Friday, March 24, 2017

--- What kind of philosopher are you? ---

There are not many philosophy computer programs around. The creations of Warren Weinstein stand out and I must again transgress my rule of not sharing website addresses - this one is just too good.

The Forbears programs are my favorite. They're like evaluations and they answer the question, "What kind of philosopher are you?"

You choose statements by philosophers that most closely parallel your own beliefs and, in the end, the program crunches the statistical numbers and tells you which schools of philosophy you might be most comfortable in. More important, you get to see who said what and why and you learn a lot about philosophical thoughts of the past in a fun and engaging way.

Some of the programs take a considerable commitment in time and they all require brain effort, but they allow you to take breaks. You can sign out and in and, after a break, start back where you left off.

If you're into philosophy, you'll like these programs.

My results?

Well, I'm pretty much middle of the road on just about everything with slight leanings toward empiricism, mysticism (that's an entertaining combination!), agnosticism, relativism, and romanticism. I'm content with that characterization. I tend to believe that our knowledge arises from our perceptions only, but that our perceptions are far more capable than many give them credit. I believe that the mysterious abides in the mundane. Although I firmly believe in God, ethical values, truth and goodness and the Terran way (comic reference, there), I don't feel predisposed to avoid questioning all that. I believe that there is an element in "all that" that makes peoples' approach to it very contingent on their culture. And I do look for, and usually find the musical, the beautiful, in the world. I'm not sure if I "inflate with drama" (as the Forbears program describes Romanticism), instead of deflating with sarcasm. My pack brother often complains about my sarcasm and I perceive myself as despising drama. Oh well, maybe "in a manner of speaking..."

I feel myself to be a follower of Aristotle in his approbation of "moderation in all things." Most philosophers seem to me to be fixated on a particular fact of reality and it leads them into error. People like Sartre, Nietzsche, and Marx seemed to me to be miserable people. Sartre saw humans' consciousness of their existence, something that they could neither avoid or explain, to be their special curse above all other beings. He said that other people are hell. I don't find that to be true and certainly the opinion is not universal among people. Nietzsche thought that evil came from all those pesky "little people" and Marx thought it came from all those pesky "upper class people." Nietzsche proposed that morality was invented by the lower class to control the upper class, who should be given free reign. Marx thought that history was purely the struggle between the lower and upper classes.

The big blow is the description of myself as an idealist instead of a pragmatist. I am a serious advocate of counting the costs, and I certainly see value as a major factor in the consideration of anything. For instance, I believe that value density should be a guide to a person's life planning. On the other hand, I've come to realize that a lot of things that I consider valuable are not necessarily valuable because of how profitable they are. I have to buckle on this one.

I could be an outdoorsman because I am a health fanatic, but I'm not. I have heart problems that demand exercise and I could let that force me out-of-doors despite the fact that I hate the out-of-doors, but I don't. On second thought, I have to admit that I'm an idealistic romantic, and on second thought, I'm okay with that.

Le miserables may be entrenched in their misery; I love this creation.

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