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Philosophy is an axe.
Everything you believe is questionable .
How deeply have you questioned it? The
uncritical acceptance of belief s handed
down to you by your parents, teachers,
politicians and religious leaders is
dangerous. Many of this beliefs are simply
false. Some of them are lies, designed to
control you. Even when what has been
handed down is true, it is not your truth. To
merely accept anything without questioning
it is to be somebody else’s puppet, a
second-hand person.
Beliefs can be handed down. Knowledge can perhaps
be handed down. Wisdom can never be handed
down. The goal of philosophy is wisdom. Trying to
hand down philosophy is unphilosophical.

Wisdom requires questioning what is questionable.

Since everything is questionable, wisdom requires
questioning everything. That is what philosophy is:
the art of questioning everything.

word “Philosophy “ (Greek, Philosophia)

 The


the love (philia) of wisdom (sophia).

The Three Basic Questions:
 The wisdom philosophers love and pursue arises

from an inquiry guided by three basic questions:

1. What’s what?
2. What’s good?

3. What do we know? And related questions- “What’s

When Man is confronted with Mystery, or with
Something whose causes are still unknown,
he wonders why.
Such for Socrates, was the beginning of Wisdom.

Socrates says :

“ Wonder is the feeling of a Philosopher, and

Philosophy begins in Wonder”.

( Plato, Theaetetus, 155 B. Benjamin Jewett in vol.

7of Great Books, p. 519 )

What does it mean then to wonder?

“To wonder means to realize that there is something

strange behind the things that we ordinarily
perceive. To wonder is to notice something
extraordinary in the ordinary things we see”.

( For the love of Wisdom by Chris John-Terry, An

explanation of the meaning and purpose of Philosophy )

“ Philosophy is for those who are willing to be
disturbed with a creative disturbance……
Philosophy is for those who still have the
capacity to WONDER….”

( Philosophy an introduction to the Art of Wondering by

James L. Christian, prelude. )

“ Philosopher can be best described as one who
loves truth in its deepest meaning. This is in
keeping with the literal meaning of the word
“Philosophy” as love of wisdom.
The study of Philosophy is a continual encounter, a
dialogue carried on in search of truth wherever it
maybe found. Philosophy can be termed as an
inquiry which seeks to encompass the whole of
reality by understanding its most basic causes and
principle in so far as these are acceptable to
reason and experience. It is characterized as
‘beginning in wonder and ends in mystery”.

( Reflections on Man by Jesse Mann et al. P2-4)

 For this reason, the discipline of philosophy
has , over the centuries, come to be divided
into three main branches:
1. Metaphysics: The philosophical study of
reality (What’s what?)
a. Ontology (being or reality in general)
b. Philosophical Cosmology (cosmos)
c. Philosophical Theology (Philosophy of
Religion) (God)
d. Philosophical Anthropology (Human nature
and Human Existence)
2. Axiology: The Philosophical study of value
(What’s Good?)
a. Aesthetic (Philosophy of Art )
b. Ethics (Moral Philosophy)
c. Social and Political Philosophy

3. Epistemology: Knowledge and Truth (What do

we know and what’s True)

1. The critical scrutiny of our belief s and

2. The bringing to light of our hidden
assumptions or presuppositions.
3. The quest for genuinely worthwhile life.
4.The effort to keep our sense of wonder
5.The posing of certain questions which are
not dealt with by other disciplines, and the
attempt to answer them.
Two Different Approaches to Philosophy

 Philosophy is a two-sided intellectual

 It is a form of thinking that is, on the one hand,

Constructive and, on the other hand, Critical

 Thus, in defining the general nature of
Philosophy, a distinction is usually made
1. Constructive (sometimes called
2. Critical (Deconstructive) Philosophy
What makes an answer or belief “Rationally

 Ananswer or belief is “rationally defensible”:

1.In strong sense when it is credible, i.e.,
believable because it is supported by evidence
and/or sound argumentation.

2.In the weak sense when it withstands or

survives criticism—i.e., it has not (yet) been
refuted (that is to say, proved to be certainly or
probably false)
 Constructive Philosophy, then, is the
attempt to formulate rationally defensible
answers to questions.
 The more ambitious forms of constructive
philosophy aim at the constructions of a
comprehensive, coherent, and
intellectually (and perhaps also
emotionally) satisfying world-view or
Philosophical System.
 Many constructive philosophers, however,
especially in recent times, concentrate on
analyzing and answering only a few of the
major philosophical questions without
attempting the construction of a complete
world-view or philosophical system
 Most of the great philosophers of the past
were constructive philosophers.
 Constructive philosophy concentrates on
providing answers to fundamental
philosophical questions.
Critical (Deconstructive) Philosophy

 Is the process of subjecting beliefs and

arguments to logical and empirical
analysis, classification, and evaluation in
an effort to decide whether those beliefs
and arguments are rationally defensible or
indefensible, warranted or unwarranted,
sound or unsound, justified by reason or
 It concentrates on questioning such
Give 6 examples of your
beliefs in life and explain why.

