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Philosophy - Introduction to Philosophy
Terms in this set (76)
- is derived from the Greek word "philia" meaning "love", and "sophia" meaning "wisdom" or "knowledge"
- literally means "love of wisdom"
- a system of beliefs about reality
- a method of inquiry
A Greek word meaning "love."
A Greek word meaning "wisdom" or "knowledge."
Senses of Wisdom
1st: "Wisdom is knowing the ultimate causes or 'whys' of things." - Aristotle
2nd: "Wisdom is the sense of the overall goal of human life"
3rd: "Wisdom is living in tune with a greater reality."
1st Sense of Wisdom: "Wisdom is knowing the ultimate causes or 'whys' of things"
- knowledge is the ultimate principle, according to Aristotle
- it is the knowledge of things by their ultimate 'whys'
He said that wisdom is the knowledge of the ultimate principle, causes, or reasons of thing or the knowledge of things by their ultimate 'whys.'
- according to Aristotle, this is the knowledge of the ultimate principle, cause, or reasons of things
- knowledge of things by their ultimate 'whys'
- according to Hinduism, Taoism, and Confucianism, this is is the sense of the overall goal of human life and as understood as human life's basic understanding
- to be wise is to be sensitive to the greater realities which humans are part of and to be in tune or in harmony with them
The Wise Person
He knows that the basic person of human life is and what it is all about.
2nd Sense of Wisdom: "Wisdom is the sense of the overall goal of human life"
- wisdom is understood as the basic understanding of human life
- the wise person knows the basic purpose of human life and such a person knows what human life is 'all about'
- according to Gautama Buddha, "the main purpose of life is happiness and the cause of unhappiness is desiring too much," because in Buddhism simplicity is a way of life to achieve happiness.
He said that the ultimate purpose of life is happiness and the cause of unhappiness is desiring too much.
According to Gautama Buddha, this is the ultimate purpose of life.
This is the way of life to attain happiness, according to Buddhism.
3rd Sense of Wisdom: "Wisdom is living in tune with a greater reality"
- this kind of wisdom is particularly articulated from the philosophies of Hinduism, Taoism, and Confucianism
- to be wise is to be sensitive to the greater realities which humans are part of and to be in tune or in harmony with them
ex. In Taoism, the greater reality is nature (called the "Tao") because nature is absolute (supreme or totality) and sacred which something which everything else depends, and to respect and follow the inner workings of nature is the path to wisdom.
According to its philosophy, the greater reality is nature called the "Tao".
The greater reality is nature
- according to Taoism, nature is absolute and scared which everything else depends
- to respect and follow the inner workings of nature is the path to wisdom
Methods of Philosophy
1. Philosophy is the science of all things by their first causes, to the extent that is attainable by the natural light of reason.
2. The Philosophical Method is not pure reasoning. It includes contemplation combined with and confirmed by experience, observation, and introspection.
3. Socrates said that philosophical reflection is important in the life of every person.
1st Method of Philosophy: Philosophy is the science of all things by their first causes, to the extent that is attainable by the natural light of reason.
- it is a science, which means it is a branch of knowledge that rejects hearsays, myths, and wishful thinking
- it is known by their first cause, which means knowing the ultimate causes or the "whys" of things, or the ultimate explanation of things
- it is through the natural light of reason because it seeks the first causes (whys) of things as far as they can be rationally established by the human mind unaided by divine revelation
- came from the Latin verb "scire" which means, "to know".
- it rejects hearsays, myths and wishful thinking
It derives its inspiration from theological issues and does not prove its conclusions by premises borrowed from divine revelation.
2nd Method of Philosophy: The Philosophical Method is not pure reasoning. It includes contemplation combined with and confirmed by experience, observation, and introspection.
- the commonly used method in philosophy is philosophical reflection
- to reflect philosophically is to think about an important question that does not have a definite or ready answer, like, "Why am I here?", "What is reality?", "Is there an afterlife?"
- the questions stated do not have any conclusive answers, so by engaging in philosophical reflections, we journey to the quest for truth: truth about our world, and the truth about ourselves
- to think of important questions that don't have a definite answer or conclusive answers
- is indispensable because we do not realize what we truly believe in until we are challenged to defend it
Experience, Observation and Introspection
Contemplation of the Philosophical method includes these.
3rd Method of Philosophy: Socrates said that philosophical reflection is important in the life of every person. He said that we should, "know thyself" and that "The unexamined life is not worth living."
