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PHILO PPT - https://www.slideshare.

net/lawrenceandre/branches-of-philosophy-
8356363?from_action=save BY LAWRENCE ANDRE ON JUNE 19 2011

Evolutionary Philosophy

Philosophy 101
For a belief system called Evolutionary Philosophy, it is helpful to have a grounding in the principles
of philosophy. I prefer more common terms when dealing with issues that affect our everyday lives,
so it is not necessary to know these to understand the EvPhil belief system or the discussion on the
blog, but this is a handy glossary for those that want to dive deeper into the arguments with other
philosophers and their belief systems. It also helps me be more precise and
comprehensive. Definitions are generally taken from Wikipedia where proper sources are cited.

Philosophy - is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with
existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other
ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach, and its reliance on
rational argument. The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek (philosophia), which
literally means "love of wisdom."

Six Branches of Philosophy - Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ethics, Aesthetics, Political


Philosophy. These branches originate from basic questions. What do I know? How do I know it?
Where do we come from? What is good? What is beautiful? How do we act?

Epistemology - the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (including
limitations) of knowledge. It addresses four main questions. 1) What is knowledge? 2) How is
knowledge acquired? 3) What do people know? 4) How do we know what we know?

Logic is the study of reasoning. Logic is often divided into two parts, inductive reasoning and
deductive reasoning. The first is drawing general conclusions from specific examples, the second is
drawing logical conclusions from definitions and axioms.

Metaphysics is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the
world. Cosmology and ontology are the two traditional branches of metaphysics. Cosmology seeks
to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the universe at large, as well as the
natural laws that keep it in order. Ontology is the investigation into what types of things there are in
the world and what relations these things bear to one another. Ontology deals with questions
concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related
within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Before the development
of modern science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as "natural
philosophy." The scientific method, however, made natural philosophy an empirical and experimental
activity unlike the rest of philosophy, and by the end of the eighteenth century it had begun to be
called "science" in order to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics became the
philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.

Ethics also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address
questions about morality; that is, about concepts like good and bad, right and wrong, justice, virtue,
etc.

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, taste, and the
creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or
sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.

Political Philosophy is the study of concepts such as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the
enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what
makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it
should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if
any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever. Three central concerns of political
philosophy have been the political economy by which property rights are defined and access to
capital is regulated, the demands of justice in distribution and punishment, and the rules of truth and
evidence that determine judgments in the law.

Main -isms, -ologies, and definitions

A priori - knowledge or justification independent of experienceFor example, All bachelors are


unmarried. By contrast, a posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or
empirical evidence. For example, Some bachelors are very happy.

Deontological Ethics - is the ethical position that judges the morality of an action based on the
action's adherence to a rule or rules. It is sometimes described as "duty" or "obligation" or "rule"
based ethics, because rules bind you to your duty. Deontological ethics is commonly contrasted with
consequentialist ethical theories, according to which the rightness of an action is determined by its
consequences. Deontological ethics is also contrasted from pragmatic ethics.

Determinism - is a philosophy stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such
that, given them, nothing else could happen. Determinism is often taken to mean simply causal
determinism: an idea known in physics as cause-and-effect. Determinism is also often contrasted
with free will.

Empiricism - is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via
sensory experience. Empiricism emphasizes evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is
a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against
observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or
revelation.

Existentialism - is a school of 20th-century philosophers who shared the belief that philosophical
thinking begins with the human subject - not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling,
living, human individual. In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has
been called "the existential attitude," or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an
apparently meaningless or absurd world. A central proposition of existentialism is that existence
precedes essence, which means that the actual life of the individual is what constitutes what could
be called his or her "essence" instead of there being a predetermined essence that defines what it is
to be a human. Thus, the human beings - through their own consciousness - create their own values
and determine a meaning to their life.

Free Will - is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. Historically,
the constraint of dominant concern has been the metaphysical constraint of determinism. Two
prominent opposing positions within that debate are metaphysical libertarianism, the claim that
determinism is false and thus that free will exists (or is at least possible); and hard determinism, the
claim that determinism is true and thus that free will does not exist. These positions are described as
incompatibilism - the position that free will and determinism are logically incompatible, and that the
major question regarding whether or not people have free will is thus whether or not their actions are
determined. Compatibilists maintain that determinism is compatible with free will. It may, however,
be more accurate to say that compatibilists define free will in a way that allows it to co-exist with
determinism. Compatibilists believe freedom can be present or absent in a situation for reasons that
have nothing to do with metaphysics. Compatibilists define free will as freedom to act according to
one's determined motives without hindrance from other individuals. Compatibilists argue that
determinism does not matter; what matters is that individuals' wills are the result of their own desires
and are not overridden by some external force.

