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Lesson Worksheet: Definitions and Functions of Philosophy Philosophy

In this worksheet, we will practice recognizing two different ways of defining philosophy and distinguishing between three functions of philosophical thinking.


Why is the scope of philosophy so broad?

  • ABecause philosophers are easily distracted
  • BBecause philosophy is not rigorous enough to define itself
  • CBecause philosophers avoid going into specifics
  • DBecause philosophers can investigate everything


Complete the following: As a practically engaged discipline, philosophy is the investigation of .

  • Athe attributes of God
  • Bthe meaning of life and of how to act
  • Cmethods for attaining political power
  • Dways to achieve professional success
  • Ethe origin of the universe


What is an example of a question that can be studied philosophically?

  • AIs it wrong to kill animals?
  • BShould you believe what scientific experts say?
  • CIs it wrong to do things that may harm future generations?
  • DAre plants conscious?
  • EAll of the answers are correct.


Philosophy is influenced by its context. What aspect of its context is most influential?

  • AWhether or not the philosopher has a happy family
  • BThe food philosophers eat
  • CThe surrounding culture
  • DThe philosopher’s age
  • EWhether the philosopher lives in a warm or cold country


Choose the best description of philosophy.

  • AThe comprehensive investigation of humanity and the world
  • BThe contemplation of God
  • CThe invention of myths to explain natural phenomena
  • DThe methodical investigation of natural phenomena
  • ELessons on how to succeed in life


What is the relationship between philosophy and the world?

  • APhilosophy explains the world, often making it worse.
  • BPhilosophy neither explains nor improves the world.
  • CPhilosophy explains the world but does not interfere with it.
  • DPhilosophy explains and improves the world.
  • EPhilosophy improves the world but never adequately explains it.


True or False: Philosophical thinking is purely theoretical and does not shape the values, goals, and behaviors of the individual.

  • AFalse
  • BTrue


Why is it important for philosophers to explain the world?

  • AIt is important because purely theoretical investigations offer an escape from political concerns.
  • BIt is important because we need to understand the world in order to know how it can be improved.
  • CIt is important because we need to understand the world in order to know how it can be exploited.
  • DIt is important because we can never change things; all we can do is understand them better.


What distinguishes philosophy from other disciplines or subject matters, like biology (the study of life) or history (the study of the past)?

  • APhilosophy is not a proper academic discipline; it is just idle thinking.
  • BEvery other discipline pursues knowledge, but philosophers do not believe that we can know anything.
  • CEvery other discipline requires reading and performing experiments, but all philosophers do is think.
  • DUnlike other disciplines, there is nothing that cannot be investigated philosophically.


How can we describe the relationship between philosophy and its social and historical context?

  • APhilosophy ignores its context.
  • BPhilosophy is only concerned with timeless questions that are the same for all contexts.
  • CPhilosophy is entirely limited by its context.
  • DPhilosophy responds to the concerns of its particular context.

This lesson includes 26 additional questions for subscribers.

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