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How does al-Ghazali define knowledge?
Knowledge in which the object is disclosed in such a fashion that no doubt remains along with it, that no possibility of error or illusion accompanies it, and that the mind cannot even entertain such a supposition.
What leads him to doubt beliefs based on scene perception and on intellect?
Sight and judgements
What is distinctive about mysticism?
Something which cannot be apprehended by study, but only by immediate experience, by ecstasy and by a moral change.
What credal principles were firmly rooted in al-Ghazali after his study of theology and philosophy?
1) faith in God 2) prophethood and revelation 3) the last days
What is the mystic way, and what did al-Ghazali learn from following it?
It is the purity which is the first condition of it is the purification of the heart completely from what is other than God most high; the key to it, which corresponds to the opening act of adoration in prayer, is the sinking of the heart completely in the recollection of God; and the end of it is complete adsorption in God. From following it, al-Ghazali learned purity of the heart equals the mystical way focusing on God only, nothing else. Revelations and visions he learned ultimately are the nearness of God.
How does the author distinguish among knowledge, immediate experience, and faith?
Knowledge is certainty reached by demonstration, immediate experience is the actual acquaintance with that "state", and faith is the acceptance of it as probably from hearsay or by trial or observation.
What method does she suggest we use to arrive at the knowledge that someone is a prophet? Why is this method better than relying on miracles as proof?
The method of becoming an acquaintance with the prophets conduct. It's better than relying on miracles of proof because your faith would be destroyed by an ordered argument showing the difficulty and ambiguity of the miracle.
What was Descartes's goal, and what method did he employ to get there?
His goal was to overthrow all his beliefs. To get there he would go straight to the principles on which all his former beliefs rested.
Descartes concluded that the statement "I am, I exist" must be true whenever he thought it. Why? What reasons support his conclusion?
To be conceived or deceived of something, you have to exist.
The next step in Descartes's argument is to reach the conclusion that he is a thinking thing. How does he reach that conclusion? Why did he not conclude instead that he was a physical thing?
He comes to this conclusion by saying thought can't be taken from him. He doesn't conclude that he's a physical thing because he's not just a collection of organs called a human body.
In the final paragraph of Meditation II, Descartes listed several things he had learned from his consideration of a piece of wax. What are they, and how did he arrive at these conclusions?
I now know that physical objects are grasped, not by the senses or the power of having mental images, but by understanding alone. And, since I grasp physical objects in virtue of their being understandable rather than in virtue of their being tangible or visible, I know that I can't grasp anything more easily or plainly than my mind. He comes to this conclusion by saying the way you grasp a piece of wax or any other physical object serves better to reveal the nature of my mind.
What does it mean to say that the Dao is nameless, and why do you think it is "named" that?
The Dao that can be told of, is not the eternal Dao.
What is the main idea that Chapter 2 of the Dao De Jing conveys about the nature of opposites?
When people of the world acknowledge beauty as beauty, there exists the definition of ugliness.
How is it possible for the sage to act without acting and teach without speaking?
Because the sage is not moving and acting upon their own accord, but in harmony with the Dao.
What do you think the comparison between the Dao and a bowl implies about the relationship between the substance of a thing and its function?
The emptiness of the bowl is very much like the Dao. It provides the fundamental space to speak.
Analogies are drawn between the Dao and a valley, a female, the water, the hub of wheel, a utensil, and a room. What do these analogies tell us about the Dao?
It is empty space that we find utility in. These analogies are very passive, but in their passivity it makes the world function.
How does the Dao "run" the universe?
Depends on nothing and does not change. Dao models the way in which nature flows.
What does it mean to say that "reversion is the action of Dao"?
Everything comes back to itself. the world will comeback to a harmonious state because of its natural balance.
What does Taylor mean by "deliberation" and "it is up to me," and how do they relate to the discussion of freedom and determinism?
he means he can only deliberate about his own self and behavior not others. Only about future things, never past or present. Can't deliberate if I already know. I must believe it is up to me to some degree to deliberate.
What is soft determinism, and what is wrong with it?
Soft determinism is 1) all human behavior is caused/determined by antecedent, 2) voluntary behavior is free to the extent that is is not caused, and 3) behavior is based on acts of the agent: will. Problem= some would argue that internal states are caused or determined by you, that even within your self these things are caused by your free will.
Describe simple indeterminism and the problem both it and determinism face.
Indeterminism is uncaused and happens by cause. Problem= this would just happen without any cause
According to Blatchford, what is the "point" that the free will discussion turns on?
The conditions that are necessary and actually cause that choice to be made and what causes a person to choose.
What does existence precedes essence mean?
Man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself.
What is the first principle of existentialism?
Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.
What is meant by anguish?
The man who involves himself and who realizes that he is not only the person he chooses to be, but also a law-maker who is, at the same time, choosing all mankind as well as himself, can not help escape the feeling of this total and deep responsibility.
What does forlornness mean?
That God does not exist and that we have to face all the consequences of this.
Why did Sartre say we are condemned to be free?
Because we have no excuse behind us, not justification before us. We are alone, with no excuses.
What does Sartre mean by despair?
We shall confine ourselves to reckoning only with what depends upon our will, or on the ensemble of probabilities which make our action possible.
According to Radhakrishnan, what is the law of karma?
Says that each individual will get the return according to the energy he puts forth.
What are the two aspects of karma?
Retrospective and Prospective
How did Radharkrishnan define freedom of the will?
As the freedom of the self. It is determination by the self.
What is the difference between having a mental image and having a pure understanding? Give an example of each.
