Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Doing Philosophy in Internet Era

"Is like telling a baby how to drink his milk" or so it is thought, believed and seen by those outside the box of philosophy. 

More exactly, telling young people that philosophy is beneficial and creates the utterly skills needed in a cosmopolitan and globally informationalized equation, is by far a highly complicated demarche and generally seen with suspicious eyes.

All our information comes from the online environment, any dilemma is "disputed" on the Internet and the answers to all "philosophical questions", even if they are rarely of a pure origin, derive from the same web of "knowledge". But the most important question is the following: Is this a real knowledge, a real sapientia, a plus value kind of wisdom? The main corpus of this, so called, "valuable information" is often unfiltered, raw, truncated and, sadly, false.

The philosophical importance of this kind of approach is also disputable. Philosophy is knowledge, a certain kind of knowledge true, but nonetheless knowledge. The main issue that is to be pointed out is the fact that philosophy is also techne. Actually, doing philosophy is knowing and mastering the techniques required needed for such an endeavor and, in spite of the common belief, it is not for the "faint-hearted"; not everyone can philosophize and/or has the required skills needed to do so in a correct and systematic fashion. What are these skills that I refer to here? This is not part of our purposes for this short article, but what I want just to emphasize is that some of them are related to an innate skills and competencies of each individual human being (eg. a certain propensity towards arts or mathematics), whereas much more of them (I can even assert that most of them) are acquired during lifetime and via a large palette of activities.

Nevertheless, philosophy is an "art of the spirit" (or so they say) and "for the spirit" (not completely true if we thing about the applied domains of philosophy), but it requires an important variety of skills that cannot be shaped in a fully on-line environment such as the all mighty Internet. Doing philosophy implies a certain level of learning & study, a high level human interaction and a specific know-how; it is a complex and dynamic process of confronting ideas (correctly acquired and interpreted), adapting public and interior discourses (in a mind to real life interpretation & interaction - philosophy of mind point of view, for those who want to deepen this problem), correcting perspectives and shaping specific ways of analyzing, weighting and debating the "philosophical question or issue" in cause!

For an already formed philosopher, Internet can be a well of new approaches and perspectives, a possible "endless" spring of information and a good up-to-date informational spot, but for a aspirant individual to a Socratic life (not also to his death, of course) the Internet Era could pose bigger problems and create more short and long therm disadvantages, than be a real solution in doing philosophy in a good, correct and constructive way.  

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