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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?      Home login  
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 IridescentPaladin
Joined: 3/4/2008
Msg: 51
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?Page 3 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Art. It has no importance.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 52
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/20/2008 7:27:33 PM
Well, the only thing that is perplexing is calling philosophy both an art and a science. Any discipline to be considered a "science" must be approached methodically. It must include the scientific method in order for it to be science. Biology is a science because the scientific method is used, starting with a hypothesis and ending with a conclusion. Psychology is also a science because it utilizes the experiment to test hypotheses. Philosophy, on the other hand, is not a science because it cannot be quantified nor proved or disproved. So how can it be considered a science?

Philosophy can be considered an art. Just like any art, philosophy is a form of expression.
 dannydaniels
Joined: 3/12/2008
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/20/2008 7:36:33 PM
I don't think the answer is that it is either/or. Maybe a holistic view would be better. As far as philosophers using the scientific method, sure they do. Reasoning is a key elements in philosophical thought. Most philosophers attempt not to say stupid things.
Who are some of your favorite philosophers? Did they write and speak logically and with reason?
As far as art, there is not much in this world that doesn't contain an artistic element. I can watch a thoughbread horse race with out making a wager and enjoy the beauty of the horses running at the max.
If you think trying to answer life's most important question is important then you would agree as to the importance of philosophy.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 54
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/21/2008 12:28:32 PM
Well, I do agree that philosophy is very important. It does attempt to answer life's most important questions. Personally, I think philosophy is more important than science, because science only answers the "how" questions, while philosophy attempts to answer the "why" questions.

I agree that philophy does encompass reasoning, which is an important component of science, but it is not considered a science in and of itself. But I do agree with dannydaniels that a "holistic" view would be a much more accurate definition.

Who are my favorite philosophers? Well, Socrates of course! To answer your question, yes he did write and speak logically and very reasonably. I admire how he encouraged everyone he came into contact with on how to think of their lives in a different way. The art of questioning everything. I also admire Plato, and his "Parables of the Cave." Hypatia is also a favorite of mine though, much of what she has written was lost. But they were all very logical. But many of them were also mathemeticians, astronomers, etc.. philosophy in the ancient world was all emcompassing. It served as the foundation for modern science as well as most other disciplines.
 dannydaniels
Joined: 3/12/2008
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/22/2008 2:04:47 PM
Hi likethewind, What about Aristotle. He tutored Alexander the Great? And how about Thomas Aquinas. The Church labed him the Greatest Ever.
danny
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/22/2008 8:38:42 PM
So, to weigh in on an already contentious topic, here goes.
(First off, I'm not too sure what endo-consistency, and exo-consistency mean. I assume something like internal consistency, and a consistency with somethings surrounding, but I suspect there is much more to these concepts, and I wouldn't want to trivialize them by not understanding them. Taichi guy, could you maybe provide a brief explanation of them. You seemed to explain everything else quite succinctly, but I don't understand those concepts)

So, is philosophy an art or a science? Quite rightly, it has been pointed out that these are not strictly defined terms. Is something a science only if it can be quantified? Much of quantum physics, especially at its inception, involved purely thought experiments. Schoedinger's Cat was not an actual experiment, it was simply a hypothesis. Did quantum physics only become a science once the theories could be quantified? What about art? How do you define what an art is? Is war an art? Is tai chi an art? Is writing an art? All of these things can be considered art, yet they can be quantified, so it leaves the original question undefined. So, what I will address my post to is the question "what is philosophy?"

As has been stated, logic is not philosophy. However, logic is the language of philosophy, just as math is the language of physics. Any philosophy must meet the rigorous demands of logic (note, please, that I mean the formal definition of a consistently defined logic, not the informal definition where, "yeah, that makes sense. It's logical"), or it completely falls apart. ONE area which philosophers have concerned themselves with is the definition of things, entities and relationships. Without these building blocks, no "science" could exist. This is the basis of all science. You must define the things you are dealing with, their relationships, behavior, and what governs all of those things. In the same way that a profound understanding of physics is necessary to predict where a spinning baseball will land when given an initial velocity, in a gusting wind and rain, yet a person with little knowledge of the science of physics can catch a fly ball; much of science is done without intrinsicly using the philosophy which is at its root. However, philosophy is not limited to this. So, I've gotten absolutely nowhere in defining philosophy, except to say that it is at the root of science.

A similar argument applies to arts.
So, I'm going to go out on a limb here. Philosophy is neither art nor science. It provides a basis for both in the same way that logic provides a basis for philosophy. It provides the basis for determining whether an art or science is consistent.

