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Introduction to Philosophy

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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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4. Philosophical Disciplines

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Philosophy is a  collection of various fi elds. It consists of the history of philosophy and individual disciplines dealing with many diverse interconnected problems.   4.1 Metaphysics It is not easy to defi ne metaphysics. Its importance, methods and precise content have changed over the course of history. It was delineated in relation to sci- ence, theology and later within philosophy to non-met- aphysical philosophical conceptions. The term meta- physics is of Greek origin (ta meta, ta fysika, the thing which is behind physics). This term was documented for the fi rst time in the texts of a  Peripatetic Nicolaus of Damascus (born probably in 64 AD), who was probably 26 inspired by another Peripatetic – Andronicus of Rhodes (born also approximately around 60 AD). Andronicus put Aristotle’s works in order according to subject where the works about “the fi rst philosophy” were put “meta” i.e. “behind” the works about nature (Gr. physis). (see: Kišoňová, R.: Metafyzika, p. ?, 2015) For Aristotle, for example, metaphysics is a science that deals with the knowledge of 1. being as a being 2. principles and causes 3. the highest existence (The First Mover) and its rela- tion to the world According to Aristotle’s defi nition, metaphysics is: “ … a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sci- ences; for none of these others treats universally of being as being. They cut off a part...

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