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Greatest philosopher of all time


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Poll: Who is the greatest Philosopher? (82 member(s) have cast votes)

Who is the greatest Philosopher?

  1. Aristotle (16 votes [21.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.62%

  2. Rene Descartes (1 votes [1.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.35%

  3. Epicurus (2 votes [2.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.70%

  4. Martin Heidegger (1 votes [1.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.35%

  5. Immanuel Kant (4 votes [5.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.41%

  6. Karl Marx (9 votes [12.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.16%

  7. John Stuart Mill (4 votes [5.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.41%

  8. Friedrich Nietzsche (15 votes [20.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.27%

  9. Karl Popper (2 votes [2.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.70%

  10. Other (below) (20 votes [27.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.03%

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#1 caliban

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:55 PM


http://www.bbc.co.uk...opher_why.shtml

I have had to cut the shortlist from 20 to 9, please complain if I made the wrong choices.

If you can't decide on greatness, please just vote your favourite. :))

#2 Lazarus Long

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 08:32 PM

What no Socrates and/or Plato? [:o]

tsk tsk

Not to mention eastern philosophers like Confucius or Lao Tzu?

You put Marx and not Hegel?

Mill but not Locke or Rousseau?

My, my, I think you are stacking the deck my friend. :))

Was it our software that forced you to make these arbitrary and slanted cuts?

Their list of twenty beats your nine IMHO [wis]

I am fond of Democritus and Spinoza myself [thumb]
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#3 caliban

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 08:41 PM

Now

Confucius? Lao Tzu? Hegel? Locke? Rousseau?


Hey, don't blame me, none of them made the BBC shortlist


Re:

What no Socrates and/or Plato?

I am proudly

stacking the deck.


But do they have anything to contribute? [wis]

Edit:

I am fond of Democritus and Spinoza myself

You slipped that in late. Democritus wasn't on the list (for good reasons I'd imagine)
I was rather sad to have to leave Spinoza out myself, by all means do vote for him under "other"

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#4 Lazarus Long

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 08:50 PM

Funny this is the list at a link on their page.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...pher_list.shtml
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) "Man was born free but everywhere he is in chains". Philosopher of the French Enlightenment

Ibn-Rushd (Averroes) (1126-98) - Introduced much of Aristotle to Medieval Europe; magisterial commentator on both Aristotle and Plato; also defended philosophy's role in Islam

Parmenides (c.510-450 BC) - Nothing changes, change and motion are illusions of the senses

Simone De Beauvoir (1908-86) Feminist existentialist; tried to make women subjects of their own lives; not objects of men's lives.

Confucius (6th / 5th century BC) - Founder of Confucianism; the highest moral ideal is jen (humanity or goodness) which is achievable by all; the rites and traditions of society are to be followed but not without question.

John Locke (1632-1704) Founder of British Empiricism; the mind is a tabula rasa (a blank canvas) in which knowledge arises from sensation and is perfected by reflection. Science is possible because the senses faithfully represent reality.

Democritus (460-370 BC) - Conceived the atomic theory of matter

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55) - Suffering is necessary; the individual must stand alone against the crowd.

Epicurius (341-271 BC) - All sensations are true; pleasure is our natural goal.

Hildegaard of Bingen (1098-1179) - Medieval theologian who wrote Scivias, 'Know the Way' interpreting her own visions. Also a poet and musician.

Georg Hegel (1770-1831) Thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis - the inevitable dialectic of history.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) - people are inherently selfish and need strong governance, otherwise anarchy will reign and life become "nasty brutish and short". Such social contract thinking influenced Rousseau, Spinoza and Locke.
Find out about more philosophers...



#5 susmariosep

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 08:57 PM

For me Susma is the greatest philosopher, ever.


First, because he is the only man in the whole history of human learning that has drafted a definition of philosophy that makes sense for me and for anyone who has his senses functioning in the right way, a definition of philosophy that applies to philosophy as distinct from any other endeavors of humans, a definition that is BEC, namely, brief, easy, and clear. Here below is his definition of philosophy.

Philosophy is the continuous unending search for the programming that exists or might exist or should exist in everything by speculative reason.

I challenge anyone to bring up a better definition of philosophy or to draft a better one and at the same time is BEC: brief, easy, and clear.

Second, because Susma has explained and continued to explain to me anything or everything correctly and realistically, I have a mind to inquire into, to explain, namely in a BEC way, that is: briefly, easily, and clearly.

Third because he has fashioned a philosophy for me, a philosophy which aside from being BEC, is also the most comprehensible and the only one that should interest mankind, namely, physiologism.

