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Chapter 1: Doing Philosophy
Transcript of Chapter 1: Doing Philosophy
The Triple A Skill Set in Philosophy
We study philosophy because of the
it cultivates in our lives as well as for the new perspectives it gives us.
Some questions you can expect to find in this course
How can we really know anything?
Philosophy: Arguing Like a Sir
Concepts and Conceptual Framework
Concept- The basic unit of any philosophical project.
is, literally, the
love of wisdom
thinking hard about life
about what we have learned
about our place in the world
views, beliefs, attitudes about ourselves and the world
It is the search for the larger picture
the demand for
the kind of knowledge that allows us to understand our lives and the world around us
the assertion on the importance of
a refusal to get totally caught up in the details of life and simply go along with crowd
define our place in the universe and give our lives meaning.
What is the importance of rationality to a good life?
Is ethics just a matter of opinion, or do objective moral rules exist that are binding on every person?
Are people really free, or are our actions all determined ?
What is death and why are we so scared of it?
Where does the concept of God come from and does God really exist?
Can anyone prove what the truth is on such ultimate issues, or must we can accept them just as matters of faith? What, for that matter, is faith?
It shows us how to peel away
and penetrate to the
essence of a matter.
putting your ideas in clear, concise, readily understandable language
In articulating our ideas, it is important to ask ourselves three basic sorts of questions, which we can call the 3 Cs:
Is it coherent
? Or the various components of the view or position hang together logically? Does it make sense? Is it internally consistent? Is it inwardly fitting?
Is it complete
? Does it touch on and deal with all the relevant issues that it ought to take in, or does it contain gaps and blind spots? Are any concerns swept under the rug? Is it comprehensive enough?
Is it correct?
The available evidence must point in its direction as the correct contender for truth.
understanding an idea by distinguishing and clarifying its various components
Philosophy trains us to analyze. Through analysis one can asses competing claims.
Do people have free will, or are all our actions determined by heredity and environment?
Does God exist…or not?
Does life truly have meaning, or is everything we do ultimately without any real sense and purpose?
In philosophy, we assess a view by asking for evidence and reason to think that it’s true.
Arguments are not, in philosophical terms, shouting matches, verbal tug-o-wars, or altercations.
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
"Know thy self."
Arguments aren’t the sorts of things that you win or lose. They’re not like games or athletic contests of the mind.
An argument is a reasoned presentation of ideas, where you marshal evidence in favor of the truth of a conclusion.
A good argument helps us to intellectually “see” where the truth lies.
The importance of doubt
"Doubting is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom."
"I know one thing, that I know nothing."
- concepts derived from experience (e.g. dog, pizza, penis, vagina)
a priori concepts
- concepts which precedes experience (e.g. self, the good life, God, freedom, truth)
Conceptual framework- organized set of related concepts
- a set of values and a way of looking at life
- a set of ideas about the nature of society and our political roles within it.
- a set of viewpoints we use to make sense of the world.
1. Start with an idea
2. Critical thinking
4. Identify a Problem
5. Use your imagination
6. Develop a Style