Lecture 01: What is Philosophy? What is Ethics?


Take Away Points:

  • The difference between having a philosophy and doing philosophy
  • Philosophy’s general concerns
  • The focus of ethics
  • The difference between descriptive and normative ethics

What is Philosophy?

That is the most basic question of the class and it’s one that needs to be answered before we can truly begin.  To understand philosophy, there are two important distinctions we need to make.  The first is the distinction between having a philosophy and doing philosophy (philosophizing, as Craig puts it).  The second is the distinction between two sets of questions: What are things like and why are things the way they are? and What can we do about it?  Let’s start with the first distinction.

We have all heard someone say something like “My philosophy has always been that when the going gets tough, the tough get going” or “I always say put your faith in God and everything will be okay” or even “Our company prides itself on have a customer serve philosophy truly devoted to the customer.”  What is all this really supposed to mean?  What is going on here?  In a certain sense, these statements come off as superficial truisms or tired homespun wisdom.  But if we look deeper there is often more (although I doubt in the case of most company “philosophies”).  The first person might be taking a stand on the virtue and possibility of persevering over hardship.  The second person is making a strong statement about the existence and nature of a divine being that controls the world.  What these statements have in common (even that third one) is that they are taken something as a solid truth.  Having a philosophy is to have a set of beliefs that one takes to be true.  Having a philosophy is essential to living because it organizes the way you interact with the world.  As Craig points out, even someone who is unreflective (and isn’t that most of us most of the time) has a philosophy. They must in order to function and act in the world.

Yet, having a philosophy is just the starting point.  It is where we begin.  Doing philosophy (philosophizing) is the act of interrogating our set beliefs and the beliefs of others, sometimes rejecting them, sometimes accepting them, and sometimes creating entirely new beliefs (acting out your philosophy is, of course, called living ;)).  When the pious person above says “Put your faith in God and everything will be okay” and our rough and tumble person says “That’s absurd!  You can’t wait around for something to make your life okay.  You have to make it happen!”, a door has been opened.  Our rough and tumble person is using her beliefs to evaluate the beliefs of the pious person–she is doing philosophy.  Of course, if this is all that happens, if our pious person simply shakes her head and turns away, the door closes rather quickly.  In our ever day life, this is often as far as philosophizing goes.  Two people butt heads over conflicting beliefs, but nothing is revealed, nothing really shared because the discussion goes no further than that initial evaluation: “I think this, so you are wrong.”  How many times have you seen an internet discussion that was really just two people repeating their one point over and over again?

The basic benefit of studying philosophy is that it pushes us to go beyond this hammering of others with our fundamental beliefs.  A drive to question the beliefs of others must also leave open the possibility of questioning our own beliefs.  We, of course, take the beliefs we hold to be right–they are our basic means of evaluating the world around us and, thus, the positions of others–but this doesn’t mean they are actually absolutely right (although they may be–do not mistake this position with relativism).  When we are truly doing philosophy we are engaging in an open, honest dialogue with others about our fundamental beliefs.  We are trading perspectives–trying to see another’s perspective–and in doing so we may find flaws in our own perspective and so have to reevaluate (sometimes dramatically) our view of the world.  A key part of doing philosophy is argumentative, yes–we have to know how to state and defend out beliefs so others understand them–but it is also listening.  Without listening to the other side we cannot examine our own position.  Sometimes that other side might simply be a voice in our head!

Of course this all opens up a question of how philosophy is something unique and separate from other topics.  Doesn’t history engage in the same debates?  Doesn’t science find the truth?  This brings up an interesting point about academic philosophy–philosophy as it exists now as a field.

And so, also brings us to our second set of distinctions: the questions “why are things the way they are?” and what can we do about it?”  In the beginning, all investigation of the world was philosophy.  Even as recent as 100 years ago science was explicitly thought of as “natural philosophy” and one of the major scientific organizations was the American Philosophical Society.  Philosophy encompassed astronomy, anthropology, physics, mathematics, geology, history, and so on.  All of these pursuits ask the question “why are things the way they are?”  But because philosophy is basically about the questioning of foundations–the basic process of doing philosophy–as different fields accepted set premises as foundations, they broke off and formed their own field (this, by the way is why there are subsets of philosophy like philosophy of history and philosophy of science–they question these basic foundations).  This left philosophy in the interesting position of being made up mostly of problems and questions on which solid foundations had not yet been set.  In other words, questions in philosophy sit on a constantly crumbling foundation and when they don’t, they’re removed from the field of philosophy!

