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Arts and Humanities
Combo with Kant and 4 others
Terms in this set (96)
Kant and philosophy
-One of the most important philosophers in history
-18th century German thinking
-Never traveled more than 40miles from home
-Extremely punctual (could set watch by his stroll)
> A main inspiration for continental philosophy
>Helps make philosophy a distinct specialty (science and philosophy were the same)
With Kant philosophy becomes the study of:
epistemology, ethics, esthetics, metaphysics
Kant and Hume
-Kant admired Newton.
-When Kant read Hume's skeptical claims he was woken out of his dogmatic slumbers.
-he had assumed that reason had succeeded in justifying in justifying its most fundamental principles
-Hume showed that things like universal casual laws, primacy of the self, or the rationality of morality lack empirical validity spurring Kant to answer Hume
*Only after this, did Hume's philosophical work get noticed
to defend science, morality and the rationality of religion against skepticism
Kant's position on rationalism versus empiricism
From Kant's book: The Critique of Pure Reason "There can be no doubt that, all knowledge begins with experience (represents empiricism).......But though all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it all arises out of experience (questioning Humian belief that all knowledge should be traced back to experience)
Kant's argument bottom line:
-certain structures of knowledge that have to exist prior to experience as defined by the empiricists
-these structures of knowledge come from the mind
Locke says "that there is nothing in the mind that isn't first in the senses"
Leibniz says "that there is nothing in the mind that isn't first in the senses except for the mind itself"
Kant's critique of sensation
>To even have a sensory experience, those experiences have to take place in space and time.
-what we need in addition to sensation.
-order is necessary to have experience with objects in the world
-The minds also organizes experience in terms of the categories.
-Without them experience would be unstructured - more like delirium
-all information is filtered through the categories prior to experience
We cannot help but see the world in terms of 'the categories.' Think of them as rose colored glasses.
>The categories include things Hume critiqued like:
>cause and effect relationships
>unity (of self and mind)
>totality (universal statements)
Part of the structure of experience is contributed by the mind.
Examples from Gestalt psychology: Picture showing panda.
Though there is no line, we still see a whole panda.
Kant's basic premise from first critique:
"Thoughts without content are empty (without experience there is nothing for us to know) intuitions (direct knowledge) without concepts (an organized mind) are blind."
Kant's solution to the problem of Hume:
-What Hume denies as un-empirical become necessary for us to even have an experience.
-It is prior to experience.
-Transcendental to experience (are in the mind)
-Early German psychologists thought they could study the mind.
-Used to think that mind conformed to the world. After Kant saw that the world conformed to the mind
-Thomas Kuhn's notion of a structuring nature to a paradigm is a Kantian one
Hume's place in intellectual history:
-Famous historian in his lifetime
-Father of Anglo-American philosophy
-Takes empiricism to its logical conclusion
-Wrote: History of Great Britain (gold standard for 60 years)
-Takes empiricism to its logical conclusion
-Hume's philosophy fell "stillborn from the press"
The problem Hume wanted to reconcile:
Hume wants to find out what is meaningful for us to talk about.
He will say that something is meaningful if it is based on experience.
Two kinds of truth
what we can know
matters of logic (analytic truth)
-Ex: A triangle has three sides, the red ball is red
> A priori; necessary; can't negate w/o logical contradiction (can't say the red ball is not red); tautological: doesn't provide new information
matters of fact (synthetic truth)
Ex: the cat is on the mat, my dog's ball is blue
>A posteriori; contingent (world can be another way); can negate (my dog's ball is purple); tells us something about the world (gives us new information)
Quote By Hume
" When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."
Where does true knowledge begin?
Impressions and ideas
(actual experiences of sensations).
This is the most empirical experience that we have.
- Red, hard, warm, loud, anger
>What Locke means by sensations or simple ideas
>sensations are atoms of experience, the most clear and distinct experiences
>knowledge must begin with impressions and be traced to an impression
>represents his commitment to empiricism
(some kind of remembered sensation -such as occurs in memory and imagination)
Take a sensation you once experienced and bring them to mind again
So what counts as empirical - Hume will deny the following are based on experience
1. The laws of nature like cause and effect
2. The mind and the self
Cause and effect (c & e)
-is this an analytic truth (truth of logic)
Premise: laws of nature says that causes are necessary.
(a law of nature does not say that copper might conduct electricity, but that it must conduct electricity)
>Cause is not a matter of logical inference.
