Presentation on theme: "PHIL 100 (STOLZE) Notes on Jules Evans, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations."— Presentation transcript:
PHIL 100 (STOLZE) Notes on Jules Evans, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations
Preliminary Questions What is philosophy? What are some examples of philosophical questions? What are the main divisions of philosophy? Is everyone capable of doing philosophy?
What is “Philosophy”? This compound word originates from two Greek words: 1. philia (”friendly love”) 2. sophia (”wisdom”)
Some Important Philosophical Questions Why is there something rather than nothing? Does God exist? What is the meaning of life? Who am I? Do I have an immortal soul? Am I free? Could a machine think? What is a just society? Do I have moral obligations to other species?
The Four Main Branches of Philosophy Metaphysics = the study of reality Epistemology = the study of knowledge Axiology = the study of value Logic = the study of correct reasoning
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, at least, there are two conditions that are necessary for the practice of philosophy: 1. a sense of wonder 2. leisure time
Philosophy Saved Jules Evans’s Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuwYvFlNGns
Evans’s Project Evans argues that philosophy should be understood less as an academic discipline covering certain kinds of questions (for example, in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic) than as a set of techniques for embodying a whole way of life. He proposes that we return to and reconsider the practices associated with a number of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. Evans asks three basic questions of each of them: 1. What self-help techniques can we take from this philosophy and use in our lives? 2. Could we embrace this philosophy as a way of life? 3. Could this philosophy form the basis of a community, or even a whole society?
The Socratic Tradition Evans begins with Socrates and identifies what he calls Four Steps of the Socratic Tradition: 1. Humans can know ourselves. We can use our reason to examine our unconscious beliefs and values. 2. Humans can change ourselves. We can use our reason to change our beliefs. This will change our emotions, because our emotions follow our beliefs. 3. Humans can consciously create new habits of thinking, feeling, and acting. 4. If we follow philosophy as a way of life, we can live more flourishing lives.
Some Questions for Reflection What are the advantages and disadvantages of approaching philosophy as a way of life? Can philosophy be taught as a way of life? Can and should humans really know themselves as Socrates contended? Is reason a reliable method of self-inquiry? Can humans actually change themselves? Could the new habits we create turn out to be worse that the older ones we have altered or removed?