Philosophy Essay

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Philosophy

Socrates was likely a stonemason and a sculptor before turning to philosophy. He was a soldier during the Peloponnesus War. He has walked barefoot across ice, meditated standing up for thirty-six hours. He had the ability to ignore physical discomfort in order to achieve some greater mental or spiritual objective. The oracle at Delphi began his philosophical mission.

He went to disprove the oracle and questioned citizens for knowledge but found they had none. He said “Real wisdom Is the property of God, and this oracle Is his way of telling us that human wisdom has little or no value. ” Socrates unlike others had no knowledge and knew it when others thought they had knowledge but did not. To be aware of one’s own ignorance is true wisdom. -is the most important philosopher in the history of western thought. He raised philosophical questions about virtue and the nature of good life. Socrates- “The unexamined life Is not worth living” He would not stop philosophizing even to save his life.

Much of his early life and education are unclear. We have learned some from his student Plato. In 299 B. C Socrates was brought to trial on two charges. One was not worshipping the gods whom the state worshiped but introducing new and unfamiliar religious practices and two was corrupting the youth of Athens. He cold have gone to exile but chose to defend himself in front of 501 Jurors. He was found guilty and received the death penalty. He drank hemlock and died. Of philosophy known as ethics and Is the first moralist. He Invented the field Sophists were traveling teachers.

They taught rhetoric (persuasive speech). They charged fees for caching and usually sought the rich who could pay. Propagators(409-420 B. C) was the most influential sophist in Athens. He said “Man is the measure of all things; of the things that are, that they are, of the things that are not, that they are not. ” Relativism- the view that each person must decide the truth for his or her self. In ethics there are no absolutes. Socrates had a deferent view than the sophists. He thought certain moral knowledge could be arrived at through the pursuit of truth, rather than persuasion.

He was trying to establish a solid basis for morality. ETHICAL DOCTRINES One is that knowledge and virtue are the same thing, to know the good is to do the good. The second is that wrongdoing harms the doer more than it harms the recipient of the wrongdoing. He says that if a person fully understands what the good is then he will do that good. Vice or evil Is the sense of knowledge.. Anyone who knows what goodness Is will automatically do It. Self-knowledge Is the most important kind of knowledge there is. Socrates explained why he did not fear death.

He described it as either a state of unconsciousness, a dreamlike state of sleep. Or a place he would meet his true judges’. He said that those who have put him to death will suffer more. He sought definitions of terms like Justice and virtue, love and piety. Unless one could define these terms that one didn’t know what love and virtue not use it. Socratic method- manner of attaining knowledge. It was designed to force one to examine his beliefs and the validity of such beliefs. Chapter 3 pig. 28-41 Plato: Dramatist of reason Plato (428/27-348/47 B.

C) He was 29 years old when his teacher Socrates died. He was a polymath at work and comfortable writing on ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, political philosophy and aesthetics. Plato made contributions to every branch of philosophy. Plato died at the age of 80-81. His parents are said to be descendants of the god Poseidon. His brothers are significant factors in the first two books of his dialogue the Republic, this is believed by many to be his greatest work and believed by some to be the single greatest work of philosophy ever written.

Socrates was 42 when Plato was born. He became a pupil of Socrates, he followed him around Athens and listened to him talk to citizens. He thought that democracy was not the correct form of government and the state should be rule by one person tit adequate knowledge, Plato called this “philosopher-king” In 387 B. C Plato founded the academy in Athens for the study of philosophy, mathematics, and logic, the sciences, and legislative, political and ethical ideas. This is thought to have been the first university. The Dialogues- His writings are divided into three main groups.

The first group includes the early dialogues where the subject matter under consideration is moral excellence, including a pursuit of the definitions already mentioned. It is believed that these dialogues represent the ideas of the historical Socrates. These include Apology, Critic, Typhoon, Charities, Leaches and Lists. The middle group of dialogues sets out ideas that Plato and not Socrates held. These include Memo, Corgi’s, Propagators, Symposium, and the Republic. The third group of writings bears a more abstruse character. These include the Sophist, the Statesman, Times, Critics, and the Laws.

The Allegory of the cave- Plato symbolic story suggests that most people dwell in the darkness of the cave, happy to live in a world of shadows and appearances, like the kind found on television. They take the artificial world of fleeting images to be reality hen it is not. The Divided Line This correspond with allegory of the cave. The divided line is a metaphysical and epistemological affair. Four levels of reality and four faculties used to know those realities. The four levels of being are images, objects, mathematical objects, and forms.

The faculties used to know them are imagining, belief, thinking and understanding. The realm of knowledge does not depend upon sense knowledge. In the realm of knowledge the faculties employed to know things are thinking and reasoning. Plato thought that the highest level of reality was the world of ideas or forms. According to Plato our souls were acquainted with the forms before being united with our bodies. (p. 33-34) Three forms- first is recollection, then people arrive at the knowledge of forms through the activity of dialectic. Third there is the power of desire.

