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What Is Philosophy?

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Philosophy is an understanding of ourselves and of the natural and social worlds we inhabit by critically examining the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn by natural and social scientists, writers, historians and thinkers of all kinds. 

 

 

It could relate to anything.

 

 

Philosophy is an activity & because of its difficulty in challenging intellectual activity, pursuing it requires and develops skills in reasoning, analysis, imagination and writing. Studying philosophy should enable you to become both more rigorous and more tolerant in relation to the ideas of others; you should learn how to assess beliefs very different from your own, and be able to learn yourself from being criticized by others.

Edited by Invoker

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There is a reported hadith:

 

Philosophy is the stray camel of the Faithful, take hold of it wherever ye come across it.

 

This is ambiguous advice.

 

Maybe it partially means that philsophers are outsiders, and not of the collective or "herd instinct".

 

The philosopher is to be integrated, but not by killing him (ie doing away with the lineage) but by integrating him (fusing the 'strangers' ideas with the mainstream). In sufism a stranger is reportedly someone who doesnt fit in, even amongst his fellows, in his geographic settings, because the homelands of the heart and intellect he has travelled to are alien to ordinary folk. Maybe the horizons of the group expand by a little give and take with philosophy.

 

I read that population genetics butterflies have an instinct to mate with "normal looking" (patterned) mates. This makes sense because normal means probably adapted. This is stabilising selection where the mainstream are the fittest..

 

But genetic diversity in a populartion can help too. For example in bee hive temperature regulation, if there is diversity when the "flap wings to cool the hive" instinct is activated, there can be a gradual regulatory mechanism rather than all switching on at once and causing more change than is appropriate. Also, in biological selection there is disruptive selection, where outsiders (eg menlanated moths when industrualisation occurred) are naturally selected, because they (even as outsiders) fit the new surroundings better. People who "think outside of the box" are sometimes needed in other words.

 

Philosophy is not of the normal awareness or "conventional wisdom" of the person thrown into a culture by contingency (ie finding oneself to be a Jew or a Muslim or a Sikh by birth and ubringing etc). So phillosophy is "stray" or outside of the mainstream of thought, as it deals with the foundations of our beliefs and a conceptual analysis of some of our more fundamental or keystone ideas (i.e. either basic and underived, or heavily and vitally linked to other concepts in the web of belief) in life.

 

But ultimately philsosphy (not the philsopher) is a utilitarian "beast of burden" and ought to have use to the tribe.

 

A couple of related quotes:

 

The man who can live alone is either an animal or a god. Aristotle.

 

To live alone, one must be either an animal or a god—says Aristotle. Leaving out
the third possibility: one must be both—a philosopher. Neitzsche.

Edited by Luqman72

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Is Philosophy a subject or a discipline?

That depends on character. I treat it as a subject and crash a lot. I think wise liveing needs "practical rationality" and taqua (caution, piety), but I am more of a theorist - divorced from ordinary affairs and thinking a lot about issues that have littele practical bearing.

 

IN the hadith there is a saying along the lines of asking not to be given useless knowledge.

Wjhat makes philosophy Islamic?

solely wisdom ! no experiment, no spiritual source

 

 

Love of wisdom is philo-sophy, love of God, al hakimu is theosophy? But is it not wise to love God? Loving being, equals loving the cause of being?

(salam)

Philosophy as was understood traditionally, is about cultivating wisdom / virtue. (Philosophy is, as Socrates said, the practice of death).

That dates backl to Aristotle IIRC, but before that were the presocratics - and the everday struggles of people like you and me with were never recorded.

Salams. +1

My turn, Philosophy is Philosophy.

WalaikumAsSalam

Thats a circular definition, and also a tautology. But you need to be a bit of a philosopher to get it.

Philosophy is an understanding of ourselves and of the natural and social worlds we inhabit by critically examining the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn by natural and social scientists, writers, historians and thinkers of all kinds. 

 

 

It could relate to anything.

 

 

Philosophy is an activity & because of its difficulty in challenging intellectual activity, pursuing it requires and develops skills in reasoning, analysis, imagination and writing. Studying philosophy should enable you to become both more rigorous and more tolerant in relation to the ideas of others; you should learn how to assess beliefs very different from your own, and be able to learn yourself from being criticized by others.

A lot of atheists claim thet most hilosophers are atheists. I wonder if thats adown to research and education in the West?

Edited by Luqman72

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Love of wisdom is philo-sophy, love of God, al hakimu is theosophy? But is it not wise to love God? Loving being, equals loving the cause of being?

Love and obedience solely belongs to Allah.

Wisdom is the first step, someone who does not pass this step can not go further. This is logic of Quran too.

We can not start to get familiar with Allah and his path without wisdom. This is impossible.

Shia has a great share in philosophy and philosophy is logic of their imams too. Without wisdom and using wisdom no one can find and reach the path of Ahlul Bait (AS). And for sure he can not become a lover of Allah and he can not become a hakim.

