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  #1  
Old Monday, March 17, 2014
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Default Philosophy Primer

Why people don’t choose philosophy:

Philosophy as a term has a dread attached to it. A very nerdy person who talks in a far-fetched jargon is usually called a Philosopher here. People think that this course should be avoided at all costs because it will be highly obscure. Even I used to believe in such MYTHS. However, when I studied Philosophy, it proved to be easier than Psychology.


Why Choose Philosophy?

Philosophy is seldom chosen but it is a highly scoring subject. First two position holders of 2012 had Philosophy as their electives. It will also help in other subjects. Just look at the essay paper and you will find topics related to philosophy. The first paper Logic helps in sharpening argumentation skills which can be used to attempt all other papers.


Books for Paper 1 Logic:


Either Patrick Hurley’s or Copi’s Introduction to Logic is sufficient for paper 1. I personally prefer Hurley’s book. Its PDF version looks very good, much better than the Copi’s scanned available version. The rest of the topics: Aristotle’s concept of meaning and definition and Ibn-e-Taimiyah’s criticism could be easily found on the internet.

Paper 1 consists of basics about Formal and Informal Logic. Fallacies. Meaning and Definition. Categorical Syllogism which can get you 10/10. Symbolic Logic which can also get you 100 percent marks. Deductive and Inductive Logic. Scientific Method. Pretty much everything about logic is common sense.

Books for Paper 2 Western and Islamic Philosophy:

Western Philosophy:

Many people would recommend Bertrand Russel’s A history of western philosophy but I will advise that you stay away from that book. It is highly amusing but it is not written as a text book. Other texts are quite obscure. However, Popkin’s Philosophy Made Simple is very simple and highly readable. All western philosophy topics can be prepared from it. A PDF is available.

Islamic Philosophy –Arab/Persian/Turk:

Islamic Philosophy by M. Saeed Sheikh can be used to cover all the Muslim philosophers and theologians. PDF is available. Just search over the internet.

Islamic Philosophy- Subcontinent (Shah wali Ullah, Sir Syed, Iqbal):


Use MM Sharif’s book chapters on these philosophers. PDF is available and separate chapters can be downloaded. There is no need to download the enormous full book.
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Dear thank you for sharing such useful knowledge. Can you please share the links of pdf files. I attempted Psychology twice, also I have good grasp over it. But I want to entertain the charm of philosophy. If it seems comfort and convenient for me, then I will go with it. Please share its pdf version files. Mostly I do not read books, I do my studies in soft. Thanks and waiting for your reply.
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Hurley's torrent link
If torrent link doesn't work use a proxy or go to pirate bay and search

Islamic philosophy books

Popkin's Philosophy Made Simple

By the way, a simple search on Google could easily give you these links
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Thank you bhuddha,

I had decided to opt psychology some days ago but this post of yours has changed my mind and InshAllah i will stick to this choice. Please advice how should I go about philosophy. I have to study for CSS along with job and I can allocate almost 3 hours daily from now onwards. Shall I start with logic or western philosophy. Shall i cover the entire syllabus or study the selected areas. please advice..
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Default Philosophy VS Psychology

Dear members, in my view, Philosophy is very easy to pass but at the same time its very difficult to get high marks in Philosophy. I don't say that it is not a high scoring subject, like Psychology it is also a high scoring subject but for that you will have to clear the concepts of the whole subject stuff which, in my view, is very difficult for those who start it from scratch to cover the whole Philosophy stuff.
The reason being is that it takes relatively longer time to cover the topics of Philosophy in comparison to Psychology or any other subjects. It is because of the abstract nature of Philosophy.
Those who want to opt Philosophy should first look up the Philosophy topics like "traditional square of opposition", "forms of deductive and inductive logic", "Mill's method of induction" and "probability concept in Philosophy" etc. If you think that you can cover the topics easily, only then you should go for it otherwise don't take risk.
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Old Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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I had decided to opt psychology some days ago but this post of yours has changed my mind and InshAllah i will stick to this choice. Please advice how should I go about philosophy. I have to study for CSS along with job and I can allocate almost 3 hours daily from now onwards. Shall I start with logic or western philosophy. Shall i cover the entire syllabus or study the selected areas. please advice..
In my opinion you should first study Logic. Of course you don't have to study the entire syllabus as there is choice in the subjective questions of CSS. You can leave Ibn-e-Taimiyah's criticism of Aristotle, Aristotle's concept of definition, Al-Farabi's contributions to Logic, Muslim Philosophers' contributions to Logic. All such questions. I myself left Mill's method, evaluation of analogical reasoning. So you don't have to cover the entire syllabus not just in philosophy but also in every other subject. And if you have any question don't hesitate to ask

