Philosophy seeks to find reasoned answers to questions related to nature, society and human relationship to the world through thinking and dialogue.
Certain questions are in a broad sense of an epistemological and metaphysical nature:
- What is 'knowledge'?
- What is the difference between scholarly knowledge and other kinds of knowledge?
- What is the connection between the brain and the consciousness?
- What is 'linguistic meaning', and what is the relationship between our ideas and reality?
Other questions are of a more ethical and existential character:
- What is a meaningful and good life for humans?
- What is a just society?
Questions concerning art and aesthetics are also central:
- What is a work of art?
- What is beauty?
- Do we produce art solely for the purpose of receiving acknowledgement, or merely for perception?
It is important to understand how different philosophers throughout the ages have expressed their questions and how they have attempted to propose adequate answers. Therefore, the history of philosophy has a central place in the field of philosophy.
When society changes, fundamental philosophical questions must be rephrased and reconsidered. For instance, transplant surgery and gene technology force new questions about human identity to emerge, as well as critically debates 'established truths' of 'what is right' and 'what is wrong'. The development of art entails that questions of what signifies a piece of art must be continually discussed according to new premises. Our traditional view of humanity is also challenged by research within fields such as biology, language, cognition and nervous systems.
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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies