How do you make philosophy practical to your daily life?

How do you make philosophy practical to your daily life?
madmaxthundercats
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Posted Dec 27, 2009 - 11:36 PM:
Subject: How do you make philosophy practical to your daily life?
I would assume that most people who post on philosophy forums are analytical, ponderous, and maybe even compulsively neurotic thinkers who love to explore meaningful topics and challenge the assumptions of others. We spend a lot of time thinking about deep and abstract concepts and trying to discern truth from fiction. But when it really boils down to it, to what extent do you apply this thinking to your own life? How does all of this philosophical debating impact how you make your decisions, both small and big? Have you ordered your life or daily schedule in any particular way based on your philosophy? Has philosophy affected your career choice, or area of academic study? How has philosophy changed your social relationships, or your sense of obligation to society? I should expect that all of this philosophical rumination has had some kind of impact on you, hopefully in a positive way. Please share what the nature of this impact has been.
crunchy
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 12:05 AM:

I've always been introspective to the point of obsession.

I have bipolar and for a few years had a thought disorder to go along with it. Being confused all the time created a desire in me to know what was true; the search for truth was set aflame and philosophy became its target and trajectory.

(I think) it helps me understand my hopeless lack of social skills and makes me more "human".

I am a philosophy major; I chose it because I want to better develop the skills to seek truth that may perhaps be found in a university setting. Ultimately I want to be a writer. I naturally tend to write things relating to philosophy or theology.

In all areas of thought it broadens horizons and understanding I believe.
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 12:56 AM:

you know those people who stop at a red light or stop sign and kinda fall asleep... yeah? well that's me. I need to begin setting time apart for my philosophical thinking.
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 10:14 AM:

Perhaps the single most important thing my philosophy has helped me to do is accept people and things more for what they are. This includes not least of all my children whom I've always felt had more important things to teach me than I had to teach them.
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 11:17 AM:

Do you think there is a limit to the importance of "our general understanding of the reality around us"? My philosophy leads to my existence and everything in it.
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 3:46 PM:

My philosophical conclusions do not affect my daily life. No. I did not apply them to anything practical, perhaps I don't know how.
Just this moment I thought about my body, me, being created not by me or my own blue print, but simply (or complicatedly so) by the world, by circumstances of the movement of the matter and all the planets and live creatures on Earth. That counts for a lot. In this light my life's work of philosophical thinking will not skew what is already in me, and if it ever affects it, then only to the most miniscule level. It gives me the sense of some accomplishment though when I come up with satisfying conclusion or projection in trying to understand this world.
madmaxthundercats
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 4:25 PM:

wuliheron wrote:
Perhaps the single most important thing my philosophy has helped me to do is accept people and things more for what they are. This includes not least of all my children whom I've always felt had more important things to teach me than I had to teach them.

Does this mean you no longer try to change the circumstances of your life or the way things are? If your kids are doing something you consider wrong, do you accept them for who they are while also trying to shape their behavior so they have greater success in life? How do you balance that?

CharlieP wrote:
Do you think there is a limit to the importance of "our general understanding of the reality around us"? My philosophy leads to my existence and everything in it.

Could you be more specific?
mayor of simpleton
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 4:28 PM:

madmaxthundercats wrote:
I would assume that most people who post on philosophy forums are analytical, ponderous, and maybe even compulsively neurotic thinkers who love to explore meaningful topics and challenge the assumptions of others. We spend a lot of time thinking about deep and abstract concepts and trying to discern truth from fiction. But when it really boils down to it, to what extent do you apply this thinking to your own life? How does all of this philosophical debating impact how you make your decisions, both small and big?


Not to be too vague, but I was always of the belief that if one is not careful and attentive to the small things in life, it would be a poor assumption to believe that they can be trusted with big things. I have an established set of "personal principles" that serve as a "compass" for my life. There are lines that I cannot cross and compromises I will not allow on the basis of this code, which is a code for my life and it is not the expectations I place upon others. I will remain a bit vague as specifics will place me in a "catagory" for evaluation. This is a road of no interest too me. Specifics just nail your feet to the ground.

madmaxthundercats wrote:
Have you ordered your life or daily schedule in any particular way based on your philosophy?


Everything I do is founded in my "personal principles". This is not always to my advantage, but that is not the point of my life. The real test for principles are when they do not act to your advantage and you choose the consequences over the conveniences.

madmaxthundercats wrote:
Has philosophy affected your career choice, or area of academic study?


For what it is worth, I have a B.S. in Philosophy and Religion. I have quit and lost many a job and prestige by holding "true" to my convictions. I would not change a thing. It is all part of the experience of life as a whole.

madmaxthundercats wrote:
How has philosophy changed your social relationships, or your sense of obligation to society?


I have a wonderful, intelligent and beautiful wife. I had a wonderful and loving cat, but it is part of nature that the life span of humans and cats are not the same. My friends and social contact are few and far between, but better so. My principles make for "real" friendships, rather than surface value friends. At times it can be lonely, but it is better to the alone when alone than in a group and be alone. I am not obliged to society nor is society obliged to me. I am fully able to come to my own conclusions. No safety in numbers here.

madmaxthundercats wrote:
I should expect that all of this philosophical rumination has had some kind of impact on you, hopefully in a positive way. Please share what the nature of this impact has been.



My answers are not too specific nor clear and only apply to my person. I do not see this as any form of philosophical wisdom. I just live this way. I have no role models nor do I feel they are of much use. I cannot see the point of standing on the heads of giants to create the illusion of tallness.

If you request specifics, I could not imagine why, I will provide more answers, the only problem here is that this seems to more an interview as a philosophical discussion. My life is not THAT interesting, but hey, too each his own.

Meow!

GREG
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 6:19 PM:

madmaxthundercats wrote:

Does this mean you no longer try to change the circumstances of your life or the way things are? If your kids are doing something you consider wrong, do you accept them for who they are while also trying to shape their behavior so they have greater success in life? How do you balance that?


Could you be more specific?



Acceptance is not synonymous with capitulation. I can accept that I have a problem and, equally, accept that I wish to deal with my problem. Likewise, if my kids misbehave I can accept that they have done so and accept that as their father I have to take action. The difference is not so much a difference in my behavior as it is an attitudinal difference. When my attitude changes for the better, my actions follow suit.

I remember when my son was three years old and like every three year old he decided to see just how far he could push my tolerance. He was a remarkably well behaved child, but suddenly out of the blue he began doing everything he had been told was wrong. His behavior was so transparent I knew immediately what was happening and did not take it personally or as a sign that something was wrong. He was just being a normal three year old playing with an idea that popped into his head. For the first time ever I gave him a time-out which lasted all of one minute before he totally brokedown crying and appologizing and swearing he would never do that again and begged to be held. We both quickly forgot the entire incident and he went back to his exemplary behavior.

I have never lied to my children or dismissed their questions. I treat them with the same respect I would any other adult, although sometimes I give them simplified answers to their questions because I don't think they can grasp a fuller explanation. In my opinion, it is precisely because they have been shown respect and acceptance all their lives that they are so well behaved. In contrast I see children being berated and yelled at in public, and they often misbehave. What comes around goes around, and around, and around....
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Posted Dec 28, 2009 - 6:25 PM:

A Rortian response: If you are the sort of person who, for whatever reason, needs to view things philosophically, then philosophy affects your everyday, practical life by allowing you to pursue it in a satisfying way accompanied by the sorts of philosophical perspectives/scaffolding that you (personally) find necessary.
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