The Idea of Philosophy
“When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound? Why?”
-1910 book Physics by Charles Rigborg Mann and George Ransom Twiss
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. When you think of philosophy what do you think of? What is your meaning of life? These are all philosophical questions we may ask ourselves daily, because we are all philosophers in our own ways. Back to the quote at the top of the page “When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound? Why?” What is your answer to the question? Many people would feel as if they would know the answer to that question but its much more complex than that, because in reality we don’t know but we can make assumptions and question our ideas and theories, and that’s what philosophy is all about.
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”
But my questions to you are, what do you know? and how do you know that you know that?
Week 1 in Philosophy 12 was not what I expected it to be. I expected philosophy to be just as any other course meaning that it had structure, guidelines and homework that was out of a book. But philosophy so far has not been any of that but rather the opposite, philosophy has proven to have some structure regarding the topics we discuss but mainly focusses on the areas of questioning, knowledge, and having no direction but still an end destination. My initial views on philosophy would be that it would give me direction for what I needed to do to be successful, but in the past week I have inquired that philosophy does not do that but rather helps you gain the skills and experience to help shape you to be a well round and well thinking person. Looking forward into the future some of my goals over this course include learning to direct myself, be able to tie my thoughts and ideas together, become a more open minded person, as well as learn to show my ideas and thoughts in a variety of way i am not used to. Having these as my goals over the semester will push me to be the student i want to be as well as person and i hope i can achieve them too.
This first week we had the opportunity to read a essay called “Talk with me” which had great ideas on the concept that philosophy should be conversation, not dogma. While reading this i stumbled upon the quote
“Philosophy is best taught using the Socratic method of question and answer”
Looking at this quote I initially did not fully understand but analyzing it more i came to the conclusion that philosophy does not exist without communication. Simply you cannot have philosophy without the basis of questioning your own, and others idea and beliefs as well as having them answered. So my question i would like to ask is “What is wisdom?” When i think of wisdom i think of great knowledge gained over time through experiences, but how do we know that we know things? What is knowledge to people? Hopefully during this course of philosophy 12 i will acquire the skills to put together my thoughts and ideas to conclude on what i think wisdom, but for now i am content with not knowing and figuring out.