So, what is its importance? If philosophy is LIKE a language, you need to know enough to express what you want to. If you need to express very complex, elegant theories, you need higher level language skills than if you do not. What I mean is, philosophy's importance to a person is a matter of personal choice, whereas the importance of philosophy to arts and sciences in general is similar to the importance of oxygen.
 dannydaniels
Joined: 3/12/2008
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/23/2008 5:07:39 AM
basher2, you are intellectualizing, brother.
dannydaniels
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/23/2008 11:40:16 AM

basher2, you are intellectualizing, brother.
dannydaniels

I'm sure trying to, double dan
 Nice2phku
Joined: 2/14/2008
Msg: 59
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/23/2008 3:11:36 PM
Hello Wind,

I am Kantian, in that I believe in enlightenment, and Jungian in that the individual can access the collective unconsciousness to find illumination of the self through person experience. Philosophy, science and mathematics are all means of defining the world or making sense out of chaos. I am a spiritualist who, through metaphysics has redefined my world view. What is observable is not reliable as a source, however; it does serve it purpose in its minutia to prove how little we really know of existence. Most all philosophies are rediscoveries of the ancient Hindu belief system, and they knew of the atom before the Greeks. It is amazing how little we have progressed over the ages in understanding of the universe. Olan
 Dustydogg
Joined: 9/16/2007
Msg: 60
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/24/2008 3:11:11 AM
Id say a bit of both. But more of a science if it had to be one or the other. Its a logical method of getting to the truth. Thats my opinion anyway.
 NoseyNeighbor
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 61
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/24/2008 2:43:14 PM
Philosophy has several meanings which all involve debate, discussion, axioms in:
P1. Ethics
P2. Metaphysics
P3. Knowledge
P4. Reasoning and logic

Art has several meanings which all involve creation:
A1. Art of painting (e.g., Echer, Seurat, Van Gogh, etc. )
A2. Art of abstract thinking (e.g., Peirce, Schroder, Einstein, etc.)
A3. Master artisans (e.g., carpenters, bakers, doctors, comedians, actors, etc.).

Science means the systematic measure of observed and unobserved phenomenon:
S1. Using empirical methods
S2. Deterministic answers to cause and effect


Is philosophy an Art or a science?

To answer this would involve circular reasoning but what the hell. I would propose that art is the fundamental building block (A2. Art of abstract thinking) leading to philosophical debate (P4. Reasoning and Logic) which can be tested or not tested via the sciences (S1 and S2 Empirical answers). Thus:

a. Art of abstract thinking leads to philosophy (abstract thoughts then debate)
b. Philosophy leads to science ( debate and then measure)
c. Science leads back to art of abstract thinking (conclude and then create).

BUT...Sometimes art leads to philosophy but not science.
Abstract thought experiments like "Schrodingers Cat" on superimposition, or Avicenna's "Floating Man" on self-awareness and self-consciousness, or Descartes "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am". None were empirically tested.

And...Sometimes science leads to art and then to philosophy.
A doctor trained in science becomes an practicing artisan and who then philosophizes about the impact of his/her actions or thinks of new ways to treat people.

And...Sometimes art leads to science but not philosophy.
A con artist who uses deception as a tool to capitalize on others. He/she observes and runs empirical experiments to see which method yields the best results. But the con artist could care less about the implications or philosophical nature of his/her actions.

..and so on. No, it don't make, no never mind.
 TaiChiJohn
Joined: 12/27/2006
Msg: 62
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/24/2008 4:45:51 PM

Taichi guy, could you maybe provide a brief explanation of them. You seemed to explain everything else quite succinctly, but I don't understand those concepts


Well, basher2, I'll try to give a rough approximation of what endo-consistency and exo-consistency mean...

A concept is a fusion of components that are melded together to form a unique and identifiable configuration. Within this composition, the actual elements can themselves vary somewhat: more of one component at one time, less of another at a different time; yet the concept is recognizable as the same across multiple instances. This is because the concept is formed through the act of thinking it, the act of enumerating its components; and this is the internal consistency of the concept.

Any component within a concept will usually be found in other instances outside of that concept; and so the elements within concepts necessarily form relationships outside of themselves, through the very fact that such elements are not exclusive to any concept they form a part of.

SO; an example: let's take, "a bird". That is a concept, yes: it is not a specific kind of bird, and it is not all birds in general; it is a specific instance of, "a bird" - it is an event in our lives that we would call "a bird".

