Assignment #1- Western Civilization
Instructions:
Select one of these prompts and craft a brief essay. Please be mindful of the objectives and expectations below.
PowerPoint 2 offers the key idea that our way of thinking about life is a product of thinking that has been passed down for thousands of years. Yet, we commonly talk about stark differences between generations. For instance, the website Visual Capitalist offers a “Generational Power Index ” that includes this claim: “Each generation is shaped by its own unique historical context and cultural experiences, creating a shared perspective about the world that is different from their elders.” In light of the argument given in PowerPoint 2, what do you see that has been passed down for thousands of years that still unites the Silent Generation, Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers?
link to generational power index

Generational Power Index

 Objectives:
Assignments have the following objectives:

Identify and describe key concepts relevant to a theme presented in the assignment prompt.
Explore ideas in philosophical depth beyond the presentation of course material.
Examine course material in order to develop an informed investigation of your perspectives on a theme presented in the assignment.
Research scholarly sources to help explore and expand students’ perspectives and develop critical thinking skills.
Develop a cogent argument to support your position.

Expectations:

All sources must be responsibly cited and referenced. 
This assignment should be around 500 words in length.

All sources cited in APA

Philosophy 1001
Introduction to Philosophy
University of Minnesota Crookston

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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Smile

PHILOSOPHY 1001 – PPT1

INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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AUGUST RODIN (FRENCH)
“THE THINKER” – 1904
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Israel © 1800 B.C.
Discovered 2016

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
I. Definition
Philia (Gk) = love (several gk words for love)

(root of: Philosophy, Philadelphia)
Soph (GK) = wisdom/knowledge

(root of: Sophia, sophisticated, sophistry, sophist)

Philosophy is The Love of Wisdom

Philosophy is the attempt to think rationally and critically about the most important questions of life.

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF LIFE?
What is there? What is real? (Metaphysics)
How do I know (what is real)? (Epistemology)
How should I live? (Ethics)
Is there life after this one?
Is there a reality above the one we perceive with our senses?
Is there an objective or absolute truth or morality?
What does it mean to be good?
What is the meaning and purpose of life?
Is life ultimately a good thing or ultimately suffering

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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MAIN “FIELDS” OF PHILOSOPHY
1. Metaphysics = what is real? 2 Pillars
2. Epistemology = how do I know? of Philosophy
3. Value Theory (also called Axiology)
a. how should I live? – Ethics
b. aesthetics; value of beauty
Logic – how to think (we will explore critical thinking)
(Watch for this progression in the thinkers we study.)
Metaphysics Epistemology Ethics
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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OTHER PHILOSOPHY CONSIDERATIONS
Philosophy- a field of study – degree at university; prep for- law, ministry, teaching
Philosophy – an agreed upon way of thinking about something
Philosophy of business, law etc.
NTC /UMC Mission/Visions statements
Qdoba Restaurant
Philosophy studies thought
Consider power of thought in our lives and society

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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THE SCOPE OF PHILOSOPHY
For the ancient Greeks Philosophy was an all inclusive term for all knowledge and learning.

Today Philosophy is more focused- the study of how people think about the most important questions of life.

[Still, the Ph.D. degree terminology (Doctor of Philosophy) relates to the ancient concept. ]
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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OTHER PHILOSOPHY CONSIDERATIONS CONT’D
Philosophy is about thinking rationally and critically (Critical thinking – Not criticizing but examining)
Some Philosophy will seem wacky
Thinking is hard work

(*Critical Thinking Principle- if you want to know something, must seek it out.)
What are the implications? – What difference do certain ideas make?
“Worldview” – another word for a personal philosophy

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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4 “DIFFERING CONCEPTIONS” FOR APPROACHING PHILOSOPHY
#1 Speculative

Philosophy is grandest pursuit – seeks to answer ultimate questions
#2 Analytic

Analysis of language
#3 Existential (start with existence)

Focus on experience of people, abstract concepts
#4 Phenomenalogical
Start with observable phenomenon to understand world

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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NAME PHILOSOPHERS YOU KNOW
Hagar?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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SOCRATES
Socrates
“The unexamined life is not worth living”
How about you?
Welcome to the conversation!

