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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 Aristotle, the wellspring of philosophizing is wonder. People 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 investigate. 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 filozofie, 1996, p. 15). When we stop wondering we will start to stagnate. We stop creating and stop looking for answers. ← 21 | 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 reason 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.

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