Phil – 10 into to philosophy lecture 12 - empiricism
Phil – 10 Into to Philosophy Empiricism
Mid-term• Everyone should be getting an A – 35 response questions – 10 definitions – 5 quizzes
CSU Vs. UC• Knowledge vs. brilliance or innovation?
Mid-term• Feedback – Time constraints • Types of questions – Longer times for definition study – Some did not get their response questions back - how to make this better? – Where to go from here? • We will see……
Extra credit• Philosophy Center (sign in and shoot me an email letting me know) – Location: FOB 231 Hours: T-W 11-4• Presentations – Shoot me an email letting me know your interested – 2-5 min• To Kill a Mocking Bird – bring a ticket stub – Wednesday 7 – Thursday 7 – Friday 7 – Saturday 7 – Give a free-form response to the play – 1 page • Have you encountered racism? • Do you think racism still exist? • Even if “race” does not exist scientifically, does the societal conception of it still effect society?
Empiricism• Remember the scientific revolution?• Bacon (theorized about science)
Empiricist Philosophers• John Locke (1632 - 1704)• George Berkeley (1632-1704)• David Hume (1711-1776) Solomon Loses
Rationalism vs. Empiricism• Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience.• Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.• Video:• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8wh8C7lP7U
Rationalism• The Intuition/Deduction Thesis• The Innate Knowledge Thesis• The Innate Concept Thesis
Empiricism• True knowledge is gained from experience• The Empiricism Thesis: We have no source of knowledge in S or for the concepts we use in S other than sense experience.
Empiricism• Empiricism about a particular subject rejects the corresponding version of the Intuition/Deduction thesis and Innate Knowledge thesis.• Insofar as we have knowledge in the subject, our knowledge is a posteriori, dependent upon sense experience.
Empiricism• Empiricists also deny the implication of the corresponding Innate Concept thesis that we have innate ideas in the subject area. Sense experience is our only source of ideas.
Empiricism• They reject the corresponding version of the Superiority of Reason thesis. Since reason alone does not give us any knowledge, it certainly does not give us superior knowledge.
Empiricism• Empiricists generally reject the Indispensability of Reason thesis, though they need not.
Empiricism• The Empiricism thesis does not entail that we have empirical knowledge. It entails that knowledge can only be gained, if at all, by experience.
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• Biography: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =StBlNYX7HBU&feature=related• An Essay Concerning Human Understanding• Some philosophers before Locke had suggested that it would be good to find the limits of the Understanding, but what Locke does is to carry out this project in detail.
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• In Book II Locke claims that ideas are the materials of knowledge and all ideas come from experience. The term ‘idea,’ Locke tells us “…stands for whatsoever is the Object of the Understanding, when a man thinks” (Essay I, 1, 8, p. 47).
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• Experience is of two kinds, sensation and reflection. One of these — sensation — tells us about things and processes in the external world. The other — reflection — tells us about the operations of our own minds.
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• Reflection is a sort of internal sense that makes us conscious of the mental processes we are engaged in. Some ideas we get only from sensation, some only from reflection and some from both.• Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =X-buzVjYQvY
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• Locke raises the issue of just what innate knowledge is. Particular instances of knowledge are supposed to be in our minds as part of our rational make-up, but how are they "in our minds"?
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• If the implication is that we all consciously have this knowledge, it is plainly false. Propositions often given as examples of innate knowledge, even such plausible candidates as the principle that the same thing cannot both be and not be, are not consciously accepted by children and idiots. If the point of calling such principles "innate" is not to imply that they are or have been consciously accepted by all rational beings, then it is hard to see what the point is.
John Locke (1632 - 1704)• "No proposition can be said to be in the mind, which it never yet knew, which it never yet was conscious of" (Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book I, Chapter II, Section 5, p. 61).
Berkeley (1632-1704)• Berkeley was born in 1685 near Kilkenny, Ireland.• Berkeleys first important published work, An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709), was an influential contribution to the psychology of vision and also developed doctrines relevant to his idealist project.
Berkeley (1632-1704)• In his mid-twenties, he published his most enduring works, the Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713),
Berkeley (1632-1704)• Principles 4:• It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding. But with how great an assurance and acquiescence so ever this principle may be entertained in the world; yet whoever shall find in his heart to call it in question, may, if I mistake not, perceive it to involve a manifest contradiction. For what are the forementioned objects but the things we perceive by sense, and what do we perceive besides our own ideas or sensations; and is it not plainly repugnant that any one of these or any combination of them should exist unperceived?
