Philosophy is an apparent discipline or subject that is reliably claimed to be The love of wisdom.
And "critical thinking" is one of its methods.
Unfortunately all this breaks down under a little scrutiny. For "philosophy" has a long history of being
taught AS HISTORY. But with some more "thrown in" for good measure.
Historical (written) logic was virtually reduced to "A priorism" in again an historical based teaching,
culminating in Wittgenstein's "Tractatus" with philosophy as philosophic language being reduced to
(a self explanatory) logic summary. The latest & most recent reduction are the formulas (of larger subsets)
originated by the mathematical Polish Philosophy schools of the 20th C.
None of these were or are adequate-on-their-own, and they have required basically an accompanying plan
or overall idea linking science+math/Religion or "beliefs" as a family-tree type schemata.
What holds this all together -the glue so to speak- is the history-of-History - in the west with a beginning starting with
the Ancient Greeks and taking us all the way through (with a so-called love-of-wisdom) to the present.
Where the "present" is a like the latest still photo of the movie The history of Western Philosophy.
I make no apologies for being so critical of the current state of Philosophy.
And if it wasn't serious it would be laughable (as there is always an agreed numerical answer to the
stock historical Philosophy question "what is the meaning of Philosophy" ?*)
All this feeds-in to the current HALF BAKED idea then of Philosophy as an agreed body of historical so
-called evidence which is in reality just a select & loosely agreed history course. With sections & sub-
sections rigidly enforced by examination & the like. Major social & scientific theories like Darwinism
being assimulated first by their history location (historically located) & then woven into in this case a
general idea of progressive science (with its accompanying biology/Genes & variation etcetera).**
And so with all this "baggage" it is NOT surprising how slowly things change-in-Philosophy.
The origin remains exactly the same today as it has been for centuries & centuries : but under
some weight of the critical forces lined up against it even that could change.
In my own example about this my understanding or conversion to a better origin answer came
after some considerable thought experimentation with the existing (historical) facts.
For working through Plato's and others Iconic greatness things started to "unravel" and rather
than become clearer in the historical sense of Greek progress I started to have doubts about
just how relevant and successful were the actual Greek texts of the like of Aristotle & others.
Why didn't logic "take off" - assuming that IT WAS THE FIRST WITHIN THIS NEW original
western knowledge called "Philosophy" ? Why couldn't the Greeks DEVELOPE it so to
stop their way-of-life -their very own Culture- from breaking down & vanishing !
And so I thought...why didn't the PEOPLE start (advanced) learning - advanced schooling
where they all tried to work on these inherent Greek "inhibitions" - they were such because
whilst the male scholars worked away feverishly on their writings works it was more than
obvious that the ordinary people WERE NOT becoming MORE LEARNED, in our language
MORE & more wise to the impending culture implosion.
Why the hell didn't they teach everyone to read. And or write ?
If it took too long or was too expensive why was this ?
So many questions, unanswered too.
And so to the modern MeToo movement of our day. I wondered....could anything like that have
happened in Ancient Greece ? (perish-the-thought!). For they must have known about "sexism"
especially so because of the military connections & training of JUST THE BOYS & MEN.
Then it almost "hit me" !
It bloody well DID happen (the MetooMove) …..BUT IN REVERSE....
The females for some reason WERE EXCLUDED COMPLETELY FROM the classes - & they
were subsequently UNABLE to overcome this problem, this discrimination or more correctly
this Total EXCLUSION.
Just like the slaves....
And THEN this could easily account for the complete demise of this small culture of Greeks,
a smaller & shrinking culture which was so because it could not Change its culture, could
NOT change its bad start when little or no importance was given to educating the uneducated.
Even if they wanted it that (there was no plan, no incentive from or for those in charge...)
And so.. the inherent danger of a specialised, technical-only training school, year-on-year
becoming entrenched & satisfied with extending this as a specialised MAP...
unfortunately a map without a plan and a map without-a-clue how to USE this map (in
a grand service to CHANGE things - like for instance "inequalities" IF NOTHING Else.
There is also the turn of modern Philosophy towards personal, individual "life advice"
which I have addressed before : probably since around the time of Freud et al when
that became in vogue & of course Philosophy having-to-take-A-line & obliged by its
popularity & success to give its "input". But I believe to an increase in the acceptance of
"critical thinking" as Philosophy's method while at the SAME TIME being almost completely
But there is help at hand, so to speak.
The emeritus Philosopher karl Popper showed how the critical method works in the sciences,
& is called "falsification". But the same scholar has shown its same amazing advantages when
used PROPERLY with philosophy too.
And I believe (having stated & explained so here recently) that right now as our environment changes
to accommodate such things as the internet, smart phones et al..together with twin threats such as CO2
increasing + extinction of worldwide species (including our own) means that Philosophy can utilise this
known method as THE main pivot - a unique place in our Philosophy as human guiding behaviour,
influencing & enhancing science with our views & critical behaviour, leading us into a better desired
& designated world. And the (our) human world of Philosophy (critical Philosophy for sustainable better
lives) leading the way while at the same time SHOWING THE WAY by being "objective".
Let me put it like this. Old historical Philosophy has staked itself & its learning on a "rational or logical
foundation". This is all-well-&-good except for the fact that a logical method is not one which is ideal
for a PHILOSOPHY - of different individuals and different peoples interacting with a challenging
environment which must include Knowledge-of-OUR-world, what philosophers AND scientists are doing
in their respective colleges & schools- are they helping their students into a better world, not the opposite.
I myself have tried and tried to do something like this & I know that others have been too.
So we all have to try to share this knowledge..and share our mistakes if you like. And not least because
IT IS IMPERATIVE to learn from these mistakes - NONE of us should be afraid to wholeheartedly learn
from these mistakes. Critical or logical, Philosophical or environmental mistakes.
Please, please understand that its crucial to learn new & hopefully better behaviour so that one's work
can be brought back onto a critical path, and a path where more POSSIBILITIES ARE PRESENT.
And then this is the difference between old historical mistaken Philosophy and a better & better method
which students & others have confidence in, confidence that such a method*** will give better typical answers
to the total human environment of this 21st century world.
* (...& thus life?) 42 of course is the frivolous answer; & I sometimes chime-in with a more realistic
and current "50 million" which was claimed by the Zhang math school after some advanced random
prime number discovery around 2011...(subsequently popularly hyped by sections of media since)
Now not that THIS is the better, or more popular, answer than "42".
** there was a front page I think "Time magazine" headline announcing (& criticising) or asking "Darwinism;
what next ?" Whatever it was it didn't "catch on" !
*** called objective philosophy