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Dr. Paul R. Shockley: Worldview Thinking:. “Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.”

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Paul R. Shockley: Worldview Thinking:. “Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Paul R. Shockley: Worldview Thinking:

2 “Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.” ~ Alfred North Whitehead.

3 What is Philosophy?:  “Philosophy” is derived from Greek term meaning “love of wisdom.” “Philos” means “friendship” and “sofia” means “wisdom.”  If philosophy is the love of wisdom, then is philosophy impractical and far removed from living out the details of daily living, unable to help us deal with practical problems, reach our goals, fulfill our purposes, and make the world a better place for us and our posterity?

4 Popular Usages: Two men were drinking beer together. One of them held his glass to the light, scrutinize it thoughtfully, and then observed, “Life is like a glass a beer.” His friend looked up at the glass and turned to his friend, and asked, “Why is life like a glass a beer?” “How should I know,” the other answered, “I’m not a philosopher.

5 Popular Usages:  We associate philosophy with an attitude toward certain activities (e.g., business)  Detached view of certain immediate problems (perspective)  An interpretation of what is important or meaningful in life (reflection).

6 Popular Notions:  Complex intellectual abstract activity without any practical value.  Meaningless  Impractical  Evil  Dangerous “Philosophy: The most interesting path to poverty.”

7 Consider this quote by Blaise Pascal: “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”

8 What is philosophy?  An evaluation of:  Arguments  Beliefs  Facts  Opinions  Positions

9 What is philosophy?  Search for:  Adequate, reasonable explanations that explains all that we know and think  Justification for our beliefs:  Rationally defensible  Empirically reasonable  Answers to the ultimate questions of life  Understanding, asking why we accept this ____, why we ought to accept ______, and are there better alternatives ______.  Coherence.  Living life in a very enriching, meaningful way.

10 The Unexamined Life: In his famous trial in 339 B.C., Socrates explained that the reason why he was philosophized was that “the unexamined life was not worth living.” Why? He observed that most people spent their time, energy, and resources on certain goals such as pursuing popularity, pleasure, and wealth without ever seriously asking whether these pursuits are important? How does one know if this is worth pursuing? What if these goals were useless if not dangerous.

11 Philosophy brings to light…  what our implicit beliefs are;  what assumptions we make about ourselves and the world in which we are imbedded.  what, why, and how something is valuable to us.  what is worth living for.

12 Philosophy is a way of seeing and doing that deals with:  Arguments  Authorities  Questions  Solving problems  Analyzing the obvious  Discovering new insights  Asks how particular kinds of things all fit together.

13 Shared commitment to examining life: To achieve more significant comprehension of our world and our relationship to it. Better life Productivity Wisdom Reflection What do certain ideas/concepts actually mean? What do we base our knowledge on? What standards should we use in arriving at sound judgments What beliefs we ought to adhere to Thinks about Thoughtful examination Analysis of views The pursuit of knowledge is worth pursuing. Conviction:

14 Three Central Spheres of Philosophy: Metaphysics: What is real? Does God Exist? Are we free or determined? Mind-body? Life an illusion? Epistemology What is knowledge? How do we know what we know to be true? Are we justified in believing anything? What are the sources of knowledge: Experience, memory, recall, revelation, reasoning, science, & intuition? Moral Philosophy What is evil? What is good? What actions are morally right or wrong? What character- traits are excellent? What is beautiful? What is morally valuable Social and political philosophy: Justice; retribution; just war-theory; liberty; state rights vs. personal rights.

15 Consider some of these questions:  Where do we come from? (origin)  What are we? Who are we? (Identity)  Why are we here? (meaning)  How should we live? (morality)  What’s gone wrong with the world (evil?)  What can be done to fix the problems of the world? (hope)

16 Benefits of doing philosophy:  Help us in the pursuit of intellectual and moral excellence  Enlarges our understanding of the world and our relationship to it  Generates creativity  Applicable in its scope (wide-ranging)  Learn how to listen carefully  Learn how to analyze carefully  Learn how to respond thoughtfully  Makes connections into why we do what we do  Engages in the offense and defense of powerful ideas and its consequences  Projects into the future as it reflects upon the past.  Helps us see what others fail to see  Gives us the skills to disagree amiably  Motivates us to know what and why we believe what we believe  Helps us to connect with what is meaningful and enriching, personally and collectively  Gives us skills in applying knowledge to changing situations.  Keeps the mind alive and sharp  Frees us from mundane living, short-sightedness, and dwarfed goals  Assists in building interpersonal relationships… go beyond the superficial.

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