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Exercise 1

1. Philosophy is a social science, highest, but not for the reasons you said. Highest because it
considers all that has every been done in science and involves a structured debate about all
major subjects. The ultimate question is Why, to which the answer is "We don't know, but we want
to know and we're going to find out". So after Anaexander of Meltos wrote about the infinitely
dense mass that created the big bang we have the answer, but we look for other ideas and study
other opinions of creation, but the obvious one is turn to the bible.
Many nowadays would say that, contrarily, science is the highest form of philosophy. Philosophy,
they would say, lost its cachet with the advent of modern science. Gone are the dogma and
speculation of old: empirical inquiry and objective confirmation have been ushered in. Some
would seek to retain the validity of philosophy by claiming that philosophy is an extension of
science: it draws on science to pronounce on certain of the most general features of material
reality. See, for example, W.V. Quine on this. Still, thinkers of a less naturalistic bent would aver
for the superiority of philosophy over science.
Yes, but not for the reason you state.
Philosophy determines the epistemological criteria of all special sciences, without which science
would be lost. Epistemology is the "road map" of the logic used. You can't get there from here
without it.
Only after epistemological principles have allowed science to do its work can science be used to
alter or to uphold metaphysical doctrines.
Not just that. Scientists have, since long time ago, informally concurred on the concept that all
scientific enquiries ultimately lead to philosophical plane. Perhaps that is why the highest
qualification is also known as Ph.D, whatever the subject. All the knowledge revolves around and
within the human mind's level of perception, the deepest level being abstract concepts. That way
also, your question is aptly framed, excluding scope of ambiguous answers! And so, thanks for
that!

2. Being
For Aristotle, being is whatever is anything whatever. Whenever Aristotle
explains the meaning of being, he does so by explaining the sense of the
Greek verb to be. Being contains whatever items can be the subjects of true
propositions containing the word is, whether or not the is is followed by a
predicate. Thus, both Socrates is and Socrates is wise say something about
being. Every being in any category other than substance is a property or a
modification of substance. For this reason, Aristotle says that the study of
substance is the way to understand the nature of being. The books of

theMetaphysics in which he undertakes this investigation, VII through IX, are


among the most difficult of his writings.
Aristotle gives two superficially conflicting accounts of the subject matter of
first philosophy. According to one account, it is the discipline which theorizes
about being qua being, and the things which belong to being taken in itself;
unlike the special sciences, it deals with the most general features of beings,
insofar as they are beings. On the other account, first philosophy deals with a
particular kind of being, namely, divine, independent, and immutable
substance; for this reason he sometimes calls the discipline theology.
It is important to note that these accounts are not simply two different
descriptions of being qua being. There is, indeed, no such thing as being
qua being; there are only different ways of studying being. When one studies
human physiology, for example, one studies humans qua animalsthat is to
say, one studies the structures and functions that humans have in common
with animals. But of course there is no such entity as a human qua animal.
Similarly, to study something as a being is to study it in virtue of what it has in
common with all other things. To study the universe as being is to study it as a
single overarching system, embracing all the causes of things coming into
being and remaining in existence.
Philosophy is inescapable.
Your philosophy is your worldview, which is a backdrop for all thought and a context
for allknowledge. The decision about examining philosophy is between: 1) to make
your philosophy explicit, or 2) to be a slave to the subconscious notions, principles,
and other people's philosophies picked up throughout life. To ignore the topic of
philosophy is to be doomed to the second choice. Examining your philosophy will
allow you to discover and root out all errors and contradictions and allow you to more
easily acquire knowledge and to think in concepts rather than concretes.
A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have
no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you
define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and
scrupulously logical deliberation -- or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap
of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions,
undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance,
but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into
a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's
wings should have grown. Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It

This site explores the importance of philosophy and presents many of the important
concepts and questions that must be considered. It will tell you how to base your
philosophy on reasonrather than randomness, which will lead to clarity, certainty,
success, and happiness. The alternative to an explicit rational philosophy is an
indifference that leads to confusion and often failure.
Philosophy is not some arcane field important only to old men in ivory towers. It
explicitly asks and answers fundamental, inescapable questions such as "How can I
know something?" and "What should I do?" Without some answer to these questions,
no knowledge or action is possible. Again, the only choice is to explicitly examine the
underlying assumptions involved or to be at the mercy of the random flotsam picked
up throughout life.
3. The Importance of Philosophy

