View Full Version : Philosophy Majors or Grads?


Dysexlia
09-23-14, 12:45 PM
Just seeing if any other lovers of wisdom are out there.

What classes are you taking? What is your area of concentration? Favorite Philosopher?

Any tips for getting through especially dense, long and wordy readings?

Right now I am taking Modern Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. In Modern we have thus far made it up to Leibniz. Somehow I found Spinoza easier to read than Leibniz.

Let's talk about being philosophy students!

Abi
09-23-14, 03:42 PM
I never formally studied Philo, but I have a nice ebook on the Philo of Science if you want PM me your email addie and I'll sent it to you

PERIPATETIC is our resident philosophy expert.

stef
09-23-14, 03:54 PM
really would like to learn more. I took some classes in college. (required...)
can anyone suggest a good " introduction" type of book?

eclectic beagle
09-23-14, 06:42 PM
really would like to learn more. I took some classes in college. (required...)
can anyone suggest a good " introduction" type of book?

"Philosophy of Philosophy" by Aristotle (it's a mind-bender)
"On Certainty" by Ludwig Wittgenstein, might be the pinnacle of his oeuvre.

Fuzzy12
09-25-14, 06:01 AM
I haven't read that many original works about philosophy but one of my favourite books is the Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. I usually read a few pages and then drift off on my own thoughts. I keep forgetting what I've read but I still enjoy reading it.

Favourite philosophers.... :scratch: Difficult to say when I don't remember much. For entertainment value, I like Nietzsche though I don't agree with a lot of things he says. He writes well and his ideas are always interesting. Spinoza makes a lot of sense, as does Kant. And David Hume.

From a more practical point of view I like J Krishnamurti. I have yet to read something of his that I can disagree with.

Fuzzy12
09-25-14, 06:04 AM
really would like to learn more. I took some classes in college. (required...)
can anyone suggest a good " introduction" type of book?

Stef, I'm not an expert but as I said, the Story of Philosophy is extremely readable. It gives a brief introduction to the major (European) philosophers and also explains the environment and influences on each. I'm not sure how accurate it is or how good of a grasp on philosophy he has (I don't know enough to make a judgment on that) but it's extremely interesting and beautifully written.

My favourite bit is a paragraph where he introduces Kant. It's just a stunning piece of prose. I get goose pimples every time I read that.

stef
09-25-14, 06:55 AM
Thank you! that"s exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. I can't remember much from those classes, at all (except that cave analogy in Plato's Republc); and that one professor looked just like that guy who says "inconceivable" in Princess Bride; and another had this haircut with bangs that kind of somehow made her look like she was wearing a visor.

I suppose it was a requirement because I went to a Jesuit college (also needed a few credits of theology...)

In France it's actually required in high school unless you are actually doing something like a trade school; and if you take the "L" option (literary), it's a big part of your grade. (there are about 10,000 types of diplomas here). Our friend teaches philosophy in high school. Anyway I would just like to learn more :)

eclectic beagle
09-25-14, 02:10 PM
Favourite philosophers.... :scratch: Difficult to say when I don't remember much. For entertainment value, I like Nietzsche though I don't agree with a lot of things he says. He writes well and his ideas are always interesting. Spinoza makes a lot of sense, as does Kant. And David Hume.


I remember reading somewhere that a scholar of Nietzsche's works claimed he was one of the most often misunderstood writers/philosophers. His famous "God is dead" quote is a prime example. Lampert and Seung are good for clearing up a bit of that mystery, imo. Story of philosophy is probably a better general introduction, though.

Dysexlia
09-25-14, 07:47 PM
In France it's actually required in high school unless you are actually doing something like a trade school; and if you take the "L" option (literary), it's a big part of your grade. (there are about 10,000 types of diplomas here). Our friend teaches philosophy in high school. Anyway I would just like to learn more :)

Are you required to read Sartre? I have always wanted to read Camus, Sarte, De Beauvoir etc in French. I am sure it loses a lot in translation, as most things do. It's interesting because every translation is also an interpretation.<style>?<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} -- </style>

peripatetic
09-25-14, 08:29 PM
i have a doctorate in philosophy, yes. i haven't taught/lectured in a few years though. even before that i was on sabbatical for a long time and never taught a full load. academia was too much stress for me to not crack all the time, but i will always love and read certain texts annually or every other year, but i haven't written anything in a long time.

Dysexlia
09-25-14, 09:20 PM
i have a doctorate in philosophy, yes. i haven't taught/lectured in a few years though. even before that i was on sabbatical for a long time and never taught a full load. academia was too much stress for me to not crack all the time, but i will always love and read certain texts annually or every other year, but i haven't written anything in a long time.

I want to continue in philosophy after my undergrad (grad school, etc) but I have already had to take time off. I took my own "sabbatical" after my best semester when I got to present a paper at a conference. It was, SO stressful that after that I needed a break. Just got back to it this semester and I am remembering why I love academia and philosophy so, so much.

What is your area of concentration, if you don't mind my asking...?

peripatetic
09-25-14, 10:42 PM
When you get a doctorate you typically have one AOS and multiple AOC. My AOS is phenomenology and my AOC include major figures in German and French phenomenology (Hegel, Husserl, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty) and existentialism, Kant, epistemology, and (somewhat randomly) theoretical ethics.

