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LIBERTY PHIL 201 - Study Guide Lesson 2

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PHIL 201STUDY GUIDE: LESSON 2Philosophy’s General Importance and DivisionsLesson OverviewHaving 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 ofphilosophy. TasksRead 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 truthfulnessof 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. (Page 53)- List and explain the 5 reasons provided for why it is important to develop a philosophical mindset.1. Philosophy aids in understanding life better (Page 55)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. (Page 57)3. It aids in the task of clarification. (Page 58)4. Arguing. (Page 59)5. Cultivating a Worldview, A comprehensive system by which our knowledge can be categorized and examined. (Page 61)- What are the 2 benefits of examining and evaluating beliefs?1. Understanding life enhances our enjoyment of it.It makes life more joyful by satisfyingour intellectual appetites. (Page 54/57)2. Fulfills our epistemic duties. (Page 57)Page 1 of 6PHIL 201- 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.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. (Page 58)- 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. (page 59)- Distinguish between the 2 kinds of arguing in 4 ways.Angry dispute between two individuals:1. Negative emotions2. Attacking the opposing person3. Goal is to win4. Negative experiences (Page 60)Dispute not between competing individuals but between competing ideas:1. Rational2. Both attacking an issue or problem3. Goal is to find the truth4. Philosophers encourage it (Page 60) - What kind of arguing do philosophers do?Arguing that features a dispute not between competing individuals but between competing ideas. (Page 60) - What are 2 values for arguing in philosophy?1. It is the foremost way that we fulfill the justification aspect of critical examination. (page 60)2. Forces us to understand an issue better. (Page 61) - 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. (Page 62) Page 2 of 6PHIL 201- What are the 3 elements of a worldview?1. The beliefs in a worldview need to be internally consistent. (Page 62)2. External Comprehensiveness (Page 64)3. Coherence. (Page 66) - 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. (Page 63)- 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. (Page 65)- 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. (Page 68)2. The role it plays when individuals evaluate questions and problems in other fields. (Page 70)3. It plays in our ethical reasoning. (Page 71)4. How we relate with one another. (page 73)5. The way it opens and expands our minds to new ideas and options we may have never considered. (Page 73)- 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, decide what she wants to have accomplished and then, thinking backwards from the end, plan out her life. (Page 68)- Why are our daily choices important?These choices form our character and reflect and influence our worldview. (Page 69)- 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. (Page 70)- 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. (Page 72)Page 3 of 6PHIL 201- 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. (Page 73)- What was Bertrand Russell’s


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