What is physiologism?

Physiologism is the philosophy from Susma (read above for the definition of philosophy) which advocates the order for man and humanity as the cultivation positively of human existence and life as to enhance man and humanity to the nth degree in everything that is his physiology, and that includes everything from eating to thinking, and the abolition negatively of anything and everything that is in any way detrimental to the enhancement of man and humanity in his physiology.

Fourth, again for all the three reasons adduced above, whereby Susma for me is the greatest philosopher since the dawn of human thinking, because he has explained philosophy for me which applies to all philosophies which can be discerned to be an endeavor distinct from science, religion, and art, namely, by the first two reasons above listed; and for the third reason above, namely, he has thought up a philosophy, physiologism (see above for definition) that is applicable to all men and for all times and in all climes, and which all men will accept and practice faithfully for all times and in all climes, as the most productive and the most ameliorative of man and humanity, if they have their senses functioning as they should.


How's that for vanity? Hahaha and hehehe.


Susma

#6 eternaltraveler

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:12 PM

Luckily I'm an Aristotle fan, and he's on the list. I mean, he taught Alexander the great how to take over the world. His ideas work :))

#7 Lazarus Long

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:21 PM

And Wittgenstein [!]

Not to mention Schopenhauer [cry]

BTW, some mentioned above are on the list of 20 to vote for, you just didn't select enough links.

11-15

16-20

#8 susmariosep

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:28 PM

Bad teacher to a bad student.


Aristotle is a very bad teacher to a very bad student, for not having taught his most notorious student to curb his ambition to enslave other peoples.

He is also a very poor teacher because he did not have the genius to produce a summa which the medieval philosophers had the genius for, so that we can get through his voluminous writings in order to come to his teachings BECly, that is, brief, easy, and quick.

And that is what we should want philosophers to do -- if we have our senses functioning correctly and realistically, since the medieval ones who produced their summas, to also produce their summas before they die or while they are still in precarious existence.

Obviously they either or both don't have that kind of a genius the medieval summa-ists had, or they don't have anything they have the courage and the candor to tell us about -- that's the why they keep on writing voluminously, adding more and more words to human discourse but without bringing anything that man in the street already knows even before Aesop, and man acts on, even without so much fanciful words.

Susma


Luckily I'm an Aristotle fan, and he's on the list. I mean, he taught Alexander the great how to take over the world. His ideas work :))



#9 Lazarus Long

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:31 PM

BTW Susma I think you have to be dead to be on the list so self promotion is not allowed. :))

Otherwise I am confident Dennet would be a popular favorite here at Imminst. [glasses]

#10 Infernity

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:40 PM

"For me Susma is the greatest philosopher, ever." - - Susma

Let me comment in your words:
"Hahahahahaha and Hehehehehehehe"
:)

Now in mine:
[lol]

Yours
~Infernity

#11 susmariosep

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:51 PM

One good student though not a disciple.


If I only succeed in winning one good student, I will die happy.

Infern, you are one such good student, though not a disciple, and I do not encourage at all discipleship.


Hahahahahaaaaaaa and heheheheheheeeeeeeee!


Go and forth and do likewise.


Susma

[i]"For me Susma is the greatest philosopher] - - Susma

Let me comment in your words:
"Hahahahahaha and Hehehehehehehe"
:)

Now in mine:
[lol]

Yours
~Infernity



#12 Infernity

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:59 PM

If I only succeed in winning one good student, I will die happy.

Um, remind, me, was there any point in dying? [glasses]