This bird... it flies, of course; but maybe it is not flying at the moment. It sings; but maybe it is not singing at the moment. We can enumerate what we recognize as being consistently characteristic of "a bird"; but we also recognize that these consistent elements may be more or less present at any given moment.

When this bird is flying, it is doing so in ways that we can again enumerate: maybe it is migrating, maybe it is feeding, maybe it has been startled.... these are things it does by flying, but, they are also things that other animals do without flying. Similarly, when the bird is singing, it could be signaling the approach of a predator; or it could be announcing its presence to potential mates; or it could be drawing attention to an abundant food source... and while all of these things are consistent with the bird's song, none of them are necessarily associated with "a bird", because other animals do all of these things (although not necessarily by singing).

That is the basic difference between the endo (internal) consistency and the exo (external) consistency of a concept. I think also that this shows at least a little that what philosophy is doing isn't really either art or science: it is something unique to the philosophic field of inquiry in its own right.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 63
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/25/2008 10:47:50 AM
Hi dannydaniels. I respect Aristotle, he was brilliant for his time and had a very keen power of observation. I even respect his views on astronomy, regardless if he held a geocentric view of the universe, I think it was still remarkable for his time. He was a philosopher not a scientist. But as a woman, I cannot say that he is my favorite since he had some unflattering views of the female sex. Views that I cannot agree with. But even a great philosopher can be wrong at times. Just as he was regarding astronomy.
 Nice2phku
Joined: 2/14/2008
Msg: 64
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/25/2008 9:36:06 PM
Hey Wind,

Philosophy merely means love of wisdom, and as such is a type of metaphysics, or that which is along side physics. It is the mind delving into what is not apparent, not physical, yet; exists in the human mind and is out there in the Universe, as a way to make since of the those things not seen. One of the best engineers I every worked with said to me one time, "Engineering is applied sciences, with art holding everything together." The origins of philosophy comes from the earliest Hindu writings during age of great enlightenment, from about 700BCE until the end of the Roman empire. What many of modern philosophers expressed, (from about 1700 AD on) was a rediscovery of the ancient texts of Greece and the Sanskrit. Most certainly, many of the early Indo-Aryan beliefs were more philosophical than religious. Aryan is not a bad word, but; something, Hitler, corrupted and makes us demonize to this day.

Art is anything that applies rules to accomplishments of society as a whole. It is more than painting, acting, music, dancing and etc. It is expression of the human soul and how more appropriate way to make sense of the Universe, than through Art as whole. Art could be said to that force which glues all things together. Many great philosophers express their belief in poetry, song and art.

Art is the canvas for philosophy, and many great individuals have given us a wonderful view of reality with their words. My opinion. Olan

 AncientMuse
Joined: 8/12/2007
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/25/2008 9:54:28 PM
Call me crazy....

But I tend to think of philosophy in a much more simpler term : "opinion"



Ah well, sometimes you feel like a nut.... sometimes you don't.
 DebraTheDeepThinker
Joined: 6/3/2006
Msg: 66
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/26/2008 12:36:07 PM
Hi Olan...

That was very well stated. Philosophy is a type of metaphysics. The delving into what exists in the mind. Attempting to make sense out of chaos. Whatever cannot be seen. What it means to be human. What it means to be alive. What it means to be moral.

I believe that science and philosophy are not mutually exclusive, rather they are both complementary. Science attempts to answer questions using a quantitative approach, while philosophy answers those questions using a qualitative approach. One is objective while the other is subjective. Neither is complete without the other. That is the way that I see it. In my opinion.

As for art, I see art as purely expressive in nature. I think art can be closely associated to what we would call 'feminine." It is an outlet for all of our creative energies. It is also a form of communication. Without art, there would be no meaning. Life would be completely void without meaning or hope.
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/28/2008 6:00:55 PM
Here's how Merriam Websters defines philosophy

all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2): the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology
Seems like philosophy encompasses art and science.
Interesting that one poster noted university philosophy departments are usually within the faculty of arts. The science faculties award 'Doctors of Philosophy' yet many art programs do not offer that degree. Interesting, too that there is more information on depth perception in art books than in physiology textbooks. I'd guess that someone adept at embracing all 3 would be much more interesting than the ones arguing that their approach is best.
 kirk763
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 68
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/28/2008 6:37:30 PM
I give up! The stupidity is overwhelming...
 NoseyNeighbor
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 69
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/28/2008 7:32:21 PM

