Philosophy 101 Study Guide
* Socrates: Philosopher who believed in an absolute right or wrong; asked students pointed questions to make them use their reason, later became Socratic Method. Charged with introducing strange gods and corrupting the young, he committed suicide. * Rhetoric: Saying things in a convincing matter * Skepticism: The idea that nothing can ever be known for certain. * Sophists: A wise and informed person, critical of traditional mythology, rejected “fruitless” philosophical speculations.
A member of a school of ancient Greek professional philosophers who were expert in and taught the skills of rhetoric, argument, and debate, but were criticized for specious reasoning. * Socratic Irony: Feign Ignorance, or pretend to be dumber than really are to expose the weaknesses of people’s thinking * “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing” * “He knows what good is will do good” * Plato (428-347 B. C. Athens, Greece): Student of Socrates. Established ‘The Academy’. Wrote Dialogues. He was a Dualist. * Two parts to a human: Body ; Soul Plato regarded the body and soul as separate entities * A person may crave or have an appetite for something, yet resist the craving with willpower. A correctly operating soul requires the highest part, reason, to control the lowest part, appetite, with assistance from the will. * Plato believed that though the body dies and disintegrates, the soul continues to live forever. After the death of the body, the soul migrates to what Plato called the realm of the pure forms. There, it exists without a body, contemplating the forms.
After a time, the soul is reincarnated in another body and returns to the world. But the reincarnated soul retains a dim recollection of the realm of forms and yearns for it * Theory of ideas/forms: the reality behind the material world, which contains the eternal and immutable “patterns” behind the various phenomena, we come across in nature. * Plato believed that everything tangible in nature flows. There are no substances that do not dissolve, and so everything is made of a timeless “mold” or “form” that is eternal and immutable. * Eternal: Lasting or existing orever; without end or beginning. * Immutable: Unable to be changed * Form (Ideas): A form is an abstract property or quality. Take any property of an object; separate it from that object and consider it by itself, and you are contemplating a form. For example, if you separate the roundness of a basketball from its color, its weight, etc. and consider just roundness by itself, you are thinking of the from of roundness. * The forms are transcendent. This means that they do not exist in space and time. A material object, a basketball, exists at a particular place at a particular time.
A form, roundness, does not exist at any place or time. * Pure – the forms only exemplify one property. Material objects are impure; they combine a number of properties such as blackness, circularity, and hardness into one object. * Archetypes – The forms are archetypes; that is, they are perfect examples of the property that they exemplify. The forms are the perfect models upon which all material objects are based. The form of redness, for example, is red, and all red objects are simply imperfect * Ultimately Real – The forms are the ultimately real entities, not material objects.
All material objects are copies or images of some collection of forms; their reality comes only from the forms. * Causes – The forms are the causes of all things. * They provide the explanation of why any thing is the way it is * They are the source or origin of the being of all things * Systematically Interconnected – The forms comprise a system leading down from the form of the Good moving from more general to more particular, from more objective to more subjective.
This systematic structure is reflected in the structure of the dialectic process by which we come to knowledge of the forms. * Realm of Forms (World of Ideas): The world that we perceive through the mind, using our concepts, seems to be permanent and unchanging. Humans have access to the realm of forms through the mind, through reason, given Plato’s theory of the subdivisions of the human soul. This gives them access to an unchanging world, invulnerable to the pains and changes of the material world.
By detaching ourselves from the material world and our bodies and developing our ability to concern ourselves with the forms, we find a value which is not open to change or disintegration. * Realm of the Illusory (World of the Senses): The world we perceive through the senses seems to be always changing. It seems that all the objects we perceive with the senses are simply images or experiences in our mind. They are only subjective points of views on the real objects. For example, the world appears radically differently to a color blind person than it does to us.