Academic philosophy is part of a particular tradition–trained in a certain language, familiar with certain arguments.  In many ways, academic philosophy is training that refines the minds that practice it.  So, in some ways, professional philosophers will be better at thinking through problematic ideas: they are already familiar with what has gone before (so they don’t repeat history) and they are schooled in a rigorous method of thought (that makes them more aware of the philosophical arguments around them).  At the same time, this training can only be so broad, so most academic philosophers are deeply familiar only with certain specific trains of thought in the field.  For example, I am most familiar with ethics in various strains, but I’m unlikely to be particularly good at talking about philosophy of science; I’m good at feminist theory, but much weaker at critical race theory.  This narrowing of specialization means that there is much to learn from the different areas of philosophy–especially in regards to the basic process of doing philosophy–but there may also be blind spots in the field that those from outside philosophy can fill in.

The benefit of studying the field of philosophy is, then, two-fold: first, we learn the basics of doing philosophy and, second, we accumulate a body of knowledge that we can build on when attempting to figure out difficult questions about the things we take to be true–what things are like and why they are the way they are.

Ethics

As I said above, what is most important about the investigation of our beliefs is that we live by these beliefs, act on these beliefs.   It is because of this that some schools of thought argue that ethics is the true culmination of philosophy.  It is not enough to say “the world is like this,” we must also be able to say what this says about the way we ought to live.   If the world is a particular way, how ought we to live?  And if we don’t like the way the world is, how can we change it?  These questions are part of the two basic foci of ethics as a field.  Ethics tells us how to live and it does this by either being descriptive or normative.   Descriptive ethics tells us how people actually do live.  Normative ethics tells us how we ought to live.  In other words, descriptive ethics (as the name explicitly states) describes what moral beliefs people actual have.  Normative ethics looks at the state of the world and asks what moral beliefs people should have.  The question attached to descriptive ethics is “What do people believe is right and wrong?”  The question attached to normative ethics is “What should people believe is right and wrong.  Both of these questions are subsumed under the larger question: what can we do about the state of the world?

Thus, while philosophy is generally concerned with the investigation of the truth of the world (What are things like and why are things the way they are? ). Ethics is concerned with changing the world (What can we do about the way things are?).  Ethics is our concern in this course and we’ll go into more detail tomorrow.

Pause to Consider: After learning new information it helps to pause, review, and think through that information.  At the end of each lecture I will have some questions to help you check your understanding.

  • What is Philosophy?
  • What is the difference between having a philosophy and doing philosophy?
  • What is the difference between philosophy in general and academic philosophy?
  • Why is academic philosophy a distinct field from science?
  • What is the difference between descriptive and normative ethics?

Writing Prompt


Important: Read instructions for completing the writing prompts.

Purpose: Doing philosophy involves recognizing that you have a philosophy, even if it is unarticulated and merely implied.  In addition, doing philosophy involves understanding that your philosophical beliefs are wrapped up in where you have grown up, who has raised you, the friends you have, the things you do, and–generally–just the life you live.  In this assignment, you will introduce yourself and attempt to explore a philosophical belief you hold and how it is related to who you are.

Word Count: The best posts will be around 500-700 words.  Note: There are no strict word counts for the writing prompts.  You should write what you need to write in order to complete the assignment successfully.  To keep your word count down, do not write to think, but instead think before you write so that you already know what you want to say.  Overlong posts can have just as little information as posts that are too short and posts that are short can be packed with information (in a coherent fashion, of course)!

Before Writing

Choose one of the following sentences and think about whether you agree or disagree with it.  If you’ve never thought about any of these issues before, think about how you live from day to day and how they would conform (or conflict) with values that you know you have:

  1. Eating animals is wrong because they can feel pain.
  2. Forests should be preserved because they can be appreciated by humans.
  3. Zoos are cruel because they prevent individual animals from living their natural life.
  4. We should protect the environment to make sure we have enough natural resources for future humanity.
  5. Mosquitoes should be preserved because they are part of the natural ecosystem.

