To Be Kept From Worldly Philosophies
Difference Between Philosophy and World View
Philosophy and world view are two terms that have to be understood with precision as there is a difference between them. In other words, we can say that they, philosophy and world view, are two different words that convey different meanings.
Philosophy deals with fundamental and general matters that we have to deal with life such as those that are connected with language, reality, knowledge, etc. On the other hand, world view pertains to fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society.
Let us see more about these two terms so that we can understand what each term refers to.
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy deals with fundamental and general matters that we have to deal in life such as those that are connected with language, reality, knowledge, etc. Philosophy, in other words, deals with the nature of the soul, its relationship with the body and the eternal entities among other subject areas such as language, knowledge, values, etc.
Philosophy is all about means of valid knowledge that establish the truth about the permanent entity. The permanent is differently perceived in different philosophies of the world. Moreover, philosophy emphasizes the need for the realization of the supreme truth and its dwelling within the heart to attain liberation. Philosophy aims at liberation.
Philosophy is divided into sub-categories as epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics. Epistemology deals with the scope of knowledge and nature. Logic is a study that concentrates on the correct way to reason.Metaphysics pays attention to subject areas such as existence, time, objects, process, etc. Ethics focuses on answering the question what is the best way to live. It also considers if that question can be answered.
Aesthetics focuses on matters that come to the attention of our senses such as taste, art, beauty, etc.
What is World View?
The term world view refers to world perception. World view deals with ideas and perceptions through which an individual describes the nature of the world and interacts with it.
It is important to know that world view encompasses natural philosophy, fundamental and existential postulates. The world view pertains to fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society.
This kind of cognitive knowledge is useful to the individual to have a thorough understanding of the world and its nature. World view aims at the understanding of the reality. It can be said that world view leads to philosophical perception.
In the most simple terms, one can say that world view is how an individual or a group of people see the world, the point of view they use in seeing the world, and understanding its ways.
As a matter of fact, the term word view is derived from the German word ‘Weltanschauung.’ In German, the word ‘Welt’ means ‘world’ and ‘Anschauung’ means ‘view.’ Some people break down the main topic called world view into five categories.
These categories are naturalism, pantheism, theism, spiritism and polytheism, and postmodernism. These different categories have different ideas about man, values, truth and reality. For example, naturalism believes that man is the product of a biological process.
Values have no scientific importance though they are socially useful. Truth is always backed by science. The reality is one dimensional. What we see is what is there. Pantheism gives more value to the spiritual dimension when it comes to reality. Man is a spiritual being. Truth is beyond what people call rational description.When it comes to values, there is no real difference between good and bad. Theism has a God concept to every aspect. Reality is that the universe was created by God. Man was a production of God. Truth is known by revelation, five senses, and rational thought. Values are important.
Spritism and Polytheism focus on the belief of sprits. Man, reality, truth, and values are all governed by the presence of spirits. In postmodernism everything has a connection to the cultural paradigm.
• Definition of Philosophy and World View:
• Philosophy deals with fundamental and general matters that we have to deal in life such as those that are connected with language, reality, knowledge, etc.
• World view focuses on how an individual or society sees the world and understands the world.
• Philosophy has sub-categories as epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics.
• World view has sub-categories as naturalism, pantheism, theism, spiritism and polytheism and postmodernism.
Introduction to World Philosophies
Module Code:158000197 Credits:30 Year of study:Year 1 Taught in:Full Year
This core-course is designed as a general introduction to the BA World Philosophies, to provide consistency and depth to the programme itself.
As such, the objectives of the course are: a) to introduce and outline overall methodological and theoretical issues of the Programme; b) to explore, mostly during Term 1, the background within Anglo-European (Western) philosophy which allows us to consider the possibility of ‘World Philosophies’ as a pursuable endeavour; c) to expose students, during Term 2, to some of the main traditions studied in our department with a view to reflect on the philosophical dimensions therein and to begin the process of engaging in philosophical dialogue between and across traditions.
Following a brief introduction in Term 1 to the event of philosophy in a western setting (through the analysis of concepts such as mythos, logos, aletheia etc.), the course will seek to expand the notion of ‘philosophy’ to other historical and geographical settings.
