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Module 1 : What Philosophy is: The meaning of Philosophy

MOTIVATION:
1. What do you know about Philosophy? Is there really a need to study this?
2. How can we distinguish a holistic perspective from a partial point of view by doing philosophy?
3. When do you Philosophize?
PRE-READING
In order to take off on the flight of philosophical discussion find the contribution of the
following ancient philosophers:
Thales
Anaximander
Anaximenes
Pythagoras
Heraclitus
Parmenides
Empedocles
The Nature and Why of Philosophy
Corazon L. Cruz
It is in the very nature of philosophy that man searches for the meaning of himself and the
world. It can truly be said that philosophy was born the very first time man started wondering at what
he saw around him.
To the early Greeks, philosophy was a superstar of a subject. They looked with favor ...on a
total world picture, in the unity of all truths whether they were specific, ethical, religious, or aesthetic.
A Greek philosophos was concerned not only with particular types of knowledge, but with all types.

The philosophic tradition is a must; so is personal reaction to it. William Luijpen says it very
well in the preface of his work, Phenomenology and Metaphysics:
In the realm of philosophy it is not possible to be an authentic thinker unless
we allow tradition to play an inspiring role. The so called classical work of the past
embody the collective history of what mankind has seen. Those works became
classical precisely because their authors were the first in giving verbal expression
to a seer often was like the voice of the crying in the desert. Only later, sometimes
even only much later, others also began to see what he had seen. What we and
our contemporaries now see we always owe also to the efforts of what others
have seen before us.
With this, Robert Johann states the need of the exposition of the students to the philosophic
tradition:
As the French philosopher Blodel once observed, philosophy is not to explain
life but to help constitute it. By making man aware of the implications of his actions,
of the range and scope of his life, it lifts that life to a level that cannot be otherwise
reached. It is a level on which man is faced not with the disposition of things or the
mastery of the world that surrounds him, but with the disposition of himself, and the
decisions that determine his own meaning. If on this level he finds no ready-made
answers that can be grasped independently of his personal commitments and the
experience to which they give rise, it is nevertheless no slight service of philosophy
to make him aware even of that.(William Luijpen, preface, Phenomenology and
Metaphysics, 1965)
And hence, studying philosophers their life and their works raises the perception as well as
the quality of man's own life. As C. E. M. Joad says:
The General thinking of the great tradition of philosophy is that, if we live
as we ought, we shall know things as they are, and that if we see things as they are,
our vision will help us live as we ought. This is not merely a creed for the learned.
It is a faith which many simple folk have embraced. Thus philosophy provides men
less with a faith by which to live than a scale of values to regulate their living.
These values can serve not only as ideals to guide the individual's life, but as ends
to direct the actions of all the mankind (C.E.M. Joad, Philosophy, 1996)
GUIDE QUESTIONS:
1.
When does philosophizing starts?
2.
What were the concerns of the early philosophers?
3.
What are the classical and their importance to mankind?
4.
According to Blondel, how does philosophy explain and constitute life?
5.
What is the importance of studying the philosophers, their life and their works?

AFTER READING
In a small group, create a poster showing the ancient philosophers and their contributions or
concepts and their importance in our way of thinking in the present day. Write the title of the poster and
the insights on a piece of paper. Display the poster along with the other posters of your classmate for
an exhibit.
EVALUATION
Write a short essay entitled Man and Philosophy. Try to answer the following questions in your
essay:

Define philosophy in your own words. What is its relevance to the life of the people in the past
and the present day?

Do you agree with the statement that philosophy raises the quality of man's life? Why or why
not?

Who can be a philosopher? How can you be a philosopher and what is your philosophy in life?

Module 2: Doing Philosophy

1.
2.
3.

MOTIVATION:
Is there a process of philosophizing?
How can we recognize human activities that emanated from deliberate reflection?
How can you do a philosophical reflection on a concrete situation from a holistic perspective?

