F07PHIL100_Handout1207 - Good Luck on your exam! PHIL 100,...

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Good Luck on your exam! 1 PHIL 100, Friday Discussion Section December 7 th , 2007 TA : Sungwon Woo Office : Skinner Bldg 1110D Email: sungwonwoo@hotmail.com Office hours: Tuesdays 12:00 – 1:00 pm and 4:00 – 5:00 pm, or by appointment <Descartes> question: (3)Explain and critically discuss the philosophical views of Descartes. Be sure to include within your discussion the following concepts: rationalism ; innate ideas ; the method of doubt ; the dream argument; the differing persons and perspectives argument; the malignant deity argument; cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am); and his two proofs that God exists . (epistemological rationalism: The view that much of human knowledge is innate . Descartes.) (empiricism : The view that all knowledge is based upon experience, there is no innate knowledge . Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.) 1) Cartesian proof for God The Causal Proof: P1. I have an idea of God. P2. This idea must have a cause. P3. There cannot be less reality in the cause of something than in that something. P4. If my idea of God was caused by anything other than God, then that cause would be a lesser reality than its effect. Therefore, God would have to be the cause of my idea of God, and so he would have to exist. The Ontological Proof P1. My idea of God is that he is perfect. P2. To deny his existence is to deny his perfection, which is contradictory. Therefore, God exists. Descartes’ causal proof turns on premise P3. This is a dubitable premise since a nuclear device does not obviously possess more reality than the explosion it could cause. Also, P4 makes no more sense than the claim that my idea of a 2000 kg automobile must weigh 2000 kg. Lastly, the theological concept of God as perfect: omnipotent, omniscient, and infinitely benevolent is subject to much controversy – the problem of evil, the paradox concerning omnipotence, and so on. Descartes’ ontological proof is invalid because ordinary existence is not a quality or property—a fact utilized and incorporated into modern logic. Note that God’s existence is cannot be treated as a necessary property because that would assume what we are trying to prove – God’s existence. 2) Cartesian Circle A major problem with Descartes’ reasoning is called the Cartesian Circle . This is the problem that, even if we assume that Descartes’ proofs of God were perfectly valid, still they depend on the truth of their premises and inferences from premises to conclusions. However, Descartes only knows for certain that he exists. Thus, he cannot trust his knowledge of the premises and ability to make the inferences in
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at Maryland.

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F07PHIL100_Handout1207 - Good Luck on your exam! PHIL 100,...

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