[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Jack Pepperidge

I wish to begin self-study. My interests are in the field of ethics, politics, and knowledge. How would I establish a curriculum for myself? Is there a predetermined sequence of philosophers that I should study/ read to best teach myself? I feel like if I start without a direction and plan I will spend a lot of time and money studying things that aren't in my area of interest.

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Ghadi

Does meaning exist outside the mind?
In another form, is meaning created or does it already exist?
If it exists, how can we distinguish between the created one and the one which exists by itself?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Jack Boulet

For Aquinas' first proof for God's Existence, it seems like he would need to prove that the universe is an essentially subordinated cause. How might one prove this?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Millie Thompson

Who was it that first pointed out that the verification principle fails to stand up to its own criterion?

Answer by Graham Hackett

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Usermail

Are there different types of altruism, and is there anything anyone has ever done that wasn't with themselves or their species in mind? It almost seems like helping those that would lead to our demise is the only certain altruism?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Ross Campbell

I'm a graduate in philosophy and I wish to write a book in philosophy . The title I have in mind is "Why Philosophy matters. Asking the Big Questions".

I'm looking for advice as to whether this is a good theme for a book and what topics I should include in the book. I welcome any advice. Thanks.

Answer by Craig Skinner

Answer by Peter Jones

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Salih b

I had an argument with a friend of mine concerning part whole relation, he argues that there cannot be any entity with parts because of a contradiction. Nothing can be many things (so only unities can exist) so for example he says an animal cannot be one for it has diverse parts and so one part say a wing cannot be a hand for it will cease to be a wing and nothing can be many things so nothing can unite these things. So how should I reply?

Answer by Craig Skinner

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from jaimie hernandez

Should the U.S engage in other areas of the world if they are in some form of "conflict" or "suffering"?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Saleh Bader

How to stop thinking philosophically about everything? I feel that instead of enjoying life and the things around me I put so much energy and time analyzing them and looking for explanations like thinking in terms of Aristotle's causes or in terms of parts-whole relations and so many 'why' and 'how' questions. So how to lose interest in that or at least how to learn not to put so much energy and time on it?

Answer by Geoffrey Klempner 

Answer by Craig Skinner

[AAP] Fwd: Ask a Philosopher - Question from Mark Hampton

I am trying to come up with a list of normative theories, so far I have:

Teleological (consequentialist) - that evaluate morality in "achievement of some good or avoidance of some bad" (Driver 2005) e.g. egoism, utilitarian, hedonist, evolutionary, despotism, existentialist, situational.

Deontological (duty) - specify a moral quality which is prioritised over the consequences, they do not define the "right in terms of the good" (Driver 2005) e.g. Kantian, contractual, natural rights

Virtue (character) - treat virtues and vices as foundational e.g. eudaemonism

Pragmatist - supplement the practice of other normative approaches, focused on society rather than individuals e.g. moral ecology.

Constructivist - ground morality in human abilities e.g. Kantian, developmental, integral

Ethics of care - emphasizes interdependence and relationships e.g. feminist

Role ethics - e.g. confucianist


Can you please tell me what is wrong or missing?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Raghad

How does faith in God work? Is it developed and learned? Or is faith in its truest form blind and never true or authentic?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Stephanie

1) Pick a famous death.

2) Pick a philosopher: either Camus, Locke, Epicurus or Plato.

3) Why did you choose the philosopher you did? What is your initial feeling about what they would say about the famous death?

Answer by Craig Skinner

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Shermika

I don't know if I've popped up in the right place... but I'm desperate.

There is a Nietzsche quote, I read it years ago. It is about how humanity is meaningful only to itself. In it he gives a short summary of the human race evolving into existence and then ending, all to the unseeing eyes of an indifferent universe.

I remember it as extremely beautiful and hopeful, even if it's a tad nihilistic. I may be mis-attributing it to Nietzsche. It would be deeply appreciated if you could help me.

Answer by Hubertus Fremerey and Jürgen Lawrenz

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Saleh bader

Aristotle said matter is the ultimate subject of predication but it cannot exist on its own without any predicate or form for it would be nothing but still we need it as the substratum for predication. My question is why cannot there be a pure subject without any predicate at all like say there is an X without saying any thing about X but we still have it?

Or alternatively why cannot we have a predicate existing as thing without any substratum ? Why subject and predicate must go hand in hand?

Answer by Craig Skinner

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from adan majokivic

What would Descartes think about Kant's theory of knowledge?

 Answer by Geoffrey Klempner

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Ghadi

There are concepts that the understanding of it, is based on a form, and because of that a person might think that he understands the concept itself when in fact he understands a form of it!

How can a person understand the concept itself, ''the source'' rather than understanding a form of it? does the concept have thousands of different forms? how can we distinguish the source from the form?

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Ghadi

Is the understanding process considered endless?

If so, does this give value to ''repetition'' which may seem on the surface useless with no additions, but it is a chance of a better understanding, to level up?

Is it possible to understand the understanding process?

Answer by Hubertus Fremerey

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Mike Fairburn

I am currently having a discussion with a Young Earth Creationist who posits that the whole question of science is a philosophical one and that the view on evidence is purely philosophical. I don't know how to respond to (what I think) is an absurd argument. Do you have any tips?

Answer by Graham Hackett

Answer by Jürgen Lawrenz 

[AAP] Ask a Philosopher - Question from Ghadi

Music -- pure music -- is abstract, in this case is it an abstract stimulation of another abstract?

Although music has meaning, it seems harder to catch than the meaning of a word, the language in general, so what is the difference between music and language? both transfer something, but the level of clarity differs!

That the transference is from an abstract to an abstract and here the issue relies, in determining the meaning, how does it happen?

If this considered as an issue in the first place...

All of a sudden, the idea came to my mind and now I really want to know about it.

Answer by Hubertus Fremerey 

Answer by Jürgen Lawrenz