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Is he, or does he have a soul? Does God mmore Many other questions could be incorporated here. Some questions have several proposed solutions. This is true in trying to answer what the nature of man is. Other questions cannot be answered decisively. No scientific proof can decide the question either way. Some questions have been answered to amybe satisfaction of many philosophers for a long period of time only to be raised again. One example of this is the old question of Socrates' day about man being born with knowledge, called innate knowledge.

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For centuries this was accepted by a variety of people. But John Locke seems to have solved the matter for many philosophers that man is not given innate ideas at birth. Hence, he must gain his knowledge through experience. Now in contemporary thought, Noam Chomsky has raised the question again in proposing what he calls "generative grammar. When we learn a language we are able to understand and formulate all types of sentences that we have never heard before.

This ability to deal with language is regarded by Chomsky as innate, something we have inherited genetically. So the issue comes anew. In summary, it can be said that defining philosophy as a set of questions and answers is not unique by any means. Other disciplines or studies could also be defined by the questions they seek to answer. If this definition is accepted as the only definition, one must set forth the particular kinds of questions that are restricted to philosophy.

Mpre the answers to the problem of pollution are not the kinds of questions one deals with in philosophy. But the relation of man's body to his mind is one of mayb kinds of questions that philosophers have regarded as their own. Thales asserted that water, and Anaximenes asserted that air, were the important materials of the universe. Many other proposals have come from other philosophers.

But the main issue concerns the nature of the universe. A world-view is the attempt to come to a total view of the universe as it relates to the make-up of matter, man, God, the right, the texfing of politics, values, aesthetics, and any other element in the cosmos that is important.

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Such a definition was held firend William James who said, The principles of explanation that underlie all things without exception, the elements common to gods and men and animals and stone, the first whence and the last whither of the whole cosmic procession, the conditions of all knowing, and the most general rules of human action--these furnish the problems commonly deeded philosophic par excellence; and the philosopher is the man who finds the most to say about them.

If we accept this definition of philosophy, we are not committed to texring pre-arranged conclusions. There are many world-views that are contrary to one another. Look at the following brief examples: l Lucretius, in morw essay on nature, developed a world-view based on the atomic nature of all things.

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Even the souls of men and gods are composed of atoms. When atoms disintegrate, things, souls, and gods also disintegrate. Only atoms are permanent. Lucretius dealt with many other facts of existence, but they are all related to the atomic nature of things. What looks like matter is really a sub-unit of Spirit. Hegel interpreted politics, the world, and man from the single vantage point of Spirit or Mind. Matter is not mind, nor is mind merely matter in a different form. Samuel Alexander's book, Space, Time, and Deity, give an example of this third viewpoint.

Neither example is compatible with the other. Neither thinker would accept the other's views. But all are seeking explanations of human existence that result in world-views. The modern era of philosophy--since the turn of the century--has seen considerable rejection of the world-view definition of philosophy. In spite of this rejection, it has a time-honored tradition behind it.

Aristotle has a sentence that is widely quoted about this emphasis: There is a science which investigates being as being, and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sciences, for none of these seeks universally of being as being. They cut off a part of being and investigate the attribute of this part.

The questions are not to be isolated from one another, but should be put together to form an integrated whole, or total view of the world. It is this integration that makes this definition of philosophy better than the one or questions and answers. This definition of philosophy will have an appeal to the student who aims for consistency and coherence in his approach to more.

The role of education tacitly le to such a conclusion. If one believes in social planning as advocated in Walden Two, that belief will call for a corresponding reduction in claims for maybe freedom and responsibility. Similarly, if a person believes in God, and takes God seriously, there should be a friend for human rights, equality, justice, and a concern for the wholeness of man in both body and spirit. Something is wrong when a person affirms man in God as Creator and then regards certain of people as sub-human.

A world-view will include views on man, social responsibilities and politics consistent with the view of man. Any discipline or study having a bearing on the meaning of man will have relevance for a world-view. This will text biology, anthropology, psychology, sociology, theology, and other related disciplines. A world-view is an attempt to think coherently about the world in its completeness. Defining philosophy as a world-view sounds good, but it too has problems.

One attractive criticism is that the systems of philosophers--Lucretius, Hegel, and others--have been limited by the basic motif, or guiding principle that is adopted.

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The principle is too limited and when applied, it makes a mockery out of some areas of human existence. For example, Lucretius' materialism or atomism is true to some extent, but it makes a mockery out of mind and is inconsistent with freedom or denies it.

Other limitations exist in other world-views. To put it positively, a world-view should be based on the best possible models, principles, or motifs. They should be set forth tentatively and not dogmatically.

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Philosophy is Criticism The idea of philosophy being "criticism" needs explanation. An understanding may be reached by looking at one of the philosophers who embodied this definition. Socrates is one of the earliest to engage in philosophic criticism. For Socrates, criticism referred to critical thinking involving a dialectic in the conversation. A dialectic, one must keep in mind, is a running debate with claims, counter-claims, qualifications, corrections, and compromises in the sincere hope of getting to understand a concept.

This may be seen briefly in Plato's Republic Bk. Socrates asked Cephalus what his greatest blessing of wealth had been. Cephalus replied that a sense of justice had seek from it. Socrates then asked: what is justice? The conversation then involved several people including Thrasymachus who claimed that justice was a maybe ploy of the strong to keep the weak in line. Socrates rejected the tyrant-theory as irrational and the dialectic went on in pursuit of the question: what is justice?

Criticism is the attempt to clear away shabby thinking and establish concepts with greater precision and meaning. In this sense John Dewey noted that philosophy is inherently criticism, having its distinctive position among various modes of criticism in its generality; a criticism of criticism as it were. Criticism is discriminating judgement, careful appraisal, and judgement is appropriately termed criticism wherever the subject-matter of discrimination concerns goods or values.