Philosophic thought is an inescapable part of human existence. Almost


everyone has been puzzled from time to time by such essentially philosophic
questions as "What does life mean?" "Did I have any existence before I was
born?" and "Is there life after death?" Most people also have some kind of
philosophy in the sense of a personal outlook on life. Even a person who
claims that considering philosophic questions is a waste of time is expressing
what is important, worthwhile, or valuable. A rejection of all philosophy is in
itself philosophy.
By studying philosophy, people can clarify what they believe, and they can be
stimulated to think about ultimate questions. A person can study philosophers
of the past to discover why they thought as they did and what value their
thoughts may have in one's own life. There are people who simply enjoy
reading the great philosophers, especially those who were also great writers.
Philosophy has had enormous influence on our everyday lives. The very
language we speak uses classifications derived from philosophy. For
example, the classifications of noun and verb involve the philosophic idea that
there is a difference between things and actions. If we ask what the difference
is, we are starting a philosophic inquiry.

Every institution of society is based on philosophic ideas, whether that


institution is the law, government, religion, the family, marriage, industry,
business, or education. Philosophic differences have led to the overthrow of
governments, drastic changes in laws, and the transformation of entire
economic systems. Such changes have occurred because the people
involved held certain beliefs about what is important, true, real, and significant
and about how life should be ordered.
Systems of education follow a society's philosophic ideas about what children
should be taught and for what purposes. Democratic societies stress that
people learn to think and make choices for themselves. Nondemocratic
societies discourage such activities and want their citizens to surrender their
own interests to those of the state. The values and skills taught by the
educational system of a society thus reflect the society's philosophic ideas of
what is important.

4. What is Metaphysics?
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy responsible for the study of existence. It is
the foundation of a worldview. It answers the question "What is?" It encompasses
everything that exists, as well as the nature of existence itself. It says whether the
world is real, or merely an illusion. It is a fundamental view of the world around us.

Why is Metaphysics important?


Metaphysics is the foundation of philosophy. Without an explanation or an
interpretation of the world around us, we would be helpless to deal with reality. We
could not feed ourselves, or act to preserve our lives. The degree to which our
metaphysical worldview is correct is the degree to which we are able to comprehend
the world, and act accordingly. Without this firm foundation, all knowledge becomes
suspect. Any flaw in our view of reality will make it more difficult to live.

Ontology, the philosophical study of being in general, or of what applies


neutrally to everything that is real. It was called first philosophy by Aristotle in
Book IV of his Metaphysics. The Latin term ontologia (science of being) was
felicitously invented by the German philosopher Jacob Lorhard (Lorhardus)
and first appeared in his workOgdoas Scholastica (1st ed.) in 1606. It entered

general circulation after being popularized by the German rationalist


philosopher Christian Wolff in his Latin writings, especially Philosophia Prima
sive Ontologia (1730; First Philosophy or Ontology).
Aesthetics, also spelled esthetics , the philosophical study
of beautyand taste. It is closely related to the philosophy of art, which is
concerned with the nature of art and the concepts in terms of which individual
works of art are interpreted and evaluated.
To provide more than a general definition of the subject matter of aesthetics is
immensely difficult. Indeed, it could be said that self-definition has been the
major task of modern aesthetics. We are acquainted with an interesting and
puzzling realm of experience: the realm of the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime,
and the elegant; of taste, criticism, and fine art; and of contemplation,
sensuous enjoyment, and charm. In all these phenomena we believe that
similar principles are operative and that similar interests are engaged. If we
are mistaken in this impression, we will have to dismiss such ideas as beauty
and taste as having only peripheral philosophical interest. Alternatively, if our
impression is correct and philosophy corroborates it, we will have discovered
the basis for a philosophical aesthetics.
This article seeks to clarify the nature of modern aesthetics and to delineate
its underlying principles and concerns. Although the article focusses on
Western aesthetic thought and its development, it surveys some of the
seminal features of Marxist and Eastern aesthetics.
Physical cosmology is the branch of physics and astrophysics that deals with the study
of the physical origins and evolution of the Universe. It also includes the study of the
nature of the Universe on a large scale.
Theodicy (from Greek theos, "god"; dike, "justice") is the

