Topic Detail
Introduction to Philosophy & Philosophy of Education
  1. Philosophy

According to Patrcik & Chapman (1978): The purpose of philosophy is to impel to thought not to satisfy inquiry with a “system”.

When the Prophet Ibrahim (Ali Hissalam) looked at the sky and wonder that sun or moon may be god, he thought philosophically to find the ultimate reality of the universe and God as he said God is He Who created Human & Earth (Islamic point of view).

As Patrcik & Chapman (1978) write that with reflection a girl looking through the window and asking her mother; how the world came to existence. She became a philosopher. So, according to Patrcik & Chapman (1978); when a person wonder begins to be serious and systematic inquiry, he is a philosopher.

As quoted by Patrcik & Chapman (1978) Plato said that philosophy begins in wonder. The philosophy of Greek through naïve and childlike in their outlook on the world, and free from distributing doubts; but they were much govern to wonder their wonder became serious and thoughtful.

Note:

            For idealists spiritual values of anything are important and be discovered through philosophical thought.

Dissociation of values and reality

All values and realities can be packed into the origins of the things and cannot be separated from each other.

Epigenetic & Emergent Theories

            To measure values can make the reality of anything.

Bio centric world & psychocentric world

            Matter is taking a form and the form is life, mind, social organization, art, science, philosophy and religion, and all these are values and they have a determining voice in the ordering of the world, because all that precedes in them is indispensible to them.

 

  1. Doubts & Perplexity as the Beginning of Philosophy

According to Patrcik & Chapman (1978): In the present time many people are uncertain about so many things e.g. some people are uncertain about the best form of government, about the best economic and social system, about what is right and what is wrong, about the existence of God, about the real knowledge and about soul and its identity etc. and it impels them to think seriously in order to convert doubt to certainty and perplexity to calm.

So, the doubt has become serious and distributing human ailment and it is the beginning of philosophy. Although, philosophy among the ancients began in wonder, in modern times it usually begins in doubt.

Hence, doubt is the beginning of all philosophy and its end is to find the reality and conversion of doubt, confusion and perplexity to certainly, clarity and belief.

In contrast to philosophy there is science which is based on established laws beyond doubt and confusion, but the laws, theories and principles of science are also challenged by other scientists with the passage of time and they are also in a state of flux (perplexity and doubt) that creates uncertainly and doubt after philosophical thoughts and assumption.

Hence, philosophy is needed to rediscover and develop science and its technological applications. So, philosophy is going to develop new beliefs and scientific knowledge.

 

  1. Definitions

Patrcik & Chapman (1978) has defined philosophy as: The art of thinking things through (here means thorough) or, it is the habit of trying to think things through (thorough). It means that philosophy is an art and this art depends on the habit to think things through (in detail); but the thinking be logical, systematic and persistent.

So, the habit of clarification is very much the disposition of the philosopher.

It means that philosopher always think logically, systematically and persistently in order to clarify the true nature of things, phenomena and occurrences. In technical language we can define philosophy from epistemological point of view as:

The critical analysis of concepts and the discovery of relations between them; it thus hopes to integrate our knowledge, to unify and interpret it. Patrcik & Chapman (1978).

Hence, logic is the basic equipment and methodology of all philosophers. But, the ideas investigated by philosopher must have great significant value and importance in some sphere of life.

Since, the world is in a state of flux and change and there is transitional age due to technological advancements, the purpose of philosophy is not to solve our social, economic and polical problems rather to think carefully and systematically about certain fundamental questions which concern ourselves (life), our conduct, and the world in which we live (values & beliefs). There are both dangers and opportunities or promise due to the transitional age of science and technology according to the author view point the technological opportunities are more than its dangers.

Today, even the Einstein general theory of reality, some mathematical equations, statistical interpretations, biological evaluations and even the laws of cosmology are in doubt that needs philosophical thoughts in physical, biological and other sciences and thus the new world in the 21st century has many promises and opportunities as well as possibilities.

So, it is a time for reflective thinking in all aspects and spheres of life so that the life become meaningful, the universe becomes real and the relations of humans to his environment become idealistic.

The world presents its peace, harmony, symmetry, beauty and satisfy the aesthetic sense of the individuals to social , moral and natural  laws and principles through the formation of good citizen living in well-organized societies in this world and in the life here after. So, good life is the one of the aims of philosophy while other is social efficiency.

When the reflective thinking becomes serious, sustained and logical and directed towards questions of life conduct and values it becomes philosopher. Life, conduct and values one invisible and can be discovered through reflective thinking.

Professor James said “philosophy is a universally persistent efforts to think clearly. Thus extending the methods of science into the fields of human relations and human problems”

 

  1. Aims of Philosophy

Acceding to Patrcik & Chapman (1978): The aim of philosophy is to see life as a while, not with the slant of the business man or the clubman or the artist or poet or preacher and scientist or the university professor nor with any slant at all; but to see it as it would be seen by the spectator of all times and all existence because the whole is greater than its part and is ultimately real in existence and values.

  

  1. Methods of Philosophy (Scientific Method / Logic)

The method of philosophy is to see life as a whole steadily with neither prejudice nor bias nor half knowledge. As in a world view philosophy has been defined as: The attempt by use of scientific methods to understand the world in which we live in.

Philosophy can also be defined as: To ask big questions of what is life?, what is the meaning and purpose of life?, what is right and wrong?, who is God?, what is beauty? And what is real knowledge? etc.

 

  1. The Search of Unity & Philosophy

Herbert Spencer defined philosophy as: Completely unified knowledge, contrasting it with science, which is partially unified knowledge.

If we take all facts or parts and think them together, that would be philosophy. So, philosophy searches for unity of all concepts or things. Hence, the search of unity and symmetry to be converted into beauty & goodness is the realem of philosophy

 

  1. Wisdom (Meaning of Philosophy)

Philosophy has also been defined as “wisdom”. The word philosophy has been derived from two Greek words “Sophia” meaning “wisdom” and the verb “Philein” meaning “to love”. Philosophy is just the “love of wisdom” or “search of wisdom”. In the times of Socrates the word philosophy came into use.

Socrates disclaimed having wisdom, but said he had the love of it. Patrcik & Chapman (1978).

  

  1. Metaphysics as a Branch of Philosophy

The term philosophy is a wider term than metaphysics, including all these subjects and also epistemology or theory of knowledge, as well as such subjects as Logic, Ethics and Aesthetic. Dewy said philosophy signifies wisdom influencing the conduct of man.

 

  1. Poetry & Philosophy

Perry’s distinction between the philosopher poets and the poets who are not philosopher is illuminating. Some poets describe life; others seek to interpret it. The later are philosopher poets e.g. Goethe, Dante and Allam Muhammad Iqbal and philosopher poets.

 

Conclusion

In Socrates times the word philosophy was first used and in the times of Plato and Aristotle it acquired more technical meaning of real knowledge or knowledge of ultimate reality. Somewhat like the German word wissenschaft, or the word science when used in its broader meaning.

Philosophy also means:

  • The art of living wisely (Stoic).
  • The art of living happily (Epicureans).
  • In Stoics and Epicureans times the word was used in the narrower meaning of as: “The guide of life”.

   

Reference

A review from “Introduction to Philosophy” (1978) written by George Thomas White Patrick & Frank Miller Chapman, Surjeet Publication, Delhi (India)