T Nation

The Philosophy Thread


I'm a philosophy major, and I actually enjoy reading philosophy...So, who are your favorite philosophers, topics of interest, ethical issues, morality, etc...

I'll start: I like Kant and Nietzsche, especially Kant's ethical ideals. I also think Nietzsche would've been a great lifting partner, his stuff always gets me pumped!


Kant's ethics are vile.


so you are philosphy major who can whip my ass (as your profile says)? reasonable words from a thinking man. How exactly do you like Kant AND Nietzsche at the same time? Nietzsche craps on Kant. Is the answer behind the metaphysical curtain and will resolve all seeming contradictions (Kant reference)? So much of Neitzsche is destroying morality, while so much of Kant is building it up. Perhaps you like Nietzsche for being the father of decontructionalism, probably his greatest contribution to the field.


Locke, Bacon, Hume.


Might wanna calm down there buddy.




Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Burke, Brownson, John Adams, T.S. Elliot, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Elliot Kirk, &c.

Natural Law, conservatism, political economics, &c.


I think this would be a good place to ask this...if someone were trying to get into philosophy and learn more about it what route would you take as far as where to start and progress to? I mean famous philosophers, important text, schools of thought, etc.

I took a course on Ancient Philosophy and Politics last year as an elective and ended up getting the highest mark in the class. The workload was extremely light, the classes were fun and engaging, and it was only 3 tests and an essay. We mainly covered Plato [Republic, Symposium] and Aristotle [just selected works].

I enjoyed it a lot and since summer starts for me this month I'll have a lot more time to delve into this stuff. I'm planning on going over the books from last years class again, but where to go from there?

EDIT: I suppose I'll get some ideas when I get to finishing those first books, but suggestions are still nice :D.



Hitler. Mussolini. Terrance McKenna.


Anton LaVey

Honestly though I really don't think I have many particularly strong philosophical influences.


Haha good responses. I like Kant's ethics and his non-consequential ideas. I also like Nietzsche's work a lot. I love his whole will to power idea, I love his "get out there and take what you want" attitude. Yes, I realize these 2 philosophers are pretty much polar opposites, but that doesn't mean I can't respect them both.

In fact, I just wrote a huge paper on consequential vs. non-consequential ethics. My professor wanted us to contrast Utilitarianism w/ Kantianism. I see how these two ethical theories are different, but I honestly think that both can work simultaneously. Life isn't a vacuum, there usually isn't ONE WAY ONLY to think about things. I mean to say that in any given situation I can think about things through a Utilitarian perspective WHiLE also thinking through a Kantian perspective. I don't know if that makes any sense, lol, I've been busy/sleep deprived all week, but yeah, I'm glad to see other people dig philosophy!


I wholly respect the idea of being influence by two fields of thought that are labeled contrasting. I personally think truth lies within paradox.


no it doesn't make sense, because with Kant, morals (the good) are fixed, while in Utilitarianism whatever benefits the most people is what is good or right and thus not fixed. This leads to inherent clashes between the philosophies.
Hypothetical: terrorists say they will blow up a city unless you kill 10 innocent girls. Utilitarians would say killing the girls is right and good, because it benefits the most people. Kant would say killing is always morally reprehensible and thus killing the girls would be bad. Clearly not compatible.


if there would be a "truth" in paradox, if that even has some meaning, it would be that there is no Truth or is no Meaning in anything (which Neitzsche would support). A paradox is inexplicable--its something that does not work with the logic of the human mind, since it disobeys the rules of logic. Thus what is to be taken from paradox is that perhaps the subject projects all meaning. As for some "hidden meaning" or "hidden truth" in paradox, that's pseudo-philosophy.


I understand exactly what you're saying jomanders, I completely agree. Kant is non-consequentialist (meaning he only cares about intentions), while Utilitarians are consequentialist (meaning they pay more attention to consequence if it is the most beneficial). I get that...But, my point is that I don't define MYSELF as one or the other. For ME, I sometimes agree that intentions are more important. After all, most western jurisprudence is based on intentions, that's why there are different degrees of murder...But, as in your example, although I am more of a Kantian/non-consequentialist, I would still have to say that killing 10 to save 1,000 would be good/moral. My point wasn't that the 2 philosophies are similar or fit into one another, but rather that it IS possible to hold 2 conflicting views.

By the way, are you a philo student? You seem to know your stuff! I'm also looking for a good book if anyone has any recommendations - can be philosophy based or other! Good discussion.


Is that right? lol

This is the one of the possible downsides of studying too much philosophy. You begin to think if somebody else hasn't thought of it already it cannot be thought of. You stop thinking for yourself and become a perpetual regurgitation machine. It's a shame.

The use of the term pseudo-philosophy is a manifestation of this and supports the above paragraph. Philosophy(simply put) is thought; to say something is pseudo-philosophy is oxymoronical. It shows that you reject thought that you have not read in a text book already. You don't think for yourself.


How much is too much philosophy? And it would be a faulty assumption to think that if someone uses the term "pseudo-philosophy" then he believes that if somebody else hasn't thought of it already it cannot be thought of, because it does not necessarily follow. There's a lot of "you's" in your post, and i'm not sure if they are general "you's" or you have reduced this discussion into mere ad hominem attacks.
Psuedo-philosophy is short hand for saying thinking without logic, or shear imagination, or emotional thinking. There must be a distinction between that and actual philosophy, or else the discipline would be no discipline at all...anything would go and philosophy would be a laughing stock. In fact many in the general populace think you can "just say/argue anything in philosophy." this is not the case. There must be the limit of logic or the whole field deteriorates into a masturbatory exercise.
The "Hidden Truth" i reference is the stuff of pseudo-science and psuedo-philosophy. The sort of hidden truth i'm referring to is the sensationalist kind. It's not based on thought and logic, but rather emotion. It's not philosophy.


Is that right? lol


Is it?
i made an argument, i didn't spout out "truth"