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Introduction to Philosophy, Week 1: Origins of Philosophy

by: Andres Calvo

Introduction to Philosophy, Week 1: Origins of Philosophy Phi 2010

Marketplace > Florida International University > Phi 2010 > Introduction to Philosophy Week 1 Origins of Philosophy
Andres Calvo

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PHI 2010 - 8/22/16-8/26/16 This set of notes covers the basic origins of philosophical thinking and thinkers and explores the objectives and methodology of philosophical inquiry.
Intro Into Philosophy
Kenton Harris
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andres Calvo on Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phi 2010 at Florida International University taught by Kenton Harris in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views.


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Date Created: 08/30/16
● Thales of Ionia: the first/founder of western philosophy. He claimed that  “everything is water.” ○ Everything is water: if change happens, yet some things do  not change, then there must be some basic substance making up  everything. ○ His colleagues rejected his theory and tried to come up with  their own later on. They were not punished for rejecting it because it held  no divine authority. ○ As his disciples came up with their own theories, Democritus theorized the existence of atoms down the line. ● Logos vs. Mythos: Logos is the logical creation and justification of ideas  using rational thinking, while mythos comprises supernatural stories that explain  the world around us. ● The methodology of philosophy: ○ Theory Postulation: “Everything is water.” ○ Justification: “Everything is water because everything is  made up of a basic substance.” ○ Critical review: “Everything cannot be water because that  cliff is dry.” ○ Revision: “Everything is made up of atoms.” ● Philosophy vs. Science: ○ They used to be similar: science would have been  considered natural philosophy back then. ○ Both use the same dialectic method of proposing and  rejecting theories, but each seeks to answer different questions in different ways. ○ Science answers empirical questions: answers can be  found, recorded, observed, and measured (through sensory experience). ○ Philosophy answers non­empirical questions which cannot  be answered through observation or measurement. ■ However, philosophy cannot account for  category mistakes, which are characterized by conceptually flawed  questions: “How high is  up?” ● The Subject Matter of Philosophy: ○ Natural theology: attempts to answer the question of the  existence of a god using logic. ○ Reveled theology: attempts to answer the question of the  existence of a god using faith or faith­based stories. ○ Metaphysics: deals with the structure and concept of being  or existence. ■ Physicalism:  the only objects which exist are  physical objects and forces. This is not a scientific theory because  one cannot prove the existence of immaterial objects through  empirical means. ○ Epistemology: branch that seeks to answer questions about  the nature of knowledge, truth, and justification. ■ Example: can science and the scientific  method reveal truth? ● This begs the question because  this question cannot be answered through scientific,  empirical means; science assumes that science has the  answers to reality. This is a logical fallacy. ○ Ethics: branch that seeks to answer questions about right  human conduct and behavior. ■ Although science can reveal what something in reality is, it does not question what reality should be. ● Sciences about human behavior,  such as sociology, psychology, or marketing, is descriptive in nature because it describes what humans do. However, it is  not prescriptive because it does not answer what humans  should do. ○ Aesthetics: seeks to answer questions about and beauty. ■ Can one be wrong about their judgment of  beauty? What distinguishes art from non­art? ○ Logic: analyzes and evaluates arguments. Most of  philosophy deals with the nature of argumentation. ● Philosophy vs. Religion: ○ Both subjects share questions, such as the existence of God or the correct faith to follow. However, both subjects do not share  methodology. ■ Religion gives faith­based answers based on  stories, while philosophy does not and does not accept or establish  something that must be followed without question. ○ Philosophers criticize religion for using irrational thought and  superstitious ideas, while religious thinkers criticize philosophers for being  arrogant and denying the words of the Author of Truth (God). ● The Assumptions of Philosophy: ○ The universe and reality can be understood. ○ Human reason is capable of understanding some of it.


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