What is philosophy


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Lecture Notes, What is Philosophy

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What is philosophy

  1. 1. Introduction to Philosophy What Is Philosophy Abir A. Chaaban PHIL200
  2. 2. Socrates <ul><li>Socrates - The Father of Moral Philosophy (469-399 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>The Rise of the Athenian Democracy/Empire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Persian Wars 490-479BCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Age of Pericles (479-431BCE) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Sophists </li></ul><ul><li>The Importance of Rhetoric/Argument </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Apology <ul><li>The Charges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aristophanes in his play &quot;The Clouds&quot; - &quot;Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Investigation of the physical world </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates is a Sophist he takes money for teaching others how to use bad reasoning) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates' Defense: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He had no interest in physical speculation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates accepts no money, the young follow of their own will </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Apology <ul><li>TheOracle at Delphi </li></ul><ul><li>A friend of Socrates' went to the Oracle and asked the priestess &quot;Who is the wisest of mortals?&quot; and the priestess replied: &quot;Socrates is the most wise.&quot; When Socrates heard this he was surprised, since he thought of himself as &quot;most ignorant.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates' Investigation of the Riddle: ( elenchus ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Politicians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Poets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Craftsmen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After &quot;testing&quot; the saying of the god, Socrates became aware of the truth of the saying that &quot;Socrates is most wise&quot; . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates was most wise because he was aware of his ignorance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And, those around Socrates, those who claimed a &quot;knowledge&quot; in the sphere of values, were ignorant of their ignorance. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Apology <ul><li>The Formal Charge </li></ul><ul><li>The Affidavit sworn by Meletus: &quot;Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods recognized by the state.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrupting the youth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introducing new gods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Socrates' Defense: Socrates cross-examines Meletus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates can not intentionally corrupt the youth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates can not be an atheist </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Apology <ul><li>Socrates arguments against Meletus are examples of Socrates' method of argument called 'elenchus' or &quot;cross examination.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates uses the claims of Meletus to demonstrate an inconsistency in the prosecutor's case. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the method Socrates utilizes when arguing with his opponents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socrates tries to demonstrate that neither Socrates nor his interlocutor have significant knowledge. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Apology <ul><li>The Verdict: Guilty </li></ul><ul><li>The Sentence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the courts of Athens, the prosecution would suggest one punishment and the defense would offer a counter punishment. Then the jury would decide between them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meletus, put forward the death penalty, so it's Socrates' turn to offer a counter penalty. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaince at the Prytaneum, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Banishment, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine (one minae = aproximately six months of wages; bumped up to 30 minae at the behest of Socrates' friends. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Apology <ul><li>Socrates accepts death: </li></ul><ul><li>Death ought not to be feared because it can only be one of two things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Either death is an annihilation of the soul and therefore everlasting unconsciousness; Or, death is the migration of the soul from this world to another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If death is an annihilation of the soul, then it is like a dreamless sleep. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If death is a migration of the soul from the world of the living to the world of the dead, then Socrates can philosophize with the souls of the dead. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, death ought not be feared. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Apology <ul><li>What is 'Philosophy' for Socrates? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A way of life ( the unexamined life is not worth living). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A search for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wisdom: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge of good and bad , </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the right way to live </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. John Locke ( Source Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) <ul><li>John Locke (b. 1632, d. 1704) was a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. </li></ul><ul><li>Locke held a government position and was successively charged with collecting information about trade and colonies, economic writer, opposition political activist, and finally a revolutionary whose cause ultimately triumphed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. </li></ul>