Notice that there are two parts to each sentence: a position and a reason for holding that position.  You can agree or disagree with both the position and the reason or you can agree with one part and disagree with the other. This can lead to several questions:

  • If you agree with the whole statement, what beliefs do you hold that make the position and reason convincing to you?
  • If you disagree with the whole statement, what beliefs do you hold that make the position and reason unconvincing to you?
  • If you disagree with the position, what reason do you have for the contrary position?
  • If you agree with the position but disagree with the reason, what reason would you give for taking the position?
  • If you agree with the reason but disagree with the position, what position do you think the reason actually supports?

When you have chosen a sentence and thought about your position, move on to the writing portion.

Write!

Who are you?  The class wants to know!  Introduce yourself to the class, give some interests and some background so we can better understand you.  In the process, tell the class what sentence you chose, whether you disagree with it, and why.  Think of what it is about who you are that makes you take the stance you do.

You can use the sentence you chose to start the post, integrating your introduction into your discussion of the sentence, or you can introduce yourself and discuss the sentence separately (keeping in mind that that part of the assignment is still focused on your personal values and beliefs).

This prompt (and in fact much of the course) is about exploring and evaluating your personal values.  This means it is important that you bring in the topics that matter to you.  One way to do this is to consider why you re taking this course in the first place: what drew you to this course?  What is it about environmental issues that is important to you?  And if you’re taking this just for the composition requirement, now’s the time to start thinking about the environmental issues.  You’re going to have to do it eventually! 😉

Sample

Here are selections of a response to this prompt:

Looking over the possible sentences to talk about today, I was conflicted about which to choose.  But then I realized that one of those sentences was one I could talk about from personal experience.  See, I worked at a zoo for a summer, so I know something of the conditions in a zoo.  And after that experience I think that I can’t completely agree with the statement that “zoos are cruel because they prevent individual animals from living their natural life.”  Zoos are sometimes cruel, but not always, and it’s the different cases that I want to talk about today . . . .

. . . On the other hand, endangered species often aren’t able to live their “natural life,” so a zoo can be the best option for them.  If humans destroyed the natural habitat of a animal, isn’t it our responsibility to help that animal?  When I was little, I found a rabbit that had been hurt badly and helped nurse it back to health.  In the cases of endangered species, zoos are just doing what I did with the rabbit at a higher level.  I was taught that it’s important to care for other people.  I don’t see why we can’t extend that to other animals.

Note: Grammar does matter in this course.  How you communicate has a massive impact on how your ideas are perceived and this is simply a truth that many of you will face once you leave college.  Our ideas our conveyed through language, thus our mastery of language and our ability to write impacts the ability of others to understand those ideas.  Your audience can only judge your ideas by the strength with which they are conveyed.  Use these prompts as an opportunity to practice writing as clearly and precisely as possible.


To Do


  1. Double Check: Your set up from Jan 09.  Did you do everything you need to in order to prepare for the course?
  2. Read: Craig: Philosophy [Electronic]; Pojman: What is Ethics? [4-7]
  3. Read: Instructions for completing and submitting writing prompt
  4. Post: Prompt 01: Intro and Personal Goals for CourseDue 1:00 PM EST
  5. Read: Your fellow students introductions on their own blogs (you can reach them by using the links in the sidebar to the right, under each name on the People page, or (hopefully) the trackbacks in the comments section below of the Lecture.  Edit Jan 09: Trackbacks do not work (in general) on Blogger, so do not rely on them to see what posts are up.  Use the links in the sidebar or a feedreader.).
  6. Comment: On at least 5 Intro posts | Due 8:00 PM EST
  7. Comment: On Lecture 01 | Due Noon EST
  8. Consider: Doing Extra Credit
 

39 Responses to Lecture 01/Prompt 01: What is Philosophy? What is Ethics?

  1. avatar Allie says:

    What is the “personal goals for the course” section of this writing prompt? Is there something specific we should include talking about them?

  2. avatar Kellyn says:

    I found the distinction between having a philosophy and doing a philosophy very interesting because I never saw that there was such a difference. Now that I am aware of this difference I see it everywhere, since I personally know many people who complain constantly but never do anything to change what they complain about, or people that argue their point until they are blue in the face but will not accept a different viewpoint or opinion.
    I now see that any belief that a person has is merely their philosophy or way of understanding something or the world at large, and I will now look at how people interpret their beliefs or philosophies and how they perform their philosophies with renewed interest.

