The #Impossible Campaign is like Cross-Fit for the mind. We're stretching our muscles through a collective workout where we push each other further and further to new insights. We stretch our minds, like we would our muscles, to expand them. To me, this is the function of philosophy. To help us face the singularity of thought. The unknown of our mental universe. What lies beyond the Bing Bang of our minds. The unimaginable, incomprehensible, unfathomable truth.
Take "Should we torture a kidnapper we caught to know where he hid his victim?". It's a Tough Question. It's uncomfortable. It begs for a "Yes" or a "No" but subtly breaks out of both. Same when you stunt your muscles with Cross-Fit. This thing is such a surprise, "a muscular singularity", that muscles have no option but to grow.
However, there is an attitude to adopt for this growth to occur and Daniel Dennett explains it well. He distinguishes between "philosophy" and "philosophy appreciation". While the latter simply engages in "compare and contrast" (Leibniz's Monadology was a great illustration of 17th century rationalism), the former asks whether the philosopher is right (for truly, Leibniz was trying to "get to the truth" by thinking about Monads). Dennett suggests a thought experiment where you find out about a conspiracy to blow up some monument, call the police, explain the situation and they answer saying: "Oh! This reminds me of that amazing movie I saw once!". This is "compare and contrast"! And that is one crazy police officer :) What you want is someone who takes you seriously and questions "whether you are right".
Dennett concludes about how to read philosophy saying: "Respect the philosopher you're reading by asking yourself, about every sentence and paragraph, 'Do I believe this, and if not, why not?'". So here's my question now:
> How do we call this attitude? Is this curiosity? A Scientific attitude?
> How do we make sure we carry this attitude with us all day every day? What's a mental habit to develop so we can ensure this becomes a reflex?
> Why should we even care? :) Is it a form of paying respect to others' thoughts or really just to our mind eventually? Isn't the latter and the former really the same :O