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PHILOSOPHY

In these Philosophy course we were given a basic knowledge of several


philosophers whose ideas have shaped the world as we know it. The teachings of
the ancients have been passed down to the great thinkers that followed them, and
these old bits of wisdom influence even the philosophers of today. In a way, these
ideas were never invented but simply handed down and cultivated through the
ages to become the knowledge that we gather today. I have loved learning about
the classical thinkers and the great minds of the middle ages. I have discovered
the connections between the modern philosophers and all those that came before
them. And in the end I have found myself having a better understanding of the
world around me and the people who bring it to life.

Entering this course, I predicted that I would be learning about ideas that
were too challenging for most people to think about and therefore tedious to
consider. But I was surprised to find the philosophers I studied asked the same
basic questions that everyone has inside; the basic need to understand our
existence. This course has given me the tools to create my own personal
philosophy and think for myself. But as I realize that I have only scratched the
surface of this knowledge. I must remember the wisdom of Socrates: “the more I
know, the more I understand how little I know. “ Nevertheless, the passion to
question and think is something I have gained by studying philosophy, and it’s a
passion I will carry with me throughout my life.
METHODS OF PHILOSOPHIZING

I think I have applied most of these philosophical methodologies in philosophy


classes. First off, the logical analysis is a method we employed in various
exercises for my reasoning class. The conceptual analysis is something I am
doing quite a bit of right now in my European Contemporary Though class through
examining such terms as “democracy”, “freedom” and “sovereignty”. I also
experience this methodology through some of the Save Our Constitution panel
discussions. I took a whole course basically just about the method of
deconstruction in the Sociology of Knowledge class I took last
semester. Phenomenology and one that is not on here but seems quite similar to
phenomenology, “introspection”, is something I have been doing on my own since
I was seventeen. It is, in many respects, my self-therapy as I struggle to reflect on
my life experiences and the meanings or lack thereof that they so entail. Also, in a
class I am taking now, Feminist Philosophies, we were just reading an essay by
Iris Marion Young titled Menstrual Meditations, where young talks a lot about
Heidegger’s methodology of exploring oneself by going into and through and
reflecting upon one’s moods. The Philosopher as Public Intellectual is a method
that I would like to utilize more often, especially once I am out of school. The
example I have given through my article about democracy matters I actually got
published a few weeks ago in the hill news. In all, I think I have applied most, if not
all, of these methods whether in courses or just in my everyday life.

A couple methods that I would like to explore in more depth in my own


philosophical activities are the philosophy as conversation method and the two
respective comparative methods. I believe these two methods could be
synthesized in a way as to facilitate a true dialectic between a diversity of
philosophical positions. All too often philosophy is only talking to itself. While the
comparative methods might still be subject to this problematic I believe the
philosophy as conversation method could really serve as useful tool to bridge the
gap between the formally philosophical and everyday experiences. The
comparative method is one that I in fact employed in my first philosophy class
called Humanities which I had in my senior year in high school. I believe this
method is most necessary in terms of its political implications. I say this because
the current methods of “Identity Politics” have fragmentized and specialized the
Left in comparison to the what I would consider the over-specialization of
academia. While particular groups on the left such as women’s liberation, civil
rights, socialists, gay rights and environmental organizations fight for there own
particular ends, they all too often fail to form coalitions as they instead fight (both
internally within organization and externally between different movements) for the
same resources and media attention. I firmly believe that the Left needs to bridge
this gap if it ever hopes to achieve any of its particular goals in a sustainable
way. Thus, if I choose to return to academia my work will most surely focus on
making these connections and explicit comparisons between different social
movements and between different philosophies.
I think if there is one method here that most reflects my own philosophical work it
would be either phenomenology or deconstruction. As I already mentioned I think
I’ve been doing phenomenology for some time now, and I believe in the necessity
of looking critically and reflectively first and foremost at one’s own experiences. I
believe that the deconstruction and phenomenological method are implicit within
one another. If there was anything I learned in Sociology of knowledge it is the
reciprocity by which our epistemology is created and legitimized by particular
subjectivities with particular intentions (usually power). Only by understanding how
one’s own sincere intentions figure into this power struggle can one begin to
determine how to change the system. One cannot do this by simple abstraction for
there is no view from nowhere. The key is to be honest with oneself and one’s
intentionality, for it is my contention that only from within the system may the
system ever be altered.
THE HUMAN PERSON AS AN EMBODIED SPIRIT

One of the dominant themes in the course Introduction to the Philosophy of the
Human Person is the idea that the human person is an embodied spirit. But first of
all, we need to define terms here because, as it appears, the meaning of the
concept “embodied spirit” is not directly clear to students who do not have a
strong background and orientation in philosophy. So, what do we exactly mean by
“embodied spirit”?
The most direct connotation that comes to mind when we say something is
“embodied” is that it is being materialized or incarnated. Hence, when we say
“embodied spirit”, we normally thought of a spirit being incarnated. However, the
idea of the human person as an “embodied spirit” does not necessarily refer to the
incarnation or materialization of spirit as an immaterial entity. The embodiment of
the spirit in the context of Christian philosophy (as is well known, the concept of
the embodied spirit is specific to Christian philosophy) specifically refers to the
inseparable union of body and soul. Thus, when we say “embodied spirit” we
mean that the body is not separate from the soul, just as the soul is not separate
from the body.
So, when we say that the human person is an embodied spirit, we specifically
mean that the human person is the point of convergence between the material
and spiritual entities, that is, between the body and soul. We cannot talk,
therefore, of the human person without the union of body and soul, just as we
cannot talk of anything without the union of (as Aristotle would have us believe)
matter and form.
Now, to understand the specificity of the human person as an embodied spirit is
important because aside from the fact that it enables us to know our potentialities
and limitations, it also exposes us to a thorough and deeper understanding of
ourselves as a unique creature united by body and soul. With this caveat in mind,
let us now proceed to an engagement with one of the most famous philosophers
in this particular scholarship, namely, Aristotle.
THE HUMAN PERSON IN THE ENVIRONMENT

This essay is important for the students to understand the dynamic interplay between the human person and
her environment. It will enable them to become aware of their relationship and its concomitant responsibilities
toward their environment. It also presents the pressing environmental issues in our society and their impact
on the lives of human persons. Moreover, it presents different philosophical views on the environment that will
help the students understand their role in the preservation and conservation of natural resources. Lastly, this
essay will enable the students to become aware of the different environmental risks and, thus, lead them to
formulate some alternatives that aimed at the protection and conservation of the environment.

With this, the essay will then lead the students to acquire the four learning competencies, namely, the ability
to: 1) Notice disorder in the environment; 2) Notice things that are not in their proper place and organize them
in an aesthetic way; 3) Show that care for the environment contributes to health, well-being and sustainable
development; and 4) Demonstrate the virtues of prudence and frugality towards the environment.

Discussion and Analysis Heraclitus, a Western philosopher in the ancient period once argued that the world
is in constant change. For him, the world involves an ongoing process governed by the law of change
(“Heraclitus,” 1995). This simply means that everything in this world is continuously flowing and moving in
some respect. As we can see, the same principle holds true to our environment. Many of us may not notice it,
but our environment undergoes an unending process of transformation. This is manifested by the rapid
growth and developments in our society, which have made our lives easy and more convenient. Take, for
instance, the creation of mobile phones and electronic gadgets, infrastructure projects, building of tall edifice
and establishments, concreting of farm to market roads, creation of cellular phones and mobile gadgets,
production of cars and other vehicles. Indeed, these things gave us leisure and allowed us to do things
easier. Thus, at first glance, this constant change, as Heraclitus views it, works for the benefit of humanity.