Think Independently by Chauncey Riddle PhD
6x9 Softcover book 169 pages; $16.95
Philosophy and philosophizing in our modern times resolve down to asking and answering fundamental questions which cannot be resolved by scientific or mathematical means. The fundamental questions are:
1. How do we humans know? This question gives rise to the philosophical area of epistemology, the study of knowing. We will treat first personal knowledge, that which we know for ourselves by ourselves. Then we will treat social knowledge, the areas of science and history, wherein the social acceptance of ideas by a peer group is important to though not always necessary to acceptance of the ideas as legitimate science or history.
2. What are the nature and limits of science? Examination of science itself is not something which can be accomplished by a science; thus it falls to philosophy to examine science. We will pursue an understanding of science as it occurs in our times as part of this inquiry into philosophizing.
3. What are the nature and limits of history? Neither science, nor history itself, can answer these questions, and again it falls to philosophy to examine them. We will pursue these questions in this work as part of understanding philosophizing.
4. What is real? This question gives rise to the philosophical area of metaphysics, the study of existence questions which cannot be resolved by scientific means. The answers to metaphysical questions are often part of the fundamentals of a given science. Every person?s thinking is based within a metaphysical framework.
5. What should each person do to be good and wise? This question gives rise to the philosophical area of ethics. Ethics is to be distinguished from morals. Ethics is the discussion of the theory of moral standards. Morality is the observance or non-observance of a particular moral standard.
6. What is the basic framework of our thinking? This question gives rise to the analysis of worldviews. Each worldview is the combination of conclusions about epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. There are probably as many worldviews in this world as there are individual human beings. The study of worldviews does not constitute a recognized separate division of philosophy in the modern world, but the topic is often considered as part of philosophizing and will be treated separately in this work.
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