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Post  Architektonikon on Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:56 pm

Hello Philosophers,

As some of you know, but most of you do not, The Dirty South has a resident philosopher. Me! I am currently working toward my Ph.D. and teaching at The University of Western Ontario (Canada). I specialize in the History of Philosophy and specifically Ancient Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, etc.). But, I am broadly trained in all subjects of philosophy. I have taught courses on a wide variety of subjects ranging from History of Greek Thought to Media Ethics. I thought my experience could bring something interesting and unique to The Dirty South; namely, philosophy.

What is philosophy? Philosophy is oldest subject that one can study in a modern university (aside from the language the ancient philosophers spoke and wrote). In fact, if it was not for ancient philosophers, there would be no modern university. Plato, around 400-300 BCE, founded the first 'Academy' of higher education. This university tradition was taken up by his student Aristotle and has been perpetuated to what we have now. Philosophy, broadly speaking, seeks to answer the 'big' questions of life. Is there a God and is the soul immortal? Do we really have free will? What is the best constitution? How does the mind work? What is 'good' and what ought I do? etc.

I, however, must point out something that is under appreciated and far too unknown. When one looks at the above questions, it could easily be said: 'no one will ever know the answers to those questions'. This could not be farther from the truth. Philosophy does answer questions. When it does, however, they become disciplines of their own. In the history of philosophy, the first disciplines to be created by philosophy were science and mathematics!!! Of course, there were areas within science and math that still needed philosophizing, and they were championed and advanced by philosophers such as Euclid, Rene Descartes, Galileo, and Newton. As you may be aware, in contemporary physics there are issues that are currently being philosophized. We call this subject and all the appropriate questions Philosophy of Physics. Some recent philosophers of physics that you may have heard of are Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking. The most recent discipline that has been created from philosophy is Psychology and Cogitative Science. In any case, my point is that philosophy is less foreign to you than you might think, and you participate in this Rich and long tradition everyday when you think critically about something.

What will we do here? We will philosophize of course. No, we will not be discussing the ramifications to time for quantum mechanics. We, on the contrary, will be discussing basic philosophical questions which require no technical or specialized knowledge or background. If you have reason, you are qualified. I will introduce a question or an famous argument, and we can share our beliefs and argue for which position is right in order to determine the Truth, or at least get closer to it. I must insist that a healthy philosophical discussion is one in which nothing is taken personally and avoids fallacious arguments that attack the arguer, not the argument. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Enjoy!

"The unexplained life is not worth living" ~Socrates


Posts : 58
Join date : 2011-01-26
Location : Canada

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