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Introduction to Philosophy Essay

I. Pre-Socratic Period – also known as the Cosmological Period (cosmos meaning universe) *questions about human existence and subsistence (basic needs) Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers: – Anaxagoras – Thales (he held that water is the fundamental stuff of all things, saying “All is water”) – Anaximander – Xenophanes – Heraclitus – Anaximenes Empiricism – a theory which states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience II. Socratic Period – also known as the Era of Scientific Discoveries III. Church Period – also known as the Theological/Dogmatic Period.

Dogmatic – from the word dogma (teachings of the Catholic church) Martin Luther – the most controversial bishop during his time; he questioned the teachings of the Catholic church IV. Rebellion Period – also known as the Period of Protestantism *Martin Luther started Protestantism and established the Lutheran church; he questioned the indispensability of the pontis and the institution of the sacraments (holy order and marriage) division of the Catholic church: – Roman Catholic – Greek Orthodox 4 legal systems: – English law – Roman law – Arabic/Mohammedan law – Anglo-American law.

V. Renaissance Period – renaissance meaning rebirth – also known as the Arts and Literature Period (which focused on religion) VI. Modern Period – also known as the Period of Industrialization ? introduction to machines ? social problem of unemployment arose ? battle between man and machines 2 social classes: ? bourgeoisie – the ruling class of the two basic classes of capitalist society, consisting of capitalists, manufacturers, bankers, and other employers.

The bourgeoisie owns the most important of the means of production, through which it exploits the working class ?proletariat – the class of workers, especially industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive, the lowest or poorest class of people Friedrich Engels – mentor of Karl Marx *.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels campaigned for a classless society known as communism communism – the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e. g. , mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society; people don’t have private ownership.

Das Kapital – one of the major works of the 19th-century economist and philosopher Karl Marx (1818–83), in which he expounded his theory of the capitalist system, its dynamism, and its tendencies toward self-destruction. He described his purpose as to lay bare “the economic law of motion of modern society. ” Lenin and Stalin – leaders of the Russian Revolution who first introduced communism COMMUNISM (zero ownership) SOCIALISM (ownership by few) DEMOCRACY (controlled by the majority of people) Definition of Philosophy – from the words “de finire” meaning “to limit” 3 types of definition: 1.

Etymological – derived from the word “etymos” meaning “origin” Etymology of Philosophy by Pythagoras philia (love) sophia (wisdom) greek words 2. Nominal – derived from the word “nomen” meaning “name” 3. Real definition – maybe conceptual or operational definition Real definition of Philosophy a science of beings that investigates the ultimate causes of things, events, etc. , with the aid of human reason alone *philosophers investigate by asking questions human reason – the instrument in philosophy branches of science: ? natural ? social ?

Physical – botany philosophy e. g. physics e. g. e.g. beings – subject matter of philosophy; anything that exists 2 types of beings: a) potential – exists without intrinsic contradiction b) actual – exists with intrinsic contradiction uncreated God (theology – focused on the study of God) created living – man – plants – animals –soul–> –soul–> –soul–> rational vegetative sensitive non-living – universe (cosmology – study of the universe) – outside the universe (metaphysics – from the word “meta” meaning “beyond”) principles of life soul life spirit – principle of unity what makes man unique? – his characteristics characteristics of man:

? body and soul (rational psychology – study of soul existence) ? body without soul – corpse ? soul without body – ghost ? intellect – to know the “truth” (logic – correct reasoning; epistemology – validity of human knowledge) ? will – in search of “good” (ethics or moral philosophy) branches of philosophy connected to man rational psychology deals with spirituality and religion logic – deals with mental and psychological circumstances epistemology deals with physiological/bi ological aspect ethics – deals with the physical aspect of man Phenomenological method – method of knowing man.

Edmund Husserl – a mathematician, modern philosopher, and the main proponent of phenomenology steps in phenomenological method: i. epoche – method of bracketing man’s natural attitudes (e. g. , biases or prejudices) ii. eidetic reduction – from the word “eidos” meaning “essence”; method of reducing the events to its essence to know the real importance of the phenomenon iii. phenomenological transcendental reduction – method of reducing the essence to its subject ? to the very activity itself love – disinterested giving of oneself to other being kinds of love: – fraternal.

– paternal/maternal – erotic – romantic Understanding the Nature of Philosophical Inquiry *on the distinction between philosophy and natural science – natural science ? scientific investigation “What is Philosophy” by Lauer, S. J. (philosophy in physical science) *can philosophy be taught? – philosophy can be defined by doing it *why do we harm philosophy when we define it? – philosophy is essentially a dynamic process, the attempt to define it is to stop the process *philosophy is an attitude, a way of life, responsible thinking and not a discipline; not a body of knowledge.


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