Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Philosophy, what, method.  ---  .See also: Psychology, thinking, ways of.  Organizing.  Deductive vs. inductive.  Analytic vs. synthetic.  Categorization and classification.  Organization.  Prioritization.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  .This section is about methodology in philosophy.  Topics include: .  ---  1/24/2006

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  "If you play the guitar, you play it all, not just lead or chords" to paraphrase Keith Richards.  "Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics all hang together" to paraphrase Arthur Danto.  ---  11/27/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) Bottom up philosophy.  Take a new phenomenon in our world and do a philosophical analysis of it (determine cause, effects, nature, etc.).  Example, a new technology, a new piece of knowledge, or a change in culture, etc.  (2) Top down philosophy.  State a proposition and show how it affects all subjects.  (3) 1 is better than 2.  ---  11/15/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) How you do philosophy: what methods use?  (2) How much you philosophize: how often, how long, on what subjects, and what branches?  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) Methods in head, of thinking.  Intuitive vs. methodical (see thinking in general and specific ways).  (2)  Methods of communicating.  Talking: dialogue; debate.  Writing: epigrams; essays; magnum opus.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) Methods of doing philosophy.  (2) Methods of studying philosophy.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) Phenomenological methods.  How does "x" appear?  (2) Linguistic methods.  How is the word "x" used?  (3) Logical methods.  Are our arguments about "x" valid and sound?  ---  6/12/2004

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) Quick, intentional, active writing.  "i will create a work on x".  (2) Gradual, unintentional, passive, drifting writing.  "I will think and see what I come up with" and then write.  (3) Which method produces better results for who?  ---  01/10/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  (1) What we need is a software program that will "explode" a text into its individual ideas.  And then display the ideas in logical argument form.  (2) The software should also be able to translate these ideas into "in other words" form.  Which is not translation into another language, but rather the same language in a synonymous way.  (3) The software should also be able to draw from a huge database of texts, including quotes by famous authors who held similar ideas.  ---  8/27/1999

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  A problem.  (1) Many people talking about the same thing in different academic subject languages.  Academic barriers.  (2) Or are unaware they are saying the same thing, due to not understanding each others national language, and not understanding each others history of works.  (Ex. Anglo-amer. Vs. continental philosophy).  (3) An interdisciplinary philosophy would cut across this.  ---  10/09/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Analytical existentialism.  One paragraph short stories ala Montainge and Pascal.  ---  04/30/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Analyze, evaluate, organize, explain, clarify, store.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Analyzing a philosophical statement or system (of statements) for its subject branch, issue/question/problem, view, argument, and evidence.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Analyzing the logic of an argument.  Analyzing the language of an argument (meaning).  ---  11/25/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Continental philosophy has important but obscure ideas that analytic philosophy must clarify and formalize.  ---  01/28/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Creating a philosophy vs. analyzing a philosophy already created.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Every philosopher should introduce his works (1) on the high school, college, and graduate levels, (2) in one page, ten page, and one hundred pages.  ---  01/01/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Four traits of analytic philosophy (1) Subject matter: logical analysis, and linguistic analysis.  (2) Method of communication: scientific report style.  Short and sweet and clear as opposed to long and obscure.  (3) Micro rather than macro level.  Analytic rather than synthetic.  (4) A critical method, where you tear up opponents ideas.  ---  01/07/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  From poetry to philosophy.  ---  07/30/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Get the logical outlines down, rate them in their power (importance) of argument.  Refer to them by number or name.  ---  09/13/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Getting away (from usual environment), alone (away from people), and quiet, lets you see the vision.  ---  05/30/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  How to prepare an idea.  Lay it bare, sum it up, boil it down to bare bones, and put it in a nutshell.  ---  12/01/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  I want to formally analyze the ideas of continental philosophy.  New Pragmatism, ala Richard Rorty.  ---  11/27/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  If I did or could produce anything new and good, I wouldn't want it to be science, philosophy, or journalism (too concrete, and too padded), or fiction (too padded), but rather, something new.  Therefore, I wouldn't fit into the academic or work world.  ---  04/30/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  If you consider philosophy to be a process of conceptual clarification then the notion of "definition" becomes very important.  And so perhaps the greatest work of philosophy is the dictionary, and perhaps the greatest philosophers were Ben Johnson and Noah Webster.  ---  11/20/2001

