INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
Brief Explanations of Different Philosophies for Non-Philosophy Majors
By: NELSON SALAZAR BADILLA, M.P.A.
I have been teaching the subject “Introduction to Philosophy” since 2008 wherein my students where enrolled in different curiculum programs like Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Computer Studies, Computer Engineering, etc. These non-philosophy major students were, of course, more interested in their chosen programs and not on philosophy. Thus, majority of them if not all were not active in class discussion about the different philosophies.
When the students are instructed to read a book on philosophy, they will do so because they were required to read. Other would not read. When I asked why they did not read, the students response—and compliant—was that they don’t understand what were written in the philosophy book. The students who read the book have the same complaint: they could not grasp what they have read, thus, they could not express profoundly their ideas during discussion or recitation.
The philosophies of different philosophies are really hard to understand. And these philosophies would not be understood further since the style of the authors of the philosophy books are not students friendly. This is the very reason and context of writing this book entitled “INTRODUCTORY NOTES IN PHILOSOPHY The Study of Different Philosophies of None-Philosophy Majors.” This writer firmly believed that a book specially for the topics that are hard to understand must be written in student-friendly style precisely because the very purpose of a book is to ensure that the students will learn and accumulate knowledge and not to impress them. Thus, this writer offers a bullet-type presentation of each topic as a style so that the purpose of this book is aligned with its style and also aligned with the target outcome: the students will learn and accumulate knowledge.
Nelson Salazar Badilla
Definition of Philosophy
Philosophy etymologically or originally speaking came from two Greek words “philo” and “sophia.” Philo means love, while sophia means wisdom. So, philosophy, originally defined as love of wisdom. Wisdom is generally viewed as the true, right or good discernment or judgment.
Love of knowledge is also correct etymological definition of philosophy, if this knowledge is used properly and correctly—or this knowledge pertains to the “best ends and the best means.”
With the said background of philosophy, the latter is defined as search for true, right and good meaning of different things. So, if someone has a philosophy in life or in pursuing education at tertiary level, then, this philosophy will guide him or her in life or in pursuing college education.
In effect, philosophy answers the reason or meaning of life. It answers the reason or meaning of taking up a college education after we finished high school. The reason and meaning are used in this discussion of philosophy in the context of “deep” reason and deep meaning. Therefore, not all reason and meaning are connected with philosophy. For example, a man has just finished eating to solve his hunger. The reason of eating is for the purpose of resolving the problem of hunger in a specific time. But, if we are looking forward on the reason of hunger of people in the Philippines for a long period of time, then, the context of reason here is philosophy because we are looking for truth on this social problem.
Birthplace of Philosophy
The philosophy that book is talking about is the Western philosophy only that started from Greece and developed in Europe. Eventually, it was ‘exported’ to the United States of America and other parts of the world. The philosophy of Chinese philosophers and Islam are known as Eastern philosophy....