Thinking About Philosophy

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SECTION A: A REVIEW OF CHAPTER 2 OF OLUSEGUN OLADIPO’S THINKING ABOUT PHILOSOPHY; A GENERAL GUIDE This chapter starts by introducing us to the areas which confuse students concerning philosophy, they are; the practical utility of their area of intellectual engagement, the usual impression of the philosopher as an intellectual generalist. A philosopher as intellectual generalist is one whose area of knowledge has no specific focus and whose skills of critical thinking and capacity for discernment, are nothing more than general intellectual ones. The phrase ‘general intellectual ones’ here means having a highly developed ability to think, reason and understand especially in combination with wide knowledge about essentially every aspects of life. The idea given about an intellectual generalist is not in any way wrong considering the preoccupation of early quintessential philosophers with cosmological speculation or the provision of guides (essentially morals) to life. Philosophy in this chapter is said to be involved in activities that provide solution to human problems, which is why it is described as a rational inquiry. It develops from doubts and it continues until a belief is established, whether it is true or not. Due to this, unending quality it possesses which only ceases when a belief arises, philosophy has no room for certitude or dogma. Philosophy is a quest for understanding which begins with a cluster of problems arising from our position as beings in the world. The problems recognized include that of nature of reality, relation between the mind and the world, etc. The recognized problems have three things in common: firstly, they are general nature, that is, these questions cannot be answered by accumulating facts nor carrying out experiments, but it requires elaborate explanation of facts. Secondly, philosophical questions are fundamental questions in the...
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