Philosophical Frameworks


Frames of View

We form pictures of events in the world. We see wars as great progress or terrible risks. The random violence in urban America appears the result of amoral monsters or the inevitable frustration of hopeless poverty, the music your roommate

Everyone has systems of beliefs that conditions how we view the world. We call such a system a philosophical Belief System.

loves is obnoxious noise or compellingly fresh (other possibilities, of course, respected). Many of us spend a lot of time debating our picture (view) of such matters. We spend much less time investigating the Belief System that holds our picture (view) in place. The German word for it is Weltanschauung; which means "world view" or "an overall view of the world from a particular point."

Since Socrates, a main job of philosophy has been to encourage individuals to consider the Belief System of their thinking. Sometimes people express their Weltanschauung (what I call a "Philosophical Belief System") by stating,"My philosophy is...." Often this declaration is followed by an aphorism or a brief expression of ideas. Even from such little clues, it is possible to start an investigation into the individual's Belief System.

A powerful and traditional activity of philosophy is to engage in focused, sustained thinking about your own beliefs.
An investigation into your own belief-system is a primary objective of InterQuest The aim is to get you to think as much and as deeply as possible about the beliefs and values that shape your own thinking.

All you really need to undertake this investigation is honesty, patience, and courage (three virtues that are, unfortunately, in short supply these days). It may help to know that changing your values and challenging your beliefs is not the main intention of this investigation. Changes and challenges are probably inevitable, but it is more informative to study the case for your view, at least initially. Of course, one can effectively stop change and avoid challenge by not thinking. This is Dogmatism, and many social movements have relied on the willingness of their followers to not think. The intention here is to foster an environment where it is OK to think. Hopefully you will find such thinking interesting enough to pursue seriously. If you find your own thinking boring, what in the world ever could hold your interest?

Supplied here are passages, each of which expresses a philosophical Belief System in very general terms. Probably none of these fit anyone's beliefs and values exactly. They are more like caricatures of ways of thinking. Never the less, I'll bet that you can relate to and agree with some of them more than others. It is hard to imagine how anyone could believe ALL of them at once! Even if you feel you can agree with more than one, each of them projects a different emphasis as to what is important.

Your challenge is to pick the one that comes closest to your personal philosophy. You probably won't agree with everything it says and it may leave some important ideas out. You will have the opportunity to improve upon it. Read each passage and consider whether you agree with

Identifying your own philosophical Belief System may be easy or hard. Either way, what does that fact tell you about your belief system?

the view a lot, kind of agree, don't think much of it, disagree a lot, or absolutely hate it. Make notes for yourself (using your hardcopy notebook) on the aspects of these views that strike you as important, relevant, obvious, interesting, etc. In the end, settle on the one passage that seems closest to your thinking.

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Frames of view
Systems of belief
Structures of belief
Faith is the focus
Reality is relative
Knowledge is negligible
Nothing is

Select Your Framework

  2002 © Jon Dorbolo