Fundamental ideas in philosophy

Essay by anud February 2003

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1.) "By shaping our analytical skills, we can become more independent in our thinking and less susceptible to world views that foster narrow-mindedness"(pg. 37). The thinking process can be broken down into three levels; which are experience, interpretation, and analysis. The levels are not clear-cut; they overlap and interact with one another. Experience, the first level of thinking, goes beyond the five senses. We notice: specific events occurring, different feelings within ourselves, and views of the world by learning of the experiences of others. At this level we basically describe our experiences. No interpretation is made or judgment is passed. Without experience thought cannot exist. Interpretation is basically trying to make sense of our experiences, individual or collective. Analysis is impossible without knowing the difference between fact and opinion. Analysis is interdisciplinary and requires the refusal to accept narrow-minded ideas. Be open and make adequate assessments.

2.) A moral dilemma is a situation where we have conflict between moral values.

In a case like this no matter what we choose it will involve doing wrong in order to do what is right. Since the solution is based on the individual there is no right or wrong, only better or worse. Moral dilemmas are never clear-cut. "Practice at resolving moral dilemmas has been found to be an effective means of improving our skill at moral reasoning"(pg. 72). There are five steps for resolving moral dilemmas. 1) Describe the facts. Describe the dilemma without the use of emotional or bias language. This may reveal what was thought to be a moral dilemma was not that at all. If it is proceed to step two. 2) List relevant moral principles and sentiments. Decide which moral values are actually in conflict. "Our relationships with the people involved and our individual temperaments and circumstances all...