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Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
Sophies World
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Sophies World


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  • 1. What is Philosophy? Love of knowledge? Wonder?
  • 2. Archetype Metaphor for Western Philosophy: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
    • Philosophy explores the meaning of reality and illusion, and faith and reason
    • Philosophical Quest
    • Sophie’s questions:
      • Who are you?
      • Where does the world come from?
      • Who is Hilde Knag?
  • 3. II. Top Hat
    • Why are children philosophers?
    • Why does Sophie find education boring?
    • Metaphor of the white rabbit and the hat:
        • “ We know that the world is not all sleight of hand… because we are here in it” (p. 14).
        • What does the rabbit represent?
        • Where/what are we?
    • Aristotle: “All men by nature desire to know.”
    • The potential for wonder is frustrated by habit.
      • Wordsworth: “The child is father of the man.”
  • 4. Functions of Myth
    • Instill a sense of wonder in the mystery of the universe
    • Explain the natural world
    • Support and validate moral system and social culture
    • Guide people through life
    • Danger of myth is its power.
    • Philosophy must rely on reason as well as myth
  • 5. The Natural Philosophers
    • Sophie’s Questions:
      • Is there a basic substance?
      • Can water be changed to wine?
      • Can a frog come from the earth and water?
    • Philosophical project: Explain change and motion
    • Three philosophers of Miletus believed in a single basic substance
  • 6. Natural Philosophers
    • Thales = water
    • Anaximander = divine matter; boundless
    • Anaximenes = air
    • Parmenedes: all is permanent
    • Heraclitus: all is in flux
    • Basic elements: air, water, earth, fire
    • Empedocles: Source of nature cannot be a single element
    • Anaxagoras: seeds ordered by intelligence
  • 7. Democritus & Legos
    • Atomic theory
    • Invisible substances linked in various combinations “eternal, immutable, and indivisible”
    • Sense perception: We perceive the moon when “moon atoms” penetrate the eye.
    • Nothing can change; nothing can come out of nothing; nothing is ever lost; therefore, Nature MUST consist of infinitesimal building blocks that can join and separate and join again.
  • 8. Fatalism
    • Sophie’s questions:
      • Is there fate?
      • Does God punish the wicked here?
      • Does history have a purpose?
      • What governs history? If God or Fate, then there is no free will.
      • What is the role of free will?
      • Oracle at Delphi: Man’s place “Know thyself”
      • Hippocrates: “Anima sana in corpore sano.”
    • (Hermes - the messenger)
      • Hermetic -- hidden, inaccessible
  • 9. 450 BC — Athens center for new philosophical project
    • Democracy
    • Perceptions of Right and Wrong
    • Sophists
    • Pragmatists
    • Skepticism: Man cannot know the truth about the riddles of nature.
  • 10. The measure of all things
    • Protagoras (485-410 BC): “Man is the measure of all things.”
    • Can this concept lead to hubris?
    • What is natural? What is socially induced?
    • Perceptions flow, vary from place to place
    • No absolute norms for what is right or wrong (man is measure).
    • Sophocles in his dramas provides a rebuttal to this moral relativism.
  • 11. Socrates (479-390 BC)
    • Rationalist
    • Persona for Plato
    • Socratic irony: feign ignorance to expose weakness in opponent’s argument - gadfly
    • Eternal and absolute rules for right and wrong
    • Human reason/common sense is eternal and immutable
    • Socratic ideas:
      • Is there such a thing as natural modesty?
      • Wisest is he who knows he does not know.
      • True insight comes from within.
      • He who knows what is right will do right.
  • 12. Diagram of Soul and State
  • 13. “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”
    • Sophist is the “know-it-all”
    • The philosopher admits ignorance
    • The most subversive people are those who ask questions.
    • Child is the philosopher king because he/she is not afraid to ___.
    • People are indifferent - buried deep in the rabbit’s fur
    • Wisdom begins with ignorance
    • Foundation of knowledge lies in man’s reason.
    • Why did Socrates and Jesus have to die?
  • 14. Elements of Socratic Philosophy
    • Right insight leads to right action
      • Insight lies in reason, not in society
    • Can one do wrong and be happy?
      • A slave has the same common sense as a man of rank.
  • 15. Plato
    • Sophie’s tasks: What is the project?
