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Lecture 1

PHLA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Simone De Beauvoir, Political Philosophy, Gottlob Frege

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William Seager

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Philosophy (PHLA10 – Reason and Truth)
Lecture 1
What is Philosophy?
Paul Gaugiun (1848-1903):
Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?
What is Philosophy? (Aristotle)
Big Questions
o‘is there a God?’
o‘what is existence?’
o‘what do we know?”
o‘what is consciousness?’
Unlike most things in the world there’s something happening inside of us. The
brain creates the conscious, but we don’t know why or how it happens.
People see different colours: i.e. someone seeing green but calling it red.
o‘how should we live?’ what is a good life?
investigated by reason
Use of arguments (some structure of thought that is supposed to lead to a conclusion)
The ‘Hand Off’
In the old days, people would ask “what is matter?’ and nobody knew. Some said
everything is water/fire. It was soon realized, that it was physical science. Once there is
work is involved, philosophers tend to let someone else do it (hand off). – Handing off
questions we know how to answer.
What good is philosophy? Without it there would be no cell phones (What is matter and
how can we manipulate it?)
The Main Branches of Philosophy
A toolbox for philosophy.
Aristotle wrote many things (“books”). One of the topics he wrote about was physics
(the nature of the material world.)
(The word “after” is “meta” in Greek. So the book he wrote after Physics, is called
Science says we investigate the material world. A metaphysical question is “what way
of thinking do we use to investigate reality?” In our world, we divide the world into
objects. Objects have characteristics that we call properties. On the otherhand, you
could compare the world to an ocean. A big pool of “stuff” with waves.
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