PRE-READING
Watch the Video Poetry by Marco Antonio R. Rodas. In a piece of paper write what comes into
your mind after watching the presentation. Present your work to the class.
Antisipasyon
Marco Antonio R. Rodas
Walang maaaring makasuway
sa pwersa ng grabidad.
Tulad noong sumusuhay pa lamang
ang aking muwang, marahil,
sa labis na pagkabigla, nabitiwan
ng aking ama ang iniinom n'yang kape
nagkapira-piraso ang tasang porselana
dahil sa balita. Tiim bagang
ang kanyang tugon sa usisa
ng aking paglingon:
Tanungin mo ang iyong ina.
Biglang may kumirot, sugat,

marahil nga'y batang sugat,


lumaon
hanggang
ngayon hindi maalis-alis
sa aking puso
ang salubsob
Tuwina'yaking pinupulot
ang lahat ng mga nalalaglag bakasakali,
maipon ko at mabuo ang mga piraso ng porselana:
panyo ng dalagita,
aklat ng kolehiyala,
maluwag na singsing
ng isang may asawa,
belo ng biyuda
Kahit na maintidihan ko ang mga dahilan
sa kinatagal-tagalan, palaging nananaig
ang nakaraan. Pare-parehas lang
sila ng aking ina. Maganda;
may alindog ng palaging pagkalula.
Sa kaligta ng Pisika'y
dinuraan ko ang langit sa mukha ko
pumatak.

Insights
Corazon L. Cruz
one sees into something more than what meets the eye . It is what philosophers call
insights.
Insight men have had ever since they used their intelligence and power of reflection. The
history of philosophy shows that men have seen and noticed things around them, thought and pondered
on these, and acted on their reflections.
Father Roque j. Ferriols, S.J., in his article Insight, says there are two things to be considered
regarding an insight:

The insight itself

What do I do with the insight


I heard moonlight in Debussy's Claire de Lune, I saw moonlight in my mind. I thought
of love, I felt love, and I wrote a sonnet about it.

1.
2.

Father Ferriols mentions two techniques, among other techniques, in handling insights:
Use of metaphors
Use of conceptual analysis

According to Father Ferriols, abstraction is one of the tools often used in the analysis of
insights. An abstract thought is called a concept and analysis by abstraction is called conceptual
analysis. He warns, however, that there is a danger here: it can deiccate an insight. so, he
suggests one should return to the concrete fullness of the original insight.
Permit me to refer to one of my personal experience. A few months after my father's death, I
was caught by a typhoon-like winds and rains on my way home. From our subdivision entrance it was
more than five minutes walk to the house. There were no houses on both sides of the road. I was afraid
of being carried away by the wind. In my desperation I prayed. I asked my father for help, reminding
him, you know how terrified I am of the wind. (typhoon Yoling had blown off our entire roof and my
father and I almost died.) Suddenly I was aware: there was no more wind. There was no more rain.
At the gate of our house, my youngest brother was waiting for me. He was apologetic. I was
really going to fetch you, he said, but I couldn't because of the strong wind and rain. I asked, When
did they stop? and he said, Just now. From that incident, I saw two things:
1.
The power of prayer
2.
The ties that bind the living with their beloved dead.
Insight is only for the aware, for those who have eyes that see. It is not for the insensitive, for
the dense. It is for those who stops to listen, who can feel pain, who can cry it is insight first that is
philosophized. To me it takes a special person to philosophize. Poetry is for the elite, Father
Harry Furay told a student once. So is insight. So is philosophy in its finest hour.
GUIDE QUESTIONS:
1.
What are insights?
2.
According to Father Ferriols what are the two things to be considered regarding an insight
3.
Give two techniques, among other techniques, in handling insights
4.
What is abstraction?
5.
What is a concept?
6.
What is analysis by abstraction?
7.
What should be done to avoid deiccation of insight?
AFTER READING:
A Note on the Text
Insight is seeing not with our eyes (though our eyes often play an important role in it) but with
our powers of thinking. When we want to clarify and deepen our insight or to fix it in our minds, we do
something with it.
There are many ways of doing something with an insight. It shows that certain insight are so
rich that they cannot be exhausted by our efforts to clarify them. We may explore them in many ways
and along different levels, but some superabundance of the original insights always remains beyond the
reach of our techniques.

Insights permeates the process of doing something with an insight. We need insight to see
whether a given conceptual analysis of a given insight does probe deeply into it instead of merely
classifying its superficial aspects.
Thus, we ask: why do certain insights resist all efforts to explore them completely? Because
these insights bring us into the very heart of reality and reality is superabundantly rich. The richness of
these insights then is the richness of reality itself. And the stance of a human being facing reality has
always to be a tension between a sense of knowledge and sense of ignorance.
EVALUATION:
In your Philosophy journal write your own unforgettable experience/s and the insights you got
from it. How does that experience change your point of view in life? The rubrics for the entry would be
as follows:

40% Insights
30% Content
15% Presentation of Ideas
15% Coherence

ENRICHMENT:
In small groups share your paper to your classmates.