However, thank you for the nice words, I suppose.

~~~

Um guys, silly question- Newton wasn't a philosopher was he? He was "just" a physicist and a mathematician, no? I'm a bit confused...

Yours truthfully
~Infernity

#13 susmariosep

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:06 PM

Irrelevant search, then,


There is no greatest philosopher dead, because there has never been one, except maybe those who produced their summas and added something new and integrated it into their summas also. But such geniuses are not in the BBC list even.

Why is there no such greatest of philosophers among the dead ones.?

Correction, there is but we have to look for them elsewhere than in the list of twenty from BBC or that list from Caliban.

Maybe Confucius.

Why are all those in the BBC list and in Caliban's list not by my measure any great at all?

Because as I said earlier they don't have the genius to say their say BECly, that is briefly, easily, and clearly; or they don't have anything to say which they are convinced themselves to be of any real worth to mankind, or both.

And the tragedy is that they themselves don't even know their deficiencies in these two respects.

And that is why from vanity -- one of the seven deadly vices which plague man and God alike, namely, vanity (pride), lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, sloth, they keep on writing so voluminously, coining impressively new words, believing, in their own ignorance of themselves, lack of candid self-knowledge owing again to their vanity, that in much oh too much talking they can appear to be saying something worthwhile.

But they are not going to hoodwink man in the street like Susma.

So, tell me one thought from them that is not known to men in the street, and without having to construct an amorphous edifice of words pretending to reach to the height of heaven and the depth of hell.


Hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa and heheheheheheheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Susma


BTW Susma I think you have to be dead to be on the list so self promotion is not allowed.  :))

Otherwise I am confident Dennet would be a popular favorite here at Imminst. [glasses]



#14 Infernity

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:13 PM

Finally some sense, dead philosophers as all dead creatures are not existing and never were.

Well Susma, let me rephrase it only for you- which information is the most superior to you- the info that would have created person such X, Y, Z, etc... (from Caliban's list)?

[sfty]

Yours truthfully
~Infernity

#15 susmariosep

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:22 PM

Please be BEC: brief, easy, and clear, all three.[/b


As I write here I suffer the apprehension, that Caliban might simply strike out my writings here for not being relevant to his thread; for he has a rule that the author of a thread reserves the right to delete posts he thinks not relevant.

So I keep on saving as soon as I am about to transmit a message and then save again as soon as the message comes out if at all before the screen as already published in ImmInst Org.


Infern, thanks for writing briefly, but the easy and the clear aspects are not visible to me.

Please rephrase your request.

Susma


Finally some sense, dead philosophers as all dead creatures are not existing and never were.

Well Susma, let me rephrase it only for you- which information is the most superior to you- the info that would have created person such X, Y, Z, etc... (from Caliban's list)?

[sfty]

Yours truthfully
~Infernity



#16 Mind

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:23 PM

I lean towards the school of thought that logic=philosophy, and the world is just information. Therefore I choose Kurt Godel.

#17 Infernity

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:29 PM

[glasses]
Ok, Susma, you've got the idea of who 'were' all these philosophers, now since they've never exited- in 'their' aspects- all we have is the memory and comprehension of such possible people.
Now, which would you admire mostly?

Understood?

Yours truthfully
~Infernity

#18 caliban

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:35 PM

Look, polls only take 10 choices, feel free to open an alternative topic.

Why are all those in the BBC list and in Caliban's list not by my measure any great at all? 

Because you are stupid or ignorant?


Should have made this a CIRA topic. [sfty]

#19 susmariosep

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:26 AM

My resources of time and effort are limited.


To be honest I have not read any one philosopher's works completely from their earliest writings and even letters to their last recorded words as they gave up their spirit.

My knowledge of their thoughts is based on excerpts reproduced by scholars who aspire to understand them and explain their thoughts, which I think they mostly succeed if at all by giving very broad picture of what any one philosopher is all about, taking the entirety of their publications and private papers.

And even then scholars more often than not could not agree even what their most big picture is all about.

That's why I think they, these past philosophers and present ones, do not have the genius of the medieval summa-ists who took the effort to write summas of their thoughts on everything, including their critiques of the writings of other thinkers, and adding new elements which they thought are truly original with themselves; or these philosophers being reviewed for greatest don't have the guts to put their thoughts in summas BECly, because when they think carefully as to write BECly they realize that they are talking hokum, saying nothing worthwile if intelligible.


About you question, I confess I don't know anyone to be any possessed of greatness; but if I had the chance to live with ten of them sharing the same room, eating from the same table, sleeping in the quarters, then I might be able to tell you which one I would admire most, considering my own ideas about philosophy and my own one of physiologism.


No, I am not going to spend my precious time and effort reading their works in order to justify myself or to defend myself from the silly charge of people who use that argument that we have no right to judge a thinker unless and until we have read them, all their writings; that is one very bad fallacy which I will look into for the technical name, when and if I have the time for and when I care to.

