I know that reading about philosophy is usually a daunting task for most people. It's a subject that just sounds boring. You can hear the stuffy British pronunciation of a college professor in your head every time you read it. (fi-LAW-so-fee) It also seems to be overly concerned with people who we don't have a lot in common with anymore - ancient greeks. At least that's as far as most people get with the subject. And even if those initial hurdles don't trip you up, the rest of the reading is filled with such impenetrable jargon and dense logic that getting through 5 pages of the stuff before bedtime feels like an impressive achievement (which it often is).
Well it doesn't have to be that way. Philosophy is literally a love of wisdom. Who isn't looking for a bit of that in their daily lives? Having *a* philosophy implies having a coherent belief system that underlies the choices we make on a regular basis. Those choices are exciting stuff! They're what we agonize about when we're alone, they're what we talk about with our friends, and they're what we read about or watch our heroes grapple with in books or movies. Surely taking one step back to think about what we are thinking about when we make those choices can be more interesting than wallowing in the minutiae of the definitions of epistemology, metaphysics, tautology, or aesthetics. Developing *a* philosophy - in this case an Evolutionary Philosophy - can surely be an exciting conversation about the choices we all make and the rationale for them. I for one can hardly wait to jump in to that!
With all that said, however, how do you know that the belief system you are building is actually a philosophy? When have you answered enough questions to know your philosophy is relatively complete? To know the answer to that, you do have to have some basic understanding of the structure and definitions of philosophy. The purpose of philosophy isn't to define philosophy - it's to define the wise and good life. But before we get to that, it's helpful to take a moment to gather a quick list of terms - a Philosophy 101 if you will - that we may come across in that discussion. You do not *need* to know these terms to discuss philosophy - you discuss philosophy every day without using these terms - but it's nice to know that when you do come across them, you can look up a clear and jargon-free definition whenever you want to.
So that's the reason for my Philosophy 101 page on this site. Give it a quick read. If you are a professional philosopher, tell me what I'm missing or misrepresenting in my efforts at clarity. If you are new to philosophy, tell me what else I need to do to make this clear for you. If you just want to start talking about how philosophy affects our daily lives, then just wait a few days. I'll get to that next.
This is where ideas mate to form new and better ones. Please share yours respectfully...or they will suffer the fate of extinction!
Some Blogs I Follow
The Book Designer
The Brooks Blog
The Creative Penn
Evolution This View of Life
Jonathan Martin - 21k12
Morality's Random Walk
Reason and Meaning
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