I've been reading questions and answers in this site for a while, and I've come to the idea that philosophical questions arise mainly in a response to a psychological need, like having a cognitive dissonance and seeking consistence, reaching the limit of thought and feeling paradox, or failing to understand a phenomenon that is bothering you.

A couple of examples may help clarify what I'd like help understanding.

The demarcation problem and the scientific method: When people argue about what is scientific and what is not, or about what defines the scientific method, what would answering such questions practically change, except, for example, resolving a inner conflict whether one should be certain about scientific facts, or whether one can feel justified about taking some position regarding science?

Wittgenstein claims to dissolve philosophical problems, considering that they arise when language gets out of the real-world context and "goes on holiday".

From such a perspective, what motivation could one have to philosophize in the first place, instead of "living life"? (To what extent is this even a fair framing of the problem?)

  • Yes: "failing to understand" is the root of asking philosophical questions. About "internal conflicts", we can at least agree that the best way to avoid having doubts ( I prefer this "old" terms to "cognitive dissonance") is to avoid thinking. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jun 5 '16 at 10:40
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    there's a difference between why someone asks a question on a site and why philosophical problems arise – user6917 Jun 5 '16 at 13:02
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    I would suggest that an essential part of understanding is knowing the correct questions to ask, and determining the correct questions to ask is a philosophical exercise. – Nick Jun 5 '16 at 17:00
  • Thanks @Joseph-Weissman for editing the question. I admit that I myself didn't find it was very clear once I posted it. I think that a part of what I intended to say is, in the same way that Wittgenstein dissolved philosophical problems for "language reasons", can we do so by focusing on the psychological motivations behind these questions? – Yassine Marzougui Jun 6 '16 at 3:05

This is an incomplete and sort of partial answer. But hopefully it might help provide an orientation around some texts that would answer your question more substantially.

D+G emphasize in What is Philosophy? that we should not consider philosophy as a "higher" sort of activity than its cultural "rival" disciplines, science and art.

Philosophy is not more or less difficult than art or science. It cannot even be said to think more, since artists undoubtedly think but in a different fashion altogether, through a different medium (e.g., colors in composition), and scientists and mathematicians surely think as well (even if through variables assembled into functional relationships.)

A philosophical concept is no different in principle, no harder or easier to understand than an artistic composition or a mathematical function.

At the very least: the same creative operations of reference, consistency and resonance are at work in philosophy as in art and science.

Why do philosophical problems come about?

An encounter with the outside "splits" the subject and compels thought. Problems result from external relations, being open to the aleatory encounter which demands thinking: being equal to the Event. The event for philosophy is certainly not the same as a great historical event, and indeed sometimes they are nearly imperceptible (or indeed incorporeal.) But it is exactly here where a ruthlessly lucid empiricism is needed...

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