Phil 201 Study Guide Essay

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The Importance of Philosophy in General

Lesson Overview

Having discussed what philosophy is, we now consider why it is important to study philosophy. We will divide our discussion into 2 parts: (1) Why is it important for all persons in general and (2) Why is it specifically important for Christians to study philosophy? We begin, in true philosophic fashion, by examining the question itself: what we do mean by philosophy being important and we introduce the idea of the philosophic mindset. We then examine 5 reasons why it is important for all persons to adopt the philosophic mindset. We will end by providing an overview of the different branches of philosophy.


Read and take notes from chapter 2 of
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• What are the 2 respects in which clarification is important?
1. Important that we are clear about what we believe for our own benefit. Out actions, motivations, and feelings are predicated on our beliefs, which means we need to be clear on what they are.
2. Clarifying terms and concepts is of utmost importance b/c our discussions about our beliefs are based on a shared understanding of what those terms and concepts mean. Make sure all are on the same page; everyone is clear on the meaning of terms involved so we understand we are talking about the same thing.

• Why is clarification important in philosophical discussions?
So we don’t waste time in fruitless discussion. Be sure we are all talking about the same thing.

• Distinguish between the 2 kinds of arguing in 4 ways.
~If philosophy is the pursuit of truth, then arguing is the strategy that guides that pursuit. Arguing is a philosopher’s primary task; they love it.
~ They construct arguments, evaluate the arguments of others, and produce counterarguments against those arguments.
1. One type is the angry dispute argument, characterized by angry emotions. Attack opposing person. Goal of this argument is to win: show them we are right and they are wrong. Negative experience that we often avoid.
2. Second type is a dispute between competing ideas. This is the kind phil do. Rather than emotional, it is rational. Seeking

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