What is Philosophy?

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This class has passed

What’s it all about?

If you’ve ever thought philosophy sounds interesting, but are not sure where to begin, this class is for you. We’ll look at who does philosophy and why. Plus we’ll see how philosophers have tackled some of the big questions about truth, knowledge, beauty, morality, politics, God, justice, and more.

We’ll assume no prior knowledge, so everyone can get involved. We will try to offer a way in to what can sometimes seem a complex and intimidating field.

What will we cover?

The way we think about the world affects the world we live in. That’s why philosophy is for everyone, not just students at university.

For millennia, humans have asked questions. Many answers have been controversial. In fact, philosophers don’t even agree on what philosophy actually is among themselves! This can make it challenging, but very exciting. Philosophy can sometimes seem like a tangled thicket with no way in for the uninitiated. That’s what this beginners’ class is all about.

We’ll talk about what philosophy might be and why it’s important. We’ll take a whirlwind tour through the history of the subject, and see how some great thinkers have tackled some of the big questions.

Then, we’ll take our own look at some of these questions. We’ll see how philosophy lies behind much of our current culture, and is tangled up with the issues society is dealing with today. Finally, we’ll look at what it’s like to study philosophy at a university, through reading, podcasts, and more.

Who will be teaching?

Daniel Nellor has been interested in philosophy since childhood, and has been studying it formally for almost ten years. He is currently working towards a PhD in the areas of moral and political philosophy. He has worked in the fields of welfare and politics, and is interested in how philosophy lies behind much of what we do, both as individuals and as a community.