  3. avatar Sbranch says:

    I really liked the idea of ‘Doing Philosophy’ from this lecture. I find that this is the part of ‘philosophizing’ most people have trouble with because they are afraid to question their philosophies and acknowledge that there are other ideas that may be equivalent or better.

  4. avatar Sbranch says:

    Is it possible to post on a tumblr from a blogger account?

    • avatar Brandon says:

      If you mean comment, then it should be, since I believe a blogger account counts as a Google account. Disqus comments do allow you to log in with a Google account.

      If you mean actually post, then no. I think you have to have an actual tumblr account.

  5. avatar Asa says:

    Could you explain how to comment on a Tumblr account? Because I do not see how I would do that.

    Also, are there any guidelines for commenting on blogs? Such as discussing particular subjects or word count.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      Tumblr: Well, you can only comment if the student has added a comment field (which they’re supposed to). The instructions for doing so are here, for those with a Tumblr blog.

      Commenting: Engage with what the other student is saying. A good starting point are these strategies in the Learning Packet. No set word count.

  6. avatar Emily says:

    I hadn’t realized that ethics was not only a study of what people ought to do, but also a study of what they already do. Also, just a general note, I had always pictured philosophy as this giant bubble of knowledge that smaller bubbles then clung to and were absorbed into, but it seems much the opposite. As ideas are formed into knowledge, they break free of the larger conglomeration of thought.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      Over the course of the 20th Century, academic philosophy has become very small by rejecting the fields that have broken away from it. Luckily, academic philosophy is not opening up and starting to use the information from those fields that have splintered away.

  7. avatar Thomas M. says:

    I think the idea of “doing philosophy” as stated in the lecture and the idea of differentiating between morality and law as stated in the reading go hand in hand. This appears especially when compared to current government structures. People are too concerned with their own personal philosophies, and have stopped considering the ideas of others. This leads to disagreements that never get resolved, and all progress stops. Another problem arises when a politician’s morals are based on religion rather than ethics; driven by spiritual understanding as opposed to conscience or reason. They then try to impose these values into law, even though the book states that historically, “law generally aims at setting an important but minimal framework in a society of plural values.” Balance needs to be achieved in both ends in order to continue development of a society with constructive ideals.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      True, there is a very delicate balance between law and morality. Where morality is most conflicted it is very difficult to create a law that is not controversial. Of course, we do have to consider cases where a minority pushed for rights from a moral stance (civil rights for instance). This is definitely a case where a certain morality was pushed on those who did not believe in it. I would want to say that this interference was not wrong. But there is a difficulty of drawing lines between appropriate legal interference and inappropriate.

  8. avatar Kirsten T says:

    I think in general, many people think they have a set of beliefs, or philosophies, but don’t actually understand why they believe what they believe. Many people’s beliefs are so strong that they are willing to do anything to convince a challenging opinion otherwise, and shut themselves out from any other points of view. I agree with the statement that people must be open minded and willing to listen to other people’s points of view in order to develop their own opinion. Society and other influences often force their own philosophies onto others, many people do not question what they are being told to believe, and think down upon those who actively fight to have their voice heard, why is that?

    • avatar Brandon says:

      It’s a good question and one that is difficult to answer. Part of it may be that accepting a philosophy is accepting a way of life and way of viewing the world. And it’s scary when one finds that view challenged.

  9. avatar Shawn says:

    I found the whole idea of “doing philosophy” by listening to someone else’s full argument and re-evaluating your personal beliefs accordingly to see if there are any flaws to be extremely interesting. When I thought of philosophy I would had never thought of it that way but if I look at how I look at things, this is exactly what I have always tried to do. I have no problem changing my beliefs if I find flaws in them, but it seems like a lot of other people do and will stick with their set beliefs no matter how many flaws. I don’t know why this is. I have even tried to explain this to a couple of people but have never been able to articulate it as well as you wrote it so reading this was great for me.

  10. avatar Bonnie S. says:

    I never really noticed that there was a difference between “doing” and “having” philosophy until now. This doing/having idea gives me a new perspective about the term itself. Everyone needs to have philosophy because that is just their basic ideas and beliefs that they grow up with and learn to agree with. But, doing philosophy allows people to explain their beliefs to give insight to others to agree with their beliefs. In conflicts or problems I always like to listen to other people’s ideas. But, even though I like to hear different point of views, I usually stick to my gut, initial feelings in the end.
    However, this whole idea gets me a little stuck between “opinion” and “philosophy.” Is it the same thing? What makes them different?

