DOMUNI UNIVERSITAS

The Origins of Philosophy (Presocratics)

The Origins of Philosophy (Presocratics)

This course is divided into six sections. The first section – What is Philosophy? – deals with the problems surrounding any definition of the discipline and looks at various ways of thinking about it. The second section – Why Study Philosophy? – distinguishes some general types of reasons, and then examines reasons for studying philosophy. Section three looks at the relationship of philosophy to theology. It distinguishes different ways in which they might relate, and gives a historical survey of that relationship. Section four – Main Areas of Philosophy – introduces the main branches of the subject and gives a preliminary account of them. Section five, Presocratic Philosophy, looks at the earliest Greek philosophers and at how philosophy developed from myth. It examines two key issues: the problem of ‘appearance and reality’ and the problem of ‘the one and the many’. The final section introduces the student to Socrates. It presents the life and death of this iconic figure and examines the political intrigue surrounding his death and his own account of his philosophical vocation.

ECTS Credits: 6
Professor: Br Kevin O'Reilly OP

Contents

 

Unit 1:  what is philosophy?

  1. Introduction.
  2. The meaning of philosophy

Awkward questions.

Who are philosophers?

Academic philosophy.

Philosophical method

  1. A form of life.

Good advice

Disagreements.

Answers and questions

 

Unit 2: Why study philosophy?

  1. Reasons.

Intrinsic reason

Instrumental reason.

  1. An innate tendency

Unavoidable questions.

Intellectual virtue.

Transferable skills

Intellectual troubleshooting.

Relation to theology..

 

Unit 3: The place of philosophy in theology

  1. Terminology.

Systematic theology.

Philosophical theology.

Natural theology.

Philosophy and scripture.

Greek and hebrew mentalities.

Agnosticism.

Greek philosophical concepts

  1. Philosophy and theology:the patristic period.

Patristic opposition to philosophy.

Monastic opposition to philosophy.

Patristic use of philosophy.

Neo-platonism.

Doctrinal use of philosophy.

East and west.

  1. Philosophy & theology: the middle ages.

The cathedral schools.

Philosophical theology at its peak.

Separation of philosophy and theology.

  1. From the enlightenment to idealism....

The enlightenment.

Nineteenth-century idealism..

  1. Twentieth-century philosophy....................................................................................................................................................

Continental philosophy.............................................................................................................................................................................

Continental philosophical influence.................................................................................................................................................

Analytic philosophical influence.........................................................................................................................................................

Process theology............................................................................................................................................................................................

Postmodernism..............................................................................................................................................................................................

  1. What this means......................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Unit 4: the main areas of philosophy.........................................................................................

  1. Metaphysics......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Questions of metaphysics.........................................................................................................................................................................

Identity................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Change.................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Epistemology..............................................................................................................................................................................................

Modern epistemology................................................................................................................................................................................

Foundationalists and coherentists....................................................................................................................................................

Externalism and internalism.................................................................................................................................................................

The sources of knowledge.......................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Philosophy of mind.................................................................................................................................................................................

Dualism...............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Identity theory................................................................................................................................................................................................

Behaviourism..................................................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Philosophy of language......................................................................................................................................................................

Linguistic analysis........................................................................................................................................................................................

Significance of language..........................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Logic.................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Symbolic logic.................................................................................................................................................................................................

Valid and invalid arguments.................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Ethics...............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Moral value......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Modern ethical theories...........................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Political philosophy.............................................................................................................................................................................

Power and politics.......................................................................................................................................................................................

Liberal politics................................................................................................................................................................................................

Politics and economics..............................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Philosophy of religion.........................................................................................................................................................................

Theism.................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Religious language......................................................................................................................................................................................

These were the basics................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Unit 5: presocratic philosophy...................................................................................................

  1. Myth and philosophy............................................................................................................................................................................
  2. Fragments....................................................................................................................................................................................................
  3. The physicists.............................................................................................................................................................................................
  4. Appearance and reality......................................................................................................................................................................
  5. The one and the many...........................................................................................................................................................................

Thales...................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Heraclitus..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

Parmenides.......................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

Unit 6: Socrates.................................................................................................................................

  1. Athenian society......................................................................................................................................................................................

The sophists......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Socrates introduced....................................................................................................................................................................................

Socrates’ life in athens...............................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Socratic method........................................................................................................................................................................................

Socratic dialogues........................................................................................................................................................................................

Socratic irony..................................................................................................................................................................................................

  1. Socrates’ death..............................................................................................................................................................................................

Political intrigue...........................................................................................................................................................................................

The last days of Socrates..........................................................................................................................................................................

Further Reading............................................................................................................................................................................................