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9 Philosophies That Will Change The Way You Look At Life

9 Philosophies That Will Change The Way You Look At Life

Philosophy is often viewed as pointless to study in these modern times, due to the fact that a philosophy major is unlikely to lead to a secure and prosperous career. But many of our great philosophers were the front-runners of science. In fact, in many ways, modern science is built on the concept of empiricism, the philosophic idea that sensory information is the only true basis for knowledge. These following 7 philosophies will help change the way you view the world.

Solipsism

Solipsism revolves around the idea that there is nothing you can confirm except your own existence. If you think about the brain’s capacity for hallucination, and just good ol’ dreaming, it’s not that hard to imagine outside manipulation being possible as well. For all we know, we COULD be stuck in the Matrix, or maybe you’re the only person that exists and the entire world and your experience of it is just an illusion.

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Idealism (Philosophy)

The philosophy of idealism has nothing to do with being idealistic. It has nothing to do with ideals, but rather ideas. It revolves around the thought that reality is fundamentally something that exists on a mental level. Kant once defined idealism as “the assertion that we can never be certain whether all of our putative outer experience is not mere imagining.”

Phenomenalism

Is the idea that nothing can be said to exist beyond the observation of the thing itself. So for example, you could not argue that the stone exists, only that your sense of it exists. You could say: “I saw a stone.” but not: “The stone was there.” The only thing that one is able to confirm is the sensory data of the stone, but not the stone’s existence independent of your own.

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Presentism

The idea that only the present exists, and that both the past and future do not. A Buddhist scholar named Fyodor Shcherbatskoy said the following: “Everything past is unreal, everything future is unreal, everything imagined, absent, mental . . . is unreal. . . . Ultimately real is only the present moment of physical efficiency.” The belief that our way of experiencing time is it’s true and only nature. So for a presentist the idea of time travel is ridiculous, as there exists no destination to travel to, where other philosophies and theories might suggest otherwise.

Eternalism

Contrary to presentism, eternalism is the belief that all moments in time, past, present and future are equally real. Some eternalists believe that because of the nature of time, in this case that time exists as a whole, not in separate parts, the existing future already exists in a set and final manner, and therefore we are only capable of experiencing the future, not able to change it in any way, which one could interpret as the existence of fate. Modern scientific theories seemingly support the eternalism over presentism, but with our ever-developing understanding of the universe, who knows if that will change or not in the near future.

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Nihilism

The most well-known form of nihilism, existential nihilism is focused on the assertion that life has no inherent purpose, goal, or intrinsic value. (Intrinsic value is the idea of something having value in and of itself.) Simplified, it’s the belief that life is utterly pointless. The difference between nihilism and hedonism is that pleasure, or joy, is seen as worthless as well, and therefore is often characterized as leading to a feeling of despair. Some modern interpretations of existential nihilism conclude that precisely because your life has no intrinsic value, goals or purpose, there is reason to make the most of it in your own way.

Hedonism

Hedonism is centered around the belief that pleasure is the only thing that has intrinsic value. Basically, a hedonist makes pleasure the ultimate goal of any and all of his actions and choices in life. Hedonism is perhaps the philosophy that is closest to our original instincts, in that it embraces the response of pleasure to things like eating and fornicating wholeheartedly. Instead of bringing morals into the picture, it focuses on feasting on pleasure, a sensory response that probably played a vital part in our survival as a species.

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Stoicism

Unlike what seems to be popular belief, stoicism is not about faking not having an emotional response, or becoming completely emotionless. It is a philosophy that focuses on training yourself to improve through training and conditioning. From everything to your outlook on life, to knowledge and perhaps especially minimizing your negative emotional responses. Stoics believe that emotions like anger, sadness and frustration are based in your own, fixable faults rather than justified responses to outside influences. So a stoic sage would not respond to provocation because of it’s inherently unproductive nature.

Skepticism

One could perhaps argue that skepticism is the basis for all other philosophies. Because if we didn’t question, if we didn’t ask, then where would the answers be? But philosophical skepticism, unlike methodical skepticism, does not focus on questioning individual statements to validate or invalidate; rather, it questions if there is a possibility for a certainty in any knowledge. And given the constant changes in our understanding of the universe and even what’s directly in front of us, it might not be as “overly skeptical” as you might think. Skeptics often question the validity of other philosophies, as well as the current value system or the implied value of things in society. You could say that a philosophical skeptic would protest the validity of supplied evidence no matter its apparent validity, while a methodical skeptic would eventually accept something as valid after a certain threshold is reached. As a skeptic it’s important to pick your battles, if you were to vocally protest everything that was ever presented to you as fact, you would have time for nothing else.

While some of these philosophies seem like they’d have little impact on your life, through understanding different fundamental ideas and evaluating where you own ideals are met, you can discover a new compass to guide you through life.

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Ragnar Miljeteig

Ragnar is a passionate writer who blogs about personal development at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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