Dysexlia
09-25-14, 11:17 PM
When you get a doctorate you typically have one AOS and multiple AOC. My AOS is phenomenology and my AOC include major figures in German and French phenomenology (Hegel, Husserl, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty) and existentialism, Kant, epistemology, and (somewhat randomly) theoretical ethics.

I am quite familiar with phenomenology, one of my current professors is a Merleau-Ponty scholar. So, that's awesome. Like I posted earlier, I have always wanted to read all the French authors (existentialists and phenomenologists) in the original language.

peripatetic
09-25-14, 11:25 PM
Camus is a novelist, but he's very accessible in French. If you know French, I guess. I'm fortunate to speak it. Kant in German is impossible. But my German isn't as good.

Good luck in your studies and I'm going to slink back out of this thread and into anonymity now. I'm not even a little bit up for having potentially a weird blast from the past (it's not a huge field if you're in certain circles and I've shared enough) so would appreciate you not mentioning to your professor that you encountered someone of my description online. Cheers

Chicky75
09-26-14, 12:08 AM
Another (former) philosophy major here! There's a lot that I would still like to read/learn about and more that I probably should review before entering into any serious discussion about philosophers. I always like doing my own philosophizing more, mostly because I have a really hard time reading academic texts and an even harder time remembering who said what.

It's funny to see this tonight, though, I was just talking to a student about philosophy. He was a lawyer in his country and had to do a lot of philosophy in his law degree. I think we're going to be "philosophy buddies" lol.

stef
09-26-14, 03:10 AM
In France it's actually required in high school unless you are actually doing something like a trade school; and if you take the "L" option (literary), it's a big part of your grade. (there are about 10,000 types of diplomas here). Our friend teaches philosophy in high school. Anyway I would just like to learn more :)

RE Dyslexias's last post (for some reason the bottom line with "quote" and "thanks" isn't displayed):

I don't know what the exact program is for philosphy here, I studied in the states but my son has had all his school in France.

I've read novels (but not essays etc) by Sartre and Camus but later, directly in French. Good question, I don't know how they're translated or what is lost or not. But it was not "pleasurable" eading, I mean they are brilliant but I found them terribly despondent, to be honest. Especially "Les Mots" (I guess that would just be "Words" ? ) by Sartre. If I have time I'll look up some excerpts from this.

Little Missy
09-26-14, 04:19 AM
I have a set of books of all the great philosophers that my parents received as a wedding gift that really look great in a bookcase. I tried reading them many, many times but they were such a dry read...either that or the yellowed and musty somewhat crispy pages were a distraction. :confused:

Fuzzy12
09-26-14, 08:01 AM
I remember reading somewhere that a scholar of Nietzsche's works claimed he was one of the most often misunderstood writers/philosophers. His famous "God is dead" quote is a prime example. Lampert and Seung are good for clearing up a bit of that mystery, imo. Story of philosophy is probably a better general introduction, though.

Interesting. I always assumed that Nietzsche just meant that with the age of enlightenment and the great advances in science and an increasing tendency to rely more on reason, people stopped believing in God. He never struck me as very religious so I don't think he believed that God existed but then died. So what did he actually mean?

I don't know, Nietzsche is one of the few philosophers whose original texts I've read so I don't know what the common interpretation of his essays are.

I have to admit though that "Thus spake Zarathustra" just went totally above my head. It annoyed the hell out of me as well. I'm not a big fan of symbolic writing. I think, if people have something to say they should just say it as clearly as possible rather than making people guess at puzzles. I mean, if they care for being understood.

Fuzzy12
09-26-14, 08:06 AM
In France it's actually required in high school unless you are actually doing something like a trade school; and if you take the "L" option (literary), it's a big part of your grade. (there are about 10,000 types of diplomas here). Our friend teaches philosophy in high school. Anyway I would just like to learn more :)

I really like that. In my school philosophy was only treated in one of the optional subjects (a subject called "Ethics", which was an alternative to religious education so not everyone took it). I think, they should teach more of philosophy, mainly to inspire kids to think independently or maybe to inspire them to think at all...

eclectic beagle
09-26-14, 01:03 PM
Interesting. I always assumed that Nietzsche just meant that with the age of enlightenment and the great advances in science and an increasing tendency to rely more on reason, people stopped believing in God. He never struck me as very religious so I don't think he believed that God existed but then died. So what did he actually mean?

I don't know, Nietzsche is one of the few philosophers whose original texts I've read so I don't know what the common interpretation of his essays are.

I have to admit though that "Thus spake Zarathustra" just went totally above my head. It annoyed the hell out of me as well. I'm not a big fan of symbolic writing. I think, if people have something to say they should just say it as clearly as possible rather than making people guess at puzzles. I mean, if they care for being understood.

Hmm, think your interpretation is pretty spot on (not really an expert on his stuff). It seems that he just took the implication of that as the focus. As in: the age of enlightenment fostered a reliance on reason, and thus created a "moral vacuum", and that the moral principles woven into the concept of a Christian god were obsolete by implication. But yeah, I've only dabbled in Nietzsche as well, and have found him frustrating. For me, context (of the author, history, very specific style of writing) helps with building a logical framework, or giving the definitive stamp that a greatly admired thinker isn't saying anything of substance at all. But I don't really have enough knowledge on Nietzsche to say one way or the other.