Presentation on theme: "Why defining, studying, and doing philosophy is important? Department of Philosophy University of San Carlos P. Del Rosario St., Cebu City."— Presentation transcript:
Why defining, studying, and doing philosophy is important? Department of Philosophy University of San Carlos P. Del Rosario St., Cebu City
What is Philosophy?* The term philosophy comes from the Greek for love of wisdom. This gives us two important starting points: love (or passion) and wisdom (knowledge, understanding). The first part should be addressed right away because that is the aspect which is so often left behind in academic philosophy: love and passion.
What is Wisdom?* Most of the time, it seems that philosophy is pursued without passion and without love, as if it were a technical subject like engineering or simple mathematics. Although there is certainly a role for dispassionate research, philosophy must ultimately derive from some passion for the ultimate goal and this is where we come to the question of wisdom. One way to describe philosophy is disciplined inquiry. Despite the need for passion, that passion still needs to be disciplined, lest it get out of hand and lead us astray. The fact that philosophy is a type of inquiry, however, emphasizes the fact that it is about asking questions questions which, in fact, may never actually get final answers.
2 Complimentary tasks of Philosophy* CRITICAL and CONSTRUCTIVE The Critical task of philosophy involves posing difficult and probing questions about various truth claims, both those made commonly in life and those made by philosophers. A critical philosophy is not one that criticizes, in the carping, censorious way where nothing is ever right. CRITIQUE is the attempt to get behind knowledge claims and ask, What makes them possible? The Constructive aspect of philosophy involves developing an accurate and productive picture of reality.
The Hope of Philosophy* The hope of philosophy is to understand: understand ourselves, understand our world, understand our values and the entirety of existence around us. We humans want to understand such things and, without prodding or pushing, we naturally develop philosophy in order to develop such understanding. This means that everyone does at least a little bit of philosophy, even when they have never experienced formal training. Aristotle (Metaphysics I): All men by nature desire to know.
Does Philosophy ever accomplish anything?* Many people tend to think of philosophy as an idle pursuit, never amounting to much. Reason: If we go back and look at the works of ancient Greek philosophers, well find that they were asking the same questions which philosophers ask today. Is this true? Certainly not philosophy is not simply something for egghead academics in ivory towers. On the contrary, all humans engage in philosophy in one form or another because we are philosophizing creatures.
FACT: It is true that remaining with philosophy does not afford an especially wide range of career options. But skill with philosophy is something which can be readily transferred to fields like law, public policy and more. Basically, anything which requires careful thinking, systematic reasoning, and an ability to ask and address difficult questions will benefit from a background in philosophy. Quite aside from career options, philosophy is also important for those who, on their own time, desire to learn more about themselves and about life. Such activities are themselves philosophical pursuits, and as such can benefit from any background in an academic study of the subject.
The philosophical enterprise: three disciplines 1. Discipline of questioning Cessation of questioning leads only to the stagnation and arresting of growth. 2. Discipline of liberation What are the consequence if a person engages in blind adherence, unquestioning acceptance, and thoughtless conformity in the presence of societal structures that close avenues to the truth? 3. Discipline of personhood Ones life is ones life is ones own unique creative project. – Søren Kierkegaard
What are some of the benefits of studying philosophy?* Problem Solving Skills: Philosophy is all about asking difficult questions and developing answers which can be reasonably and rationally defended against hard, skeptical questioning. Philosophers need to learn how to analyze concepts, definitions and arguments in a way conducive towards developing solutions for particular problems. Because of this, you can also have an increased assurance that your beliefs may be reasonable, consistent and well-founded because you have examined them systematically and carefully.
Benefit 2 Communication Skills: A person who excels at communicating in the field of philosophy can also excel at communication in other areas. Philosophers are expected to express their ideas clearly and precisely, both in speaking and in writing. While those ideas may seem incomprehensible to those who are unfamiliar with the topic or jargon, this also tends to be the case with the physical sciences.
Benefit 3 Self-Knowledge: It is also worth noting that it isn't just a matter of better communication with others that is helped by the study of philosophy understanding yourself is improved. The very nature of philosophy is such that you get a better picture of what you yourself believe simply through working through those beliefs in a careful and systematic fashion.
Benefit 4 Persuasive Skills: The whole purpose in philosophy of developing problem solving and communication skills is not simply to gain a better understanding of the world, but also to get others to agree with that understanding. Good persuasive skills are thus important in the field of philosophy because a person needs to defend her own views and to offer insightful critiques of the views of others.
Who cares about doing philosophy well?* EVERYONE who cares about whether or not their answers are reasonable, well-founded, well-developed and coherent. Those are the qualities which the study of philosophy can bring to a person's questioning and curiosity, and that is why the subject is so important. We may never arrive at any final answers, but in many ways it is the journey which is most important, not the destination. *Source: Cline, Austin. Introduction to Philosophy: Defining, Studying, Doing Philosophy is Important. Why Do Atheists Need Philosophy? We Need to Reason Well About Life & Society. Available at
Reference: Cline, Austin. Introduction to Philosophy: Defining, Studying, Doing Philosophy is Important. Why Do Atheists Need Philosophy? We Need to Reason Well About Life & Society. Available at Kavanaugh, John S.J.The Philosophical Enterprise.
COME AND JOIN US!!! Philosophy is the wisdom of love in the service of love. Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise than Being "... [E]vil is an invention of freedom....[A]n ethical vision of evil is a vision in which freedom is revealed in its depths as power to act and power to be; the freedom that evil supposes is a freedom capable of digression, deviation, subversion, wandering." Paul Ricoeur, The Conflict of Interpretations