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What is philosopical thinking?

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2008-03-22 20:51:00

Philosophy as a discipline isn't easy to define precisely.

Issuing from a sense of wonderment about life and the world, it

often involves a keen interest in major questions about ourselves,

our experience, and our place in the universe as a whole. But

philosophy is also reflectively concerned with the methods its

practitioners employ in the effort to resolve such questions.

Emerging as a central feature of Western culture, philosophy is a

tradition of thinking and writing about particular issues in

special ways. Thus, philosophy must be regarded both as content and

as activity: It considers alternative views of what is real and the

development of reasons for accepting them. It requires both a

careful, sympathetic reading of classical texts and a critical,

logical examination of the arguments they express. It offers all of

us the chance to create and adopt significant beliefs about life

and the world, but it also requires each of us to acquire the

habits of criticical thinking. Philosophy is both sublime and

nitpicking. Since our personal growth in these matters naturally

retraces the process of cultural development, study of the history

of philosophy in our culture provides an excellent introduction to

the discipline as a whole. Here our aim is to examine the

appearance of Western philosophy as an interesting and valuable

component of our cultural heritage. Philosophy as a discipline

isn't easy to define precisely. Issuing from a sense of wonderment

about life and the world, it often involves a keen interest in

major questions about ourselves, our experience, and our place in

the universe as a whole. But philosophy is also reflectively

concerned with the methods its practitioners employ in the effort

to resolve such questions. Emerging as a central feature of Western

culture, philosophy is a tradition of thinking and writing about

particular issues in special ways. Thus, philosophy must be

regarded both as content and as activity: It considers alternative

views of what is real and the development of reasons for accepting

them. It requires both a careful, sympathetic reading of classical

texts and a critical, logical examination of the arguments they

express. It offers all of us the chance to create and adopt

significant beliefs about life and the world, but it also requires

each of us to acquire the habits of criticical thinking. Philosophy

is both sublime and nitpicking. Since our personal growth in these

matters naturally retraces the process of cultural development,

study of the history of philosophy in our culture provides an

excellent introduction to the discipline as a whole. Here our aim

is to examine the appearance of Western philosophy as an

interesting and valuable component of our cultural heritage.


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