Inset Name: Tutor: Course: Date: Introduction If there is a discipline that has shaped not only the course and scope of human thinking, but also the course of human history, then it is philosophy. Many philosophy books have been written but the importance of each book is pegged on its uniqueness…
Indeed, the contents of the book are rich enough to match the grasp that Chaffe has as an associate Professor of Philosophy lecturing at the City University of New York. The dexterity and commitment of Dr. Chaffe to philosophy as a discipline is also underscored by his Critical Thinking Program, which brings into involvement, over 25 different faculties and over 3,000 students. Alongside the many workshops and conference presentations, the many books and a myriad of articles that John Chaffe has penned down multiply attest to his commitment and unparalleled contribution to philosophy. Several grants and the selection of Chaffe as the New York Scholar of the Year also clearly illustrate the unique and authoritative place of John Chaffe in philosophy. However, John Chaffe’s The Philosopher's Way does not merely borrow its importance from the person and fame of its author, but from the manner in which concepts to thinking and perception are introduced and discussed. This makes the book become a very powerful tool for not only the shaping of the reader’s worldview, but also inculcating an array of problem-solving skills and techniques. One of the concepts that have been carefully and insightfully touched on by Jaffe is that of what is real? What is true? The importance of this topic is that it introduces the important concept of appearance versus reality. In this topic, Chaffe explains that at times, what appears to be true is not always the reality. Several phenomena abound to underline this fact. For instance, even though the atmosphere is colorless, yet it has a lot of microbes in it. Similarly, there are instance where in the heat of the day, a tarmac road may appear to be covered with aquatic substance from a distance, yet the reality dictates otherwise. Chaffe maintains that such incongruence between appearance and reality is always brought about either by wrong judgments (or interpretation), or through a complex interplay among the elements of nature which the human mind cannot accurately interpret. The supposed bending of a ruler when it is inside transparent glass water under the sun for instance is not in itself the case, even if the human mind and eye takes the same to be true. On the contrary, the ‘bending’ of the ruler is only caused by refraction of light. To avoid the pitfalls of making wrong judgments, Chaffe recommends that it is imperative that people search comprehensively for details that are pertinent to the matter at hand. This will have the individual acting from an informed position. Chaffe maintains that it is upon an individual having obtained and thought through the information that is pertinent to the subject matter that such a person can be deemed a thinker. The gravity of the matter is that to Chaffe, the ability to think and not act on perception forms the core of definition of man, as opposed to an animal. While animals because of the sighted perception act on their instincts, man as an intelligent being is expected to be rational in synthesizing the image before him and acting upon the same information, being endowed with superior faculties for reasoning. On a point of reflection, Chaffe’s call to move from the culture of acting and judging from the facade is a matter that is relevant to the present society and totally pervades every crevice of ...
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