Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"V" is for Visionary Philosopher

Henry David Thoreau
For quite some time, I thought it silly when some analytical or IQ test I had taken, would tell me that the results revealed I am a Visionary Philosopher. Although this describes me quite well, I always thought the tests were, well, full of themselves. Finally, after seeing it often enough, and hearing from others how true it is, I decided to do a little research on the matter.

First of all, it's not a recognized term in philosophy.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom.”
The words "systematic approach" and "reliance on rational argument," pretty much nullify the concept of visionary. 

Secondly, when the word visionary is searched by Google (or any other engine), it comes up with meanings like unrealizable, impractical, dreamer, or a state of seeing the future through meditation or drugs. 

Extended meaning:
A visionary can also be a person with a clear, distinctive and specific (in some details) vision of the future.
In contrast, here is an apt description of a philosopher, by Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher and poet:
"The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbor by his own nature. He judges more sanely, he sees things as they are. It is in this that his liberty consists—in the ability to see clearly and soberly, in the power of mental record."
Key words: sees things as they are.

Thirdly, if you do an internet search using both words together, you get a list of links to everyone else who has taken these tests and was told they were a visionary philosopher

Finally, the somewhat conclusive results of my short and simple scientific research into the matter are as follows:
Visionary Philosopher - Basically, an oximoron. Extended meaning: could be a paradox.
Like I was saying, I always thought the tests were, well, full of themselves. 
~ A Few Great Quotes on Vision ~
  • Vision is more than just a picture; it should capture your passion. ~me
  • The question is not what you look at, but what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau
  • The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going. ~Annonymous
  • Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. ~Carl Gustav Jung
  • Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~George Bernard Shaw
  • Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. ~Ayn Rand
  • The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.  ~Henri-Louis Bergson (1859-1941) French Philosopher and Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Knowing your destiny is half your journey. ~Annonymous
  • Where there is no vision, the people perish. ~Proverbs 29:18a, The Bible
  • Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. ~Japanese proverb
  • Imagine no limitations; decide what's right and desirable before you decide what's possible. ~Brian Tracy, Author and Motivational Speaker
  • Yeah, a hell of a vision. ~Woodrow Call, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry


Caleb said...

Nicely said. Enjoyed this one alot. Had me all fished in with the science, then had me laughin' at the end. The quotes at the end are like cherries on top. Good job.

M Kathy Brown said...

Caleb ~
Thank you kindly, my dear friend AND grandson, I might add :~) Your comments hold a lot of made my day/week!

Angela Felsted said...

How philosophical of you to notice its an oxymoron. At least you know the test got it half right.

M Kathy Brown said...

Angela ~
How clever of you to respond like that...thanks for giving me a good chuckle :~D

Guess that's why I fell for it at first, because I also think in terms of eternal verities in all of my relationships and most of my daily decisions. I have one "hell of a vision!"


nutschell said...

Hi Kathy!
Thanks for dropping by my blog. This is a great post, and especially love all the vision quotes you've shared.