One of the things about philosophy is that you don't have to give up on any other field. Whatever field there is, there's a corresponding field of. Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available. Philosophy provides an excellent preparation for law school and other professional successfully work in, but are not limited to the following occupational fields. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics (" concerned with .. Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of.
A broad and impartial conception of philosophy then, finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality, morality and life in all world civilizations.
Socrates was a very influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. The Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Platowho founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle founding the Peripatetic schoolwho were both extremely influential in Western tradition.
Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics with competing theories such as atomism and monismcosmologythe nature of the well-lived life eudaimoniathe possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason logos.
With the rise of the Roman empireGreek philosophy was also increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy 5th—16th centuries is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the rise of Christianity and hence reflects Judeo-Christian theological concerns as well as retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought.
Problems such as the existence and nature of Godthe nature of faith and reason, metaphysics, the problem of evil were discussed in this period. Some key Medieval thinkers include St. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to Theology ancilla theologiae and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture.
This period saw the development of Scholasticisma text critical method developed in medieval universities based on close reading and disputation on key texts.
The Renaissance period saw increasing focus on classic Greco-Roman thought and on a robust Humanism. The 20th century saw the split between Analytic philosophy and Continental philosophyas well as philosophical trends such as PhenomenologyExistentialismLogical PositivismPragmatism and the Linguistic turn. Middle Eastern philosophy See also: Islamic philosophy and Middle Eastern philosophy The regions of the fertile CrescentIran and Arabia are home to the earliest known philosophical Wisdom literature and is today mostly dominated by Islamic culture.
Early wisdom literature from the fertile crescent was a genre which sought to instruct people on ethical action, practical living and virtue through stories and proverbs. In Ancient Egyptthese texts were known as sebayt 'teachings' and they are central to our understandings of Ancient Egyptian philosophy.
Babylonian astronomy also included much philosophical speculations about cosmology which may have influenced the Ancient Greeks. Jewish philosophy and Christian philosophy are religio-philosophical traditions that developed both in the Middle East and in Europe, which both share certain early Judaic texts mainly the Tanakh and monotheistic beliefs.
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Later Jewish philosophy came under strong Western intellectual influences and includes the works of Moses Mendelssohn who ushered in the Haskalah the Jewish EnlightenmentJewish existentialism and Reform Judaism. Pre-Islamic Iranian philosophy begins with the work of Zoroasterone of the first promoters of monotheism and of the dualism between good and evil.
This dualistic cosmogony influenced later Iranian developments such as ManichaeismMazdakismand Zurvanism. After the Muslim conquestsEarly Islamic philosophy developed the Greek philosophical traditions in new innovative directions.
This Islamic Golden Age influenced European intellectual developments. The two main currents of early Islamic thought are Kalam which focuses on Islamic theology and Falsafa which was based on Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism. The work of Aristotle was very influential among the falsafa such as al-Kindi 9th centuryAvicenna — June and Averroes 12th century.
Others such as Al-Ghazali were highly critical of the methods of the Aristotelian falsafa. Islamic thinkers also developed a scientific methodexperimental medicine, a theory of optics and a legal philosophy. Ibn Khaldun was an influential thinker in philosophy of history. In Iran several schools of Islamic philosophy continued to flourish after the Golden Age and include currents such as Illuminationist philosophySufi philosophyand Transcendent theosophy.
The 19th- and 20th-century Arab world saw the Nahda awakening or renaissance movement which influenced contemporary Islamic philosophy. Indian philosophy Main articles: Eastern philosophy and Indian philosophy Indian philosophy Sanskrit: Jainism and Buddhism originated at the end of the Vedic period, while Hinduism emerged as a fusion of diverse traditions, starting after the end of the Vedic period.
Jain philosophy Jain philosophy accepts the concept of a permanent soul jiva as one of the five astikayas, or eternal infinite categories that make up the substance of existence. The other four being dharma, adharma, akasha space and pudgala matter. The Jain thought separates matter from the soul completely. Digambara sky dressed, naked and Svetambara white dressedalong with several more minor traditions such as Terapanthis.
Buddhist philosophy begins with the thought of Gautama Buddha fl.
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The Buddhist philosophy is traditionally classified into four schools, states Karl Potter—the editor of The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. They contributed to the two major surviving traditions of Buddhism, the Mahayana and the Theravada. Buddhist philosophy incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and psychology to end rebirth and associated dukkha.