The objects that we perceive as colored, then, must not be the real objects, but just our experience of these objects that is determined by my particular subjective point of view and perceptual apparatus. * True Knowledge * He believed that as result of the constant change within the material world we could never really have true knowledge. * Eros: Greek god of love; son of Aphrodite; often shown blindfolded * Rationalism: the belief that human reason is the primary source of our knowledge of the world * Three parts of the Soul Reason (Intellect) * In the Head * Provide Wisdom * Where our individual/ unique talents lie * If reason functions excellently (arete) then we are wise to that extent * If we exercise wisdom to the extent then that part of the soul is excellent * Responsible for love of learning, spirited, & animated * Passion [Appetite/Desire] * From Greek word “Pathe” meaning the irrational movements of the soul * In gut * Provides temperance If passion functions excellently then we are temperate * If we exercise temperance to the extent then that part of the soul is excellent * Responsible for Desire * Thymos * Means Spirit/Will * In Heart * Provides Courage * Can help reason master passion * If we exercise courage to the extent then that part of the soul is excellent * Responsible for anger * Views on Women: Plato believed that women had a right, or you might even call it a role to play in society. Their role was to be a significant part of society, different from men, but still play a part.
Plato believed that women were necessary for society to run smoothly. * Women were not equals of men * Women lacked strength * Women are naturally maternal * In Plato’s time it was unheard of to view women as more than a piece of property. * Dualist: a sharp division between the reality of thought and extended reality. * Aristotle (384-322 B. C; Macedonia, Athens): Pupil of Plato’s. Believed Plato’s world of ideas did not exist but that the eternal idea was really a concept- the idea of a horse that we have after seeing many of them. Learn know through the senses. “20 questions”. Causes * What type of material it is made of? * Wood * What type of thing it is? * Table * What caused it to come into being? * How it was built; the task needed to be done to create the table * Purpose or Final Cause (Telos): The purpose, end, aim, or goal of something. The final cause is the cause why a thing exists. * Meant to be a dinner table or desk * Views on Women: Viewed them as “unfinished men”. * Golden Mean: One cannot be too much of one thing or too less, need to be balanced * Empiricism: Derive all knowledge from what the senses tell us.
There are no innate ideas and cannot prove the existence of God, eternity or substance * Hellenism: The period of time and the Greek-dominated culture that prevailed in the three Hellenistic Kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt. The diffusion of Greek Culture throughout the Mediterranean world after the conquest of Alexander the Great. * The Cynics: True happiness doesn’t come from external advantages, like power/good health. Once you have true happiness, it can’t be lost. Their own/others health shouldn’t disturb them. * The Stoics * Stoicism was founded by a man named Zeno, who lived from 335-263 BC. He used to lecture not in a classroom but outside, on the porch of a public building * The word for porch in Greek is STOA, and so people called his students Stoics * People should try to reach inner peacefulness * Moderate in everything * Be happy with what they had. This would lead to a happy life * The best indication of an individual’s philosophy was not what a person said but how he behaved * Destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment * Sage: person of “moral and intellectual perfection” * Would not suffer from such emotions The Epicureans: They believed pleasure is the greatest good, but to attain pleasure was to live modestly, gain knowledge of the workings of the world, and limit to one’s desires. * Neo-Platonism: Belief of two poles on Earth, one end is the dive light called the One (God). Other end is absolute darkness, no existence, the absence of light. * Syncretism: The combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. * Mysticism: One with God, merging with him. “I am God. ” or “I am You. ” * Two Cultures The Indo-Europeans: Related languages of Europe, India, and Iran, which are believed to have descended from a common tongue spoken roughly in the third millennium B. C. by an agricultural peoples originating in SE Europe * The Semites: A member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs- mostly Middle Easterners, they saw history as an on going line, world will end on judgment day * The Middle Ages: Period of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century * St. Augustine: Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province. Influence of the Arabs: The Arabic-Latin translation movements in the Middle Ages, which paralleled that from Greek into Latin, led to the transformation of almost all philosophical disciplines in the medieval Latin world. * St. Thomas Aquinas: Tried to make Aristotle’s philosophy compatible with Christianity. Believed Christendom and philosophy were the same thing. Used bible as a source of reason. Created a synthesis between faith and knowledge. Said there are natural theological truths—truths that can be reached through both Christian faith and innate reason.
