The Birth and Evolution of Philosophy

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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The Origin of Philosophy

If we analyze the questions the first philosophers, we can distinguish between philosophy as a way of thinking or as a discipline.
It as a way of thinking is a human way of interacting with the world. It is about making questions about the world we live in, in order to find meaning. It is deeply rooted in humans and always existed, but it doesn't give rise to it as a discipline. Philosophy as a discipline started when Thales, considered the first philosopher, used observation and reasoning to offer an explanation of the existence of natural things and phenomena.

Thales fundamental features of philosophy:

  • It begins with the recognition of ignorance
  • It's a theoretical type of knowledge that aims to transform reality
  • It's universal
  • It uses reason as an instrument of knowledge
  • It's a type of knowledge that doesn't stop until it gets to the root of the problem

Myth, Magic and Philosophy

Our ancestors used myth and magic to answer questions about reality using imagination and fantasy. A myth is a story that explains the origin of a particular reality. The reality can be:
  • Social, a physical phenomenon, The Universe..
  • An essential role is assigned to the gods and links natural phenomena to their wishes
  • The belief that divine will can be changed through rites in honor of the corresponding god
  • Destiny is understood as a cosmic force. This force imposes events that cannot be understood by human beings.

Imagination and Reason

Are cognitive faculties that are exclusive to humans.

Reason requirements:

  • Systematization: our rational thoughts are not isolated elements, they are part of an organized system.
  • Coherence: All knowledge achieved through reason has to be compatible. There cannot be any contradictions.
  • Universality: The aim of reason is to know the truth, and the truth has to be the same for every individual. As a result, rational knowledge has to be universally valid.

Rational Explanation

The birth of philosophy meant using reason as an instrumental to reach true knowledge about reality. Only rational explanations were accepted because they addressed and clarified issues that were previously not understood.

There are two types:

  • Theoretical (aims to understand reality):
    • Metaphysics (What is real): Ontology (being), Cosmology (universe), Theology (god)
    • Gnoseology (limits of human knowledge): Epistemology (science), Logic (valid arguments)
    • Anthropology (what makes us human beings): Physical A (anatomy)
  • Social and cultural (society), Philosophical (global vision of human being)

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