Most significant philosophical ideas

Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Most significant philosophical ideas

Post by ruby sparks » Tue May 02, 2017 8:59 pm

Suggestions for most significant philosophical...discoveries/ideas/arguments. Answers accepted from epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic and aesthetics.......etc.

By philosophical I mean to omit scientific.

By significant I mean enduring, profound, important and/or influential.

I'm sure there could be disagreement about definitions and whatever, but....

Off the top of my head....in no particular order of merit...





Democracy

Utilitarianism

The Principle of Evidence (Hume)

The Golden Rule (varieties of)

The Problem of Induction

Cogito Ergo Sum

Arguments against theism (varieties of)

Arguments against (Libertarian) Free Will

Karma

The phrase 'all is vanity'

The phrase 'a life unexamined is a life not worth living'

The phrase, 'a true philosopher spends their life preparing for death'

Feminism

Environmentalism

Occam's Razor

The Stoicist idea that it is not so much what happens to you that causes you to suffer so much as how you respond to it.

"Don't forget to love yourself' (Kierkegaard).






Just some of my personal suggestions, scattershot-style. I have probably left out several from logic. :(

Inspire me with yours. :)
Last edited by ruby sparks on Tue May 02, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
Tubby
Posts: 3744
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:32 pm
Location: USA

Post by Tubby » Wed May 03, 2017 5:20 am

How abstract and impersonal can a god worthy of that name be? (Spinoza)

(Is it the case that) the proper study of mankind is man. (Alexander Pope)

Is philosophy ever more worthless as it deviates further away from matters of science? (Richard Feynman)

How universal is the mathematics of Earthlings? An alien race on another planet could have more math than we do, or less of it, but can they (or we!) be justified in placing confidence in some math that just plain disagrees one planetary race to the other?

How do nonhuman creatures model the world? (At another board I once asked if high-flying birds or migrating whales know our planet to be spherical. And when the alley cat consistently slinks out from under the parked vehicle as soon as a big biped steps into the vehicle, does the cat understand the purpose of the operator of the vehicle?)

"Tubby's Dilemma" I call it, though realistically it's probably been the topic of economists many times in their literature, which I never read. If an individual doesn't feel special motivation to pass assets on to heirs, how should he arrange his investing and spending, given educated guesses--but no certain knowledge-- on how much longer he may live to spend said assets, and how much pleasure he can get out of spending with an aging body and brain? {Maybe this comes down to something prosaic like spreadsheeting some actuarial data, I don't know.}

User avatar
Hermit
Posts: 6129
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:34 pm

Post by Hermit » Wed May 03, 2017 6:09 am

[quote=""Tubby""]How do nonhuman creatures model the world?[/quote]They don't. Just the way the Chinese of ancient times worked out the next eclipse of the sun and how the Antikythera mechanism functions, it's pattern recognition - inductivism at its finest.

Back on topic:

Monotheism
Capitalism
Marxism
Psychoanalysis

plebian
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Location: America

Post by plebian » Wed May 03, 2017 6:20 am

I know you said not science, but this was philosophical:
http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm

User avatar
JamesBannon
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:39 am
Location: Barrhead, Scotland

Post by JamesBannon » Wed May 03, 2017 6:25 am

All philosophy is intellectual wankery, but some is more wankery than others. :evil:
There you go with them negative waves ... Why can't you say something righteous and beautiful for a change? :grouphug:

plebian
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Location: America

Post by plebian » Wed May 03, 2017 6:51 am


plebian
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Location: America

Post by plebian » Wed May 03, 2017 10:16 am

Everything exists according to its own nature. Our individual perceptions of worth, correctness, beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.
Image

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 11:25 am

[quote=""plebian""]Everything exists according to its own nature. Our individual perceptions of worth, correctness, beauty, size, and value exist inside our heads, not outside them.
Image[/quote]

Good one. I nearly added Relativism to my list. :)

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 11:29 am

I will add:


Plato's Allegory of the Cave (even if not in quite the way Plato might have intended).

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 11:30 am

[quote=""Hermit""]Monotheism
Capitalism
Marxism
Psychoanalysis[/quote]

Excellent choices and an admirably focused (short) list.

You have leant more towards objective criteria such as 'influence' than I did. I think I started quite well with Democracy and slid into personal preference shortly after.

User avatar
JamesBannon
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:39 am
Location: Barrhead, Scotland

Post by JamesBannon » Wed May 03, 2017 11:54 am

Rawls Theory of Justice for a number of reasons.
Ideal Observer Theory.
Kenneth Arrow on Social Choice Theory.
Bertrand Russel, especially on Atheism.
Hume & Smith (naturally, as I'm a Scot).
Thomas Payne and some of his French contemporaries, who really defined the basis of republicanism.
There you go with them negative waves ... Why can't you say something righteous and beautiful for a change? :grouphug:

User avatar
Hermit
Posts: 6129
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:34 pm

Post by Hermit » Wed May 03, 2017 12:05 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Hermit;670417 wrote:Monotheism
Capitalism
Marxism
Psychoanalysis
Excellent choices and an admirably focused (short) list.

You have leant more towards objective criteria such as 'influence' than I did. I think I started quite well with Democracy and slid into personal preference shortly after.[/QUOTE]
It's short only because I didn't want to reiterate what had already been explicitly mentioned. Otherwise I would have included all but four items on your list. The ones I don't regard as enduring, profound, important and/or influential are

The phrase 'all is vanity'
The phrase 'a life unexamined is a life not worth living'
The phrase, 'a true philosopher spends their life preparing for death'
"Don't forget to love yourself' (Kierkegaard).

plebian
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Location: America

Post by plebian » Wed May 03, 2017 12:19 pm

Was going to add Rawls but forgot. I only just read him a year or two ago. I started a thread on it here at the time but it never took off.