Tried to prove god’s existence of Aristotle’s philosophy. Everything has a formal cause. God has revealed himself to mankind through both reason and the bible. * The Renaissance: period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the modern world; a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries * Reformation: religious movement of 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches * Three Major Discoveries: The compass, Firearms, and printing press. The Baroque: Historic period from about 1600 until 1750 when the baroque style of art, architecture, and music flourished in Europe * Carpe Diem: Seize the day. * Memento Mori: “Remember your mortality”- meaning ‘Remember, you will die’. * Idealism: the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality. * Materialism: the belief of material things (atoms and the void). All real things derive from concrete substances. Determinism: Laplace (french mathematician) said that everything that happens is predetermined- contradicting the belief of free will and suggests that the outcome of everything is written in the stars * Descartes: French philosopher and mathematician; developed dualistic theory of mind and matter. Father of modern Philosophy. * His main concern was what we can know – certain knowledge * “Je pense donc je suis”: “I think, therefore I am” * “Cogito ergo sum”: “I think, therefore I am” said by Rene Descartes. * Two Forms of Reality: Thought & Extention Agnostic: Unsure/Undecided/Needs more information. Unable to say categorically whether or not the gods/God exists; brought about by Sophist Protagoras * Atheist: Does not believe in God. * Spinoza: Baruch Spinoza-Jewish-Dutch rationalist (one of the great rationalists in 17th century); opposed Descartes’ mind-body dualism; he laid groundwork for Enlightenment. Also wrote the book of Ethics * Historico-Critical Interpretation of the Bible: Spinoza applied the scientific method to the reading of Scripture, and this became what is now known as the “historical-critical method. His view was that religious conflict in Europe was a result of differing interpretation on key biblical passages. He developed this method of reading Scripture in order to bring about universal agreement on its meaning. * Pantheist: God is infinite, he is present in everything. * Universal Law of Nature: the laws and rules of nature, according to which all things happen, and change from one form to another, are always and everywhere the same.
So the way of understanding the nature of anything, of whatever kind, must also be the same, * One Substance: The claim that there is one and only one substance. This substance he identifies as God. * “Substance”: Does not need the conception of any other thing in order to be conceived * substance is its own cause * that it is infinite * that it is the only substance; for if there were two substances, they would limit each other and cease to be independent * Monist: reduces nature and the condition of all things to one single substance. Inner-Cause: Humans come to understand that their struggle follows by necessity from the struggle of Nature, and that it has an inner link with other parts of the environment through a common inner cause, Nature. * Determinist: Laplace (french mathematician) said that everything that happens is predetermined- contradicting the belief of free will and suggests that the outcome of everything is written in the stars * Free Will: Doctrine that conduct of the individual is the result of personal choice. not divine forces of fate) * Locke: English empiricist philosopher who believed that all knowledge is derived from sensory experience. * Empiricism: Derive all knowledge from what the senses tell us- came from Aristotle. There are no innate ideas and cannot prove the existence of God, eternity or substance) * Two questions about ideas? * Where do we get all of these ideas which are the content of our knowedge? * Whether things in the world fit our ideas, and not whether our ideas correspond to the nature of things in the world * Tabula Rasa: Clean slate. Primary Qualities: Extension, weight, senses reproduce them objectively. * Secondary Qualities: Color, smell; reproduce the things that are inherent in the things themselves. * Natural Rights: Locke’s political philosophy is his theory of natural rights privileges or claims to which an individual was entitled * Hume (1711-1776; English): Scottish philosopher whose sceptical philosophy restricted human knowledge to that which can be perceived by the senses. He was an Empiricist. * Two types of Perception * Impression: how we experience the world Ideas: what we recall of our impressions * Faith v. Knowledge: Knowledge is divided into three Categories * Knowledge * Belief * Faith (this is of lower grade than belief and knowledge) * Laws of Nature or Cause & Effect: Emphasized that the expectation of one thing following another does not lie in the things themselves, but in our mind. Sophist Teaching compared to Socrates Teachings: Sophist’s desired money in return for teaching young men various things about political and social life, such as rhetoric. ? Socrates was a philosopher, whom spent his days wandering around the gym and the agora, talking to people. He developed a following of young Greeks, such as Plato and Xenephon. Socrates did not charge for his teachings. He also made a habit of proving just how little Sophist’s actually knew. Many people did believe Socrates was a Sophist and this is a reasonable claim, because Sophist were know to be knowledgeable people that taught the same skills Socrates was.
