Question: If we had a complete written history of all human thought from the beginning of human civilization, what type of question(s) (Metaphysical, Ethical, or Epistemological) do you think would be the first philosophical question(s)? (there was no philosophy subject option).
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If we had a complete written history of all human thought from the beginning of human civilization, I think the first philosophical question would be metaphysical. Metaphysics involves the study of the existence of things, which the pre-Socratic philosophers aimed at finding out. In the reading, “Pre-Socratic Philosophy: Ultimate Reality”, the readings of the pre-Socratic philosophers rarely survived, but the remaining materials, despite being hard to decipher, provide daring explanations of ultimate reality that set aside many of the religious assumptions of their time. The philosophers speculate that the water, or fire, or air are the essence of all things. Since studying the essence of all things is metaphysics, then the first philosophical question would be metaphysical.
People are concerned with their origin, that where did we come from? Were we created by God or we evolved from the chimpanzees and apes as documented in the evolution theory by Charles Darwin? In this evolution theory, Charles Darwin delves into a metaphysical question and refutes the philosophical idea that the air, water or fire is the essence of all things. However, the study of pre-Socratic philosophers makes it clear that the metaphysical question was the first to be answered. For instance, the Milesians, who were the first philosophers, thought that the principles which pertained to the qualities of matter were the only principles of all things (5). Although the Milesians did not agree on the principle of water, Thales, the founder of Milesians philosophy maintained that water is the essence of all things.
Furthermore, Anaximander remained flexible and stated that it is either water, air or fire, or anything else. The study of the early philosophers reveals that there was an inclination towards the existence of things. There seems not to be a definite answer on the origin of all things, but what is apparent is that there is a Supreme Being responsible for the creation of the universe. Some philosophers think that the Supreme Being is water, air, fire, or anything such as the mountain. However, despite all these arguments, the question of the metaphysical existence would be important at the beginning of human civilization. This is because as people were being civilized, it was important to grow spiritually, which is associated with the realization that there is a higher being that is responsible for the creation of the universe. If people believe that there is a Supreme Being, they love one other, which was crucial at the beginning of civilization.