Humanism is an approach in philosophy that focuses on human values and concerns, attaching
prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanism is a perspective
that affirms some notion of human nature. Secular humanism is a secular ideology that espouses
reason, ethics, and justice, while specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis
of morality and decision-making. Secular humanism contrasts with religious humanism, which is an
integration of humanist ethical philosophy with religious rituals and beliefs that center on human
needs, interests, and abilities.

Idealism is the family of views that asserts reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally
mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Idealism maintains that the ultimate nature of
reality is based on the mind or ideas. Epistemological idealists might insist the only things that can
be directly known for certain are ideas.

Is-Ought Problem - as articulated by Scottish philosopher David Hume, is that many writers make
claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is. However, Hume found that
there seems to be a significant difference between descriptive statements (about what is) and
prescriptive or normative statements (about what ought to be), and it is not obvious how we can get
from making descriptive statements to prescriptive.

Materialism - the theory that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are
composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material
interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually
occurring states of energy and matter. To many philosophers, materialism is synonymous with
physicalism. However, materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, but
physics has shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter in the traditional sense so
physicalism is used to emphasize a connection to physics and the physical sciences.

Mind-Body Problem - arises because mental phenomena arguably differ, qualitatively or


substantially, from the physical body on which they apparently depend. There are a few major
theories on the resolution of the problem. Dualism is the theory that the mind and body are two
distinct substances, and monism is the theory that they are, in reality, just one substance. Monist
materialists/physicalists take the view that they are both matter, and monist idealists take the view
that they are both in the mind. The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the
non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism and many modern
philosophers maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body.

Moral Relativism - describes the way things are, without suggesting a way they ought to be. It
seeks only to point out that people frequently disagree over what is the most moral course of
action. Moral Relativism holds the position that the truth or falsity of moral judgments is not
objective. Justifications for moral judgments are not universal, but are instead relative to the
traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people. The moral relativist might
say, "It's moral to me, because I believe it is." Moral Relativism holds that because there is no
universal moral standard by which to judge others, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others, even
when it runs counter to our personal or cultural moral standards.

Naturalism - the philosophical viewpoint that natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural
ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond this natural universe, or, if it does, it
does not affect the natural universe that we know. Followers of naturalism assert that natural laws
are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the universe, that the universe is a product of
these laws, and that the goal of science is to discover and publish them systematically. Further, this
sense of naturalism holds that spirits, deities, and ghosts are not real and that there is no "purpose"
in nature.

Nihilism - is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful
aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues
that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Positivism - is a philosophy of science based on the view that in the social as well as natural
sciences, data derived from sensory experience, and logical and mathematical treatments of such
data, are together the exclusive source of all authentic knowledge. Obtaining and verifying data that
can be received from the senses is known as empirical evidence. Society operates according to laws
like the physical world. Introspective and intuitional attempts to gain knowledge are rejected.

Postmodern Philosophy - is a philosophical direction that is critical of the foundational assumptions


and structures of philosophy. Postmodern philosophy is skeptical or nihilistic toward many of the
values and assumptions of philosophy that derive from modernity, such as humanity having an
essence that distinguishes humans from animals, or the assumption that one form of government is
demonstrably better than another. It is usually associated with the following philosophical trends:
nihilism and relativism, neo-marxism, neo-pragmatism, and neo-existentialism.
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes
a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called
intelligent practice. Pragmatism is based on the premise that the human capability to theorize is
necessary for intelligent practice. Theory and practice are not separate spheres; rather, theories and
distinctions are tools or maps for finding our way in the world. Pragmatism holds that an ideology or
proposition is true if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition is to be found in the
practical consequences of accepting it, and that unpractical ideas are to be rejected.

Physicalism - is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive
than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical
things. According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and,
consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to statements on the physical objects. In
contemporary philosophy, physicalism is most frequently associated with the mind-body problem
where it holds that all that has been ascribed to "mind" is more correctly ascribed to "brain" or the
activity of the brain.

Rationalism - is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification. In more


technical terms, it is a method or a theory in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but
intellectual and deductive. Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of
rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position that reason has precedence over other ways of
acquiring knowledge, to the more extreme position that reason is the unique path to knowledge.

Realism - is the belief that reality is independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices,
beliefs, etc. Philosophers who profess realism state that truth consists in the mind's correspondence
to reality. Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality
and that every new observation brings us closer to understanding reality.

