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Old 01-04-2024, 10:50 PM   #41
PTTG
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

If I recall correctly, GURPS: Alpha Centauri, a companion to the Sid Meiers PC game, had a science-fiction version of Philosophy for "Ethical Calculus," a rigorously defined set of moral codes which would allow an adherent to determine a right course of action.

This has the side effect that a second adherent could attempt a roll to determine what the first adherent might do.
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Old 01-05-2024, 09:07 AM   #42
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
In the real world, there are multiple branches of Philosophy; and I don't know that I'd necessarily use the Philosophy skill in GURPS to cover all of them. But then again, maybe I would. There are, for example, Epistemology (knowledge and truth), Metaphysics (reality and being), Logic (argumentation and reason), Axiology (aesthetics and ethics) and Political Theory. At a minimum, something like this ought to be an alternate way of coming up with specializations; and in particular, Logic is something that I wouldn't want to try to shoehorn into the likes of Philosophy (Marxism) or Philosophy (Confucianism), or anything remotely like either of those.
Note that those divisions are, themselves, incredibly broad (and bleed into each other). I'd want at least specialization by tradition or era.
(Quibble: I'd usually include Political Phil as part of axiology)

Compare post-Gettier epistemology with ancient Greek epistemology, for instance, or what Heidegger was doing in investigating Being with David Lewis's metaphysics. They aren't just different styles of writing, they're different approaches to the subject matter.

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Frankly, I might be more inclined to say that someone formally trained in rigorous logic might be better off representing that with a form of Intelligence Analysis, ...
Optional specialization of Mathematics (Pure), I'd say.

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And if we do that, then several of the other types of real-world Philosophy that I just mentioned might also be better modeled by other skills: Politics should at the very least default to Philosophy (Political Theory), assuming it doesn't preemptively replace it; likewise with Connoisseur and Philosophy (Aesthetics).
Nah. I can understand aesthetics fine, and I have some taste, but... my skill in working on aesthetics as a philosophical topic doesn't even give a complementary skill bonus to any Connoisseur skills I might have (all, I suspect, at default). At best, it indirectly helps me cultivate aesthetic taste. It might, in some cases, help me articulate what makes something aesthetically pleasing, but that's only going to occur in some special cases.

I'd even argue that theoretical understanding of aesthetics is the wrong sort of thing for helping with aesthetic appreciation, generally: one involves argument, the other requires (I think) a kind of skilled perception. This is also why Poli Phil tends not to help you do politics (though Aristotle does have a view on how it might--that's the goal of the Nichomachean Ethics and Politics, I take it--though you have to start out decent enough to benefit. I'd be happy saying something similar could occur with aesthetic taste: doing aesthetics of a particular art form might help cultivate your taste in that specific domain if you had some taste to begin with).

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Although Ethics seems like it may be a core part of Philosophy as envisioned in Basic Set, probably along with Epistemology and Metaphysics. Though if that's the case, the only real difference between Philosophy and Theology appears to be whether or not the belief system includes at least one god: if it does, use Theology; if not, use Philosophy. ...
This seems, broad strokes, pretty close, although compare Philosophy (Thomism) and Theology (Catholic). Those seem different to me. Similarly, Philosophy (Reformed Epistemology), which is what, e.g., Al Plantinga and Nick Wolterstorff are known for, doesn't strike me as equivalent to any specialization of Theology, even an optional one.
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Old 01-05-2024, 09:38 AM   #43
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

Our campaign has a China-alike within it, and characters from that locale have philosophies along the lines of Legalism, Confucianism and Daoism, which have been altered to fit with the GM's background for the world.

A character may be a Legalist, and uphold the laws strictly as written, or seek to moderate the rather extreme users of that system, which essentially can punish any infraction with death, if they choose to, with severity extending to relatives and friends if necessary, as they did not prevent the crime, under the 'well-field' system of group responsibility.

'The Way of Hard Work' is about following rites, customs and behaviours that venerate the elders, serve the family, and revere the Emperor, from bottom to the top of society, with a system of examinations held to choose officials and executives. The 'well-field' idea of group responsibility is also present, but primarily to provide and equip a soldier from each group of families under one local leader.

'The Way' or 'Way of the Wolf' is a Daoist-equivalent path for the individual, which may be distorted into any of many ways, which can lead to secret societies, gangs, martial arts specialists, pacifistic 'scholarly' states ad groups, but also local wise people, much medicine and other hidden knowledge, and 'way-ists' are free to be anything else that want to be, while also following the currents of fate and destiny to whatever serves them (if selfish), or others (if not).
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Old 01-06-2024, 01:46 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

There are two kinds of philosophers: those who divide philosophers into two kinds, and those who don't.

