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Previous thread: >>25265
>The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy organizes scholars from around the world in philosophy and related disciplines to create and maintain an up-to-date reference work.
>List of unsolved problems in philosophy


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Bryan Magee passed away last July, but I only just found out today. Also, I didn't realize he had published a well-received three-part autobiography. I hope to read it when the libraries re-open here. I have already read his mostly excellent intellectual autobiography "Confessions of a Philosopher."
>NY Times: Bryan Magee, Who Brought Philosophy to British TV, Dies at 89
>The last interview with Bryan Magee
There are links to more obituaries at the bottom of his wiki page.


Why study philosophy?


It's fun.
I'm going through Cassirrer's Language and Myth again after not reading any philosophy for a while and it's more entertaining than most fiction out there.


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>The closing paragraph of Magee’s book Ultimate Questions (2017), his final philosophical statement, is perhaps his most haunting – because in it he grapples with how he might approach the end of his life. “I can only hope that,” he writes, “when it is my turn, my curiosity will overcome my fear – though I may then be in the position of a man whose candle goes out and plunges him into pitch darkness at the very instant when he thought he was about to find what he was looking for.”


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Where should I start with Neoplatonism?
It's just fun.


Probably Plato



Proclus is the one who moved furthest away from the original Plato turning it into a full theology. For people like Bertrand Russell thats a bad thing. He was the last great Pagan, dying in 485 AD, after Western Rome had already fallen.

Theres a theory that Pseudo-Dionysius was a conspiratorial plan to sneak Neo-Platonism into the DNA of Christianity, so it could be revived at a future more tolerant date.


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Thanks, I recently got interested in mysticism after reading the Scivias so theology is exactly what I'm looking for.


I wonder if, in the future, that what we consider unique and special will instead be trivialized and bite-sized. Magnificent ideas won't be heralded by a single man anymore, when you have a population of several billions. Artistic monoliths won't come from a few artists. What was once special will no longer be special when it is ubiquitous. Everything reduced to a formula and its ingredients. How to produce a philosopher. How to produce a mathematician. How will we contain that arrogant heart of man? That arrogant messiah-wannabe. The one that takes the several-thousands of photos of itself. The one that compulsively lies for self-benefit. The one with unchecked and heartless sexual promiscuity. The creature that figures itself great, when there are several-billions of itself.


I wonder if the dissonance our species faces with individual accomplishment relative towards group accomplishment will be our downfall. Throughout history, the individual was regarded as the originator of renaissance (da vinci, socrates, christopher columbus) so I wonder if the dissonance lies at the fact that man is too arrogant to love existence beyond himself, so will always be a greedy, competitive creature.


Humans are not one creature, we are a collection of impulses and chemical signals that can have completely opposite motivations and drives


So, viscerally we are all alike, so explain these opposing "motivations and drives" that differ amongst men? What distinguishes me from you? Our own seperate experiences?



Thought you might find this essay especially Wizard relevant.

I started having volcelish ideas as a boy, but there was no sophisticated ideology or ethics behind it. My whole world came from cartoons. And a lot of cartoon heroes were saying no to succubi, because they were so focused on the mission, they couldn't be distracted by human attachments.

So its interesting to see my primitive boyhood superhero reasons for going volcel examined in a philosophical manner here.


This is too basic a question, please try again with a more educated one


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Pierre Hadot’s topic is sweeping. He presents a new understanding of the nature of ancient philosophy and how we should read it…

Hadot argues that most modern scholars misunderstand the nature of ancient philosophy from Socrates to the rise of Christianity. Since the collapse of classical civilization, our primary access to ancient philosophy has been the written word: either the writings of the philosophers themselves or the reports of others about their lives and teachings. This has led to a tendency to interpret ancient philosophies as primarily theoretical in aim. Ancient philosophers, like the great speculative philosophers of the middle ages and the modern period, were supposedly concerned to elaborate comprehensive and consistent “systems” of ideas. And, like them, the ancients supposedly wrote to communicate these systems of ideas to the larger “republic of letters.”

Hadot, by contrast, argues that ancient philosophy was primarily practical in its aims, not theoretical. Wisdom was not identified with knowledge of the whole, but with happiness or well-being, which was to be attained by bringing about the proper internal ordering of the soul. Any and all accounts of the cosmos were subordinated to this goal. One did not have to be an original theorist in order to be a philosopher. Nor did one have to be current on the opinions of various theorists. Instead, one had only to adopt a particular way of life: a life centered on the pursuit of wisdom. Thus, one can be an original theorist or an erudite scholar, but not a philosopher in the classical sense. Just as professors who teach novels do not thereby call themselves novelists, so professors who teach philosophy should not thereby call themselves philosophers. Being a philosopher was not a matter of education or vocation, but a new way of being in the world arising from an internal spiritual conversion.


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I grew weary of reading Augustine's ramblings against the various heretical sects, so I gave up on him and picked up Dionysus the Aeropagite because i was aware he was a neoplatonist, but so far it seems like his ideas were already present in Plotinus and the pagan neoplatonists. Dionysus just focuses on certain aspects which weren't explored extensively by his predecessors, which is neat, but I'm hoping to find more than just a reread of the Enneads.


Maybe I'm in the same boat as you. Well I look at Christian Neoplatonism I actually am looking for a reread of the Enneads with some Trinity thrown in. But all the so-called Christian NeoPlatonists I've read from both Latin West and Greek East, it reads more like a sermon than sophisticated philosophical theology say of the style of Aquinas.


>it reads more like a sermon
I'm reading authors by chronological order, so I don't know what renaissance neoplatonists are like, but I've read enough to understand that the so called early Christian philosophers were extremely dogmatic and rejected vehemently the beliefs of the Greek and Roman philosophers.


Anyone can reccomend me good books on empty or open individualism?


Dionysius is an interesting case, because ancient Christians thought that he was actually the Dionysius in the New Testament, rather than someone copying later Neo-Platonism. So his theology had an influence far outweighing his real significance.


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I'm reading Ockham's philosophical works right after finishing Scotus and Aquinas. Medieval philosophy is often overlooked, but it's surprisingly engrossing and rich of epistemological takes despite its reputation. Would recommend Ockham to anyone who's looking for a concise refutation of the problem of the universals.


How long did it take you to read the Summa Theologica?


I think around a month, but i have already worked my way up to Aquinas chronologically, so a lot of arguments were anticipated by Aristotle and I skipped the least interesting parts dealing with catechism and salvation through faith.


where would you say Duns Scotus stands in that debate? I've heard him called both


He stands with Aquinas as a realist, but his ontological argument for God and Being is univocal while Aquinas' is strictly analogical.


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Less that 3 weeks ago I finished Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre. I liked it as much as everyone loves the part that everything is pretty much meaningless - even if Sartre ends with creativite is a way out of it all. Yet, i wanna know more why i should or should not kill myself. Since both is equal meaningless, life or death. To keep it shorther than i already dragged this out, i want to read more of Excisteanalism. Im thinking of reading Albert Camus - Stranger. But besides it i also want to read something thats not a Novel. Recommednation?

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