phil220 paper.docx - Describe Platos philosophical analysis...

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Describe Plato’s philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge, what role the theory of forms plays in it, and explain what conclusions Plato drew for the methodology of natural sciences such as astronomy. Illustrate your account with references from Timaeus. In what way do the views of Aristotle about the nature of change represent a departure from Plato? Explain specifically the role Aristotle’s conception of motion plays in his overall understanding of the global features of the physical universe. 1. Intro: Say what you're going to do in the paper (~100 words) a. 2. Plato’s view of Knowledge (500-600 words) a. Describe Plato’s philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge i. Rationalist ii. Knowledge cannot come from observations and empirical ways iii. Even if what’s observed is irregularity, i.e. seasons can be observed through time, does not amount to knowledge. iv. Under the condition that some reality can be justified through some kind of mathematical justification then it can become Knowledge v. Observational data, evidence acquired from experience 1. It is possible to discern some regular mathematical structure as underlying the appearances 2. To gain true knowledge we need to discover that structure and concentrate on a systematic study of its properties 3. There is observable relationships in the regularities 4. Irregularity is too great/complex for us to discern any mathematical structure, our inability to observe mathematical structures leaves us only able to have a subjective idea, we can conclude nothing, it remains as observational data. It tells us how things seem to us not in position to make factual points. vi. Plato’s anti-empirical value is like the metaphor of people chained to the wall vii. We are habituated to deal with the shadows like the prisoners viii. Our beliefs are generalized by things we do nut fully understand ix. Justified true beliefs x. Why something cannot be the case b. What role does the theory of forms play in it i. Arithmetic, logic 3. Plato’s view of Science (300-400 words) a. Explain what conclusions Plato drew for the methodology of natural sciences such as astronomy i. It is no use in observing ii. Mathematically determined ideals play a bigger role in the studying astronomy iii. Movement of sphere of the fixed stars, shared by all heavenly bodies
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