Introducing Philosophy

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posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 06:20 AM
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Many people tend to avoid discussing Philosophy because they are afraid they are not intellectual enough, or that they need to have a vast knowledge of the subject before they can take part. I believe that while being intellectual and knowing the views of famous philosophers does help, it is not necessary in order to engage in Philosophy. One simply needs to have a relatively open mind and the willingness to ask questions and examine things.

So, how does one begin studying Philosophy? Well, there are a few avenues you can pursue. You might like to do an internet search for "philosophy" or search the name of a famous philosopher you have heard of such as Plato or Confucius. It's probably a good idea to decide whether you would like to study Western or Eastern Philosophy (or both) as they can be quite different in their approaches.

To get you started, here are a few websites you might find helpful:
About Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Philosophy Basics
Philosophy – Wikipedia
Philosophy – Space and Motion

Alternatively, you can ask yourself: "Which aspects of Life do I wish to examine and reflect upon?" The following is a list of some major branches of Philosophy:

Aesthetics - critical reflection on art, culture and nature.

Epistemology - the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief.

Ethics (moral philosophy) - the study of values and customs of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility.

Logic - the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration.

Metaphysics - the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world.

Philosophy of language - the branch of philosophy that studies language. Its primary concerns include the nature of linguistic meaning, reference, language use, language learning and creation, language understanding, truth, thought and experience, communication, interpretation, and translation.

Philosophy of mind - the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain.

Philosophy of science - the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, including the formal sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Political philosophy - the study of such topics as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority.

Social philosophy - study of questions about social behaviour (typically, of humans).

(Technically, the list of ALL known topics is longer, but that should be sufficient for now.)

I hope you have found this information useful and feel more confident in your approach to studying and discussing Philosophy. If you have any questions or feel I have left out some important guidelines, please reply. Remember to think critically and keep asking questions.

edit on 19/4/2013 by Dark Ghost because: fixed links




posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Good man, Dark Ghost.

Imagine a world where everyone took matters of philosophy seriously.

There are also some good books on the general history western philosophy I would recommend, simply because reading paper is easier on the eyes:
The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russel.
The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant.

Both books look at the philosophical opinions of the greatest philosophers from the pre-socratic onward, serving as a good (but sometimes biased) look at western philosophy as a whole.

As a starting point in western philosophy, I would recommend Spinoza's Ethics. Despite its difficulty (written geometrically like Euclid's Elements), it always inspires one to love philosophy with every re-read. In eastern philosophy I'd recommend Confucius's The Analetics.

Thanks for the post Dark Ghost.



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 06:41 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


"Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils — no, nor the human race, as I believe — and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day." — Plato.

* * * * * *

Thanks for the thoughtful words, friend.

Those are some very good recommendations.


edit on 20/4/2013 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2013 @ 03:30 PM
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Having studied Philosophy at University, I can guarantee that Stanford is a fantastically useful link. It has brilliant references. However, do be careful to check who wrote the articles! Generally, on a given topic, they ask an expert in field to contribute. Sometimes their own contribution is a little overstated. My only criticism.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 11:14 PM
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You pretty much hit all the big ones. Although I would also mention the distinction between Analytic and Continental philosophy, a distinction that transcends these specific fields of philosophy and is prevalent within all philosophical fields.

Another way to introduce philosophy is by studying a specific philosopher instead of a specific field. For this I would suggest one of the Greeks like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle... a Christian thinker like Aquinas or Descartes, some of the great modern thinkers like Nietzsche, Kant, Locke, Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Marx, or one of the great Eastern thinkers like Confucius or Sun Tzu.



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Philosophy is the allegorical measurement of reality's characteristics.

Science is the mathematical measurement of reality's characteristics.

Mathematics use allegorical symbols to calculate measurements.

The illogical mind is philosophical.

The logical mind is egotistical.

This message was brought to you by an egotistical philosopher.

edit on 4/23/2013 by Bleeeeep because: lol



posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Philosophy is the allegorical measurement of reality's characteristics.

Science is the mathematical measurement of reality's characteristics.

Mathematics use allegorical symbols to calculate measurements.

The illogical mind is philosophical.

The logical mind is egotistical.

This message was brought to you by an egotistical philosopher.

edit on 4/23/2013 by Bleeeeep because: lol


True. All thoughts come from the ego.





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