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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 14 2013: IMO, philosophy is the Mathematics of Life. Like in science, when science was at its infancy, it could make progress by its own -- meaning just by marching on the path of the human thought. But as the science got developed, it required more & more mathematics in order to make progress. It's true particularly with Physics. The Modern Physics which began developing at the end of the 19th century, could not do it without mathematics.

    It's somewhat similar with life and philosophy. When we deal with the routine, daily life, we do not feel a need for philosophy. But as we go on living the routine life, and as we grow up, many thinking people feel that something is lacking in their routine life of pleasures & sufferings. They start looking for answers to their questions. A thirst is created in those minds to understand the principles which dominate their routine life and much further than that. This quest for understanding more than just our daily experience is called Philosophy. Philosophy helps us understanding the life like mathematics helps science understanding the physical world.

    The great thing with philosophy is that if one truly understands it, one sees that philosophy always was, is and will be an inherent part of any self-conscious life. The only question is if any self-conscious being is capable of reaching this insight. The insight that there's actually no other path but only the philosophic/spiritual path in each and every struggle of life.

    To illustrate our thirst for philosophy, imagine you haven't eaten anything for 2 days. Now someone puts before you a big plate with very delicious food and near it a big glass of water. What would you go for at the beginning ?? I guess for the plate full of food. You won't even look at the glass of water. But after eating enough and enjoying the delicious food, then you will start feeling a huge thirst for water and you will quench it with that water in the glass.

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