Michael Huang

High School Student, St. John's High School

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Philosophy! Need help understanding Heidegger, Levinas, and Nietzsche.

Explain to me like I'm in high school. Because I am.
Having trouble understanding their philosophies through their texts and SEP.

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    May 16 2013: Have you looked at whether there are published online explanations to help you? Have you worked on wrestling with this material with your classmates?

    You might also try online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Philosophy Forums.
  • May 16 2013: After taking a couple philosophy courses, I concluded that the professor's interpretation was no more valuable than my own. Just read the words and think about it for yourself. These authors were smart, but they were not necessarily any more enlightened than you.
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    May 16 2013: Philosophy is relevant for every person. To be happy and succeful one should have a simple and sound philosophy.

    Without it one is a lost person in wilderness.
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    May 16 2013: "The philosopher's job is to provide unintelligible answers to insoluble problems."--Henry Brooke Adams. "The object of studying philosophy is to know one's own mind, not other people's."--Dean W.R. Inge
  • May 19 2013: The best way to find out what a philosopher really means when he melds comprehensible words into unintelligible sentences is to read their biographies and/or how they lived and in what conditions. Also what the contemporaries of his time thought about him.
    For example, Nietzsche's various illnesses caused him to say that famous quote of his:
    "what does not destroy me, makes me stronger"
    Most of philosophy is conjecture based on older conjectures, so basically it is BS :-)
    But its true.
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    May 17 2013: Ah! The existential angst of a bright young man with an agile mind. Welcome colleague, to the fellowship of thoughtful scholars who willingly wrestle with fundamental questions!
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    May 17 2013: G'day Michael

    I'm reading three books at the moment on the philosophy of the mind & brain, consciousness & psychology for a different angle on these subjects, I've got to look up half the words to see what they mean then I've got to decipher what the philosophy of the said topics is all about. I learnt not to read into it more than there is, now that's a peace of good philosophical advice for you, read into it what you may not what you think your supposed to read into it.

    Reading the replies below you have very good advice here.