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Can you be wrong in Philosophy?

kunfuzed101kunfuzed101 Posts: 761Registered User Member
edited February 2007 in College Life
Can you? I'm taking Phil this semester and needless to say I find it direly boring and uninteresting. I have one of those crazy Phd. Professors that looks out the window while giving lectures as if he is in a Shakespherian play, is and I kid you not, in his late 60's and still wearing skateboarding shoes and talks amongst himself. His lectures are not very clear, and he seems to go off topic about chocolate cookies and diet pepsi every so often. Point is: our prof. has assigned some questions, can one's answer be wrong in Philosophy? I hope that its a matter of opinion rather than the justification of right or wrong.
Post edited by kunfuzed101 on
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Replies to: Can you be wrong in Philosophy?

  • nspedsnspeds Posts: 5,382- Senior Member
    You can be very wrong on philosophy.
  • badman89badman89 Posts: 694Registered User Member
    What course are you taking?
  • cowgirlatheartcowgirlatheart Posts: 855Registered User Member
    It depends what they're asking you.

    It is possible to misinterpret what a particular philosopher was saying, but as to questions of "truth", "justice", and whatnot, the answer depends on your perspective.
  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy Posts: 551Registered User Member
    Many times in philosophy there is no right or wrong answer; however, for an answer to be valid, it must be properly supported.

    If you could logically prove that the sky is green since blue is only a perception of humans, then you would be correct.

    If you could logically prove that the sky is blue since the perception of an individual is reality due to the principle that one cannot know for certain anything outside of their own sense-data, then you would be correct.

    Philosophy is aimed at forcing people to question accepted beliefs and present cogent arguments in the pursuit of knowledge. Sure, a professor could make the subject appear dull, but the study of Philosophy is truly fascinating if one has the desire to learn.
  • nspedsnspeds Posts: 5,382- Senior Member
    but as to questions of "truth", "justice", and whatnot, the answer depends on your perspective.

    Huh? No, it doesn't.
    Philosophy is aimed at forcing people to question accepted beliefs and present cogent arguments in the pursuit of knowledge.

    That would be... epistemology. The rest of your post was bs, so I won't bother talking about it.


    Put succinctly: there may not be right answers in philosophy, but there are definitely wrong ones.

    Moreover, when professors grade philosophy papers (or when journals review articles for publishing), they generally look not just at the claims being made, but at the methodology exhibited in and clarity of the piece that is submitted. I would know, I'm an editor for a journal of philosophy.

    Here is a helpful link on writing a philosophy paper:

    http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/writing.html

    He taught at Princeton philosophy, but is now at NYU.
  • skkskk Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Game theory and logic are generally considered branches of philosophy.
  • badman89badman89 Posts: 694Registered User Member
    nspeds wrote:
    Here is a helpful link on writing a philosophy paper:

    http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/gui...s/writing.html

    He taught at Princeton philosophy, but is now at NYU.

    Thank you; very useful link!
  • sauronvoldemortsauronvoldemort Posts: 1,094- Member
    u can always go wrong in philosophy. first of all, u have to watch out for those logical fallacy and be as logical as possible.
    second, and this is the hard part, ur idea has to have some value. if u theorize on speedos oompa-loompas it will likely be worthless.

    now, i think it is near impossible to come up with original ideas because there had been so much giants. the best way NEVER to go wrong is to BUILD on some one else's ideas. i don't suggest plato or aristotle because they had been already been built on. consider spencer, an obscure evolutionist whom nobody talks about. leibniz, spinoza, schopehaur are fine too. also consider scientists.

    also, consider the greatest thinker of all time, me.
  • BusinessGuyBusinessGuy Posts: 551Registered User Member
    Epistemology is a branch of philosophy, therefore my definition of philosophy is correct, while it may not be all encompassing.

    As you said there are no right answers, but I don't believe there are any inherently "wrong" answers either - only answers that aren't properly supported or proven.

    Why don't you give a few examples of wrong answers?
  • nspedsnspeds Posts: 5,382- Senior Member
    Why don't you give a few examples of wrong answers?

    Here is a great one...
    Epistemology is a branch of philosophy, therefore my definition of philosophy is correct, while it may not be all encompassing.

    That epistemology is a branch of philosophy does not make it the definition of philosophy. Its being a branch may be implied by the definition, but it in no way constitutes the definition.
    but I don't believe there are any inherently "wrong" answers either

    Is that statement itself supposed to be a right answer?
  • chaoseschaoses Posts: 1,039Registered User Member
    you can be wrong in anything
    however if u wanna proof for example that you don't exist, as long as u have reasons to back up, you can be right no matter what answers you choose. It is different than in math where there's sometimes only 1 answer.
  • thedoverdemonthedoverdemon Posts: 225Registered User Junior Member
    I think we can reduce analytic arguments in philosophy to two parts: logic and semantics.

    As it is applied in math, I think logic is universal and objective. There is a right or wrong way to logically deduce an argument: for example, we can use propositional logic, predicate logic, truth tables, etc. to determine a formal argument's validity and consistency. This is all very technical in nature.

    However, subjectivity and controversy arises as soon as semantics are involved. To the best of our ability, we use words to describe ideas and concepts. But as wide as the English vocabulary is, there is still a lot of ambiguity as to what certain words mean--if not indeed, every single word we now. When one starts questioning things, it's often difficult to draw the line between what is and what is not. The lines become blurred. On top of that, we all have differing ideas as to what abstract ideas such as love, justice, and rights are. There is a lot of disagreement here, and that is what I think results in subjectivity.
  • nspedsnspeds Posts: 5,382- Senior Member
    I think we can reduce analytic arguments in philosophy to two parts: logic and semantics.

    Huh? Then what about Tarski's definition of truth?
    As it is applied in math, I think logic is universal and objective.

    This is completely incorrect.

    See: Goedel's incompleteness theorem and the purpose of logic (hint: it is a normative discipline, not a descriptive one).
    r, subjectivity and controversy arises as soon as semantics are involved.

    This statement is incorrect. There is actually a semantic view of logic that is quite clearly objective in its results. The view is dominant in contemporary of first-order systems.

    This is pitiful.
  • thedoverdemonthedoverdemon Posts: 225Registered User Junior Member
    I've heard of Tarski, but not about his definition of truth. I'm reading about his stuff right now though.

    Apologies for my ignorance, but please note that my post was my theory--even if indeed it was, or is, mistaken. I did put "I think" there several times.

    If I am wrong, then I concede. After all, I'm not an editor of a philosophy journal. Educate me, but keep your pity for someone else.
  • brand_182brand_182 Posts: 7,589Registered User Senior Member
    Educate me, but keep your pity for someone else.

    Lmao. Best CC quote I've seen in awhile.
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