Introduction to Philosophy

Before I went on to travel last year, I brought a book along, called “Tetralogue”. I found it on the reading list on the reddit’s philosophy channel. I guess after all what have happened, I was pushing myself to think about things more.

I finished reading that book in Myanmar. Even though it gave me a bit of different perspectives of philosophical theories in form of conversation between 4 people, it was difficult to grasp what these core principles are. So one year later, with similar motivation, I digged a bit more and found this course on from University of Edinburgh, called Introduction to Philosophy.

The lecture gave a very good introduction by defining what philosophy actually is. It is the activity of thinking of how things are done, which fulfills my original goal of thinking more.

The next chapters are some theories, but mostly, all contents stem from very simple questions and by thinking it through yourself, you understand your own perspective a bit better, and you get to see other people’s perspectives. It also uncovers the downsides of different theories.

So I am just gonna list the key questions here with the key areas of theories, just as fruit for thought. I have put a few things in italic which appeal to me more than others.

  • What is Philosophy – the activity of working out the best way to think about things
  • Morality: Objective, Relative or Emotive? – There is always right or wrong vs. context driven vs. emotional reactions – so “Tetralogue” was moving probably in this area.
  • What is Knowledge? And Do We Have Any? – Propositional knowledge vs. ability knowledge (Know-how). Gettier problem to highlight belief vs. truth. Radical scepticism – we don’t know nearly as much as we think we do.
  • Do We Have an Obligation to Obey the Law? – Comply vs. Obey, Consent vs. Gratitude vs. Benefit vs. Fairness.
  • Should You Believe What You Hear? Evidentialism vs. We are hardwired to trust people’s testimony vs. Think for yourself – intellectual autonomy that leads to knowledge / wisdom (being able to explain)
  • Minds, Brains and Computers – mind is immaterial vs. mental type / token (chemical) vs. function of mental state (what they do?) . Turing vs. Chinese Room on syntactic and semantic.
  • Do We Have Free Will and Does It Matter? Determinism, Liberalism, Compatibilism (which gave the purpose of being responsible for being able to making decisions)

Coming back, maybe I am thinking too much? Some people say you should enjoy life and don’t overthink. Where is the fine line of overthinking and thinking and reflecting on what you did wrong and what is the right way to do things? I remember reading somewhere that enjoy the moment is also not being responsible for your future?

I guess, thinking based on rather unrealistic guessing and assumptions is going too far. While daydreaming is a nice thing that might make me happier, thinking about unrealistic scenarios which drive into a corner thinking that everything is going to be shit.

Hence, Again, Balance.

Think but also meditate to kill overthinking.

This world


昨天也是我在新公司工作了6个月之际。在跟我们一起开始上班的人中辞了一个,另一个不是我们组的奥运铜牌实习生也因合同到期不会再来了。加上昨天的“XMAS”活动,还有最近小组的种种负面情绪,让我想把自己脑子里的东西写下来。也是通过下笔来给自己更多的时间考虑考虑,同时也练习一下中文吧 。。。



  • 老板很好。她对我(其他人也是)很信任,出事了也不会怪罪。她说得很好,不管出什么事,我们来解决就好。我这种会想太多的性格有这种后盾就可以轻松许多。当然了,工作上现在也不会多想了,因为就算负责,也没见谁出过什么大事。按照自己觉得正确的思维去做事,错了也算上了一课了。其实私下里我也知道她的很多事情,一年多前我状况很差的时候,她也跟我聊了很多她自己的事情。
  • 同事也大多很好。因为跟随我老板拉过来的都是以前小组的精英。没有很多猪一样的队友也是很重要的。
  • 我觉得自己需要看看不同的公司。咨询行业换项目换得快,这样可以看看形形色色的公司。



对于我老板的老板来说,指标只有一个:sales revenue。项目卖出去就好,不管做什么,客户要什么就卖什么。我们小组自己还没能写很多自己的proposal,所以这方面我们根本还由不得自己。我老板要承上面的压力,但是自己没有很多项目。昨天吃完饭,大老板想继续去high,本来很多人都想回家了,但是做他下级,应该是要取悦他吧,毕竟业绩也没有很屌,我老板也就从了。我一直以来以为在欧洲不需要这么迎合老板,但是经过昨天之后发生的事情(在club里还有一些事情,这里就不写了),让我想对我所在的社会状况反省反省了。(也许也是高层politics的关系吧)


社会的格律很难去倒覆,大公司的制度你也很难逃出去,经济上就更难了。但是作为一个小团体,或者男女朋友,我觉得我们建立自己的规则,来提供一个可以做正确事情的小范围,是一件很美好的事情。去年有人跟我推荐了一个game theory的demo,key message说的真的很好。some cases, it’s the game who shape the players, but can’t we be the players who shape the game? (大意如此吧)