1.1 What Is Philosophy?
What are some common characteristics of ancient sages in the Greek, Indian, and Chinese traditions?
What characteristics are essential for being identified as a “sage”?
What is the connection between sages and philosophers?
Provide one example of an ancient philosopher or sage who was doing something like natural science. What made this philosopher’s activity scientific?
What does it mean for philosophy to “have an eye on the whole”? How is this different from other disciplines?
Why is it necessary for philosophers to discard suppositions or assumptions that may be acceptable in other disciplines?
1.2 How Do Philosophers Arrive at Truth?
What are five sources of evidence commonly used in philosophy? Which of these are empirical? Which do not require observation or experiment?
What are three techniques used in conceptual analysis? Explain how they work.
What is coherence? What does it mean for a set of beliefs or statements to be coherent?
What do philosophers mean by intuition?
What are thought experiments?
1.3 Socrates as a Paradigmatic Historical Philosopher
Consider Socrates's conclusion that "human wisdom is worth little or nothing." Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
Do you think the Socratic method is an effective way of maintaining humility about knowledge?
What do you think Socrates means by "the life which is unexamined is not worth living"? Do you agree?
Compare and contrast Socrates's moral philosophy with that of the Hindu principle of ahimsa.
1.4 An Overview of Contemporary Philosophy
What are the primary areas of specialization in academic philosophy?