This task will be achieved firstly by examining the dialogical suggestions put forward by some western philosophers towards welcoming alterity and other systems of thought and, secondly, by highlighting the problematic nature of this endeavour and its multiple corollaries.
The novelty of Comparative Philosophy and/or World Philosophies as an expanding branch of the discipline requires close attention both to its historical development (mostly during the past 50-70 years) and to the originality it brings by the presence of multiple and varied systems of thought offering new ways of understanding and approaching philosophy itself. This effort also demands careful consideration of the methodological and theoretical foundations upon which our reflection rests.
The second part of the course, offering solid introductions to diverse philosophical traditions, will further problematise the ‘task of thinking’ as this is implemented in numerous settings.
The effort required of students, who will specialise in one particular tradition in the course of the degree, is their ability to establish a philosophical dialogue within and between different traditions.
In an increasingly globalised world, their contribution to the dialogical component of philosophies in manifold scenarios can be paramount.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
- Appreciate the presence and evaluate the development of dialogical philosophy within western thought in general and in the work of individual philosophers in particular.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the presence of diverse systems of thought (World Philosophies) beyond the experience of western philosophy.
- Identify methodological and theoretical tools which allow students to ‘compare and contrast’ the development of thought/ideas in different historical and geographical settings.
- Evaluate the problematic nature of ‘Comparative Philosophy/World Philosophies’, their historical backgrounds, and the advantages for philosophy in general gained through this sub-discipline.
- Understand the relevance of the study of ‘World Philosophies’ beyond academia and its applicability to multiple human endeavours.
- Provide evidence of progression in understanding the development of philosophy/philosophies from mere intellectual pursuit to practical purposes (through participation in class and tutorials discussion, the Learning Journal and written assignments).
- Become acquainted with a variety of philosophical traditions, their historical background and the dialogue (or lack of) within and between traditions.
- Specialise, as far as possible, in one chosen philosophical tradition.
Two hours lecture and one hour tutorial per week
Method of assessment
- One essay 3500 words (100% of the module) – for submission Term 3, week 2 – Monday
- Anderson, A. A. et al/ eds. 2004. Mythos and Logos: How to Regain the Love of Wisdom.Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi.
- Detienne, M. 1967. The Masters of Truth in Archaic Greece. Cambridge, MA – London: MIT Press.
- Hadot, P. 1995. Philosophy as a Way of Life. Chase, M., trans. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Heidegger, M. 1972. ‘The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking’, in M. Heidegger, On Time and Being, New York: Harper and Row Publishers, pp. 55-73.
- Hénaff, M. 2002. The Price of Truth: Gift, Money and Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Kirloskar-Steinbach, M. G. Ramana and J. Maffie, ‘Confluence: A Thematic Introduction’, Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies, Vol. 1, No 1, 2014, pp. 7-63.
- Marion, J-L. 2003. “The ‘end of philosophy’ as a possibility”, M.A. Wrathall (ed.) Religion after metaphysics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 166-189.
- Mate, R. 2001. ‘Thinking in Spanish: Memory of Logos,’ Nepantla: Views from South, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2001, pp. 247-264.
- Ricoeur, P. 2006. On Translation. London and New York: Routledge.
- Zene, C. 2015. ‘World Philosophies in Dialogue: a Shared Wisdom?’, Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies, vol. 1, n. 2, pp. 11-32.
Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules
20 philosophical words you need to know
It is often said that philosophy is too complex. That is true.
But it is essentially linked to the technical language that philosophers deploy (well, some philosophers Heidegger or Hegel invent concepts, it does not help much to understand them).
But it’s only up to you to understand the major concepts.
We listed 20 technical terms (summarized in two lines!) you need to understand to survive your readings.
Act and power:
In scholastic philosophy and Aristotle in particular, the act identifies the state of a thing that is really the power designating it the status of a thing that can be. For example, the larva is a potential butterfly.
premium term legal first, meaning the transfer of ownership of property. Marx, alienation is the loss of identity of the worker, whose work is appropriated by the owner of the capital.
