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Introduction to Philosophy


Renáta Kišoňová

The first part of this textbook introduces philosophy to the reader as a part of culture, in addition to science, religion, art. It outlines various disciplines of philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind etc. The second part maps the understanding of history, or the philosophical reflection of history in the history of philosophy.


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3. Origin and Formation of Philosophy


3.1. Wonder What are the wellsprings of philosophy? Where does it take its stimuli from? According to Plato and Aris- totle, the wellspring of philosophizing is wonder. Peo- ple philosophized to escape from ignorance. (Aristotle: Metaphysics, I, 2, 982 b) We are astonished by the world around us, we wonder and then ask questions, we inves- tigate. Our predecessors were astonished by the change from day to night, the changing of seasons, the fact that one year is plentiful and another is not and this enriched their knowledge. “To wonder means leading to knowledge.” (Jaspers, K.: Úvod do fi lozofi e, 1996, p. 15). When we stop wondering we will start to stagnate. We stop creating and stop looking for answers.   22 3.2. Doubt Doubt seems to be another wellspring of philosophy. The world of everyday experience indicates to a  man that knowledge mediated by our senses and our reason is not infallible or apodictically applicable. This is the rea- son why man tries to criticise the results of experience. Doubt as a wellspring of philosophy does not necessarily have to lead us to an absolute of scepticism. Authors like Augustine or Descartes found a  way in doubt that led them to an indubitable base.   3.3. Boundary Situations There are situations which we pass by without noticing. An alarm clock goes off in the morning, we turn it off and run to work, to school, and then we do the shop- ping on the way home from work and take the...

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