PL 1310 F
-Philosophy about you as a person
1. “Philosophy begins in wonder” according to Plato, one of the first philosophers of Western civilization. Curiosity is an innate human trait, and so humans start to take part on the philosophical process from the moment that we begin “wondering about the world around us…There is a fundamental connectionbetween being human and wondering about things” (Saucer-Totten 1,2). However, philosophy is also about each one of us individually, “it is about you when you are aware of your own awareness” (Saucer-Totten, 5). An example of this attentive inquisitiveness could be shown in The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, where Gilman declares as a teenager: “Here I am in the world, conscious, able to do thisor that. What is it all about? How does it work? What is my part in it, my job- what ought I to do?” (Gilman, intro vii). She is not merely passing through life, but consciously and actively wondering fundamental questions about life. By writing it down, she is reflecting about her own reflections on life.
Philosophy is (partly) about my interactions/experiences with the world and what meaning Iget from them, so that I reach an understanding of them. It involves my conscientious quest (creating meaning from my experiences, thinking about thinking) for knowledge and understanding. The whole content of philosophy is my awareness of this self-questioning and my intent to get answers that satisfy my curiosity. Thus, I am the principal study subject of philosophy; first I need to understandmyself, so as to understand the world as it is conveyed through MY experiences and meanings.
-Explain the four ways to get a meaning from a word and how each helps illuminate the meaning of the word ‘philosophy’
Reading is an action that we each realize through visual experiences and it seems thatwords automatically have a meaning for us, however written words really are merely made by symbols that we have learned to associate with a meaning, so as to understand the messages. Yet for one single word there are four possible ways to get a meaning from it: etymologically, functionally, by making comparisons, and genealogically. When you take an etymological approach on a word, you figure outwhat something is by its name. With a functional approach, you find out what that something does; knowing what something does, how it works and functions helps us grasp its meaning. When you make comparisons to discover a meaning you utilize a concept that you already know and compare it (see how it’s similar/related) to that concept you do not yet know. A genealogical approach requires you toanalyze how and where something originated. Using these four approaches we can broaden and illuminate the meaning of the word ‘philosophy’, since they bring in and help clarify different sides of the concept:
-For the etymological approach on ‘philosophy’ we can start by breaking down the word to its roots ‘philos’ and ‘sophia’, these Greek words meaning ‘loving’ and ‘wisdom’ respectively. Philosophy=loving of wisdom. This can be broken down further etymologically by finding the meaning of these other two words. To love something could be defined as pursuing and living according to something. ‘Wisdom’ is seeking the most fundamental meaning of things; an understanding of ourselves and the world around us, and balancing perspectives, insights and balanced judgments. Putting this together wemay say that philosophy means “the attempt to provide for oneself an outlook on life based on the discovery of broad fundamental principles of human knowing and doing in the world so that we might order our lives according to what is real and worth doing.” (Sauer-Totten 10)
-With a functional approach we add more to the meaning of ‘philosophy’ by analyzing what philosophy (or a philosopher)...