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Archdiocese of Lingayen - Dagupan Catholic Schools

ST JOHN'S CATHEDRAL SCHOOL


Dagupan City

SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL


INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE
HUMAN PERSON

Jerome V. Dizon
Subject Teacher

Anne Krysstele A. Duque July 26, 2016


11- St. Gregory The Great

FATHER OF PHILOSOPHY

Socrates is a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western


philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers,
especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary
Aristophanes. Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to
survive from antiquity, though it is unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is "hidden
behind his 'best disciple', Plato".

Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his
contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the
concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a
commonly used tool in a wide range of discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which a series
of questions is asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental
insight into the issue at hand. Plato's Socrates also made important and lasting contributions to
the field of epistemology, and his ideologies and approach have proven a strong foundation for
much Western philosophy that has followed.

PRE-PHILOSOPHICAL PERIOD

Western philosophy is the thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the
term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Hellenic (i.e. Greek)
philosophy, and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself
originated from the Hellenic: philosophia, literally "the love of wisdom", philein (to love)
and sophia, (wisdom).
The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, and the writings of (at least some
of) the ancient philosophers, were allintellectual endeavors. This included the problems of
philosophy as they are understood today; but it also included many other disciplines, such
as pure mathematics and natural sciences such as physics, astrology, and biology.
Western philosophers have often been divided into some major branches, or schools,
based either on the questions typically addressed by people working in different parts of the
field, or notions of ideological undercurrents.

PRE-SOCRATIC PERIOD

Pre-Socratic is the expression commonly used to describe those Greek thinkers who lived
and wrote between 600 and 400 B.C. It was the Pre-Socratics who attempted to find universal
principles which would explain the natural world from its origins to man's place in it.

Although Socrates died in 399 B.C., the term "Pre-Socratic" indicates not so much a
chronological limit, but rather an outlook or range of interests, an outlook attacked by both
Protagoras (a Sophist) and Socrates, because natural philosophy was worthless when compared
with the search for the "good life."

The Pre-Socratic style of thought is often called natural philosophy, but their concept of
nature was much broader than ours, encompassing spiritual and mythical as well as aesthetic
and physical elements. They brought human thought to a new level of abstraction; raised a
number of central questions of ontology, which are still relevant today; and cultivated the human
spirit so as to open our eyes to the eternal truth.

Primary sources for their philosophical discourses have all been lost except in a
fragmentary form, and the best source is Aristotle. Although Aristotles interpretation of their
thought dominated for centuries, modern scholars have gone beyond Aristotle to identify the
original and unique contributions of the pre-Socratics.

MILESIANS PERIOD

Milesian School is an early Pre-Socratic school of philosophy founded in the 6th


Century B.C. in the Ionian town of Miletus (a Greek colony on the Aegean coast of Anatolia in
modern Turkey). The major philosophers included under this label are
Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes.

The Milesians were also more focused on nature than on reason and thought like the later
Ionians. They introduced new opinions (contrary to the then prevailing views) on how the world
was organized, in which natural phenomena were explained solely by the will
of anthropomorphized gods (with human characteristics). They are sometimes described
as philosophers of nature, and they presented a view of nature in terms of methodologically
observable entities, and therefore represented one of the first attempts to make philosophy
truly scientific.

Additional Info

In Metaphysics, they defined all things by their quintessential substance ("arch"), of which the Universe
was formed and which was the source of all life. However, they differed widely in how they conceived of this
substance: Thales thought it was water; Anaximander called it "apeiron" (something infinite and
indeterminate); Anaximenes settled on air. In general, they believed in hylozoism, the idea that all life is inseparable
from matter, and that there is no distinction between the animate and the inanimate, between spirit and matter.

In Cosmology, they also differed in the way they conceived of the universe: Thales believed that the Earth
was floating in water; Anaximander placed the Earth at the center of a universe composed of hollow, concentric
wheels filled with fire, and pierced by holes at various intervals (which appear as the sun, the moon and the
stars); Anaximenes saw the sun and the moon as flat disks travelling around a heavenly canopy, on which the stars
were fixed.

HERACLITUS OF EPHESUS

Heraclitus of was a native of the Greek city. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is
known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of
wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the apparently riddled and allegedly
paradoxical nature of his philosophy and his stress upon the needless unconsciousness of
humankind, he was called "The Obscure" and the "Weeping Philosopher".

Heraclitus was famous for his insistence on ever-present change as being the
fundamental essence of the universe, as stated in the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the
same river twice". This position was complemented by his stark commitment to a unity of
opposites in the world, stating that "The path up and down are one and the same". Through these
doctrines Heraclitus characterized all existing entities by pairs of contrary properties, whereby
no entity may ever occupy a single state at a single time. This, along with his cryptic utterance
that "all entities come to be in accordance with this Logos" has been the subject of numerous
interpretations.

