In the philosophy courses I run, I try to open up the deeper layers of what the great philosophers are about, to expose how their work can, and often has, changed the world and changed the deeper strata of how our culture experiences itself. I try not to present philosophy as something like a crossword puzzle, a take it or leave it pastime which does not affect us. I want for people to feel engaged and passionate enough to carve out their own sense of things.
Philosophy is a very very thin crust coating over the magma of life just beneath the surface. It keeps solidifying in the same forms. Amazing that we are still arguing and conceptualising with the categories of Plato and Aristotle in all contexts after over 2000 years! We cannot think outside them. Reading Aristotle has given me a new way in to Strawson's Individuals - and vice versa! http://is.gd/7bnfR In Strawson's language we are still in thrall of the ultimate revisionary metaphysics - those of Plato and Aristotle.
The puzzle about belief is that if I differ from you fundamentally in belief it makes us in a sense different persons. The grounds of our beliefs will be different and will have a circular relation with the beliefs themselves. Because I cannot challenge your grounds from my grounds, without circularity, you and I have literally different worlds. Wittgenstein says something like this in the Tractatus, though I do not think it does not alter 'the facts' as well - indeed it is the entanglement of 'the facts' with our life-and-being stance that is the mystery:
Having set in motion philosophy courses for Psychotherapists and related Professionals in both UK and Ireland, I am expanding this blog to include my on-going reflections on philosophy and everything else. So I have changed the title also.
I am going to try to do this by pretty random reflections without feeling obliged to give the full background every time.
Perhaps I should at this point include an insert from Petrarch's letter to posterity whose irony may give edge to my own endeavours!