I took a course on philosophy in my second term. It was pretty exciting at the start. I thought I was gonna review everything in my mind especially about these ancients, Plato, Socrates bla bla bla. Because I was a very enthusiastic fan of rationalism in my high school years and I nearly worshipped all these old men (including Descartes, Leibniz etc). On the other hand I couldn't understand the goals of these experimentalists at those times. However, time got me wrong. After all those scientific years with projects in HS-labs, finally I got some real changes in my structure of thinking.
I was indeed curious about these experimentalist guys, such as Locke, Hume and others, [I knew Berkeley at that time but I couldn't give any meaning about nor his philosophy neither himself].
Weirdly, [not joking] quite weirdly I realized that I got bored of all these theory of ideas, philosophy on soul, mind is everything stuff. It was a complete turn for me. I even shocked myself.
I couldn't spend time with philosophers in my last year of HS because of all these exams, but surely I hadn't forgotten to play with science. [science is always a priority]
Shortly, I impatiently waited for the turn of experimentalists in the course. When the turn came to Bacon and Montaigne, I got started to be a little bit excited. Since all these great minds began telling sth about "experience".
The course had no meaning until that time for me. Yes, right now we know all these experiences show the direction of our lives baloneys; however stop and think a little bit about those times.
I am completely talking about the west right now. At those times, there was the Aristotalian authority in philosophy. Church was on everything and the thoughts of this great man [of his time but], influenced every single thing in the philosophy.
Philosophy got stuck.
Talking about the experiences and in a way experiments of our lives were a new way for philosophy. And at that age which is 19-20 when I took the course, I had understood the role of experience in my life besides the mind and rational thinking.
This experimental point of view was a really different and fascinating direction of the philosophy. At least it seemed to me in this way. Since [in a bad manner of saying] rationalists were always making up something, some theory about a concept, examining any philosopher of rationalism movement was a complete live-consuming activity. Answers varied from a mind to another mind and to be honest, what they thought was always some abstract references to another world which surely we do not inhabit.
In my early ages I really liked reading Plato, Aristo and all these men. Why? Firstly the only thing I indeed understood was the ancients and secondly, I knew all those worlds from the traditions I belonged.
I want to give a reference right here about a very lovely philosopher [as well as mathematician], Bertrand Russell. Since at this point of the writing, his words from the book named "Our Knowledge of the External World" are explanatory:
"The original impulse out of which the classical tradition developed was teh naive faith of the Greek philosophers in the omnipotence of reasoning. The discovery of geometry had intoxicated them, and its a priori deductive method appeared capable of universal application. They would prove, for instance, that all reality is one, that there is no such thing as change, that the world of sense is a world of mere illusion; and the strangeness of their results gave them no qualms because they believed in the correctness of their reasoning. Thus it came to be thought that by mere thinking the most surprising and important truths concerning the whole of reality could be established with a certainty which no contrary observations could shake. As the vital impulse of the early philosophers died away, its place was taken by authority and tradition, reinforced, in the Middle Ages and almost to our own day, by systematic theology. ..."
This part is from the first lecture called Current Tendencies. I have just started to discover this book. Anyway the point is really gripping. Why religion which we know is so close to the ancient theories of philosophy? Why do we feel a closeness when we read about Plato and others? The world of ideas does also exist in the logic of the religions. Not only this concept, but also all others keystone parts of this ancient philosophy do exist in the logic of the religions. After this movement lost its creativity, the inheritors created the authority and tradition to keep this particular way of living or in other words philosophy alive. And currently it's called systematic theology and maybe religion.
Anyway, let's turn to my course on philosophy.
I chose Locke's the Essay on Human Understanding as my presentation topic and started to read the part we are responsible of. If I can, I will publish my presentation here in this website.
It was a pretty long presentation, I had really worked for it. and I really understood this very natural philosophy. All in all, Locke is the source of the experimentalism movement.
My report on the Essay on Human Understanding, Book II, Parts 1-7 comes right away.
and this is the presentation I made for the course.
and this is the presentation I made for the course.