What would it be like to be part of a discussion group with Aristotle, Galileo, Marie Curie, M L King, C. Jung, Solzhenitsyn, and Thomas Aquinas?
We may not think like these giants, but we are by nature philosophical animals. We search for principles and answers to explain our experience and our world. Philosophy/science is that inner drive to unify reality and find its ultimate foundation.
Those thinkers were not all philosophers, but they all asked philosophical questions; they were after the same thing—knowledge of our world; they were more similar than different.
--Are people just a bag of chemicals, or do we have a soul?
--What does it mean to be a person?
--Do humans have a built-in purpose and value, or do we make our own purposes and values?
--Do we discover right and wrong, or do we create right and wrong?
--What is truth, or is it just true for you?
--What constitutes a just government, and what is its role?
--Is there evil, and how do we resist evil?
These are important questions and the best way to approach these questions is to begin with “wonder”:
“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.”--Plato
“It is owing to their wonder that people began to philosophize.”--Aristotle
Wonder is a beautiful fascination and curiosity about with what surrounds us. This initial attitude sets the tone for later questions. We can ask questions like a critic/pundit or like a wondering explorer and child.
Scientists, children, artists and the philosophers approach the world with this sense of wonder. But if you examine our world only as an analytic critic, you will find nothing valuable. You may discover a formula, but you will never discover the wonder of a human person or grow in your personal life quest.
Certain ideas and knowledge rightly belong under a critical microscope, but some truths cannot be explained by a test. Those basic foundational truths are the beginnings of philosophy and metaphysics. And they may be difficult to explain neatly.
“We can know more than we can tell,” says Michael Polanyi (chemist, quantum theorist, friend of Einstein and later philosopher). The ancient Greek philosophers were scientists, humanists, musicians, moralists, and existential theorists---all at once; they were looking for all the truth that could be known; we should try to be like them.
“My sense of god is my sense of wonder about the universe.”--Albert Einstein
“I give infinite thanks to God, who has been pleased to make me the first observer of marvelous things.”--Galileo
This is the aim of our group, to approach important questions as if we were sitting in a circle with Einstein, Galileo, Marie Curie, Aristotle, Gandhi, M L King, Carl Jung, Solzhenitsyn and Thomas Aquinas.
If you would like to discuss important questions in a manner that would interest these giants please join us.
A google docs folder is available to view and upload documents: click/copy this to link and add documents or past documents. Folder Beginners Practical Philosophy. This link is for longer items.