Social and Political Philosophy
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Generally speaking, what is
the focus of philosophy? (Type of questions)
Philosophy is about thinking, a basic kind of thinking; it is also amethod of thinking. More specifically, it is a rational enterprise that investigates fundamental questions (general and basic or fundamental questions) about reality.
The word “philosophy” means “love of wisdom” (from the Greek philia and philein, meaning “love”
- and “to love,” respectively, and sophia, meaning “wisdom”).
The beginning of (Western) philosophy, place and time
Place and Time: Miletus, in Ionia, the Greek colony on the southwest coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey); around the 6th century B.C.E. (500s B.C.E.); afterwards, Athens (5th and 4th cents.)
What distinguished the philosophical analysis from other treatments of basic questions of reality?
- 1.Metaphysics: The study or theory of reality (its nature/origin, mind-body issues, etc)
- 2.Epistemology: Theory of knowledge
- Modern epistemology encompasses two perspectives: rationalism and empiricism.
- Rationalism: The view that knowledge comes from the operations of reason, as opposed to experience; that knowledge derives from insight and demonstration, in which case, it requires, and depends on, reason, not experience. French philosopher Rene Descartes is one of the major figures associated with this perspective.
- Empiricism: The view that all knowledge derives from sense experience. Scottish
- philosopher David Hume is one of the thinkers associated with this perspective.
- 3. Ethics: The study of questions of right and wrong (how we should behave; how we should treat others). There are two major ethical perspectives:
- I. Consequentialism, according to which the rightness of action is determined on the basis of the consequences of action; that is, the view that the goodness or the badness of the consequences of an action determines whether the action is good (i.e., right) or bad (i.e., wrong) morally.
- II. Deontological ethics (Deontology or non-consequentialism), according to which, the rightness of action is not determined on the basis of the consequences of action; it is the action itself that matters, its basis or motive (intention). According to this perspective, action is moral if it conforms to rules or principles.
- 4. Social and political philosophy: Study of questions about government, social issues
- 5. Aesthetics or philosophy of art: The study of the nature of beauty and what art is
- 6. Logic and critical thinking: Rules of correct reasoning. (There are other areas of philosophy)
The fundamental question addressed by the Pre-Socratics, the first philosophers.
- What is the ultimate reality? What grounds the reality that we perceive? What explains it?
- They were looking for a basic or underlying principl—specifically, a material principle—that could explain everything. The first philosophers were later called the Pre-Socratics, those who came before Socrates
Be able to name and identify the focus of two areas of philosophy (areas of philosophical analysis) besides social and political philosophy, ethics, and logic.
- Aesthetics or philosophy of art: The study of the nature of beauty and what art is
- Metaphysics: The study or theory of reality (its nature/origin, mind-body issues, etc)
- Rationalism:The view that knowledge comes from the operations of reason, as opposed to experience; that knowledge derives from insight and demonstration, in which case, it requires, and depends on, reason, not experience. French philosopher Rene Descartes is one of the major figures associated with this perspective.
What is the difference between “normative” and “conceptual” (or descriptive)?
- Normative: is a standard, the way things should be.
- Conceptual: has to do with defining things and explaining them.
What Key Factor do "ethics and "social and political philosophy" have in common.
Principle: Rule of action or conduct
- II. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL
- SOCIAL: Questions about association: the community, society, i.e., social relations or the relations of members of a community/society. Examples of social concepts: freedom, equality.
- POLITICAL: Questions about the state, i.e.,
- government or authority, chiefly, questions of legitimacy (the moral
- justification of the state or government).
What is State, Government, and Insitiution and how are they connected?
- •State is the term for the larger political organization
- •Government: Ordered rule: The agencies or institutions (patterned action) for making and enforcing collective decisions—for maintaining ordered rule.(The will of the State)
- –The making of laws
- –The execution and enforcing of laws
- –The interpretation of laws
What is the relationship of power and authority?
- •Power is, to put it simply, the ability to influence the behavior of others
- •Authority: The right to rule; the right to influence, and so, the right to use power (Authority=legitimate power)
Parts of an Argument
- Expressing a position
- Something is true or false/ right or wrong
- Reason and Support
- Logic is the connection between claim and reason
- Outside support
- Confermation with multipul sources
- This process is called Logic
Explain the two kinds of reasioning, deduction and induction, and the main differences between the two arguments.
- DEDUCTION (Certainty): Arguments having the form of deduction may be valid or invalid. VALIDITY MEANS THAT THE PREMISES GIVE SUPPORT TO THE CONCLUSION, OR, TO PUT IT DIFFERENTLY, THAT THE CONCLUSION FOLLOWS FROM THE PREMISES.
- INDUCTION (Probability): The premises are meant to count as support for the conclusion and to make the conclusion probable. The goal here is probable truth. The premises cannot ensure the truth of the conclusion absolutely. The conclusion is not established with necessity; if the premises are true, the conclusion is probably true, but not necessarily true. Even if the premises are true, the conclusion may still turn out to be false. The conclusion amplifies, or adds to, the premises, i.e., it goes beyond the premises.
What is Validity and what is the difference between valitidy and truth? Explain how validity is not always soundness.
- BUT VALIDITY IS NOT THE SAME THING AS SOUNDNESS. VALID
- ARGUMENTS MAY BE UNSOUND (and therefore not good arguments). HERE ARE SOME
- EXAMPLES OF VALID ARGUMENTS THAT ARE UNSOUND.
- 1. Arguments with false premises and a true conclusion
- Ex.: All presidents of the United States have been women. Madonna has been president of the United States. Madonna is a woman
- 2 Arguments with false premises and a false conclusion
- Ex.: All presidents of the United States have been women. David Letterman has
- been president of the United States. David Letterman is a woman
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