    • avatar Brandon says:

      I think you’re right to get stuck there because it can be a difficult distinction to make. What separates opinion from philosophy is, basically, the process of critique. Opinion is equal to the extreme relativist position–there is no means of supporting the claim beyond the fact that the person is making the statement (think: Cheese is the most delicious food in the world. A statement I think my daughter would agree with).

      In contrast, philosophy reaches towards the extreme realist side (anything left of extreme relativist is doing this) by looking for some external justification for a claim. What makes it difficult to separate opinion from ethics is that our external justification is largely other people. This is part of the process, but it means that uncertainty is inherent in the process. We may, through talking to others and acting, figure out what is “right” in ethics, but we can’t know for sure. Imagine if the only way you could know the speed limit on a road was by what other people did or told you. You’d be hard pressed to be certain you were actually following the speed limit.

  11. The Idea of doing philosophy as opposed to having philosophy is a distinction that is new to me but makes a lot of sense. I believe that many people are not aware of this distinction, thus they believe that by having a philosophy, they are doing philosophy. This is flawed because the act of doing philosophy involves not only analyzing other people’s beliefs but your own beliefs as well. If more people analyzed their philosophy before analyzing others, people might realize that they may not agree with some of the ideas related to that philosophy. But many people even if they see a flaw in their philosophy will not admit this flaw. I know I have been in debates about government or the economy where I may see the other persons point and change my philosophy based off their position. But the other person does not see this as a change in philosophy but a victory of a debate. This competition of who is right and who is wrong cultivates an environment which is more about having a philosophy and sticking with it rather than the true goal of doing philosophy.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      It does seem sadly true that discussions about important issues are often treated as battles to be won instead of problems to be solved together. Of course, think of when you’ve convinced someone else of your side and how good that felt! 😉

  12. avatar Cherieyw says:

    It is interesting to see how science and philosophy are actually related. Before I never know there are two distinctions of philosophy and I was surprised that the science we are doing now is so similar to doing philosophy- questioning, proving and making people to believe. I am agreeing with what Craig said, we have to have a belief to in order to function and act in the world. However doing philosophy is based on argumentative, we have to listen and question to each other’s for what we believe is right to believe. So if people live in a place where do not have the freedom to speech, how can they “doing philosophy” ?

    • avatar Brandon says:

      If there is no freedom of speech there can be a problem in doing public philosophy and changing the forms of society. Instead, these debates need to take place in private between individuals.

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    I understand the concept of doing a philosophy, however I don’t feel that it is a “waste” if two people would rather walk away than argue about their beliefs. In fact it may be someones philosophy to appreciate the fact that others will have drastically different philosophies.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      Sometimes, it is a waste to have a discussion. If both people are firmly committed to their philosophy, and refuse to budge, then there is very little point. Although, it might be difficult to know if that is the case without discussing.

      Additionally, people can have the same philosophy (in an area–we tend to differ depending on what situation we are in), different but complementary philosophies, or different and contradictory philosophies. We like the first, can respect the second, but tend to have a hard time with the third. And this is for good reason because, depending on the sphere of life that philosophy applies it can actually be a threat to the way you see the world.

  14. Philosophy being described as questioning foundations is a very thought provoking statement. It causes me to think about how our own philosophy is essentially the best determination of what we are becoming. My favorite philosophy is the ant philosophy that “Ants never quit.” by Jim Rohn. It describes exactly what you see if you watch an ant and especially if you impede their path. They will crawl over, under and to the side of whatever is in their way and when you try to stop them again they continue to find another way around their obstacle.