  11. 11. John Locke ( Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) <ul><li>Locke's work is characterized by opposition to authoritarianism. This opposition is both on the level of the individual person and on the level of institutions such as government and church. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the individual, Locke wants each of us to use reason to search after truth rather than simply accept the opinion of authorities or be subject to superstition. He wants us to proportion assent to propositions to the evidence for them. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>In his Essay concerning Human Understanding Locke’s goal is to determine the limits of human understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>In the four books of the Essay Locke considers the sources and nature of human knowledge. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locke argues that we have no innate knowledge. (differs from Descartes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ideas are the materials of knowledge and all ideas come from experience. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>The term ‘idea,’ Locke tells us “…stands for whatsoever is the Object of the Understanding, when a man thinks.” (Book II Essay I, 1, 8, p. 47). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience is of two kinds, sensation and reflection, Some ideas we get only from sensation, some only from reflection and some from both. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sensation tells us about things and processes in the external world. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection, tells us about the operations of our own minds. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>In the fourth book of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Locke tells us what knowledge is and what humans can know and what they cannot (not simply what they do and do not happen to know). </li></ul><ul><li>Locke defines knowledge as ”the perception of the connexion and agreement or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our Ideas“ (IV. I. 1. p. 525). </li></ul>
  15. 15. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>An Essay Concerning Human Understanding has a focus on the principles of morality and revealed religion. </li></ul><ul><li>In Book IV Chapters XVII, XVIII and XIX Locke deals with the nature of reason, the relation of reason to faith and the nature of enthusiasm. </li></ul>
  16. 16. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>Locke remarks that all sects make use of reason as far as they can. Only when this fails them that they have recourse to faith and claim that what is revealed is above reason. </li></ul><ul><li>“ And I do not see how they can argue with anyone or even convince a gainsayer who uses the same plea, without setting down strict boundaries between faith and reason .” (IV. XVIII. 2. p. 689) </li></ul>
  17. 17. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>In Locke defines reason as “the discovery of the certainty or probability of such propositions or truths, which the mind arrives at by deduction made from such ideas, as it has got by the use of its natural faculties; viz, by the use of sensation or reflection.” (IV. XVIII. ii. p. 689) </li></ul>
  18. 18. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>Faith, on the other hand, is assent to any proposition “…upon the credit of the proposer, as coming from God, in some extraordinary way of communication.” </li></ul><ul><li>Locke distinguishes between the original revelation by God to some person, and traditional revelation which is the original revelation “…delivered over to others in Words, and the ordinary ways of our conveying our Conceptions one to another . (IV. xviii, 3 p. 690) </li></ul>
  19. 19. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>Traditional revelation can never produce as much certainty as the contemplation of the agreement or disagreement of our own ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly ( original revelation ) revelations about matters of fact do not produce as much certainty as having the experience one self. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation, then cannot contradict what we know to be true. If it could, it would undermine the trustworthiness of all of our faculties. </li></ul>
  20. 20. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>In the section of Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding In The Quest for Truth, Locke argues that the philosophical quest entails a respect, even love, of the truth . </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates has a similar reverence for the truth. He spent his entire life looking for it, and accepted death rather than give up his search for the truth. And, even though he claimed not to have reached the goal himself, nor had anyone else he met, he still believed that we must strive after the truth. http://www.mesacc.edu/~bfvaughan/text/101/notes/introduction/locke.html </li></ul>
  21. 21. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>John Locke believes that there are certain facts about the world, and that we can know many of them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This assumption makes it essential that we know the difference between believing and knowing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The necessity of evidence for formulating and maintaining beliefs and knowledge. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>What is The Value of Knowledge? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intrinsic Value - Good for its own sake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instrumental Value - Good for the sake of something else (e.g., what we can do with it) </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  23. 23. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>Three possible grounds of Assent: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason - &quot;Natural Revelation&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That which is self-evident (i.e., tautologies and definitional truths) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That which can be deductively demonstrated (i.e., the rules of logic and mathematics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That which can be inductively inferred (i.e., all empirical knowledge) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revelation - &quot;discoveries communicated by God immediately&quot; http://www.mesacc.edu/~bfvaughan/text/101/notes/introduction/locke.html </li></ul>
  24. 24. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding <ul><li>Revelation is an &quot;enlargement&quot; of rational knowledge, but it can never be contrary to reason . </li></ul><ul><li>God is the supreme rational being. The way we know a revelation truly comes from God is by that fact that it can be proven by reason. Being thus verifiable, revelation is a legitimate source of knowledge. </li></ul>