Blog Number 1
I feel that all if not most of the core concepts of philosophy are tied together in a way that one concept is able to grow off the ideas of the previous one. As I write and post more blogs I can attempt to show how each core concepts of philosophy are intertwined and complement one another in building upon theories that each concept brings. Like the systems in our bodies, each concept is dependent upon one another and if one fails to function all will fail as well. All concepts bring their own individual purpose in order to build upon one another. The origins in which concepts come about are derived from the previous concept a philosopher comes up with. Today, further development of philosophy’s core foundational concepts can either breakdown or strengthen one’s view to the ultimate question that everyone till this day asks. The plan for this essay is to shed light on how I see to answer the question of our sole purpose in this constant growing and expanding universe and life.
Let’s begin by defining the nature of how we think or in other words how we use logical reasoning and critical thinking. Critical thinking is defined in two ways. One definition of critical thinking, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (providing a definition in an educational term) is, “the aims to inform and improve public reasoning and debate by promoting models of education which emphasize the critical examination of beliefs and decision, and the development of the skills that this requires.” This basically states in accordance to Module 3 Critical Thinking, critical thinking is about examining our decisions and what we were raised to believe (Module 1 Pg.7). By thinking critically we examine everything around us. We deeply examine our surroundings and the decisions made based on what we were taught, feel and believe in (Module 1 Pg.7). Often, critical thinkers will tend to be more skeptical about accepting claims just because they might feel right or because environmental influences such as peers come into play (Module 1 Pg. 8). The second definition of critical thinking states that it is a tool also used to determine if we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim (Module 1 Pg.8). Most often when we reach a situation where we have to make decisions based on personal or outside claims we evaluate it to see if we find some truth to it or not. That’s when logical reasoning and the rules of logic come into play.
According to Module number 2, Critical thinking, logic is defined as “a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration: the science of the formal principles of reasoning” (Pg.5). Logic is a tool that we use to decide if we should believe a particular reason and or a principle, or if we should question them. Using logical reasoning will clarify questions we develop about a certain reason or principle to determine what makes sense and what doesn’t (Module 2 Pg.5). Both logic and critical thinking go hand in hand to assess whether or not we should act on an action that is influenced by environmental factors or if we should act on them what lessons can they provide us afterwards.
Our surroundings do have immediate impact and will affect our decision making abilities based on where we are, who we’re with and actions based on the environment we are in. For example, being out in a bar with a group full of friends as opposed to being out to dinner with our parents. When out with friends, we tend not to think about our decisions whether they may be good or bad because we are influenced by the claims our peers make. The claims could be that it’s more fun to involve drinks in order to be carefree and careless. The application of logical and critical thinking while acting out on those claims goes out the window. Afterwards, during the next day or so, we always tend to assess and recall if the claims made by our peers lead to actions that we might regret later. When applied however, logical reasoning and critical thinking provides an individual with a sense of order (Module 2 Pg.4). Evaluation of our actions during the time where cognitive thinking didn’t apply, will force us examine those claims. It then gives an individual reason to examine the future actions that might surface when a similar situation arises. Life lessons learned and past experiences, when applying logical reasoning and critical thinking, can lead an individual to be more skeptical about claims made about a particular or similar situation.
In the grand scheme of it all logical reasoning and critical thinking does help shape a foundation to provide an answer to questions we have about purpose of life and the meaning of the universe. Logic and critical thinking also develops and encourages the importance of questioning everything around us. By questioning set beliefs and values we start forming our own sense of how existence and the universe work. Using both theories we reach a stage where we begin to build our own theories about what the meaning of it all is and climb the ladder to gain wisdom and intelligence. The content in this module is important because theories and ideas branch out and build to provide an even, clearer picture to help answer the ultimate question. This topic relates to Module #3 Metaphysics, in that critical thinking and logic not only builds a foundation to the direction of finding an answer to the ultimate question, it also provided a seed in which branched out to develop the other core concepts of philosophy and eventually formulating more questions to help us make sense of the nature of existence and the universe.