A Short Introduction To Philosophy | The School of Azzyland

A Short Introduction To Philosophy | The School of Azzyland

November 26, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Didn’t I ask for a cocktail? PRODUCER: Three, two,
one, action. NARRATOR: AzzyLand presents most of what you need
to know about philosophy in around five minutes. The word philosophy tells us
why the subject matters. It’s originally a word
from Ancient Greek. The first part, “philo,”
means love. The second part “sophia”
means wisdom. So, philosophy means,
quite literally, “The love of wisdom.” But what does wisdom mean? NARRATOR: Let’s begin
at the beginning, shall we? Plato. For Plato, the essence
of living a wise life came down to the command,
“To know yourself.” His big idea was that our lives
so often go wrong because we don’t give
ourselves time to think carefully
and logically. Meaning that we often end up
with the wrong values, careers and relationships. I want to marry the princess. You? Marry the princess?
[LAUGHING] AZZYLAND: Plato observed
how proud people were
about their instincts, making snap decisions
based on how they felt. He compared
this to being dragged along by a group of blindfolded
wild horses. [HORSE NEIGHS] NARRATOR: Daoism. AZZYLAND: Daoism, or “The Way,” is based on the concept
of wu wei, which means “non-doing”
or “doing nothing.” But it doesn’t mean being lazy. Wu wei is connected
to reverence for the natural world. We should behave like bamboo
that bends in the wind or the plant that adjusts
itself to the shape of a tree. Instead of trying
to force things, we must put our egos aside to be at one
with the environment. We can be like water,
which is submissive and weak, but it has the power
to wear down what is hard and strong. NARRATOR: Stoicism. Stoicism flourished
for around 400 years in Ancient Greece and Rome. But it’s still a useful guide
for teaching us how to be calm and brave in these uncertain
and anxious times. What we need to do
is systematically and intelligently crush
every last vestige of hope. It is far better,
the Stoics proposed, to courageously come to terms
with every worst possibility and then make ourselves
entirely at home with them, embracing what could happen
if our worst fears came true. We would cope. Vogue break! [MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Machiavelli. Machiavelli said,
wicked people use lies, threats and violence
to get their way. And that’s why
they rule the world. Machiavelli’s
most famous book… The Prince. [DRUMROLL] The Prince gave advice
to princes, who ran things in those days,
on how to get things done. The Prince was not a guide
to being a tyrant. It’s a guide about
what nice people need to learn from tyrants, so they can be effective. [SNAPS] Manstool? NARRATOR: Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s boldest assertion
was that God is dead and we killed him. This was not
some kind of boast. Nietzsche thought
that religious beliefs
are very useful. And he called for a reformation in which people
would fill the gaps created by the disappearance
of religion with the wisdom
and healing beauty of culture. NARRATOR: Existentialism. The Existentialists focused
on the agony of choice. They asked us
to reject the delusion that perfection is within reach. That sinking feeling
that we had that option to choose
correctly, but failed, is an illusion. Disappointment is just
an inevitable characteristic of the human condition. [EXHALES] [LAUGHS] Philosophy used
to be [BLEEP] cool, with people like Socrates
out in the streets in Ancient Greece
asking people real questions and discussing [SNAPS]
big ideas. Over time, those big ideas have become stuck
in universities and debated by people
with no interest in actually
improving the world. But the Internet
is turning the tables and philosophy is back, baby, with ordinary people
asking deep questions in discussions
just like this one. Right here, on YouTube. NARRATOR: So, now
that you’ve had a crash course in what philosophy actually is, catch up
on the rest of the series, as some of YouTube’s
most popular creators tackle some of philosophy’s
most intriguing ideas, right here,
on The School of Life. Want to know more?
Of course you do. Click the link below.