Western Understanding of Man
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Western Understanding of Man

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Philo of man notes for non-philosophy degree students

Philo of man notes for non-philosophy degree students

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  • In explaining this will lead us to the understanding of man, philosophy is the results of fount knowledge, What is the source of all things? Thales of miletus- opaque dictum, "all is water." His most noted students were Anaximenes of Miletus ("all is air") and Anaximander (all is apeiron).
  • For philosophy should arrive practical results for the better well-being and of course for the society itself, so this is how philosophy is intended, it is solely intended for the ultimate nature of man, its inherent qualities
  • Life of Socrates is a great example of his teachings, when he was still alive he persuaded his listeners to live a life of virtues, where the actions lives in the spirit of wisdom, Socrates stresses clearly that no actions is capable of doing not unless there is full knowledge, the knowledge gives the credible actions of the thinking subject; on the one hand, the idea of ideal life or actions manifests of evil is the results of ignorance, Wiseman is capable of doing
  • Chariot, n.1 a two-wheeled vehicle drawn by horses, used in ancient warfare and racing. The soul has three parts; the principle of life, in explaining this plato illustrated, a charioteer driving two horses, one horse is good for it follows the words of the chartioteer, and the other is not, the bad horse, the insolence and pride that causes trouble for it plunges and runs separately
  • Indissoluble-unable to destroy or lasting,
  • Stoic School: founded by Zeno in the year 308 B.C. in Athens. For Stoicism virtue alone is the only good and the virtuous man is the one who has attained knowledge, as Socrates had taught.
  • Realm-an area or domain, e.g. of thought or knowledgeDeterminism the doctrine that all events and actions are ultimately determined by causes regarded as external to the will.
  • Meditation-the emptying of the mind of thoughts, or the concentration of the mind on one thing, in order to aid mental or spiritual development, contemplation, or relaxation.Contemplation-think profoundly or seriously
  • In this period, philosophy was made the handmaid of theology.
  • Augustine linked original sin with concupiscene (i.e., the human person’s spontaneous desire for material or sensual satisfaction). This is an affect of original sin and is transmitted through sexual intercourse.
  • God’s essence might be said to be the sufficient formal cause of itself. Since this essence is identical with his being. If the existence of a thing differs from its essence, this existence must be caused by some exterior agent or by its essential principles. God needs no cause of his existence because his existence is his essence.
  • In this period, philosophy was made the handmaid of theology.
  • He speaks of conscience as a principle of reflection.
  • Social Contract, voluntary agreement among people defining the relationship of individuals with one another and with government and by this process forming a distinct organized society.Hobbes depends an absolute sovereignty as the only way to ensure social security and prevent life from being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
  • Talmud, body of Jewish civil and religious law, including commentaries on the Torah, or Pentateuch.
  • Pantheism belief that God is everything: the belief that God and the material world are one and the same thing and that God is present in everything.
  • But how can Spinoza claim to know the ultimate nature of reality?He distinguishes between three levels of knowledge and describes how we can move from the lowest to the highest.Spinoza claims that :”the more we understand individual things the more we understand God.By refining our knowledge of things, we can move from (1) imagination, to (2) reason, and finally to (3) intuition.Here our ideas are very concrete and specific, and the mind is passive (accepting). We know things only through the effect of senses---I know that I see a person, I claim you are a human.This is scientific knowledge. At this level a person’s mind can rise above immediate and particular things and deal with abstract ideas, as it does in mathematics and physics.When we reach this level we become conscious of God and hence, “more perfect and blessed,” for through this vision we grasp the whole system of nature and see our place in it, giving us an intellectual fascination with full order of Nature, of God. (Intuition-ability to understand something higher)
  • Charles I (of Austria) (1887-1922), emperor of Austria (1916-1918) and, as Charles IV, king of Hungary, born in Persenbeug, Austria. He was the last Austro-Hungarian monarch and the last of the Habsburg rulers.
  • Human knowledge is derived from sense experience. The mind is a white paper, void (empty-not valid) of all characters, without any ideas. Experience in the form of sensations and reflections provides raw materials which the mind then works with, analyzing and organizing them in complex ways.
  • The chains are not of those of a specific despotic rule but of legitimate government and his concern is to discover a justification for submitting to this sort of bondage. For Rousseau, it is the law rather than anarchy that sets people free.
  • In this period, philosophy was made the handmaid of theology.
  • 1.
  • Hedonism, pursuitof pleasure
  • Will, part of mind that makes decisions: the part of the mind with which somebody consciously decides things.
