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1.1 What Is Philosophy?

1 .
What are some common characteristics of ancient sages in the Greek, Indian, and Chinese traditions?
2 .
What characteristics are essential for being identified as a “sage”?
3 .
What is the connection between sages and philosophers?
4 .
Provide one example of an ancient philosopher or sage who was doing something like natural science. What made this philosopher’s activity scientific?
5 .
What does it mean for philosophy to “have an eye on the whole”? How is this different from other disciplines?
6 .
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?

7 .
What are five sources of evidence commonly used in philosophy? Which of these are empirical? Which do not require observation or experiment?
8 .
What are three techniques used in conceptual analysis? Explain how they work.
9 .
What is coherence? What does it mean for a set of beliefs or statements to be coherent?
10 .
What do philosophers mean by intuition?
11 .
What are thought experiments?

1.3 Socrates as a Paradigmatic Historical Philosopher

12 .
Consider Socrates's conclusion that "human wisdom is worth little or nothing." Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
13 .
Do you think the Socratic method is an effective way of maintaining humility about knowledge?
14 .
What do you think Socrates means by "the life which is unexamined is not worth living"? Do you agree?
15 .
Compare and contrast Socrates's moral philosophy with that of the Hindu principle of ahimsa.

1.4 An Overview of Contemporary Philosophy

16 .
What are the primary areas of specialization in academic philosophy?
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