Monday, April 7, 2014

What Progress in Philosophy? (Philosophy is like Bathing)

Some may feel that philosophy as a whole has not made any progress. Some are quick to point out how philosophers have been arguing over the same problems for centuries- seemingly making no progress.

Philosophy is like taking a bath or shower. No one would come to and ask "how much progress have you made in getting clean?".It seems like a silly question. You (hopefully) shower or bathe everyday, all the while knowing you will get dirty again. In this way, bathing is not an additive process like technology is. Technology is builds upon itself, while bathing is an iterative process- one of returning back to and repeating.

Philosophy is more like bathing than it is like technology. This distinction is what causes scientists and others ignorant to the true scope of philosophy to see it as something that makes no progress. But what they fail to see is that philosophy is like bathing, in that it is a iterative and not an additive process. We return again and again to philosophy to orient ourselves- to clean out thoughts and wipe away the inconsistencies and fallacies of our ways.

Philosophy cleans the picture of reality so we can understand on a grand level what it is we are doing in our day to day lives. Like bathing, philosophy we do often- not with he intent of never getting dirty again, but rather with the desire to see our nature devoid of all the dirt of the world- gaining a new perspective. Philosophy is a way to get this perspective. We must return to it and cleanse ourselves like we do in bathing.

Therefore, the progress made in philosophy is like the progress made in bathing- although it seems to go no where, it is actually vital toward our image of ourselves and our world. Philosophy, like bathing, is a process we repeat over and over, while technology is a process which builds upon itself. When science and technology make strides in development, philosophy and bathing are needed to cleanse the mind and body from the days work in the world- washing away inconsistencies and fallacies- allowing for progress to head in the right direction- rather than in unconsciously biased directions.