  • Renunciation (denial or rejection)

Western Understanding of Man Western Understanding of Man Presentation Transcript

  • Philosophical Approaches to theStudy of Human Existenceaccording to Western PhilosophyBenito Villareal III
  • Philosophy of ManGreek Understandingof theHuman Person
  • What is Greek Philosophy?• Etymological ApproachGreek word"philosophy" (philosophia).The term "philosophy" is acompound word,composed of two parts:philos (love) and sophia(wisdom), so that literally itmeans love of wisdom. Tobe a philosopher is to lovewisdom.
  • • Phenomenological Approachphilosophy was a knowledge ofthe way things really were asopposed to the way thingsappeared to be.
  • What is philosophy of man?is the study of man, an attempt toinvestigate man as person and asexistent being in the world; man’sultimate nature.
  • Socrates(469-399 B.C.)• For him, he sought to discoverthe truth and the good life.He stresses the value of thesoul, in the sense of thethinking and willing subject,and he saw clearly theimportance of knowledge, oftrue wisdom, if the soul is tobe properly tended.
  • Knowledge leads the way toethical action. To him, knowledgeand virtue are one, in the sensethat the wise man, he who knowswhat is right, will also do what isright.
  • Plato(427-347)Describes the soul ashaving three parts, whichhe calls reasons, spirit,and appetite.---kinds ofactivity going in a personconcept of soulReason, for there is anawareness of a goal or avalue.Spirit, which is the drivetoward action respondsto the direction of reason.Appetite, the desire for thethings of the body.
  • • The soul is most likethe divine andimmortal andintellectual andindissoluble andunchanging, and thebody, on the contrary,most like the humanand mortal andmultiform andunintellectual anddissoluble and ever-changing.RSA
  • • Man’s highest exercise is thecultivation of the mind and controlof the body; this is the object of thewise man, the philosopher.
  • • Self-realization is the highestgood attainable by man.• The highest, richest, andsupernatural form of self-realization stems from the fullcultivation of man’s highestnature, namely, rational.Aristotle
  • He argues, that man does good andbecomes happy in life by fulfilling hishuman nature through the exercise ofhis rational faculty in accordancewith virtue.Reason is his highest nature which, bymoral determination, he ought tobecome through the exercise of virtue.
  • The Romans
  • • Epictetus (c. 50-130) StoicismThe most influential of all the Stoicphilosophers was born in Heiropolis(Asia Minor) about the middle of the1st cent. A.D.Epictetus Stoic view of man-Man canbe enslaved on the outside,―externally‖ (have one’s body inchains) and be free ―internally‖ (be atpeace with oneself in aloofness fromall pleasure and pain.
  • Epictetus, Dualism of mind – The innerrealm is a realm of freedom. Therealm is a realm of determinism(things outside of our mind, includingour own bodies, are determined byfactors beyond control). We havecontrol over our thoughts and ourwill, but we do not have control overexternal fortune.
  • Plotinus (205-270 A.D.)He was one of the leading neo-platonicphilosophers of the Roman Empire.He was born in Egypt and studiedphilosophy at Alexandria (Egypt).He believed in the source of allcreation called by Him, the One.Union with the One was the essentialgoal of all persons, a unification thatwas attainable through meditationand contemplation (the attainment ofspiritual union).
  • The Middle Ages: The Theo-centric Period
  • • St. Augustine (c. 354-430)He was probably the greatest of all theChristian philosophers andtheologians. After being educatedboth in Carthage and Rome he took aposition in Milan as a professor ofrhetoric. There he came under theinfluence of St. Ambrose, bishop ofMilan, who succeeded in leading himinto the Christian fold.
  • Augustine’s Doctrine on Original SinOriginal sin is a situation wherein theentire human race finds itself (massadamnata), but from which only someindividuals are rescued by an utterlygratuitous act of God’s mercy. Goddesires the salvation of all in Christ;only those who are justified by faithand baptism are actually saved.This doctrine is against Pelagianism,that infants could not be guilty.
  • • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)He was born in Italy of a noble family.He studied at the famous Abbey ofMonte Cassino then at the Universityof Naples. In 1243 he joined theDominican Order, much to thedispleasure of his parents.He wrote the famous books called TheSumma Contra Gentiles andSumma Theologica.
  • He believed in the following: Everyagent acts for an end. Every agentacts for a good. All things are directedto one end, which is God. Man’shappiness does not consist in wealth,worldly power, and goods of the body.Instead, man’s ultimate happiness isGod.
  • For St. Thomas, “essence”-ultimatelyis a ―manner (way) of existence.‖Essence is relatively to existence.Existence ―esse‖ is the ultimateactuality and is also the nature―essence‖ of God. In him alone,essence and existence are identical.
  • Early Modern Period
  • • Rene Descartes (1596-1650)Descartes was born on March 31, 1596 inFrance. He was known as a ―jack of alltrades‖ contributing to the areas ofanatomy, cognitive science, optics,mathematics and philosophy. He isconsidered to be the father of modernrationalism.