My time is precious, too precious to waste on a lot of words which even the brightest of today's mind in language tell us say nothing but try to impress with their quantity and supposedly solemn sound.

Susma


[glasses]
Ok, Susma, you've got the idea of who 'were' all these philosophers, now since they've never exited- in 'their' aspects- all we have is the memory and comprehension of such possible people.
Now, which would you admire mostly?

Understood?

Yours truthfully
~Infernity



#20 susmariosep

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:36 AM

Think about this project.


Thanks, Nate.


Have you considered? about a simple book exposing the verbiage that says nothing in philosophers who write so monumentally and voluminously, which men in the street know about in their core thoughts from when men started to enjoy relfective thought, I mean those residues of some utitility from the philosopher, if they do say something intelligible in the midst of all the loquacity and dressed-up phraseology.

That will be a very helpful guide to people like myself who just feel a bit worried that they might miss someting really most useful and insightful for life and the ordering of one's thoughts, by not attending to these philosophers like their herd-ish disciples they manage to gather around them like so many sheep -- which they being the shepherd eventually lead to the slaughter house.

Susma


Susma, I completely agree. My thought is similar to yours. It's only possible that I'm my own greatest philosopher. Not only do I glorify no one, someone's thought is meaningless until I have the resources to pay them heed.

For a BEC definition: Philosophy is the only tool for developing guidelines about how to think and act non-passively.



#21 susmariosep

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:39 AM

Sincerest flattery.


QUOTE (Susma)
Why are all those in the BBC list and in Caliban's list not by my measure any great at all? UNQUOTE

Because you are stupid or ignorant? -- caliban.


That is one stack that is about to blow up.

Anyway, in the context, I consider it a most genuine encomium from you on my writings.

Susma

#22 Kalepha

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:11 PM

Have you considered? about a simple book exposing the verbiage that says nothing in philosophers who write so monumentally and voluminously, which men in the street know about in their core thoughts from when men started to enjoy relfective thought, I mean those residues of some utitility from the philosopher, if they do say something intelligible in the midst of all the loquacity and dressed-up phraseology.

Well, I know books like these already exist, as far as they function to help the lay-reader extract and semi-understand main ideas, points and counterpoints of philosophers. But that’s just to say the thinking is more accessible, not necessarily what you, Susma, might consider useful.

That will be a very helpful guide to people like myself who just feel a bit worried that they might miss someting really most useful and insightful for life and the ordering of one's thoughts, by not attending to these philosophers like their herd-ish disciples they manage to gather around them like so many sheep -- which they being the shepherd eventually lead to the slaughter house.

It sounds to me you’re more interested in business and politics, areas that, right at the outset, generally take for granted that the self is already plenty smart enough to know what it wants, as the intellect uncritically subordinates to truth-distorting physiological revelations and not vice versa. If that still doesn’t sound like you, consider that if philosophy/science is on one side of the intellectual spectrum with business/politics on the other, jurisprudence is in the middle.

#23 susmariosep

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:24 PM

Nate is one guy really cool as in equanimitous.


QUOTE (Nate) It sounds to me you’re more interested in business and politics, areas that, right at the outset, generally take for granted that the self is already plenty smart enough to know what it wants, as the intellect uncritically subordinates to truth-distorting physiological revelations and not vice versa. If that still doesn’t sound like you, consider that if philosophy/science is on one side of the intellectual spectrum with business/politics on the other, jurisprudence is in the middle. UNQUOTE


I am one guy who should be writing a short book on "How to Antagonize People and Make Enemies".

And you are one stack that refuses to blow up from interacting with me.

I think you have reached the acme of philosophy.

Go to the Truthmapping thread of Lazarus and my thread on Uses and Abuses of Words, and observe how one power here also otherwise equanimitous has his stack already in seismic tremor to blow up, and exercise your philosophical take of the situation.

That's not gossip, because gossip is when someone says something of discredit to another person away from his presence and stealthily. Besides, to say someone is about to blow his stack is not to do him discredit, for blowing one's stack is as normal as sneezing at the presence of appropriate stimulants.

That excerpt from your last message, it's hard for me to undecipher. Blame my cerebral limitation or my self-imposed routes of cerebral travels. But I believe I get you, the big picture.

Actually, for me on the one hand philosophy as it is being done from the ancient philosophers to today's celebrity ones seems to be dispensable; on the other hand it is an absorbing enterprise like the entomology of butterflies(?) pursued by the posthumous Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, to keep himself harmlessly engrossed and maybe reach also some findings which in most instances would not shake the world.

My first suspicion that philosophy is today dispensable is because every question that is asked by philosophers has a parallel scientific inquiry whereby a definite answer can be arrived at more surely than in philosophy.

Perhaps, philosophy should be an inquiry of science, I mean philosophers should do philosophy scientifically, using all the tools of science, starting with being systematically methodical and sticking to a fixed terminology as the inquiry proceeds, not of course excluding the formulation of new terms as necessary.

