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5779156 (1).ppt

  1. 1 General Philosophy Session 1 (Introduction to Philosophy) By Syed Zeeshan Arshad
  2. 2 Contents  What is Philosophy?  Branches of Philosophy  Epistemology  Metaphysics  Ethics  Logic  Aesthetics  Brief History of Ideas  Religion vs. Philosophy  Science vs. Philosophy  Q&A Session
  3. 3 What is Philosophy?  Today?  Boring? Complex? Useless? Akin to Blasphemy? (common perception)  Doesn’t earn you any money? Does it? So what’s the point? – But what is Ph.D.? Isn’t it the highest academic degree? – Gives you the license to write books, expound ideas, called an expert and to be taken seriously  Earlier? – ‘Philosophy is the mother of all sciences’ – Really?? – In 17th century Newton called his work – Inquiry into ‘Natural Philosophy’ – Even earlier Aristotle (4th century BCE) called himself a ‘philosopher’ – though biologist, surgeons, physicists, chemists, political theorists, mathematicians, logicians, religious scholars have all relied on his work extensively  Literally? – Philo (love/r of) Sophia (Greek: Wisdom) So do so many others!! Poor Sophia!!
  4. 4 What is Philosophy?  Philosophy is about a lot of Questions – “An unexamined life is not worth living” (Socrates)  But hey! Isn’t Ignorance supposed to be bliss?  And didn’t the Socratic dude die a tragic death!! – So some people are born Inquirers (“Uncle/Auntie Kiyon?” – Whereas others just wanna have fun (“Where’s the Party?”)  Most of these questions might remain unanswered  In fact Philosophers have been trying to grapple with the same fundamental questions for centuries – sometimes with no success - sometimes with partial success  The world is full of man-made-ideas and –isms? What about Revelation (wahi)?  It is said that “Beyond Philosophy lies Faith” – but what if one has faith in philosophy? [Halt: too complex for now ]
  5. 5 Food for thought  Some sample philosophical questions  What is truth? Is it possible to know anything with absolute certainty?  Does the universe have a purpose? Does life have a purpose?  Is there order in the cosmos (i.e. the universe conceived as an orderly system) independent of what is put there by the mind? Could the universe be radically different from how we conceive it?  Is a person more than a physical body? What is the mind? What is thought? Do people really have a free will? Is there any moral obligation?  What is a good life? Is ethics possible? What is art?  Since questions are infinite – it would be better to categorize the areas of investigation  This leads us to major branches of philosophy  Do understand that various forms of categorization could exist (e.g. you are a class of students) – other ways of categorizing could be gender, height, income, residential locality etc.  What follows is the most common type of categorization that exists..
  6. 6 Traditional* Branches of Philosophy  Epistemology  Metaphysics  Ethics  Logic  Aesthetics *Some thinkers/authors have classified the branches a bit differently – they mention Axiology, Political Philosophy separately *Another domain is the “Philosophy of….” e.g. Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Religion etc.
  7. 7 Epistemology  This branch deals with the “theory of knowledge”  It considers questions like – “How do we know anything?” – “Is there such a thing as certainty?”  Typical answers include Rationalism, Empiricism, Transcendental Idealism, Phenomenology etc.
  8. 8 Metaphysics  Metaphysics deals with the question of REALITY and BEING.  It deals with questions about the non-physical world, such as – “what is real?”, “Is there a god?” and “Is reality one?”  Typical answers include – Monism, Dualism, Pluralism etc.  This branch is further sub-divided into – Ontology – Cosmology
  9. 9 Ethics  This branch is also known as MORAL PHILOSOPHY.  It deals with questions about right and wrong, – e.g. “Is morality subjective?”, “What makes actions right and wrong?”  Typical answers include – Hedonism, Eudemonism, Stoicism, Utilitarianism etc.  Ethics is derives from the Greek word ‘Ethos’(meaning ‘habit’) – in this sense ethics is generally classified as external observable behavior  Convenient distinction between Ethics and Morality  Ethical theories in the philosophical world today are secular and formulated by humans
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  11. 11 Logic  Logic is the language of philosophy  This branch of Philosophy deals with the METHOD of argument.  It offers answers to questions such as: – Is that reasoning sound?, – Is that statement true? – Is that conclusion valid ?  Topics include – Induction, Deduction, Syllogisms, Fallacies, paradoxes etc.
  12. 12 Aesthetics  This branch deals with – beauty in Music and Art.  It discusses questions like: – Is that good music? – Is that painting better than this one? – Is pornography art?  It is the study of Beauty  What is the significance of Artistic Expression?
  13. 13 Brief History of Western Ideas  Ancient Period (7th cent BCE to 1st cent AD) – Classical Greek philosophy – Hellenism  Medieval Period (2nd cent AD to 14th cent AD) – Christianity and Scholasticism  Modern Period (15th cent AD to date)  Movements of Renaissance & Reformation  French Revolution, Industrialization and Rise of Science  Rationalism, Empiricism, Transcendental Idealism  Liberalism, Socialism, Communism and rise of Capitalist Order  Phenomenology, Nihilism, Analytical trend and Existentialism  Pragmatism and Post-Modernism
  14. 14 Religion vs. Philosophy  Touchy issue – take care!!  You can do a PhD in Religious studies – but will that make you a religious person?  Is Religious Philosophy a ‘philosophy’?  You need to be clear about the issue of ‘Faith’  If Faith is ‘yominoona bil ghaib’ then it is not Rational (in terms of philosophy)  Religion and Philosophy overlap on issues of Knowledge – but what about character or ‘taqwa’?  Can philosophy make you a ‘pious’ person?  Religion can decide the question for you once and for all but Philosophy would want you to keep thinking…  So Keep thinking and have Faith !! 
  15. 15 Philosophy vs. Science  Both Science and Philosophy want “to know, to investigate”  Aristotle is considered to be the first ‘scientist’ – but would he be called a scientist today?  Newton (one of the pioneers of modern science) published in 1687 Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy?)  Difference today is of Methodology and focus of investigation  Science today is characterized by Scientific Methodology (experimental research followed by peer review and publication)  Philosophy remains based on argumentative laws of thought (Logic)  Science is now closely tied in to Technological development  Philosophy has spawned into sociology, psychology, economics, politics and remains the guiding force in non-religious societies
  16. 16 Question & Answers Thank You for your patience - SZA