  • Cogito ergo sum ―I think, therefore, I am.The ―I‖ in this claim is not a physical person,but an immaterial mind. Through reasoningthere is a claim that cannot be doubted.He sees God as the link between the rationalworld of the mind and the mechanical worldof the intellect. The existence of god ispossible by the presence in our minds ofthe idea of an all-perfect being.
  • Joseph Butler (1692-1752)Joseph Butler was an Anglican clergyman.In his own analysis of human nature, onwhich he based his moral theory, that,accordingly, highest in authority isconscience. As he put it: ―Had it strength,as it has right; had it powers; as he hasmanifest authority, (conscience) wouldabsolutely govern the world.‖
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
  • In 1608 he left Oxford and had the goodfortune of becoming the tutor of the Earlof Devonshire, William Cavendish.Born in Malmesbury, Hobbes waseducated at Magdalen Hall, Universityof Oxford.During his travels Hobbes met and discussedthe physical sciences with several leadingthinkers of the time, including Italianastronomer Galileo and French philosophersRené Descartes and Pierre Gassendi.
  • Social Contract and the Sovereignis a democratic organization whereinparticipants are considered equal,expecting the sovereign, who enjoyeda privileged status, unbound by thesocial contract and entirely above thelaw, free to do what he will provided heguarantees that his subject live up to theterms of the compact that no powersuperior to his own displace hissovereign position.
  • Baruch “Benedict” Spinoza(1632-1677)
  • He was born in Amsterdam in 1632in a family of Portuguese Jewswho had fled from persecution inSpain.He was trained in the study of theOld Testament and the Talmudand was familiar with the writingsof the Jewish philosopherMaimonides.
  • Spinoza’s on GodSpinoza offered a strikingly uniqueconception of God, in which he identifiedGod with the whole cosmos.His famous formula was Deus sive Natura,God or nature, this pantheism in whichGod or nature is intimately connected withall things, existing in all things as all thingsexist in God and flow directly from God.
  • The Levels of KnowledgeAt the level of imagination our ideas arederived from sensation,The second level of knowledge goes beyondimagination to reason.The third and highest level of knowledge isintuition.
  • John Locke (1632-1704)
  • Locke was an English philosopher (born atWrington in Somerset) who studied andtaught at Oxford.His father was a lawyer and aparliamentarian who fought againstCharles 1.
  • In 1690, when he was 57 years old, Lockepublished two books which were to makehim famous as a philosopher and as apolitical theories: An Essay ConcerningHuman Understanding and Two Treatiseon Civil Government.
  • He regarded the mind of a person atbirth as a tabula rasa, a blank slateupon which experience imprintedknowledge, and did not believe inintuition or theories of innateconceptions.Locke also held that all persons areborn good, independent, and equal.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
  • He was born in Geneva on June 28, 1712, andwas raised by an aunt and uncle following thedeath of his mother a few days after his birth.He was apprenticed at the age of 13 to anengraver, but after three years he ran awayand became secretary and companion toMadame Louise de Warens, a wealthy andcharitable woman who had a profoundinfluence on Rousseau’s life and writings.
  • In 1742 Rousseau went to Paris, wherehe earned his living as a music teacher,music copyist, and political secretary.
  • For Rousseau, man is born free andeverywhere he is in chains.
  • The Nineteenth Century
  • • Max Scheler (1874-1928), Germansocial and religious philosopher, whosework reflected the influence of thephenomenology of his countrymanEdmund Husserl.
  • • Born in Munich, Scheler taught at theuniversities of Jena, Munich, andCologne. In The Nature of Sympathy(1913; trans. 1970) he applied Husserlsmethod of detailed phenomenologicaldescription to the social emotions thatrelate human beings to one another—especially love and hate.
  • THE EMOTIONAL POWERS IN MAN AND VALUESAccording to Scheler, if man is to achieve the totalrealization of his ideal qualities and of his fullhumanity, all his various emotional powers mustbe cultivated and not just one or another of them
  • 1. Identification (Einsfuhlung) is the experience inwhich a person identifies his own self withnature, with another person or with a group, andfeels an emotional unity.2. Benevolence (Menschenliebe), or a generallove of humanity, regards individuals lovable qua―specimens‖ of the human race.
  • Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
  • British philosopher, economist, and jurist, whofounded the doctrine of utilitarianism. He wasborn in London on February 15, 1748. Aprodigy, he was reading serious treatises at theage of three, playing the violin at age five, andstudying Latin and French at age six.
  • He entered the University of Oxford at 12,studied law, and was admitted to the bar;however, he did not practice. Instead heworked on a thorough reform of the legalsystem and on a general theory of law andmorality, publishing short works on aspects ofhis thought.