      • Can you make 50 identical cookies?
      • All horses are the same. Why?
      • Does man have an immortal soul?
      • Are men and women equally sensible?
  • 16. Plato 428-347 BC
    • Project: Theory of “ideas”
      • A “reality” that is eternal and immutable
      • World of ideas/forms — world soul
        • True knowledge only of things understood with reason
        • No true knowledge of world of sense, which is constantly changing
      • World of sense and of the soul
      • All natural phenomena are merely shadows of eternal ideas/forms
      • Everything tangible (4 elements) flows; the IDEA alone is eternal
      • Do we have to see something to have an “idea” of it?
  • 17. Mimetic theory
    • Art imitates what? Life, nature, reality?
    • Implication for Sophie’s World ?
    • Will lead to Renaissance pragmatism and Romantic expression
    • Plato argues the poet is father of lies.
      • Yet the “lie” takes us closer to the idea
  • 18.
    • What is the philosophical purpose for Alberto’s reaction to Sophie’s “break-in”?
    • Proof of Sophie’s intellectual growth:
      • Curious
      • Uses senses & ideas/reason
      • Anticipates Aristotle’s objection to Plato
  • 19.
    • Plato — reason (Imagination is reality)
    • Aristotle — senses: Idea “flows” but has no existence of its own; forms are in the THINGS. (Nature is reality)
    • No innate ideas, but we have innate faculty to organize and classify— Innate Reason
    • Summed up and categorized natural philosophy
      • pigeonholing
    • Last great Greek philosopher; first great European biologist
    • From Macedonia; father a physician
    Aristotle 384-322 BC
  • 20. Aristotle’s Logic
    • Material - block of wood
    • Formal - idea of table
    • Efficient - carpenter
    • Final - reason for the table being made
    • Moisture in air
    • Nature of water to fall
    • Moisture cools
    • Because plants & animals need it
    • Potentiality: Matter: Act: Form
      • Chicken’s egg always has potentiality to become a chicken; it cannot become a goose.
    Laws of causality: Why does it rain?
  • 21. Aristotle’s Logic
    • Syllogism
      • All A is C; all B is A; therefore, all B is C
      • Deductive reasoning; general to specific
    • God as pure ACT (Aquinas will define as the first cause) — the formal cause
  • 22. Aristotle’s Ethics
    • Man can achieve happiness only by using all his abilities and capabilities.
    • Three forms of happiness:
      • Life of pleasure
      • Life as free & responsible citizen
      • Life as a thinker/philosopher
    • Golden mean
    • Literary criticism: catharsis, pity, fear, tragic hero
    • Balance is key to happiness:
      • Neither cowardly, nor rash, but courageous
  • 23. Aristotle’s Politics
    • Man is a political animal
      • Highest form of human fellowship is in the state
    • Three good forms of constitution:
      • Monarchy NOT tyranny
      • Aristocracy NOT oligarchy
      • Polity (Democracy) NOT mob
  • 24. Hellenism
    • Decline of Athens
    • Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
      • Macedonia tutored by Aristotle
      • Defeated Persians
      • Linked Egypt, the Orient (to India), & Greece
    • Religion, philosophy, and science
      • Doubt and uncertainty
      • Teachings of mankind’s salvation from death
      • Philosophy should free man from pessimism
      • Religion & philosophy blend
    • Syncretism
  • 25. Cynics, Stoics & Epicureans
    • True happi-ness is within
    • Antisthenes - frugal
    • Diogenes - lived in a barrel, with a stick and a bread bag; told Alexander the Great, “Move to one side - you’re blocking the sun.”
    • Stoa - portico
    • meetings
    • 300 B.C. founded by Zeno
    • Role of reason and acceptance of suffering
    • Cicero, Seneca
    • Garden philosophers
    • Aristippus -“The highest good is pleasure”
    • Stressed reason and moderation
    • Later - self-indulgence
  • 26. Neo-platonists
    • Plotinus (205-270 A.D.)- Alexandria (Egypt)
    • Mystic
    • Came to Rome
    • Dualist: relationship between body/soul
    • The light = the One = God
    • Darkness = the absence of light
    • Soul illuminated by the light of the one (good)
    • Different from Plato: All is part of the One, even the most chained prisoner in the cave
    • Romantics, Transcendentalists
  • 27. Two Cultures
    • Indo-Europeans
    • Polytheistic
    • Transmigration of soul (Plato)
    • View of history as a cycle - ring structure (Homer, Plato, Beowulf; Hindu cycle)
    • Reliance on sight & insight - Pictorial representations of gods
    • Semites & Monotheism
    • Judaism, Christianity, Islam (OT written in Hebrew)
    • Greek influence (NT in Greek)
    • Linear view of history
    • Reliance on hearing - No images of God (Christianity shows Greco-Roman influence with images)
    Is the Good of Plato the God of Christianity? By 400 AD entire Hellenistic world was Christian.
