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What is philosophy?

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Randall Jensen

on 25 August 2010

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Transcript of What is philosophy?

What is
Philosophy? Why study philosophy? Some other
useful definitions of philosophy Philosophy broken down into parts the love of wisdom thinking in slow motion Metaphysics Epistemology Logic Ethics Figuring out WHAT you believe Understanding WHY you believe it Identifying the PROBLEMS with your beliefs Picturing the ALTERNATIVES to what you believe Fact 1: most people in this room have had no real exposure to philosophy as an academic discipline.
Fact 2: everyone in this room does philosophy. Is there a God? What is God like? Does God control everything? Do we have free will? Is there a hell? Do we have a soul? Is the mind the brain? Is it okay for the state to redistribute wealth? May the state make me do something for my own good? What is truth? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Is time travel possible? Is morality relative? Is gay marriage immoral? Can we know anything for certain? Is it reasonable to believe in a miracle? Am I the same person I was twenty years ago? Is it something you believe because everyone around you believed it when you were growing up? Is it something you believe because someone told you to believe it? Do you have good reasons to believe it? What are they? Is it more plausible than what other people believe? Have you thought about why you believe it? Explaining why you believe it isn't the same as justifying your belief. Do you believe it's true because you want it to be true? Are there some good reasons not to believe it? Although philosophy has a long history, it's not just for statues. You can get somewhere when you're doing philosophy, even if it's difficult. This isn't really what we're talking about Why is there evil? If there is a God, then why is there so much suffering? How can we be free in a world that seems to be governed by the laws of nature? Big Problems Does your "theory" really account for all cases? Can you explain why so many folks disagree with you? Are your beliefs consistent with each other? Do your beliefs square with other things that we know? What are you taking for granted? What do you assume is true that someone else might not? Often we assume there are only two stark options. Often we're wrong about that and there's a whole range of options. Do you really understand what other people believe, or are you settling for a caricature? showing the fly the way out of the fly-bottle conceptual engineering constructing a systematic worldview therapy for the heart and mind what happens when a practice becomes self-conscious gadflying Philosophy of... Art Mind Science Religion Law Literature History Film etc.... To hone your skills in reading, writing, and thinking
To prepare for tests like the GRE or LSAT
To explore your own beliefs
To better understand the beliefs of others Because it's fascinating and fun! Welcome!
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