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Modern philosophy on how to live watch

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    I am hardly knowledgeable on the subject of philosophy [/disclaimer], but it seems to me that modern philosophy does not take seriously the sort of questions asked by the Greco-Roman philosophers on how to live one's life. The focus of ethics is quite different.

    Do you think that this is something which is lacking? Should philosophy deal with questions of good lifestyles?
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    I am hardly knowledgeable on the subject of philosophy [/disclaimer], but it seems to me that modern philosophy does not take seriously the sort of questions asked by the Greco-Roman philosophers on how to live one's life. The focus of ethics is quite different.

    Do you think that this is something which is lacking? Should philosophy deal with questions of good lifestyles?
    If you're not knowledgeable in it why would it seem anything to you?
    Animal Liberation is surely a guide on how to live your life (whether you agree with it or not is of course another matter). As is Universal Prescriptivism, in some ways, I'd argue some of Wittgenstein's work is.
    Of course the general feminist movement/Butler (see gender trouble) has some hints on how to live our lives, in that they challenge assumptions many make about sex and gender, and give us a new way of thinking, and thus approaching the issue.
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    (Original post by there's too much love)
    If you're not knowledgeable in it why would it seem anything to you?
    My boyfriend studies it and talks about it a lot.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    My boyfriend studies it and talks about it a lot.
    What areas?
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    I am hardly knowledgeable on the subject of philosophy [/disclaimer], but it seems to me that modern philosophy does not take seriously the sort of questions asked by the Greco-Roman philosophers on how to live one's life. The focus of ethics is quite different.

    Do you think that this is something which is lacking? Should philosophy deal with questions of good lifestyles?
    So what is the focus of ethics (modern ethics)?
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    (Original post by Puritan)
    So what is the focus of ethics (modern ethics)?
    debates about what are and are not moral actions. Utilitarian/deontological ethics.

    Leading particular kinds of lifestyles; advice on self-fulfilment or happiness doesn't seem to be in there. Well-known philosophers these days don't live in communes together, for example; they don't appear on tv urging you to live simply and be merry with your friends.

    I guess environmentalism, and animal liberation might count, but is that what people categorise as 'philosopher'; do these people see themselves as part of that kind of tradition?

    (Original post by there's too much love)
    What areas?
    In terms of what is discussed in terms of ethics: Trolley problems, the 'truth' of moral statements - moral relativism/absolutism/contextualism, political philosophy like contractarianism, contractualism.


    I think it's worth taking my post as a query and not a thesis which I'm committed to defending.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    debates about what are and are not moral actions. Utilitarian/deontological ethics.

    Leading particular kinds of lifestyles; advice on self-fulfilment or happiness doesn't seem to be in there. Well-known philosophers these days don't live in communes together, for example; they don't appear on tv urging you to live simply and be merry with your friends.

    I guess environmentalism, and animal liberation might count, but is that what people categorise as 'philosopher'?
    Debates about what are and are not moral actions (you say this is the focus of ethics) are debates about how ought we to live. What kind of lifestyles to pursue. So this answers your original question.
    modern philosophy does not take seriously the sort of questions asked by the Greco-Roman philosophers on how to live one's life.
    The focus of contemporary ethics is exactly that (not gonna go into distinctions between normative ethics/meta-ethics, etc).

    It seems to me your problem is not with the focus of ethics but with philosophers not engaging with the public. That's right (partly right because some philosophers are popular) and it's a shame. I'd personally love that because even though I am interested in what philosophers usually talk about, I have a hard time understanding what they're talking about (I am incapable of abstract thinking).
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    (Original post by Puritan)
    Debates about what are and are not moral actions (you say this is the focus of ethics) are debates about how ought we to live. What kind of lifestyles to pursue. So this answers your original question.


    The focus of contemporary ethics is exactly that (not gonna go into distinctions between normative ethics/meta-ethics, etc).

