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Old 06-23-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Virtue.

If there is a reason why I hate "formal" philosophy, it's because it's based on books, not reality; and most of it is too complex to have any kind of useful application. So I decided to go back to the original method: observation and contrast. Just like the Greeks and ancient wise people did; anyway I'm not completely dumping all the theories done so far.

In this case, I'm currently struggling with what virtue is.

Let's forget for a minute of what we've been told about what is righteous and what is not, forget about Aristotle, Kant, St. Thomas of Aquinas,... I want to begin from scratch, with a modern view on this topic.

So what is virtue? That's a very vague question, huh. Better divide it in more answerable ones.

First of all, what makes us distinguish between what's good and what's wrong?
Second, why should we tend to do good?
Third, how can we reach a status in which we can be called a righteous person?
Fourth, is this status permanent or can vary in time?

These, I think, would help us to know the nature of the so-called virtue.

I have began to work on the issue myself and so far I've "discovered" -because I'm sure someone else knew this before me- that these answers depend onto who the good is done. Thus we've got "inner virtues" when they are focused on the person, this is, they do good to themselves only; and "outer virtues", when the good is done onto the rest (community, society) and not the person who does good themselves.

If that made any sense, huh... I hate when I've got to put names to things, it's the price to pay for an utter ignorance on "formal" philosophy. If you've got a better term for it, I'm all ears.

Anyway, what do you think?
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
If that made any sense, huh... I hate when I've got to put names to things, it's the price to pay for an utter ignorance on "formal" philosophy. If you've got a better term for it, I'm all ears.
Do you mean you're ignorant on formal philosophy? Because, if you are, how can you conclude that you hate that which you are ignorant about? If that's not what you meant, then feel free to disregard my comment...

Other than that, I think you may find the Euthyphro Dilemma interesting, if you haven't already read it. Basically, it is a discussion between Euthyphro and Socrates on the nature of the term "pious."
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:03 PM
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When I say ignorant, I mean that I've read Plato's Republic and have a quite general, big book of philosophy which explains its history and theories from Aristotle to Derrida. I also flick through several ebooks and webpages about this kind of topics. So far, I consider philosophy something complex, not because it has several different postures or elements; but rather because there is no order in most of essays I read and simply describe what happens when you do X.

I say I'm ignorant because I'd like to know more (by myself if possible) and admit I know few and still have a long road to walk; but I didn't mean I had no idea at all on the subject.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:23 AM
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So far, I consider philosophy something complex, not because it has several different postures or elements; but rather because there is no order in most of essays I read and simply describe what happens when you do X.
A decent philosopher will generally have their argument structured logically. A point of difficulty may be in the fact that some philosophical works are translated from their original texts or written in a much earlier time (where the earlier use of a particular language is different from the way that language is used today).
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:13 PM
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A decent philosopher will generally have their argument structured logically. A point of difficulty may be in the fact that some philosophical works are translated from their original texts or written in a much earlier time (where the earlier use of a particular language is different from the way that language is used today).
It's not that exactly; I find it difficult to see the big picture of most of extracts and quotes I read. When I read Plato or Kant, I can see their logic but not the structure their concepts have. It's like always know perfectly what each piece of a puzzle is but not how to put all the pieces together.

And yes, translations can be tricky.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 06-24-2010 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
It's not that exactly; I find it difficult to see the big picture of most of extracts and quotes I read. When I read Plato or Kant, I can see their logic but not the structure their concepts have. It's like always know perfectly what each piece of a puzzle is but not how to put all the pieces together.

And yes, translations can be tricky.
What type of structure are you looking for when you read an excerpt from a philosophical work? Sometimes I find that it helps to rewrite the argument(s), linking the premises and the conclusion(s), in order to piece together different parts of an excerpt.
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"I would rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are,
Because a could-be is a maybe that is reaching for a star.
I would rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far,
For a might-have-been has never been, but a has was once an are".
-Milton Berle
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