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Areas Categorized Under Different Philosophies of Knowledge (Synthesis of the First Module of ∞ God Matters)

July 8, 2013

What have you decided should be your philosophy of knowledge per area?  Why does it make sense for you to hold each of these philosophy of knowledge in every area?


Based on the class activities and discussions that I was able to experience for the past few CLE sessions, I have decided that none of the five different areas the class discussed should be categorized under the philosophy of Absolutism. Personally, I believe that Arts and Religion should be considered under the philosophy of Relativism while Physical Sciences, Human Sciences and Morality should be set under the philosophy of evaluativism.


None of the five different areas discussed in class can possibly be categorized under Absolutism, because people would always have an opinion on these different areas in one way or another, whether they’re right or not. 


For example, under Arts, there simply is not one right opinion about how good a piece of art is. This will depend on the different tastes of people, and what they consider to be a work of art. It’s possible that others would think that the Mona Lisa’s the perfect exemplar of what beauty is, but I think that it’s just a normal painting of a woman.  


Religion, is personally a lot more relative than Arts, since the beliefs of every person is affected when they choose a religion to follow. There’s not really a “better” religion, since most religions just believes in the same spiritual beings, but with different names and histories. Besides this, people would be more biased towards the religion that their family follows. For example, I’m Catholic because my parents are Catholic, since the Philippines is mostly a Catholic country. My relatives from the States are Atheists, since they adapted to the culture of religion not being a major factor in their everyday lives.


Meanwhile, both Physical and Human Sciences should be under the philosophy of evaluativism, since there are many theories and concepts that surround these areas. Even though people from the past came up with numerous theories, there are others who made similar theories, and while the older one isn’t wrong, the newer one’s more commonly used and trusted. A popular example is the Theory of Evolution, and it’s counterpart, the Creationism Theory. Some people believe that the beings that exists in our world now was created that way, ever since the beginning. On the other hand, some people believe that things evolved from other things, i.e. humans evolving from primates. Even though both theories isn’t proven, people believe the Theory of Evolution more here, since it’s deemed to be more logical. 


Lastly, Morality is also a concept that I considered to be under the philosophy of evaluativism. People really tend to have the ability of easily distinguish which is right from wrong, and this ability allows them to “evaluate” the situation they are in. For example, a student sees another student, his best friend, get an iPad that was lying on a table. Judging the situation, he can easily say that his best friend stole the iPad. However, he’s torn in between telling the truth to the teacher, and keeping the incident a secret, since it involves his best friend. Even though he would perceive both solutions as a “right” solution, his ability to tell between right and wrong would tell him to report to the teacher, even though it would ruin his friendship with his best friend. 


In short, one can categorize the situation under a specific area of knowledge by analyzing the situation, but cannot be under the philosophy of absolutism, because nothing is absolutely right. The situations that calls out to the biases of people can be classified under the philosophy of relativism, since they can be perceived as right or wrong to different people, while situations that involves a more logical and sensible answer can be placed under the philosophy of evaluativism. 

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