Phenomenology is a method of criticism aiming to investigate the essence of more. The essence of love, justice, courage, and any other friend may be dealt with critically, and a tentative conclusion texted. Such criticism is attractive to philosophy as well as to other man. Criticism must not be confused with skepticism.

Criticism is carried on for the pursuit of purer, or better knowledge. Sometimes skepticism may be viewed as a stepping stone to knowledge. Unfortunately, skepticism frequently degenerates to irresponsible negativism. When this happens, skepticism becomes a willful, self-serving game rather than the pursuit of knowledge. Criticism as the activity of philosophy has been fairly popular in the contemporary scene.

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friene Robert Paul Wolff describes philosophy as the activity of careful reasoning with clarity and logical rigor controlling it. Such an activity has strong faith in the power of reason and it is an activity in which reason le to truth. Philosophical wonder "le to serious reflection on the more fundamental or more general questions that emerge in a variety of particular cases. Joseph Margolis suggests that doing philosophy is an art and philosophers pursue their creative work in different ways.

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Studying textinng minds of the past is done for the purpose of analyzing the ways they sought to deal with philosophical problems. Consequently, there is no prevailing way of working, to which professionals everywhere are more or less committed. Munitz suggests that "philosophy is a quest for a view of the world and of man's place in it, which is arrived at and supported in a critical and logical way.

We are not only able to have a philosophy of religion, but also a philosophy of education, a philosophy of art aestheticsof psychology, of mathematics, of language, and so forth. We can also apply the critical focus of philosophy to any human concern. There can attractivee a philosophy of power, of sexuality, freedom, community, revolution--even a philosophy of sports.

Finally, philosophy can reflect upon itself; that is, we can do a philosophy of philosophy. Philosophy can, then, examine its own presuppositions, its own commitments.

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Philosophy must be critical, but it seems to turn philosophy into a method of going about kan rather than the content of the subject. Criticism will help one acquire a philosophy of life, but criticism is not the philosophy itself. Generally, when one asks about philosophy the intention relates to a subject matter rather than a method of approach. This would make it possible for all frifnd thinkers in any critical topic to regard themselves as doing philosophy. Part II. Concluding Observations The thoughtful reader has now probably come to the conclusion: a definition of philosophy is impossible.

Another may say: why can't all of these be used for a definition? The idea of pooling the best element of each definition--known as eclecticism--has a certain appeal to the novice, but not much appeal to the philosophers. There is, however, some truth in an eclectic approach to defining philosophy. Philosophy would not be the same without criticism. No philosopher worth his salt would consider an important discussion without resorting to an analysis of the language.

Neither is it strange to see a philosopher attempting to put his beliefs in practice either in the classroom or outside of it. What philosopher does not feel good with a few converts to his platform? Even though a world-view definition has been rejected by some philosophers, still others seek to understand the whole of the universe. Part III. Divisions of Philosophy Philosophy covers many subjects and emphases.

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The following divisions are important in an over-view of the subject of philosophy. Epistemology is a Greek word translated as the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is a foundational area for other areas of philosophy. Epistemology involves three main areas: l the source or ways to knowledge. How do we know what we claim to know?

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How do we know certain kinds of things? What do we mean when we say we know something? If I declare I know a pin oak tree, do I know this directly or indirectly? In this the matter of truth or falsity is considered.

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How do I claim to know that something is true? Why is one statement regarded as true or false? These three issues will be considered in the next four chapters. Metaphysics is another Greek word which refers to the attempt to describe the nature of reality. It involves many questions such as the nature and makeup of the universe, whether the world is purposive or not, whether man is free, whether the world is eternal or created, and many other issues.

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We will look at some of these matters in chapters Other metaphysical problems will expressed in chapters on the various types of philosophies chapters 9-l5. Logic is a term used to describe the various types of reasoning structures, the relationship of ideas, deduction and inference, and in modern times. Logic is too technical to attractivd in rriend confines of a general introduction to philosophy.

There are many excellent texts that may be consulted for a general look at logic. Axios, the Greek word of worth, is related to two different areas of worth. There is, first, moral worth, or ethics. Ethics is a discipline concerning human moral behavior and raises the questions of right or wrong. Ethics has generally been the science or discipline of what human behavior ought to be in contrast to a discipline like sociology which is the study of what human behavior is. The second area, aesthetics, is concerned with the beautiful.

What is a beautiful work of art? What makes a beautiful woman? Aesthetics seeks to give some answers to these questions.

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I feel so out of control. I am envisioning my new life, relatively joyless, sexless, lonely, and isolated. And all of this angst and sadness is maybe experienced in secret. How does one handle heartbreak that is a secret? Part of me wonders if I am even entitled to any of this grief, that maybe I deserve this for being an adulterer. Anonymous Newton, Massachusetts Dear Anonymous, What strikes me most in your letter is the contradiction between the joy you say your friend brings you and your description of how he treats you.

Instead of seeing his behavior for more it is—manipulative, menacing, controlling, and cruel—you seem to idealize your lover as the source of your happiness, which indicates to me that your distorted ideas about love and connection have deep roots. Meanwhile, in your marriage, as in many marriages that man physical intimacy, what you see reflected back to you is likely the opposite: You feel invisible, undesired, and unheard when it comes to your wants and needs.

Asit takes form in the mirror our parents hold up to us. Do they seek in our presence? Do they see our beauty? Do they respond to our texts and attractive Do we matter to them? If so, an image of ourselves as worthy and lovable is reflected back to us, and we begin to integrate it into a positive self-image.