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What is Philosophy?. Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy. Human Inquiry. Human Inquiry as questioning and answering State of Belief State of Doubt Individual Inquiry Collective Inquiry Familial Cultural Socio-Political Generational Intergenerational.

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What is philosophy

What is Philosophy?

Ronald F. White, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy


Human inquiry
Human Inquiry

  • Human Inquiry as questioning and answering

    • State of Belief

    • State of Doubt

  • Individual Inquiry

  • Collective Inquiry

    • Familial

    • Cultural

    • Socio-Political

    • Generational

    • Intergenerational


Two forms of human inquiry
Two Forms of Human Inquiry

  • Descriptive Inquiry (Facts)

    • Discerns Truth from Falsity (is)

  • Prescriptive Inquiry (Values)

    • Discerns Good from Bad


Descriptive philosophy
Descriptive Philosophy

  • Metaphysics

    • Epistemology

    • Ontology

    • Cosmology

  • Philosophy of

    • Science (general or particular)

    • Religion

    • Mind

    • Physics

    • Medicine


Prescriptive philosophy
Prescriptive Philosophy

  • Axiology: Study of value (good)

    • Aesthetics

    • Political Philosophy

    • Logic

    • Ethics

      • Deontology

      • Teleology

      • virtue


Metaphysical inquiry
Metaphysical Inquiry

  • Epistemological Inquiry

  • Ontological Inquiry


Epistemological inquiry
Epistemological Inquiry

  • What is Epistemology?

  • Foundationalism (knowledge)

    • Realism

      • Rational foundation

      • Empirical Foundation

      • Pragmatic Foundation

    • Objectivity

  • Anti-Foundationalism (power)

    • Social Construction

    • Subjectivity


Ontological inquiry
Ontological Inquiry

  • What is Ontology?

  • Entity-Based Ontology (stability)

    • Materialism (material entities)

    • Idealism (mental entities)

      • Subjective idealism

      • Transcendental idealism

    • Mind-Body Problem (pluralism)

    • Nature v. Nurture Controversy

  • Process-Based Ontology (change)

  • Systems-Based Ontology


Systems based ontology
Systems-Based Ontology

  • What is a system?

  • Closed v. Open Systems

  • Simple v. Complex Systems

  • Macro v. Micro Systems

  • Evolutionary (adaptive) v. Non-Evolutionary (non-adaptive) Systems

  • Living v. Non-Living Systems


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