Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Roots of Philosophy

When you really step back and think about what philosophy is at it's core it could be said philosophy is a dichotomy of thought into what is and what should be. Commonly called descriptive and normative components. Descriptive is merely how you consider what is, how it is, why it is, understanding your perspective or expressing it in an effort to better know something. While normative is more of a thought experiment on what could be, how it could be, why it should be, and so forth. The normative is all about theory usually in an effort to invoke change of some kind usually using logical support in the process.

 Though you may not realize it philosophy guides a great part of your every day life in the background. Furthermore philosophy is behind a lot of great science, in particular a great and common question is merely how do we know what we know and how can we prove it. That right there is a great foundation for science. The scientific method is a powerful tool we use when finding truth and determining the why of things. We propose a theory and test it studying and analyzing the results as objectively as possible. Though that is far from the only method we have it is a great example on how philosophy is more than just thought it is a source of wisdom and a method of understanding the world and everything in it with practical uses and results. Actually that breaks right down into metaphysics which is determining what there is, and epistemology which is how we know.

While you could describe the previously mentioned part of philosophy as an objective thought of what is the next part is almost purely subjective. The questions of what is right and wrong or morals are entirely determined by social construct and the individual. Beauty is also not an intrinsic value and is also purely subjective. Yet without philosophy guiding us on how to contemplate why something is beautiful at the time or what should be considered right and wrong we wouldn't have these social constructs nor would we have things like politics to create rules we agree to live by based on what we think is right or wrong. The important thing to remember in that last part is that the rules only apply as long as we agree to be bound by them.

The interesting thing about political philosophy though is that it's not as subjective as morality or beauty and instead encourages the thinker to consider it without personal investment. The concept is to consider how society should be structured without knowing how you'll fit in or if you'll even be a part of it. Try to consider how not only individuals should be treated but how groups should be treated as well and consider then how rules might change based on decisions among many. For example how while it might be okay for an individual to do something but if a lot of people do it then it's a problem, or if an organization does it how it might subjugate the individuals. Next time you're watching a political show I challenge you to consider the philosophical concepts behind what you're observing and determine if you truly agree with them or if you were only agreeing with them based on how they were presented. One of the worst parts of politics today is the depths of deception they go through to get you to agree with them even if it's against your personal interest or against the interest of the common good. As always I hope this helps you see the world just a little bit differently from now on.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah never agree with their crap, less the more they flap. One has to step back and think for themselves.