Copper conducting electricity cannot be deduced from reasoning alone. Seeing copper for the first time did not result in the deduction: "electricity conductor" It required observation of facts.
>Nor is cause a matter of simple observation (a matter of fact)
C&E : cue ball hits 8 ball and it moves: Hume says where do you get the idea of cause? You don't. You see the cue ball hit the eight ball and the eight ball moves. It isn't something reducible to an impression
Three key properties of C & E
>before and after -observable (can be traced to experience)
>constant conjunction - observable (can be traced to an experience)
>necessity - not observable
>You cannot reduce necessity to either 'before and after' or 'constant conjunction.'
>>National anthem and football (is always played before a football game (before and after) National Anthem is always played before a football game (constant conjunction) HOWEVER just because the National Anthem is played does NOT mean a football game must then occur (can you imagine a gold medalist at the Olympics getting tackled)
>>Hot stove and burned hand: only have touch hot stove once to know not to touch it again (no need for constant conjunction)
Main point - we do not see cause. We see before and after and we see constant conjunction -but we do not see the "cause"
So what is the source of causal understanding (the feeling of necessity)?
-what we have is an expectation that events which have been correlated in the past, will be correlated in the future. (habit, tendency or belief). Make causal inferences that are not based on experiences
-we expect the future to be like the past because cause is a habitual inference we make
-this expectation may not always prove true, e.g., Russell's chicken.
Called the problem of induction:
>each day chicken came to farmer to get fed, eventually the chicken will go to the farmer only to find out that he IS lunch 8(
We don't have any direct experience of the mind or the self. We have direct experience only of
Impressions, there is no sense of a continuous self. Mind is a transitory bundle of impressions; that's all we know.
Common maxim in the history of psychology is:
With Descartes psychology loses its soul; With Hume loses its mind
The great irony of Hume, Science, reason and skepticism:
attempted to articulate a theory of knowledge that is consistent with science based on observation but if you develop this perspective in a rigorous fashion it becomes difficult to justify some of the most important claims of science particularly that through observation that we can discover real laws of nature
Hume and emotion:
-reason is the slave of the passions logic alone can't motivate us or make us want to do things. We need emotions (sentiments)
See people that are obsessive that cannot decide, can list pros and cons but never be able to decide
Hume- " It is not contrary to reason alone to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger" where do get the notion of better, there has to be emotional experiences- valuing of life or sympathies for this statement to be true
virtues are based on sentiments
>Ethics: what should we do
-moral claims cannot be true or false but are an emotional preference
-good is what we approve, wicked is what we disapprove.
-must be motivated to choose (emotional experience)
-Pleasure and pain are the primary motivators
- See the importance of pleasure in Freud and early learning theorists.
-Later transformed by Skinner into reinforcement.
A focus on the importance of having experience in acquiring knowledge.
>knowledge is based on experience
Empiricism Vs. Rationalism
(Rationalism-the belief that reason and logic are the primary sources of knowledge and truth and should be relied on in searching for and testing the truth of things)
> A solid rationalist truth = two parallel lines never cross
-the truth of this statement is in the meaning of the words
>Empiricist truth = the cat is on the mat
-evidence is available to everybody
*you can know what mat and cat means but you need to use observation to know if the sentence is true (have to see cat on the mat)
John Locke (1632-1704)
-wants to influence scientific thought
A. Life facts: -father of British empiricism
B. Father of American political theory- we can use our brains to figure out a better society
>Influences Jefferson, Adams and Madison on the notion of the government's role in protecting the rights of citizens (influences Declaration of Independence)
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding:
wanted to define knowledge as it is limited by experience
A "tabula rasa"
Empiricists' model of the mind:
>A "tabula rasa": the model of the mind as a blank slate with nothing written on it
How does the mind gain content?
1. Sensation (direct experience)
2. Reflection upon the mind's own operations (combine sensations, organize sensations)
>experience and thinking
Locke classifies ideas
1. Simple ideas
-Colors, sounds, tastes, pleasure and pain (mix of sensation and reflection) etc
-You have to have these - they cannot be put into worlds
2. Complex ideas
-Composites of simple ideas
- Apples, 'larger than,' emotional states such as reverence
>For the moderns after Descartes, the mind has ideas
Three criterion for ideas
>self evidence: prove the ball is blue (what is the evidence) it is self evident that the ball is blue
>givingness: it is given to you in experience, you do not choose to see the ball is blue, it just is blue
>immediacy: need to be able to experience, cannot put into words what blue is in a book for a blind person to understand the nature of blue
>psychology modeled after physics...mechanistic
>a search for the rules whereby simple ideas are combined into complex ideas and complex ideas are combined to create the mind.
