Friday, December 8, 2017

Big questions in Philosophy

Modern take on 'The Thinker"
...found on pinterest!
I've found this to be an interesting week taking a closer look at Philosophy -- the ideas and people that have influenced Western and global trends in philosophy, the nature of philosophic thought, and your own questions about living one's life, about common sense and logic, about perspective, happiness, and self-knowledge. We're not done with the in-class lessons, ye, but now would be a good time to identify some research projects for your unit project. Almost anything within the loose boundaries of "Philosophy" is fair game, but it should centre around a driving question -- something open-ended and meaningful to you. Not too vague and not too specific -- a question that will lead you into inquiry. We'll brainstorm a few, but you have already generated many examples. Your response should involve taking your own question seriously and considering how other people (past or present) have tried to answer it. Strategic use of quotes will be important. Your own conclusion might agree or disagree with the so-called experts, but will at least acknowledge how you arrived at your response. The second aspect to this project is to think about a creative way to express your findings. Some writing is expected, but also a response project, something that physically shows your thinking, whether as a metaphor or direct representation. We may refine this project as we work on it, but that's a start. When you are ready, please share your driving questions in the blog comment section.
Sample questions (from you):
Why do good things happen to bad people?
Are there such things as selfless deeds? Do people do nice things only to benefit themselves?
Nature vs nurture - how does upbringing affect how people live?
Is human nature good or bad? Why are some people so evil (stinky)?
Why are we here/what is our purpose/what is the meaning of life?
Is happiness the most important thing
Why do we dream? What are dream for?
What makes a person strong?
Is the meaning of life the same for animals as humans?
Is love at first sight possible? What is love?
Is there life after death (or before birth)? What happens when we die?
What is a job for? Do we need careers to be fulfilled?
What came first, chicken or egg? (could be about the role of science in our understanding of life)
How did religions come about? What purpose or function to they fulfill? Is God real?
Why are there different languages? Is a universal language possible?
Why are there different currencies? Is a world economy or government possible?
Why do we have to pay for university? Should access to education be universal?
Should we be more connected to nature?
Is there life on other planets, if so when do we meet and what should we say?
Why are we attracted to things that we know are bad for us?
Looking for ideas? Have a surf through some of the videos tagged "Philosophy" at TED