  15. avatar Andrea says:

    Interesting! Lecture 01 has changed my perspective on philosophy and ethics. I always considered a philosopher a scholarly fellow with a PhD. Ethics I always associated the morals and religion. In the reading where it says, “even those unreflective, must have a philosophy in order to function in the world”, i found very surprising. I feel most people who consider themselves atheists or non-religous think that the way the live is because of free will; that nothing influences how they decide to act, not because of their philosopy and “how it organizes the way they interact with the world”. I definitely see the connection to doing philosophy and “living”. I agree with the general statement that philosophizing is the act of interrogating, rejecting/accepting, and/or creating new philosophies because everyone falls into one of those actions when they do anything. Even those who choose to do nothing and make no arguements or opinions are philosophizing because they are accepting the differing plilosophy of another by recognizing something they don not agree with and choosing to remain quiet.
    Ethics as stated in lecture 01 is concerned with changing the world. This is where i can see people more for being good, bad, and hypocritical. Descripitive ethics tells us how we live. This is just stating the truth. Normative ethics tells us how we should live. Normative ethics I feel is where we have to really look at who it is that is making these statements. Do they “practice what they preach” or do they have secret lives or hidden agendas. This is where checking our sources for any information, examples including our news, political policies and health care practices is crucial to the validity of the ethics of those in power.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      Interesting point about “passive” philosophizing–letting something be or accepting something even though you don’t agree with it. The key point being that there is still critique going on, just internally.

  16. avatar Smalls says:

    In your description of Normative Ethics you said that it is what people “should people believe is right or wrong”. Is this based “should” based on cultural norms (which can vary greatly from culture to culture) of the society in which Normative Ethics is being applied too? Basically, what I am trying to ask is what is the standard for normative ethics based on?

  17. avatar N.Marshall says:

    I found this lecture to informative and beneficial to the reader. This particular statement from the lecture caught my attention, “Two people butt heads over conflicting beliefs, but nothing is revealed, nothing really shared because the discussion goes no further than that initial evaluation: I think this, so you are wrong.” I personally believe a person looks weak in his or her argument if they do not truly listen to the opposing side’s stance.

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  19. avatar Wilma Chen says:

    I am quite familiar with ethics because there are many guidelines in psychology that states how a practitioner ought to behave in the field. However, I found this lecture to be extremely interesting and a great introduction to the field of philosophy. I never thought about the concept of “doing philosophy” and the importance of it. A majority of the people that I have interacted with during my life time only preach their philosophy but do not actually “do” it. They attempt to force their opinions and values on other people and do not take the time to question or evaluate their own beliefs or the beliefs of others. I think this is very unfortunate because not all truths are absolute and people should take the time to consider other sides of a story. My question for this lecture is if there is such thing as an absolute truth? The lecture talks about how fields start off as philosophical but eventually branch off to a science because there are things that people accept without question. However, can someone prove that something definitely exists and find out the correct reason for why it does?

    • avatar Brandon says:

      You’ll see much more about this tomorrow, but for now I’ll give you my personal position:

      We are limited fallible beings who can never be entirely certain. There may very well be absolute truth in the world, but we can’t be sure we’ve reached it. I think there is a good chance that as we approach “truth” (if it exists) it becomes more and more difficult to move forward. One example of this outside of philosophy is in physics. Things like quantum physics and later work on relativity are really messing up our picture of the world. At the same time, I think we can say that progress has been made–we know more now than we did before.

  20. avatar Preet says:

    I took an Intro to Ethics class in high school, but I feel like I learned more in one lecture than I did that whole semester at Queens College. This is the first time that I have heard philosophy being used as a verb. I was unaware the terms “doing philosophy” was the open dialogue of one’s fundamental beliefs. As an Economics major I have heard the terms descriptive and normative used multiple times before, they are terms used in many social sciences. I feel that because Philosophy is such a broad field of study, there is a large overlap between most other social and natural sciences and Philosophy, especially ethics.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      All I can say is thanks! Hope I can keep up that effectiveness 😉

      As to your last point: One way philosophy is “sold” nowadays is because it trains people to think; i.e. the processes of philosophy can be applied in almost every field.

  21. avatar Dom says:

    I am excited about this course because courses that contain an emphasis on writing and constructing arguments usually places restrictions on what we can say about our personal lives and experiences. I think that it is refreshing that we will be able to incorporate, not only our unique understanding of the readings, but our our unique experiences that supplement our positions in a harmonious manner.

    • avatar Brandon says:

      I’m glad! And as a note to everyone, please feel free to bring in whatever experiences, examples, and information you feel will contribute to the discussion. Even in the more restrictive prompts (like Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), you should think about how your life has impacted your reactions and explore how your different beliefs developed.

  22. Philosophizing as the act of interrogating our set beliefs and the beliefs of others, sometimes rejecting them, sometimes accepting them, and sometimes creating entirely new beliefs. I find this definition quite interesting. I can’t wait to start Philosophizing.

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