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Importance of questions without answers, and answers without questions.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  In the world of ideas there should be a system of checks and balances in order to show the strengths and weaknesses (pros and cons) of each idea position.  This so that one ideology does not gain too much power in the world of thought.  ---  09/20/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  It is a two step process.  When arguing about issues that concern selecting a balance point on a spectrum between two poles (ex. altruism vs. egoism).  One question is where the ideal balance point is on the spectrum.  A second question involves determining where today's society is on the spectrum, and which way society needs to move to reach the ideal.  ---  9/26/1999

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Logic is useful only as a theoretical base for future applications.  ---  09/14/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Logical and linguistic analysis are only a start (albeit an important one) to philosophy, not an end to philosophy.  They are worthy of investigation in and of themselves, and in their relationship and importance in philosophy.  ---  09/08/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Me.  My philosophy is synthetic and general. Some philosophers think that only the ideas in the philosophy textbooks or the philosophy journals exist, or are worth doing philosophy on.  I am interested in doing philosophical analysis of the outskirts.  There is a lot of important stuff unrecognized and undone.  Instead of whipping dead horses in the center ring.  ---  11/27/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Method of any individual philosopher or school.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Method vs. results.  Great ideas gotten intuitively are better than shit ideas gotten methodically.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Methodologies.  Math, logic, science, art, etc.     PART ONE.  Mathematical models.  Can the phenomenon be modeled mathematically?  Can the phenomenon be represented exactly, so that the model works 100% of the time?  If not, with what percentage of accuracy can it be modeled?     PART TWO.  Logical models.  If you cannot represent a phenomenon mathematically or quantitatively by using a numerical model, then at least try to represent the phenomenon logically using formal logical symbolism.     PART THREE.  Scientific models.  Can the phenomenon be modeled scientifically? Can one discern the cause and effect relationships of the phenomenon? Does it exhibit any other discernible patterns and order, or is it completely random? Can you experiment on it or is it merely observable only?     PART FOUR.  If you cannot do any science on it, can you at least capture your experience of the phenomenon by using art?  Can you express your experience of the phenomenon by using poetry, painting, music, etc.  PART FIVE.  This is not to say one method is better than another.  We need all methods.  All the methods work together, helping each other.  In the future there may be even newer methods, for example, perhaps new types of computer models.  ---  1/6/2002

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Methods.  (1) Question out of blue.  (2) Answer out of blue.  (3) Mull it over.  (4) Test answer: in theory, and in practice.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  My method.  Broad.  Phenomenology.  Ordinary language analysis.  Work from experiences, events or words.  Scientific (inductive).  Deductive.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  New and old questions.  New and old answers.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Non-traditional philosophical sources.  What new philosophical idea was originated or developed by what author or artist, in what work of art?  And then what traditional academic philosopher formalized or expanded the ideas?  ---  08/10/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  On being taught by great philosophers.  If I want to know what they think I will read their book.  I am not interested in having them guiding my research or criticizing my work.  ---  1/30/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  On paper, writing notes, recording, organizing, and prioritizing thoughts/ideas.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  One could do a work called "the history of ideas about X".  You could call this work philosophy, but you could also call it history, archaeology, anthropology, etc.  In favor of the historical approach some people argue that there are psycho-social reasons why ideas take hold and become popular.  In favor of the historical approach some people argue that there are reasons why and ways how an idea can influence or shape the next idea that follows it.  However, against the historical approach I say that the so called historical flow of ideas is in some way arbitrary, often involving backsliding and random or whimsical changes.  And I say the historical approach is secondary to the logical approach.  We use historical approaches to see what ideas littered the past.  We use logical approaches to shape up existing ideas and create new and better ideas for the future.  ---  11/20/2001

