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ASSIGNMENT IN PHL102

1. What is the meaning and definition of philosophy?


In Ancient Greek, philo means love and sophia means wisdom. Thus,
the word philosophy means love of wisdom. From a dictionary,
philosophy is defined as the rational investigation of the truths and
principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. Philosophy is an academic
discipline that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand
reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life,
morality and human nature. It is not just a theory for something; it is an
activity: a quest for wisdom.
2. What are the different branches and subfields of philosophy?
Modern philosophy contains six branches of thought. Each has its
own unique focus. These are Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic,
Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics.
Metaphysics deals with the nature of reality and the universe.
Usually questions like What is existence? and What are things
ultimately like? are asked in this branch.
Epistemology deals with the study of knowledge and how it is
acquired. Questions usually asked are What is knowledge? and How
much knowledge do we have?.
Logic shows us how to develop valid arguments and includes
mathematical logic. It is the study of the principles of correct
reasoning. It asks questions like What is correct reasoning?, What
distinguishes a good argument from a bad one?, and How can we detect
a fallacy in reasoning?.
Ethics is the study of right and wrong and how people should live.
Politics is the study of government, citizen rights, and political
obligations.
Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, and artistic perception.
3. What are the uses and functions of philosophy?
Much of what is learned in philosophy can be applied in virtually
any endeavor. This is both because philosophy touches on so many

subjects and, especially, because many of its methods are usable in


any field.
The study of philosophy enhances, in a way no other activity does, ones
problem solving capacities (General Problem Solving). Philosophy also
contributes

uniquely

to

the

development

of

expressive

and

communicative powers (Communication Skills). Philosophy provides


training in the construction of clear formulations, good arguments, and
apt examples (Persuasive Powers). Also, Philosophy teaches interpretive
writing through its examination of challenging texts, comparative writing
through emphasis on fairness to alternative positions, argumentative
writing through developing students' ability to establish their own views,
and descriptive writing through detailed portrayal of concrete examples:
the anchors to which generalizations must be tied (Writing Skills).
4. What are the reasons why we study philosophy?
Its very important that we study philosophy; it gives you not only the
knowledge of the world but also gives you a deep understanding of how
the world works, and even how it should work. Philosophy wants us to
think for ourselves. Philosophers are interested in asking whether an
idea is logical rather than simply assuming it is right because it is
popular and has been long-established. We study philosophy because is
committed to self-knowledge. Philosophy teaches you to ask questions,
analyze, and contrast viewpoints. It is important that we study
philosophy because it will teach us how to respect ones views, even
if we dont agree since it seeks to gain understanding.
Sources:
http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/ppecorino/intro_text/chapter%
2012conclusion/what_is_philosophy.htm
http://academics.utep.edu/default.aspx?pagecontentid=1755&tabid=24
640
http://www.whatisphilosophy.net
http://www.etsu.edu/cas/philosophy/students/undergrad/whyphilosop
hy.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#cite_ref-philosophy_1-0