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By Russell H. N.

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But it is important that we ask these questions. After all, the answers really do matter. Very few people earn their living as full-time philosophers, either writing philosophical books or teaching and researching in universities. Studying philosophy, however, helps us develop skills that are useful in many different jobs, and philosophers follow a wide variety of career paths. Also, a lot of people simply enjoy philosophy for its own sake, as a hobby. HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT PHILOSOPHY? Academic courses Many schools, colleges, and universities offer courses in philosophy, leading to formal degrees.

The “final cause” of a thing, according to Aristotle, is the reason why it has come about and what it is for—its purpose. For anything to come about, he argued, these four causes must exist at the same time. HEAVENLY HARMONY Pythagoras experimented with vibrating strings of different lengths and discovered a mathematical relationship between notes in a musical scale. He reasoned that the distances of heavenly bodies from Earth correspond to lengths of string that vibrate in harmony with one another, creating what he called a “harmony of the spheres” in space.

They also wondered if the universe is as chaotic as it seems. Could the universe and everything in it have an underlying structure? if so, what caused it—and does it have a purpose? Mathematics rules! From the beginnings of philosophy, it has been suggested that there is an identifiable structure beneath the complexity of the world. Thales and his pupils proposed various models of the world as they knew it, either as a land floating on an infinite sea, or as a drum-shaped or flat disk suspended in air.

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