Reflections on my philosophy classes

Over the past few weeks we have been discussing David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).

I have to say I have found them at the same time, very hard work and yet brilliant. If I had just read about them in the book we are using I would never have grasped some of their concepts but having a group discussion about them was really stimulating.

David Hume spoke about causation and that we can never assume that because we observe something happening once, we can’t be sure that it will happen the same way again! Lots of talk about billiard balls.

From Kant I learnt about the Categorical Imperative – I understand it to mean that if I need to determine if an action is moral I need to consider how it would be if it was a universal law that the action be carried out by anyone/everyone.

And then there was Hegel. I found him the most difficult to understand and yet the most fascinating. Hegel’s philosophy covered such a wide scope. I think I almost understood his “thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis” but don’t ask me to explain it here. Again, the group discussion really helped my understanding.

Next fortnight we will discuss Bertrand Russell and I am looking forward to it!

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