Philosophical essay on man

What then commends Lazerowitz’s (original) definition – the definition whereby metaphilosophy is investigation of the nature (and point) of philosophy? Two things. (1) The two ‘philosophy–of–philosophy’ construals are competing specifications of that definition. Indeed, those construals have little content until after one has a considerable idea of what philosophy is. (2) The equation of metaphilosophy and post-philosophy is narrow and tendentious; but Lazerowitz’s definition accommodates post-philosophy as a position within a more widely construed metaphilosophy. Still: Lazerowitz’s definition does require qualification, since there is a sense in which it is too broad. For ‘investigation of the nature of philosophy’ suggests that any inquiry into philosophy will count as meta­philosophical, whereas an inquiry tends to be deemed meta­philosophical only when it pertains to the essence , or very nature, of philosophy. (Such indeed is a third possible reading of the philosophy-of-philosophy construal.) Now, just what does so pertain is moot; and there is a risk of being too un accommodating. We might want to deny the title ‘metaphilosophy’ to, say, various sociological studies of philosophy, and even, perhaps, to philosophical pedagogy (that is, to the subject of how philosophy is taught). On the other hand, we are inclined to count as meta­philosophical claims about, for instance, philosophy corrupting its students or about professionalization corrupting philosophy (on these claims one may see Stewart 1995 and Anscombe 1957).

"The author builds an impressive case for an indigenous African philosophy which is different from but not inferior to European philosophy. This text is valuable because [of its] insights into the relationship between life and thought, philosophy and experience."
— James H. Evans, Jr. , Religious Studies Review "[A] wonderful starting point for understanding black peoples on all sides of the Atlantic."
Colors Magazine "...anyone interested in questions in the philosophy of culture—especially, though by no means only, in Africa—should profit from Gyekye's work... This book is rewarding reading."
— Kwame Anthony Appiah , Times Literary Supplement
  Contents Preface to the Revised Edition
Acknowledgments to the Revised Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Acknowledgments to the First Edition
Guide to the Pronunciation of Akan Words Part I: The Question of Philosophy in African Culture
1. On the Denial of Traditional Thought as Philosophy
2. Philosophy and Culture
Sources of African Philosophical Thought • Collective and Individual Thought • Language and Philosophical Thought • On Defining African Philosophy: Some Proposals
3. Methodological Problems
False Impressions about the Unwritten Character of African Traditional Philosophy • Difficulties Besetting the Study of African Traditional Philosophy Part II: The Akan Conceptual Scheme
4. The Akan Conception of Philosophy
5. Concepts of Being and Causality
God and the Other Categories of Being • Causality
6. The Concept of a Person
Okra (Soul) • Sunsum (Spirit) • Relation of Okra and Sunsum • Relation of Okra (Soul) and Honam (Body) • Akan Psychology and Freud • Conclusion
7. Destiny, Free Will, and Responsibility
Basis of Belief in Destiny • Nature of the Concept • Causality, Fate, Free Will, and Responsibility • The Problem of Evil
8. Foundations of Ethics
Religion and Morality in Akan Thought • The Social and Humanistic Basis of Akan Morality
9. Ethics and Character
The Akan Word for "Ethics" • The Centrality of Character ( Suban ) in Akan Ethics
10. The Individual and the Social Order
Communalism as a Social Theory • The Tensions of Individualism
11. Philosophy, Logic, and the Akan Language
The Mind-Body Problem • Time • Existence, Predication, and Identity • The Ontological Argument • Subject and Predicate • Conclusions Part III: Toward an African Philosophy
12. On the Idea of African Philosophy
The Need not to Generalize • Common Features in African Cultures • The Community of Cultural Elements and Ideas • Conclusion: The Legitimacy of Talking of African Philosophy Notes
Select Bibliography
Name Index
Subject Index

In more modern times, American educational philosophers such as John Dewey , George Counts , and Mortimer Adler have each proposed systematic and detailed arguments regarding the purpose of schooling in American society. In 1938, Dewey argued that the primary purpose of education and schooling is not so much to prepare students to live a useful life, but to teach them how to live pragmatically and immediately in their current environment. By contrast, Counts, a leading progressive educator in the 1930s, critiqued Dewey’s philosophy stating, “the weakness of progressive education thus lies in the fact that it has elaborated no theory of social welfare, unless it be that of anarchy or extreme individualism” (1978, p. 5). To Counts, the purpose of school was less about preparing individuals to live independently and more about preparing individuals to live as members of a society. In other words, Counts felt the role of schooling was to equip individuals with the skills necessary to participate in the social life of their community and to change the nature of the social order as needed or desired.

 Yes, of course, since human beings are by definition not bats, they can't have the experience of being a bat. But it does not follow that there are facts about bat experiences they can't understand. You see, actually we can know what it's like to be a bat. We can know what sizes of objects echolocation detects, and how the bat directs its ears and the stream of sound, and thousands of facts of that kind. We can know all about the kinds of information a bat's senses supply, and with the right equipment we can experience echolocation ourselves at least by proxy.

Philosophical essay on man

philosophical essay on man

 Yes, of course, since human beings are by definition not bats, they can't have the experience of being a bat. But it does not follow that there are facts about bat experiences they can't understand. You see, actually we can know what it's like to be a bat. We can know what sizes of objects echolocation detects, and how the bat directs its ears and the stream of sound, and thousands of facts of that kind. We can know all about the kinds of information a bat's senses supply, and with the right equipment we can experience echolocation ourselves at least by proxy.

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