Sunday, March 25, 2007

What are the main components of any philosophy?

A) Consequentialism <----> Deontology

Do the ends justify the means?

B) Free Will <----> Determinism

Do people have the ability to make choices?

C) Reason <----> Emotion

Are the rules of formal logic being followed, or are human emotions providing guidance?

D) Relativism <----> Absolutism

What should things be measured against: Absolute standards or relative standards?

E) Skepticism <----> Certitude

At what point do the questions end?

F) Individualism <----> Groupism

How much influence should the group have on an individual?

G) Cooperation <----> Fighting

When conflict arises, which is the better strategy: To negotiate/cooperate or to compete/defeat?

H) Liberalism <----> Paternalism

To what extent should anyone have control over others?

The above eight factors are fairly -- though not completely -- independent of each other.

And knowing these factors can help you assess how others think.

For example, anyone in a mass movement will score to the right side of factors "E", "F", and "H". And to a lesser extent, they will be to the right on "C". But beyond that, "A", "B", "D", and "G" can vary. For instance, environmentalists will be to the right of "A", and political parties will be to the left. Similarly, Christians would be to the left of "B" and criminal apologists would be to the right.

Any group based on envy, like, say, communists, will be to the left of "D" -- and any group wishing to demonize historical figures ("Jefferson had slaves") will be to the right of "D".

Finally, "G" is basically a subset of "A", since it is concerned with the means of achieving a goal -- and most groups will be somewhere in the middle, depending on the situation. However, some are always at extremes.

Are there other philosophical components?

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