Philosophy Test 2

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Philosophy Test 2
2011-04-07 00:08:59

Professor Mark Whitten
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  1. Metaphysics
    • The study of ultimate reality; however, this definition is not the most insightful.
    • "After-Physics"
  2. Three Basic Options In Metaphysics
    Number One
    • One vs More than One
    • Monism=1
    • Unity-Connection
    • Identity
    • Ex. Thales and Parimenides
    • Pluralism=More than 1
    • Diversity
    • Difference
    • Ex. Empedocles, Democritis
  3. Three Basic Options In Metaphysics Number Two
    • Physical
    • Materialism
    • Physicalism
    • (All reality is physical in nature)
    • VS.
    • Non Physical
    • Idealism
    • Theism
    • Parmenides
    • Pythagoras
  4. Three Basic Options In Metaphysics Number Three
    • Stesis
    • Permanance-Unchanging (Parmenides-Zeno)
    • VS.
    • Dynamism
    • Impermanent-Always changing (Heraclitus: Fire, Logos)
  5. Who is Thales, and why is he significant?
    Thales , c.636-c.546 B.C. , pre-Socratic Greek philosopher ofMiletus and reputed founder of the Milesian school of philosophy. Heis the first recorded Western philosopher. Thales taught thateverything in nature is composed of one basic stuff, which hethought to be water. Prior to Thales, mythology had been used toexplain the nature of the physical world; the significance of Thalesthus lies not in his answer but in his approach. Although heapparently wrote nothing, he is believed to have introducedgeometry into Greece and to have been a capable astronomer. It issaid he predicted an eclipse of the sun in 585 B.C. Thales studiedpractical as well as speculative problems and was acknowledgedone of the Seven Wise Men of Greece for his exhortation to unityamong the Ionian Greeks.
  6. Empedocles
    was a Greek philosopher who is best known for his belief that all matter was composed of four elements: fire, air, water, and earth. Some have considered him the inventor of rhetoric and the founder of the science of medicine in Italy.
  7. Democritus
    Democritus, an early Greek philosopher, hypothesized that all matter is composed of tiny indestructible units, called atoms. The atoms themselves remain unchanged, but move in space to form visible objects. Early atomic theory stated that the characteristics of an object are determined by the shape of the atom. Democritus also believed that all matter was made up of four basic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Though he was proven incorrect many centuries later, Democritus was the first step toward the current atomic theory.
  8. Parmenides
    515 BC - Born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. - His only known work, conventionally titled 'On Nature' is a poem, which has only survived in fragmentary form. - Parmenides' considerable influence on the thinking of Plato is undeniable, and in this respect Parmenides has influenced the whole history of Western philosophy, and is often seen as its grandfather. - Parmenides is credited with a great deal of influence as the author of an "Eleatic challenge" that determined the course of subsequent philosophers' enquiries. For example, the ideas of Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, and Democritus have been seen as in response to Parmenides' arguments and conclusions.
  9. Heraclitus
    Heraclitus, along with Parmenides, is probably the most significant philosopher of ancient Greece until Socrates and Plato; in fact, Heraclitus's philosophy is perhaps even more fundamental in the formation of the European mind than any other thinker in European history, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Why? Heraclitus, like Parmenides, postulated a model of nature and the universe which created the foundation for all other speculation on physics and metaphysics. The ideas that the universe is in constant change and that there is an underlying order or reason to this change—the
  10. Pythagorus
    Pythagoras’ religious and scientific views were, in his opinion, inseparably interconnected. Religiously, Pythagoras was a believer of metempsychosis. He believed in transmigration, or the reincarnation of the soul again and again into the bodies of humans, animals, or vegetables until it became immortal. His ideas of reincarnation were influenced by ancient Greek religion.Heraclides Ponticus reports the story that Pythagoras claimed that he had lived four lives that he could remember in detail
  11. Explain how Plato's Allegory of the Cave ties into his Metaphysics

    • When the person that is chained finally escapes from the cave and becomes enlightened he realizes that he must go back and try to help the others. This responsibility focuses on the correct use of wisdom from an ethical standpoint.
    • In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.
    • Likewise, we may acquire concepts by our perceptual experience of physical objects. But we would be mistaken if we thought that the concepts that we grasp were on the same level as the things we perceive.
  12. Explain Plato's Two World Metaphysics
    • An interesting development of Plato's dualism is the idea that there are different degrees of reality.
    • In the physical world physical objects are more real than say images of physical objects such as shadows.
    • Plato believed that these two different realms of existence or reality could be further divided.
    • The world of Forms:
    • Higher Forms-here we find the Ethical Forms
    • Lower Forms-Mathematical Forms
    • The World of Senses
    • Physical Object-Ordinary objects we percieve
    • Images-Shadows, reflections and pictures
  13. Theism
    I believe God exists
  14. Atheism
    I believe God does not exists
  15. Agnosticism/Skeptism
    I do not believe God does exists, AND, I do not believe God doesn't exist.