  • 28. Hegel’s Dialectic at Work
    • THESIS: Greco-Roman world of Homer, Plato, Aristotle and Sophocles
    • ANTITHESIS: Biblical- Old and New Testaments
    • SYNTHESIS: The Middle Ages makes the synthesis which will generate an antithesis during the Renaissance: humanism
  • 29. Middle Ages
    • 380 AD Christianity becomes official Roman religion (Constantine)
    • 476 Western Rome destroyed
    • 529 Plato’s Academy closed
    • Monasteries - education
    • 1200 - cathedrals and universities
    • 1400 - transition to Renaissance
    • PROJECT: Are belief and knowledge compatible?
  • 30. Divisions of Old Roman Empire MIDDLE AGES an intellectual turning point - confluence of three-part river of philosophy Aristotelian Platonic Neoplatonism 632 death of Mohammed Fell to Turks -1453 Pope Muslim Culture Greek Christianity Latin Christian ARABIA CONSTANTINOPLE ROME
  • 31. Augustine Aquinas
    • 354-430 North Africa
    • To Carthage, Rome, Milan, Hippo
    • Stoicism, Neoplatonism, then Christianity
    • City of God = Church
    • Who can be saved? Preordained
    • Divine will
    • Christianized Plato - the IDEA in Divine Mind before creation
    • 1225-1274
    • Translated Aristotle from Greek and Arabic to Latin
    • Aristotelian logic - faith and reason are needed
    • Synthesis of faith and reason
    • Two routes to ONE TRUTH
    • Revival of humanism - desire for education
    • “ Man is formed” - Power of individual
    • Split between church and science/philosophy
    • Restore Rome - St. Peter’s
    • Martin Luther (1483-1546): Man receives “free” redemption through faith alone
        • Emphasizes personal relationship with God
    • Start of scientific age
    • Printing press
    • Francis Bacon - rebellion against Aristotle - Empiricism “Knowledge is power.” - Man beginning to control nature
    • Idea that God is infinite; therefore in all things
  • 33.
    • Copernicus (1543) - new astronomy heliocentric world view
    • Galileo - founder of modern physics - “Measure what can be measured, and make measurable what cannot…” - Inertia Law - parabola - Jupiter’s moons
    • Kepler (1600s) mathematical explanation of solar system’s operation; elliptical orbit
    • Newton (1642-1727) “I stood on the shoulders of giants.” - Law of Universal Gravitation; moon -tides;
  • 34. Baroque
    • A Romantic period: tension, energy, irregularity
    • Carpe diem
    • Rise of theater: illusion vs. reality
    • Idealism vs. Materialism
  • 35. Descartes (1596-16500
    • Socratic-Platonic via St. Augustine
    • Convinced of his own ignorance
    • Father of analytical geometry
    • Father of modern philosophy (hated it)
    • PROJECT: Built a system
      • Wanted reliable, certain knowledge
      • Wanted to solve body/soul;mind/matter dualism “How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?”
      • Methodology: Doubt -Cogito ergo sum - I exist
  • 36. Spinoza (1632-1677)
    • Can human life be subject to natural law?
    • Monist - a flower and a poem about a flower are both expressions of the substance but seen from different point of view
    • God’s will is the natural law, the inner cause of all that happens (Stoics)
    • Free will only according to our nature
    • We can achieve an intuitive understanding of the whole -contentment
  • 37. John Locke ( 1632-1704)
    • EMPIRICISM - counters rationalism
    • Knowledge is derived from the senses
    • References Aristotle
    • Blank slate - Tabula rasa
  • 38. Hume (1711-1776)
    • Begins with everyday experiences
    • Man reasons by impressions (immediate) and ideas (recollections)
    • Faith vs. Reason
    • Agnostic
    • Said you cannot prove faith by human reason
    • What is a miracle?
