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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Boeree: Philosophy's Playgrounds


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The ancient Greeks devised the basic categories of philosophy, beginning with metaphysics. 

Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions such as “What is the world made of?" and "What is the ultimate substance of all reality?” -- Materialism and idealism constitute the two extreme answers.

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A second aspect of philosophy is epistemology.
Epistemology is the philosophy of knowledge:  Can we know anything for certain, or is it ultimately hopeless? -- Again, the Greeks outlined two opposing approaches to the problem of knowledge: empiricism and rationalism.

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The third aspect of philosophy is ethics.
Ethics is the philosophical understanding of good and bad, right and wrong. It is the most difficult of the three aspects of philosophy. For the present, we might want to differentiate the extremes: hedonism and cynicism.

Dr C. George Boeree: "Philosophy: The Basics"
quotes from http://www.ship.edu/Psychology/Inhouse_Resources/#History   

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 The Road Ahead (c) hgD permitting


Dr Boeree's web is basically meant for students of psychology. At the same time it also seems to be a lifetime's work in philosophy. He summarizes and simplifies all he knows.

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Vocabulary
The following definitions  are from the same page:   http://www.ship.edu/Psychology/Inhouse_Resources/#History   



Empiricism: "All knowledge comes through the senses."
Rationalism: "Knowledge is a matter of reason, thought."
Hedonism: "Good and bad come down to what I like and what I don’t like, what gives me pleasure and what gives me pain."
Cynicism: "The world is essentially evil, and we can only work at distancing ourselves from it."

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The following comments are by myself.

A list of philosophical terms is not like a catalog or a menu of  items offered as "options".
They only help to order things or ideas you might come across anytime.

I think Dr Boeree is a very great teacher, but I would disagree with him on some most important matters that fortunately do not depend on very much knowledge. In other words, it is really as Robert Frost said:
Good fences make good neighbours.  http://writing.upenn.edu/

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