The course revolves around an analysis of one’s existence and the value judgements one makes in life and how these judgements determine the concept of knowledge.
The course presents three lessons:
1. The first lesson addresses the following questions (Ontology):
What does it mean to exist?
What is existence?
Are there different forms of existence?
Why do we exist?
2. The second lesson addresses the following questions (Axiology):
Why do we make value judgements?
Are value judgements necessary?
How do value judgements affect us?
Which value judgements should we make?
3. The third lesson addresses the following questions (Epistemology):
Is knowledge valuable?
Which knowledge should we pass on?
How do we organize knowledge?
Who should pass on knowledge?
Ontology is the philosophical study of being. More broadly, it studies concepts that directly relate to being, in particular becoming, existence, reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics , ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy , and subdivided according to similarities and differences.
Axiology (from Greek ἀξία, axia, "value, worth"; and -λογία, -logia) is the philosophical study of value. It is either the collective term for ethics and aesthetics , philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields, and thus similar to value theory and meta-ethics . The term was first used by Paul Lapie, in 1902, and Eduard von Hartmann, in 1908. Axiology studies mainly two kinds of values: ethics and aesthetics. Ethics investigates the concepts of "right" and "good" in individual and social conduct. Aesthetics studies the concepts of "beauty" and "harmony." Formal axiology, the attempt to lay out principles regarding value with mathematical rigor, is exemplified by Robert S. Hartman’s science of value.
Epistemology (/ɪˌpɪstɪˈmɒlədʒi/ (listen); from Greek, Modern ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and -logy) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas: (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth , belief , and justification , (2) various problems of skepticism , (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "What does it mean to say that we know something?", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?"
Here Larry discusses some questions from students.