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The Nature of Philosophy
I would like to ask: how many of you think that the task of philosophy is to make our concepts clearer? I would also like to add, that do you think that philosophy is a completly different doctring from science?
My answer to the first one is yes, but I am still a little bit uncertain about the second question. However, it might be the case, that from giving to the first question an answer "Yes" it follows that one must also answer "Yes" to the second question.

What is your opinion about this?

Also: if you have a view about philosophy, which you think is not so common view, I would also like to read and discuss about it.

The Nature of Philosophy
Dear Mr. Reijo Lisak Jaakkola,
My answer to your first question is that the task of philosophy has always been the study of our most general concepts, and if we consider concepts to be part of nature, it can be deemed in all cases  a science.

However, the second question can be more precisely answered depending on whether one considers such concepts to be  a priori determined  (that is, neither acquired from sense experience nor inferable from it) or not; and, if a priori, whether they effectively refer to things objectively existent in the world or not.

If one considers that the most basic a priori concepts refer to things existent in objective reality, then it could be said that the branch of philosophy that studies the same, is a natural science of an aspect of objective reality that is not of an empirically accessible nature. 

Moreover, it could be added that -in studying such most abstract concepts- this branch of philosophy is investigating the non-empirically given objective content of all our knowledge. That is, of what, somehow, Wittgenstein considers in his Tractatus to be, what an image of reality has to have in common with the world in order to be a picture of it.

In what regards the study of some other less general concepts, if they can be judged to be a priori, the branch of philosophy that studies the same could be deemed to be the one dwelling on other cognitive determinations, such as about certain beliefs that are necessary for judgment to be possible or for a more effective adaptive behaviour, as would be the case of moral rules. 

I am waiting  approval publication of an article I have submitted to a well known journal, where I present arguments that would lead to this view of philosophy.

Kind regards,

Julian M. Galvez 


The Nature of Philosophy
Why not take it for its etymological meaning: philos  sophia = love of wisdom
Many British scholars prefer the designation " ...make our concepts clearer."
Clarity is necessary but hardly the essence nor the emphasis.
To grasp the manifold of reality would obviously involve those
special perspectives denoted as sciences. The pursuit
of wisdom would embrace the entire range of human investigation
including both speculative and practical endeavors, along with the
fine arts and current technologies.

The Nature of Philosophy
Philosophy is the mother of all sciences.  So, it is a yes to both questions.  A good scientist is made better by becoming a good philosopher.  A good philosopher is made through studying the history of philosophical debates dating back at least to the Greeks.  A great philosopher begins to emerge when these studies reveal a person's hidden ontology and epistemology, including first that of one's own self!  

The Nature of Philosophy
Dear Reijo Iisak Jaakkola,

Yes, I agree. For me in my own work the task of philosophy is to make our concepts clear and precise.

In my view, science must begin with its own clear theoretical concepts, but its concepts belong to the worldview of science, concepts for natural or physical entities, their measurement and their laws and predictions. Any given experiment, as for example in neuroscience, is limited by the clarity of the concepts it uses for the tasks it measures.

Philosophy has as its view the totality of conceptual fields, humanities, sciences, etc. A major task for philosophy is ontology, defining the things conceived in various ontological orders (epistemology, psychology, ethics, culture, metaphysics, art, etc.), which might also be termed conceptual fields or conceptual spaces.

Like science, philosophy requires, as Hegel said, a method.  A rigorous method to attain conceptual clarity.  Great philosophers and great philosophies have a clear method which can be applied to multiple conceptual fields (conceptual spaces).  Philosophies with no method were condemned as merely anecdotal gossip, or as Plato put it, opinion.

My own work concerns concept clarification in multiple fields (primatology, religion, anthropology, social sciences, art, archaeology, palaeoanthropology, psychotherapy, etc.). I am presently using for my method my revised version of the Andre-Weil-Claude-Levi-Strauss group theoretic transformation formula (which over last decade or two might be termed 'category theory'). This formula can be applied to every conceptual field in the humanities and some in sciences.  It gets us beyond so-called definition by 'prototype' which is only good for tree-branching semantics and simple set inclusion/exclusion. The Weil-Levi-Strauss formula is far more powerful for defining concepts, and especially value-concepts, in humanities, including 'soft sciences' like anthropology.

