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48 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Do you have a proof that we don't hold ourselves to higher standards? There's actually a rather interesting little corner of mathematics called "proof theory." It deals with the question of what a ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 18.2k
20 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

I will enlarge upon Nuclear Wang's reply by turning the question around a bit, as follows. When did natural philosophers (also known as scientists) decide that philosophy was not useful, and why? I ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
19 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

If I'm understanding your question correctly, then you're basically asking "why doesn't philosophy have the same level of rigor as mathematical proof?" I think there's two parts involved in ...
virmaior's user avatar
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19 votes

Would philosophy be useless if there were a box of answers?

Since it was more for less settled that metaphysical questions can't be settled and moral statements are not factual ("is-ought" problem), the job of modern philosophy is mostly to study the ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,711
19 votes

If philosophy is based on reason and rationality, then why is there so much disagreement?

The short version is that argumentation requires premises and inferences to get to conclusions. Even if philosophers agree on a systematic approach to inference, let's call such agreement logic, the ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
17 votes

Why isn't the dictum "something can't come from nothing" a matter of consensus?

I disagree with your assertion that physics has nothing to say about this. There was a time when "nothing" was thought of as a box with no contents. Then it was discovered that it contained ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
16 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Philosophical theories are more like scientific theories than mathematical theories, in that they have empirical content. As such, there aren't any (universally agreed upon) "first principles" that ...
Adam Sharpe's user avatar
  • 3,864
15 votes

Should I trust my own thoughts when studying philosophy?

No infinite is less than the other There are actually a wild variety of infinities. See eg Strange but True: Infinity Comes in Different Sizes for an introduction. For a more in-depth picture of ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 22.3k
15 votes

Is philosophy bad for you (if taken too literally)?

Can particular kinds of philosophising have disastrous consequences? Yes, and sometimes they have. Especially when they have been the motivation for extreme political movements. Can philosophising ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 26.3k
15 votes

If philosophy is based on reason and rationality, then why is there so much disagreement?

It has been said man is a rational animal. All my life I have tried to find evidence that could support this. Bertrand Russell While in the above, Russell takes aim at logic and the rational, he didn'...
Rushi's user avatar
  • 3,348
14 votes
Accepted

How is Philosophy related to Science?

I find it useful to approach this question from the bottom up. You made a philosophical argument: My argument is that there is no way to deny the sure success of the sciences (like Physics, ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 18.2k
14 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

Philosophy became more limited in scope during the 19th century. In the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophy encompassed all forms of knowledge, but specialized subfields of physics, medicine, ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
14 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

In the old joke, a college president complains to his physics professors that they are always asking for expensive equipment. All the mathematics teachers need is pencil, paper, a wastebasket, he says,...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
14 votes

Does philosophy rely on intuitions? If so, does this mean all of philosophy is nothing more than hunches?

Does philosophy rely on intuition? Yes. Does that mean it is nothing more than hunches? No. To conclude so would be the rather elementary fallacy of composition: The fallacy of composition is an ...
J D's user avatar
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12 votes

Should I trust my own thoughts when studying philosophy?

Intuition Is Important in Philosophy However, I am scared to trust my own thoughts lest my ideas are erroneous. Well, coming from a place of fear is a bit irrational since the stakes don't seem to ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
11 votes

Is arguing pro choice because "a woman has the right to control her body" invalid?

I don't think it's the best argument for someone on the pro choice side (apart from being useful at persuading others perhaps). The reason I don't think it's a very strong argument (and I'm pro-...
Franz's user avatar
  • 503
11 votes

The older, the smarter. Is the wisdom of time a scientifically proven fact or just human prejudices?

The Egyptians understood Pythagoras' theorem. Guess what, we didn't bin. They say no average citizen was able to live as well as a citizen of Ancient Rome before the Fall, until London in the 1720s, ...
CriglCragl's user avatar
  • 22.3k
10 votes
Accepted

What is the argument for Heidegger's claim that philosophy can only be done in Greek and German?

First, I want to mention an important rule (which of course has caveats), but the accuracy with which a philosopher writes about the history of philosophy is in general inversely proportional to their ...
virmaior's user avatar
  • 24.8k
10 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

A proof is only as strong as the axioms it is built upon. Mathematics works over a very limited number of strong axioms to work with, which gives it a limited number* of things that can be proven, but ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
10 votes

Why doesn't philosophy have higher standards for its arguments?

Because it would then cease to be philosophy. Philosophy sees itself as the progenitor of all the sciences, as its questions lead to the paradigm shifts upon which branches of science are founded. ...
Carduus's user avatar
  • 353
10 votes

Would philosophy be useless if there were a box of answers?

Such a box cannot exist To begin with a bit of a story. At the end of the 19th century the mathematician Frege was developing a theory which could be used as a basis of all of mathematics. This ...
Sriotchilism O'Zaic's user avatar
10 votes

What is the difference between western and other philosophies?

Western philosophy (as commonly understood) is a set of philosophical systems originating in the Middle East and Europe that are heavily influenced by biblical hermeneutics (talmudic argumentation) ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
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10 votes

Why isn't the dictum "something can't come from nothing" a matter of consensus?

Because "something can't come from nothing" leads to infinite regress/explanatory failure when you ask the question, "Where did things come from?" We will assume that "...
user3067860's user avatar
10 votes

Is there an overarching purpose for philosophy?

The problem--as with everything in the philosophical world--is that you'll get very different answers from different philosophers. For Plato, it's a path to deeper truth. For Hume, it's just ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 30.3k
9 votes

What is the logical distinction between “the same” and “equal to?”

Non sequitur I'll go off of the example in the comments, namely “One dollar” = “money” : “Nickel” = “money.” Therefore, “one dollar” = “nickel.” This is non sequitur - there's no logical reason to ...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 1,297
9 votes

Should I trust my own thoughts when studying philosophy?

The irony of your question is that you ultimately decide who or what you trust. If you don't trust your thoughts, then you trust your thought that your (other) thoughts aren't trustworthy. If you ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
  • 289
8 votes

Is philosophy about organizing our ignorance?

"A man might say, with enough truth to justify a joke: 'Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don’t know.'" -Bertrand Russell “Philosophy for Laymen” Universities Quarterly 1 (Nov 1946), ...
MmmHmm's user avatar
  • 2,417
8 votes

Is there an overarching purpose for philosophy?

Using a big brush, an overarching purpose for philosophy is to explain the world. Science and Religion are also hard at work trying to explain the world. Consequently, there are overlaps between ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
7 votes

What do philosophers make of intractable metaphysical controversies?

It seems that we find the same "battlefield of endless controversies" in figuring out what to make of metaphysics as Kant found within the metaphysics itself. But perhaps hosting controversies is the ...
Conifold's user avatar
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