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Philosophy in your worlds

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Netardapope, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. Netardapope

    Netardapope Sage

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    So when it comes to worldbuilding, everyone and their grandma love talking about the religion and mythologies of their people's (this includes me [emoji17]) but I rarely hear much talk about philosophies developed in your worlds. So I'd thought I'd make this thread to hear about any Philosophies you might have or plan on adding to your worlds.

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
     
  2. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I published a novel that is ripe with philosophy. It is in the layers because of my attempt not to preach. So, one would have to dig deep to interpret it.

    I will not describe it here because there are too many passionate voices with multiple beliefs and my philosophy could be considered volatile.

    This thread has the potential for disaster if not handled with care.
     
  3. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    My work is urban fantasy and is mostly real-world, but the magic system is philosophy based, so my MC channels Nietzsche, their friend channels Hume, and another character channels Kierkegaard. It's weird but I like it.
     
  4. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    My current WIP centres largely around a philosophical aspect of the story, that of the 'True Hero'. I'll explain.

    One of the five main characters, Erwin, has this philosophy of the True Hero, the pinnacle of Humanity, who's larger than life and a champion of justice. He also sees the True Hero as consisting of four aspects: grace, fury, compassion and strength.

    Grace is skill and masterful ability, to hone an art to such a degree that it is second nature. When a True Hero performs, be it in fighting or anything else, it becomes like a dance.

    Fury is immense energy. Whether it's anger at evil or uncontainable love, a True Hero displays their energy to the fullest extent as much as possible. They laugh louder, fight fiercer, and strive harder than anyone else.

    Compassion is the love that a True Hero shows to the world and the people around them. Always they strive for the betterment of the world, and take any opportunity to express their kindness.

    Strength is the way in which a True Hero is a immovable and unbreakable pillar, who supports those around them and can overcome any obstacle.

    Erwin sees each of his companions as an avatar of these aspects. Hunter is the avatar of grace, Fletcher is the avatar of fury, Archer is the avatar of compassion, and the Ogre is the avatar of strength.

    What I've done for this story is make it so all of the MCs (other than the Ogre, since he doesn't make it to the end of the story) have a different character arc relating to this philosophy. Erwin seeks to become a True Hero, and over the course of the story attempts to become one. Another MC, Hunter, couldn't care less about the True Hero, but by the end of the story she realises that she was a True Hero all along, and uses this apotheosis to save the day. Fletcher thinks the True Hero is nothing but romantic ramblings, but comes to accept the True Hero as an ideal to be strived for. And finally, Archer starts the story embracing the True Hero just like Erwin does, but he ends up abandoning this ideal, realising that the True Hero is an agent of chaos and a bringer of conflict, and Archer decides that he favours order, calm and simplicity, the 'True Human'. While Erwin argues that the True Hero is a figure who can protect the world, Archer believes that the True Human is the world that they protect.
     
  5. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Come on, we'd all love to hear it.
    If this thread starts going downhill, one of the mods can shut it down.

    Anyways, due to the nature of my setting and story, I came-up with a couple. They're mostly center around politics.
    First off, the explicitly political philosophies:

    - Meritism: the believe that only the most educated (or virtuous or resourceful) people should participate in government.
    - Kritarchism: rule of law and order with an emphases on harsh punishment and efficiency in government. Comparable to fascism, legalism or totalitarianism.
    - Faultism: an informal psuedo-philosophy that basically amounts to "the system that is most in-tune with human nature will flourish. Human nature is flawed. Therefore, the most flawed system will flourish." They staunchly reject utopianism and are quick to defend the status quo.

    And then some non-political philosophies:

    - Philanthrism: sometime called "communal consequentialism" or "anarcho-romanticism", the believe in an inherent "goodness" within a group of people that is absent from an individual person.
    - The Rule of Three: an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" that emphasizes the importance of human nature. Built around the virtues of conflict, unity and passion. Sometimes used as a religion though one that rejects any deities or fate. It's followers are known to support community service and charity.
    - Sernism: advocacy of parents, especially mothers, as being socially, politically and economically greater than non-parents.
    - Axial Logic: described as "a discipline for delivering information". It is built around the tenet of "all life is a lie". This philosophy is said to be favored among poets, mystics and comedians.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  6. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

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    I think the problem with philosophy differences is the risk of isolating the audience from the characters. I mean, it can be comical for everyone to believe their planet is actually 2D, and the stars are light bulbs... but some things can be more difficult to comprehend.
    But things like eugenics can be an interesting plot points, as can societal differences in class and wages. For example, imagine a world where teachers are millionaires?
    I do encourage you try philosophies. I really like it. Good luck.
     
  7. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    I want to read this.
     