>This sets up an empiricist paradigm: understanding how ideas are combined
Ex: law of contiguity or similarity
Locke and representationalism.
(the copy theory of knowledge)
>there are ideas standing between the mind and the exterior world
>The mind has direct access to ideas. Ideas represent objects out there in the world.
Note: the subject-object split of Descartes
>How can you know that your ideas are a correct representation of the world as it really is: empiricists say you can never know for sure if they are (important root of skepticism)
Theory of perception
>Is your shirt really red, white and blue? If you say yes, you are a naive realist.
>Is your shirt red white and blue for your dog?
He also has a theory of perception called the Causal Theory of Perception
-aspects of objects that produce ideas
-quality that produces in us an idea that is equal to reality
-Examples: solidity, motion, shape, extension, mass (physical reality)
-divide a grain of wheat, divide it again. No matter how many times it is divided, you will always have a mass, shape etc.
*Note: this is what physicist study (the physical nature of the world)
-Produce ideas but the ideas exist in us as much as they do in objects, have a psychological and physical reality
-Examples: color, sound, temperature and taste
-The paradox of the basins: is the temperature in the basin or is the temperature in you?
-red white and blue shirt: color is secondary because vision is a manifestation of the mind (idea in the mind)
logic and thinking can be used to arrive at truth, most solid kind of truths we can know are a product of reason itself
is a uniquely European
is the adjective form for Descartes' system, modern philosophy began with Descartes
- Jesuit trained. Did not work in a university, most philosophers of this time were not at the university
-Moved 24 times in w/o leaving forwarding address (liked solitude) melancholy
- to clear up mass confusion in philosophy
>At this time, whole edifice of knowledge and philosophy was Aristotelian, scholastic
>Galileo was showing that Aristotle was wrong
EX: Aristotle thought that in the celestial sphere, objects moved in a perfect circle (ellipses in truth)
>Aristotle's basic assumptions of were wrong, and if western philosophy is based on his Metaphysics then our philosophy or "human learning" cannot progress
>Thus Descartes wants to clear up theses confusions
Descartes and deism
- also used a clockmaker metaphor (prior to Newton)
>great mechanist of his time
>just as we can take apart the inter-workings of a machine and figure out how it works, we can do this with the universe
>universe was made by God (the watch maker) and our job was to make it work/run
-How to clear up mass confusion in philosophy (knowledge)
>prime indubitable is something he can't doubt
>He wants to find an idea that is clear and distinct. When he find out what that is, he will rebuild the system from the bottom up.
>purposes candidates and will try to doubt them, if he can doubt them then they are not a good foundation for knowledge
First candidate: sense experience
>Can see, touch, taste and smell
> Finds it deceiving.
1. Purple mountains? When the sun goes down, the mountains sometimes seem purple
-distal (distant) senses are deceiving
2. Stick in water is bent? When you look at a stick part in and out of the water, it looks bent though it is not
-these sense experiences can be doubted and so the whole category is not a good candidate
Candidate two: solid kinds of sense experience (I have a hand)
-awake and present, immediate conscious of being
-He may be dreaming: thought he was somewhere and woke up and found out he was dreaming Could wake up from this moment and relies we are dreaming, thus doubt and not a good candidate
Candidate Three: world itself
-That things have a shape, that 2+2 = 4, or that a triangle has three sides?
-God could be a grand deceiver who is misleading him about the truth of these beliefs.
Candidate four: Skepticism.
-He has to ask himself, do I even exist?
- The very fact that he is asking the question shows that he does exist.
Cogito ergo sum: Prime indubitable
I think therefore I am
What else D decides not to doubt: INNATE IDEAS
Has to prove the existence of God and that God is all good. And can put the grand deceiver aside, and prove the world.
- IF A=B and B=C, then A=C. We do not learn this through experience, so it must be innate.
- This was one of the founding statements of RATIONALISM
- The view that that the most certain truths are known by reasoning and logic alone
-Making mathematical knowledge foundational, what Descartes does is support Galileo and Science
But to be able to do it, must prove God exists and so leaves a place for God as well
N. B.: Descartes was slightly younger than Galileo who was one of his heroes
Summary points about Descartes and Modern Philosophy
1.For Descartes and the moderns, certainty becomes self-certainty. We know our own minds than we know anything else. Many doubt that he was able to get out of the internal mind
2. The mind is seen in a new way. The soul was the principle of life, the mind is the principle of consciousness (Richard Rorty) argues that Descartes comes up with the concept of mind
3. Mind-body dichotomy. We have 2 substances, mind and matter.
- In the mind body problem Descartes is the primary example of a dualist.