Romanticism - was an artistic revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of
Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. Romanticism placed
new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror, terror, and awe - especially that which is
experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature. Romanticism was rooted in the
German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment
rationalism.

Scientism - refers to a belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and
the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of
human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. Scientism describes the dogmatic endorsement
of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.

Skepticism - Philosophical skepticism is an approach that denies the possibility of certainty in


knowledge, whereas methodological skepticism is an approach that subjects all knowledge claims to
scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims. Skeptics critically examine meaning
systems. Skeptical examination often results in a position of ambiguity or doubt.

Solipsism - is the idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. Solipsism holds that knowledge of
anything outside one's own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known,
and might not exist outside the mind.

Stoicism - taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or
person of moral and intellectual perfection, would not suffer such emotions. Stoics presented their
philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy
was not what a person said but how they behaved.

Tautology - is an unnecessary repetition of meaning, using dissimilar words that effectively say the
same thing. A rhetorical tautology can also be defined as a series of statements that comprise an
argument, whereby the statements are constructed in such a way that the truth of the proposition is
guaranteed, or that the truth of the proposition cannot be disputed, by defining a dissimilar or
synonymous term in terms of another self-referentially. Tautologies play a role in analytic
discussions of logic and what it is possible to know.

Teleology - any philosophical account that states final causes (purposes, aims, goals) exist in
nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also
in the rest of nature.

Transhumanism - is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility
and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely
available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and
psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of
emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the
ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.

Utilitarianism - is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that
maximizes the overall happiness. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth
of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can only weigh the morality of
an action after knowing all its consequences.

Current philosophical camps

Analytic Philosophy - In the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, and
New Zealand, the overwhelming majority of university philosophy departments identify themselves
as "analytic" departments. Analytic philosophy is often understood as being defined in opposition to
continental philosophy. The term "analytic philosophy" can refer to a tradition of doing philosophy
characterized by an emphasis on clarity and argument, often achieved via modern formal logic and
analysis of language, and a respect for the natural sciences. In this sense, analytic philosophy
makes specific philosophical commitments: 1) The positivist view that there are no specifically
philosophical truths and that the object of philosophy is the logical clarification of thoughts. This may
be contrasted with the traditional foundation that views philosophy as a special sort of science, the
highest one, which investigates the fundamental reasons and principles of everything. As a result,
many analytic philosophers have considered their inquiries as continuous with, or subordinate to,
those of the natural sciences. 2) The view that the logical clarification of thoughts can only be
achieved by analysis of the logical form of philosophical propositions. The logical form of a
proposition is a way of representing it (often using the formal grammar and symbolism of a logical
system) to display its similarity with all other propositions of the same type. However, analytic
philosophers disagree widely about the correct logical form of ordinary language. 3) The rejection of
sweeping philosophical systems in favor of close attention to detail, common sense, and ordinary
language.

Continental Philosophy This refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from
mainland Europe. Continental philosophy includes the following movements: German idealism,
phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, structuralism, post-structuralism, French feminism,
the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and some other branches of Western
Marxism. Continental philosophers generally reject scientism, the view that the natural sciences are
the best or most accurate way of understanding all phenomena. Continental philosophers often
argue that science depends upon a "pre-theoretical substrate of experience, and that scientific
methods are inadequate to understand such conditions of intelligibility." Continental philosophy
usually considers the conditions of possible experience as variable: determined at least partly by
factors such as context, space and time, language, culture, or history. Continental philosophy
typically holds that conscious human agency can change the conditions of possible experience: "if
human experience is a contingent creation, then it can be recreated in other ways." Thus continental
philosophers tend to take a strong interest in the unity of theory and practice, and tend to see their
philosophical inquiries as closely related to personal, moral, or political transformation. This
tendency is very clear in the Marxist tradition ("philosophers have only interpreted the world, in
various ways; the point, however, is to change it"), but is also central in existentialism and post-
structuralism. Continental philosophy has an emphasis on metaphilosophy. In the wake of the
development and success of the natural sciences, continental philosophers have often sought to
redefine the method and nature of philosophy. In some cases, such as German idealism or
phenomenology, this manifests as a renovation of the traditional view that philosophy is the first,
foundational, a priori science. In other cases, such as hermeneutics, critical theory, or structuralism,
it is held that philosophy investigates a domain that is irreducibly cultural or practical. And some
continental philosophers, such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, or Derrida, doubt whether any conception
of philosophy can be truly coherent.

http://www.evphil.com/philosophy-101.html