Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kitap: A Passion for Wisdom

İnsanlığın bugüne kadar ürettiği felsefenin tarihini 140 sayfada sunuyor A Passion for Wisdom - A very brief history of philosophy. Felsefeye genel hatları ile giriş için güzel bir eser. Bugün var olan çoğu temel sorunun binlerce yıldır tartışıldığını görmek öğrenmenin mutluluğu ile birlikte fazla yol alamamış olmanın hüznünü yaşatabiliyor.

Hayata bakışımın Aristotle (M.Ö. 384-322) (sayfa 42) ve aydınlanma dönemi (17-18. yüzyıl) (sayfa 80) ile benzerliklerini görüp şaşırdım. Nietzsche'nin dini yaklaşım ile ilgili eleştirileri (sayfa 107) aklıma dedemin yaşam tarzını getirdi (!) Simone de Beauvoir'un kişisel özgürlük ve sorumluluk konusundaki düşüncelerini (sayfa 125) kendime çok yakın buldum (bu düşünceye verdiğim isim "pırıltı felsefesi").

Kafamdaki bölük pörçük fikirlerin düzgün ifade edilmiş hallerini görmek faydalı oldu. Düşünmeyi seven ve insanlığın ortak aklından yararlanmak isteyen herkese tavsiye ederim. Bu tür felsefe kitapları ile birlikte evrim literatürünü de takip ederseniz hayatı anlayacak ve nasıl yaşanması gerektiği üzerine sağlam temellere sahip olacaksınız.
[p.ix]: The story of philosophy is the history of humanity's self-awareness and wonder with the world.

[p.3] Curiousity about nature, not just as a practical necessity but as genuine wonder, probably dates back to the Cro-Magnon.

[p.13] Philosophically, the idea of a single, all-powerful God implied universality, a single set of rules and beliefs that would apply not only in this or that region or city-state but everywhere and to everyone.

[p.23] Jewish law presumes the presence of an all-powerful God who both dictated the laws and sanctions them, while both the Greeks and the Chinese saw the sole end of ethics as the promotion of a harmonious society, quite apart from any external judge or law-giver.

[p.24] Love may be the answer, but its precondition is security backed up by force.

[p.27] The great physician Hippocrates (c. 460-370 B.C.E.) summed up the new consciousness of the age by saying, "Men think [a disease] divine merely because they do not understand it. But if they called everything divine which they do not understand, why, there would be no end of divine things."

[p.36] has been famously noted that all of (Western) philosophy is nothing but a footnote to Plato.

[p.42] Happiness is not the life of pleasure, Aristotle argues. Some pleasures are degrading and humiliating, and, more important, pleasure is just an accompaniment to satisfying activity, not activity's end or goal. The good life is not defined by wealth, which is just a means to happiness, nor is it defined by honor, power and success, because such things depend on the whims of others. Happiness, properly understood, should be self-contained and complete in itself.

[p.46] Tribalism establishes an individual's identity and significance as a person only in the context of his or her family and community... an isolated individual lacking the concrete presence of intangible ties of kinship is understood as hopelessly lost or effectively dead.

[p.64] Abelard...believed, as do many philosphers today, that most theological and philosphical confusions are the result of confusions about language, about the meanings of words.

[p.67] The very idea of indulgences presupposed that human actions (whether the recitation of prayers or the giving of alms) could have an impact on one's salvation. In Luther's view, this idea was tantamount to the claim that one could bribe God or buy salvation.

[p.73-74] Descartes's philosophy...began with the demand that each of us establish for ourselves the truth of what we believe. To this end, he invented a radical method, "the method of doubt," in which he considered all of his beliefs suspicious until they could be proven to be justified.

[p.80] In place of sectarian battles that had bloodied the past several centuries, the Enlightment philosphers insisted on being "cosmopolitan" - being citizens of the world, ignoring national boundaries, rejecting sectarian affiliations. Their truths would be universal truths, not to be imposed on others but to be discovered independently by them.

[p.88] ...despite the booming thesis of Wealth of Nations, Smith believed that people are not essentially selfish or self-interested but are essentially social creatures who act out of sympathy and fellow-feeling for the good of society as a whole. A decent free-enterprise system would only be possible in the context of such a sciety.

[p.93] In order to persist in our commitment to morality, we need to believe that, ultimately, moral behaviour converges with happiness.

[p.107] Nietzsche applauded the ancient Greeks for their ethical outlook, which stressed the development of personal excellence and nobility, in contrast with what he saw as the Judeo-Christian obsession with sin, guilt, and otherworldy salvation... The person who essentially does nothing with his life but avoides "sin" might merit heaven, on the Christian view, while a creative person will probably be deemed "immoral" because he refuses to follow "the herd".

[p.109] Many of the European settlers had left Europe in search of religious freedom and tolerance, but (as so often happens) once they found it, they became less than tolerant themselves.

[p.112] Dewey's emphasis...was on practice, on the actual ways in which we learn to do things by doing them.

[p.125] Simone de Beauvoir...shared with Sartre this emphasis on freedom and on responsibility for what one is and "what one makes of what is made of one".

[p.126] Surprisingly few talk very much about the family, and interpersonal relationships in general play an embarrassingly minuscule role in the history of Western philosophy... Feminist philosophy challenges the entire Western tradition (and not only that tradition). While claiming to be universal and all-inclusive, philosophy has not even included or taken account of the woman next door.

[p.127] As the world gets smaller, there are growing concerns about the way cultural groups can and should live together. Philosophy should become a major intermediary in this process.

[p.128] Philosophy has always been representative of what is most human about us. Perhaps what we need is not more sophistication but more openness. We need to be not more clever but, rather, better listeners. What philosophy is, after all, is thoughtful openness to the world, a passion for wisdom.

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