Philosophy 101: introducing the greatest thinkers

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What is this course about?

Welcome to Philosophy 101! 🏛️ Have you ever heard the names Socrates, Descartes, Plato, Hume or Spinoza but wondered who they are what exactly it is they said? Wonder no more! In Philosophy 101, an introduction to the greatest thinkers I'm going to walk you through the history of philosopy and its greatest thinkers. We'll explore topics like Rationalism, Existentialism, Epistemology and more. By the end of this course, you'll have a good grounding in the core philosophical thought of the greatest thinkers of the past 3000 years.


In this lesson, you'll dive into the world of Socrates, the legendary Greek philosopher who revolutionized the way we think about knowledge, ethics, and human nature. Through engaging lectures and interactive activities, you'll explore Socrates' life, ideas, and teachings, and discover how his unique approach to questioning and critical thinking.

We'll cover:
• The Socratic method
• The dangers Socrates faced by his critical thinking
• Socrates' legacy

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Plato was Socrates' most important student - both for his own thoughts and for documenting his teacher. But it's not only in relaying Socrates' thoughts that Plato earned his keep. He also contributes to philosophy with a few important ideas:

• Metaphysics and concepts of reality
• The allegory of the cave

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Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, was fascinated by the concept of purpose. He believed that everything in the natural world has a specific end goal or "telos." Through his observations of the world around him, Aristotle came to the conclusion that all living things have a purpose - from the lowliest plant to the most complex animal.

These ideas formed the foundation for thousands of years of religious thought, as they influenced the development of Western philosophy and spirituality. In this lesson, you will discover Aristotle's ideas about purpose and how they have shaped our understanding of the world for centuries.

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Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, including its nature, origin, and limits. It is concerned with questions such as "What is knowledge?" and "What can we know for certain?"

René Descartes is a key figure in the history of epistemology. He is best known for his philosophical work "Meditations on First Philosophy", where he famously proclaimed "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), which serves as a foundation for his epistemological ideas. Descartes argued that knowledge must be certain and indubitable, and that all beliefs must be justified by clear and distinct ideas in order to be considered knowledge.

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the field of epistemology and Descartes' ideas about knowledge. They will learn about Descartes' method of radical doubt and his belief in the reliability of reason as a source of knowledge. They will also explore how Descartes' views influenced later philosophers and how they are still relevant to discussions in epistemology today.

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Step into the world of Hume's Empiricism and discover how this philosophy flips the script on Descartes' Rationalism. Explore how Hume argues that all knowledge is derived from our senses and experience, rather than reason.

In this lesson you'll learn how we can integrate even the uncertain things into our knowledge category by relying on past experiences and observations. You'll learn about deduction and induction.

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In this lesson, you'll dive into the mind of Immanuel Kant and his views on rationalism. Kant stands at the middle point between Descartes' rationalism and Hume's empiricism.

You'll learn:
• Kant's approach to rationalism and his 'synthetic a priori' knowledge
• Kant's dualistic approach and the problems with it

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In this lesson, you will explore Hegel’s philosophy of idealism and learn how it differs from traditional views of reality. Discover how Hegel sidesteps Kant’s problem of dualism by explaining how everything we know is connected to other ideas. You will also uncover the concept of the Geist, the ever-changing spirit of reality that evolves through the dialectical process. By the end of this lesson, you will have a deeper understanding of Hegel's unique approach to philosophy and how it impacts our understanding of the world around us.

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In this lesson, you'll dive into the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx, the 19th century philosopher who challenged the status quo of capitalism. You'll explore Marx's dialectical approach to understanding history, society, and economics, and learn how he believed that conflict and contradiction were the driving forces of progress.

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Unlock the power of practical wisdom with the philosophical approach of Pragmatism!
In this lesson you'll learn:
• How Pragmatism differs from the other philosophical approaches we've learned
• The moral questions about Pragmatism

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