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Philosophical Tools, Sept 7th.docx

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Brian Lightbody

th PHIL 1F91 September 7 , 2012 - Knowledge is justified true belief - If P is Q, Therefore P is Q Lecture One: Philosophical Tools Chapter One from Ultimate Questions What is Philosophy? (Ultimate Questions page 1-14) (What is X?) - The best way to understand what "philosophy" is, is to ask what does it do, what is its nature? - Sometimes philosophers will as what something is by asking what X qua X. Qua is Latin and means: "as it is". - Example: What is the human being qua human being? What is being qua being? What is philosophy qua philosophy? Philosophy defined:  Philosophy tries to provide a "big picture view of the universe" by asking "open questions". For example; what is the universe? What is the meaning of life? What is there something rather than nothing? Why was I created?  These are all philosophical questions because a clear-cut answer to any of them will always be incomplete. What is Justice? - Justice is fairness Two other disciplines that ask big picture questions: Mythology and Theology - Mythology tries to explain the "big picture" via stories. Muthos means "story" and Logos means "principle" or "the study of". Thus, mythology is the study of stories. - Theology also tries to explain the big picture. Theos means "God" and Logos means "study of", thus Theology is the study of god. Differences between philosophy and theses other disciplines - Philosophy does not use stories nor does it depend on revelation. Instead, philosophy uses reason - Philosophers use arguments to support their beliefs - Indeed, Philosophy means the love (Philo) of wisdom (Sophia). Hence, the philosopher is the lover of wisdom The Relationship between Philosophy and Science - If philosophy tries to answer "big picture questions" by using reason, what then is the relationship between philosophy and science? - Answer: Where science answers "big picture questions" via experimentation, philosophy instead answers such questions conceptually, Rauhut puts the difference this way: Philosophy vs. Science  “We can define philosophical questions as questions that involve conceptual analysis and that require for their solution more than observations and experimentation. Philosophical questions are open questions in the sense that we cannot easily predict what would 1 th
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