- a life worth living is a life that examines what one thinks
- an examination of beliefs or thoughts provides us with opportunity to know ourselves better
- we need to know ourselves because we make choices daily because the choices we make, in turn, create who we are
- philosophical reflection is indispensable because we do not realize what we truly believe in until we are challenged to defend it
- "know thyself"
- "the unexamined life is not worth living"
The Major Branches of Philosophy
- this is the study of reality or existence, that is, anything real
- is considered as the foundation of philosophy. It is a fundamental view of the world around us
- some of its topics are Being, God, nature, causation, time, space, self, infinity, and many others
- it asks the following questions: "Why is there being rather than nothing?", "What is real?"
- this is the study of knowledge, its nature and condition
- is also concerned with the method of acquiring knowledge
- it asks the questions, "How do we know?‟, "What can I know?"
- some of its topics are truth, method, doubt, certainty, bias, and perception
- this is the study of right and wrong
- is also concerned with standards of human behavior
- it asks the questions, "What do I do?‟, "Am I right?‟
- some of its topics are the good, evil, virtue, purpose, and happiness
- this is the study of sound reasoning
- it is the tool philosophers use to study other philosophical categories
- good logic includes the use of good thinking skills and the avoidance of logic fallacies
- it asks the questions, "Is it a sound argument?‟ or "Is the argument riddled with errors?
- the study of the arts, beauty, and appreciation
- it is concerned with what is considered beautiful or a work of art
- it asks the questions, "Are there objective standards of beauty? or "Is beauty in the eyes of the beholder?‟
Historical Outline of Philosophy
I. Ancient Philosophy
II. Early Christian and Medieval Philosophy
III. Modern Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy: 7th Century BC
- time of the Milesian philosophers: Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Anaxagoras
- philosophers asked what universe is made of. Thales: water; Heraclitus: fire;
Anaximander: "There is a portion of everything in everything" — earliest theory of infinite divisibility
- each helped to shape the beginning of the scientific method: i.e., by gathering facts, developing and testing a hypothesis
He said that the universe was made of water.
Thales believed that this was what the universe was made of.
He believed that the universe was made of fire.
Heraclitus believed that this was what the universe was made of.
He believed that the world is made of boundless stuff.
Anaximander believed that this was what the universe was made of.
He believed that the world is made of air.
Anaximenes believed that this was what the universe was made of.
Ancient Philosophy: Late 7th Century B.C. To Early 5th Century B.C
- the pre-Socratis era that had Empedocles, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, Euclid, Pythagoras
- there was there was no special consideration of the human
- thinkers were preoccupied with the cosmos
- he believed that the world is a uniform solid, spherical in shape
- "There is no nothing, but only being"
- empty space cannot exist if all things are made
of basic stuff
Zeno of Elea
- a student of Paramides
- he thought about the paradoxes of space and motion
- he believes that motion is impossible
Euclid and Pythagoreas
- "everything is numbers"
- they believe that there is no empty space
- they derived the logic and mathematical theory
- they shaped the beginning of the Scientific Method and advanced the field of Mathematics
He believed that the "basic stuff" are water, air, fire, and earth.
Water, Air, Fire and Earth
Empedocles believed that these were the "basic stuff".
Ancient Philosophy : Early 5th Century BC - Late 4th Century BC
- philosophers of this time were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
- the three great philosophers philosophized about knowledge and ideas about the human persons
- he developed a method of questioning designed to expose weaknesses in the interrogated (sometimes referred to as the maieutic method, in which the questioner acts as a midwife, helping to give birth to others' thoughts)
- he believed that a careful use of language and endless self-questioning are crucial in the quest for wisdom
- "Know Yourself"
- he saw philosophy as a way of life, the highest calling of a select few
- for him the highest good is knowledge
- he wrote nothing but he dramatically influenced the course of intellectual history
- he is the teacher of Plato
Socrates' Ideas About the Human Person
1. The man's body comes from this world of matter, but his reason comes from the universal reason or the mind of the world.
2. He who knows what is right will also do what is right.
- he set forth his philosophy in dialogues, chief protagonist of which was Socrates, his mentor
- founder of the Academy
- most famous for his Theory of Forms
- believed that knowledge is a process of remembering; the objects of knowledge are ideal and immutable
- Aristotle's teacher
The first institution of learning in the western world.
This was the year The Academy was established.
Theory of Forms
A theory by Plato that proposes that the phenomenal world of matter is just an imperfect reflection of an immutable, transcendental world of ideas.
Plato's Ideas about About the Human Person
1. A man must know what is good so that he may be good.
2. A man is a knower and a possessor of an immortal soul.
- founder of the Lyceum
- tutor to Alexander the Great
- he is considered history's first logician and biologist
- his thinking influenced numerous theologians and philosophers, including St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.
