Philosophy of religion : introductory essays.
Philosophy, in the sense I am discussing it here, is the sustained, systematic, reflective thinking about concepts and beliefs in any subject to see what is clear (i.e., intelligible) and reasonable to believe about it, and why. It differs from science in that it includes the study of more than what is empirical (i.e., physically observable), and in that it tends to examine data and evidence already available, usually trying to put it into a clear and reasonable perspective, rather than to seek new data. Examples of philosophical writing that examine concepts and beliefs about various topics are many of my essays at , such as "", "", "", "", "", "", "", "", "", "", or " [About Economics]".
An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion, Oxford: Blackwell.
Moreover, most people seem to think they "reason" well enough and that any argument that shows otherwise is merely someone else's opinion, and does not need to be considered any further than it takes to ignore, dismiss, or reject it. So although these are areas where people could benefit from philosophy, they usually do not, and do not care to. In that sense philosophy is just of potential benefit. But it is not unlike other, practical, areas of potential benefit that are ignored. When the inventor of the Xerox (photocopy) machine was looking for financial backing, almost all the large business concerns of the day turned him down. The primary reason given was that there was no need for copy machines; we already had carbon paper to make copies of documents. Not only have prominent inventions and scientific ideas been rejected, but so have business ideas and management plans. Many a successful enterprise has resulted from employees going into competition with their former bosses who would not listen to, or could not understand or appreciate, their ideas for innovation.
What underlies most philosophy -- particularly perhaps British and American philosophy -- is training and practice in (1) analyzing and understanding concepts, (2) recognizing and showing the significance of hidden, unconscious, or unrealized assumptions, (3) recognizing and remedying various forms of unclear conceptualization and communication, such as vagueness and ambiguity, which are often unintended and at first unrealized (4) drawing reasonable conclusions from whatever evidence is at hand, and (5) recognizing evidence in the first place -- seeing, that is, that some knowledge can serve as evidence for more knowledge and is not just some sort of inert fact or end in itself. These things are, or can be, very important for science, social science, economics, business, and other practical and empirical pursuits, but they are crucial for knowledge about matters of value, interpretation, perspective, and that which is intangible. It turns out that much of science, social science, economics, and business contains elements of the intangible, and questions about values, which can only be dealt with philosophically. Moreover, even the most empirical matters have conceptual components that require careful analysis and understanding. The essays "," "," "," and "" exemplify that.
Philosophy and Religion Essay ..
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philosophy of religion introductory essays - Universo …
However, it must be pointed out that there are people trained in philosophy who do not think very well, at least not on all, if any, topics. And there are people who have never had any sort of philosophy or logic course who are quite astute in their thinking in general. The study of philosophy is something like the intellectual equivalent of training in sports. Those with natural talent and no training will often be better than those with training but little natural talent, but proper training should develop and enhance whatever talent most people have to begin with.
Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings - Thriftbooks
In short, the world viewed religion, philosophy, and science in a very different way by the end of the seventeenth century because of these great philosophers.
Philosophy of Religion : Introductory Essays - Direct …
Furthermore, philosophy in many cases is about deciding which goals and values are worthy to pursue -- what ends are important. One can be scientific or pragmatic about pursuing one's goals in the most efficient manner, but it is important to have the right or most reasonable goals in the first place. Philosophy is a way of scrutinizing ideas about which goals are the most worthy one. A healthy philosophical debate about what is ideal or which ideals ought to be sought and pursued, is important. Efficiency in the pursuit of the wrong values or ends is not a virtue. President John F. Kennedy, in speaking at Amherst College on a day honoring poet Robert Frost, said: "The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us." And "When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. ... for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgement." I believe philosophy could be added to art in these statements to form the following: (1) The people who make an indispensable contribution to the nation's greatness, but the people who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is distinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us, When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry establish the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.