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Philosophy: The Passion to Understand

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  1. Philosophy: The Passion to Understand Chapter 9

  2. Philosophy • A passion to understand, a love of wisdom…conveying information is not as important as helping others in their search for wisdom

  3. The Branches of Philosophy • Metaphysics…an area of philosophy that deals with questions about the nature of ultimate reality… a search for order and wholeness, is human nature physical or spiritual… ultimate questions about persons and about the universe

  4. Epistemology and Axiology • Epistemology: An area of philosophy that examines questions about how and what we know…what knowledge is true…is there a difference between knowledge and belief? • Axiology: An area of philosophy that deals with the nature of values…the nature of the good and the beautiful. Ethics is concerned with moral values and conduct; Aesthetics is concerned with the theory of beauty

  5. Thinking as a Philosopher • Abstraction and Precision…this tension is at the heart of the philosopher’s task • Analytic thinking…a thinking strategy that focuses on questions of the “what seems to be” type; includes abstractions, imagination, generalization, and logic • Prophetic thinking…a thinking strategy that focuses on questions of the “what ought to be” type; includes discernment, connection, tracking hypocrisy, and hope

  6. Logic • Deals with the nature of reasoning…logic examines the principles that allow us to move from one argument to the next • Deduction…the type of reasoning that moves from a general statement to a specific conclusion • Induction…the type of reasoning that moves from the particular instance to a general conclusion

  7. Prophetic Ways of Thinking • Seeks to uncover multiple, even divergent realities or principles…four components of prophetic thinking: discernment, connection, tracking hypocrisy, and hope • Discernment…develop a vision of what should be Connection…relate and show empathy to others Tracking Hypocrisy…what is the gap between principles and practice Hope…the world can change for the better

  8. Schools of Philosophy and their Influence on Education • Idealism…ideas are the only true reality, the material world is characterized by constant change and uncertainty…the power of reason is emphasized and the scientific method and sense perception are deemphasized • Plato, Socrates…dialogue • Kant…a priori and a posteriori • Jane Roland Martin…continuing conversation and the female voice

  9. Realism • Reality, knowledge, and value exist independent of the human mind • Aristotle…one can acquire knowledge of ideas or forms by investigating matter • John Locke…distinguished between sense data and the objects they represent • Alfred North Whitehead…attempted to reconcile aspects of idealism and realism… “process” is the central aspect of realism

  10. Pragmatism • An open universe that is dynamic, evolving, and in a state of becoming…process philosophy…truth is what works • Charles Sanders Peirce…belief is a habit of action undertaken to overcome indecisiveness • John Dewey…life is a series of overlapping and interpenetrating experiences and situations…the primary unit of life is the individual experience • Richard Rorty…reality is not fixed, thinkers must describe the nature of the real

  11. Existentialism • Reality is lived existence and final reality resides within the individual…the only certainty is that we are free…we are what we choose • Sartre…existence precedes essence • Nietzsche…indicts the supremacy of herd values, capitalistic greed • Maxine Greene…unyielding faith in human beings’ willingness to build and transcend their lived worlds…living is philosophy

  12. Eastern Ways of Knowing • Platonic philosophy influenced by Eastern emphasis on the illusory quality of the physical world • Eastern ways of knowing stress the inner world, intuition rather than sense, mysticism rather than scientific discoveries • Indian thought and Chinese thought focus on harmony with ultimate reality • Japanese thought tied to Shintoism, recognizing the significance of nature

  13. Native North American Ways of Knowing • 400 plus different groups of Native peoples in North America • Reverence for nature, human responsibility, the importance of oral history and the role of elders