Plato said that a state governed by reason is and ideal state. His ideal state was an aristocracy. Early Empiricism: Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes pig. 116-126 The two forerunners of a scientific experienced-based philosophy following the renaissance were Bacon and Hobbes. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English philosopher, essayist and statesman. He was born in London. Bacon attended Trinity College at Cambridge at the age of twelve. He studies law. At the age of 116 he was on the staff of the English ambassador to France. Bacon entered parliament in 1584.

He was knighted in 1603 and BECAME ATTORNEY GENERAL IN 1613, LORD KEEPER IN 1617, AND IN 1618 LORD CHANCELLOR, THE HIGHEST APPOINTED OFFICE IN THE LAND. HE WAS LATER BANDIED FROM THE COURTS. HE SPENT THE REST OF HIS LIFE WRITING IN RETIREMENT. HIS LAST YEARS WERE SPENT WORKING ON HIS LIFELONG PROJECT, THE REFORM OF LEARNING AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AND INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY DEDICATED TO THE DISCOVERY OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE FOR THE “USE AND BENEFIT OF MEN” HIS QUEST FOR SCIENTIFIC Bacon’s goal. Bacon’s main interest for philosophers lay in his philosophy of science.

This was to come in two parts. First a radical criticism of the Scholastic and Renaissance approach to science would be needed to wipe away the confusions of the past. Second a methodology would be needed to put science back on a sound footing. Bacon insisted that progress in science depended upon starting from scratch. Idols, introduced in book 1 of the New Organs. Page. 118 Bacon’s four The idols of the tribe-the natural weaknesses and tendencies common to human tauter. They are innate and cannot be completely eliminated but recognized and compensated for. The idols of the cave.

They reflect the peculiar distortions, prejudices, and beliefs that humans are subject to owing to their different family backgrounds, childhood experiences, education, training, gender, religion and social class. Idols of the market place- these are hindrances to clear thinking that arise. The idols of the theater- these AR culturally acquired, not innate. For Bacon the key to all knowledge is induction. The Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) He became one of the great seventeenth-century philosophers. He died at 91 . He made contributions to geometry, ballistics and optics.

He is best known for his work Leviathan(1651) meaning state which was an explanation of Hobbes materialism, ethics, and politics. In the first five chapters of Leviathan, Hobbes develops the Galilean view of nature that everything is fundamentally matter in motion. He claims that every event in the world is determined. All events in nature are strictly determined. Human beings are sensory creatures. Hobbler’s metaphysical materialism makes it clear that he believed all motions in nature are determined and all behavior is determined. He distinguished between vital and voluntary motions.

Vital motions are automatic activities like the circulation of the blood, breathing, digestion etc. Voluntary motions are chosen by human beings. Voluntary motions begin with a type of motion called endeavor. Endeavor plays out as either desire or aversion. Egoism (p. 124) -human beings are self-interested in their behavior. Humans always chose what is best for them. Chapter 11 (p. 128-138) Rene Descartes: The father of Modern Philosophy Rene Descartes (1596-1650) Established a quest for certain knowledge about all matters including nature, God and the soul. He was born at La Hay in Tourmaline, France.

He received a scholastic education at Jesuit college of La Fleece which is one of the most famous schools in Europe. Serve as a soldier. 1618- He set off for Holland to In 1628 he wrote Ruled for the Direction and the Understanding. It was unfinished and not published until after his death. It laid out rules of his method for science and philosophy. In 1633 he finished Eel Monde (The World)- a book on physics that presented the world as essentially matter in motion. It was published in 1664 after his death. 1634- Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences.

Would become the first great philosophical work written in Meditations on First Philosophy, most important and famous work. 1644- Principle of Philosophy, his ideas on cosmology RATIONALISM P. 129 Rationalism is a philosophic approach that emphasizes reason as the primary source of knowledge. He thought knowledge war prior to and independent of sense perceptions. His life’s philosophy centered around three goals. First- to eliminate doubt and fine certainty Second- also falls under the theory of knowledge, his quest for a set of principles or tarring points from which he could deduce all answers to scientific questions .

Third- a metaphysical goal. He sought to reconcile his mechanistic view of the universe with his own religious perspective. Meditations on First Philosophy-1640-41- he is searching for what is first. His starting point is reality and what can be known about it. Even sciences are founded on observations made by your senses. His second meditation he reviews his doubts of the day before he says “I have convinced myself that there is nothing in the world, no earth, no sky, no minds, no bodies. ” His contributions to philosophy influenced his helicopters system.

