You have a list of opinions and a list of philosophers. Match the opinion to the philosopher who held it.

1. They emphasized the profound differences in the minds and works of humans in different cultures. a) Voltaire and Montesquieu
2. For him the proper object of historical study was the state. b) Oswald Spengler
3. A civilization may prolong its life indefinitely by successful responses to the various internal and external challenges that constantly arise to confront it. c) Niccola Machiavelli d) Arnold Toyhbee e) G. Hegel


Translate the text without a dictionary.

... Cultivation is not civilization. Civilization is something more than the occasional seasonal growing of wheat. It is the settlement of men upon an area continuously cultivated and possessed, who live in buildings continuously inhabited, with a common rule and a common city or citadel...

Mesopotamia and Egypt were the most favourable countries for the first permanent settling down of men. Here was a constant water supply under enduring sunlight, trustworthy harvests year by year; and as for building material, in Egypt was clay and easily worked stone, and in Mesopotamia a clay that becomes a brick in the sunshine. In such countries people would cease to wander, and settle down almost unawares; they would multiply and discover themselves numerous. Their houses became more substantial, the security of life increased so that ordinary men went about in the towns and fields without weapons, and among themselves at least, they became peaceful peoples. Men took root as man had never taken root before...

Now in the less fertile lands outside these favoured areas in the forests of Europe, the Arabian deserts and the seasonal pastures of Central Asia, there was developing a thinner, more active population of peoples of a quite divergent type, the primitive nomadic peoples. These nomads lived freely and dangerously. The discoveries in the elaboration of implements and the use of metals made by the settled people spread to them and improved their weapons. They became more warlike with better arms and more capable of rapid movements with the improvement of their transport. It was inevitable that nomad folk and the settled folk should clash.

For the most part it was the mere raiding of the borders. But ever and again we find some leader or some tribe, powerful enough to force a sort of unity upon its kindred tribes; and then woe betide the nearest civilization. But instead of carrying off the booty, the conquerors settle down on the conquered land, which becomes all booty for them. The villagers and townsmen are reduced to servitude and tribute-paying. The leaders of the nomads become kings and princes, masters and aristocrats. They, too, settle down, they learn many of the arts and refinements of the conquered, they cease to be lean and hungry, but for many generations they retain traces of their own nomadic habits, they hunt and indulge in open-air sports, they regard work, especially agricultural work, as the lot of an inferior race and class.


Read the text. Translate in writing the text. Express the most important ideas orally.

What is Philosophy?

A philosophy course in an evangelical Christian school creates for some people a situation that may be described by an analogy with Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel did not want to be in that lion’s den. None of the lions wanted Daniel in there. The lions would have eaten him if they could, and Daniel survived only by the grace of God.

Students may see themselves as “Daniels” being challenged by the lion-like philosophies of men. Professors, on the other hand, may see the students as lions and may pray for God to shut their mouths. Home churches may think of themselves as being like Darius. They made a “decree” that their children should go to college and especially that their young ministers ought to attend a seminary. Then they find out that these young Christians will be required to take a course in philosophy. They sent their students on to the school anyway, but they anxiously pray; and then on graduation morning they come to ask, ‘O Daniel, has your God preserved you from the lions?’

Probably no other field of study has been so frequently criticized by Christian people as the field of philosophy. Yet if one were to ask the average Christian “What do philosophers talk about?” they probably could not answer with assurance. “I think philosophers are liberal,” says one. “Philosophy will destroy your faith,” says another. “Go on to the class,” says yet another, “but just remember that you don’t have to believe everything you hear.”

Sound advice, or so it seems. But what is it that students might hear that will destroy their faith? Exactly what is the content of a course in philosophy? The question sounds simple enough. Why is it so hard to get a simple, straightforward answer?

It is difficult to explain that philosophy is not a self-contained discipline. Philosophy is more a method of thinking than a specific thing being thought. It is a way of thinking more than it is a specific idea. For example, the term “philosophy” is frequently attached to some other field of study. There is a philosophy of science, a philosophy of art, and a philosophy of history. There is also a philosophy of religion. When someone studies the “philosophy” of something, the content of the course is determined by the specific discipline involved, but the method of study is different from what might be done in the normal study within that discipline. The questions asked by the philosophers arc more foundational, more basic, than the questions normally being asked by the practitioner of the discipline.

History can serve as an example. Most modern educational systems require some study of history. One may study the American Civil War or the History of Europe in the Middle Ages. In each case the course would include a survey of the events during the period of time designated. Not every event would be included in the study, however. Only those events that were considered to be important would be included. But wait a minute! How exactly does one decide which events are important? All historians seek to explain the events they are studying. But what is the proper way to explain events? Are events in history “caused” in the same way “scientific events” are caused? What is the nature of valid historical explanation? Are there historical “laws” comparable to scientific “laws,” or is history better understood if we use descriptive methods patterned after the kinds of explanations that are appropriate in setting forth the meaning and value of art? Is there one and only one “true” explanation of the flow of events in history? Why do various historians provide different explanations for the same events? If we all had the same information, would we all come to the same conclusions? Is there a pattern in history? Are things moving in a certain direction or toward a definite goal?

History refers to the sum of human events, but in practice no one ever knows or thinks of each and every event. “History” in practice refers to those events that are made known to later generations by written accounts or by the preservation of artifacts and information from the past. Thus, historians try to produce a truthful, sequential account of particular past events. (Chronology is often but not always a necessary clement of valid historical accounts.) Philosophy of history, on the other hand, is a study of the basic assumptions that make the study (and the valid and appropriate telling) of history possible.

From this brief illustration, it is already apparent that philosophy is a discipline that asks very basic questions, that seeks to clarify the underlying assumptions of various fields of study. There are, however, some basic assumptions or some fundamental questions that are common to all fields of study. These are the issues that define the so-called “philosophic enterprise.”