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Philosophy as a whole must be treated as a discipline because as a subject it is too broad to contemplate. For example the philosophy of religion or the philosophy of the Philippines compared to just a brand name of "Philosophy" . Salams

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Philosophy is the idea and the way to know that which is not known.

It is nothing more than Self-fulfilment and consolidation for ideological values.

The comical relationship between the two is nothing more than the true nature of what is known,

what is known is absolute for an unidentifiable reality. The long journey finishes back to the place of start.

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To live alone, one must be either an animal or a god—says Aristotle. Leaving out

the third possibility: one must be both—a philosopher. Neitzsche.

 

I do not understand what this means.

So, to be a philosopher, one must live alone?

What is wrong if anyone wishes to live alone? Living alone does not mean shunning people, friends, and families.

When we go to work we mix with people. When we go to prayer places we mix with people.

Some people when they go home they may prefer to live alone.

Some people find contemplation in solitude. What is wrong with that?

The word beast or god sounds so awful.

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I do not understand what this means.

So, to be a philosopher, one must live alone?

What is wrong if anyone wishes to live alone? Living alone does not mean shunning people, friends, and families.

When we go to work we mix with people. When we go to prayer places we mix with people.

Some people when they go home they may prefer to live alone.

Some people find contemplation in solitude. What is wrong with that?

The word beast or god sounds so awful.

I think that he means bring alone as in having very odd beliefs, and not being part of the crowd. Mostly people like that are not regarded as "ordinary humans" - for instance in gender issues people who are not "manly" are seen as not quite there biologically too. On the other hansd a philosopher is a bit of a world creator, in that his ideas are game changing, and also influnence the way we see things at a deelp level.

 

 

But thats my opinion... trying  apologetics for Neiztsche, which may not be the wisest thing.

Love and obedience solely belongs to Allah.

Wisdom is the first step, someone who does not pass this step can not go further. This is logic of Quran too.

We can not start to get familiar with Allah and his path without wisdom. This is impossible.

Shia has a great share in philosophy and philosophy is logic of their imams too. Without wisdom and using wisdom no one can find and reach the path of Ahlul Bait (as). And for sure he can not become a lover of Allah and he can not become a hakim.

Thanks. Is philosophical "wisdom" for the Shi'a largely (at first at least) seen as practical - like healthy living etc? I have discussed philosophy a lot with atheists and Christians, and they seem to treat is mainly as an academic discipline, which may well exercise the intellect, but often the discussions are quite abstracted from everyday concerns....

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I wish somebody touches on what are the component parts / constituents / critieria of a philosophical thought.

 

A car is said to be car because it has a chassis, four wheels, engine, exhaust system, brake system, and so forth. A car is distinct from a motorbike.

 

How do we discern and tell 'ahah! that's philosophical' or 'that's just plain empirical observation' ...?

Edited by Vale of Tempe

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I wish somebody touches on what are the component parts / constituents / critieria of a philosophical thought.

A car is said to be car because it has a chassis, four wheels, engine, exhaust system, brake system, and so forth. A car is distinct from a motorbike.

How do we discern and tell 'ahah! that's philosophical' or 'that's just plain empirical observation' ...?

A purely philosophical thought about some X would consist of 2 essential things .

1) The way X reveals the One Ultimate Reality and

2) Our relationship with X in light of #1.

The reason for this is because of the very word Wisdom (Hikmat) in Arabic. Classically, wisdom has been defined as one whose actions are based on knowledge of the truth. And truth is ultimately one truth (namely the truth of the One Ultimate Reality).

So in the case of the car, it would be about how the car symbolizes God, and at the same time it will be about giving the car it's rightful due (by using it appropriately and perhaps even designing and manufacturing it in a way that would make it harmony with the rest of God's creation, or perhaps not even manufacturing it at all if it's very essence is disharmonious with the rest of God's creation).

Edited by eThErEaL

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What is the opposite of a "hakim" is Islam, or in arabic?

 

I know, or think I know that fasiquwn (obstinate, open sinners) are opposite of Mu'mim (believers). Is a hakim just a mu'min who likes - and perhaps excells at - the discipline of philosophy?

Edited by Luqman72

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This is a philosophical question so answer with care.

السلام علیکم

 

Philosophy has been defined as a discipline that discusses being (mawjud) qua being. Its subject deals with the essential properties of being qua being.  Its end is to achieve a general knowledge of existents and to distinguish them from that which is not really existent. In fact, philosophy is the knowledge of the realities of things, as they are in fact, so that through knowing these realities and the objective order of the world, man may realize in himself a microcosmic rational order, which corresponds to the objective world.

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I suppose I must be. Thanks fotr the tip!

No problem

However philosophy is very broad. It can be used in regards to almost everything. For example: the philosophy of Janes. But what does Philosophy really mean? Can it be explained in words for any man to understand?

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