Descartes, the “I think therefore I am” takes the place of certainty and is the first truth to which access rights, which he knows God and the world.
Spinoza refers to man’s tendency to “persevere in his being”, that is the desire to be and to continue to want things. Man is conatus.
According to Rousseau, the social body refers to the formation of a community will allow its members to join in a general will.
In philosophy, the question of the body is fundamental. Philosophers answer the following questions:
- Is the separate body from the soul or do not they do that?
- Can we distinguish the body of the material body for consciousness?
The being-there in Heidegger. More simply, it is the human condition.
philosophical movement believing in the existence of causality as things progress factor. Its counterpart is existentialism.
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge, thinking that knowledge comes from experience. And to learn the idea of hot I need to burn me.
Ethics should not be confused with morality. Ethics refers to the principles that we put in the report itself (eg, do not compromise themselves in a difficult situation). Morality refers it to the principles of interaction with others so (for example, do not lie or lying to save others).
Idealism is not only an idyllic vision. In philosophy, it is a current that raises the ideas prevalent as to the material (un materialism so). In its most extreme form, especially at Berkeley, the idealist denies the existence of the outside world, only representations of the subject are real.
Freud, the unconscious designates the largest share of the psyche and opposes its conscious part. Divided into two bodies (the id, the superego), the unconscious is structured by instincts and the internalization of social and parental standards. It was he, according to Freud always that governed almost all of the shares and human inclinations.
Literally, the meta-physical is what happens to the physical (including Aristotle). From the Modern (Descartes, Leibniz, Kant), metaphysics refers to the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of man. It therefore wants the mother branch of philosophy, which derives morality, politics, etc.
The Monad is a concept invented by Leibniz which means a simple substance endowed trend and perception. Any individual consciousness is a monad because it has desires, and a unique perspective on the world.
In his Metaphysics, Aristotle defines ontology as “the science of being as being.” Ontology is the science of being or study of beings as they exist. Specifically, the ontology concerned to determine the fundamental categories of being.
This theory refers to the work of Husserl, who primarily defined a method, that of a return to the concrete ( “the same things” is the major order for Husserl), in order to (finally!) Philosophy a science rigorous. Sartre, Heidegger, Levinas or Merleau-Ponty claim to that method.
Among the Greeks, the dialectic is the philosophical exchange that reveals the true ideas. Later, from Hegel, the dialectic becomes understanding the real method to make a link between the elements that we think separate (eg, monarchy and democracy)
This is an approach and a philosophical school. Skeptic is one who doubts. God and the world in general.
The fallacy is an oratorical technics, not the argument and the search for truth, but on finding collective support, ie it is a demagogic practice. Thus, Socrates was it fought against the Greek sophists.
Transcendence refers to what is beyond us. Thus, God is transcendent (Descartes) in the sense that can know all its powers. Sartre is another that transcends me in the sense that his freedom still eludes me.
This is a method used in metaphysics. In Kant’s transcendental reflection on the conditions of the knowledge of objects of metaphysics (time and space, for example). Should not be confused with the transcendent.
The Best Philosophy Books Of All Time
“To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.” – Bertrand Russell
Some of the greatest thinkers in world history have lived within the field of philosophy. By studying the best philosophy books we can try to understand the ways that cultures before us created and understood meaning in their lives.
The ways we think and behave are heavily influenced by the culture we are born into. Philosophy can reveal to us the reasons behind the ways we act, and in doing so help us to gain understanding our inner selves and how we relate to our world around us.
“Everything man is and does is modified by learning and is therefore malleable.
But once learned, these behavior patterns, these habitual responses, these ways of interacting gradually sink below the surface of the mind and, the admiral of a submerged submarine fleet, control from the depths.
The hidden controls are usually experienced as though they were innate simply because they are not only ubiquitous but habitual as well.” – Edward T. Hall
Reading the best philosophy books gives us the opportunity to look into those hidden depths and understand our own thinking and behavior at a deeper level, helping us eliminate behavior we don’t .Philosophy draws indiscriminately from all fields knowledge, in a never ending questioning. This makes sense given it’s etymological origins: philo – a Greek term for love, and –sophia, a term that has had many variations in meaning through history, but always essentially denoted an aspect of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
I’ve put together this as a guide to some of the best philosophy books. I’ve included some of the classic works by the big names that you should know, while also including some lesser known introductions and guides that I think are particularly good.
