Goodbye "Philosophy"

Goodbye "Philosophy"

peter rabbit
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:31 PM:
Subject: Goodbye "Philosophy"

Goodbye Philosophy forums,

I'm leaving these shores for a better place. Me and most of the members here just don't get on - and, as I've pointed out before, this is the root of all philosophy - character. The words on top are just fluff. So thanks for having me. I'm going to leave with an intro to "philosophy", as fits my posts previous.


What "philosophy" Is and Why I Can't Stand "Philosophers", notes by Peter Rabbit.


Philosophy, or asking oneself what things are, why they should be as they are, how they can best be described and what facts, situations or activities have in common with each other, is, like running, cooking, healing and governance, a natural human activity; but which is now the province of hyper-specialised professional thinkers. 

The modern professional "philosopher" does not write for the normal man or woman; he writes for other philosophers. Most philosophy is only available to a small group of highly educated academic men. The implicit message of such philosophy is that reality is only capable of being appreciated by specialists. 

"Philosophy," as normally practiced today, began with the [post Socratic] Greeks, a warlike nation of homosexuals and pederasts, whose elites, like those of the civilisations that followed, despised nature, women, the irrational or anything else that couldn't be intellectually grasped and controlled. This isn't to say that the irrational didn't play a large part in Greek life, or that the poets that Plato despised did not create works of enduring beauty, or even that Greek philosophers, the first professional rationalists, were incapable of asking interesting questions or expressing useful answers; but these things happened despite "philosophy," not because of it.

"Philosophy," as you would expect from an activity invented and honoured by aggressive civilisations, is conflict. As with all prominent conflicts the thin sliver of vital truth gets crushed between trvial opposames battling for trivial power. In "philosophy" the conflict is between the rational and the irrational. The paradoxical truth, the living context, has very little breathing space - which is why women, children and great artists avoid philosophy and, like those few philosophers that express the mystery of life, usually ignored or insulted by their contemporaries (these forums are full of insults, snides and all manner of arrogant posturing, so its hard to tell who is the most hated - but the most cutting insults are always directed at amateurs.)

"Philosophy" is work done by the mind for the mind. As such, like a game of chess, it can be of some interest and fun for specialist thinkers, but using the rational mind to try and understand the cause of mind, or using thoughts to understand meaning, is like trying to understand a camera from studying a photograph, or trying to understand an artichoke by peeling away its leaves.

Developments in "philosophy" are not due to fundamental progress, but to the collective interest, style and belief of professional philosophers; in other words, fashion. Philosophers do not choose the truest philosophy, but the philosophy that best expresses their self. Likewise they don’t find fault in opposite views because they are untrue, but because they invalidate the philosopher’s personal cravings, and draw attention to the unswollen runt-branches of her personalitree.

The "philosophical" search for what something is, is the search for meaning – the meaning of democracy, the meaning of beauty, the meaning of life - in other words the meaning of a word. A word is a tool, like a hammer. You don’t ask what the meaning of a hammer is. The hammer is either useful and beautiful, or it is not. In direct experience, working away, you are not even aware of a hammer as a hammer.

Modern "philosophy", above all else, is concerned with language and meaning - how we can know what we mean. But academic man confuses the map for the mountain. When language is analysed it is separated from what is actually happening - the context - and separated from context the simple and mysterious act of communication becomes the crude and complicated business of "philosophising". The more the context in which language is used is attended to, the clearer and more obvious meaning is. The more one thinks about words, the most confusing it all gets. Confusion for the professional philosopher is like sickness to a doctor and crime to a lawyer - necessary.

One of the more perceptive modern philosophers, Ludvig Wittgenstein, made the point, over and over again (in his later writings) that words have countless conflicting meanings; it is how they are used, in the context, that allows us to understand them. Language out of context is meaningless, and philosophers who spend their lives thinking and talking about language out of context are engaged in a meaningless activity. What lies beyond language, he said, cannot be known through language, but only through experience, or activity, which he declined to write about. In other words, it is more meaningful to say beautiful or appropriate things (or just whistle) than rational ones.

Thought is not deep. Life is deep.

Where does the philosopher’s knowledge come from? From philosophy alone? From the arts? From all branches of learning? From dance, farming, hunting...? The true philosopher seeks truth everywhere. If there is truth in what he says, then there is also truth in how he sweeps the room - and he should be judged on that too.

The philosopher (or post-modern theorist or scientist) who genuinely sought the truth everywhere, would use his entire vehicle to find it; his eyes, hands, viscera, taste-buds, balance, would extend himself into as many different kinds of activity as possible and would naturally begin placing his experience, his freedom and his love into his work. His lectures would become thrilling and strange, his publications would be discussed in the pub, his interests and talents would spread far out of philosophy; which would naturally undermine everything his department, his publishers and his society stand for.

A true philosopher’s job is not to find definitions and answers, to systematise and wrestle with logc. The joy and truth of philosophy is not knowledge, but recognition, the truth of philosophy is not understanding but experience, and the art of philosophy is not finding answers but perceiving the solution. This is not done by thinking, but by seeing. The great philosopher (like the great inventor) does not give us more to think about, but less. He joins the dots, guides language back to silence, and sets neurones alight.


Thank you, and goodbye. Note that this "grand exit" is not an egotistical flourish - even if I did wish to flourish my ego, I wouldn't do it to an audience comprised solely of men! Nor is it an attempt to get a last word, which I hand to anyone who wishes to comment here. And its certainly not motivated by hurt or ire! Only the vibe-tone blind (which this place is stacked to the ceiling with) would assume such. And finally it has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing - the biggest black-and-white-herring in the philosophical world.

No. Just a way of summing up my thoughts and reasons for leaving and thanking the atomically few good men (only men of course - or 99%) here who have responded to my posts as human beings, with warmth, rather than dismissing them with smug or sneering rational knowledge.

(By the way, I've been here since 2003 under incarnations that got banned - I say this for anyone who thinks they've not seen me much, and may well have - but this really is it now mods, although ban me one last time if you want, just for old times' sake maybe)

Those who are interested in my views, feel free to visit my website and contact me through that.

Right, I'm off dancing.

All the best, in all things and low low bows,


(p.s. naturally I'll be hanging around for a day or so, to see what old PFers have to say.)


Edited by peter rabbit on Sep 4, 2011 - 8:44 AM. Reason: Formatting and clarity and piccy and burgundy text
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:41 PM:

So long, Peter; have an absolute ball. And thanks for trying to save us from the clotted thoughts we have inherited. smiling face
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:42 PM:

What's that rule about the length of a goodbye post being inversely proportional to the time spent in absentia?
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:48 PM:
Subject: Too bad you always had too much to say...

There are many individual points in this screed which are well worth discussing. 
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:49 PM:

I will never say goodbye to philosophy forums. I plan to build a solid reputation here and then, when my posts are relied upon by many for bringing clarity, I will quietly disappear one day. Nothing will be said by anyone, but I know I will be missed. nodgrin
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:50 PM:

I just joined these forums and this goodbye makes me feel like I am losing what I came here for! Thanks, Peter.
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:58 PM:

The thing I like about this PF is debating the number of people who disagree with me.  It would be boring if everyone agreed with me. It would be like debating myself in a mirror.
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 8:59 PM:

jsidelko wrote:
The thing I like about this PF is debating the number of people who disagree with me.  It would be boring if everyone agreed with me. It would be like debating myself in a mirror.

I quite agree.
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 9:21 PM:

Toodle-oo. Hop along now.
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Posted Sep 3, 2011 - 9:30 PM:

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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