Friday, November 21, 2008

Fabulous Philosophy

This week sees the dawn of National Philosophy Day. What better place to celebrate the unknown than in the academic capital of the UK, if not the world?

Philosophy was one of the first subjects to be studied at Oxford University. Back in the day there weren't separate sciences, but philosophy (aka the love of knowledge) encompassed what is now known as physics, astronomy, chemistry and 'nonsense'.

Famous philosophers who went to Oxford include John Locke and A.J. Ayer, and many current philosophy professors are famous in their field.

Philosophy is still enthusiastically studied today, with questions that will probably never be solved including the age-old:
- Do we see the same colour when we say we see something 'red'?
- How do we know we exist?
- Are you the same person you were yesterday?

Check out the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy for more info, or simply browse round Blackwells in their philosophy section. The 'very short introduction' series has been very helpful for me, and makes you sound really intelligent if the subject ever arises!

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