The first philosophers, working before the 5th century BC, looked for natural rather than supernatural explanations.
Eschewing appeal to God, they asked questions such as ‘what is existence?’, ‘what is truth?’, ‘what is justice?, ‘how should we live our lives’? Modern day philosophers still ask such questions, although the modern debate would seem very strange to one of the ancient philosophers. Philosophers conduct experiments, but these are thought experiments, constrained not by the laws of nature but the laws of logic. During these lectures we shall be looking at the history of philosophy, at the methodology used by modern day philosophers and at why philosophy is still needed in the context of the success of science. No prior experience of philosophy will be assumed.