(This is a joke about theological philosophy.)

(It's not my joke, I read it in an introduction to ethics textbook once.)
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Old 01-07-2024, 06:47 AM   #45
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

The GURPS Philosophy skill is in its origin and intent exactly equivalent to the Theology skill for a belief system that doesn't particularly center a god or gods (Confucianism, little raft Buddhism, Communism, National Patriotism, some kinds of New Thought stuff like that). You specialize it to a particular named school, and roll to know what that school thinks about something, or considers the right action here.

It's not supposed to cover everything that anybody has ever lumped into "Philosophy", which is more a catch-all category for anything people have thought deeply about but haven't operationalized enough to spin it off into its own field more than it is a coherent body of thought in itself. Most Theologies and Philosophies do have positions on many of those areas though, so Philosophy (Comparative) or Theology (Comparative) would be a reasonable way to approach general Ethics or Epistimology or whatever.
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Old 01-07-2024, 08:04 AM   #46
pawsplay
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
The GURPS Philosophy skill is in its origin and intent exactly equivalent to the Theology skill for a belief system that doesn't particularly center a god or gods (Confucianism, little raft Buddhism, Communism, National Patriotism, some kinds of New Thought stuff like that). You specialize it to a particular named school, and roll to know what that school thinks about something, or considers the right action here.

It's not supposed to cover everything that anybody has ever lumped into "Philosophy", which is more a catch-all category for anything people have thought deeply about but haven't operationalized enough to spin it off into its own field more than it is a coherent body of thought in itself. Most Theologies and Philosophies do have positions on many of those areas though, so Philosophy (Comparative) or Theology (Comparative) would be a reasonable way to approach general Ethics or Epistimology or whatever.
I think any given Philosophy skill can be distinguished from an Expert (Philosophy X) skill by three characteristics:

You can perform comparative philosophy, with other philosophies with which you are at least familiar
You can predict, not just the orthodoxy, but the likely professed beliefs and expressed behavior of adherents
You can develop arguments that are persuasive to adherents, other philosophers, and people of a receptive frame of reference
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Old 01-07-2024, 08:23 AM   #47
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
The GURPS Philosophy skill is in its origin and intent exactly equivalent to the Theology skill for a belief system that doesn't particularly center a god or gods (Confucianism, little raft Buddhism, Communism, National Patriotism, some kinds of New Thought stuff like that). You specialize it to a particular named school, and roll to know what that school thinks about something, or considers the right action here.

It's not supposed to cover everything that anybody has ever lumped into "Philosophy", which is more a catch-all category for anything people have thought deeply about but haven't operationalized enough to spin it off into its own field more than it is a coherent body of thought in itself. Most Theologies and Philosophies do have positions on many of those areas though, so Philosophy (Comparative) or Theology (Comparative) would be a reasonable way to approach general Ethics or Epistimology or whatever.
For what it's worth, I agree with you. The reason I brought it up was because I had reason to go looking for a skill to cover formal training in logic, and I couldn't find it anywhere. At this point, I'm leaning towards something like Gumby Bush's proposal to put it under Mathematics — and in fact, to expand Mathematics to be the go-to skill for all of the formal sciences. I'll have to review the Mathematics “Skill of the week” thread to see if there's anything relevant there.
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Old 01-07-2024, 08:36 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

At least my sister's college curriculum categorized logic, strictly, as Mathematics (Logic). Most famous logicians were also linguists or epistemologists, too, though.
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Old 01-08-2024, 01:52 PM   #49
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Philosophy, like Meditation is a skill that I feel like shows up on a lot of characters, has cool useful mechanics, which I cannot recall a player ever invoking. I think I need to remind them about it.
I've used it in DF campaigns in lieu of Religion to answer thorny ethical questions or to find a "path forward" when the PC was faced with crisis of conscience choices.

But that's about it. Otherwise it's a point dump for "Background Skills" to show your character is "well rounded" and not just a munchkin.
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Old 01-08-2024, 02:44 PM   #50
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Philosophy

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Politics as defined in GURPS is very much the practice of the art: "the ability to get into office and get along with other politicians". How much of a default you get for that from Political Philosophy is probably debatable at best; some of the most noted political philosophers in history had... unspectacular political careers, to put it kindly.
Anglosphere politicians in the eighteenth and nineteenth century often were notable political philosophers in their day. That was when they were usually from families of gentry or high bourgeois.
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