ETA:Add the idea of Holism

User avatar
JamesBannon
Posts: 2266
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:39 am
Location: Barrhead, Scotland

Post by JamesBannon » Wed May 03, 2017 12:23 pm

One I forgot was G Debreu, particularly his work on general equilibria. You probably won't find a better work on competitive markets, including uncertainty.
There you go with them negative waves ... Why can't you say something righteous and beautiful for a change? :grouphug:

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 12:55 pm

Holism. Good one.

dancer_rnb
Posts: 5241
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:38 pm

Post by dancer_rnb » Wed May 03, 2017 3:54 pm

Anti-racism
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

User avatar
Tubby
Posts: 3744
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:32 pm
Location: USA

Post by Tubby » Wed May 03, 2017 5:47 pm

Veganism, from an ethics viewpoint rather than a health viewpoint.

Incidentally, I know of a Christian who claims animals don't suffer. He realizes the implications for the goodness of God if creatures who aren't guilty of original sin do suffer, so, clinging to scripture as the ultimate authority in all matters, he is forced to assert that animals only appear to suffer.

User avatar
Tubby
Posts: 3744
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:32 pm
Location: USA

Post by Tubby » Wed May 03, 2017 6:17 pm

Ethics of intellectual property rights-- patents, copyrights, public domain.

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 9:33 pm

Science.


Allowable, I will argue, despite my ruling out 'scientific' because science was a philosophical idea not a scientific one (and I was only aiming to omit scientific achievements).

In fact, were we to start ranking philosophical achievements, which I was not intending to do, would anyone argue that something else other than science was philosophy's greatest achievement (so far)?

I can't think of an area of human endeavour, philosophical or otherwise, where science has not either made a significant impact or potentially (and perhaps soon) will. So far, only the arts seem to have survived comparatively unscathed.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Wed May 03, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

plebian
Posts: 2838
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Location: America

Post by plebian » Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Science.


Allowable, I will argue, despite my ruling out 'scientific' because science was a philosophical idea not a scientific one (and I was only aiming to omit scientific achievements).

In fact, were we to start ranking philosophical achievements, which I was not intending to do, would anyone argue that something else other than science was philosophy's greatest achievement (so far)?

I can't think of an area of human endeavour, philosophical or otherwise, where science has not either made a significant impact or potentially (and perhaps soon) will. So far, only the arts seem to have survived comparatively unscathed.[/quote]

Buddhist philosophy seems to have generally weathered the storm. Science can tell you how to get something but not how to feel about it.

User avatar
ruby sparks
Posts: 7781
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:51 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by ruby sparks » Wed May 03, 2017 10:11 pm

[quote=""plebian""]Science can tell you how to get something but not how to feel about it.[/quote]

Maybe, but it's gone a fair way to explaining how you feel about it. It probably isn't a million miles away from getting you to feel a certain way about it too. I'm thinking about Prozac, for example. Heck, some think that science can explain and produce love, or at least orgasms. I'm not sure which to suggest is the more profound experience.

On the first sentence:
[quote=""plebian""]Buddhist philosophy seems to have generally weathered the storm.[/quote]

Yes, perhaps it has. Indeed, thinking about it, quite a lot of philosophy is somewhat 'unscathed' (think of a lot of Continental Philosophy, for example). In some cases, this may be because of trying to be so, trying to keep itself apart? I'm only speculating. Perhaps analytic philosophy is nowadays by and large infused with scientific influence.

Anyhows, I'm sometimes minded to consider science to be applied philosophy, so the distinction may be somewhat artificial.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Wed May 03, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
Tubby
Posts: 3744
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:32 pm
Location: USA

Post by Tubby » Thu May 04, 2017 2:07 am

The ethics of tending to our planet as our technological capabilities ramp up. At some point our descendants may be able to locate every last lump of coal and drop of crude within a kilometer of the surface, but should they extract it all and burn it? When we get to the point where we can deflect or otherwise modify asteroids and comets which nature would have slammed into Earth, should we always do so?

User avatar
Hermit
Posts: 6129
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:34 pm

Post by Hermit » Thu May 04, 2017 3:28 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Anyhows, I'm sometimes minded to consider science to be applied philosophy, so the distinction may be somewhat artificial.[/quote]
Until the 19th century science was better known as "natural philosophy", and philosophy itself - "love of knowledge" - is arguably proto-science, at least since Aristotle.

User avatar
Aupmanyav
Posts: 6896
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:53 pm
Location: New Delhi

Post by Aupmanyav » Thu May 04, 2017 7:46 am

Tat twam asi (That is what you are) - Uddalaka Aruni
Sabbe dhamma anattta (All compounds are devoid of self) - Lord Buddha
'Sarve khalu idam Brahma'
All things here are Brahman (physical energy).

User avatar
Tubby
Posts: 3744
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:32 pm
Location: USA

Post by Tubby » Fri May 05, 2017 3:39 am

I don't know if this is 100 years down the line, or 500 years. But we're going to need quite a pow-wow on the ethics of genetic manipulation. Computers will be able to model accurately all those traits--behavioral and physical--that stem from genetics. If the program can rank traits by desirability, it will be able to form a hypothetical gene sequence, base-by-base, for the optimal human female and for the optimal human male. And there will be lab techniques that can bring those precise chromosomes into physical existence in the form of a newborn. How many "ideals" if any should be cranked out? And in order to get genetic diversity, which has its pluses in a population, how far down the list should they go, and which adults should get chosen to parent which genetic choices? "Don't give me a baby that is going to lack perfect pitch...," etc.

Post Reply