Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unconsidered Third Option: Post on Internet

This one just appeared in my inbox today. I seem to have been selected randomly, addressed as 'teacher'. The author requests a confirmation or refutation of his definition of philosophy. I shall do neither:

Dear Teacher,

As a teacher of philosophy can you please confirm or refute that philosophy is the study of understanding.

Where: Understanding is the bestowing of meaning upon observations.

Meaning is the realisation obtained by applying beliefs to the observations of an understanding -the use of reason.

There are Two Kinds Of Beliefs:

i. Control the Understanding -those bestowed by nature and modified by infancy in the creation of an understanding so are unchangeable: that is, the instincts and infantile experiences, which dictate what the creature should, or should not, do - survive, eat, sleep, multiply, etc.- thus allowing the recognition of right from wrong, and are the morality of the understanding.

ii. Tools of the Understanding - those revealed by the understanding's experience of cause and effect. That is, if you step off a cliff you fall, and these axioms, which are collected and refined throughout the life of the understanding, allow the recognition of true or false and are the knowledge of the understanding.

-this Morality and Knowledge together form the beliefs, or truths, of the understanding. These beliefs, along with its observations, are the understanding. Hence:

Truth is the beliefs, or realisations, of an understanding, and form the reality of an understanding.

Reality is the creation of an understanding as it is the remembered meanings, or experience, of an understanding and consists of:


The nature of the understanding

Its senses


The position of the understanding

What it can observe


The experience of the understanding

The meaning it realises.

Wisdom is the habits (traditions) adopted by an understanding to achieve the greatest benefit from its reality.

These beliefs convert Philosophy into a useful tool-a science. This science of philosophy explains not only understanding, reality, and truth, but also language (the medium of understanding) and society (a shared understanding). These explanations allow a better understanding of ourselves by revealing why humanity behaves the way it does in forming a civilization (a dominant society) and why such a society waxes (refines its understanding) then wanes (loses its understanding).

Kind Regards,

[Redacted --person I do not know w/ .com thing]

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