Philosophy 201

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Study Guide: Lesson 1
What is Philosophy?

Lesson Overview

Welcome to this introductory course in philosophy. For our first lesson, we are going to examine the question: What is philosophy? There are 4 ways you can get to know what a discipline is: define it, describe it, contrast and compare it with other disciplines, and finally experience it. In this first lesson, we will aim to accomplish the first 3 of these activities. The rest of the course will be an exercise in experiencing philosophy.

Tasks

View and take notes of the presentation, “Misconceptions about Philosophy”.

Read and take notes from chapter 1 of Philosophy: Critically Thinking about Foundational Beliefs, “What is Philosophy?” As you read, make sure you understand the following points and questions: * List 4 reasons students often presuppose a low view of philosophy. * Know Socrates’ quote: What is the unexamined life? What did he mean when he said it wasn’t worth living? * Know the etymology of the word “philosophy.”

* Know the working definition of “philosophy” and explain each of its elements. * List and explain each of the 6 characteristics under the description of philosophy. * Contrast and compare philosophy with religion, science, and art. How are they different and how are they similar? * Explain the value of experiential knowledge in distinction to propositional knowledge.

Terms

Make sure you fully understand the following terms and concepts:

* The unexamined life * The rational animal * Normative claim * Wisdom * Philosophy * Critical examination * Clarification * Justification * Evaluation * Foundational beliefs| * Presupposition * First-order discipline * Second-order discipline * Ambiguous * Vague * Worldview * Scientism * Propositional knowledge * Experiential knowledge|

List 4 reasons students often presuppose a low view of philosophy. 1. It’s the image that one has to be...
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