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Wil Waluchow (161)

What is Philosophy

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McMaster University
Wil Waluchow

What is philosophy? · It is not: o A recipe for happiness or fulfillment (Philosophers aren’t good at dress up) o It is not a transcending or mystical science o It is not just statements of opinion or personal ideology (philosophers always present reasons) · It is: o Unique in both in its methods o And nature and breadth of its subject matter (it is so damn wide and weird) o A science that attempts to address foundational questions § And attempts to answer them questions in a reasoned manner (rational thought) · Philosophy ‘s foundational questions are formed from many other branches of human inquiry and of our understanding of the world and connections between people and their surroundings · It is the level of inquiry that determines how philosophical some subject is, it can encompass any subject matter. o The more abstract an idea, the more philosophical an idea is. · For an example: science philosophy: o Are methods justified? o Could they be improved o Is there objective or scientific truth behind these experimentation · · For example: Law o Under what conditions does something count as a valid law (example: Apartheid regime in Africa) o Could an act of parliament that is deeply unjust really be a law? Or could it only be an act of violence? (THOMAS SOMETHING ) · For example time: o What is time? § Does universe exist in time? Or dis time an essential feature of the universe that is des time exist in the universe § Is time travel conceptually possible? Or is it thinking we could go back in time just…. · In conclusions: it challenges us to question beliefs assumptions and ideas we usually take for granted-which can be very hard to justify or even understand fully. · It is explications of things that are v
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