  • In 1789 he became well known for hisIntroduction to the Principles of Morals andLegislation.
  • Bentham’s hedonism known as utilitarianismfurnished a basis for social reform.He held that nature has placed mankind underthe governance of two sovereign masters, painand pleasure
  • Any act or institution of government must justifyitself through its utility that is, its contribution to“the greatest happiness of the greatestnumber”.Utility is Bentham’s norm of morality.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
  • Born in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), February 22,1788, Schopenhauer was educated at theuniversities of Göttingen, Berlin, and Jena. He thensettled in Frankfurt am Main, where he led a solitarylife and became deeply involved in the study ofBuddhist and Hindu philosophies and mysticism.He was also influenced by the ideas of the GermanDominican theologian, mystic, and eclecticphilosopher Meister Eckhart, the Germantheosophist and mystic Jakob Boehme, and thescholars of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
  • For Schopenhauer the tragedy of life arises fromthe nature of the will, which constantly urges theindividual toward the satisfaction of successivegoals, none of which can provide permanentsatisfaction for the infinite activity of the lifeforce, or will.Thus, the will inevitably leads a person to pain,suffering, and death and into an endless cycle ofbirth, death, and rebirth, and the activity of the willcan only be brought to an end through an attitude ofresignation, in which the reason governs the will tothe extent that striving ceases.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer in The World as Will andIdea (1819) argued that existence is fundamentallyirrational and an expression of a blind,meaningless force—the human will, whichencompasses the will to live, the will to reproduce,and so forth.
  • Will, however, entails continuous striving andresults in disappointment and suffering.
  • Schopenhauer offered two avenues of escapefrom irrational will: through the contemplationof art, which enables one to endure the tragedyof life, and through the renunciation of will and ofthe striving for happiness.
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)British philosopher-economist. He had a greatimpact on 19th-century British thought, not only inphilosophy and economics but also in the areas ofpolitical science, logic, and ethics
  • Mill’s moral philosophy is called utilitarianism.Its fundamental moral philosophy is that weshould always perform those acts, which willbring the most happiness or, failing that, theleast unhappiness to the most people.
  • Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
  • Danish religious philosopher, whoseconcern with individual existence, choice,and commitment profoundly influencedmodern theology and philosophy,especially existentialism.
  • Kierkegaard was a thinker who exertedan influence on the existentialist mode ofthought.Keirkegaard’s work has beenphilosophically and theologically influential.
  • As he would put it: the only absoluteeither/ or the choice between good andevil. Freedom is the way to heaven.The only valid act is one of choice.For Kierkegaard, subjective truth isindividual truth, a call to faith.
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883)
  • Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818,into a comfortably middle-class family in thecity of Trier, Germany. He was educated atthe universities of Bonn, Berlin, and Jena.
  • In 1842, shortly after contributing his firstarticle to the Cologne newspaper RheinischeZeitung, Marx became editor of the paper. Hiswritings in the Rheinische Zeitung criticizingcontemporary political and social conditionsembroiled him in controversy with theauthorities, and in 1843 Marx was compelledto resign his editorial post, and soonafterward the Rheinische Zeitung was forcedto discontinue publication.
  • Marx was greatly influenced by the worksof the great German idealist,G. W. F. Hegel.
  • For Marx, religion is the opium of thepeople. Opium in the sense that is easessuffering; a spiritual intoxication thatprevents us from seeing the reality.Religion intoxicates the mind of man andprevents man from viewing life as it is.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-19000),German philosopher, poet, and classicalphilologist, who was one of the most provocativeand influential thinkers of the 19th century.
  • Friederich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born inRöcken, Prussia. His father, a Lutheranminister, died when Nietzsche was five, andNietzsche was raised by his mother in ahome that included his grandmother, twoaunts, and a sister.
  • He studied classical philology at theuniversities of Bonn and Leipzig and wasappointed professor of classical philology atthe University of Basel at the age of 24. Illhealth (he was plagued throughout his lifeby poor eyesight and migraine headaches)forced his retirement in 1879.
  • Ten years later he suffered a mentalbreakdown from which he neverrecovered. He died in Weimar in 1900.
  • As far ethics is concerned, Nietzscheappears at first glance to be a moralist.He entitled a book Beyond Good and Eviland consequently advocated ―trans-valuation of values.‖
  • In Nietzsche’s Hermeneutics of Suspicion,the very core is the death of God.
  • In Nietzsche’s bookThus Spake Zarathusra (1891), he insistthat Superman as the only man who canlive in the world without the illusion of Godsince there is no limit to what humankindmight set itself to attain.
  • For Nietzsche, superman is the meaningof the earth and the meaning of man.For ―man is something that must beovercome‖.
  • Good LUCK to everyone.