ethicallyimmoral  asked:

I get the sense that individualism isn't as prominent in Japan as it is in the U.S. Is that true? If so, do you think it has to do with population density?

Yes and no.  Individualism is prominent in Japan, just in a different way than you see in the West.  For example, kids in Jr and Sr high wear uniforms to school, but they have within their right to modify their uniform in certain ways.  The most obvious example of this is teen girls who shorten their skirts, but there are others.

Regarding population density and individuality, I would say that is not the case.  However, I think you need to take into account that Japan is a county which has a Shame based society.  Your actions not only shame yourself, but reflect on your family and the people you know and work with.  This, I would say, is the real determination of individualism.  You don’t want to stand out because you risk shaming people around you, should things go awry.  The dense population only means that there are more people to witness your shame. 

Perhaps, on that account, it contributes by adding material witnesses, but it is the shame where I would put the hardest push against individuality.

What does it mean to be a philosopher, answered.

sarahgetsit answered: Semantically, it just means we engage in philosophy in an academic setting. Smartass, I know. :D

dwellinmpossibility answered: Someone who can take two steps back from an issue and rationally assess its meaning, free of emotional and cultural influences.

philulzophy answered: to ‘see’ past the phenomena of something

reasonsimfat answered: To think very deep thoughts about being unemployed? I kid, I kid : )

awaterfallsunset answered: To think and inspire others to pursue what they might have never even though about… Positive change.

Ahh, the academic philosophy, creature of the 20th century.  Yeah, I supposed nowadays we are academics if we are philosophers; everyone else who philosophizes and isn’t an academic is just a nutjob or a fanatic these days, right?  I have serious issues with the failings of academic philosophy, which has been sitting in my drafts for months now, haha.

Ah, to remove ourselves from the realm of experience, and address an issue without emotions or bias.  I’m game for without the bias of culture (good lover of hermeneutics that I am), but I dunno about the total disconnect of emotion.  This works well for minute issues of detail, or things completely unrelated to you, but what about things you are invested in?  Can you rationalize yourself out of something that you are invested in?  Is the realm of experience dead to you?

To see past the phenomena of something.  I’m not sure if you are being smarmy or not.  On one hand, I agree; as philosophers, we should try to see beyond the veil, so to speak.  I think this may be part of what was said about taking a step back from things and detaching yourself from a situation, but also to get at a deeper meaning to things.  Whoa.

Man, you have no idea, Ben.  Academic philosophy sucks for hiring right now.  I know some very intelligent and qualified people who cannot get jobs right now, and others who can get a job doing philosophy in the country of the philosophy that they studied, but if they take it, won’t ever to be able to get a job in the US.  And never you mind that point in fact philosophy PhDs are being overproduced with far too little consumption for tenure track positions.  Bah, its a bad PhD field.

Meliorism!  This I can get behind.  Positive Change!  I like the notion of philosophy being rooted in experience (obviously, I am a Pragmatist), and having a every day interaction with people and finding some way to inspire them to action.  Or inaction.  Which is actually just another kind of action.  This, I dig.

Okay, thank you all for your input!  The many faces of philosophy indeed!