Module 3: The Value of Philosophy in Life

MOTIVATION:
1.
Can life be connected to philosophy and philosophy to life?
2.
How does philosophy broaden our view about life and its real meaning?
3.
Is there such thing as truth and meaning?
PRE-READING:
Look for the video in YouTube entitled Plato on: The Allegory of the Cave posted by the School
of Life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWlUKJIMge4). This video explains the philosophical
inquiries of Plato about the reality.
What is your reaction to the video? Share your reaction to the class.
BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE:
The theory of knowledge according to Plato can be summed up to his doctrine of the two
worlds: world of matter and the world of forms. The world of matter is the material world where we
are now. While the world of forms is something that is changeless, eternal, and nonmaterial essences or
patterns of which the actual visible objects we see are only poor copies.
For Plato, knowledge through sense perception is impossible for the reason that the material
things that sorround us are not perfect and real. We can only have real knowledge through the forms
from which these material things are patterned.

Reflections on Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"


(blog posted head to headline, February 22, 2012)
In Platos Allegory of the Cave the allegory is referring to the false truth
in which man puts his faith. The allegory is a cave of men chained with their
heads forced to remain forward facing toward a wall. Behind them is a fire
serving as a light source to allow for others to create shadow against the wall in
which the prisoners are facing. Like a puppet master pulling the strings of a
marionette, the shadows are created to dance on the wall for the prisoners to
see, leaving them no choice but to name the false image and assert false
truths about the sounds and sights they are shown.
Plato refers to the chained men as prisoners. I dont believe it is simply

because they are chained up in a cave but rather that they are being fed lies
and forced to live a life accepting this false reality as truth, a sort of inevitable
self-delusion. They are never allowed to come into the light and learn of real
truths. So Plato asserts that prison is one where an individual is not allowed to
learn truth or think and act based on actual reality but rather off false ideals and
incomplete information.
Today we are fed so many misleading truths by multitude of media
streams. TV and News stations have 24 hours to fill, endless money with
countless strings attached, and an agenda to push. With these resources and
goals they are able to build their own publicly asserted caves in which we are
the prisoners looking at one false image after another, in this case it isnt a wall
with shadows but a TV or computer with flashing images leading us down a
thought path that is skewed by their desire to control our thoughts like that of a
puppet master and his puppet.
I will back this up with two examples I had heard a while back that forced
me to examine all information, and sources, from where I was being fed
information. The following link is to a study about the effect of heavy media
coverage of violent crime despite the drop in actual crime. And the excerpt
below is from a paper from a political scientist which finds the same.
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~digger/305/crime_cultivation_theory.pdf

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, live streaming associated press aps for
cell phones and all the other instant information I find it hard to filter the real
images from the shadows. I have to assert effort to discern the truths from
propaganda that is constantly being spewed at anyone who will listen, or
read. With mass communication evolving so rapidly and allowing less credible
sources to reach literally millions of people we must be very careful about
shackling ourselves and willingly looking at the reflections but must use the
same medium to fact check and ensure we are getting truthful information.

In short, my Cave is on of complacency and instant


acceptance. The unwillingness or awareness to fact check
things I hear before making decisions based on the
information. As a prisoner in todays world I have the choice
whether to leave the chains on and continue to look at the
wall or to ascend into the light and take my whole self from
becoming
to
being.
(http://headtoheadline.blogspot.com/2012/02/reflections-onplatos-allegory-of-cave.html)
GUIDE QUESTIONS:
1.
What is the world of matter?
2.
What is the world of forms?
3.
Can we have an authentic and real knowledge about the reality according to the philosophy of
Plato?
4.
For the prisoners in the cave, which holds the true? The shadows that are casted from the light

5.
6.
7.

or the objects where the shadows are being casted upon?


Like the author, do you consider yourself as a prisoner in a cave?
What is your cave that holds you from attaining the truth? Do you intend to go out of it?
Does our media play an important role in presenting truths? Can they manipulate it? How?

AFTER READING:
In a small group, browse over Facebook the status of your friends, newsfeed and trending
topics. Cite some international, national or local issues as examples of the shadows that block
persons from having real knowledge about the truth.
EVALUATION:
Discuss to the class the outcome of your group and make comparisons with the outcome of
others. Do they connect with the other group? How?
ENRICHMENT:
First, go to YouTube and search for the video entitled What is wrong with the media
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwPdAZPnk7k). Post a Facebook status about the reality of the
Philippine politics and how can the news be inverted and manipulated for the benefit of some.