  8. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    WooHooMan; Come on, we'd all love to hear it.
    If this thread starts going downhill, one of the mods can shut it down.


    Meh,

    The problem is that I don't want to start trouble.

    I have thought my way since a very young age and know that I cannot be persuaded to think differently.

    Backing myself into a corner to defend my position would be as useful as defending myself for being born with arms and legs.
     
  9. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    I have to actually make it work first haha. I still don't actually have a justification for this. Like did the magic exist and then the philosophers figured them out, or...? But I think that's a topic for a different thread.
     
  10. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I'm not sure what you're saying here.
    Do you mean that the philosophy in your story is your own worldview in real-life and you're afraid of having to defend your beliefs if questioned?
    If so, I don't think this thread is supposed to be about your beliefs. You may be misreading this thread.


    Is it pop-culture nihilist cynic Nietzsche or real-world pretentious mystic Nietzsche?
    If it's the former, I already hate your character but if it's the latter, I already love your character.
     
  11. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I think Nietzsche is probably the most misunderstood philosopher to have walked this earth. Almost without exception, his critics (whether positive or negative) do exactly what he wrote they shouldn't do: they cherry-pick the things he wrote, out of context, and then draw a false image of him on the basis of those things.

    But this also means that when someone suggests they are styling a character on Nietzsche's philosophy, I doubt that I have any way of knowing exactly what they mean by this.
     
  12. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I'm not sure what you're saying here.
    Do you mean that the philosophy in your story is your own worldview in real-life and you're afraid of having to defend your beliefs if questioned?
    If so, I don't think this thread is supposed to be about your beliefs. You may be misreading this thread.


    Nice try.

    I'd prefer just to be friends, and not have words put in my mouth.

    Same team.
     
  13. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I honestly have no idea what you mean.

    Is English not your first language?
    Or am I just really not on the same page?

    And how. I actually had a group of characters based on Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Karl Marx and Machiavelli because I felt like they are the four least understood philosophers out there. Or at least the ones pop culture have sort of distorted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  14. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    In my case, the philosophical issues are less abstract and more direct and large scale.

    Main nation of my main world is Solaria, a sort of quasi-roman empire. Many of the old line aristocratic families subscribe to the 'estate model' - a hierarchical (rural) system dominated by estates with lords, a few favored underlings, and then a large number of laboring masses. A 'place for everybody and everybody in their place' type setup. Military matters, this means a tiny elite, a few trained soldiers, and then mobs.

    Problem is, the current imperial dynasty reinstituted a version of the old legion model, with the provision that the ranks could be filled by drafts from the estates - serfs becoming professional soldiers. More, upon completion of their 20 year term, said serfs-turned-soldiers received a land grant of their own, and gained citizenship for themselves and their closest relatives. The 'estate model' type aristocrats were not thrilled.

    Then matters got worse. Solaria fought a decades long struggle against a rival nation. The military ranks swelled to unprecedented levels. At wars end, the nation faced fiscal collapse. Unable to properly pay the army, the emperor pretty much granted land and citizenship to all the veterans of this conflict, regardless of duration of service - hundreds of thousands men, plus hundreds of thousand more of their immediate relatives.

    These veterans often had training in various trades and emerged from service with a independent 'can-do' attitude, which has not gone unnoticed on the estates, which are in danger of imploding.

    Philosophy writ large.
     
  15. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I am hurt by this as I see it to be a public accusation of cowardice.

    Yet, again I extend the olive branch.
     
  16. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I see this as an accusation of wrongdoing on my part.

    I reject your olive branch and your offer of friendship.

    But seriously: don't be so melodramatic. This is just an Internet forum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  17. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Philosophical perspectives are going to find their way into your story if you are dealing with ideological conflicts, whether they are basic or complex.

    If a war takes place in a novel then philosophical ideas are automatically there. The use of violence to solve problems is still an idea that is fiercely debated to this day.
     
  18. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Nietzche's proclamation that "God is dead" is certainly misunderstood by a heck of a lot of people.
     
    FifthView likes this.
  19. Lvl20wizard

    Lvl20wizard Sage

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    It's funny, when you say Nietzsche magic, I'm instantly reminded of when Nietzsche talks about "life streams" and how each person constitute a whole constellation of rules in themselves. The power of magic could be generated by a person's strength of ego, which Nietzsche defines as the ability to take action and rise above the masses, a trait he e calls "the noble", compared to the ethical "good" (which among other things refers to Kant's ethics as a way of weakening and slavebinding individuals to the doctrine of degenerate morality).
     
  20. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Funny, I hear Nietzsche and think: You know what Nietzsche said about animals? "They were God's second blunder."

    Not sure how that works into a magic system, heh heh.
     
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