Different Modes Of Thinking For Reading And Understanding The Theories Of Past Philosophers

1374 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 6 Pages
There seem to be two modes of thinking involved in reading and understanding the theories of past philosophers; first, involves the philosophical tools accessible to the reader in understanding the content. This involves the use of up-to-date dictionaries to define unfamiliar terms, or secondary sources that compose a variety of graded translations and arrangement of the material so that it can be read chronologically. The second mode involves a far more difficult task than the first, to develop a philosophical partnership with the author. This partnership requires an investment in the material, a submersion that allows the linkage between the reader’s brainstem and the author’s arguments or ideas so that one’s breathing and temperature coincide with the strength of the arguments being considered. In Leviathan, for example, I found my greatest struggle in the chapter concerning religion. It was Hobbes’s views on Religion that disturbed my focus, where my mind, my hands, and my breathing indicated my hesitation to follow the content as I did in the preceding chapters. However, being invested in the second way of thinking, this clashing of ideas creates friction but does little to change the direction of understanding. Conflicts in this mode of thinking do not create an obstacle for understanding because the task involves more than definitions and translations, one is able to recognize inconsistencies or points in need of clarification without being entrapped in them. Hobbes…

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