reasonable justification of the nature, structure & goal of evil in an


order of things considered to be created by God, considered as the
transcendent author of righteousness and all good things (an
eternal, absolute object or "Being" before all things).
Instead of considering evil as a mystery, theodicy tries to explain
the reasons for its presence and seeks to unveil its principles. In

this way, the civilizations of good will are in possession of the tools
to make (if possible) constructive use of evil, or to avoid it
altogether. All handlings with evil have to be from the side of
understanding, and true justice always gives the last word to
compassion.
Philosophical anthropology is the philosophical discipline that inquires into the
essence of human nature and the human condition. In making this inquiry it seeks to
unify or critique philosophically the diverse scientific methods and humanistic
approaches to answering the question of human nature.

Rational psychology, Metaphysical discipline that attempted to determine


the nature of the human soul by a priori reasoning. InChristian Wolffs division
of metaphysics, rational psychology was one of three disciplines included
under the heading of special metaphysics (the others being rational
cosmology and rational theology). Immanuel Kant, in his Critique of Pure
Reason, criticized the pretensions of rational psychology.
Logic (from the Greek "logos", which has a variety of meanings including word, thought,
idea, argument, account, reason or principle) is the study of reasoning, or the study of
the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. It attempts to distinguish
good reasoning from bad reasoning.

Epistemology is the study of the nature and scope of knowledge and justified belief. It
analyzes the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth,
belief and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well
as skepticism about different knowledge claims.
Ethics (or Moral Philosophy) is concerned with questions of how people ought to
act, and the search for a definition of right conduct (identified as the one causing the
greatest good) and the good life (in the sense of a life worth living or a life that is
satisfying or happy).
The word "ethics" is derived from the Greek "ethos" (meaning "custom" or "habit").
Ethics differs from morals and morality in that ethics denotes the theory of right action
and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice. Ethics is not limited to
specific acts and defined moral codes, but encompasses the whole of moral ideals and
behaviours, a person's philosophy of life (or Weltanschauung).

EXERCISE 2
1. It means we often are inhuman in our attitudes, thoughts and actions.
It could have to do with the behavior of human beings. Some humans do not act in a humane
way. Our thoughts of acting human does not include the acts of cruelty or inhumanity, but some
people do have these traits.
Another answer could be that if you believe in the theory of evolution. That humans have derived
from apes, then we as human beings have some traits that aren't unique to the human race.

2. What makes us Human? Excrescency that`s what I thought. That`s what give us an identity
or a signature look. That`s what make us and that`s what make us human. They say "Homer
sometimes nods" which is an erudite way of saying "Nobody`s Perfect" and I agree with that
and I think the whole world agrees with it. We have our own flaws and imperfections, it might
be physically, mentally or spiritually. Some of us hate it, some of us is dying to fix it, a few of
us is taking advantage of it, half of us does not care at all, and not all of us are proud and
flaunting it. Some people might call us "cracked in the ring" or of little value or use, some
might label us "diamond in the rough" one whose unrefined external appearance or
ungraceful behavior belies a good or gentle character and untapped potential. One might
entitle us "feet of clay" an unforeseen blemish in the character of a person. A lot of
individuals might call us a "mote in the eye" or a fault or imperfection observed in a person by
one who is guilty of something equally or more objectionable. Many might tell us that we`re
"a rift in the lute" a flaw or imperfection, particularly one that endangers the integrity of the
whole; the one rotten apple that spoils the whole barrel or some might classify us "rough
edges" our characteristics or manners indicating a lack of polish, refinement, or completion.
Mistakes and flaws that`s what make us imperfect and imperfections make us human.
For me truly human is the human who understand other people feelings and don't judge
other people because of single behaviours. The real human also need something more than
"food and drink". The other feed for him/her is art which is needed to feed the soul.
I think that our mistakes are what make us human. Our choices and decisions are what
define us as a species.

3. Differences Between Humans (homosapiens) and Animals (Beasts)


There are several things that make humans different from other animals. Most of these differences
are easily seen. Here are a few small differences:
1.

