PhilosophyExamI

PhilosophyExamI - Question No. 1: What was the project of...

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Question No. 1: What was the project of the Presocratic naturalists (use Herclitus’ view as an example)? How did Parmendies attack the naturalist project? Be sure to explain Parmenides’ argument in full, including the basis for his rejection of any claim of the form ‘it is not,’ as well as the differing views that Parmenides and the naturalists hold on the reliability of the senses. Evaluate the adequacy of Parmenides’ argument. Pre-Parmenidean thought: no explanation, random occurrences, no pattern; i.e., gods are chaotic and unreliable Pre-socratic naturalists: saw natural order, patterns of regularity (how they explained the universe). They sought to explain how events in the world came to be , how the changes occurred and brought about the natural order. Heraclitus: (ca. 540 B.C.)— 1. Fire : underlies everything that exists and is a constant state of motion, constantly changing; Heraclitus believed that fire was the underlying element that made the world constantly change, that it drove change. 2. Fire accounts for patterns as well, which we understand wisdom when we understand these changes (through our senses, combined with rational reflection). Reason + senses = knowledge Parmenides argues: there is no change, something that exists is unchangeable 1) if something comes to be, either is comes to be from what is or what is not 2) not from what is not- Parmenides rejects the claim from "is not" because it is automatically false because we are denying its existence, but we are still talking about it, therefore it exists 3) not from what is 4) nothing comes to be, cease to be, therefore a being is unchanged EVALUATION: While Parmenides is right, he does not account for the fact that objects do change; ref. the post Parmenideans. Question No. 2: What was the project of the Presocratic naturalists (use Herclitus’ view as an example)? How did Parmendies attack the naturalist project? Be sure to explain Parmenides’ argument in full, including the basis for his rejection of any claim of the form ‘it is not,’ as well as the differing views that Parmenides and the naturalists hold on the reliability of the senses. How did the naturalists after Parmenides try to disarm his argument? How does Democritus explain change in the natural world in light of Parmenides’ critique? Post-Parmenidean Naturalists undermined Parmenides’ rejection of change by differentiating between two usages of the verb “to be” 1. existential: substantial (that a thing comes into existence)—to which there is no change a. ex: “it is” wood and nails 2. predicative: qualitative (properties of that being)—which can readily change
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2008 for the course PHI 3311 taught by Professor Goggins during the Spring '08 term at Vanderbilt.

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PhilosophyExamI - Question No. 1: What was the project of...

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