    • White crow - We have not experienced ALL natural laws
  • 39. Berkeley (1685-1753)
    • Irish
    • Denied a material world outside of human consciousness - all is spiritual
    • Empiricist who believed in God (Lockean)
    • We exist in the mind of God who causes everything to occur
    • Questions material reality, time & space
    • Can we prove that the material world exists?
      • I touch, feel, etc
      • Ideas exist
      • God orders
      • We perceive the effects - ideas
  • 40. Bjerkely - Review
    • Pre-Socratics attempted to identify basic substance at root of all change
    • Berkeley is empiricist who shares the idea (spirit) with rationalists
    • Aristotle established the course for later empiricists
    • Plotinus : “We ourselves are that divine mystery closest to God in our own soul.”
  • 41. Kant (1724-1804)
    • Devout Christian
    • Duty
    • Synthesized rational (Descartes) and empirical traditions (Locke)
    • We begin with sense perception, but our mind plays a major role in its ordering
    • Transcendental- where both reason and experience fall short, faith fills the vacuum
    • Reason cannot alone prove the existence of God
    • When we obey conscience, we make our own moral law
  • 42. Romanticism
    • Feeling, imagination, experience, yearning
    • Rousseau, Spinoza, Berkeley - philosophical fathers of Romanticism
    • The artist is like God - Expressive Theory
    • Mystery of nature beyond reason
    • Schelling’s world spirit: The world is IN God; God is aware of some of it, but not all.
    • Can the created conceive of that which the creator has not imagined?
  • 43. Hegel
    • Child of German Romantic movement
    • Wanted to get philosophy down to earth again
    • Romantic spirit evolves through history (Plato)
    • All knowledge is human knowledge - subjective and dynamic
    • History has a consciousness, and it develops toward self-awareness
  • 44. Hegel’s Dialectic
    • Thesis - God knows all
    • Antithesis - Man can (should?) rebel
    • Synthesis - Should man leave the garden? Will leaving cause contact with the shadow?
    • We think dialectically by relying on senses (Locke) and reason (Descartes)
    • Stages of consciousness of world spirit
      • Subjective spirit - world soul first aware in individual
      • Objective spirit - world and state
      • Absolute spirit - culmination in religion and philosophy
      • Philosophy is the mirror of the world soul or religion
  • 45. Kierkegaard
    • Christian Existentialist
    • Rejects Hegel and denial of individual responsibility
    • Melancholia
    • Philosophy of existentialism begins with examination of Socratic irony
    • Personal life of individual more important than objective truths
    • Three stages on life’s way
      • Aesthetic - slave of desires - carpe diem - leads to angst
      • Ethical - series of moral choices - like Kant’s duty
      • Religious - leap into the open arms of the living GOD
  • 46. Marx
    • German philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist
    • Studied Democritus, Epicurus (materialism) and Hegel
    • “ Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point is to change it.”
    • Dialectical materialism - class struggle
      • Conditions of production - resources
      • Means of production - tools
      • Ownership - of resources and tools
  • 47.
    • History of society - dialectic of haves and have-nots
    • Work is positive and productive until worker forced to give his efforts to someone else
    • 1848 - Communist Manifesto
    • “ From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.”
    • Can the perfect state be achieved? (Plato)
    • Animal Farm
  • 48. Naturalism
    • Marx - historical and economic evolution
    • Darwin - organic evolution
      • Where is God?
      • Origin of Species and Descent of Man
    • Freud - psychological evolution
  • 49.
    • Dream psychology
      • Irrational impulses can swamp reason - manifested in dreams but suppressed by society
      • We store memories of previous experiences
        • ID - instinctive pleasures
        • EGO - regulates the ID
        • SUPEREGO - like conscience that determines morality of an action - echo of taboos of parents/society
    Sigmund Freud
    • Unconscious tries to communicate with conscious
    • through dreams
    • Dreams are dramatizations of wish fulfillment
    • Existence takes priority over essence
    • Do we define our own essence?
    • Man must create himself
    • Kierkegaard, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche (“God is dead.”)
    • Sartre
      • There are no eternal values
      • We must make our own choices and accept responsibility
      • The theater of the absurd
  • 51.