The most famous aphorism often attributed to Heraclitus, that "everything is in a state of
flux", although other similar quotes are attributable to him, and it remains a pithy summary of
his views on the recurrent Pre-Socratic problem of change. Similarly, he is often quoted as saying
that one cannot step twice into the same river, although this is based on a simplistic paraphrasing
of Plato's. What he was really suggesting is that rivers can stay the same over time even though
the waters in it change.

XENOPHANES OF COLOPHON

Xenophanes is well-known for his criticism of the traditional view-image of the Gods. In
his poems he clearly attacks the Homeric and Hesiodic anthropomorphic descriptions of the
divine deities. The image of the Gods is relative to the region and the culture which is expressed.
Such portrayals should be denied because of their subjectivity. He is the earliest Greek poet who
claims explicitly to be writing for future generations, creating "fame that will reach all of Greece,
and never die while the Greek kind of songs survives."

Xenophanes is also the Founder of the Eleatic School of Philosophy and a native of
Colophon. He is also an elegiac and satirical poet who approached the question of science from
the standpoint of the reformer rather than of the scientific investigator. He taught that if there
had ever been a time when nothing existed, nothing could ever have existed. Whatever is, always
has been from eternity, without deriving its existence from any prior principles. Nature, he
believed, is one and without limit; that what is one is similar in all its parts, else it would be many;
that the one infinite, eternal, and homogeneous universe is immutable and incapable of change.
His position is often classified as pantheistic, although his use of the term God simply follows
the use characteristic of the early cosmologists generally.

PYTHAGORAS AND PYTHAGOREANS

Pythagoras

Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religion in the late 6th
century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematician and scientist and is best known for
the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.
He was the founder of the influential philosophical and religious movement or cult
called Pythagoreanism, and he was probably the first man to actually call himself a philosopher
or lover of wisdom. As a mathematician, he is known as the "Father of Numbers" or as the
first pure mathematician, and is best known for his Pythagorean Theorem on the relation
between the sides of a right triangle, the concept of square numbers and square roots, and the
discovery of the golden ratio.

Pythagorean

The Pythagorean thought was dominated by mathematics. The Pythagorean conception


of substance, on the other hand, is of unknown origin, partly because various accounts of his
teachings are conflicting. It also account holds that it is only through the notion of the "limit" that
the "boundless" takes form.

The Pythagoreans were well-known in antiquity for their vegetarianism, which they
practiced for religious, ethical and ascetic reasons. Women, who were held to be different from
men, but not necessarily inferior, were given equal opportunity to study as Pythagoreans,
although they had to also learn practical domestic skills.

Pythagoreanism developed at some point into two separate schools of thought:

1. Akousmatikoi (listeners), who focused on the more religious and ritualistic aspects
2. Mathematikoi (learners), who extended and developed the mathematical and
scientific work

Ultimately, Pythagoreanism has been a dynamic force on Western culture. It


has creatively influenced philosophers, theologians, mathematicians and astronomers, as well as
musicians, composers, poets and architects of the Middle Ages.

SOCRATIC AND SOCRATIC SCHOOLS

Socratic

The Socratic or Classical period of the Ancient era of philosophy denotes the Greek
contemporaries and near contemporaries of the influential philosopher Socrates. It begins in the
eastern Mediterranean in the 6th century BC, with the earliest thinkers of the city of Miletus.
Along with later figures such as Heraclitus and Parmenides, they are the Pre-Socratics, who put
forth pioneering speculations about the natural world, knowledge, and the gods.
Socrates developed a system of critical reasoning in order to work out how to live properly and
to tell the difference between right and wrong. He and his
followers, Plato and Aristotle maintained an unwavering commitment to the truth, and between
them they organized and systematized most of the problems of philosophy.

Socratic Schools

The oldest, and still the most powerful, teaching tactic for fostering critical thinking is
Socratic teaching. In Socratic teaching we focus on giving students questions, not answers. We
model an inquiring, probing mind by continually probing into the subject with questions.
Fortunately, the abilities we gain by focusing on the elements of reasoning in a disciplined and
self-assessing way, and the logical relationships that result from such disciplined thought,
prepare us for Socratic questioning.

Socratic Method

Socratic Method, also known as maieutics, method of elenchus, elenctic method, or


Socratic debate, is named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates. Elenchus is a form of
cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering
questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. This
method is introduced by Socrates in Plato's Theaetetus as midwifery (maieutics) because it is
employed to bring out definitions implicit in the interlocutors' beliefs, or to help them further
their understanding.

