What Ought To Be The Central Questions of Philosophy? (With Almosow Free)

We were elated to have hosted  Prof. Almosow Free as a speaker for BSc’s Philosophy summer school 2021. This was our second session with Prof. Free as a part of this series,  and we thoroughly enjoyed this discussion as well!

Following are some questions that got us thinking during this session-

  • What ought to be the Central Questions of Philosophy? 

But let us first decipher the two important words in this question- Ought and Philosophy.

  • What does ought imply? 

Ought being a broad term actually implies many things like moral obligations, advisability, natural expectations- and it also finally implies the logical consequences (like, if I eat healthy food, I will stay healthy).

  • But what is the meaning of Philosophy in the first place? Isn’t Philosophy a question in itself? 

While Philosophy’s literal meaning is ‘Love for wisdom’ (Philo and Sophia), the subject in itself actually means many things. The ability of Philosophy to let the learner question this subject in the first place is unique to itself. Science, for example, only states facts and the learner has to believe those.

  • What does it actually mean to be a wise person? 

Being wise could also actually mean many things. Like, if we aren’t logical, we cannot communicate. Similarly, any subject has to be rationally organised and understood, otherwise research and specialisation is not possible. You keep searching for a result but the question is wrong in the first place.

  • What about Indian Philosophy? What are the types of Indian Philosophy? 

We know about the Bharatiya Darshan (literally implies the vision of Indians) and the Aastik and the Nastik types of it. As per the Indian philosophy, there are 5 ways to gain knowledge: Pratyaksha praman (perception; what gives you knowledge of the reality- it includes our 5 senses once you feel something- you feel that it’s real.) Shabd Pramaan– Words (books) Praman (accepting what’s written in words). Anumaan– (Inference, logic, rationality). Nyaya (deciding between right and wrong.)

  • And what exactly is the meaning of absolute freedom?

Absolute freedom is a form of anarchy. If you’re alone on an island, no one is going to judge you no matter what you do as you’re alone.

This session ended with a Question-Answer round regarding the doubts and questions the students had from the session

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