Philosophy - Why Ask Why?

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A-level Philosophy By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Philosophy » A-level Philosophy
Last updated: 02/01/2018
Tags: a-level philosophy, a-level/university philosophy, philosophy a-level, philosophy of language

Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that 'Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.' Philosophy is probably the most fundamental and important subject in Western Civilisation - overlapping and being the basis for many areas of study - still the question is Why Study Philosophy?

Asking why is the exact reason - humans are inherently inquisitive, curious and opinionated. Philosophy is the tool that enables and feeds these human needs. The ancient Greeks are responsible for Western Philosophy as we know it and the key questions and branches of philosophy were asked by these incredible forward-looking individuals - Plato and Aristotle are amongst the most influential humans ever to speculate about human ideas.

The three key branches of philosophy are Ontology, Epistemology and Ethics - literally, What exists? What can we know? and What should we do? These three broad areas have developed into all the topics and subjects that the majority of schools include in their curriculum and the study of philosophy gives insight, critical evaluation and a level of examination not included in other areas of study. The rigour and exactitude of philosophical thinking sharpens minds and improves skills that are transferable to all areas of life.

The natural sciences use experiments to prove theories and hypothesis, philosophers use 'thought experiments' examples of anecdotes and abstract reasoning to investigate and analyse our deepest held convictions and beliefs.

Can we be said to know things? Philosophy has attempted to define and explain what it means to 'know' and can we ever be certain that we can know?

The quest for knowledge and certainty is ingrained in all human cultures and philosophy is one attempt to gain these valuable insights. Humans will continue to ask why and as a tool or map to make sure we ask why in the most thorough, accurate and critical way philosophy provides our route.


Lee J Taylor A-level Philosophy Tutor (Northampton)

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I am an experienced teacher having worked in may environments and at different Key Stage levels. My expertise is extensive but I am a specialist at A level and 11+ ensuring great results for students.




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