Discussing Philosophy with the Pigeons

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 11th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3tk-mw95/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Ethics

Picture the reputed Philosophy Professor sitting on a bench discussing the finer points of existential philosophy to a group of pigeons, many people would start to assume that this individual was starting to lose their mind, but there are times when it is necessary to test an idea and doing that out loud is better than doing it mentally.

What do you Think?

Before going on with the remainder of this article you should ask yourself a plain and simple question - what do you think?

There is a simple reason for this, which is this - what you think about any subject is more important than what any other person thinks or tells you that you should think. There are too many people that are trapped by the thoughts of others. Therefore in any situation I suggest you pause and ask - what do I think?

Pigeon toed Philosophy

Philosophy is a wide subject and in theory you could select two different ideologies and use them to both prove and disprove any thesis you wish to, indeed most people presume in order to understand philosophy you require a doctorate in that subject and to hear philosophers discuss the finer points of their theory its easy to think this to be the truth, after all philosophical reading is an exercise in understanding and is about arguing a particular viewpoint, which could explain why our philosophical professor was spending his time talking to the special breed of philosophical pigeons. Trying to not only convince the birds of his viewpoint but also to try and convince himself of the brilliance of his argument, and therein lies a dialectic, the need for discussion, debate and dialogue even in order to convince even himself that he is right.

Truth is for many a reference to Descartes, Plato, or Aristotle goes completely over their head, yet for others they are a constant source of quotes to be used every time a specific topic is aired, it seems that for some the subject of philosophy seems to provide an opportunity to prove how clever people are, for others it is a constant source of confusion and befuddlement, why?

Cat among the Pigeons

Time to set the cat among the pigeons and plant a few home truths, but even there its necessary to ask whether this is a proverbial cat or a real one? Then think about whether the impact is any different because this is largely about how we use our minds.

There are many philosophies we will encounter in life, some you will strongly agree with and others that you will just as strongly disagree with, yet there are more that will have little of no relevance to your understanding of life, the universe and everything, yet it is not whether you understand the ideas of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, or Georg Hegel that matters, but what you see as being the important things in life and how you build up your own philosophy based on your own experiences and understanding. Your own philosophy matters more to your personal situation than does the feelings of an ancient master.

The important aspect of philosophy is not merely discussing how things are seen, but in offering solutions and providing a route that allows change - in this writer's view that's what really matters.

Whether of not you agree with their ideas it is the ability to provide a route to change that lies behind many philosophical works of the modern era. Look at works like "Getting things Done" by David Allen or "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey and you will find that both of these books are based on problems studied by the author and a method they have used to change things for one person, in other words they have developed a philosophy and provided a route to change the life of one person, yourself. Perhaps the real challenge is whether you wish to last the course.

The Power of Thought

In reality philosophy should be easy to understand and easy to act upon, and when it applies to one person, yourself, it should be - see a problem, understand the possible routes to resolving the issue, then pick a solution and work it through to completion, it is all about leveraging the power of your own thought. Yet certain philosophies require mass movements and that is where problems lie because people may agree on the broad need for change but they disagree on what needs to be done and the exact extent of change that is necessary, therein also lies the nub of the problem - it is possible to change yourself but difficult to change others.

The power of thought is a wonderful thing and there is nothing to say why why a particular idea is right or wrong, nothing that is but testing it in action - to the fullest extent possible leveraging the views and thinking of its supporters, yet in the world it is true that there are many great ideas that never see the light of day because a small minority of powerful people oppose them and use their might and power to ensure they are never executed, the thinker has a duty to have others take up their ideals and help portray them the majority of the population.

Great ideas need to be set free. In reality a philosophy needs to be easily understood and be practical, philosophy is no longer the sole domain of academia, it should be part of the thoughts and understanding of every person on this planet, it should be practical and lead to solutions that pigeons, cats and snails understand. Truth is almost everything we do has a philosophical element to it but the ability to bring about change is vital.

Image Credits

  • Pigeon toed by Peter Giblett
  • Pigeons understand philosophy by Peter Giblett
  • The Thinker, public domain image

Other thoughts by Peter B. Giblett

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Comments

author avatar spirited
12th Feb 2015 (#)

"In reality a philosophy needs to be easily understood and be practical."

I guess this is mostly true, but I do like chewing the fat of those ones that are impractibly hard to understand too.

An in-depth common-sense approach to the subject, thanks Peter

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
12th Feb 2015 (#)

I don't believe there is any subject that cannot be understood by lay people, that said I would not elect to have anyone but a doctor perform surgery on me.

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author avatar Retired
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Half of my first degree was in Philosophy, and I agree that it can get very involved and confusing - I spent three years in a general state of confusion!

However, most of what philosophers write is an edifice built on relatively straightforward foundations - if you can discredit the founding principles, the rest comes tumbling down.

Our philosophy course consisted largely of undermining the foundations!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
12th Feb 2015 (#)

In some respects I wish I had read the subject, I think it would have been fascinating, confusing, annoying, intriguing, enlightening etc., etc. but I still believe that the best real philosophy is the real ones that we construct for ourselves and the life which we then lead.

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author avatar viewgreen
12th Feb 2015 (#)

I think, it's that the thinker statue is a sculpture that has been enshrined in a famous philosopher Aristotels. Great describes and it's awesome to share herein. Thank you.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
12th Feb 2015 (#)

"The Thinker" was my IM handle and image a few years ago.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Thought provoking, Peter. We should agree on a broad foundation for survival. Now we disagree to agree on the fundamentals starting from beliefs. We should start with one Creator and allow each to take on a path based on their comfort levels and reality. Creation is going on for billions of years or even from time unfathomable to us and our beliefs are few millennia old, but they create havoc in this modern world - something to chew upon and come to a sane conclusion. Science and philosophy should find balance for progress to be meaningful and sustaining - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
14th Feb 2015 (#)

A thought provoking article and one that attempts to break us away from the established norms that philosophy and ideals are the copyright of a few, which they are not and something which should be used by masses to find ways to solve problems in amicable ways and develop independent thinking.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
16th Feb 2015 (#)

There is no reason why any reasonable, thinking person cannot create a new philosophical direction.

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author avatar Retired
16th Feb 2015 (#)

Thought provoking. I think there are basically two main avenues of philosophical thinking...academic and mystical (West and East, basically). Each avenue has myriad side streets, but all philosophical thought primarily stems from either intellect or intuition. However, i think the best philosophies incorporate both. :)

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
16th Feb 2015 (#)

It is true that there are plenty of different streets (ideas) to follow or understand.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
17th Feb 2015 (#)

the point of discussing such issues is to bring about change, but changing society is the greatest challenge we face and that requires urgent attention.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
17th Feb 2015 (#)

Grant you would say that!

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author avatar Abdul Batin Bey
24th Jun 2015 (#)

very interesting I enjoyed this article a lot

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