Although Socrates would not consider himself a Sophist and would be known to talk down about them about how little they actually knew. Plato’s Myth of the Cave: A few people were sitting underground in a cave, facing the wall. They cannot turn around, and all they have ever seen are shadows of objects projected onto the wall. One manages to turn around, and he sees the actual items that he has only ever seen shadows of. It is completely dazzling. Plato is trying to demonstrate the relationship of the material world and the world of ideas.
Compared to the world of ideas, the material world is dreary. When Aristotle disagreed with Plato’s Theory of Forms; What did Aristotle offer up as an alternative explanation for Reality? Aristotle argued that the theory of forms is seriously flawed: it is not supported by good arguments; it requires a form for each thing; and it is too mathematical. Worst of all, on Aristotle’s view, the theory of forms cannot adequately explain the occurrence of change. By identifying the thing with its essence, the theory cannot account for the generation of new substances.
Aristotle was the first philosopher to formalize the subject of Metaphysics. As Aristotle explains, Metaphysics is the study of the One Substance (and its Properties) which exists and causes / connects all things, and is therefore the necessary foundation for all human knowledge. Aristotle was correct to realize that One Substance must have Properties that cause matter’s interconnected activity and motion. Hellenistic Period in Mediterranean World (300 BCE 0 400 BCE): Common themes that pervaded multiple cultures at this time? The time between the death of King Alexander the Great and the emergence of Ancient Greece * the term Hellenistic to define the period when Greek culture spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander’s conquest * The Greek language being established as the official language of the Hellenistic world * The art and literature of the era were transformed accordingly to more Greek styles * The Greek were the majority over the Mediterranean world, but they often outnumbered by natives in the land; sometime there would be little interaction in some places between the Greek and the natives * The development of the Alexander Romance (mainly in Egypt) owes much to Greek theater as well as other styles of story. * The spread of Greek culture throughout the Near East and Asia owed much to the development of cities. * The identification of local gods with similar Greek deities facilitated the building of Greek-style temples, and the Greek culture in the cities also meant that buildings. How is Christianity a blending between the Indo-European & Semitic World views? The Greeks and Romans are a part of Indo-European culture, while the Jews belong to Semitic culture. He describes how Indo-European culture was characterized by a belief in many gods—pantheism.
Similar ideas popped up in many different Indo-European languages, and were expressed by words that resembled each other greatly. The Semites, on the other hand, are characterized by monotheism, the belief in one god. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all Semitic religions. But Christianity complicates things, because it spread throughout Indo-European cultures and incorporated many features of those cultures. Semitic religions believe in one like Christianity, but also Indo-European culture believes in a messiah just like Jesus in the Christianity religion; so technically both cultures played a part in shaping Christianity. What is Descartes first movement of what is referred to as modern philosophy?
What was his main “project” & what type of conclusions did he arrive at? Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasize the use of reason to develop the Natural Sciences. It can be said his main goal was to find out truth to God’s existence then human existence, as these were the main two subjects. Descartes was the first philosopher in a long time to attempt to bring all knowledge into a coherent philosophy. His concerns were with certain knowledge—that which we can know for sure—and the mind/body relationship. Because philosophers believed in a mechanistic view of nature, it was critical to figure out how the mind’s thoughts became translated into actions of the body.
Descartes doubted everything that was not certain and then realized that the very fact of his doubting meant he must be thinking. From there, he decided that the existence of God is also certain, and went on to define the world in terms of thought and matter, which he called extension. The mind and body interact, but the goal is to get the mind to operate solely according to reason. What did Spinoza propose as a way for understanding the world? How does this compare to Descartes conclusions? How are they similar? How are they different? He rejected Descartes’s dualism and believed that thought and extensions are simply two of God’s features that we can perceive. He had a deterministic view of the world, believing that God controlled all through natural laws.
Spinoza felt that only God was truly free but that people could attain happiness through seeing things “from the perspective of eternity. ” They are similar, because they both believe in God, but they are very different from Descartes relying mostly on reason, and Spinoza thinking that God controls everything through Natural Laws. Hume’s ideas on morality & the source of morality: David Hume, an 18th century philosopher, stated that morality is based on sentiments rather than reason. He concluded this after he developed his “theory” of knowledge which stated that everything we could know was observable by the senses — he was a naturalistic philosopher. He then looked at situations in which he thought that there was an obvious “wrong” and he