Arquivo para July 9th, 2018

Why do we need to think?

09 Jul

I dreamed of writing a philosophy book, I will not write it any more, I may make considerations, such as I shall do here, but upon unexpectedly finding the author Thomas Nagel in: “What does all this mean? An Introduction to Philosophy “in his 5th. edition in portuguese, original en english in 1987 (Oxford University Press) I think he did the trivial: to present fundamental questions in everyday words.

So I’ll just make comments, it’s not a summary, it’s just notes, and maybe it’s interesting to say how I found it, it was even from another work: What’s it like to be a bat? (The Philosophical Review LXXXIII, pp. 435-50, 1974), where it says that this question may make sense, but it does not make sense to ask what it is like to be a toaster, updating to this day what it feels like to be Robot Sophia, people asking this question.

It is not this question that answers directly, but current issues that are in everyday thinking, namely: How we know what it is, what other minds are, the meaning of words, freedom (free will), death and the sense of life.

Philosophy does not seem to deal with this, but only in dialogue with other thinkers, the author explains at the beginning of the book: “Philosophy is different from science and mathematics … it is not based on experimentation or observation, but only on thought . “(p.8).

We all think, it is wrong to think that only philosophers and scientists think, the question of philosophy is; “To question and to understand very common ideas that we use every day without thinking about them” (p.8), and in doing this we are taken “in the wave” wherever it wants to take us, in times of crisis and deep changes this can be fatal .

The author explains, among other things, two questions that I consider essential: “A physicist will ask what atoms are made of or what explains gravity, but a philosopher will ask how we can know that there is anything outside our minds” (p. 9).

This is essential because this is the contemporary idealist question, and idealism is the great philosophy of our time, it is the basis of what is conventionally called modernity.

Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy, UK: Oxford University Press, 1987.