are trying to justify god's existance as the first cause and what not through circular logics...

    They are saying Kant is wrong, and......... Kant was an INTj, so...... imagine how I feel
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    Gotta love circular. That is the most maddening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadae
    Gotta love circular. That is the most maddening.

    I think part of my purpose on this world is to get people submit to the awesome power that is


    j/k


    I was just kidding, about that just kidding part there....
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    Well, Russell is ENTp, complete with his writings that are so meandering you'd wish he'd just get to the point.

    But seriously, don't say philosophy is only for Ne types (which you didn't but others have.) Wittgenstein has done much more in-depth and complex philosophy, stuff that even Russell couldn't handle, and Witt was INTp.
    Binary or dichotomous systems, although regulated by a principle, are among the most artificial arrangements that have ever been invented. -- William Swainson, A Treatise on the Geography and Classification of Animals (1835)

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    Does anyone know of any INFp philosophers? (Plato?)
    Lyricist

    "Supposing the entity of the poet to be represented by the number 10, it is certain that a chemist, on analyzing it, would find it to be composed of one part interest and nine parts vanity." (Victor Hugo)

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    Quote Originally Posted by UDP
    At least that is more enjoyable/easier to read than this other foul writting. I'm in "reason and religion", and clowns are trying to justify god's existance as the first cause and what not through circular logics...

    They are saying Kant is wrong, and......... Kant was an INTj, so...... imagine how I feel
    oh please. there are atheist INTjs and religious INTjs. the common theme is that INTjs contemplate the question of existence and faith - not all of us reach the same conclusions.

    and even if an INTj agrees with a conclusion derived from faulty logic, he/she will still likely disagree with the person - how you derive the conclusion is as important as the conclusion itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirana
    how you derive the conclusion is as important as the conclusion itself.
    can I have an Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy MEN
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    This writing his okay;

    I find however the longer essays almost unreadable.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone
    Well, Russell is ENTp, complete with his writings that are so meandering you'd wish he'd just get to the point.

    But seriously, don't say philosophy is only for Ne types (which you didn't but others have.) Wittgenstein has done much more in-depth and complex philosophy, stuff that even Russell couldn't handle, and Witt was INTp.
    Who said that philosophy was just for Ne types? And I disagree, I think Russel pretty much nailed it on the head as far as philosophy is concerned (or rather as far as his school of philosophy is concerned.)

    On the other hand, I think that Ne dominant types are the only one who can really appreciate Russel and know where he is coming from. Others will probably just give a big "HUH?" and totally miss the point of what he is trying to say. I have not read much from Wittgenstein, so I can not really comment much on whatever it was he has witten...

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    which college class gives out such interesting reading material?

    i've read philosophy since i was a teenager, and it has engrossed me ever since. my dad probably encouraged it - the two of us are the only ones in the family who would happily delve into philosophy, metaphysics, religion, myth, ancient history and archaeology. and for nothing but the sheer interest of it, too.

    but i've mostly been limited by availability of philosophical works, though i've read a wide range. and now there's an additional restriction on time. i have too little reflective time after i started work, and so many things i want to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadae
    Gotta love circular. That is the most maddening.

    It's a good thing this came up in my search for my other old thread.

    I actually get what you mean now.




    ....... (skank)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirana
    which college class gives out such interesting reading material?

    i've read philosophy since i was a teenager, and it has engrossed me ever since. my dad probably encouraged it - the two of us are the only ones in the family who would happily delve into philosophy, metaphysics, religion, myth, ancient history and archaeology. and for nothing but the sheer interest of it, too.

    but i've mostly been limited by availability of philosophical works, though i've read a wide range. and now there's an additional restriction on time. i have too little reflective time after i started work, and so many things i want to do.

    I'm pretty sure I said this elsewhere, and I was so correct that I just feel satisfied stating it all over again: I rented a 6 VHS set of "Eastern and Western Philosophy". All of Western philosophy focused mainly on the Theistic version of God, for the last 2 centuries. The majority of what was said was complete BS, and a waste of time (I cannot imagine how much of a waste of time it would have been to actually live in a time period where everything, science philosophy and thought in general, was so dictated by the church)... but I guess failure is necessary sometimes. The Eastern 3 VHS part was good, but suprisingly limited and somewhat biased in my opinion.

    Maybe it was just the risidual disgust from the "Western """Philosophy""" " tapes that lingers so much.


    I never liked philosophy, because until recently, I never found anyone I could agree with. Even then, I prefer Eastern. At least Kant is an INTj, and Hume is a thinker. But I am in no way compelled to study philsophy, or any old doctrines of the past, unless they come up as being relevant somehow in my doings.