4. The subject-object split.
- This division of experience results in questions regarding how subjects relate to objects. An important sub-topic is the question of how our own mind relates to other minds
- First is the question of "what" is known. The field of ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. The second standpoint is that of "how" does one know what one knows. The field of epistemology questions what knowledge is, how it is acquired, and to what extent it is possible for a given entity to be known. It includes both subjects and objects.
-should start with simple things you know for sure then use those to study more complex things.
a thinking thing (mind or soul)
matter (the table)
- the function of the brain, believe that everything in universe is material (physical), including those things that others refer to as mental
-those who believe that ultimate reality consists of ideas or perceptions and is therefore not physical
Mind and body interact (Descartes)
Animal spirits:(early idea of the nervous system)
-the tools to get you to raise your hand, mind would think "raise the hand" and animal spirits would do this
Pineal gland: Descartes thought mind and body interacted via this gland
5 Themes of Modern Philosophy Contributed by Descartes:
1. Certainty becomes self certainty. Instead of God//authority being the source of knowledge, human subjectivity becomes the source of knowledge
2. He trades the primacy of the soul for the mind. The soul was the principle of life. The mind is the
principle of consciousness. Some argue that Descartes invented the mind - his concept of mind is radically different from the Greek and medieval conception.
3. The distinction between mind (res cogitans or thinking thing) and body (res extensa or extended thing)
4. The split between the subject and the object or knower and known. Related to the doctrine of
representationalism made prominent by Locke.
5. Foundationalism - the search for that which cannot be doubted. Descartes= foundation was the cogito, I think therefore I am. We cannot doubt our own subjectivity. We know our own minds best.
Locke=s Foundations of Knowledge:
Sensation and Reflection
sensation is direct sensory experience - what is immediately known
reflection upon the minds own operations, perception, thinking, doubting, believing etc. (Because he
makes reflection a foundation in addition to sensation, he is not a radical empiricist)
Hume=s Foundations of Knowledge:
Impressions and Ideas
impressions (actual experiences of sensations). All the contents of the mind come from experience only.
These are strong and vivid perceptions like color, sound, and emotional experiences such as passion.
To be empirically meaningful, knowledge must be reducible to sensory impressions.
ideas (some kind of remembered sensation in memory and imagination) These can be rearranged by the
imagination to get thing like unicorns. Idea can be invented, but impressions cannot be invented.
Kant said that even though knowledge begins with sensation, knowledge cannot be reduced to sensation.
Rather than passively receiving sensation, the mind is active. It structures sensation to create knowledge.
So although things like cause and effect and unity come from he mind, experience is impossible with out
them. Both the categories of the understanding and sensation are necessary for us to have experiences
There was great concern with human potential and achievement. The belief in the power of the individual to make a positive difference in the world created a spirit of
Although all Renaissance humanists were devout Christians, they wanted
religion to be more personal and less formal
and ritualistic. They argued for a religion that
could be personally experienced rather than
one that the church hierarchy imposed on the
Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499)
founded a Platonic academy in Florence. He sought to do for Plato's philosophy what the Scholastics had done for Aristotle's.
Many of the humanists
believed that the church had embraced
Aristotle's philosophy to too great an extent—
to the point where Aristotle's philosophy was
as authoritative as the Bible.
Above all else, Petrarch was concerned with
freeing the human spirit from the confines of medieval traditions, and the main target of his attack was Scholasticism. (99)
Giovanni Pico (1463-1494)
argued that God had granted humans a unique position in the universe.
Angels are perfect and thus have no need to change, whereas nonhuman animals are bound by their instincts and cannot change. Humans alone, being between angels and animals, are capable of change.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
Erasmus was opposed to a fanatical belief in
anything. He was fond of pointing out mistakes in
the classics, claiming that anything created by humans could not be perfect. He exposed exorcism
and alchemy as nonsense, attacking these and other forms of superstition.
