Amusing and charming philosophical cartoon
What is philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
Or casually, by extension:
In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
So, where is the philosophy in the cartoon?
1. When the old gentleman said he collected a “good old fashioned” collection of answers whereas eye’s (he is one huge eye) collection of questions was “eccentric”, it is prejudice i.e. unjustified value judgment.
2. Eye’s contention that he “would never trade a question for an answer” because he could not see the “long term profit”, is pragmatism.
Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in terms of representative accuracy.
3. Eye’s remark that questions are “the big carrot that always keep us on the move. Always becoming…. ....Never complete”, is process philosophy.
In opposition to the classical model of change as accidental (as by Aristotle) or illusory, process philosophy regards change as the cornerstone of reality—the cornerstone of the Being thought as Becoming.
4. That the old gentleman took his collection of answers and left in a huff is denial and unwarranted dismissal of the relevance of questions.
So, what is a question?
A question is a linguistic expression used to make a request for information, or the request made using such an expression. The information requested may be provided in the form of an answer.
For impartial inquiry, questions are the essence in the Socratic Method (SM).
The Socratic method (also known as method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer’s own point.
What is the SM and it’s relation to the scientific method?
The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions.
What is Socratic questioning?
The key to distinguishing Socratic questioning from questioning per se is that Socratic questioning is systematic, disciplined, and deep, and usually focuses on fundamental concepts, principles, theories, issues, or problems.
Socratic questioning is referred to in teaching, and has gained currency as a concept in education particularly in the past two decades. Teachers, students, or indeed anyone interested in probing thinking at a deep level can and should construct Socratic questions and engage in these questions.
And what is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is a way of deciding whether a claim is true, partially true, or false. Critical thinking is a process that leads to skills that can be learned, mastered and used. Critical thinking is a tool by which one can come about reasoned conclusions based on a reasoned process. This process incorporates passion and creativity, but guides it with discipline, practicality and common sense. It can be traced in the West to ancient Greece with its Socratic method and in the East to ancient India with the Buddhist kalama sutta and abhidharma literature. Critical thinking is an important component of education, politics, business, and science.
The importance of critical thinking in the pursuit of knowledge:
Critical thinking is an important element of all professional fields and academic disciplines (by referencing their respective sets of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc.). Within the framework of scientific skepticism, the process of critical thinking involves the careful acquisition and interpretation of information and use of it to reach a well-justified conclusion.
So, are questions more collectible than answers? Not really.
Just collecting questions without discrimination, method, critical thinking and the proper usage of questions is as inane as just collecting answers.