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Arts and Humanities
History of Philosophy
Philosophy 101 w/ Rogers
Terms in this set (100)
love of wisdom
Why bother to do philosophy??
influential and practical
you can't opt out
Why study the history of philosophy?
see how ideas fit together
see how philosophy happens
understand contemporary views better
"old dead guys might be right"
Thales general info
1st philosopher, had two pupils: Anaximander and Anaximenes, "milesians"
thought that everything was made of water, underlying unity
Things will persist through change, carrot becomes the flesh, anything can become anything
Why did Thales pick water?
its everywhere in different forms
underlying unity exists but it is not water, indeterminate boundless and eternal motion - separating off produces different things, swirling motion
underlying unity is air- unidentifiable.
changes in quality are based on changes in quantity as air expands and contracts "quality of function of quantity"
mathematical entities are perfect because they are objective and unchanging
everything is changing- underlying unity of change was fire. Fire is logos (reason) reason is the mind that orders the whole universe. Fire = god. First philosophical iteration of perennial argument for the existence of god
(weirdest theory) "The One" is what there is and all there is
there is no change
there are no discrete individuals
it is all one everlasting immutable, spherical, homogeneous plenum
structure is logically correct
valid and the premise are true so conclusion is true
Parmenides 3 premises:
1. Thought and being are the same
2. You can't think nothing
3. Therefor there is no nothing anywhere
Therefore there is no change it is all one everlasting immutable, homogeneous spherical plenum
Why is there no change? no motion?
there is no nothing, motion and change require space for something to come into
why no discrete individuals?
to separate there has to be nothing, but there is no nothing
Zeno- student of parmenides
space and motion are paradoxical, how do you engage in an infinite number of actions in a finite time?
everyone says there is change and motion, but he's right that there is no nothing so there can be no real coming into or passing out of being
objects are composed of minute particles
eternal and unchanging
particles of the 4 elements mingle to make the objects we observe
Forces of Nature according to empedocles
love and hate (strife)
love brings together, hate tears apart
Believed in evolution that the organisms were more primitive animals "body parts"
Questioned what about the nature of things, recognized forms of things
made of parts having the same nature as the whole, plurality of particles in a carrot will be tiny carrot particles example: eating the carrot released the fleshy parts which mix with other fleshy parts so that flesh comes into being
"everything is made of everything"
What orders and guide the universe according to Anaxagoras?
the mind, different from and transcends matter
Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus
Atoms and The void
What is the void
the empty space is not material but it is not nothing, you can think it, stuff happens there but there is no stuff
What are the atoms
tiny invisible particles
come in different shapes
in motion, falling though the void
What is change according to atomists
the rearrangement of atoms
Ockam's Razor "Principle of Parsimony"
dont multiply entities being necessity
fits all facts
widely accepted, action lies in asking further questions
How do atomists use this principle of parsimony?
the atoms and the void is all there is, explains everything without a "designer" Forms and essence of things comes from atoms
However, atoms don't explain thought and reasoning, or morality
3 Paremides Problems still occurring
1. Natures of things
the study of how we know what we know
you should doubt a few, may, or all claims people make
the truth on issues is subjective
man is the measure of all things, truth is relative to the individual person
nothing exists, if it did we couldn't know it.
we communicate by words but there is no reason to believe that words and symbols mean the same to each person
there is no objective truth to moral claims. What is bad for one might be good for another
"right" whatever those in power say it is
If you found the Ring of Gyges you should??
Smart person should rape, murder, and pillage if he can get away with it.
What is the problem with moral relativism?
no positive evidence for it
claim that different societies have different values
different people have different beliefs but it doesn't mean that there is no truth
"lead a good and happy life"
What was socrates' view on morality
virtue is knowledge, you would never knowingly do something wrong
What is virtue according to socrates
activity aimed at achieving goal of human life, which is happiness.
Happiness is fulfilling your function, your nature as a human being.
Socrates believes that we all want to be happy and we would only pursue evil...
out of ignorance
Plato's view on epistemology
if the goal is to lead a good and happy life then you have to assume some knowledge in order to get on
Your senses cannot give you the immutable truth because
your senses observe changeable things
in addition to physical world there is a transcendent world, THE WORLD OF THE FORMS, things exist and participate in the forms
participating in the forms means...
form is a blue print, an object is a mirror image, and is sharing in the forms
What is the form of all the Forms at the very top of the universe according to Plato's "The Republic"
The form of the good
Plato solves parimedes problem by..
explaining that all things always exist as a form in the world of the forms
How is knowledge explained by plato?
Plato's idea that there is a material body and an immaterial soul
The real you is your soul
the negative view of of body because body is a "prison" for your soul
What does plato think about death?
