Review of the chapter one (1) of olusegun oladipo (thinking about philosophy) Philosophy is not easy to define because it is difficult to identify the subject matter of it, on like biology, political science and so on. Also we cannot say philosophical method, the way we talk of scientific method. But according to the preface of the book, philosophy is an intellectual Endeavour to acquire self knowledge. Three questions comes to mind and best summarize the intellectual Endeavour called philosophy, 1) formulation or construction of world view, 2) critical thinking and, 3) the rational, but non-scientific, quest for understanding.
PHILOSOPHY AS WORLD VIEW – These are not arbitrary statement or products of fantasy. Rather they are products of reflection and speculation, which most people take for granted in their everyday lives. According to G. Chatalian, he conceived philosophy “essentially as the pursuit of wisdom” and consequently, “the search for the guide to life. ” For a genuine philosopher, two things are required in this view, they are; Insight and Commitment to human well-being.
Considering the handbook of Epictetus, 1) believing that what you have is yours and what you don’t have is on its own, you will have no enemies, life will go easy. 2) Do not seek life to go your own way instead let it happen as do happen and life will be easy. PHILOSOPHY AS CRITICAL THINKING – This entails that human knowledge is always partial. If this is the case then the best intellectual attitude is that which does not take any believe or assumption for granted, but is ready to examine the grounds for the validation of a belief or opinion that is presented as being true or possible.
It is this attitude that the philosophical activities of critical thinking promotes. THE ENTERPRISE OF PHILOSOPHER – According to Dilthey, “the philosophic spirit” is both critical and reconstructive. Philosophers use or dominate their expertise by addressing certain questions, typically called philosophical questions. These questions are beyond the scope of specific areas of knowledge. The primary goal of philosopher in addressing these questions is, in the manner of Socrates.
Thus, philosophy is a kind of a rational inquiry that begins in doubt and ends in the generation of beliefs. TOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY – LANGUAGE and LOGIC are the two key tools of philosophy. According to A. J. Ayer’s point, language is the means to the achievement of the kind of clarity of thought without which the philosophical enterprise can hardly succeed language matters in philosophy because much of what philosophers do involves conceptual elucidation.
Logic also matters in the enterprise because much of philosophy has to do with providing good reasons for our view or positions. Secondly it is important because philosophers are generally concerns with the logical assessment of arguments. USE OF PHILOSOPHY – “Elevation” of mankind. The elevation as used in the context can be defined in terms of; enlightenment, open-mindedness, breading of sensibility and so on.
Also, it stimulates people to think about the basic problems of existence as they affect them as individuals and as social collectives. PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE IN THE AFRICAN CONTEXT – philosophy has a very importance role to play in the production, clarification and propagation of the ideas and values guiding the thought and life of people. Also it promotes the kind of self understanding that would provide some basic for determining the kind of social-cultural that will enable Africans with the challenges of contemporary life.