Mahayana philosophers such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu developed the theories of Shunyata emptiness of all phenomena and Vijnapti-matra appearance onlya form of phenomenology or transcendental idealism. Is language acquisition a special faculty in the mind? What is the connection between thought and language? There are three general perspectives on the issue of language learning. The first is the behaviorist perspective, which dictates that not only is the solid bulk of language learned, but it is learned via conditioning.
The second is the hypothesis testing perspective, which understands the child's learning of syntactic rules and meanings to involve the postulation and testing of hypotheses, through the use of the general faculty of intelligence.
The final candidate for explanation is the innatist perspective, which states that at least some of the syntactic settings are innate and hardwired, based on certain modules of the mind. Connectionist models emphasize the idea that a person's lexicon and their thoughts operate in a kind of distributed, associative network.
Reductionist models attempt to explain higher-level mental processes in terms of the basic low-level neurophysiological activity of the brain. There have been a number of different perspectives on this issue, each offering a number of insights and suggestions.
Linguists Sapir and Whorf suggested that language limited the extent to which members of a "linguistic community" can think about certain subjects a hypothesis paralleled in George Orwell 's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Philosopher Michael Dummett is also a proponent of the "language-first" viewpoint.
The "knowledge-first" position can be found, for instance, in the work of Paul Grice.
According to his argument, spoken and written language derive their intentionality and meaning from an internal language encoded in the mind. Another argument is that it is difficult to explain how signs and symbols on paper can represent anything meaningful unless some sort of meaning is infused into them by the contents of the mind. One of the main arguments against is that such levels of language can lead to an infinite regress. Another tradition of philosophers has attempted to show that language and thought are coextensive — that there is no way of explaining one without the other.
Donald Davidson, in his essay "Thought and Talk", argued that the notion of belief could only arise as a product of public linguistic interaction. Daniel Dennett holds a similar interpretationist view of propositional attitudes. Some thinkers, like the ancient sophist Gorgiashave questioned whether or not language was capable of capturing thought at all.
Hence, since the objects of sight cannot be presented to any other organ but sight, and the different sense-organs cannot give their information to one another, similarly speech cannot give any information about perceptibles. Therefore, if anything exists and is comprehended, it is incommunicable. Some of them were performed by Lera Boroditsky. For example, English speakers tend to say things like "John broke the vase" even for accidents. However, Spanish or Japanese speakers would be more likely to say "the vase broke itself.
Later everyone was asked whether they could remember who did what. Spanish and Japanese speakers did not remember the agents of accidental events as well as did English speakers. The Pirahaa tribe in Brazilwhose language has only terms like few and many instead of numerals, are not able to keep track of exact quantities. The descriptions they gave differed in a way predicted by grammatical gender.
For example, when asked to describe a "key"—a word that is masculine in German and feminine in Spanish—the German speakers were more likely to use words like "hard," "heavy," "jagged," "metal," "serrated," and "useful," whereas Spanish speakers were more likely to say "golden," "intricate," "little," "lovely," "shiny," and "tiny.
They had to guess whether each alien was friendly or hostile, and after each response they were told if they were correct or not, helping them learn the subtle cues that distinguished friend from foe. A quarter of the participants were told in advance that the friendly aliens were called "leebish" and the hostile ones "grecious", while another quarter were told the opposite. For the rest, the aliens remained nameless. It was found that participants who were given names for the aliens learned to categorize the aliens far more quickly, reaching 80 per cent accuracy in less than half the time taken by those not told the names.
By the end of the test, those told the names could correctly categorize 88 per cent of aliens, compared to just 80 per cent for the rest. It was concluded that naming objects helps us categorize and memorize them. In another series of experiments  a group of people was asked to view furniture from an IKEA catalog.
Half the time they were asked to label the object — whether it was a chair or lamp, for example — while the rest of the time they had to say whether or not they liked it.
It was found that when asked to label items, people were later less likely to recall the specific details of products, such as whether a chair had arms or not. It was concluded that labeling objects helps our minds build a prototype of the typical object in the group at the expense of individual features.
Questions inevitably arise on surrounding topics. One question is, "What exactly is a convention, and how do we study it? However, this view seems to compete to some extent with the Gricean view of speaker's meaning, requiring either one or both to be weakened if both are to be taken as true. Noam Chomsky proposed that the study of language could be done in terms of the I-Language, or internal language of persons.
If this is so, then it undermines the pursuit of explanations in terms of conventions, and relegates such explanations to the domain of "meta-semantics". Metasemantics is a term used by philosopher of language Robert Stainton to describe all those fields that attempt to explain how semantic facts arise. Etymology the study of the origins of words and stylistics philosophical argumentation over what makes "good grammar", relative to a particular language are two other examples of fields that are taken to be meta-semantic.
Not surprisingly, many separate but related fields have investigated the topic of linguistic convention within their own research paradigms. The presumptions that prop up each theoretical view are of interest to the philosopher of language.
For instance, one of the major fields of sociology, symbolic interactionismis based on the insight that human social organization is based almost entirely on the use of meanings. Rhetoric is the study of the particular words that people use to achieve the proper emotional and rational effect in the listener, be it to persuade, provoke, endear, or teach.
Some relevant applications of the field include the examination of propaganda and didacticismthe examination of the purposes of swearing and pejoratives especially how it influences the behavior of others, and defines relationshipsor the effects of gendered language. It can also be used to study linguistic transparency or speaking in an accessible manneras well as performative utterances and the various tasks that language can perform called "speech acts". It also has applications to the study and interpretation of law, and helps give insight to the logical concept of the domain of discourse.
Literary theory is a discipline that some literary theorists claim overlaps with the philosophy of language.
Philosophy of language
It emphasizes the methods that readers and critics use in understanding a text. This field, an outgrowth of the study of how to properly interpret messages, is unsurprisingly closely tied to the ancient discipline of hermeneutics.
Language and Continental philosophy[ edit ] In Continental philosophylanguage is not studied as a separate discipline, as it is in analytic philosophy. Rather, it is an inextricable part of many other areas of thought, such as phenomenologysemioticshermeneuticsHeideggerean ontologyexistentialismstructuralismdeconstruction and critical theory. The idea of language is often related to that of logic in its Greek sense as " logos ", meaning discourse or dialectic.
Language and concepts are also seen as having been formed by history and politics, or even by historical philosophy itself. The field of hermeneutics, and the theory of interpretation in general, has played a significant role in 20th century Continental philosophy of language and ontology beginning with Martin Heidegger.
Heidegger combines phenomenology with the hermeneutics of Wilhelm Dilthey. Heidegger believed language was one of the most important concepts for Dasein. Heidegger believed that language today is worn out because of overuse of important words, and would be inadequate for in-depth study of Being Sein. For example, Sein beingthe word itself, is saturated with multiple meanings. Thus, he invented new vocabulary and linguistic stylesbased on Ancient Greek and Germanic etymological word relations, to disambiguate commonly used words.
He avoided words like consciousness, ego, human, nature, etc. With such new concepts as Being-in-the-world, Heidegger constructs his theory of language, centered on speech. He believed speech talking, listening, silence was the most essential and pure form of language.
Heidegger claims writing is only a supplement to speech, because even a reader constructs or contributes one's own "talk" while reading. The most important feature of language is its projectivity, the idea that language is prior to human speech.
This means that when one is "thrown" into the world, his existence is characterized from the beginning by a certain pre-comprehension of the world. However, it is only after naming, or "articulation of intelligibility", can one have primary access to Dasein and Being-in-the-World.
In Truth and Method, Gadamer describes language as "the medium in which substantive understanding and agreement take place between two people. For example, monuments and statues cannot communicate without the aid of language.
Gadamer also claims that every language constitutes a world-view, because the linguistic nature of the world frees each individual from an objective environment: The world as world exists for man as for no other creature in the world. Other philosophers who have worked in this tradition include Luigi Pareyson and Jacques Derrida.
In this field, human language both natural and artificial is just one among many ways that humans and other conscious beings are able to communicate. It allows them to take advantage of and effectively manipulate the external world in order to create meaning for themselves and transmit this meaning to others.
Every object, every person, every event, and every force communicates or signifies continuously. The ringing of a telephone for example, is the telephone. The smoke that I see on the horizon is the sign that there is a fire. The things of the world, in this vision, seem to be labeled precisely for intelligent beings who only need to interpret them in the way that humans do.
True communication, including the use of human language, however, requires someone a sender who sends a message, or text, in some code to someone else a receiver. Language is studied only insofar as it is one of these forms the most sophisticated form of communication. In modern times, its best-known figures include Umberto EcoA. Problems in the philosophy of language[ edit ] Vagueness[ edit ] One issue that has troubled philosophers of language and logic is the problem of the vagueness of words.