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Introduction to Philosophy

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1 Introduction to Philosophy
James A. Van Slyke What is Philosophy?

2 Introduction “the unexamined life is not worth living” philosophy
- Socrates philosophy philos = love sophia = wisdom

3 Philosophical Puzzles
My definition: Bringing together several areas of knowledge into a coherent whole Similar to a puzzle How do all the pieces of life fit into a meaningful explanation?

4 Objectives of Phil course
History of the subject of philosophy Problems and solutions Skills in Reasoning and Writing Interaction of Christian Faith with different worldviews

5 Main area of discussion
Examination of Worldviews Broad category which contains a general picture of life and the universe we live in Contains aspects of several disciplines including science, religion, sociology, culture, literature, etc. Default assumptions about the nature of the universe Use of Reason Clarifying Concepts Analyzing and Constructing Arguments and Theories

6 what philosophy should not do
Give up your religious beliefs Distrust everything you have believed before Reject a theory without thinking about it Dismiss the beliefs of another

7 What philosophy should do
Challenge You Allow you to “try things on” Seek evidence for arguments Provide a context for discussion Invite you to revise your own worldview Invite you to apply what you have learned

8 History of Philosophy Major Periods Ancient (624 BCE – 270)
Plato Aristotle Medieval (354 – 1350) Augustine Aquinas Modern (1450 – 1900) Descartes Kant Postmodern (Contemporary) ( ?) Wittgenstein Derrida

9 Worldview Questions Seven Questions
1. What is There? What is Everything Made of? 2. How is it Organized? 3. What Makes things Happen? 4. What is the Place of Humans in the Cosmos? 5. How Should we Live? 6. What is Ultimately Important? 7. How do we know? Use example from Book

10 Understanding Worldviews
Seven Important questions of any worldview 1. What is There? What is Everything Made of? Ontology “The study of the essence of things and of what there is” (Pojman) Sub-category of metaphysics Use example from book – Abortion

11 Understanding Worldviews
2. How is it Organized? Metaphysics “The philosophical investigation of the nature, constitution and structure of reality” (Dict. Of Phil.) “The study of ultimate reality, that which is not readily accessible through ordinary empirical experience” (Pojman) 3. What Makes things Happen? Causation Relationships between causes and effects?

12 Understanding Worldviews
4. What is the Place of Humans in the Cosmos? Ethics What is Justice? What is Morality based on?

13 Understanding Worldviews
5. How Should we Live? What is the good for humankind? What types of behaviors lead to Human flourishing? 6. What is Ultimately Important? Theology Atheism, Primal Religions, Buddhism

14 Understanding Worldviews
7. How do we know? Epistemology How do we construct answers to the following questions? How do we justify our answers? “The study of the nature of knowledge and its justification” (Dict. Of Phil.) “The study of the nature, origin, and validity of knowledge and belief.” (Pojman)

15 Big Questions Philosophy of Religion Theory of Knowledge
Does God Exist? Why is there evil? Reason vs. Faith Theory of Knowledge How do we decide between competing rational claims How do we justify our knowledge?

16 Areas of Study Philosophy of Mind Free Will Ethics
How does the mind relate to the body? What is the essence of human nature? Free Will Is human behavior free or determined? Ethics What is right behavior? How do you know? (epistemology) Who decides what you ‘ought’ to do?

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