One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

The magic of “What”?

We ask the “What” question to understand the nature of things. Whoever followed “What” couldn’t find the ultimate answer so ended up constructing their models of reality? Some individuals get tired and expressed in doubts in existence of things under considerations. One of the best examples of this “Rene Descartes” who said, “I think therefore I am”. He accepted his existence just he knows that he thinks. Asking “What” questions is the domain philosophy and it is why we see different schools of thoughts in Philosophy but laws of philosophy as Science have. If you put “What” questions in Science, Science also fails to answer. If you ask, “What is energy?” you will see Scientists answer you, “the capability to work” and they will answer what energy itself is. Simply Scientists have defined their limitations by saying that anything that couldn’t be quantified is not coming under domain of Science. The capability of work can be expressed in Units like joule or Calorie or alternative units so it comes under Science and it is what Scientists talk when it comes to energy. However, the capability of work is not nature of energy but characteristics of energy. The same is true about Matter, Space, and Life. This is a clear distinction between where Science and philosophy stand distinct.

The question comes that if it is impossible to come up in ultimate answer to nature of things then why philosophy exists? Or what are benefits of philosophy seeking something that have no ultimate answer?

When Philosophers question, nature of things, they start constructing logical or possible answers or in modern times come up with models. Now, if these answers are related to life the biologists test their credibility or whether they are real or not. If they were it becomes part of biology. If their answers were related to matter, time, energy, space then physicists tests these ideas. If they were related to economy, economists test their credibility. Philosophers are standing on the edge of known and unknown.

It is not necessary that philosophers trained as a philosopher or not? Anybody who is standing at the edge of known and unknown is a philosopher whether they are Scientists, Economists, Writers, Politicians, journalists, psychologists, a degree holder in Philosophy and so forth….

The legendary evolution of philosophy come up from works of three men of Athens who were mentors and pupils, namely, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates was questioning everything and cross-questioning is legendary till today… Following his pupil, Plato started giving answers to those questions. He created ideal Universe, Society and men…. Utopia and Platonic thinking is still questioned by people who couldn’t grasp how philosophy works? Following Plato is his pupil, Aristotle who devised logic in order to test the credibility of the answers that Mentor had given. So we see, questioning, answers and testing of answers by logic as how philosophy work.

One may say that it is how others fields also work. Let’s say, Science starts with logical answers to question and it is called hypotheses. Then experiments are designed to test these hypotheses and prove or prove them. As I said earlier that Philosophy question “What” questions and provide possible answers or create possible models. It is what called Hypotheses in Science and it is what Science and Philosophy have in common. Hypotheses are the edge of between Known and Unknown and it is where Philosophers stand whether they are Scientists, Economists, Politicians, and Writers and so on.

There is a dilemma with so called “Post Modern Philosophers” that they are too much impressed with success of Science and they start feeling themselves dwarf to achievements of Science. They forgot the original tasks of philosophers or how Philosophy work. They tried to construct a system or Science so they could find the nature of things or at least make philosophy as coherent as Science is. It is now almost more than a century but these so called philosophers (I like to call them linguists) failed to dismantle different schools of thoughts in philosophy or to come up with a mechanism that make philosophy a coherent discipline as Science is. Why?

It is better that we take an example as a case study so we could understand better why philosophers failed?

By evolution of atomic theory with gradual discoveries of elemental particles Scientists become able to prove the unity of matter at atomic or subatomic level. It was really an inspiring achievement. Everything, galaxies, stars, planets, atmosphere, mountains, ocean, soil, living organisms and so on all made of up of same sub-atomic particles…. An unbelievable truth….

If everything is same or unified in their fundamental level then what if could find the fundamental units of thoughts so could find answer to nature of things. It is what is called atomization.. The post modern philosophers thought that because we think in terms of language and also communicate our thoughts through language so it is inefficiency of language that we cannot find the nature of things…….

After this approach we see the “Official Philosophy” or “Academic Philosophy” become a sub-branch of linguistics.

My thinking is there is a limit in atomization but no limit in evolution. Let me simplify this by saying that we have to start from a point and we can’t end…. Let me elaborate it by giving the example of temperature. We have absolute zero in temperature that is -273.15 degree Celsius but no absolute high temperature. Absolute zero is a theoretical limit that entropy is in its minimal level. Someday Scientists may prove that absolute zero is a few degrees lower. Yes, it is possible but still you have an absolute zero.

By taking above example I would say, language is not temperature a measurable thing that you could go and find a starting point or make it atomized it. Similarly verbal language that human understands is not like mathematics measurable because anything that is measurable we express them in terms of numerical or their equivalent graphical presentations. So, the verbal language is a complement of mathematical language. If we want to limit ourselves to only measureable language then we will find ourselves not able to express.

Hence my conclusion is, “Philosophers” to realize their role and work on ideas rather than on language. I see philosophers as leaders in nature not followers. If philosophers start following as they are doing they will ending up as sub-branch of other disciplines and distorting philosophy. True philosophical works have been carried out by Scientists, Economists, Sociologists, Psychologists, etc, when Philosophers were doing linguistics………………….

Post modern Philosophers are shy to accept their mistakes and retake the tasks that they denied once. They might be thinking that if we start “What” questions then we have to take positions and our positions could be wrong. In order to not be wrong, they don’t take any positions…. This is not being expected from learned men. The success of Science is that Scientists are ready to be wrong or true. The short history of Science is full of names that theories proved wrong… So what… Those Scientists whose positions proved wrong make humankind discover some wrong explanations.

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