Best Philosophy Books for Beginners: Introductory and Surveys
A History of Western Philosophy – Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russel’s ‘A History of Western Philosophy’ has held a position of reverence since it’s first publication in 1945. Comprehensive, erudite and revealing; this is a history written by one who would go on to become a regarded philosopher in his own right.
Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
Over twenty million copies in print – this novel follows 14-year old Norwegian girl Sophie Admundsen on a mystery of perplexing questions. Deeply entrenched and revealing of the Western philosophy canon, this is a great introduction to enjoyably explore some of the biggest questions asked as the basis of philosophy over the course of Western history.
Top 3 Philosophy Books: Most Immediately Helpful and Applicable
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism has seen an enthusiastic revival in recent years, especially in entrepreneurial circles. Reading ‘Meditations’, a defining work of stoicism, and it’s not hard to see why.
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote meditations during his experiences administrating the Roman Empire and during his life as a warrior. He outlines a timeless philosophy of commitment to virtue above pleasure, tranquility above happiness, and perhaps most importantly, a search for inner peace in the face of an endlessly changing and chaotic world. Highly practical for everyday life.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
With a slightly misleading title, this book asks big questions about the way we live our lives. Set to a backdrop of America’s Northwest, it follows a father and young son on a cross country motorcycle trip. Pirsig discusses the ideas of rhetoric, quality, the scientific method, technology and many ideas of the Greeks in the search of a unifying truth.
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Outlining Frankl’s theory of ‘logotherapy’, he argues that human beings cannot avoid suffering in life, but we have the power to give it meaning and thus endure it with renewed purpose. He holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
All the more impactful for where it was written, Frankl tells the story of his time spent within Nazi extermination camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Library of Congress found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.
Classical Books on Philosophy
The Dialogues (Gorgias, Meno, Theatetus, Sophist, Symposium, Phaedrus, Timaeus, The Republic) – Plato
“Plato, the greatest philosopher of ancient Greece, was born in Athens in 428 or 427 B.C.E. to an aristocratic family. He studied under Socrates, who appears as a character in many of his dialogues. He attended Socrates’ trial and that traumatic experience may have led to his attempt to design an ideal society.
Following the death of Socrates he traveled widely in search of learning. After twelve years he returned to Athens and founded his Academy, one of the earliest organized schools in western civilization. Among Plato’s pupils was Aristotle. Some of Plato’s other influences were Pythagoras, Anaxagoras, and Parmenides.
Plato wrote extensively and most of his writings survived. His works are in the form of dialogues, where several characters argue a topic by asking questions of each other. This form allows Plato to raise various points of view and let the reader decide which is valid.
Plato expounded a form of dualism, where there is a world of ideal forms separate from the world of perception. The most famous exposition of this is his metaphor of the Cave, where people living in a cave are only able to see flickering shadows projected on the wall of the external reality.This influenced many later thinkers, particularly the Neoplatonists and the Gnostics, and is similar to views held by some schools of Hindu dualistic metaphysics”
Physics, Ethics, Poetics, Metaphysics, Categories, On Logic, On the Soul – Aristotle
Aristotle, Plato, was one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history. Even after the intellectual revolutions of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, Aristotelian concepts remained embedded in Western thinking.
Aristotle’s intellectual range was vast, covering most of the sciences and many of the arts. He was the founder of formal logic, devising for it a finished system that for centuries was regarded as the sum of the discipline; and he pioneered the study of zoology. His writings continue to be studied, and his work remains a powerful stature.
The Essential Epicurus – Epicurus
Epicureanism is commonly regarded as the refined satisfaction of physical desires.
Epicurus did not stand for eating too much or too much sex, but for loving life and preserving that love with the smaller delights to be found daily.
As a philosophy, however, it also denoted the striving after an independent state of mind and body, imperturbability, and reliance on sensory data as the true basis of knowledge.
