Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Philosophy"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Philosophy James A. Van SlykeWhat is Philosophy?
2 Introduction “the unexamined life is not worth living” philosophy - Socratesphilosophyphilos = lovesophia = wisdom
3 Philosophical Puzzles My definition: Bringing together several areas of knowledge into a coherent wholeSimilar to a puzzleHow do all the pieces of life fit into a meaningful explanation?
4 Objectives of Phil course History of the subject of philosophyProblems and solutionsSkills in Reasoning and WritingInteraction of Christian Faith with different worldviews
5 Main area of discussion Examination of WorldviewsBroad category which contains a general picture of life and the universe we live inContains aspects of several disciplines including science, religion, sociology, culture, literature, etc.Default assumptions about the nature of the universeUse of ReasonClarifying ConceptsAnalyzing and Constructing Arguments and Theories
6 what philosophy should not do Give up your religious beliefsDistrust everything you have believed beforeReject a theory without thinking about itDismiss the beliefs of another
7 What philosophy should do Challenge YouAllow you to “try things on”Seek evidence for argumentsProvide a context for discussionInvite you to revise your own worldviewInvite you to apply what you have learned
8 History of Philosophy Major Periods Ancient (624 BCE – 270) PlatoAristotleMedieval (354 – 1350)AugustineAquinasModern (1450 – 1900)DescartesKantPostmodern (Contemporary) ( ?)WittgensteinDerrida
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 worldview1. 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 metaphysicsUse 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?CausationRelationships between causes and effects?
12 Understanding Worldviews 4. What is the Place of Humans in the Cosmos?EthicsWhat 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?TheologyAtheism, Primal Religions, Buddhism
14 Understanding Worldviews 7. How do we know?EpistemologyHow 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. FaithTheory of KnowledgeHow do we decide between competing rational claimsHow 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 WillIs human behavior free or determined?EthicsWhat is right behavior?How do you know? (epistemology)Who decides what you ‘ought’ to do?