    It seems to me your problem is not with the focus of ethics but with philosophers not engaging with the public. That's right (partly right because some philosophers are popular) and it's a shame. I'd personally love that because even though I am interested in what philosophers usually talk about, I have a hard time understanding what they're talking about (I am incapable of abstract thinking).
    I think that's true.

    I mean, I see a lot of discussion about moral skepticism, or the technicalities of, say, utilitarian ethics, but translating of that to a concrete idea of the sort of lifestyles that might be lived seems lacking. Philosophers grapple with ethical qs, but do not provide clues as to how they live, and do not seem to live by example, or invite people to develop certain modes of living.

    That place is filled, probably by New Age-y religions or social movements [or self-help books].
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    I think that's true.

    I mean, I see a lot of discussion about moral skepticism, or the technicalities of, say, utilitarian ethics, but translating of that to a concrete idea of the sort of lifestyles that might be lived seems lacking. Philosophers grapple with ethical qs, but do not provide clues as to how they live, and do not seem to live by example, or invite people to develop certain modes of living.

    That place is filled, probably by New Age-y religions or social movements [or self-help books].
    Look, if I write a book defending a moral theory, I am saying to you that the moral thing to do is X. That is a clue on how we ought to live. That is an invitation to develop a certain mode of living. Whether I am living like that is not terribly relevant. Maybe I am a hypocrite or a bad person. It doesn't change the fact that the moral thing to do is x.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    I am hardly knowledgeable on the subject of philosophy [/disclaimer], but it seems to me that modern philosophy does not take seriously the sort of questions asked by the Greco-Roman philosophers on how to live one's life. The focus of ethics is quite different.

    Do you think that this is something which is lacking? Should philosophy deal with questions of good lifestyles?
    Objectivism. It actually tells you how to live a noble life.
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    A good lifestyle is anything one wants, and of course is determined by society.

    That said, the major points to me in modern philosophy are applied ethics and ethics in general. Political philosophy has died down IMO since most seem to by default accept liberal democracy, human rights, etc. I say by default because no other system is seen or proven to have worked. Or people have read Fukuyama and believe it is the "end of history" (ha, what *******s).
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    I think that's true.

    I mean, I see a lot of discussion about moral skepticism, or the technicalities of, say, utilitarian ethics, but translating of that to a concrete idea of the sort of lifestyles that might be lived seems lacking. Philosophers grapple with ethical qs, but do not provide clues as to how they live, and do not seem to live by example, or invite people to develop certain modes of living.

    That place is filled, probably by New Age-y religions or social movements [or self-help books].
    Philosophers are not lifestyle gurus. If you want a lifestyle guru, find a lifestyle guru. Simple.
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    I'm no philosopher, but I'd say that culture and society have differentiated to a point where the "right" lifestyle could never be agreed. Personally, I just live by one motto.

    You want something? Just go out there and go for it. Forget your worries, forget your insecurities. You want to enjoy your life? Well you better start chasing it because it's not going to wait for you.
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    (Original post by User722716)
    Philosophers are not lifestyle gurus. If you want a lifestyle guru, find a lifestyle guru. Simple.
    Well, if you read Seneca, for example, he kinda is like a lifestyle guru.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    Well, if you read Seneca, for example, he kinda is like a lifestyle guru.
    Ok... so?
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    (Original post by User722716)
    Ok... so?
    (Original post by User722716)
    Philosophers are not lifestyle gurus.
    Seneca is unlike a philosopher?
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    Hmm, indeedio. The philosophies of Klushrio are quite evil. Tbh? Hmmm.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    Seneca is unlike a philosopher?
    Very much so. Is Asistotle a physicist?
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    (Original post by User722716)
    Very much so. Is Asistotle a physicist?
    There was no equivalent of 'physicist' in Aristotle's time. Comparatively, the Greeks were critical to forming our conception of what 'philosopher' is.
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    (Original post by Deadly Lightshade)
    There was no equivalent of 'physicist' in Aristotle's time. Comparatively, the Greeks were critical to forming our conception of what 'philosopher' is.
    So...?
 
 
 
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