Selected Best Modern Philosophy Books
Critique of Pure Reason – Emmanuel Kant
Kant brings together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought – rational thought, and empirical, experiential knowledge. Kant explore human reason, and works to establish it’s illusions and break down to it’s core constituents.
Essays – Montaigne
Montaigne was a French Rennaisance philosopher noted for his merging of casual anecdotes with intellectual insight. He published his massive volume ‘essais‘, which went on to popularize and reinforce the essay as a literary genre. His influence as a philosopher was wide, and has includes many of his contemporaries, many of them appearing also on this list.
Beyond Good And Evil – Nietszche
One of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, Nietszche’s ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ is one of his slightly more accessible. He breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality, and in doing so sets the stage for much of the 20th century thought that would follow.
Meditations on First Philosophy – René DescartesMeditations on First Philosophy is made up of six meditations. Written in the style of a journal of a six day course of meditation, he first discards all belief in things that are not absolutely certain, and then tries to establish what can be known for sure. One of the most influential philosophical texts ever written, it is widely read to this day.
The Prince – Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. Machiavelli emphasized the need for realism, as opposed to idealism.
This is one of Machiavelli’s most lasting influences upon modernity.
Being and Nothingness – Jean-Paul Sartre
In Being and Nothingness, Sartre writes with some debts to Heidegger, to demonstrate the existence of free will. Wide ranging, he explains in part how man is obsessed by the idea of “completion”, what Sartre calls literally “a being that causes itself”, which many religions and philosophers identify as God. Being and Nothingness is considered Sartre’s most important philosophical work.
The Myth Of Sisyphus and Other Essays – Albert Camus
One of the most important existential works, and works of this century in general, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays lays out Camus’ ‘Absurdism’.
It begins with a meditation on suicide; the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning. Depressing at first, a lot of existential writing it has light at the end of the tunnel.
Camus ultimately reaffirms the value of existence, and the possibility of a life of dignity, creativity and authenticity.
A Treatise of Human Nature – David Hume
“no man has influenced the history of philosophy to a deeper or more disturbing degree” – Isaiah Berlin
In his treatise, he attempts to use the same scientific method of reasoning in order to inquire into human psychology – namely to glimpse the depth of our understanding and potential. He ultimately argues the irrationality of human beings.
Best Eastern Philosophy Books
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu
The Tao Te Ching is the foundation of Taoism, and has been the bedrock of Chinese thought and much of it’s spirituality for thousands of years. It teaches peace, harmony and balance; ultimately describing a complete and fulfilling art of living that guides millions to this day.
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
One of the most influential books ever written, The Art of War has applications in business, the military and any situation involving strategy or people. It is composed of 13 chapters, each one describing a part of warfare, relating back to tactics, and immediate application.
Analects – ConfusciusThe Analects has been one of the most widely read and studied books in China for the last 2,000 years, and has massive influence over Chinese thought to this today. It is foundational to the development of Chinese and East Asian moral systems.
Confucius believed that the flourishing of a country depended on the morals of its people, beginning with it’s leaders. His educated his students to create ethically cultivated men who would carry themselves well, speak well, and demonstrate integrity in everything they did.
Best Middle Eastern Philosophy Books
The Book of Healing – Avicenna
A 1,000-year-old text at the foundation of modern medicine and biology. This is one of the best philosophy books in the history of medical practice, and forms the foundation of our current understanding of human health and disease.
It focused not solely on symptoms and treatment, but on finding root causes of illness and disease through humoral diagnosis— it shows how Avicenna’s understanding of the humors corresponds directly with the modern understanding of the functions of of proteins, lipids, and organic acids.
The Transcendent Philosophy of the Four Journeys of the Intellect – Mulla Sadra
The ‘Hikmat Al Muta’alyah fi-l-asfar al-‘aqliyya al-arba‘a’ is an encyclopedic work that chronicles many of the important issues discussed in Islamic philosophy.
Necessarily entrenched and influenced by the Greeks, it nevertheless presents a unique philosophical thought beholden to Islam, yet also touching on a huge variety of schools of thought (and even a nascent form of existentialist thought).