The Socratic Method is a method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are
found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. The Socratic
method searches for general, commonly held truths that shape beliefs, and scrutinizes them to
determine their consistency with other beliefs. The basic form is a series of questions formulated
as tests of logic and fact intended to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some
topic, exploring the definitions or logos, seeking to characterize the general characteristics
shared by various particular instances.

The whole method is heuristic, or a method of finding. It is an inductive process resulting


in a definition. Two things, are justly ascribed to Socrates, induction and definition and the
importance of the introduction of these processes cannot be overestimated. For the knowledge
of things in their changeable qualities Socrates would have us substitute the knowledge of things
in their unalterable natures, or essences.

SOCRATES, ARISTOTLE AND PLATO

Socrates (Athens' street-corner philosopher)

Socrates was the big-city philosopher in ancient Athens. Accused and convicted of
corrupting the youth, his only real crime was embarrassing and irritating a number of important
people. His punishment was death.

Famous quote: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Socrates didn't write books; he just liked to ask probing and sometimes humiliating
questions, which gave rise to the famous Socratic Method of Teaching. This street-corner
philosopher made a career of deflating pompous windbags.

Socrates' final words were "Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius (the god of medicine). Pay it
and do not neglect it."

Plato (The philosopher who would be king)

An aristocratic man with plenty of money and a superb physique, Plato at one time won
two prizes as a championship wrestler. Actually, the man's real (and little known) name was
Aristocles; Plato was just a nickname given to him by his friends, whose original connotation
made reference to his broad shoulders.

Plato became an enthusiastic and talented student of Socrates and wrote famous
dialogues featuring his teacher verbally grappling with opponents. Our wrestler believed in the
pre-existence and immortality of the soul, holding that life is nothing more than the
imprisonment of the soul in a body. In addition to the physical world, there is a heavenly realm
of greater reality consisting in Forms, Ideals, or Ideas (such as Equality, Justice, Humanity, and so
on).

As his crowning achievement: He wrote a famous treatise (The Republic) on the ideal
society, in which he expressed the thought that a philosopher, of all people, who should be king.
Aristotle ( a long walk to the Golden Mean)

Aristotle was Plato's best student. He went on to become the very well-paid tutor of
Alexander the Great probably the highest paid philosopher in history. Aristotle started his own
philosophical school when he was 50 years old. Although he lived only ten more years, he
produced nearly a thousand books and pamphlets, only a few of which have survived.

This great thinker was called a peripatetic philosopher (peripateo or to walk around)
because he liked to lecture to his students while taking a walk. Another group of philosophers
were called stoics because they preferred sitting around on porches when they shot the breeze.

A key theme in Aristotle's thought is that happiness is the goal of life. Aristotle was a good
deal less other-worldly than Plato. He voluntarily went into exile from Athens when conditions
became a bit politically dangerous for him, in his words, "lest Athens sin twice against
philosophy."

The founder of logical theory, Aristotle believed that the greatest human endeavor is the
use of reason in theoretical activity. One of his best known ideas was his conception of "The
Golden Mean" "avoid extremes," the counsel of moderation in all things.

MEDIEVAL PERIOD OF SCHOLASTICISM

Scholasticism is a Medieval school of philosophy (or, perhaps more accurately, a method


of learning) taught by the academics of medieval universities and cathedrals in the period from
the 12th to 16th Century. It combined Logic, Metaphysics and semantics into one discipline, and
is generally recognized to have developed our understanding of Logic significantly.

The term scholastic is derived from the Latin word scholasticus and the Greek scholastikos
(devoting one's leisure to learning or scholar) and the Greek scholeion (school). The term
schoolmen are also commonly used to describe scholastics.

Scholasticism is best known for its application in medieval Christian theology, especially
in attempts to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers (particularly
Aristotle) with Christian theology. It is also a tool and method for learning which places emphasis
on dialectical reasoning directed at answering questions or resolving contradictions.

Scholastic Method

The Scholastic Method is to thoroughly and critically read a book by a renowned scholar
or author, reference any other related documents and commentaries on it, and note down any
disagreements and points of contention. The two sides of an argument would be made whole
(found to be in agreement and not contradictory) through philological analysis (the examination
of words for multiple meanings or ambiguities), and through logical analysis (using the rules of
formal logic to show that contradictions did not exist but were merely subjective to the reader).

MODERN PERIOD OF PHILOSOPHY: EMPIRICISM, RATIONALISM AND KANTS

Empiricism

Empiricism is the theory that the origin of all knowledge is sense experience. It
emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation
of ideas, and argues that the only knowledge humans can have some posteriori. Most empiricists
also discount the notion of innate ideas (the idea that the mind is born with ideas or knowledge
and is not a "blank slate" at birth).

