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The Big Questions in Life
A Book for the Thoughtful
By Miriam Pia (PD/ MA offered by Middlesex University 1999, SUNY Brockport cum laude 1994)
Table of Contents
1. Introduction – What is philosophy, and what is the goal of this book
*the love of wisdom, and the goal is to equip individuals to be able to practice philosophy using themselves, their own brains and feet with some guidance on how to do philosophy from this book.
2. What is the world really like? What is it made of? Is there a God particle? Ontology and the question of God.
three. How do we know what we know? What is knowledge? Is there such a thing as objective truth? *examples of historic experts: Aristotle, Immanuel Kant: the methods of the sciences, hard science, social science, the relevance of the intellect.
4. About sensible and bad or sensible and evil: what is it, and the way do we really know? Is there an absolute right and wrong? Does religion aid with this? Can individuals be moral without a god? Are ethics purely relative? – Does it just rely upon the culture?
5. What is the most sensible way to live? Closely related to what's the meaning of life?
What is philosophy? Translated literally from the Greek, it means love of wisdom. It has been around for approximately 3000 years in the West. It has been around as long or maybe longer in the Far East.
Another simple way to comprehend what philosophy is to describe it: the subject that tries to respond some of the questions in life that are hardest to respond. Philosophy takes more effort to practice than it does to just consider. For adult readers, the most obvious way you have seen this is every time you have taken a new job. The company often supplies a small flier. One paragraph of the flier supplies the philosophy. The entire company features each day – and its all in an effort to enforce that little bit of philosophy. Thats how much more there is to doing philosophy than there is to learning the theories.
There are a lot of trained experts who practice philosophy and who clarify the theories worried. Whether executed by amateurs or experts, it is necessary work. Most cultures have a history of philosophy, which is a history of theories about basic truths and the way to live ones life. Much of religion consists of philosophy. Whenever there's a God or were gods closely partner with the philosophy, it is called theology. If it associated with a mystery school or the occult or paranormal then it is ordinarily referred to as theosophy or as metaphysics.
Of the worlds religions, the most renowned for philosophy are the Catholics – just numerous of them, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the Buddhists – the Buddhists seem to continuously be talking about the philosophy of the intellect and of the emotions and the way to practice compassion. That is, the top Buddhists seem to emphasize this when writing or speaking in English for a nonBuddhist audience. Being part of that audience, I don't know what its like for Tibetans who grew up Buddhists but I also dont know what its like to grow up a filthy rich higher middle class Californian Buddhist. There are individuals that do.
Those aren't the solely philosophers in the world. Most readers have at least heard of Confucius. There are many others.
Confucius is without problems one example of the nontheistic or atheist philosophers of the East. There are many more who are less well known in the West. In the West, there is the philosophy of European individuals before the first life of Jesus Christ. I call it the first life, because officially, he's not lifeless; he rose after the crucifixion in his spiritual body and has been living as an immortal for the beyond 2000 or 1968 years as of 2011. Masses of individuals are confused by this and thats OK. People call to intellect Jesus Christ as having lived 32 years – the steady mortal style of living as much as the crucifixion and after that, he is seemingly still alive but everyone seems to be confused about that and what happened afterwards. Whatever one thinks or believes about Jesus Christ, in the Western society philosophy grew before knowledge of this theological philosopher – Jesus Christ unfold, and then there is how philosophy was heavily influenced by his teachings and by the organizations that grew up and moved around with his teachings. There is a first rate thousand year period of European history when the solely philosophy successfully published had been cleared by the Christian clerics, and by individuals who actually and/or supposedly represented the religious philosophy of Jesus Christ. From the 1750s to 2011, it became increasingly possible in Europe and North America to write and publish works whether they agreed or disagreed with Christian doctrine.
In the pre-Christian realm the philosophies which survived in a way that was actually written down, or that may be written confirmed up amongst the Greeks and Romans. It is unlikely that these were the solely individuals who practiced some type of philosophical work, but much of the world is oral – sorry, that isnt kinky, it just means spoken and heard rather than written. There are oral traditions today in the world and there continuously have been. Some are more highly structured than others.
One modification which is ordinarily viewed as a sort of cultural improvement is the invention and use of the written word. The preservation of data within a culture helps to protect and define it. The preservation of data through a written system, means that the statistics may well be additional to the gigantic body of data which is sifted by scholars and then taught as curriculum at the worlds universities. Once churches and educational systems are using a set of teachings they become quite powerful and may well be used across centuries and societies in new ways – in ways that solely being able to pass them on through the spoken word could not do.