Wrote "The Praise of Folly"
he was especially disturbed by bishops who
became rich and famous because of war. Eclectic
and practical, Erasmus was a keen observer of the
world and its problems. Concerning women,
Erasmus had both traditional and progressive views.
a 16th-century movement for the reform of abuses in the Roman Catholic Church ending in the establishment of the Reformed and Protestant Churches. The roots of the Reformation go back to the 14th-century attacks on the wealth and hierarchy of the Church made by groups such as the Lollards and the Hussites. But the Reformation is usually thought of as beginning in 1517 when Martin Luther issued ninety-five theses criticizing Church doctrine and practice.
Protestantism insisted on accepting the existence of God on faith alone; attempting to understand him through reason or empirical observations
was foolish and to be avoided. Thus, if one believes that the acceptance of reason and the observation of nature as ways of knowing God exemplified progress, then Protestantism exemplified regression.
questioned the very possibility of indisputable knowledge. Like Erasmus, he argued that both Catholic and Protestant theologies were equally indefensible on rational grounds and that the only justifiable basis for a religious conviction was faith.
In sharp contrast to most earlier Renaissance
humanists, Montaigne did not glorify human rationality, nor did he believe humans to be superior to other animals (in this he was in agreement with Erasmus). In fact, he argued that it was human rationality that caused most human problems (such as the Holy Wars) and that because nonhuman animals lack rational powers, they are superior to humans.
Polish astronomer; Latinized name of Mikoaj Kopernik. He proposed a model of the solar system in which the planets orbit in perfect circles around the sun; his work ultimately led to rejection of the established geocentric cosmology.
Renaissance humanism had four major themes:
a belief in the potential of the individual, an insistence that religion be more personal and less institutionalized, an intense interest in the classics, and a negative attitude toward Aristotle's philosophy.
found that the paths of the planets were not circular but elliptical.
found, among other things, that all material bodies fall at the same rate; and using a telescope, he discovered four of Jupiter's moons.
Galileo concluded that the universe was lawful
and that the results of experiments could be summarized mathematically. He also concluded that a science of psychology was impossible because of the subjective nature of human thought processes.
viewed the universe as a complex, lawful, knowable machine that had been created
and set in motion by God. Newton's science was
highly theoretical and stressed deduction. Newton's success in explaining much of the physical universe in terms of a few basic laws had a profound influence on science, philosophy, and eventually psychology. In fact, Newtonian science was so successful that people began to believe science had the potential to answer all questions. In a sense, science was becoming a new religion.
wanted science to be completely untainted by past mistakes and therefore urged that
scientific investigations be inductive and devoid of
theories, hypotheses, and mathematical formulations. Bacon also wanted science to be aimed at the solution of human problems. He described four sources of error that can creep into scientific investigation: the idols of the cave, or biases resulting from personal experience; the idols of the tribe, or biases resulting from human nature; the idols of the marketplace, or biases due to the traditional meanings of words; and the idols of the theater, or blind acceptance of authority or tradition.
These thinkers were not antireligion;
they were antidogma. Most of them believed that
their work was revealing God's secrets. What made them different from those who had preceded them was their refusal to allow past beliefs or methods to influence their inquiries; and, in fact, their investigations were motivated by apparent errors in previously accepted dogma.
insisted that all human activity was ultimately reducible to physical and mechanistic principles; thus, he was a materialist and a mechanist as well as an empiricist. He believed that the function of a society was to satisfy the needs of individuals and to prevent individuals from fighting among themselves. He also believed that all human behavior was ultimately motivated by the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
denied the existence of a material world, saying instead that all that exists are perceptions. Although an external world exists because
God perceives it, we can know only our own perceptions of that world. We can assume that our
perceptions of the world accurately reflect external
reality, however, because God would not allow our
senses to deceive us. Berkeley also proposed an empirical theory of distance perception.
attempted to couple empiricism and associationism with a rudimentary conception of
physiology. Hartley was among the first to show
how the laws of association might be used to explain learned behavior. According to his analysis, involuntary (reflexive) behavior gradually becomes associated with environmental stimuli,
pushed empiricism and associationism to their logical conclusion by saying that all ideas could be explained in terms of experience and associative principles.
J. S. Mill
proposed a science of ethology to study the secondary laws governing behavior. J. S. Mill was dedicated to several social causes, including the emancipation of women. He accepted Bentham's utilitarianism but, unlike Bentham, emphasized the quality rather than the quantity of pleasurable experiences.
was the first to write psychology textbooks, to write an entire book on the relationship between the mind and the body, to use known neurophysiological facts in explaining sychological phenomena, and to found a psychology journal.
were either materialists (like Hobbes) denying the existence of mental events, or they were mechanists believing that all mental events could be explained in terms of simple sensations and the laws of association.
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