Pholk Philosophy 103¹


   Philosophy sometimes gets a bad rap because it rarely puts bread on the table. What I put here will unashamedly lie of the bedrock of old, dead, or almost dead, philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Decarte, Gilbert Ryle, and Keith Ward, etc.) but most will not recognize that–or care about it. I do recommend Oxford scholar Keith Ward, and his Mind Over Matter. I, and others, are grateful for what these did, however.


   This has led to my positing 5 axioms that we can accept without proof:


   (1)  I exist


For more use the DOOR.




             5 AXIOMS that we can accept without proof¹.


   (1)  I exist.  (with a corollary, “I can move”–I’m not a tree.)

   (2)  I can “feel.”  (emotion implied here, not touch)

   (3)  I can perceive.  (detect things with my senses)

   (4)  I can think.  (put perceptions together)

   (5)  I can choose.  (do “B” instead of “A”)


   All these require certain qualification, and be debated to some extent. But each of these is fundamental to being human².

   Why the “103”? Well, the “101” is the tradition encounter with traditional philosophy, and the “102” is the 2nd semester course that follows it. The linchpin of my new approach may be suspect, but so be it. Let’s let the “3” in the 103 stand for the 3 basic questions every thinking, reflective human should regularly ask:

   (1)  What is?

   (2)  What matters?

   (3)  Then what should I do?

   The purpose of philosophy is to study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and experience. In other words, how do we know things, and how do we decide what’s real and why happens?

   Let’s start with the middle one first: what’s real? If a person quibbles (as some philosophers do) about what I mean by reality, I pinch him hard. “Why did you do that?” he asks. “That hurt!” he says.”Really hurt?” I ask. “You bet!” he returns. I pull back my fist to deliver a punch. “Whoa!” he declares.”What are you doing?” “Answering your question,” I reply. “You know what’s real. You know that you are real, and there’s where you start from.

   “You know you exist,” I continue. “And if you can admit that much–by faith–you build out from there. Everybody, including scientists by the way, starts out with an act of faith.

   “If you can’t believe that you exist, you can’t do much else because you live in a world of hardcore believers that they in fact are real. Real even though some deep-thinking philosophers might think everything is an illusion.

  [Continued in a future post]


   ¹ To repeat the obvious: To make any headway in your life and in figuring out anything else, you have to believe you’re real. And again, such a belief is a matter of faith. You and I are living in a real world, not in a fragmented nightmare.