Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Philosophy Research Paper

Philosophy Research Paper

Question 1
The main distinction of the pre-Socratic philosophers is that they explored nature and the environment in the rational way and were searching for the one general principle that could explain the existence of the reality. They attempted to find the universal principles that would explain the origins of the nature, to understand the fundamental unit of reality which underlines the whole reality (which they called cosmos).  They thought about the creation of the world and made educated guesses about it. The pre-Socratic philosopher’s thinking wasn’t completely relied on the supernatural factors, as of the mythopoetic thinkers, but more on the observation of the natural phenomena and seeking a rational order in those observations. They combined the ancient Greek mythology with rational thinking. They didn’t replaced mythopoetic thought, which happened later, but more supported it with rational thinking that was based on their observations. They sought all the forces that compose nature and then on the basis of observations and rational thinking became able to make predictions. The distinctive features of the pre-Socratic thinkers were their rational, scientific approach and the belief that the world is regulated by nature. This are also those factors that differentiate them from the Socratic thinkers. Those thinkers were not really concerned with physical or metaphysical questions. Their issue of primary importance was ethics, living a good life but not the natural forces and their rational explanation. The nature for Socratic thinkers was more conceived of as an ongoing process. The pre-Socratic thinkers, on the contrary, explored the chief causes of the creation of the world and all forces on which mankind was founded with an inherit in them rationalism and presented supportive arguments.

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Question 2
In the history of Western philosophy Greeks played a fundamental role. Socrates by becoming thinking of the person’s position in the world developed the idea concerning ethical issues which then lead to the development of the democracy, became the pivotal figure for the Western philosophers. When we are thinking about the basic elements of the Socrates’ philosophy we should remember that he himself didn’t leave us the documented inheritance from which we could learn about his thinking. Therefor we should understand that the Plato’s writings about the Socrates’ philosophy could be biased. But nevertheless we can still differentiate some basic elements of his philosophy. The question that he asked was how the person should live in the world. To answer it he sought the definition for the virtue which he considered to be the leading power for the good life. His reasoning was based on the thought that the best life is lead by the person who has the best qualities or virtues. He believed that if person knows what virtue is then he would know how it requires the person to act in any situation. He believed that the person would not choose the worse behavior if he knows the better option. So in this concept of better life he was seeking to find the answer what the virtue is. He believed that the knowledge of that would guarantee acting in accordance with it and as the result to attempt a better life. He also taught that every person has the full knowledge of definitive truth which is contained in their soul. In order to become aware of it, the soul needs to be encouraged to conscious reflection. He said that there are some knowledge that are congenital in the soul and do not come from the life experience. Therefore the people should not be taught anything that they would not already know but rather to provoke them to think for themselves and to awake the truth that is hidden in the soul.

Question 3
As in the allegory of cave I often reflect on the meaning of the words that we stick to the objects that we have. The same things can be called differently as a cause of the language or culture. And who knows who is right, who will argue that. If everyone would claim their correctness who would justify that the final decision will be true. If we will look on the Plato’s allegory, then we would have to question ourselves whether we see the real objects or the reflections of them. The time when I usually experience the opposition of the form and reality is when I talk with people who are unfamiliar, who are  new to me. I guess that many people had experienced this. When you see the person for the first time there is certain subjective judgment that occurs in your head. You evaluate the person by many criteria that is more appropriate for your background and society. But what we are really judging is the form that is visible for our eyes but truly can be reflection of the soul or you can call it in other way. It is like that shadow on the wall in the Plato’s cave myth. The form that you see can present absolutely object that is in the reality. The time when I first moved to this wisdom, and I guess many of us thought about this or notices it before, was when I was mistaken in people by perceiving according to the form which they have (appearance, clothes, status in the society) but finally got to the point when my perceptions wasn’t even quite near the true self of the person. You can say that I just simply don’t understand the human psychology, but as for me it is more the difference of this two realities – the “shadow” and the “real object”. I guess that I was not the only one who had experienced this wisdom once, who turned the head and saw the puppeteers and the light, but there is much more things in the world to analyze, to compare and to contrast. And this simple example doesn’t indicate that my head is always turned back and that I can see the real “objects” all the time. It is just the example, that happened to me only several times and in which I see some connection with the Plato’s “Allegory of Cave”.

Question 4
The main difference in the Aristotle’s and Plato’s worldview is that they perceived the connection between the world and the thinker differently. Aristotle thought that everything that comes in our intellect and gives us knowledge comes from our senses. Therefore he believed that all thinkers are powerfully connected to the world that he is thinking about. This connection doesn’t lead to the equality with the earth but rather the domination and control over the earth. In his point of view the area of the rational thought is inseparably connected to the realm where the morality and nature are. The Plato’s point of view according this issue is completely different. He, on the contrary, believed that the thinker is separated from the world he thinks about. He differentiated the particular things and the ideas. The particular things from his point of view were revealed by sense and the ideas came from the logical reasoning. He separated those two sources and was argue this point. His main arguments are described in the cave myth were he said that the world is composed from the undefined and transitory things where the thinker should capture the true and ultimate realities. Plato was more an idealist and the Aristotle was more naturalist. It can explain the difference in their thinking. He believed that the had never had a beginning and would never have an end. He closely connected the thinking process to the nature and thought that all knowledge comes to us from the world and its nature. He thought a lot about nature of soul and believed that every animated being can live and move himself only because he has a soul. Philosophy of nature is the way how he thought about the world around himself. For him there universe as a scale was lying on two extremes. The one extreme is for the form without matter and the other extreme is for the matter without form. The process of transforming from form to the matter is reflected in the world of nature which present it in the different forms. The thought therefore is hardly connected to nature.

Question 5
From the all philosophers that we have already read about I like Aristotle the most. His thinking is more logical and hardly argued. He is the philosopher of the sort that we are accustomed to have now so he is more progressive. He was the first who wrote in the academic and professional manner and for my he is more credible. I’m not saying that other philosophers are not worth to be talked about, each of them had great thoughts which are hard for us to understand and which make us think. But for me Aristotle’s ideas are more real. He not only introduced Deductive syllogism but also proposed three laws of formal logic and the doctrine of four causes which are very important for the present thinkers.
For me personally, he is closer in understanding for a one big reason. I truly believe that the thought and the nature are connected. It always happens the way you think about it. The knowledge that we have today were primary studied from the nature and I guess that the civilization that we have today basically haven’t created something new, it just copied it from the nature. All the process that exist in it are perfect. Biology, physics, chemistry, and many other sciences study the natural process, learn them and only then on the basic of those knowledge create something. The Aristotle’s ideas about soul are also very common for my perception of the world and the whole living beings.
I also like several ideas of the Socrates. I also think that it is better for the person not to be thought by someone but to open that hidden source inside in their soul. Especially if it concerns children. I believe that little babies are more connected to the nature and to their inside source from which they learn and analyze the world around them, then particularly to it and to society in which they were born. The adults could also feel this source of truth and definite knowledge, and as for me, they can do this with the help of the nature.
Although there is some common things in those two philosophers, Aristotle is the one whom I like the most. His reasoning is logical and proofs are argumented.   
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