Descartes believed the world could be understood mathematically. He set out to test all beliefs by the mathematical criterion of certainty. Descanter’s has two arguments for the existence of god. The first is the casual argument for gods existence- he recognizes God as an imperfect being and is able to entertain the idea of god as a perfect being. The next is the ontological argument for gods existence, this occurs in the fifth meditation Descartes considers the of a most perfect being and what such an idea contains. Descanter’s believed that mind and body were two different kinds of substances.

Consciousness is the essential property of mind substance. When Descartes reached his final meditation he solved all of his first meditation doubts. Descartes believed that persons are combinations of mental and physical substance. Aka DUALISM Chapter 13 Enlightenment Empiricism: Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke Isaac Newton- (1624-1727) john Locke (1632-1704) They are enlightenment philosophers, thinkers during the European enlightenment. They were confident that man could solve his problems, of government, morals and society. Newton gave mathematical substance to this idea with his laws of motion and gravitation.

Newton was born in Heliotrope, Lancashire and attended Cambridge University receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1665. He was a math professor and was involved in political and governmental affairs later in life. He also had interests in ancient chronology, biblical study, and alchemy. 1664-1667 he discovered the binomial theorem, the principle of the composition of light and the fundamentals of his theory of universal gravitation. 1687- Philosophies Naturalist Principia Mathematics (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) 1 . An abject in motion stays in motion unless an outside force is acted upon it .

The change of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and is made in the direction of the straight line in which that force is impressed. 3. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction Newton’s law of gravitation- every particle of matter attracts every other particle with a force varying directly as the product of their masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them. John Locke was the first great British empiricist. He was born in Somerset. He attended Oxford and received his master’s in 1664. He lectured in Greek, Latin, rhetoric and philosophy. Also studied chemistry and meteorology. 690- Essay and Two Treatises of Government were published His political doctrines were incorporated into the American constitution and the constitution in France in 1871. He died October 28, 1704. He was a notable political, economic and religious thinker. He argued against the Bible and church. Rationalism and empiricism are distinct epistemology. Rationalists maintain that you have knowledge of reality prior to your experiences. Empiricists think differently, there is no knowledge prior to sensation. Locke said knowledge is imprinted on the mind by sensations. They come from experience.

Two kinds of experience, external and internal. I-sensations provide you with ideas emanating from external entities and experiences 2- inner reflection also provides ideas as part of the world within. Simple ideas come from one sense complex ideas are produced by the mind. Primary qualities of objects are their real qualities they include solidity, extension, figure, motion, rest and number. Secondary qualities are subjective ex. Color, sound, smell and taste. Locke classified knowledge into three degrees or levels: intuitive, demonstrative, and sensitive. (IPPP) Demonstrative knowledge results from a chain reasoning.

Sensitive knowledge concerns those things you know that originate from your senses. Intuitive knowledge consists of the immediate awareness of agreement between the two ideas. Chapter 14 (pig. 162-173) David Hum: The Radical Skeptic David Hum (1711-76) He was born in Edinburgh in 1711. Went to Edinburgh University at 12. Published his first and greatest philosophical work, The Treatise of Human Nature 1739. Today it is considered one of the most important works in the history of philosophy. He died in 1776. Hum disagrees with Locke on the matter of the existence of metaphysical entities.

Locke argued for the existence of god. Hum rejects the existence of all these metaphysical entities. God Hum was a skeptic about God’s existence. “Is uncertain, because the subject lies entirely beyond the reach of human experience” Morality His views on morality are distinctly empirical. You are not born knowing moral ideas. Hum is recognized as being a member of the “moral sense school” of philosophers. They thought the moral sense was like a sixth sense. Emmanuel Kant: Combining Empiricism and Rationalism Kant goes down in the history of thought as a giant.

He declared himself neither empiricist not rationalist but achieved a synthesis of the two in has greatest work The Critique of Pure Reason (1781) this marked the end of the period of the Enlightenment and began a new period of philosophy, German idealism. He claimed that knowledge was impossible without accepting truths form both rationalist and empiricist schools of thought. His ethics were based on reason and he said moral duties could be deduced by all rational beings. Kant (1724-1904) was born in Ginsberg. He educated at Kingsbury University, this became a famous center of philosophy.

He was brought up a pieties. He taught metaphysics, logic, philosophical theology, ethics, aesthetics and geography, physics and anthropology. Kant achieved universal fame in philosophy. Cant’s own theory of knowledge reconfigures the way humans know things. He believed that humans are active in knowing the world. He said “there can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience. But though all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it all arises out of experience” Kant argued that the mind imposes principles upon experience to generate knowledge.