Its a good thing because it releases the soul from the body
The divided line
between objects of cognition and manner of cognition
What is the parable of the cave?
shadows- unimportant things or images
statues- real objects in physical world
fire- physical sun
The world outside the cave is the world of the forms
Sun outside the cave is the "form of the good" and allows things to exist
Thrasymachus on Justice
you shouldn't bother to be just if you found the ring of gyges
Plato on justice
Need to be just to be happy
the part that desires
part that leads to the action, includes pride and anger
Plato believes in an ideal state called
what is plato organization of utopia?
everybody occupies the appropriate place
Farmers and artisans at the bottom, soldiers above farmers, corresponding to spirit
superior level of guardians are smarter people- philosophers
At the top= philosopher king
What justifies the authority of the government
the philosopher king is the best and has gazed upon the forms of the good
"rule by the best"
the philosopher and his intellectual buddies know best so they run things "epistocracy"
children go into the class they are naturally suited for, not the one they are born in
What is the life of the guardians
no private property, so they can care more about public
women do the same work as men
What is the breeding lottery
really good totalitarian socialists state needs to practice eugenics
people at the top are going to lie about how mating couples get paired
say it was by chance
State nursery takes care of kids
Start of Decline: Timocracy
people who care more get to be in charge
some of the soldiers decide they want to amass wealth and they care about doing that,
rich has no special qualification to rule so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
depends into mob rule, inordinate desire for freedom
mob rule turns into
tyranny when powerful orator is able to control mo and proclaim himself as a "hero"
The "people's hero" "PH" torments class warfare
needs a body guard so he builds an army around himself
"ruled by the worst"
Must keep state of war to stay in power
Who is most miserable?
Metaphor for the soul
if reason loses control, appetite takes over
Aristotle- plato's student
Rejects the world of forms
Aristotles 3 criticisms
world of forms violates principle of parsimony "participation is a meaningless term"
world of forms doesn't explain change because if a form does not change, the reflection won't change
underlying all forms is a ultimate matter "pure potentiality" to receive forms
Example: wood to table
allows for change
all physical substances have 4 causes
matter- what its made of
form- nature of the thing
agent- what took action to bring it to being
final- goal or purpose
everything has to do with the form. everything is teleological, aiming at a goal or purpose
all knowledge begins with the senses, however we must be able to know more than just the bare impressions made by sense data. Plato was right, to know you have to know the form
we know by abstraction, we get the data through the sense but the rational mind is capable of picking out essential and set aside inessential
Aristotle doest't have to go the route of dualism
we grasp the form through contact of the thing, for living things, the soul is the form of the body, plants and lower animals have souls
the thinking part of the human soul
the mind is a blank state
Aritstotle's universe includes a "god" to explain teleological motion of things
The un moved mover
What is the proof of the unmoved mover
things are in motion
nothing can cause its own motion
motion must be caused by something already actual
there candy be an infinite serious of moved movers
Therefor, there must be something that moves others but which itself is unmoved
How could something not moving cause another thing to move
Example: candy bar
the unmoved mover is... and what does it do?
perfect actuality, so it must be engaged in the perfect act
what is the perfect act?
thinking the perfect thing
The perfect thing is
the un moved mover so it is thinking itself
What is aristotles view on ethics
it is universal, it applies to all human beings
rational social animas with certain innate desires which are to be pursued. This set of desires is part of what constitutes our natures
unselfish view of ethics- your happiness is tied to the well-being of those around you
with all other things, we share the desire to survive
with other gendered animals we desire to procreate
with other social animals we share the desire for society
Uniquely Human Desire
"all men by nature desire to know"
The Golden Mean
satisfy the desire but in the right way, that is with moderation
Example: hunger, self preservation, knowledge, etc
Not literally all things example: adultery
Reason is in control of desire
Mean is relative to the individual
not perfect midpoint for everyone, different people are in objectively different situation, it is not easy to hit, takes skill and practice
How do we learn to hit the golden mean
you learn by doing and have to develop the habit of moderation, taught by people who are already good at it
Ultimately best activity
contemplation of the best thing, the unmoved mover
the state is a natural institution, grow naturally out of the nature of human beings. You cannot flourish outside the state
What justifies the authority of the government?
if the government promotes the flourishing of the individual, if gov is not fulfilling it's purpose it doesn't have the authority to govern
Aristotle didn't believe in Utopia but instead the...
The Good State
Why does aristotle not believe in Utopia
because the past is infinite and if it existed it would have been there and we'd know about it
What are the three good and the three bad?
Three good: monarchy, aristocracy, polity
Three bad: tyranny, oligarchy, democracy
What is polity?
law - abiding democracy it is possible, and best if all citizens are well educated in the business of governing and they take turns
What is the key to a well functioning state
strong and numerous middle class
the middle class can avoid the vices, especially associated with being rich and poor
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