- a naturalist who revised Plato's theory of form and matter
- the form is what makes matter what it is (as the soul defines a living body)
This was founded by Aristotle.
Aristotle's Ideas About the Human Person
1. The goal of human life is happiness. To reach this, one must practice moderation or the avoidance of extremes.
2. Man is not the center of the cosmos but only a part of it.
3. Man is a rational animal.
Ancient Philosophy: 4th Century BC To 2nd Century BC
- philosopher of this time include Epicurus (Epicureanism), Stoics like Seneca, Zeno, Marcus Aurelius (Stoicism), Skeptics like Pyrrho of Elis, Timon, Antisthenes, and later, Sextus Empiricus
- three ideas of the human person were thought of: Epicureanism, Stoicism and Skepticism
"The highest good for man is pleasure. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die."
- there is no life after death, that is why you should be merry
'"Everything happens for a reason. Thus, the goal of life is to accept the divine laws and one should not resist these laws."
- everything happens for a reason
- the goal of life is to accept the divine laws and no one should resist them
- Seneca, Zeno, Marcus Aurelius
"Nothing can be known for certain. Doubt everything and criticize existing ideas."
- we must criticize ideas that are already existing
- there is no assurance for everything in life
- Pyrrho of Elis, Timon, Antisthenes, and later, Sextus Empiricus
Early Christian and Medieval Philosophy: 1st Century AD to 15th Century AD
- philosophers of this time were the early Christians Origen, Clement, Plotinus, and medieval philosophers Anselm, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas
- the Early Christian Philosophers dealt with the issue of the nature of God especially the nature of the person of Jesus
- philosophical thoughts were used to argue on theological and religious topic
- the Medieval thinkers (scholastics) were more inclined with theological issues
The Early Christian Philosophers
They dealt with the issue of the nature of God especially the nature of the person of Jesus.
The Medieval Thinkers or Scholastics
They were more inclined with theological issues during the period of Early Christian and Medieval Philosophy.
- he formulated the five proof's of God's existence
- he believed that man can be perfected and that God is absolutely perfect
Ideas About the Human Person During the Period of Early Christian and Medieval Philosophy
a. There was emphasis on the superiority of the spirit or soul over matter, thus the soul is more important than the body. This is reminiscent of the thought of Plato.
b. Many philosophers taught that reason alone cannot save a human being but the person requires faith and revelation.
c. Saint Augustine. 'As humans are mysteries to themselves, God is understood as wholly
Modern Philosophy: 15th Century To 19th Century
- philosophers during this time include Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte
- there was a change of focus from theological issues to scientific discoveries
- the age of rationalism, empiricism, and idealism
- it upholds that knowledge comes from reason, that is, from the inner working of the mind
- experience is simply second class knowledge since it is prone to error
It affirms that all knowledge comes from sense perception, and that, the human mind is a blank slate at birth.
It asserts that reality is fundamentally spiritually or mentally constructed.
Ideas About the Human Person During the 15th Century To 19th Century Period of Modern Philosophy
1. For Rene Descartes (a rationalist and Father of Modern Philosophy) offered the proof that we are existing by saying, 'Cogito ergo sum.' I think therefore I am. He also offered a new vision of the world by saying that our world is dualistic - a world of matter and a world of immaterial or spiritual reality. Man is also both matter and immaterial.
2. For John Locke (an Empiricist), we are all bestowed with certain God-given natural rights, the right to life, health, liberty, and possessions.
3. For Immanuel Kant (an Idealist), man is the master of his actions and the designer of his own life and destiny. Thus, man must be considered not as a means but an end in himself.
- a rationalist and Father of Modern Philosophy
- he offered the proof that we are existing by saying, "Cogito ergo sum" or in English, "I think therefore I am"
- he also offered a new vision of the world by saying that our world is dualistic - a world of matter and a world of immaterial or spiritual reality where an is also both matter and immaterial
- an English empiricist
- he believed that we are all bestowed with certain God-given natural rights, the right to life, health, liberty, and possessions
- a German idealist
- he believed that man is the master of his actions and the designer of his own life and destiny
- man must be considered not as a means but an end in himself
Modern Philosophy: 20th Century
- philosophers of this time were Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre
- the philosophers were existentialists who rebelled against the dehumanization of man
- our greatest goal of human persons is to define ourselves
- they rebelled against the dehumanization of man
- they sought to bring back the uniqueness of the individual that was lost during the modernization period ushered by the industrial revolution
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