    Oh, and for the record, I'm very slowly reading "The Tao of Physics", an inadvertant recomendation by my physics chair. I've only got a few pages into it, but it sounds like a "UDP" book so far........ I could be wrong, though. We'll see.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UDP
    Quote Originally Posted by Jadae
    Gotta love circular. That is the most maddening.

    It's a good thing this came up in my search for my other old thread.

    I actually get what you mean now.




    ....... (skank)
    hehe ^_^

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    On another thread, it seems people thought Russel was ENTj.

    http://oldforumlinkviewtopic.php?t=3...r=asc&start=15

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    I think Russel was stupid.

    What value is there in unresolvable doubt?
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Whatever one may think of Bertrand Russell and his type, his surname is spelled "Russell".

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    Ooops?
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Oops, sorry....I saw it spelled that way from the subject line and thought something was wrong but didn't think to check.

    Anyhow, I think that in espousing the value of uncertainty (or the ability to question one's own belief), he could be speaking for all Ns at the very least. In fact, I think any type can understand the value of that. I don't think that what he's saying speaks only to Ne types.

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    There's no value in incorrigible uncertainty.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    There's no value in incorrigible uncertainty.
    Well, maybe I typify the extreme case, but consider the opposite...people who are sure they're right even when they're wrong.

    What Russell is talking about here is the value of recognizing that the truth is outside yourself, so that you can discover it....which I think is why Phaedrus believes Russell is Gamma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    I think Russel was stupid.

    What value is there in unresolvable doubt?
    i think you should read the last paragraph, and pay attention to the last nine words.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Yeah, that's a load of bull considering the "incorrigble" uncertainty that plagues philosophical ponderings such as "what is good."
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    use your N to find what is true, good, and beautiful. the only uncertainty is what you are projecting upon it.


    The following article by Albert Einstein appeared in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930 pp 1-4. It has been reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc. 1954, pp 36 - 40. It also appears in Einstein's book The World as I See It, Philosophical Library, New York, 1949, pp. 24 - 28.

    Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions - fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death.

    Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connections is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates illusory beings more or less analogous to itself on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend. Thus one tries to secure the favor of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed toward a mortal. In this sense I am speaking of a religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets itself up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases a leader or ruler or a privileged class whose position rests on other factors combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.

    The social impulses are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence, who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes; the God who, according to the limits of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even or life itself; the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing; he who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God.

    The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, a development continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in peoples' lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

    Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

    The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

    The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

    How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

    We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically, one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events - provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death.

    It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees.On the other hand, I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    "the only uncertainty is what you are projecting upon it."

    Don't assume to understand my own experiences in relation to the spiritual.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "the only uncertainty is what you are projecting upon it."

    Don't assume to understand my own experiences in relation to the spiritual.
    indeed.

    lets say that russell was not advocating unresolvable doubt, nor incorrigible uncertainty.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    "lets say that russell was not advocating unresolvable doubt, nor incorrigible uncertainty."

    Then it would have to be shown that such an ethical good is actual both in its existence and cardinal value amongst other ethical goods.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "lets say that russell was not advocating unresolvable doubt, nor incorrigible uncertainty."

    Then it would have to be shown that such an ethical good is actual both in its existence and cardinal value amongst other ethical goods.
    what do you accept as evidence?
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Russel's longer essays are absolutely unreadable, a cluttered mess of nonsense.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG
    Russel's longer essays are absolutely unreadable, a cluttered mess of nonsense.
    which ones?
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    "what do you accept as evidence?"

    There would have to exist within me a strong personal conviction that such a ethical good exists as such that is akin to my conviction that logical truths are wholly objective.
    "To become is just like falling asleep. You never know exactly when it happens, the transition, the magic, and you think, if you could only recall that exact moment of crossing the line then you would understand everything; you would see it all"

    "Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "what do you accept as evidence?"

    There would have to exist within me a strong personal conviction that such a ethical good exists as such that is akin to my conviction that logical truths are wholly objective.
    you have now begun to understand what is required in philosophy/science/art, or any human endevour. indeed, the very notion of validity is restructured.

    at this point, i will only point out superficial evidence. that evidence being two different historical figures, russell and einstein, pointing to the same good. now you know where you are going. (if indeed, you are giong)

    (of course i am taking your quote at face value as well)
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    we can also say that we have a yardstick by which to measure socionics with. hopefully, at some point socionics will become a science.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    "What the philosophers say about Reality is often as disappointing as a sign you see in a shop window which reads: Pressing Done Here. If you brought your clothes to be pressed, you would be fooled; for only the sign is for sale." - Soren Kierkegaard, from Either/Or

    I've also heard it said that "Philosophy is the means by which we may be unhappy more intelligently", though I have not been able to identify the source.

