Philosophy

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“But we may fairly say that they alone are engaged in the true duties of life who shall wish to have Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus, and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus, as their most intimate friends every day. No one of these will be “not at home,” no one of these will fail to have his visitor leave more happy and more devoted to himself than when he came, no one of these will allow anyone to leave him with empty hands; all mortals can meet with them by night or by day.

 

No one of these will force you to die, but all will teach you how to die; no one of these will wear out your years, but each will add his own years to yours; conversations with no one of these will bring you peril, the friendship of none will endanger your life, the courting of none will tax your purse. From them you will take whatever you wish; it will be no fault of theirs if you do not draw the utmost that you can desire. What happiness, what a fair old age awaits him who has offered himself as a client to these! He will have friends from whom he may seek counsel on matters great and small, whom he may consult every day about himself, from whom he may hear truth without insult, praise without flattery, and after whose likeness he may fashion himself.

 

We are wont to say that it was not in our power to choose the parents who fell to our lot, that they have been given to men by chance; yet we may be the sons of whomsoever we will. Households there are of noblest intellects; choose the one into which you wish to be adopted; you will inherit not merely their name, but even their property, which there will be no need to guard in a mean or niggardly spirit; the more persons you share it with, the greater it will become. These will open to you the path to immortality, and will raise you to a height from which no one is cast down. This is the only way of prolonging mortality—nay, of turning it into immortality. Honours, monuments, all that ambition has commanded by decrees or reared in works of stone, quickly sink to ruin; there is nothing that the lapse of time does not tear down and remove. But the works which philosophy has consecrated cannot be harmed; no age will destroy them, no age reduce them; the following and each succeeding age will but increase the reverence for them, since envy works upon what is close at hand, and things that are far off we are more free to admire. The life of the philosopher, therefore, has wide range, and he is not confined by the same bounds that shut others in. He alone is freed from the limitations of the human race; all ages serve him as if a god. Has some time passed by? This he embraces by recollection. Is time present? This he uses. Is it still to come? This he anticipates. He makes his life long by combining all times into one.

 

But those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been busied in doing nothing.”

– Seneca

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Young Einstein dared to waste time by reading Kant and attending University lectures only for pleasure. After a few years, he wrote three separate articles laying foundations for most useful(atomic theory), most beautiful (relativity)and most unworldly(quantum mechanics) scientific theories.

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“We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.”

-Albert Camus

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Reality, attributes, existence,   being , becoming, ultimate world stuff, ultimate context, etc.  still belong to philosophy not science. …………………………………….. Even when practically inescapable, we can at least philosophically try to enjoy life’s existential contingency and absurdity. Again a practical approach! ……………………………………..

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“All scientific thinking is just a derivative and rigidified form of philosophical
thinking. Philosophy never arises from or through science. Philosophy can never
belong to the same order as the sciences. It belongs to a higher order, and not just
“logically” as it were or in a table of the system of sciences. Philosophy stands in a
completely different domain and rank of spiritual Dasein.”
–Martin Heidegger

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“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”
-Albert Camus

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“A novel is never anything but a philosophy put into images.”

-Albert Camus

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We still wonder about our  own position in the spectrum of existence.

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Man is a contextualizing creature.
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Man attempts to understand himself with reference to within and without.
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A quest for meaning sets apart man from other biological species.

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Man is not content with what he is; instead he strives towards “what he can be” by exploiting  the natural “cause-effect” axiom to its full utility.

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Human restlessness for meaning ,at least in part, manifests itself as a journey from primordial caves to modern skyscrapers.
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Modern epistemological approaches like  positivism, scepticism, deconstruction, scientism, postmodernism, etc.   have reduced traditional phenomenological context of reality to a psychological one.
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The essence of meaning has gradually been lost to the definitions of meaning.
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In modern epistemologies , reality is  replaced by theory, map by territory and  ‘being’ by ‘attribute’.
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In modern epistemologies , nature in its entirety is a mere symbol.

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Every epiphenomenon happening in the membrane of space time reminds us of symbolic noumenon.

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Noumenon is something that exists independently of human sense. Phenomenon is an object of the senses.
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“We rise from the conception of form to an understanding of the forces which gave rise to it”.

  • Wentworth Thompson
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Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers.


It’s actually one’s inner rebel that needs mystery to go beyond life’s mechanical burdens and hence bothers on the nature of self and existence.
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“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” -Stephen Hawking


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We should wonder how much in number and peculiarity can be ideas emerging from philosophy, science and mathematics.

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“Whatever exists as the ultimate, uncaused reality is neither probable nor improbable. It just is.”

 
Keith Parsons
 

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We are such forms of disequilibrium who need  the meaning (why and what ) of their own origin.

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With a large enough chance, any unlikely thing is likely to happen.

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A jackpot winner shouldn’t wonder why she won.

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Helio-centrism and Darwinism  removed humans from the physical center of their universe.

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One should know about physics,  cosmology, biology and other sciences  to construct a coherent worldview.

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Science is the only cognitive authority in the world today.

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No matter how well confirmed scientific  theories they are always provisional—open to change in light of new evidence.

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Theoretical musings and introspection are no substitute for hard-won empirical evidence.

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Science is daily confirmed by the wonders of the technology it spawns.

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If we need the best knowledge of ourselves and our world that we have, out best choice would be the knowledge provided by modern science.

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Both cosmology and biology  have important things to say about the meaning of life.

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What we know shouldn’t be confused with what we do not know.

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Our universe began about 13.81 billion years ago. The discovery is  a testimony to the power of science.

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