Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Is Philosophy?

This is the oldest and most common question I am asked: What is philosophy? I've quoted some short answers given by the staff and students at the University of Dundee (the only Scottish University where one can take up serious reflection on Continental philosophy without going to Essex or Warwick). I like them since each in turn encompasses some aspect of philosophy. Of course, if you want to contribute to this blog, then suggest in the spirit of these short tidbits what you think philosophy is:

What is Philosophy?

"A way of understanding what shapes our beliefs and actions"

"Clear and distinct reflection upon our cognitive practices"

"Openness to thinking about the familiar in unfamiliar ways"

"Learning to continually scrutinise beliefs"

"The creation of concepts"

"The incessant attempt to think how that which is could be otherwise"

"The destruction of worlds and the construction of better, new ones"

"Reversing the normal direction of thought"

"A critical practice responding to our present"

"A way of thinking; since thinking defines the nature of being human, philosophy is of fundamental importance"

For more information about the Dundee Philosophy department, click here.

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