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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WHY STUDY PHILOSOPHY?
To understand some of the history that has brought us to where we are today
To explore the most important questions of life
To understand/develop our own philosophy of life
To understand the world we live in and to help us deal with the issues we face! (click)
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Thoughts have consequences
Your idea of purpose and meaning dictates what you do with your life
You will live out what you actually think/believe. (Society acts according to what is corporately believed.)
I live what I think

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I LIVE WHAT I THINK!

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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What does the word Philosophy literally mean?
Can you name some examples of the most important questions of life and reasons for studying Philosophy?
What are the four main fields of Philosophy?
What are the four differing conceptions or approaches to Philosophy?

Things to ponder
What is your philosophy of life?
What is the meaning and purpose of your life?
How might you answer the most important questions of life?

END
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THINGS TO KNOW- (LIKELY TEST MATERIAL)

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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ETHICS 2002
PPT
7
GENERAL ETHICAL CONCEPTS
PPT#7
1

PHILOSOPHY 1001 – PPT2
WORLD HISTORY/WESTERN CIVILIZATION

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PPT 2
THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND PHILOSOPHY.

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-Our study will emphasize Western Philosophy but will consider other philosophies as well.

– This ppt will lead us historically from the beginning of world civilization to the Greek and Roman empires.

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SEGMENT 1 – TIME FRAME
AXIAL AGE , 800BCE- 500BCE

Era that gives rise to new ways of thinking across the world.
Religions and Philosophies that are established.
Religions; Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism (Christianity)
Philosophies; Confucianism, Greek Philosophy

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TERMS TO KNOW
Civilization
Polytheistic
Theocratic (government)
BCE (before the common era) = BC
CE (common era) = AD
Judeo-Christian
Monotheism
Progressive History
Circular History
Western Civilization
Eastern Civilization
Greco-Roman
Ism- (a distinctive practice, system or philosophy)

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CIVILIZATION

(1.) level of interaction greater than tribal
(2.) the common culture of certain peoples extending over many centuries
(culture= sum of religion, politics, economy, values etc.)
(3.) For our purposes, when we refer to Western Civilization, we will be focusing on the distinct thinking/values/ideas of “Western” people
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BEGINNINGS OF CIVILIZATION (UP TO THE GREEKS AND ROMANS)

#1. Egypt- Nile river (Egypt)
#2. Mesopotamia – Tigrus and Euphrates rivers (Iraq)
#3. Indus- Indus river (Pakistan)
#4 China – Yellow river
Begun within 500 years of each other sometime after 5000BC (BCE- before common era)
Agricultural dependence on water in river valleys
Polytheistic- belief in many Gods
Theocratic governments- government focus on particular religion and/or divine leadership
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NILE, MESOPOTAMIA, INDUS, YELLOW

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Jared Diamond- east west migration key to superiority of West

EMPIRES OF MESOPOTAMIA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN AND RISE OF GREECE AND ROME
“Ancient World” 5000BC to 400AD
Beginning of civilization to end of Roman Empire
Mesopotamia – Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian
Egypt – Egyptian
Indus – Civilization disappears
China – Continues to today
Mediterranean – Phoenician, Greek, Roman
(From Asia peoples migrate to North and South America)

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Egypt 1600-1200BC

Assyrian 900-607BC
Babylonian 606-536 BC
Persian 535-330BC
Greek 330- 146 BC
Roman 145BC- 476 AD
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HEBREWS /ISRAEL/JUDAISM
2000-584 BC
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Hebrew Kingdom
A small kingdom with a great impact on Western Civilization. At its high point politically around 1000BC.