Humans bury their dead out of respect. When a human dies, we all
feel sad emotions if we felt a strong bond with that person. We often have
elaborate burial ceremonies to show respect for our dead. However,
animals rarely do such a thing. Only a few animals have been observed to
throw a few leaves on their dead. But animals do not routinely bury their
dead like us humans.

2.

Animals are mostly driven on instincts. We humans also have


instincts, however, we can control them much better. We are mostly driven
by reason. Animals are driven much more by instincts, and only use some
reasoning. They have it pre-programmed in their minds from birth on what
to do in most situations. Isnt that amazing? Most animals from birth know
what foods to eat and how to eat them. They know how to reproduce,
where to migrate, and more. Even a baby turtle comes out of its shell and
immediately knows to swim towards the ocean. Incredible.

3.

Humans are aware of self, and contemplate the afterlife. Other


animals do not think of the afterlife. They tend to live in the now. They
live in the heat of the moment. Their main goals all day long are to eat,
sleep, mate, and survive. Humans, however, spend a lot of time thinking of
the future, past, and present. We think about ourselves and how we relate
to life. We think of what happens when we die.

4.

Humans feel a sense of right and wrong and good and evil. We all
have a basic conscience. Animals kill and never think twice. They kill for
food, and they kill based on instincts. They do not stop to think about if
they have sinned. When a human murders another human, it is out of
evil pre-meditation. We know better, but we murder someone anyways.
That is a huge difference. Most animals kill purely to eat, or to defend
themselves.

5.

Humans have a complex language and communication method


Humans can talk, write, read facial expressions, gestures, and more. Some
can even speak multiple languages. Animals do communicate, but they
cannot communicate with the level of a human.

6.

Humans use their brains in much more complex ways The


cognitive abilities of a human compared to an animal is incredible.
Humans can critically think, invent, find solutions to problems, and much
more. Animals are much more simple-minded. An anteater looks for ants all
day. A bear gets in the water and slaps salmon out. They never stop to
think of a more efficient way of doing things. The bear never creates a net
or constructs a fishing pole. They find something that works, and will
continue doing it. Humans will always seek out more efficient ways, and
even invent complex tools. Again, this gets back to our more
complex mental faculties.

7.

Technology We humans have the ability to quickly learn new


technology, and adapt and use that technology. We can create machines
and computers that help us to do work more efficiently. Even the most
complex animals do not share this feature. The only tool you will likely ever
see an animal use is a stick or a rock. And even then they look confused
and clumsy with it.

Humans and animals have a physical body. Humans and animals have a soul. Only humans have a spirit.
The voice of the spirit is our conscience, which can also decide against instinct or physical drives. Animals
cannot do this. Humans can base their decision on their free will, whereas animals adapt to nature and
their environment or to humans. Humans have to decide to either live in harmony with nature or not.
Animals do not make decisions about this, they just follow their instinct in that. Humans have the ability to
self-transcendent, so to live in devotion to a task, a person or God for example. Humans can even when
living in difficult circumstances, detach themselves from this situation with the defying power of the human
spirit. Humans are not controlled from their body and psychic condition, but can stand above suffering or
psychic or somatic conditions. Depending on ones own decision humans can always decide their own
attitude towards a situation, whereas animals do not have this capability. Added this later: The animal is
part of the world. The human being, however, is more then part of the world. We are co-creators.
similarities- both have to eat and drink to survive,

can get the same diseases.


both reproduce.
they have souls too.
they feel pain like we do.

differences - life spans.


they have fur on their bodies, we don't.
humans hunt for sport, animals hunt for survival.
we live indoors.
we don't hunt our food.
most animals are nocturnal, most humans are not.
animals have better smell, hearing and sight then humans.
they have claws, we have nails.
animals always mate within their own kind, humans mate interracially, example, black woman, white man.
EXERCISE 4
2. Aristotles emphasis on good reasoning combined with his belief in the scientific method

forms the backdrop for most of his work. For example, in his work in ethics and politics,
Aristotle identifies the highest good with intellectual virtue; that is, a moral person is one who
cultivates certain virtues based on reasoning. And in his work on psychology and the soul,
Aristotle distinguishes sense perception from reason, which unifies and interprets the sense
perceptions and is the source of all knowledge.
3.