Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the beginning

We start our journey in Ancient Greeks. The Ancient Greeks were the had the best philosophers (including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). Population level had grown and agriculture was developed. People no longer needed to spend most of their day running after and catching animals for meat nor did they need to walk many miles to forage bushs for fruits and vegetables. Developments in agriculture allowed people to tame animals so they didn't need to chase after them. Farming allowed crops to be grown and harvested in a small, manageable location. As a result, the people had a lot of free time to do other stuff. And since internet pornorgraphy hadn't been invented yet, people spent their time productively.

Many people in Anicent Greece spent their free time thinking, and thinking and thinking. Being free from worrying about survival and getting their next meal gave them lots of time to wonder and ponder about things. They thought about things like existence - who are we, why are we here.

This is how philosophy developed - and it will eventually give rise to Western Civilisation. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.

There are several branches of philosophy

Metaphysics is all about reality and understanding the world.
What is there?
What is it like?
The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental ideas by which people understand the world, including existence ("What exists?"), objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and probabilities.

Epistemology is concerned with knowledge and ideas like truth, belief, and justification. It is from this in which Science is formed.
What is knowledge?
How is knowledge acquired?
How do we know what we know?

Ethics, or "moral philosophy", is concerned about morality. It deals like concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, etc.

We have this thing called the government. The purpose of a government is to maintain a sense of public safety and order. The ancient greeks came up with the idea of democracy in which the people have the power to govern. There are two ways to do with, directly through the people or through electing a representative. Direct democracy involves passing a piece of paper called a referendum to everyone and they tick yes or no to the proposal. If enough yes votes are collected then the proposal passes. Representative democracy means electing a person called a representative who then makes these decisions on your behalf.
Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals and communities to the state. It includes questions about justice, the good, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen.

Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, enjoyment, sensory-emotional values, perception, feeling, and matters of taste and sentiment. It also deals with the creation and appreciation of it. It is about anything that pleases the sense or sensory-emotional values.
The key here is 'what is art?'
Yes could could say that paintings are an art form. But are novels? Are movies? Is writing computer source code an art? Is trolling a art? Art is something that is very hard to define.

Logic is about arguments. What arguments are valid and what arguments are fallacies? It is often studied under philosophy, mathematics, and computer science.

Philosophy of mind deals with the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body. The mind-body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind although there are issues that concern the mind that do not concern the body. In recent years there has been increasing similarity between this branch of philosophy and cognitive science.

The question, then, is how it can be possible for conscious experiences to arise out of a lump of gray matter endowed with nothing but electrochemical properties.[11]

Philosophy of language is inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language.

Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy that asks questions about religion. (Around the corner the Romans invented The Roman Catholic Church which would become the basis for Christianity).

These things all link together and it's all very confusing. But never discount the importance of philosophy. Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs said "I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socretes".