Focus • 1.) Who are you???Why are we here?? • 2.) KWL Chart. a.) Discuss what things you know about philosophy(and what is philosophy). b.)Discuss what things you want to know about philosophy. c.) What questions comes to mind when you think of how things work in the world?
What is Philosophy? • The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs • Philosophy has also been connected with the quest for the truth. • A working definition=A critical examination of reality characterized by rational inquiry that aims at the Truth for the sake of attaining wisdom • Philosophy has no answers-it is not a science!!
What do philosophers do? • They tackle big questions: • What is the world? • Who am I? • What am I doing here? • Does reality consist of what people see and experience? • If not, what is reality? And the biggest question of all: What does it mean and why????
According to Socrates, philosophy involves a critical examination of reality that is characterized by rational inquiry. A rational form of inquiry is one that is based exclusively on sound arguments and not on opinions, feelings or beliefs. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having opinions, feeling or beliefs about important matters, but the discipline of philosophy asks us to be able to justify why we hold these opinions, feelings or beliefs. If we want to be engaged in philosophical discourse, therefore, we need to support our views using logic rather than emotions.
How Philosophy breaks down • 1. Metaphysics is the study of reality. Some of the questions that Metaphysics deals with are: (1) What is ultimate reality? (2) Is it one thing or is it many different things? (3) Can reality be grasped by the senses or is it transcendent? (3) What is the mind and what is its relation to the body?
2. Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Among the questions that Epistemology deals with are: (1) What is knowledge? (2) Is knowledge acquired exclusively through the senses or by some other means? (3) How do we know that what we perceive through our senses is correct? 3. Ethics is the study of right and wrong in human action. Some of the questions treated by the field of Ethics are: (1) What is right? (2) Are there any objective standards of right and wrong? (3) Are moral values absolute or relative? 4. Aesthetics is the study of beauty. Among the questions Aesthetics deals with are: (1) What makes a thing beautiful? (2) Are there any objective standards of beauty?
5. Logic is the study of the principles of right reasoning. Logic is the basic tool that philosophers use to investigate reality. Among the questions raised by Logic are: (1) What makes an argument valid or invalid (2) What is a sound argument? **What is goodness? What is knowledge and is it possible?
The Pre-Socratics • The roots of Western philosophy (as opposed to Eastern, i.e., Indian and Chinese) are to be found in the pre-Socratic philosophers, beginning in the sixth century BCE. • These philosophers lived, as the term implies, before Socrates, so that they obviously did not consider themselves as pre-Socratics; this is a term that was imposed upon them by later generations.
…Cont. • Unfortunately, little of what the pre-Socratics wrote has survived; mostly only fragments as quotations in the works of later philosophers still exist. • It is difficult to understand fully the views of the pre-Socratics; in particular what is often lacking is their rationale or justification for their philosophical positions. • Apart from living before Socrates, it is difficult to generalize about the philosophical views of the pre-Socratic philosophers.
…Cont. • These philosophers were not taken too seriously by later philosophers; however, later developments in philosophy would not have taken place without them.
Socrates • Most of what we know of Socrates is known because of Plato, a pupil of his. • Therefore, It cannot be assumed that Plato's portrayal of Socrates is historically accurate or was even intended to be. The task of the historian is to separate the historical Socrates from the "Platonic" Socrates.
..Cont. • Socrates would retort that early philosophers, called the philistines, didn’t understand the nature of the good life and, that they were really ignorant about such matters. • Was the first philosopher to ask the question “What is virtue?” • Concerns about justice and the nature of the good life were his central philosophical preoccupation”virtue lay in having knowledge, especially self-knowledge.”
Cont… • Socrates’ ethics can be summed up in the phrase “the unexamined life is not worth living.” What does this mean? • Socrates annoyed the masses by constantly walking around and asking people questions about their life. • He was the first philosopher to value reflective forms of thinking
…cont. • Socrates is put on trial for corrupting the youth b/c he told them to believe in themselves rather than the old gods • He was sentenced to death by the philistine-lead Athenian gov’t. • Because he annoyed so many and b/c he refused to apologize, few come forward in his defense. • He then commits suicide by drinking hemlock.
Closure • Discuss what things you’ve learned about philosophy.