What is Philosophy? ( An simple but entertaining assortment of great summaries).

It beings as an intellectual movement in ancient Greece that strives to learn more, to know more than social convention allowed back then. Today’s conventions are also a vail on truth. As behavioral economics teaches us, we are not logical by nature, we are prone to get erroneous ideas about the world that surrounds us. Philosophy then searches to learn how to learn. As something that helps us gain truth and reality. This would eventually lead to the scientific method. It means love of wisdom, and implicitly a search for truth. Also early on the use for philosophers are your general clear thinkers was widely spread, like a consultant so to speak. Philosophy has seemed to be reduced to entertainment and academia.

As science emerged fro philosophy, philosophy still remains at the spearpoint of exploration of reality, of truth. It is now the main tool to ask some of the biggest questions we have.

There are three big layers in Philosophy:

  • Metaphysics, that studies the nature of reality. ( And is more and is becoming quite relevant to Theoretical Physics).
  • Epistemology, the branch that studies the nature of knowledge.
  • Values:
    • Ethics: The bran of philosophy that studies and evaluate human conduct and if things are good or bad.
    • Aesthetics: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of beauty.

Philosophy, in the end, is a way to make to keep track some of the more lower layered meta-structures of our existence. Like the foundations of a house, philosophy builds from real abstractions of reality constructing cognitive meta-structures of how we understand things, creating the platforms on which science and art flourish.

Strange Solutions That Worked.

 

Weird Hiccup Cure – Hiccups are annoying; they go away as sudden as they come. However, there is a simple solution to this problem, albeit a little bit gross.

Condor Cluster – Giving the Air Force Research Laboratory a low budget did not stop them from building their own supercomputer. Having not enough money to buy a supercomputer, they decided to buy 1760 Playstation 3 units.

Colours to influence behaviours – According to scientific research, some colours are effective in reducing one’s negative thoughts, be it suicidal tendencies or aggressiveness.

Plastic Wishbones – Its Traditional for two people to break apart a birds wishbone after extracting it from a cooked dinner.

Bottled Air & Bags of Dirt – When travelling overseas, it is always a good idea to bring something that reminds you of your home.

Shooter Stopped with a Hug – If you ever encounter a man with a gun, your natural instinct would be to hide or run away as fast as you can.

Black Dyed Water – It is said that the more you prohibit people, the more they are inclined to do it.

Face Masks Fooling Bengal Tigers – Bengal tigers are considered one of the most dangerous predators in India.

Ants for Stitches – Sutures weren’t a thing back as early as 1000BC, so our ancestors had to make do with what they had on their hands. Plant fibres, animal hair, ants…

“Instant” Baggage Claims – Having to wait to claim your baggage is extremely infuriating, especially if you just had a long flight. Using Typewriters Against

Spies – Within days of Edward Snowden’s revelations, Kremlin agents were quick to replace all their high-end computers with something more traditional – typewriters.

Fish Eating Dead Skin – Turkish people came up with a weird solution to treat psoriasis – fish.

Piano Stairs – Ever wish you can have fun while using the stairs? Then piano stairs can do the trick.

Balls to Reduce Evaporation – California often experiences drought spells, so to prevent the Ivanhoe reservoir from getting dried up, they filled it balls – lots of it.

Flame Weeding – Tired of plucking weeds all day? Worried about contaminating the land with pesticides? Well, How about just flame-thrower-ing the ground? Sounds crazy but this solution, called ‘Flame weeding’ is an organic alternative, used by a number of conscious gardeners and agriculturalists around the world.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gt_-yO72LI

What is Virtue Theory?

Virtue theory belongs to the Aristotelian ethics, these philosophical ethics answer the question on how humans should best live. Aristoteles believes that to develop excellence you needed virtue and happiness. He believed firmly that virtue is practical and the principal purpose of ethics is to be good and just to only know it.

“Aristotle first used the term ethics to name a field of study developed by his predecessors Socrates and Plato. Philosophical ethics is the attempt to offer a rational response to the question of how humans should best live. Aristotle regarded ethics and politics as two related but separate fields of study, since ethics examines the good of the individual, while politics examines the good of the city-state.

Aristotle’s writings have been read more or less continuously since ancient times, and his ethical treatises, in particular, continue to influence philosophers working today. Aristotle emphasized the importance of developing excellence (virtue) of character (Greek ethikē aretē), as the way to achieve what is finally more important, excellent conduct (Greek energeia). As Aristotle argues in Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, the man who possesses character excellence does the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way. Bravery and the correct regulation of one’s bodily appetites are examples of character excellence or virtue. So acting bravely and acting temperately are examples of excellent activities. The highest aims are living well and eudaimonia a Greek word often translated as well-being, happiness or “human flourishing”. Like many ethicists, Aristotle regards the excellent activity as pleasurable for the man of virtue. For example, Aristotle thinks that the man whose appetites are in the correct order actually takes pleasure in acting moderately.

Aristotle emphasized that virtue is practical and that the purpose of ethics is to become good, not merely to know. Aristotle also claims that the right course of action depends upon the details of a particular situation, rather than being generated merely by applying a law. The type of wisdom which is required for this is called “prudence” or “practical wisdom” (Greek phronesis), as opposed to the wisdom of a theoretical philosopher (Greek Sophia). But despite the importance of practical decision-making, in the final analysis, the original Aristotelian and Socratic answer to the question of how best to live, at least for the best types of human, was to live the life of philosophy.'” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_ethics

 

What is Utilitarianism?

In this occasion, we are going to touch the theme of Utilitarianism, what does the term mean? We will decipher the term in the next sentences.

“Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility. “Utility” is defined in various ways, usually in terms of the well-being of sentient entities. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as the sum of all pleasure that results from an action, minus the suffering of anyone involved in the action.

Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism, utilitarianism considers interests of all people equally.

Proponents of utilitarianism have disagreed on a number of points, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their likely results (act utilitarianism) or whether agents should conform to rules that maximize utility (rule utilitarianism). There is also disagreement as to whether total (total utilitarianism) or average (average utilitarianism) utility should be maximized.

Though the seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists Aristippus and Epicurus, who viewed happiness as the only good, the tradition of utilitarianism properly began with Bentham and has included John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, David Braybrooke, and Peter Singer. It has been applied to social welfare economics, the crisis of global poverty, the ethics of raising animals for food and the importance of avoiding existential risks to humanity.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism