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100-07-08 What is philosophy

100-07-08 What is philosophy - PHL 100Y What is Philosophy...

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PHL 100Y: What is Philosophy? 1. Philosophers often say that philosophy is thinking as hard as we can about certain important questions that most people think of as philosophical, for example, the topics we will consider this year (See P & A p1). 2. But many disciplines involve thinking hard, and what makes questions “philosophical” rather than religious, scientific, historical and so on needs some clarification. 3. I believe that the hard thinking that constitutes doing philosophy is the sort of thinking that goes on in disciplined, reflective conversation or dialogue, and that philosophical questions are those important human questions that can be answered, insofar as they can be, only by that sort of inquiry. 4. Science and history can appeal to facts and experiments to settle some important questions; religious authority can settle some issues for members of the religion; a supreme court can settle some questions for a political society. 5. Philosophical claims can appeal to no authority
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