Berkeley (1632-1704)• Berkeley presents here the following argument:• (1) We perceive ordinary objects (houses, mountains, etc.).(2) We perceive only ideas.• Therefore,• (3) Ordinary objects are ideas.
Berkeley (1632-1704)• The argument is valid, and premise (1) looks hard to deny.• What about premise (2)? Berkeley believes that this premise is accepted by all the modern philosophers. In the Principles, Berkeley is operating within the idea-theoretic tradition of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In particular, Berkeley believes that some version of this premise is accepted by his main targets, the influential philosophers Descartes and Locke.
Berkeley (1632-1704)• However, Berkeley recognizes that these philosophers have an obvious response available to this argument. This response blocks Berkeleys inference to (3) by distinguishing two sorts of perception, mediate and immediate.
Berkeley (1632-1704)• Thus, premises (1) and (2) are replaced by the claims that (1′) we mediately perceive ordinary objects, while (2′) we immediately perceive only ideas. From these claims, of course, no idealist conclusion follows.
Berkeley (1632-1704)• The response reflects a representationalist theory of perception, according to which we indirectly (mediately) perceive material things, by directly (immediately) perceiving ideas, which are mind-dependent items. The ideas represent external material objects, and thereby allow us to perceive them.• Video:• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTd3ypNu0IU
Berkeley (1632-1704)• Idealist – The only things that exist are ideas.• If strict empiricism is true then things do not exist when they are not observed.• Berkeley’s jump – God causes ideas in our mind and observes everything when we are not.
Hume (1711-1776)• A master stylist in any genre, Humes major philosophical works —• A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740)• the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748)• Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751)• Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779)• Video:• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =BQ2qjVkMj6s&feature=related
Hume (1711-1776)• For Hume, all the materials of thinking — perceptions — are derived either from sensation (“outward sentiment”) or from reflection (“inward sentiment”) (EHU, 19).
Hume (1711-1776)• He divides perceptions into two categories, distinguished by their different degrees of force and vivacity. Our “more feeble” perceptions, ideas, are ultimately derived from our livelier impressions (EHU, Section II; T, I.i.1-2).
Hume (1711-1776)• Although we permute and combine ideas in the imagination to form complex ideas of things we havent experienced, Hume is adamant that our creative powers extend no farther than “the materials afforded us by the senses and experience.”
Hume (1711-1776)• complex ideas are composed of simple ideas, which are fainter copies of the simple impressions from which they are ultimately derived, to which they correspond and exactly resemble.
Hume (1711-1776)• Hume offers this “general proposition” as his “first principle…in the science of human nature” (T, 7). Usually called the “Copy Principle,” Humes distinctive brand of empiricism is often identified with his commitment to it.
Hume (1711-1776)• Hume presents the Copy Principle as an empirical thesis. He emphasizes this point by offering “one contradictory phenomenon” (T, 5-6; EHU, 20-21) — the infamous missing shade of blue — as an empirical counterexample to the Copy Principle.
Hume (1711-1776)• Bundle theory of identity - Where is the self?• Though weve changed in many respects, the same person appears present as was present then. We might start thinking about which features can be changed without changing the underlying self.
Hume (1711-1776)• Hume, however, denies that there is a distinction between the various features of a person and the mysterious self that supposedly bears those features.• “We are never intimately conscious of anything but a particular perception; man is a bundle or collection of different perceptions which succeed one another with an inconceivable rapidity and are in perpetual flux and movement"
Hume (1711-1776• Cause and Effect cannot be verified by empirical means. This leads to the problem of induction: Induction (opposed to deduction) always has the ability to be fallible all knowledge gained from sense experience is probabilistic science is based on a fallacy and therefore could be wrong• Cause and effect: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tZ6L7QNFws• Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =r3QZ2Ko-FOg
• John Locke (1632 - 1704) - original empiricist• George Berkeley (1632-1704) - Idealist• David Hume (1711-1776) – took Empiricism to its rational ends
Terms to know• Empiricism (The • Mediate vs. Empiricism Thesis) immediate• Idea (complex and • Representationalism simple) • Copy Principle• Impression • Missing shade of blue• Sensation and • Bundle theory reflection • Cause and Effect• Innate knowledge • The problem of• Idealism induction
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