  16. Perfect Being Theology
    • 1. Omnipotent-Unlimited Authority
    • 2.Omniscient-having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
    • 3.Omnibenvolent-Good

    "God is that [being] in which nothing greater can be concieved." -Anselm
  17. Problem of Evil
    If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.Evil exists.If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.Therefore, God doesn't exist.
  18. Theodicy
    Theodicy deals with the problem of evil. Usually it is an attempt to show that it is possible to affirm the omnipotence of God, the love of God, and the reality of evil without contradiction. The skeptic's argument generally is that given the reality of evil, we must sacrifice either the power (omnipotence) or the love (goodness) of God. A dilemma arises. If we give up the omnipotence of God, it appears that God cannot prevent or overcome evil. If we forego the goodness of God, it seems that God will not prevent or overcome evil. Most theodicies attempt to show that this dilemma is only apparent and that it is possible to affirm both that God is all-powerful and perfectly loving, despite the presence of real evil in the world.
  19. Augustinian Theodicy
    Augustine, in ‘Confessions,’ states the problem very clearly: “Either God is not able to abolish evil or not willing; if he is not able then he is not all-powerful; if he is not willing then he is not all-good.”
  20. What conditions had to be met for one to have the right to “Will to Believe” according to William James?
    • The belief must be a living/dead option
    • The belief must be a forced or avoidable option
    • The belief must be a momentous or trivial option
  21. W.K. Clifford
    • "That element of which, as we have seen, even the simplest feeling is a complex, I shall call Mind-stuff. A moving molecule of inorganic matter does not possess mind or consciousness ; but it possesses a small piece of mind-stuff. When molecules are so combined together as to form the film on the under side of a jelly-fish, the elements of mind-stuff which go along with them are so combined as to form the faint beginnings of Sentience. When the molecules are so combined as to form the brain and nervous system of a vertebrate, the corresponding elements of mind-stuff are so combined as to form some kind of consciousness ; that is to say, changes in the complex which take place at the same time get so linked together that the repetition of one implies the repetition of the other. When matter takes the complex form of a living human brain, the corresponding mind-stuff takes the form of a human consciousness, having intelligence and volition."
    • The other phrase, "tribal self," gives the key to Clifford's ethical view, which explains conscience and the moral law by the development in each individual of a "self," which prescribes the conduct conducive to the welfare of the "tribe." Much of Clifford's contemporary prominence was due to his attitude toward religion. Animated by an intense love of his conception of truth and devotion to public duty, he waged war on such ecclesiastical systems as seemed to him to favour obscurantism, and to put the claims of sect above those of human society. The alarm was greater, as theology was still unreconciled with Darwinism; and Clifford was regarded as a dangerous champion of the antispiritual tendencies then imputed to modern science.
  22. Tertullian
    A pagan until middle life, he had shared the pagan prejudices against Christianity, and had indulged like others in shameful pleasures. His conversion was not later than the year 197, and may have been earlier. He embraced the Faith with all the ardour of his impetuous nature. He became a priest, no doubt of the Church ofCarthage. Monceaux, followed by d'Ales, considers that his earlier writings were composed while he was yet a layman, and if this be so, then his ordination was about 200. His extant writings range in date from the apologetics of 197 to the attack on a bishop who is probably Pope Callistus (after 218). It was after the year 206 that he joined the Montanistsect, and he seems to have definitively separated from the Church about 211 (Harnack) or 213 (Monceaux). After writing more virulently against the Church than even against heathen and persecutors, he separated from theMontanists and founded a sect of his own. The remnant of the Tertullianists was reconciled to the Church by St. Augustine. A number of the works of Tertullian are on special points of belief or discipline. According to St. Jerome he lived to extreme old age.
  23. Ontological Arguments
    Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world—e.g., from reason alone. In other words, ontological arguments are arguments from nothing but analytic, a priori and necessary premises to the conclusion that God exists.
  24. Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. This article focuses on his metaphysics and epistemology in one of his most important works, The Critique of Pure Reason. A large part of Kant’s work addresses the question “What can we know?” The answer, if it can be stated simply, is that our knowledge is constrained to mathematics and the science of the natural, empirical world. It is impossible, Kant argues, to extend knowledge to the supersensible realm of speculative metaphysics. The reason that knowledge has these constraints, Kant argues, is that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind’s access only to the empirical realm of space and time.
