Invitation to Philosophy: Issues and Options
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First ponder the concepts, then discover how experts debate it. INVITATION TO PHILOSOPHY: ISSUES AND OPTIONS walks you through each major topic in philosophy using language you can understand, shows you how it's all connected, and manages to be entertaining at the same time.
but highly plastic. 2. Human Nature Is Social with Positive Potentialities Let us now examine the idea that our social inclinations and our positive, life-affirming potentialities are more deeply grounded in our nature than our negative, destructive impulses. This idea has been formulated in different ways by a diverse group of thinkers in Eastern as well as Western traditions. In this view of humankind, the core of human nature is seen as actively pressing toward self-realization,
predictive, and quantitative, whereas political philosophy tends to be more prescriptive and analytical. A great deal of philosophical discussion has centered on the question of how to justify the imposition of social or political authority over an individual human being. Many of the arguments are based on the assumption that the best and most effective political system is one that recognizes the basic conditions of human nature. For this reason the previous chapter, on human nature, is an
the Bible, it stresses God's deliverance of oppressed people in history. Linguistic analysis. A contemporary form of analytic philosophy in which it is claimed that all philosophical problems are at least in part language problems and in which 250 Glossary the primary function of philosophy becomes the rigorous analysis and clarification of concepts and statements. See Logical empiricism; Ordinary-language philosophy. Logic. The study of the correct rules of reasoning; more specifically the
falsity of the belief that a human being possesses an eternal soul. Or take the case of a theory such as evolution, which is defended by citing verifiable and measurable "facts." How do we decide whether or not the theory of evolution "corresponds" with those "facts"? Evolution itself is not an object or a thing "out there" that we can perceive as existing or not existing. The correspondence theory has another weakness. Within the theory itself there is no way to judge the adequacy of the
reasonable interpretation of the universe. The argument is founded on the observed orderliness of the universe. Consider the following analogy. Suppose you were wandering about in a barren desert and stumbled across a watch. Would you seriously entertain the hypothesis that the watch had been created by the purposeless swirling of the sand? Many of the scientists of the seventeenth century were convinced by the design argument for God's existence. They found order and regularity in the universe.