What is Philosophy? Essay

1504 Words May 24th, 2011 7 Pages
PHIL 201
Study Guide Lesson 1: What is Philosophy?
Points
1) Three preliminary qualifications in studying philosophy – 1) it is impossible to distinguish rigidly and conclusively between what counts as a philosophical problem and what does not – borderline cases / 2) none of the characteristics we shall examine is unique to philosophy; each by itself may be found in another discipline (approximations that, when applied collectively, describe reasonably adequately a broad range of philosophical issues) / 3) when it comes to describing what all (or nearly all) philosophical problems have in common, it is useful to bear in mind that philosophy always begins in wonder (asking what everything is made of or debating the ethical implications
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They do NOT generate empirical predictions. / Empirical claims are not only verifiable, they are also falsifiable. – One that is capable of being disproved. ** Philosophy theories are NOT empirically falsifiable.

7) The relationship between empirical facts and philosophical arguments – Briefly, one or more empirical premises are usually included in philosophical arguments. And every philosophical argument must contain at least one nonempirical premise, for example, a definition. (If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a philosophical argument.) / Empirical facts, then, are relevant to philosophical arguments, although they do not play the decisive role they often play in science. To determine just how relevant those facts may be, it is necessary to examine the underlying assumptions of an argument. > Differences of assumptions. Either way, the relevance of empirical considerations must be determined in the light of the underlying assumptions. Terms
1) Philosophy – critical examination of our basic beliefs concerning reality, knowledge and truth, and our personal and social values (analytical)

2) Clarification – what does this mean

3) Justification – is it true (good reasons to believe)

4) Evaluation – what is its significance and value (important or trivial)

5) Presuppositions – beliefs that we normally do not question but usually assume are true (assume chair would hold your weight) – assume but don’t critically think

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