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What is philosophy?


Hellenistic schools of thought ... Kierkegaard Friedrich Nietzsche Phenomenology Edmund Husserl Martin Heidegger Pragmatism Charles Sanders Peirce John Dewey ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is philosophy?

What is philosophy?
The word "Philosophy" comes from the Greek
f???s?f?a philosophia, which literally means
"love of wisdom.
  • Philosophy is the study of general and
    fundamental problems concerning matters such as
    existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and
    language.It is distinguished from other ways of
    addressing fundamental questions by its critical,
    generally systematic approach and its reliance on
    rational argument.

Philosophical Questions
  • Is there a best way to live?
  • What do I owe other people?
  • When, if ever, am I justified in breaking the
  • How can I know what is real?
  • How can I distinguish between legitimate forms of
    knowledge or science and pseudo-science?

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EmpiricismJohn Locke George Berkeley David
Hume Political philosophyThomas Hobbes John
Locke Jean-Jacques Rousseau Karl Marx
Friedrich Engels John Stuart Mill Jeremy
Bentham James Mill IdealismImmanuel Kant
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Arthur
Schopenhauer Francis Herbert Bradley
ExistentialistsSøren Kierkegaard Friedrich
Nietzsche PhenomenologyEdmund Husserl Martin
Heidegger PragmatismCharles Sanders Peirce
John Dewey William James
Modern Philosophers
  • Different Types of Philosophy
  • Metaphysics is the study of the nature of being
    and the world. Traditional branches are cosmology
    and ontology.
  • Epistemology is concerned with the nature and
    scope of knowledge, and whether knowledge is
    possible. Among its central concerns has been the
    challenge posed by skepticism and the
    relationships between truth, belief, and
  • Ethics, or 'moral philosophy', is concerned with
    questions of how persons ought to act or if such
    questions are answerable. The main branches of
    ethics are meta-ethics, normative ethics, and
    applied ethics. Meta-ethics concerns the nature
    of ethical thought, comparison of various ethical
    systems, whether there are absolute ethical
    truths, and how such truths could be known.
    Ethics is also associated with the idea of
    morality. Plato's early dialogues include a
    search for definitions of virtue.
  • Political philosophy is the study of government
    and the relationship of individuals and
    communities to the state. It includes questions
    about justice, the good, law, property, and the
    rights and obligations of the citizen.
  • Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, enjoyment,
    sensory-emotional values, perception, and matters
    of taste and sentiment.
  • Logic is the study of valid argument forms.
    Beginning in the late 19th century,
    mathematicians such as Frege focused on a
    mathematical treatment of logic, and today the
    subject of logic has two broad divisions
    mathematical logic (formal symbolic logic) and
    what is now called philosophical logic.
  • Philosophy of mind deals with the nature of the
    mind and its relationship to the body, and is
    typified by disputes between dualism and
    materialism. In recent years there has been
    increasing similarity between this branch of
    philosophy and cognitive science.
  • Philosophy of language is inquiry into the
    nature, origins, and usage of language.
  • Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy
    that asks questions about religion.

Hellenistic schools of thoughtCynicism
Epicureanism Hedonism Eclecticism
Neo-Platonism Skepticism Stoicism Sophism
  • Socrates
  • Classical Greek philosopher
  • One of the founders of Western philosophy
  • known only through the classical accounts of his
    students. Plato's dialogues are the most
    comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive
    from antiquity.
  • Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues,
    Socrates has become renowned for his contribution
    to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic
    Socrates who also lends his name to the concepts
    of Socratic irony and the Socratic method.

Philosophy of Socrates
Socratic Method
Teaching through step-by-step questions that are
designed to lead the student to the truth
Socrates was a Greek philosopher who wanted
people to question and think for themselves
Athenians were afraid and threatened by his
ideas, so he was tried and put to death.
The Death of Socrates
  • (427347 BC)
  • Writer of philosophical dialogues - Socrates'
    point of view
  • Founder of the Academy in Athens
  • Lectured on politics, ethics, metaphysics,
  • Themes in dialogues
  • best possible form of government
  • role of heredity the environment on human
    intelligence personality
  • distinction between knowledge and true belief
  • Most well known book The Republic

  • Plato
  • One of Socrates students, became great
    philosopher in own right
  • Left behind great number of writings that record
    ideas on wide variety of topics, from nature of
    truth to ideal form of government
  • The Republic argues that government should be led
    by philosophers
  • Theory of Government
  • Philosophers most qualified to make good
  • Did not support Athenian democracy in which all
    men could take part
  • Plato wanted to make philosophers education more
  • Founded the Academy, which in Platos lifetime
    became most important site for Greek philosophers
    to do their work

The Republic represents the 1st political
treatise, educational reform, systematic
psychological and epistemological theory,
aesthetics, and theory of virtue or the good
(just) life.
Book I 3 Definitions of Justice
  • Cephalus (327a-337d)
  • Justice is honesty in word and deed or simply
    paying ones debts and obligations.
  • Polemarchus (331e-336a)
  • Justice is helping friends and harming enemies,
    or giving everyone his due.
  • Thrasymachus (336b-354e)
  • Justice is the interest of the strong (rulers)
    and is less profitable than injustice.

Allegory of the Cave
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  • Aristotle (384 BC 322 BC)
  • Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the
  • Wrote books on physics, poetry, zoology, logic,
    rhetoric, politics,
    government and biology
  • One of the few figures in history who studied
    almost every
    subject possible at the time

  • The Third Philosopher
  • Aristotle was among students who studied at the
  • More concerned with nature of world that
    surrounded him
  • Tried to apply philosophical principles to every
    kind of knowledge
  • Emphasis on Reason and Logic
  • Emphasis on reason, logic
  • Reason, clear and ordered thinking use reason to
    learn about world
  • Observe carefully, think rationally about what
    one has seen
  • Inferring New Facts
  • Aristotle also helped develop field of logic,
    process of making inferences
  • Example birds have feathers, lay eggs owls have
    feathers, lay eggs therefore, owl must be a type
    of bird

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Love of wisdom trying to figure things out
through learning and reasoning
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