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Thread: Metaphysics Competition

  1. Top | #11
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    ...
    Spinoza*. Now there's the man. The "Prince of philosophers" - Deleuze (who was no slouch). See his work on the importance of film on the public mind.
    ...
    Read Spinoza! And forget (if you can) the God element. He discussed emotions, the psychological make up of humans, like no-one else. Give the man a chance.

    Ethica is a must read for anyone interested in philosophy.
    Thanks. Maybe I will. For the time being I'll quote this article:

    Among philosophers, Spinoza is best known for his Ethics, a monumental work that presents an ethical vision unfolding out of a monistic metaphysics in which God and Nature are identified. God is no longer the transcendent creator of the universe who rules it via providence, but Nature itself, understood as an infinite, necessary, and fully deterministic system of which humans are a part. Humans find happiness only through a rational understanding of this system and their place within it. On account of this and the many other provocative positions he advocates, Spinoza has remained an enormously controversial figure. For many, he is the harbinger of enlightened modernity who calls us to live by the guidance of reason. For others, he is the enemy of the traditions that sustain us and the denier of what is noble within us.
    I don't find there's the need for monism in the guise of Nature to get to the same result, which I've bolded in the above quote. That predjudice is probably what kept me uninterested in reading anything about him (despite my having worked in optical manufacturing for 25 years). But then Spinoza lacked the benefit of Darwinian revelation. Frankly I'd probably still be a theist if it weren't for this intellectual wellspring of order and harmony in thinking as well as emotions. But it was only through casting off that yoke that I was able to realize the importance of understanding nature and our place in it in finding meaning and purpose in my own life.

  2. Top | #12
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    Mostly serious. A good convoluted short essay is a great mental exercise. It requires in depth thought and concentration. It is a creative exercise.Working out such exercises while meaningless can improve your overall communication skill. I had 4 classes in philosophy. Looking back it is where I learned to communicate in writing and speech. Thinking through a topic and taking a position.

    As to why only one poster it is much easier to talk about something than to work out something. IMO.

    I look at it as mental gymnastics. One can appreciate gymnastics and I enjoy watching, especially the uneven bars and the balance beam. Likewise I can appreciate a good metaphysical display.

  3. Top | #13
    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Mostly serious. A good convoluted short essay is a great mental exercise. It requires in depth thought and concentration. It is a creative exercise.Working out such exercises while meaningless can improve your overall communication skill. I had 4 classes in philosophy. Looking back it is where I learned to communicate in writing and speech. Thinking through a topic and taking a position.

    As to why only one poster it is much easier to talk about something than to work out something. IMO.
    Sorry I took your words 'mental gymnastics' and 'contortionism' (in the OP) to mean you wanted something humorous. Anyone purposely going for "mental gymnastics" or "contortionism" is doing one of two things: trying to be funny, or trying to dazzle you with bullshit.

    Probably couldn't tell from my recent posting style, but I have a couple thousand posts in the archive, and most of those were in the philosophy fora. I posted many very long and very thought-through posts.
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

  4. Top | #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Mostly serious. A good convoluted short essay is a great mental exercise. It requires in depth thought and concentration. It is a creative exercise.Working out such exercises while meaningless can improve your overall communication skill. I had 4 classes in philosophy. Looking back it is where I learned to communicate in writing and speech. Thinking through a topic and taking a position.

    As to why only one poster it is much easier to talk about something than to work out something. IMO.
    Sorry I took your words 'mental gymnastics' and 'contortionism' (in the OP) to mean you wanted something humorous. Anyone purposely going for "mental gymnastics" or "contortionism" is doing one of two things: trying to be funny, or trying to dazzle you with bullshit.

    Probably couldn't tell from my recent posting style, but I have a couple thousand posts in the archive, and most of those were in the philosophy fora. I posted many very long and very thought-through posts.
    Humor qualifies.

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