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Orlando Hawkins


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Is it time for philosophy to do away with metaphysics?

I love philosophy but one of the main issues that I hear about it is that its impractical and serves no suitable purpose to the world. Although I believe this claim to be somewhat false I understand the point that is being made from those who criticize it.

Philosophy is capable of being pragmatic but the reason why it appears as though its not is because it deals too much with the abstract and concerns itself with metaphysics. If you want a real brain teaser metaphysical talk is the way to go but metaphysics really serves no purpose to the world. For a family who constantly have to work to feed their children and provide an education, contemplating the nature of reality or postulating weather or not consciousness exists outside the brain is probably not going to help the situation. One of my professors say that if we sit in meditation, we’ll understand the true harmonious nature and interconnectedness of the universe. We will understand how to act in each moment (similar to what Taoist believe). He may be right but we often forget that its a privilege to be able to do so. Nor are these concerns on everyone’s mind.

The philosophy department at my school is great but it is too indulged in metaphysics. From an epistomological standpoint this is problematic because most of the claims that are made is either in conflict with the way the natural world really is (scientific discoveries) and they are essentially not able to be proved which means we should not waste our time with such claims. When it comes to epistemology, I think this is where philosophy could utilize the methodology of science.

I"m a philosopher at heart but it concerns me that philosophy would lose it value if it cannot indulge in more empiricism and naturalism when making claims about the way the world is.

are we so concerned with value to the point that we'll negate truth? is science capable of establishing values?


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    May 10 2013: I think its is important to highlight a big difference between the two here. Philosophy is about the why and metaphysics is about the what. The what being more scientific and at times tangible. Metaphysics has been used across all the sciences to justify hypothesises, philosophy is more about the journey to the answer whilst never looking to find the next answer but more so the next question.

    There is definitely a need for both and that we respect them separately.
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      May 10 2013: Hi David,

      Your right about the difference which is why I mentioned "is it time for philosophy to do away with metaphysics?"...I did not say "is it time for the world to do away with philosophy?"

      I also agree that there is a need for both. I don't entirely agree that they are as separate as your making it. I think most scientific questions have profound philosophical implications. There is clearly overlap between the two. are there questions that are purely scientific? yes. Are there questions that philosophy is the best one to answer? Yes

      I'm not attacking questioning reality but moreso the metaphysical conclusions that are derived from it...In my experience its starting to get absurd but that's just my experience...

      I am more than happy to be wrong but it just a major concern I have regarding philosophy
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        May 14 2013: Could you give me an idea of exactly WHAT books your professors are having you read? Can you tell me or give me a list of the authors of the books you are reading? Without knowing what the point is, it gets really hard to make an authoritative point or counterpoint. Give me some titles & authors so we can check some of that stuff out on the web or in the library.
        We can go on and on and on all day about this and that weird theory about the meditative elements of pseudo-string theory, atomic fusion, and psilocybin mushrooms. But to quote Krisztián Pintér above, it all turns into "Metaphysical Bubbling" and nothing worth doing at all.
        I'm trying to make sense of this here. But we are wasting valuable time. Let's talk about the books they make you read.

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