Philosophy is a type of metaphysics

That is an incorrect statement. Metaphysics is a subdiscpline in philosophy. Aristotle himself did not use that title or even describe his field of study as ‘metaphysics’. The word Metaphysics was coined by the first century C.E. editor who assembled the treatise we know as Aristotle's Metaphysics out of various smaller selections of Aristotle's works.


philosophy answers those questions using a qualitative approach

Not necessarily. In Philosophy, Symbolic Logic uses mathematics and truth tables. And any statement of "fact" can be proven or disproven. It is an empirical approach but does not follow the conventional scientific approach. Philosophy can be both qualitative and quantitative.
 LostSoul24
Joined: 3/26/2008
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/29/2008 4:28:20 AM


To ask questions? To give answers? To pose new challanges on previous or outdated beliefs? To bump heads with fellow intellectuals? Sharing or exchanging of ideas? Expression?

AND

Is philosophy an Art or a science?


What's your answer to this question? I'm new here, and I'm just curious.

Well this is just my opinion.



i got into philosophy, for a better understanding of the world. philosophy, is about seeking the truth, but theirs not a whoole truth to something , because everyone gots a different opinion on different issues.

Its about the understanding of everything. i dunn think its a science, cause theirs not a exact fact for understand the truth, about the world... and i dunn think its a art, cause art is mainly about expressing something a culture or what other. art is about the human expression of ones self, or culture in my opinion.

So i think its neither...well thats my opinion
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/29/2008 1:15:10 PM
This thread really reminds me of the story of the three blind men describing an elephant. (if you aren't familiar with it, just google it. I don't say it to imply anything negative about any people's views, as I include myself)

I only mention this to indicate that philosophy is very big, seems to have very different aspects, and a range of importance from none at all to the foundation of everything. Just as the idea of an elephant encompasses all of the descriptions of the blind men, I kind of wonder whether there is a full description of philosophy which encompasses even all of the descriptions given in this post.
 psionic_husk
Joined: 11/5/2007
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Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/30/2008 11:56:43 PM

At it's most advanced all biology is really chemistry,


I'm not so sure about this: at it's most basic , biology is perhaps chemistry, but at it's most advanced, biology deals with systems vastly more complex than any other science, and the idea that we will have mathematical models that can accurately predict the behavior of any of these systems in the near future is laughable. This is probably the reason that biology has taken so long to be seen as a "hard" science. It can be argued that the reason that physics had such early successes, is that the systems that physics deals with are far simpler than even the the biological processes inside a "simple" protist. But then to bring in the human brain--300 billion neurons firing hundreds of times per second, and the infinity of permutations hence derived--and it is apparent that "biology", or the study of life, is a far different story than philososophy, math, physics, and chemistry, and certainly not reducible to any of them.
 Guy Named Ray
Joined: 2/19/2008
Msg: 73
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 4/2/2008 8:45:17 PM

But I tend to think of philosophy in a much more simpler term : "opinion"

Stating that in terms the majority of posters on here would understand:
Philosophy is the art of scientifically stating an opinion.
 Jabberwocky81
Joined: 3/20/2006
Msg: 74
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 4/3/2008 9:24:44 PM
From Daniel C. Dennett's book, Breaking the Spell:

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."
-Anonymous

I wouldn't consider it science or art. Science gives us truth, art gives us self expression, philosophy gives us moral and ethical guideance.
 Confettilandmine
Joined: 10/31/2007
Msg: 75
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 4/5/2008 1:01:29 AM
Wow, so you want me to tell you a bit about philosophy? That will be quite the task. Although, it's difficult to define what philosophy actually "is", I like to think of it as the study of logic, argumentation, and ideas in general. What philosophers do is look at all the 'big' ideas in the world, analyze them, and then decide whether or not they are cogent or not. Philosopher's also learn how to logically construct arguments so that granted that the argument is valid and the premises are true, the the conclusion follows with certainty. That's why students who want to study law usually first get a degree in philosophy because it teaches you the science of argumentation, which of course, is essential for lawyers. As to knowledge, you might find this a little odd, but philosophy doesn't actually produce results like the other disciplines do. What philosophers do is look at all the 'big questions' that usually can't be answered (e.g. is there a God? what is the meaning of life? can we have knowledge? is there such a thing as justice? what is reality? etc.). Furthermore, whenever philosophers actually do come up with an answer, the solution automatically becomes a separate discipline in itself. Thus, every field of study all the way from chemistry to psychology, from physics to sociology, originally began as an aspect of philosophy.
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