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Lucky Emily

Lucky Emily

Hello everyone!My name is Emily,I come from China.MY Chinese name called 梁文娟(Liang Wen juan)I live in Shen Zhen. And I would like to be your friend.

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March 17, 2012

 Philosophy had always been a mystery for me, an incomprehensible and vague concept. I, like many other people, had always thought that philosophy was just a theory with no connection to everyday life except those

proverbs which are agreed with and forgotten in a flash. I mean, whoever has heard the word “philosophy”

appear in TV? We hear high-tech much more often. To be honest, I was wrong—terribly so. Philosophy is in fact closely related to our lives, for it starts from the most basic questions, for example, the questions of

existence. “Who are we? Where are we from? What are we made up of? Why are we here? How…” ,otherwise

known as the “Five Questions”. From these questions we can see how philosophy is linked with science, which

relies on hard facts and figures.

          For example, what are the things around us made of? This is a philosophical question that almost every

child will ask, and also a question the greatest thinkers of every age delight in investigating. The exploration of the building blocks of matter has always been undergoing lengthy phases of progress, dating from the ancient times

to the 21st century.

          The first natural philosophers believed that there was an element which made up everything around us. One of the first Naturalists thought that everything we see and touch was made of basic substance—air. Solid things     like metal were compressed from air, liquid was a kind of denser air, and fire, which gave off warmth and light,

was simply another form of air. Likewise, other scholars reasoned that the sole element could be other things like

fire. These explanations would have passed off if it had not been for that fact that there are too many varieties of matter to be made of. Think of a cucumber. We all know that 95% of it is water; then there must be 5% that is not water, or else a cucumber would be not different from what we drink. Based on this argument, the philosophers

of the pre-Socratic period such as Plato and Aristotle deemed it possible that there were four or five elements,

namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and later a fifth element, Aether(the material from which the heavenly bodies were

made). Take for instance the process of burning wood. The wood burned because there was Water inside and

with the assistance of Fire; the ashes where part of “Earth”; and the smoke was a type of black Air. This logical

assumption gleaned from sharp perceiving of the world around us deeply influenced Western thought and culture

throughout the Middle Ages. But then a breakthrough was made by Democritus, another famous philosopher,

who suggested that the world was made up of tiny particles that cannot be further divided, called atoms. He held

to be true that there were countless atoms, in every shape and size, that merged and dispersed continuously in an

unchanging cycle (rather like the favorite toy of every child, Lego), that were the essence of nature. Actually he was right, as we now know in modern times, and elements are just pure substances made up of a single kind of

atom. These elements are great in number and many were discovered by Medieval alchemists and chemists. By

the time of Antoine Lavoisier, there was already a complicated list of well-know elements such as Sulphur and

Mercury. The classical four elements only corresponded to the basic state of matter, or used in astronomy. Our

knowledge of the chemical world was boosted by these experiments of the scientists of long ago. Now, we have

not only found and acquired the knowledge needed to use the numerous elements, but we are trying to analyze the mysteries of the universe, ceaselessly probing the depths of existence.

          Where did this exceptional history, this high technology, this miraculous knowledge come from? As you

have seen, it all started from a simple, philosophical question: “What is the world made of?” This is how the path of science and philosophy entwines. If you pay attention, you will also realize that it is not only science;

philosophy is the beginning of the wisdom of man, and therefore includes every subject and branch of learning.

05:34 AM Mar 19 2012

anarchotaurus
Marshall Islands

Philosophy is all about raising questions. This is where a scientific hypothesis gets started. I totally agree that philosophy is an indispensable part of life.

More entries: A Thought on Philosophy (1)

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