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6 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE HEBREWS TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION/THINKING
While Judaism was present in the Mediterranean before Christianity, its influence upon Western thinking comes most powerfully through Christianity beginning in the first century AD. Judeo- Christian- the combination of influence of the Hebrews and the Christians.
1. Covenant with God – (unlike other religions)
2. Monotheism- one God
Most of ancient world- Polytheism
3. Ethical Monotheism
One God through whom one standard of Ethics come

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HEBREW INFLUENCE CONT’D
4. Progressive History – (as opposed to circular history)
Breeds idea of Hope – key idea in Christianity- in the Roman era
Created interest in history
Circular history- tends toward fatalism (Eastern)
Reincarnation is an example
What are the implications for philosophy and ethics of these views of history?
5. Importance of the individual
Individualism / Freedom /Democracy

Bible – -source document for Judeo-Christian ethics
10 Commandments
Christian ethics
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GREEKS AND ROMANS (GRECO-ROMAN)
BEGINNING OF WESTERN THOUGHT
A new way of looking at the world
From superstition to reason- from relying on authority to challenging authority-
Ancient world thinking continues in East
Greek empire
800 BCE, Greek speaking people organizing around Aegean sea
High Point 500-300 BC – Golden age of Greece
Three most notable Greek philosophers
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
Alexander the Great – “conquered the world” – died 323 BC.
Roman empire
700 BCE beginnings
By 27 BCE Roman rules Mediterranean world
Seneca, Porphyry, Pliny, Cicero – notable Roman philosophers
Greece known for culture/ Rome known for military, political organization

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WESTERN CIVILIZATION
…A WAY OF THINKING
(“Western” thinking emerged through the Greco-Roman era)
1. Democracy- rule of law, consensual government separate from control of religious dogma
2. Rationalism- use of logic/scientific inquiry over superstition/authority – free exchange of ideas – self critical (and loud) evaluation
“I know you won’t believe me but the highest form of excellence is to question ourselves and others” – Socrates
3. Individualism – individuals can dictate own life
4. Freedom- liberty, equality

Critique of Western Civilization today –
No longer pertinent do to mixing of cultures
A force of evil in history

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Pythagoras 569-479 – traveled much in early life , egypt and east
First person to call self Philosopher
The word Philosophy in itself really is a Western concept – loving wisdom and the life of rooting it out.

THE SPREAD OF WESTERN
THINKING AND CULTURE
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European explorers take western influence around the world.

WEST AND EAST
United States is a “Western” nation
We will be focusing on Western Philosophy
Examples of Eastern Nations
China, India, Korea, Japan
What about Eastern Philosophy?
Lao Tze, Taoism
Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha
Confucius, Confucianism
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Differences between East and West
Wholistic vs. Individualistic
Circular vs. Linear (view of universe)
Accept world vs. Change world

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Compare to Eastern Thinking

KEY IDEA! OUR WAY OF THINKING ABOUT LIFE IS THE PRODUCT OF THOUGHT PASSED DOWN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS
Much of present day western culture bears the mark of the Greco-Roman world
Examples
Architecture
Education
Scientific understanding

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TIME LINE OF AGES/ERAS
– SEE FAMOUS FACTS AND FIGURES RESOURCE SHEET

800- 500 BC Axial Age
500 BC – 400 AD Classical Ages
Greco-Roman Era (end of “ancient” world)
400 – 1300 AD Middle Ages, Medieval
1300 – 1700 AD Early Modern Ages
Renaissance 1450-1550 AD
Reformation 1517-1685
1700-1969AD Late Modern Ages
Enlightenment 1700-1800
1969AD Post Modern Era begins

(these eras don’t start/end overnight and they overlap)

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TERMS TO KNOW
Civilization
Polytheistic
Theocratic (government)
BCE (before the common era) = BC
CE (common era) = AD
Judeo-Christian
Monotheism
Progressive History
Circular History
Western Civilization
Eastern Civilization
Greco-Roman
Ism- (a distinctive practice, system or philosophy)

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THINGS TO KNOW – LIKELY TEST TOPICS
List of terms
Six specific influences on Western thinking from Hebrew ideas
Main values of Western thinking

To ponder; Can you list both a few countries that are Eastern or Western in their basic philosophy frame work? Can you compare a few values of Western thinking with Eastern thinking?

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