Empiricism is contrasted with Rationalism, the theory that the mind may apprehend some
truths directly, without requiring the medium of the senses.

The term empiricism has a dual etymology, stemming both from the Greek word for
"experience" and from the more specific classical Greek and Roman usage of "empiric, referring
to a physician whose skill derives from practical experience as opposed to instruction in theory.

The term empirical also refers to the method of observation and experiment used in the
natural and social sciences. It is a fundamental requirement of the scientific method that all
hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than
resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be
methodologically empirical in nature.

Rationalism

Rationalism is a philosophical movement which gathered momentum during the Age of


Reason of the 17th Century. It is usually associated with the introduction of mathematical
methods into philosophy during this period by the major rationalist figures, Descartes, Leibniz
and Spinoza. The preponderance of French Rationalists in the 18th Century Age of
Enlightenment, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles de Secondat (Baron de
Montesquieu), is often known as French Rationalism.

Rationalism is any view appealing to intellectual and deductive reason (as opposed to
sensory experience or any religious teachings) as the source of knowledge or justification. Thus,
it holds that some propositions are knowable by us by intuition alone, while others are knowable
by being deduced through valid arguments from intuited propositions. It relies on the idea that
reality has a rational structure in that all aspects of it can be grasped through mathematical and
logical principles, and not simply through sensory experience.
Kants Philosophy
Kantianism is a philosophical school based on the writings of the key German Idealist
philosopher Immanuel Kant, and the philosophies that have arisen from the subsequent study of
his writings. It is the theory that fundamental reality is made up of ideas or thoughts and not
physical matter.

Kant's Transcendental Idealism claims that we know more than Berkeley's ideas in our
minds, in that we also directly know of at least the possibility of "noumena" (things-in-
themselves), which are both empirically and transcendentally real even if they cannot be directly
and immediately known. The actual "phenomena" which we perceive and which we think we
know are really just the way things appear to us and not necessarily real. See the section on the
doctrine of Idealism for more details.

Kant's view of Ethics is deontological (i.e. it focuses on the rightness or wrongness of


actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those
actions or the character of the actor, and holds that ethical rules bind people to an ethical duty).
It is founded on his view of rationality as the ultimate good, and his belief that all people are
fundamentally rational beings. His major contribution was the theory of the Categorical
Imperative which, at its simplest, states that one should act only in such a way that you would
want your actions to become a universe.

CONTEMPORARY PERIOD: ANALYTIC AND CONTINENTAL PERIOD

Analytic Period

Analytic Philosophy is a 20th Century movement in philosophy which holds that


philosophy should apply logical techniques in order to attain conceptual clarity, and that
philosophy should be consistent with the success of modern science. For many Analytic
Philosophers, language is the principal tool, and philosophy consists in clarifying how language
can be used. It is also used as a catch-all phrase to include all branches of contemporary
philosophy not included under the label Continental Philosophy, such as Logical Positivism,
Logicism and Ordinary Language Philosophy.

Analytic Philosophy as a specific movement was led by Bertrand Russell, Alfred North
Whitehead, G. E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Turning away from then-dominant forms of
Hegelianism, (particularly objecting to its Idealism and its almost deliberate obscurity), they
began to develop a new sort of conceptual analysis based on new developments in Logic, and
succeeded in making substantial contributions to philosophical Logic over the first half of the
20th Century.

Continental Period

Continental Philosophy refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th Century philosophy
in mainland Europe. It is a general term for those philosophical schools and movements not
included under the label Analytic Philosophy, which was the other, largely Anglophone, main
philosophical tradition of the period.

As a movement, Continental Philosophy lacks clear definition, and may mark merely a
family resemblance across disparate philosophical views, its main purpose being to distinguish
itself from Analytic Philosophy, although the term was used as early as 1840 by John Stuart Mill
to distinguish European Kant-influenced thought from the more British-based movements such
as British Empiricism and Utilitarianism.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates
https://www.quora.com/Who-is-the-Father-of-Philosophy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_philosophy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#History
http://www.historyguide.org/ancient/pre-socratic.html
http://www.philosophy.gr/presocratics/xenophanes.htm
http://www.crystalinks.com/xenophanes.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophanes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoras
http://www.philosophybasics.com/philosophers_pythagoras.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_pythagoreanism.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method
https://www3.nd.edu/~maritain/jmc/etext/hop07.htm
http://www.philosophybasics.com/historical_socratic.html
http://historyofphilosophy.net/classical
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/socrates-plato-and-aristotle-the-big-three-in-
gree.html
http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/athenians.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_scholasticism.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_empiricism.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_rationalism.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_kantianism.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_analytic.html
http://www.philosophybasics.com/movements_continental.html