We come now to the part of the series where I branch out. By no means have we reached a proficiency of the ancients, or really covered their styles with any kind of flair or expertise, but I feel that we could spend the whole of this summer with them and still not cover it to my satisfaction. We will have to save the rest for actual class time. Today I want to begin the kind of philosophy that I really love.
How do you know that what you see around you is really real? How would you know reality when you saw it? What if we all were in some artificial simulation (or simulacra) that is a mere reflection of the actual world? What came first, the thing, or the idea of that thing?
What are you made out of? Can you break your composition down to the essential components of what makes you, you? Can you understand the basic core concepts of any substance? If you could, what would you find? Now, I understand that scientific breakthroughs in the last few hundred years have dramatically limited the scope [...]
Why do Earthquakes happen? Tornadoes? Hailstorms? Floods? How can we react to them and how should we feel about disasters? Are they normal, or something to worry about? With our relatively newfound understanding of the world, it is much easier to look to the sky's weather patterns, tectonic plates, or the sun's spots to understand why these happen, but that was not the case for most peoples through time.
When did people start caring for others? What about governments? We expect our government to at least pretend to care for us and give us justice if wronged. You might think that the search for equality is a rather modern idea, but it goes back almost four thousand years.
If we are going to embark on this summer's philosophy, we need to begin where it all began...as much as I can, that is. Philosophy and the evolution of it really follow the evolution of language. Though people have been thinking deep and abstract nebulous thoughts since we had the ability, being able to express them and share with others how one sees the world probably gained some level of intensity. More than that, keeping those thoughts over time proved harder than sharing them over distance.