In Europe one of the places that converted is shut to the dawn of this generations sense of history rather than pre-history. The ancient Greek civilization was not exactly the first, but because they were able to go away lines of teachings and knowledge which have been taught every year to a couple individuals ever since, for many they mark the beginning of history. One in their oral tradition philosophers was made immortal by a younger guy who had the wealth and the capacity to actually write much of it down. This was Socrates and Plato. Socrates was not a high class guy, but was respected as he had fought bravely and loyally for Athens in numerous wars. However, he lived at a time when men in general were expected to achieve this for their metropolis-state, just as some countries have mandatory army service for men, or maybe women [as in Israel] in 2011. He made a reputation for himself by seeking to discover free teachings because he was so poor that he could not afford to buy an location university education. They did have better education in Athens at the time, but it wasnt for the poor. Luckily, there were places in Athens where one was allowed to socialize this manner. (The Last Days of Socrates, Plato, Penguin Classics, Harrold Tarrant 2003). Through such means he met an location nobleman called Plato; this guy actually founded or taught at one of the local universities and as part of his service, he wrote numerous dialogues in which this lower class but profound Athenian starred. Thanks to Platos movements, millions have not solely heard of Socrates but have taught at least to a couple degree his elenchus method of questioning the meanings of words and ideas. This has political implications wherever and every time one lives and helps to keep philosophy something relevant which individuals can actually practice today. The other superb thing about it, is that once you learn it, it is low priced to do. It can even be free. That doesnt mean one cant spend on it.
Plato taught numerous individuals, mostly men. One of them was a younger guy called Aristotle – who was actually from Macedonia. Aristotle lived in the course of the same time as Alexander the Great. They did not have the Internet and so their view of the world may well have been smaller. Although Alexander the Great was irrelevant in the Americas back then, and in many other locations, for the Athenians he was highly relevant. Aristotle was able to serve as one of that mans teachers and founded scientific nomenclature by seeing the weird value in without problems cataloguing statistics. Most individuals who have studied philosophy West of Kazhakstan on the Earth in 2011 have been introduced to and have heard of Aristotle. These two somehow proceed to have an influence in the New Millenium. Christian theology has been affected. One of the foremost contributions of St. Thomas Aquinas is that he actually sought to bring theology to terms with the heathen pre-Christian thinkers Plato and Aristotle of the Greeks. Anyone who thinks that was simple, is welcome to read The Summa Theologica in an English translation. Originally written in Latin, there is available in the written word in English a short precis consisting of solely 600 pages. There is an outrageously brief book precis of this short version which is solely about 20 pages long and is available through BookRags. [tip: I know because I ghostwrote it, and learned some of those other philosophy bits from doing that]. There are facets of Jesus Christs teachings which jibe with a no dualistic view of reality also proposed by Aristotle but these teachings make Jesus Christs survival of the crucifixion all the more dumfounding but also more consistent.
This book is not really about the history of philosophy as such, but is about how readers can recognize philosophy and the way to actually practice it in day after day life. The author has received years of training in philosophy and has practiced it either inside and out of an educational context for two decades. Thats 20 years of practice with academic training to the Masters level. This has included a supplemental year and a half of writing book summaries on philosophical works in 2008 & 2009.
To come again on track: the love of wisdom is what philosophy literally means. Wisdom generally means being able to analyze various the most sensible course of action in a given situation and taking it. Older individuals are often associated with wisdom when they are of sound intellect because wisdom seems to occasionally increase with life experience. At the same time, at all ages, when individuals appearance around them some stand out as wiser than the others. There are individuals who feel this is an innate caliber. If so, that does not support philosophy that well as something for the masses. That would make philosophy something for the wise. Others feel that whatever ones innate capacity relevant training can make the most of what is there, and that can include wisdom. Say, any person is solely average in innate wisdom will be their most sensible with some philosophical training just as the person who works out is going to be in better shape than those who get no workout no matter whether or not the person is a natural athlete or naturally strong etc..
This book consists of basic mental exercises that everyone can do, that will aid them to practice philosophy. The location of philosophy also may well be defined as an location that asks numerous serious, tough questions in life and makes an effort to respond them. Some of the questions are ones also covered by religions and by science, such as: is there a God? And What is the world really like or made of? This book has a appearance at these. This book is being written for folk who are interested in this subject but will possibly not desire to or be able to take university classes or to get degrees in philosophy and theology or religion.