The mind cannot experience anything that is not filtered through the mind’s eye. You can never know the true nature of reality. Hum said that all knowledge fit one of two categories. The first includes contingent statements. These are truths of observation or fact. The second includes statements like “Triangles have three angles” Hum and Kant agree on the existence of these first three types of statements Analytic a prior’: in analytic Judgments the subject of the sentence implies the predicate Analytic a posterior: there are none, since any analytic Judgment is known prior to any experience

Analytic a posteriori: it brings together two different ideas. From 1770-81 Kant went into isolation to write his masterwork, Critique of Pure Hum claims that there are no synthetic statements known a prior’. He was pessimistic about the ability of human reason to acquire theoretical knowledge of any reality laying beyond the boundaries of human experience. Kant believes one cannot know things in themselves. God’s existence cannot be proven. You cannot prove these ideals of reason nor can you disprove them. He agrees that all knowledge about the world is limited to what can be perceived in actual experience.

Cant’s first illustration concerns self-preservation Cant’s second illustration concerns a person who intends to borrow money and make a false promise to repay it His third illustration concerns the duty to develop ones talents Chapter 20(pig. 232-242) Analytic Philosophy: A new look at old philosophical problems Analytic philosophy was a philosophical movement and was strong in the U. S and in England in the 20th century. It is concentrated on language and the attempt to analyze statements in order to get clear about philosophical problems.

In the 21st century the analytic approach to philosophy continues to be the dominant rend in philosophy in the English speaking world. Philosophers in this movement believe that analysis is the correct approach to philosophy. There are two reasons for this “linguistic turn” in philosophy One- the philosophers thought science had taken over much of the territory formerly occupied by the philosophy Second reason is the new and more powerful methods of logic that had been developed the twentieth century Are (1910-89) applied the scalped of positivism aka logical empiricism to issues in ethics, theology, and metaphysics.

He applied a principle called “the verification Renville” to statements to see if they were meaningful. A meaningful statement is one that provides information about the world. Logical positivists believed all genuine knowledge falls within the two realms of science 1 . The formal sciences of logic and mathematics 2. The empirical sciences The first king of knowledge is expressed in analytic propositions. This is based on the logical form of language or on the definition of words. Analytic statements do not give you any factual knowledge about the way the world is. The second class of statements consists of empirical statements.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) ivied to 98 and touched almost every of philosophy he was born in Wales and educated a Cambridge. He would make major contributions to mathematics and logical analysis which he received a lot of acclaim for. He had a different approach that the logical positivists on the meaning of sentences. He used predicate logic to reveal philosophical problems more clearly. His theory of definite descriptions shows that it is possible to speak sensibly of things that do not exist. He wrote and important essay called “On Induction” In 1949 Bertrand Russell debated Father Frederick C. Arguments for the existence of God. Augment of contingency – Cobblestone supports this argument. The world is contingent or non-necessary and depends on some necessary being for its existence The moral/religious argument- there must be a cause for that experience namely God himself. Russell disagrees and says that people can all experience the same thing, like a clock which tells them that the clock is not a hallucination. Copulation’s moral argument for the existence of God claims that if there is a universal moral law there must be an author of that law. Chapter 21 (pig. 244-253) Twentieth-Century Existentialism: Existence precedes Essence

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) He would become the leading voice of antithetic existentialism. He was a novelist, critic, political activist, and a philosopher. Later in life he developed his own style of Marxist ideology. He was a soldier during World War 1 1 . Existentialism and human Emotions (1947)- he explains the tenets of existentialism. His “existence precedes essence” separates him from several major classical philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. Sartre rejects the existence of God. “Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world- and defines himself afterward” He also says you do not have freedom you are freedom.

Facts of not have a meaning until you assign them a meaning. If you were born into affluence. You can continue to pursue that life as you grow older. Or you can shush that life and Join the priesthood, or you can fight for the rights of the poor. One of the reasons that you possess freedom is that you possess what objects do not – consciousness. Two modes of being First- the sort of being manifested in objects. This is called in- self, the objects are self-contained or self- identical Second- what characterizes human consciousness? This is called for-itself. It signifies that such beings are conscious and self- aware.

Albert Campus (1913-60) was born in Mandolin, Algeria too French family. He made his mark as a philosophical novelist and essayist. He Joined the anti-German resistance in Paris during WWW His famous writings include The Stranger (1942), The Myth of Sisyphus (1943) they both explore the theme of the absurd. Sisyphus was a figure from Greek mythology who was condemned by the gods to push a rock up a mountain for all eternity. When he gets the rock it rolls down again and he starts over. Campus edited an underground newspaper as part of his involvement with the resistance during the war it was called Combat.

He became editor of the paper in 1943 and resigned a few years later . He made frequent stops in the U. S. ,here he lectured on French thinking . He also voiced strong criticisms of Communist ideology. He focused on human rights in the ass’s and protested Soviet oppression in Eastern Europe He was a vigilant pacifist and opposed capital punishment. He describes the absurd as the human condition and as “a widespread sensitivity of our times” The absurd can be defined as the confrontation between yourself and an “indifferent silent universe”