- Feb 25 Sat 2012 18:14
- Feb 11 Sat 2012 12:34
Listen to part of a lecture in a philosophy class. Professor:
Welcome to Philosophy 102, "The Western Philosophical Tradition." I'd like to begin today, by introducing the concept of philosophy. We need to start with an understanding of what philosophy is, and what sorts of questions we ask in philosophy. There are a few important terms that we will cover today. These terms are, er, going to be important, important, throughout this course. First of all, what is philosophy?
Is it, uh, what people used to think? Professor:
People used to think? You mean before television? Well, "philosophy", we get the word from the Greek, which is, well, appropriate because we get the uh, foundations for Western philosophy from uh the Greeks. So the word "philosophy" actually comes from two words. The word philoas inPhiladelphia, "the city of brotherly love," or philo - philanthropic, love of mankind... the word philomeans love. OK. Sophia. Sophia, do you know what your name means?
How appropriate. Sophia, as in "sophistry," means "wisdom." Thank you, Sophia. So a philosopher is a lover of wisdom. So does that mean you are all philosophers? I mean, you wouldn't be in my class, if you did not love wisdom, right? ...that, and to fulfill your western civilizations requirement.
Well, as we will see through this course, while philosophy has evolved over time, there are some basic questions that are common to all philosophers. There is also a common language to philosophy, terms and ways of approaching what is true. If you were to bring any of the great western philosophers back to life, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Hegel, Rousseau, Foucault, or any of the other western philosophers we will be looking at this term - they could have conversations about philosophy - they would understand each other's arguments. They would all speak each other's language. They would have said... They would said, they would have an easy time understanding the modern state of philosophy. In fact, they would have a much easier time of that than adjusting to other modern concepts. They would have a much more difficult time using, let's say, a microwave or the Internet. Well, I assume Michael Foucault knew how to use a microwave, but I think you get the point. Philosophy is a slow evolving discipline. A discipline that continues to ask the same sorts of questions. Questions like, "what is real," and "how do we know what we know," and "how we should treat one another." These questions do not change because they are just as important to us today as they were to the ancient Greeks.
There is a common lexicon, or language, a set of terms that we use in philosophy, in examining the feelings about these questions. So what are the key terms and concepts in philosophy, the love of wisdom? Well, in this language of love, there are five areas we will focus on. These are important - you might want to jot them down. The first is physics. As in your physics class, physics in philosophy deals with the theory of nature. It is the study of the material world of space and time. Philosophers ponder
- Feb 04 Sat 2012 01:40