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Posted by Harvey on May 10, 2002 15:39:19 UTC

Everything we do is emotional. Science is the pursuit of how nature works - an emotional drive to understand and make sense of one's surroundings. Economics is a desire for prosperity and being able to create the best economy by which to do so. Law is the a desire for justice and being able to create the best system of justice that is possible. Etc... etc...

We can always look for the hidden agenda behind the things we humans do. In fact, we might find personal agendas in why Einstein became a scientist, or why Feynman thought particle physics is cool, etc.

***Self-validation is a logical function of the human mind, a push behind much of what we do... and I believe it's fair to call this motivation emotional. Emotions are logical functions of the human mind not arrived at through purposeful, logical reasoning.***

It depends on what we mean by self-validation. If you mean that we seek to only justify our current position, then philosophy is corrupted. However, the same could happen in science (just look at Dick), or could be said of law (just look at the lawyers who just want the money), etc.

The principles of each field of human endeavor is to reach beyond self-validation (i.e., just confirm what we already believe or want to be true). We may never leave some of the principles we believe so strongly, but hopefully we change our views according to the pressures that each field presents. For example, if I were an economist I might change some of my simplified beliefs of the economy. The same applies for philosophy.

I just don't see any difference in philosophy from other human enterprises that are bent on acquiring new knowledge about the world. We work within our belief and emotional structure, not outside of it. This alone doesn't make philosophy equivalent to art. That's ludicrous. Let the best argument win. Go.

Warm regards, Harv

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