3 (Not Proven)
How do we use the word “know” in English?
In the ordinary use of English we use the word
“know” in many different ways:
It is very important in philosophy to be clear
about exactly how we are using the word.
 Roughly speaking the three correct ways
to use it are:

1. Knowledge by acquaintance
2. Knowledge how to do something
3. Knowledge that something is the case.
1. Knowledge by acquaintance

 This the kind of knowledge we have of

people and places.
 Knowledge by acquaintance is also, but
at a very much deeper level, the way in
which we know friends and members of
our family.
If we know a person, we might not actually know
much about the person-we might not know when
her/his birthday is, or where she/he was
born…..and on the other hand we may know the
great deal about the person, e.g famous actor,
the President of the country, a National hero,
without being able to say that we know the

Sometimes we “know of “ a person, meaning

that we have heard a lot about the person, but
perhaps not even met them
 In the same way we can know a place:
I know Sta. Maria, because I have been
there, walked around, talked to the
people, I can tell you how to get there and
what it is like as a place.
 This is also “knowledge by acquaintance”,
where as although I probably know more
facts about Boracay than I do about Sta.
Maria, I can’t say that I know it, as I have
never been there.
Knowing how

Quitea different sort of knowledge is when we

know how to do something.

Do you know how to ride a horse?

Do you know how to drive a car?
Do you know how to play the piano?
 Notice that this is quite different from
knowledge by acquaintance.
 You might have seen people riding bicycles
almost everyday of your life-you know
exactly what “riding a bicycle’ means,
and you might know lots of facts about
how it is done, but if you have never even
sat on a bicycle yourself, you cannot claim
to know how to ride a bicycle.
 Notice also that “knowing how” is not a
matter of knowing facts.

 If I gave you the best book about playing the

violin ever written, and a year to read it, but
only at the end of the year you were for the
first time given a violin, you would not know
how to play it… you would not be able to play
it , even if you knew 1,001 facts about how to
play the violin.
 These two sort of “know”, knowledge by
acquaintance, and knowing how to do
something, are also used by philosophers,
but less often that they are used by non-

Your swimming teacher might say “Do you
know the butterfly stroke?”, meaning can
you actually do it? He means “Do you know
ho to do the butterfly stroke?”
Knowing that

The third sort of ‘Know”, to know that

something is the case is knowledge of
“Facts”, or “Propositional Knowledge”.

Thisis the use of “know” most often of

concern to philosophers.
 Here are some examples of using the word to
“know’” in this sense-notice that these are all to
do with knowing facts”:

1. “I know where to catch the jeepney to Guiwan”.

2. “ I know the capita city of Zamboanga del Sur.”
(the name of it, “Pagadian”, not that I “know” it
by acquaintance)
3. “ Do you know the where Ateneo de Zamboanga
is located?”. (La Purisima Street)
4. “ Do you know the boiling point of water on the
centigrade scale?’” (100 degrees)
 A. What sort of “know” is used in each of
the following questions/statements:
1. Do you know Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?
2. A person doesn’t know poverty until he’s
slept on the ground without the roof over his
head , night after night.
3. I know how to go to school.
4. Do you know how to sing?
5. Do you know kung Fu?
 What do we mean by to “know” a fact?

 It comes in three parts:

1. TRUTH- we can only know something if it is
true… we never speak about “knowing”
something which is false.
 (this is the objective part of knowing)
 It follows that we can only ‘know’ true
things…if we (or anyone else) something, then
it has to be true.
2. BELIEF- we have to believe a fact to
know it.
 (this the subjective part of knowing)

There are many facts which are True, but

it wouldn’t make sense to say that we
know a fact if we didn’t believe that it
was true.

It would be very silly to say: “ I know that

the capital city of the Philippines is
Manila but I don’t believe it”.
3. REASON- we have to have reasons for
our belief in a fact to know it.

(this is the rational part of knowing)

This is by far the most complex and
difficult part. What counts as a reason,
or as supporting evidence-what counts as
sufficient reason, or as sufficient
supporting evidence is not something
which it is possible to state easily and
1. We may know a fact without necessarily
being able “TO EXPLAIN” it to someone else.

2. We may know a fact without necessarily

Maybe we know the planets all move round
the sun in roughly elliptical orbits..knowing
it is one thing, fully understanding it is
quite another thing surely.

3. We may know a fact without necessarily

anyone else “BELIEVING” it.
4. We may know a fact without necessarily
anyone else “AGREEING“ with us about it.

5. We may know a fact without necessarily

having any “EVIDENCE” for it.

6. We may know the fact without necessarily

anyway generally “CREDIBLE”.

7. We may know a fact without necessarily

places, persons, method or anything else.
 Are all Three conditions really
 Yes, they certainly are. Just look back
at the three conditions for knowing a