What makes a good philosophical discussion?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Do all discussions have to be argumentive and adversarial?
    Is good fath and good will necessary?
    What is the objective of a philosophical discussion?

    There are many questions along these lines. Like to add?

    Care to discuss what makes a good philosophical discussion?
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    What's in a word?
    Soph - wisdom
    Philo - love of
    so far so good
    sophist - wise man
    ok so far
    and then
    when discussing philosophy, there are those who would rather engage in combative sophistry
    gee darn
    Sophistry is reasoning that seems plausible on a superficial level but is actually unsound, or reasoning that is used to deceive.

    "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" comes to mind

    Is Taoism a religion or a philosophy?
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Is there a good philosophical discussion?
    Adversarial is in the eye of the beholder. Usually it's when someone wants a discussion but only wants one viewpoint discussed. Argumentative is the same.
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I believe they do need to be argumentative - else it stagnates in concurrence.
    But argument doesn't need to be adversarial: several perspectives round out an idea, and objections to a proposition help the proposer to identify, and perhaps rectify its flaws.
    Yes, if your desire is for a co-operative approach to solving a dilemma or clearing up a concept.
    Yes, at least to some degree, even if your desire is for a lively fracas.
    No, if all you want is to piss people off.

    I don't see how there can be a single objective. It depends on the needs/interests of the proposer.
    About half the time, it's a student trying to get a bunch of strangers to do his homework.
    The other half is divided among 1. idle curiosity 2. provocation 3. crackpot notions 4. shilling for a deity 5. deliberate obfuscation of established ideas 6. confusion about/misconstrual of established ideas 7. recent discovery of a particular author or work 8. recent conversion to/from an ideology 9. a genuinely fresh concept, synthesis or methodology.

    I think an engaging and well-defined initial question is essential.
    (PS - this one qualifies)
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I believe that to have a good discussion requires the validation and confirmation of what is in agreement as well as what is not.
    For example:
    I have validated your response and acknowledged that we are in agreement with regards to the main issues raised in the OP.
    In doing so I have indicated my respect and desire to pursue further discussion.
    • I believe it is essential to find common ground before discussing our differences.
    The objective could be agreed upon explicitly perhaps or it can be assumed due to a response being given.
    But I think you are right IMO. Often the objective becomes redundant due to the necessary expansion of the topic mainly, perhaps, because there is a desire to discuss related issues that eventually add to the initial objectives result. A tangential or parallel journey of discovery is sometimes required...
    Do you think that the objective has to become owned by all participants to be an effective discussion?
    For the proposer to become more a participant that may or may not take the lead in a mutually beneficial discussion?
    So that all who participate can share in the profits achieved by doing so?
    • team work.
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    ...a good thread to start.
    The problem is should you post it in the religious or philosophy fora?

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    sculptor likes this.
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Agree up to a point - say, 85%. I'm not sure it's a requirement; I seem to recall some fairly heated and even rude arguments that nevertheless resulted in some enlightenment.
    It depends largely on one's definition of 'a good discussion', doesn't it?
    I appreciate that, but I'm not sure everyone with something to contribute feels the same way.
    A qualified agreement. It's essential to agree on the topic and its limits, not necessarily on anything beyond that.
    I think it's possible to start from opposite ends of a proposition (e.g. total acceptance vs total rejection) and still offer something of value - if not to the opponent, then to non-aligned participants or casual readers.
    It's a good idea to state one's own objective at the start.... but then accept that an interesting discussion might shift in many possible directions - and that's no bad thing.
    Then, too, it might be helpful for the thread-starter to take the role of a - what? 'presenter' as they say on BBC - and take a moment, now and again, re-state the original premise and summarize what's happened to it.
    I know a couple of people who to do that assiduously - control-freaks, yes, but I do find their input useful.

    And often fun, as well.

    Not really. You inevitably have a small number of participants who are sincerely invested in a discussion, several ride-alongs who contribute the odd comment but are less interested, a few drop-ins who make a single observation regarding some limited aspect of the topic and and one or two smart-asses whose only objective is a cheap shot.

    That's my preference, but I don't consider it essential. I've witnessed and been embroiled in free-for-alls that turned out, if not productive, at least enjoyable.
    Sometimes, it's okay just to throw an idea out there and see whether it develops.
  11. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    can you create a class of types of philosophy based on assumptive pre-disposition to psycho-social-religous concepts ?

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