    I think Russell is talking about something similar (though the second quote above is more satyrical in nature). Philosophy is useful insomuch as it can organize and conceptualize information into a cohesive and (hopefully) comprehensive framework. The trouble in my mind comes when someone attempts to apply philosophy to a realm which is entirely outside of their experience.

    Plato's allegory of the Cave is one example of this sort of thing. Though it is interesting on the level of the meta-narrative, I find it exhausting to discuss topics with people who insist to know something that they have, in all indication, made up to fill in the gaps of what they do not know.

    a priori and a posteriori (logic and science) should find an equal and balanced partnership in philosophy. However, I would also go so far as to also throw in a bit of humanity which is not represented in either logic or science. Otherwise, I imagine it would be impossible to account for the realms of psychology and cognitive bias.
    Apollonian
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    "How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.” - Soren Kierkegaard
    “Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than a minority of them - never becoming conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?” - C. S. Lewis (INTJ)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonian
    The trouble in my mind comes when someone attempts to apply philosophy to a realm which is entirely outside of their experience.
    example?
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    During the medievil era when the philosophies of Aristotle ruled, people believed in concepts such as "the heavenly spheres". They devised complex models of the universe all so that they could rationalize the ideas of heaven and hell which they had already predetermined.

    Today, people seem to do the same with moral and cultural philosophy. For instance, is Democracy really the best form of government? A lot of people think so. The trouble comes when they start reasoning. I imagine that, at least in the US, there are a lot of people more than willing to "argue" the merits of Democracy even though they have never experienced any other form of government. Some people know their history and may have even read the likes of John Locke, Rousseau and others. However, the last century has shown us that what philosophy tells us about government is very different than the complex and often abberant reality which results from its implementation.

    My point is that too often people play around in the world of ideas without accounting for the uncertainty that results from an unknown (and often hostile) reality.

    I am not saying philosophy is bad, simply that it is incomplete without experiencial and/or scientific inquiry.

    (PS - I am not implying that Democracy is not the best form of government. The point lies with the process of argument and not the subject)
    Apollonian
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    "How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.” - Soren Kierkegaard
    “Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than a minority of them - never becoming conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?” - C. S. Lewis (INTJ)

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    because this is a socionics forum, i will keep it within the vocabulary of the field. i will agree with you that people often reason themselves into idiocy. this is just showing that T really needs N or S. because N/S are perception functions, your point is well taken. what i was arguing for previously in the thread was the need for N. extreme N, but N nonetheless.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Yes, I concur. Without N it is nearly impossible to go into much depth beyond the immediately observable.

    I wonder... is it the case that the best form of philosophy is a collaborative one? In other words, given what we know here about psychology and the predispositions of different individuals, to what extent should we be willing to collaborate with our S/N counterparts?

    I believe that we all have both functions, though one is dominant. Is this sufficient to allow both kinds of analysis, or is it important to involve other people's insight into our philosophical process?
    Apollonian
    INTj
    "How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.” - Soren Kierkegaard
    “Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than a minority of them - never becoming conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?” - C. S. Lewis (INTJ)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollonian
    Yes, I concur. Without N it is nearly impossible to go into much depth beyond the immediately observable.

    I wonder... is it the case that the best form of philosophy is a collaborative one? In other words, given what we know here about psychology and the predispositions of different individuals, to what extent should we be willing to collaborate with our S/N counterparts?

    I believe that we all have both functions, though one is dominant. Is this sufficient to allow both kinds of analysis, or is it important to involve other people's insight into our philosophical process?
    i don't want to devalue solitary activity, but certain collaborative traditions seem to have an admirable effectiveness. the dialectics which we find in greek thought and in hegelian thought certainly find their power in the positing of the anti-thesis, which is a very difficult task for the neophyte, hence the need for collaboration. we also find some of the most original thought springing from groups of people and "schools". socionics advocates the duality realation as it allows a person to concentrate on the leading functions.

    to what extent should we be willing to collaborate? i say any extent. and even though we may be able to use multiple functions, some people are just better at certain functions. so use socionics to understand where they are coming from and try to appreciate any collaborations that you may be involved in. furthermore, with socionics, you can pre-determine who you might be more apt to collaborate effectively with.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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