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General Philosophy Session 1 (Introduction to Philosophy)


General Philosophy Session 1 (Introduction to Philosophy) By Syed Zeeshan Arshad Contents What is Philosophy? Branches of Philosophy Epistemology Metaphysics Ethics ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: General Philosophy Session 1 (Introduction to Philosophy)

General PhilosophySession 1(Introduction to
  • By
  • Syed Zeeshan Arshad

  • What is Philosophy?
  • Branches of Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Logic
  • Aesthetics
  • Brief History of Ideas
  • Religion vs. Philosophy
  • Science vs. Philosophy
  • QA Session

What is Philosophy?
  • Today?
  • Boring? Complex? Useless? Akin to Blasphemy?
    (common perception)
  • Doesnt earn you any money? Does it? So whats
    the point?
  • But what is Ph.D.? Isnt it the highest academic
  • Gives you the license to write books, expound
    ideas, called an expert and to be taken seriously
  • Earlier?
  • Philosophy is the mother of all sciences
  • In 17th century Newton called his work Inquiry
    into Natural Philosophy
  • Even earlier Aristotle (4th century BCE) called
    himself a philosopher though biologist,
    surgeons, physicists, chemists, political
    theorists, mathematicians, logicians, religious
    scholars have all relied on his work extensively
  • Literally?
  • Philo (love/r of) Sophia (Greek Wisdom)

So do so many others!! Poor Sophia!!
What is Philosophy?
  • Philosophy is about a lot of Questions
  • An unexamined life is not worth living
  • But hey! Isnt Ignorance supposed to be bliss?
  • And didnt the Socratic dude die a tragic death!!
  • So some people are born Inquirers (Uncle/Auntie
  • Whereas others just wanna have fun (Wheres the
  • Most of these questions might remain unanswered
  • In fact Philosophers have been trying to grapple
    with the same fundamental questions for centuries
    sometimes with no success - sometimes with
    partial success
  • The world is full of man-made-ideas and isms?
  • What about Revelation (wahi)?
  • It is said that Beyond Philosophy lies Faith
  • but what if one has faith in philosophy? Halt
    too complex for now ?

Food for thought
  • Some sample philosophical questions
  • What is truth? Is it possible to know anything
    with absolute certainty?
  • Does the universe have a purpose? Does life have
    a purpose?
  • Is there order in the cosmos (i.e. the universe
    conceived as an orderly system) independent of
    what is put there by the mind? Could the universe
    be radically different from how we conceive it?
  • Is a person more than a physical body? What is
    the mind? What is thought? Do people really have
    a free will? Is there any moral obligation?
  • What is a good life? Is ethics possible? What is
  • Since questions are infinite it would be better
    to categorize the areas of investigation
  • This leads us to major branches of philosophy
  • Do understand that various forms of
    categorization could exist (e.g. you are a class
    of students) other ways of categorizing could
    be gender, height, income, residential locality
  • What follows is the most common type of
    categorization that exists..

Traditional Branches of Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Logic
  • Aesthetics

Some thinkers/authors have classified the
branches a bit differently they mention
Axiology, Political Philosophy separately Another
domain is the Philosophy of. e.g. Philosophy
of Science, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of
Religion etc.
  • This branch deals with the theory of knowledge
  • It considers questions like
  • How do we know anything?
  • Is there such a thing as certainty?
  • Typical answers include Rationalism, Empiricism,
    Transcendental Idealism, Phenomenology etc.

  • Metaphysics deals with
  • the question
  • of REALITY and BEING.
  • It deals with questions about the non-physical
    world, such as
  • what is real?, Is there a god? and Is
    reality one?
  • Typical answers include
  • Monism, Dualism, Pluralism etc.
  • This branch is further sub-divided into
  • Ontology
  • Cosmology

  • This branch is also known as MORAL PHILOSOPHY.
  • It deals with questions about right and wrong,
  • e.g. Is morality subjective?, What makes
    actions right and wrong?
  • Typical answers include
  • Hedonism, Eudemonism, Stoicism, Utilitarianism
  • Ethics is derives from the Greek word Ethos
    (meaning habit) in this sense ethics is
    generally classified as external observable
  • Convenient distinction between Ethics and
  • Ethical theories in the philosophical world today
    are secular and formulated by humans

(No Transcript)
  • Logic is the language of philosophy
  • This branch of Philosophy deals with the METHOD
    of argument.
  • It offers answers to questions such as
  • Is that reasoning sound?,
  • Is that statement true?
  • Is that conclusion valid ?
  • Topics include
  • Induction, Deduction, Syllogisms, Fallacies,
    paradoxes etc.

  • This branch deals with
  • beauty in Music and Art.
  • It discusses questions like
  • Is that good music?
  • Is that painting better than this one?
  • Is pornography art?
  • It is the study of Beauty
  • What is the significance of Artistic Expression?

Brief History of Western Ideas
  • Ancient Period (7th cent BCE to 1st cent AD)
  • Classical Greek philosophy
  • Hellenism
  • Medieval Period (2nd cent AD to 14th cent AD)
  • Christianity and Scholasticism
  • Modern Period (15th cent AD to date)
  • Movements of Renaissance Reformation
  • French Revolution, Industrialization and Rise of
  • Rationalism, Empiricism, Transcendental Idealism
  • Liberalism, Socialism, Communism and rise of
    Capitalist Order
  • Phenomenology, Nihilism, Analytical trend and
  • Pragmatism and Post-Modernism

Religion vs. Philosophy
  • Touchy issue take care!!
  • You can do a PhD in Religious studies
  • but will that make you a religious person?
  • Is Religious Philosophy a philosophy?
  • You need to be clear about the issue of Faith
  • If Faith is yominoona bil ghaib then it is not
    Rational (in terms of philosophy)
  • Religion and Philosophy overlap on issues of
    Knowledge but what about character or taqwa?
  • Can philosophy make you a pious person?
  • Religion can decide the question for you once and
    for all but Philosophy would want you to keep
  • So Keep thinking and have Faith !! ?

Philosophy vs. Science
  • Both Science and Philosophy want to know, to
  • Aristotle is considered to be the first
    scientist but would he be called a scientist
  • Newton (one of the pioneers of modern science)
    published in 1687 Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia
    Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural
  • Difference today is of Methodology and focus of
  • Science today is characterized by Scientific
    Methodology (experimental research followed by
    peer review and publication)
  • Philosophy remains based on argumentative laws of
    thought (Logic)
  • Science is now closely tied in to Technological
  • Philosophy has spawned into sociology,
    psychology, economics, politics and remains the
    guiding force in non-religious societies

Question Answers
Thank You for your patience - SZA