Quote:

Those who want to opt Philosophy should first look up the Philosophy topics like "traditional square of opposition", "forms of deductive and inductive logic", "Mill's method of induction" and "probability concept in Philosophy" etc. If you think that you can cover the topics easily, only then you should go for it otherwise don't take risk.
It is never a good idea to try to understand Chapter 5 without understanding Chapter 1, 2, 3 and 4. For Traditional Square of Opposition, you first read Categorical propositions, its types A, E, I, O. Then their relationship is expressed very conveniently by a Square. If you advice people to try to understand Baye's law without them understanding basic probability, they will appear lost! So it is not a good idea to challenge people to understand Hegel before they have an idea about Plato's rationalism and Berkeley's idealism.

Philosophy is an easy course for a person to start from scratch. And I don't think philosophy takes any longer time than psychology, I studied both subjects, sat in their exams, so I'm speaking from personal experience.
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Default @Buddha

Yes my friend, you are absolutely right. Actually my educational background is science and one of my friends, who has got master degree in Philosophy, gave me the idea to opt Philosophy and he told me that Philosophy would be very easy for me because Philosophy contains scientific discussions like for example, "Scientific explanations", "Analogical reasoning", "Difinitions", "Scientific Inquiry", "Probability and Probabalistic Problems" etc. But when i was preparing Philosophy, it took me a lot of time to cover the topics and then i stuck with the subject and got in ambivalence whether i should change the subject or i should make progress with it. Now it is easy going for me but it took me a lot of time.
Mr. Buddha i said all this according to my own experience as i have said earlier.
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Old Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Default Philosophy must be opted rationally

Optional subjects play pivotal role in the allocation, and this exactly is what we all want ultimately, after all CSS is not a degree awarding exam that we just have to pass, securing allocation is the ultimate purpose.

As far as Philosophy is concerned, yes its Paper I can give you a really good score, its being objective in nature has good scoring potential. But beware, you lose as much marks if you stumble.

But what next? Philosophy has two papers as it is 200 marks subject in CSS. I must say that if Paper I Logic is of very objective nature then Paper II is at extreme end, very subjective. If not prepared well, good score of Paper I will be offset by bad score of Paper II.

Now coming to Paper II: Very subjective in nature and very speculative. Let's have a glance at its syllabus:


Idealism: Its not just one topic, it has five Philosophies to deal with:

  1. Absolute Idealism of Hegel
  2. Subjective idealism of Berkeley
  3. Pluralistic idealism of Leibniz
  4. Transcendental Idealism of Immanual Kant
  5. and last but not the least Plato's theory of forms.


Pragmatism: You gotta study 3 philosophers

  1. C.S Pierce
  2. William James
  3. John Dewey


Logical Positivism: You would need to study 6 philosophers to comprehend that Philosophy.

  1. Moritz Schlick
  2. Kurt Godel (his number theory, an attempt make meaningful interpretations from metaphysical abstractions)
  3. Hans Hahn
  4. Otto Neureth
  5. Herbert Feigl
  6. Rudolph Carnap
  7. Vienna circle (as a context)


Existentialism: The toughest nut to crack, you would need to study at least two Philosophers to have its complete view.

  1. Soren Kierkegaard
  2. Jean Paul Sartre


Dialectical Materialism of Marx.

Islamic Philosophy: Yes, paper II continues.....

  1. Al Farabi
  2. Ibn e Sina
  3. Ibn e Rushd
  4. Ibn e Khaldun


FPSC says you gotta need to study their MAIN Doctrines, a very ambiguous term used by FPSC, all those Philosophers have done so much in the realm of philosophy that almost every work of theirs is important. FPSC keeps the element of surprise for you in exam hall.

Muslim Theology:

  1. Mutazilism (Five principles)
  2. Asharism
  3. Al Ghazali's attack on Philosophers and his other doctrines


Muslim Philosophy in south Asia:
  1. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
  2. Shah Wali Ullah
  3. Allama Iqbal
  4. and Post Iqbalian thought (Again FPSC will surprise you here)
================================================== ============
I have given you the complete overview of that subject. Philosophy is a very profound subject. One Philosophy is a whole world in itself. It may happen that you will find yourself lost in the labyrinthine corridors of Philosophy.

