LIBERTY PHIL 201 - Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 2 (4 pages)

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Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 2



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Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 2

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4
School:
Liberty University
Course:
Phil 201 - Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas
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PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE LESSON 2 Philosophy s General Importance and Divisions Lesson Overview Having discussed what philosophy is we now consider why it is important for all persons in general In the next lesson we will come back to the question of why it is important for Christians specifically to study philosophy In this lesson we introduce the idea of the philosophic mindset We will end by providing an overview of the different branches divisions of philosophy Tasks Read and take notes from Chapter 2 of Foreman s Prelude to Philosophy Why is Philosophy Important As you read make sure to understand the following points and questions What is meant by the philosophical mindset An attitude or an approach to life that involves regularly examining beliefs to ascertain what they mean whether they are true and what value they have A philosophical mindset approaches new information critically It involves questioning reflecting on and considering the meaning value and truthfulness of what we see read or hear How does the job vocation analogy apply to adopting the philosophical mindset Consider the difference between a job and an occupational vocation A job is a task performed in order to receive compensation It is not usually something individuals are tied to in any personal way and it usually does not affect persons in any deep manner A vocation is a way of life to which persons are called They may be compensated for performing their vocation but they are not in it for the money It is a part of who they are it forms an important part of their identity List and explain the 5 reasons provided for why it is important to develop a philosophical mindset 1 Philosophy aids in understanding life better 2 Examining and evaluating our beliefs fulfills our epistemic duties makes life more joyful by satisfying our intellectual appetites and pays proper recognition to the powerful effect our beliefs have on our actions and emotions 3 It aids in the task of clarification 4 Arguing 5 Cultivating a Worldview A comprehensive system by which our knowledge can be categorized and examined What are the 2 benefits of examining and evaluating beliefs 1 Cultivating a Worldview A comprehensive system by which our knowledge can be categorized and examined 2 Fulfills our epistemic duties What are the 2 respects in which clarification is important 1 It is important we are clear about what we believe for our own benefit Our actions motivations and feelings are predicated on our beliefs which means we need to be clear about what those beliefs are Page 1 of 4 PHIL 201 2 Clarifying terms and concepts is of utmost importance because our discussions with others about our beliefs are based on a shared understanding of what those terms and concepts mean Why is clarification important in philosophical discussions Because it is important to make sure that all participants are clear on the meaning of the terms involved If they are not they end up wasting time in fruitless discussion Distinguish between the 2 kinds of arguing in 4 ways Angry dispute between two individuals 1 Negative emotions 2 Attacking the opposing person 3 Goal is to win 4 Negative experiences Dispute not between competing individuals but between competing ideas 1 Rational 2 Both attacking an issue or problem 3 Goal is to find the truth 4 Philosophers encourage it What kind of arguing do philosophers do Arguing that features a dispute not between competing individuals but between competing ideas What are 2 values for arguing in philosophy 1 It is the foremost way that we fulfill the justification aspect of critical examination 2 Forces us to understand an issue better What is the difference between having a worldview and establishing a worldview Everyone has a worldview To cultivate a worldview is to reflect on our foundational beliefs to consider different options concerning them and to arrive at a good justification for holding the beliefs we do What are the 3 elements of a worldview 1 The beliefs in a worldview need to be internally consistent 2 External Comprehensiveness 3 Coherence If there is inconsistency in a worldview how do we determine what should change It depends on which beliefs have the best support in their favor What should we do when we encounter new information that challenges our worldview We account for it this might involve showing how the new information fits within our worldview List and explain 5 ways philosophy is practical 1 A person s worldview determines his ultimate goals and these in turn strongly shape everyday decisions Philosophy helps us consider what our goals for the future should be and how to best achieve them 2 The role it plays when individuals evaluate questions and problems in other fields 3 It plays in our ethical reasoning 4 How we relate with one another 5 The way it opens and expands our minds to new ideas and options we may have never considered What did Kierkegaard mean when he said we should understand life backward but live it forward There is wisdom in the idea that a person should look at the end of her life Page 2 of 4 PHIL 201 decide what she wants to have accomplished and then thinking backwards from the end plan out her life Why are our daily choices important These choices form our character and reflect and influence our worldview How is philosophy important to other fields of study No matter what discipline one is in whether it be business psychology or science one will eventually encounter basic philosophical questions How does the philosophical mindset help in moral decision making We need good reasons This process of finding moral justification for our choices involves thinking philosophically How does philosophy help us relate to other people Understanding one another is the basis for fruitful dialogue mutual respect and tolerance Philosophy helps us live and work together as we find ways to respectfully talk about our disagreements The more we understand philosophy the better we understand each other What was Bertrand Russell s point It opens our minds to new options and ideas It is the primary means of intellectual and spiritual growth It is the love of wisdom it is not merely wisdom s casual acquaintance or affable friend but a passionate lover View the video The Branches of Philosophy and then read Chapter 4 of Foreman s Prelude to Philosophy The Divisions of Philosophy Be able to identify the kinds of questions that come under each branch Terms Make sure you fully understand the following


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