What is Philosophy

by phil on Friday May 2, 2003 11:28 AM

That is to say, what are the contents of the books that you will find in the "Philosophy" section of Barnes & Noble.

I. Here is an inventory of what you WILL find:

- The study of consistent systems related to life
- Detailed descriptions of life
- Suggestions on what to do
- Semantic games
- Adventures in logical analysis
- Literary art
- Implications of certain scientific discoveries
- Attempts at discovering our origin
- Attempts at discovering a universal purpose of man
- Predictions about the future
- Attacks of our beliefs
- Metaphysics
- Ethics
- Logic
- Aesthetics
- Epistemology
- History of schools of thought
- Schools of thought

II. Here is an inventory of what is PURPORTED to be found:
- wisdom
- truth
- theories of everything
- Aesthetics, metaphysics, logic, epistemology
- our origin
- our purpose

III. Here is a cynical view of what it actually is:
- conjecture
- word games
- obfuscation of the obvious
- improper combination of things in (I) for the sake of things in (II)
- opportunities to demonstrate pure wit

IV. What you won't find (unfortunately):
- practical psychology
- charts or graphics of any sort
- a completely satisfiable answer to any of the questions posed in (I)
- integration with recent scientific advances (somewhat)
- truly consistent systems
- simplicity

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