It is advised to opt such subjects that are easily comprehensible and take little time to prepare, after all you need to prepare other 1000 marks too. Philosophy may be a hard nut to crack and when you realize that, it may be too late to switch to other subject.

If still you dare opt Philosophy, I have given the complete road map to follow and Philosophers to study under each Philosophy.

Best of Luck
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  #9  
Old Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
@ Bilal Hasan thanks for writing a discouraging post. It will help me clarify some points for potential students.

In philosophy 2 you will not be required to put down your opinion. You will be required to write theories of Philosophers which makes it objective. If the paper requires that you write about Sartre's existentialism you will write what Sartre's views were, not your own subjective point of view. This makes Part 2 of philosophy an objective exam.

Idealism

You just have to study Berkeley's subjective idealism and German Idealism (Hegel and Kant)

Don't have to study Leibniz.

Plato's Theory of Forms is an easy concept.

Pragmatism

William James and John Dewey

Existentialism

Only Sartre, no need to study Kierkegaard

Logical Positivism

Now this made me laugh. Study this topic from the book I mentioned Philosophy Made Simple. It is very easy. Ayer's verifiability principle is the crux of it. Absolutely no need to study the whole Vienna Circle list which Bilal Hasan posted and then also mentioned the Circle as a context :P Funny

Marx's Dialectic Materialism

Western Philosophy pretty much ended...

For Islamic Philosophy


1-Mutazilites & Asha'arites -Or separate question about one-
2-Al Ghazali
3-Al-Farabi
4-Ibn-e-Sina
5-Ibn-e-Khaldun
6-Ibn-e-Rushd


No rocket science. Also leave 1 of them in choice. I left Ibn-e-Sina.

Subcontinent Muslim Philosophers not very hard philosophers. We already know much about them. Prepare 2 of them. Sir Syed and Iqbal.

Every subject is profound. Study from the right books and you will find the concepts very simple. Scoring trend of Philosophy 2 is also good. It may not get you a 90 like Philosophy 1 but it can get you a 70.

Dear it wasn't a discouraging post, it was meant to present before the aspirants a true and complete picture. I really don't have any reason to discourage them. It goes a famous saying "All that glitters is not gold" so that post was done with good intent. I hope you get the enthymeme in this argument which you will get after developing a sorites for that.

Everything has its pros and cons, nothing in this world is such that has only pros or only cons, and I hope you agree with me on this point.

You gave the Pros and I gave the cons so picture is complete now.

Your job is done and well done and so is mine. Shouldn't we leave it to aspirants now to decide what to do!

Regards,

P.S: I appreciate your concern for the aspirants but I would more appreciate if you correct yourself about certain points in your quoted post. Laughing away something doesn't render that thing invaluable but it also reflects your inability to understand that or your ignorance of it. A.J Ayer's criterion is just one part of Logical Positivism my friend. Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, my job is done now I disengage.
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Old Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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Default Another Irrational post of mine!

@ Bilal Hasan thanks for writing a discouraging post. It will help me clarify some points for potential students.

In philosophy 2 you will not be required to put down your opinion. You will be required to write theories of Philosophers which makes it objective. If the paper requires that you write about Sartre's existentialism you will write what Sartre's views were, not your own subjective point of view. This makes Part 2 of philosophy an objective exam.

Idealism

You just have to study Berkeley's subjective idealism and German Idealism (Hegel and Kant)

Don't have to study Leibniz.

Plato's Theory of Forms is an easy concept.

Pragmatism

William James and John Dewey

Existentialism

Only Sartre, no need to study Kierkegaard

Logical Positivism

Now this made me laugh. Study this topic from the book I mentioned Philosophy Made Simple. It is very easy. Ayer's verifiability principle is the crux of it. Absolutely no need to study the whole Vienna Circle list which Bilal Hasan posted and then also mentioned the Circle as a context :P Funny

Marx's Dialectic Materialism

Western Philosophy pretty much ended...

For Islamic Philosophy


1-Mutazilites & Asha'arites -Or separate question about one-
2-Al Ghazali
3-Al-Farabi
4-Ibn-e-Sina
5-Ibn-e-Khaldun
6-Ibn-e-Rushd


No rocket science. Also leave 1 of them in choice. I left Ibn-e-Sina.

Subcontinent Muslim Philosophers not very hard philosophers. We already know much about them. Prepare 2 of them. Sir Syed and Iqbal.

Every subject is profound. Study from the right books and you will find the concepts very simple. Scoring trend of Philosophy 2 is also good. It may not get you a 90 like Philosophy 1 but it can get you a 70.
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