  25. Thomas Aquinas
    Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason, calling into question the modus vivendi that had obtained for centuries. This crisis flared up just as universities were being founded. Thomas, after early studies at Montecassino, moved on to the University of Naples, where he met members of the new Dominican Order. It was at Naples too that Thomas had his first extended contact with the new learning. When he joined the Dominican Order he went north to study with Albertus Magnus, author of a paraphrase of the Aristotelian corpus. Thomas completed his studies at the University of Paris, which had been formed out of the monastic schools on the Left Bank and the cathedral school at Notre Dame. In two stints as a regent master Thomas defended the mendicant orders and, of greater historical importance, countered both the Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle and the Franciscan tendency to reject Greek philosophy. The result was a new modus vivendi between faith and philosophy which survived until the rise of the new physics. The Catholic Church has over the centuries regularly and consistently reaffirmed the central importance of Thomas's work for understanding its teachings concerning the Christian revelation, and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource which is now receiving increased recognition. The following account concentrates on Thomas the philosopher.
  26. Teleological Arguments
    Some phenomena within nature exhibit such exquisiteness of structure, function or interconnectedness that many people have found it natural—if not inescapable—to see a deliberative and directive mind behind those phenomena. The mind in question, being prior to nature itself, is typically taken to be supernatural. Philosophically inclined thinkers have both historically and at present labored to shape the relevant intuition into a more formal, logically rigorous inference. The resultant theistic arguments, in their various logical forms, share a focus on plan, purpose, intention and design, and are thus classified as teleological arguments (or, frequently, as arguments from or to design).
  27. William Rowe
    • 1. There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.
    • 2. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse.
    • 3. There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being.
  28. David Hume
    The most important philosopher ever to write in English, David Hume (1711-1776) — the last of the great triumvirate of “British empiricists” — was also well-known in his own time as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, Hume's major philosophical works — A Treatise of Human Nature(1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), as well as the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) — remain widely and deeply influential. Although many of Hume's contemporaries denounced his writings as works of scepticism and atheism, his influence is evident in the moral philosophy and economic writings of his close friend Adam Smith. Hume also awakened Immanuel Kant from his “dogmatic slumbers” and “caused the scales to fall” from Jeremy Bentham's eyes. Charles Darwin counted Hume as a central influence, as did “Darwin's bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley. The diverse directions in which these writers took what they gleaned from reading Hume reflect not only the richness of their sources but also the wide range of his empiricism. Today, philosophers recognize Hume as a precursor of contemporary cognitive science, as well as one of the most thoroughgoing exponents of philosophical naturalism.
  29. William Paley
    Paley advances the teleological argument from design founded on the unity and adaptability of created things. This argument was based on rationalistic grounds; yet did not ultimately prove conclusive to rationalists themselves, and has not been able to survive criticism. His analogical method has run its course; the idea of a complex, perfected organism dropping suddenly amidst foreign surroundings, as illustrated by the finding of a watch, was the dogmatic externalism the rebound from which gave birth to the subsequent hypotheses of natural selection and adaptation to environment and the theory of evolution as a whole. In the Evidences, Paley proceeds along historical lines to affirm the truth of Christianity by two propositions; namely, that “there is clear proof that the apostles and their successors underwent the greatest hardships rather than give up the Gospel and cease to obey its precepts” and that “other miracles than those of the Gospel are not satisfactorily attested.” To these he appends “auxiliary” arguments drawn from the “morality of the Gospel,” “originality of Christ’s character,” and others. The argument is one- sided on account of its disregard of the field of Christian consciousness.
  30. Pascal's Wager
    Wagering for God superdominates wagering against God: the worst outcome associated with wagering for God (status quo) is at least as good as the best outcome associated with wagering against God (status quo); and if God exists, the result of wagering for God is strictly better that the result of wagering against God. (The fact that the result is much better does not matter yet.) Pascal draws the conclusion at this point that rationality requires you to wager for God.Without any assumption about your probability assignment to God's existence, the argument is invalid. Rationality does not require you to wager for God if you assign probability 0 to God existing. And Pascal does not explicitly rule this possibility out until a later passage, when he assumes that you assign positive probability to God's existence; yet this argument is presented as if it is self-contained. His claim that “[r]eason can decide nothing here” may suggest that Pascal regards this as a decision under uncertainty, which is to assume that you do not assign probability at all to God's existence. If that is a further premise, then the argument is valid; but that premise contradicts his subsequent assumption that you assign positive probability. See McClennen for a reading of this argument as a decision under uncertainty.
  31. John Hick
    Hick supports the view of religious pluralism—the view that all religions have insight and truth into what is real, and no one religion is exclusively absolute.Different religions are culturally based.Hick emphasizes the epistemological aspects of faith over the act of will. Faith, to Hick, is a cognitive interpretation of experience rather than leap of volition.Much of Hick's interest in philosophy of religion is withtheodicy—the justification of the nature of God with the presence of moral and natural evil in the world.