My view that philosophy today is also like a hobby pursued or in a more weighty perspective like the study of butterflies by Hirohito, to be more exact, like the study of archeology or of dead languages, is because I am more and more convinced that nothing really original has been said by later philosophers including the ones of today that has not been said or discussed by ancient ones.

Except that modern philosophers some are really very versatile with PR savvy, like Derrida. I think the guy while he lived and lectured he never would ever allow himself to be pinned down to an exact definition of what he meant by deconstruction -- by which deconstruction mantra he made a very good living and a very good celebrity following.

As to the question who is the greatest philosopher, I can't see anything for which they might be considered to be great. What is it to be great for them? We have St. Gregory the Great, Peter the Great, Alexander the Great, and I wonder who conferred that title on them. But Aristotle the Great(?), great for being the teacher of Alexander the Great? I said earlier that Aristotle was a bad teacher to a bad student, for he did not teach Alexander to curb his ambition to enslave peoples. And yes, he did not have the genius nor the guts to produce a summa of all his writings which medieval philosophers did, so that anyone and everyone can read briefly, easily, and clearly what he has to say on anything he did talk something about.


Caliban is annoyed with me and called me ignorant or stupid, because I can't see any one greatest among the philosophers in his list or that in the BBC's list, according to my measure of greatness. He reminds me of the Buddhist master splashing hot tea on the face of his would-be disciple, once and twice; but when the disciple did the same on him, he adjourned the session, collected his stipend, and terminated the master-disciple contract of private lessons. I mean Caliban's annoyability index is low, low for one who does polling.

Susma

If he is reading this post, I invite him to pay attention to my qualification




Susma

#24 Infernity

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:37 PM

Perhaps, philosophy should be an inquiry of science, I mean philosophers should do philosophy scientifically, using all the tools of science, starting with being systematically methodical and sticking to a fixed terminology as the inquiry proceeds, not of course excluding the formulation of new terms as necessary


Ah thank goodness you've concluded that, Susma! [thumb]
Too bad everyone's logics are different, and very good at once.

Yours truthfully
~Infernity

Edited by infernity, 08 June 2005 - 12:40 PM.


#25 Kalepha

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:16 AM

Susma, it’s my feeling you jumped into the deep end.

#26 susmariosep

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:20 PM

Qualification of qualification.


Allow me to qualify what I wrote using the word qualification in the last line of the immediately preceding message from me.

Caliban is annoyed with me and called me ignorant or stupid, because I can't see any one greatest among the philosophers in his list or that in the BBC's list, according to my measure of greatness. He reminds me of the Buddhist master splashing hot tea on the face of his would-be disciple, once and twice; but when the disciple did the same on him, he adjourned the session, collected his stipend, and terminated the master-disciple contract of private lessons. I mean Caliban's annoyability index is low, low for one who does polling.

Susma

If he is reading this post, I invite him to pay attention to my qualification.

Susma


By that word qualification in the above excerpt, I am not saying that Caliban should consider my qualifications, such as are usually mentioned in biodata and curriculum vitae.

What I mean is that he should attend to the qualification I made namely "not by my measure", when I asked:

QUOTE (Susma)
Why are all those in the BBC list and in Caliban's list not by my measure any great at all? UNQUOTE

Of course they could be great by other measures, but not by my measure which I did take pains to explain, namely, what the measure of mine consists in.


Susma

#27 susmariosep

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:29 PM

One qualification for credible philosophers.


Here is my prescription for would-be credible philosophers: Anyone writing philosophy, in order to be taken seriously, must have established very sound and recognized credentials in science, including but not limited to mathematics and logic as the two disciplines are sciences and not philosophies.

People without such a qualification can still do philosophy and write voluminously on philosophy, but I am very tempted not to consider them seriously except as incredible philosophers distinct from credible ones.

The latters can discuss endlessly all kinds of issues, like some people are doing about a perpetual motion machine, and also that Jesuit I read some years back still writing about how the sun is the center of the universe -- but I could never find again that piece of print where I read about him.

Susma

#28 John Doe

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 03:47 AM

Hume.

#29 caliban

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 12:31 PM

Currently:

Aristotle: 4
Friedrich Nietzsche: 3
Rene Descartes: 1
Hume: 1
susmariosep : 1

I hear Marx is currently leading the BBC poll. [sfty]

I'd suggest readers ignore the noise in this thread.
Could we hear a few reasons for your choices?

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#30 Kalepha

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 01:09 PM

Could we hear a few reasons for your choices?

If I had to pick one it would have to be Alfred North Whitehead. Although I don’t use his terminology, his arguments initiated my thinking into how reality is fundamentally signals and that to understand reality is to understand the nature of signals, their relationships, and the nature of the relationships, at both abstract and elemental levels, termed events. From this, it follows that my only role in reality is to understand what I can about it and to rearrange some of its elements and components (given reality is the highest-level system). Although the notions of signals, relationships, and element-component rearrangement are vague, vagueness, if congruently accurate, is the structure for the edifice of precision.




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