James Harrod

The Nature of Philosophy
I would begin by changing the definite article to the indefinite article - "a task of philosophy". In general semantics I recall Don Kerr saying many decades ago that we should chose our words to evoke the experiential elements of our listener. If we wish to communicate something that our listener has no experience with, we must find a way to provide the missing experiences. That perspective, it seems to me, is quite compatible with the embodiment view of consciousness that is somewhat recent.  Brain scans have shown that when a subject was asked to think about running, the motor areas in the brain that control the legs light up.  "Metaphors We Live By" (George Lakoff) show how a vast amount of our more abstract terms trace back metaphorically to physical movements. Babies' brains experiment with neural activity they learn motor control in conjunction with sensory feedback in an evolved context that records the interaction between evolving motivation and control that becomes the basis of perception, not simpliciter, but integrated with dynamic physical states and movement sequences.  Simply put we learn how to do thing to satisfy our needs in the ever-changing and complete spectrum of sensory input - including proprioceptive and enterioceptive senses and all our actions and vocalizations. Each of us is exposed to a unique physical, linguistic, and social environment, making what we each understand completely unique - which I refer to as our personal semantic environment.  As we learn language, through the mechanism of consensual feedback, we also develop a subset of understanding that can be abstracted to common relative invariance in expected behavior associated with words, letters, and other symbols, which I refer to as our symbolic environments - again - every person's being unique. We can clarify what we "mean" to another person by means of discourse and feedback, but sometimes volumes can be written in philosophy before one listener says, about a decades old comment, "Oh is THAT what you meant!".

Communication does not function via the transfer of "meaning" metaphor.  A person with a desire to affect a response begins in his or her private semantic environment and encodes an intent with his or her private symbolic encode function, and transmits an utterance into the physical environment as structured vibrations.  It interacts with the noisy environment and is decoded into the listener's own private symbolic environment, which, in turn, is interpreted into the listener's own private semantic environment.  He or she creates his or her own private understanding based on an updated neural state, including motives and needs as they have evolved since his or her previous utterance.   Purpose -> desire to alter future inputs -> selects symbols with private semantic environment encode function -> transmits by utterance and action -> vibrations that are modified by noise -> seen and heard with private symbolic decoding -> interpreted with private semantic environment -> altering motivation for "next desire" summed up by the word transaction or action-reaction. Avatar's direct neurological connections no-doubt evolved to match motor and sensory connections and could be understood as bypassing symbolic and noise stages, so as to directly connect embodied consciousness semantic environments through appropriate parallel connections.

The Nature of Philosophy
Dear Mr. Reijo lisak Jaakkola,
I agree with first answer but i would like to say something more about it, the task of philosophy is to take data from the society and examine with every dimension, whichever we can approach.
The task of philosophy is to check, analyse, examine, clearer the things through dialogue with oneself and others as well, and it can't happen without being free from all authorities, dogmas, sect etc.
The nature of philosophy is methodological, and the nature of this method is non-conceptual. It always has scope to re-examine.

Warm Regards.

Dinesh Patidar

The Nature of Philosophy
Reply to Justin Obrien
Yes, many people would say, that the task of philosophy is to grasp the reality. But what is the way a philosopher can grasp the reality? Many people don't like the speculative side of things and they prefer the results of science. And science, at least in it's core, is not speculative (of course, string theory is a counter-example, but highly debatable).
But as we have here showed that a) we can be speculative and b) we can be empirical, we should also remember that this is not all there is. I think, that we can analyze concepts without being speculative. And by analyzing concepts, we can understand things better (for example, the results of science). This is a very good way of graspibg the reality, because it makes the quality of our information, our beliefs, better. But this work, I think, mostly belongs to philosophy. 

The Nature of Philosophy

The Order and Integration of Knowledge

Moorad Alexanian
William Oliver Martin published "The Order and Integration of Knowledge" in 1957 to address the problem of the nature and the order of various kinds of knowledge; in particular, the theoretical problem of how one kind of knowledge is related to another kind. Martin characterizes kinds of knowledge as being either autonomous or synthetic. The latter are reducible to two or more of the autonomous (or irreducible) kinds of knowledge, viz., history (H), metaphysics (Meta), theology (T), formal logic (FL), mathematics (Math), and generalizations of experimental science (G). Metaphysics and theology constitute the two domains of the ontological context while history and experimental science are the two domains of the phenomenological context. The relation of one kind of knowledge to another may be instrumental, constitutive, and/or regulative. For instance, historical propositions are constitutive of G, metaphysical propositions are regulative of G, and propositions in formal logic and mathematics are instrumental to G. Theological propositions are not related to G and so there is no conflict between science and theology. Martin's work sheds light on the possible areas of incompatibility between science and religion.
Subjects:History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)Cite as:arXiv:1506.04266 [physics.hist-ph] (or arXiv:1506.04266v1 [physics.hist-ph] for this version)