Having a mental image you can actually picture the thing in your head. Pure understanding is knowing something conceptually, but not necessarily knowing something in your head. A mental image is a triangle. A mirigon (a thousand sides) is pure understanding because you know there are a thousand sides, but you can't visualize every single side in your head, like a triangle or square.
According to Descartes, how does the mind or soul differ from the body?
The mind is unextended and thinking. The body is extended and unthinking.
What are some of the motivation, according to Cole, behind the philosophical discomfort with the physical body?
The motivations are thoughts that do not seem to be subject to the same limitations of the body. The personal identity of the eye seems to remain the same. The eye is the center of her conciseness.
In what sense, according to Cole, is Descartes setting himself an artificial task?
Rather than trying to find out what knowledge really is for our society, he's acknowledged as knowledge only for himself.
What is the main point of the section entitled "The Uncertain Body"?
The main point is that the body is irredeemably a second class citizen. Body is second class mind is superior.
In what sense is the concept of a radically isolated subject incoherent?
We do not begin to think and see in solitude. We form in a collective process that is on going. Our thoughts are never our own. Doubting everything has made an incoherent thinking process. We truly do understand ourselves in relation to others. Intersubjectivity allows us to understand what knowledge truly happens to be and it can't be done in isolation.
What are two reasons why some people resist the brain-computer analogy, and how does Hinrichs counter those objections?
The term computer is wrongly interpreted to denote digital computers. But the PC is one example that make computations. A brain is also a computational device.
The second reason is a brain is more than a computer. The brain functioning in some a way sub-atomic and meta-physical results in a creation of emotional properties that wouldn't be possible through simple computational process. Brains are the only substances on earth that involve principles of quantum physics.
What are some important differences between a brain and a computer?
Brains are alive. Computers use cells that are essentially static. When the software is removed a brains hardware is pivotally changed my its software. The brain remembers and remains continuity. Computers software stays the same as software packages are ran through it. A brain's hardware changes when software runs through it. The brains takes in info from senses (software) and it goes into hardware changes. Those changes are fully integrate into system. Computer's hardware remains the same regardless of the software that is put through it.
How does Hinrichs deal with the issue of how a brain creates a mind, and why does he think some people find his answer unsatisfactory?
The quality of wetness emerging from water. There is an emergent property that comes out of the operation of phsycical properties. Mental experiences or states or conditions by the physical nature brain. Experiences are different from brain activity. The mind is one of thing brains does a scientific exp would consist of a physical and chemical brain states and network associated with experience . The mind is what the brain does. Unsatisfactory people want more than just a materialistic description of what the mind is. They want something that is more metaphysical they want to think that the mind is separate or distinct from the body. The mind is nothing more than a product than what the body has done over a series of evolution.
Many of our beliefs are based on sedation. Descartes offered two arguments, the arguments from deception and dreaming, to show that beliefs based on sensations are not trustworthy. State these arguments in your own words.
Because the nature of dreaming, we can never know whether or not what we are experiencing is real or not. We can always doubt that our perceptions are authentic compared to what is actually out there.
Some of our beliefs-for example, that two plus three equals five-are based on reasoning, not sensation. Descartes argued that even arithmetic calculations can be doubted. What is his argument?
Every person could have been deceived by God or an evil person as a child.
Descartes ended the first Meditation with the famous evil demon argument. What is the point of this argument?
he can be mistaken so he leaves that meditation in turmoil because he can not be sure.
What is Blatchford's main point?
A person acts always from temperament= heredity and training= environment.
What argument did Blatchford present to support his main point?
When there are two options the stronger disposition in the individual chooses.
Why, according to Blatchford, should we not blame someone for his or her conduct?
A person has only been trained to do what he does and cannot control his actions.
Why did Sartre claim that "in choosing myself, I choose man"?
You are responsible for your decision making and in the doing you are saying that it is the best choice for humanity.
According to Radhakrishnan, what is self-determination?
How did he respond to the argument that self-determination is not really freedom?
Unless the individual employs his whole nature, searches the different possibilities and selects one which commends itself to his whole self, the act is not really free.
According to Radhakrishnan, what is choice?
Choice is the assertion of freedom over necessity by which it converts necessity to its own use and thus frees itself from it.
What did Descartes mean when he said that he could "conceive of my whole self" as something that lacks the power or ability to have mental images and to sense?
He cannot register these things without something to register what is happening.
Restate in your own words the argument Descartes provided that led him to the conclusion that physical objects exist.
God being perfect wouldn't deceive him and there must be a real world.
What did Descartes mean when he said that his mind was indivisible but his body was divisible?
Descartes means that we can break extended things into smaller parts such as the body, but the mind can, in no such way, be divided.
Cole claims that if Descartes were working in collaboration with others, he could not easily entertain such radical doubts. Why?
he would have to trust that the others were thinkers, perhaps even thinkers on a par with himself; that they were working with him rather than against him.
What is meant by "the relational self," and what difference would it have made if Descartes had begun his thought there?
The rational self presented is involved in and importantly constituted in its connectedness to others. You are a social animal from birth to death.
True or false: A valid argument with twenty true premises and one false premise is more sound than an argument with three true premises and one false one.
Since there are organizations working specifically for population control, one would then support them rather than more orthodox methods of pre- venting famine.
What causes that degeneration of regimes from aristocracy to tyranny? What sort of desire or "eros" is the characteristic of the degenerate regimes?
What is Nagel's criticism of Camus suggested response to Absurdity? How does Nagel suggest we may respond instead?
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