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  One way to approach it: the most important words there are, and why.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  One way to formalize writing is to label sentences.  Example. A1 for argument one.  A2 for argument two.  A1 p1 for premise one in argument one.  A1 p2 for premise two in argument one.  A1 c1 for conclusion one in argument one.  ---  5/12/1999

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Philosophers hypothesize extreme examples.  ---  09/14/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Philosophy is interdisciplinary and foundational.  It is therefore encyclopedic, and therefore your reading should be encyclopedias (short, sweet, and complete), in all subject areas.  Learning philosophy by reading a series of monographs is impossibly slow and incomplete.  Textbooks are spotty, and over laden with examples.  ---  01/30/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Semiotics, hermeneutics, and literary criticism deal with understanding and interpretation.  ---  06/30/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  So much time is spent by philosophers rehashing old ideas that are already thought out.  We need to push into new areas.  We need conceptual block busting.  We need progress.  ---  08/15/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The "eclectic, combo, contingency" method: use whatever works best.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The big problem in philosophy is too many philosophers spending too much time on the few ideas of a few old farts.  Widen the subjects and views considered.  ---  09/13/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The hermeneutic circle.  You can not understand the work (part) without understanding the context (whole) (cultural, historical, biographical, etc.), and visa versa.  You can not understand or interpret the work without understanding yourself (psychology), and your time (culture), and how you project yourself and your culture onto the work, and visa versa how the work affects you.  You can not understand yourself without understanding all the works, texts, experiences, that went into making you up.  ---  12/01/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The question is not just how do we use a word or phrase or idea.  The question is how should we use it.  ---  07/27/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The reason for philosophy of language and philosophy of logic is to make sure we are not making language mistakes and logic mistakes in our philosophical statements.  ---  01/22/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  The way to do philosophy.  (1) Work from latest scientific empirical findings, and build on them, or build to the side of them.  (2) Concentrate on problems (present, future, and past), and on the world situation.  ---  09/06/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  There is a list of methods we use to find things out.  We can include on the list the critical analysis of media information.  Things like verifying sources, identifying bias, and identifying conflict of interest.  ---  8/24/1999

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Things (life) and ideas can be put in equation form to make thinking about them easier.  Symbolization.  ---  02/14/1989

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Two ways to do philosophy.  (1) Pick a subject or person.  (A) "This area interests me, and I think it is important and ripe."  (B) "I think this dude is on the right track, so I will follow and riff (rip) off him."  (2) "I just got this great idea", and then mine it, develop it, and make it yours.  ---  01/28/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Types of proof: mathematical, logical, and scientific.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Using formal logic to diagram ordinary language arguments.  ---  1/14/1999

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  We must be eclectic.  Philosophical schools arise for good reasons; to explore unexplored subjects or arguments, and to raise important questions about existing views.  However, these schools wrongly see themselves as the only way to do things, or the culmination or final word in an area.  Each point must have its counterpoint or counterargument, both logically and in the voice of academics.  A completely worked out logical system of checks and balances is required.  ---  11/28/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  What is the big problem in philosophy with concepts like "meaning", etc., I often ask myself?  Can not we just go by common sense?  Yet common sense often leads us astray.  Like when we thought it was common sense that the earth is flat.  Yet common sense can be said to hold true till a discrepancy, paradox, or problem with it arises.  Yet even then, can we figure out a method better (or perfect) than common sense, or do we just work heuristically?  ---  02/01/1994

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  When we push for one concept scheme over another (ex. use of a new word), that is hard philosophy dripping down to the practical level.  ---  09/24/1993

Philosophy, what, method.  ---  Worst thing in philosophy is getting caught up in an insignificant dispute, in an outmoded view, in a unimportant area of philosophy.  Stay on the cutting edge.  ---  12/30/1992

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.