Phil 201 - Phil 201 Monday, May 14, 2007 The philosophical...

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Phil 201 Monday, May 14, 2007 The philosophical questions today are the same there were hundreds of years ago. Three main groups of Philosophy Epistemology - The study of knowledge. What is knowledge? What criteria must be met for something to count as knowledge? Metaphysics – After the study of physics. Questions about the nature of being, Space/time, Existence, Minds/bodies, personal identity Axiology – The study of value. Ethics, aesthetics, beauty (draw Ven-diagram, the circles) Knowledge requires evidence, reliable evidence and relevant. Belief, justified, true Problem of Justification: Evidence requires justification but justification is further evidence. ….demand for evidence never stops. Foudationalism: There are certain beliefs that are self-evident. All other knowledge is inferred from self knowledge. Tuesday, May 15, 2007 Descartes – Frenchman – 17 th century (greatest philosopher?) Latin name is Cartesius – Cartesian is the adjective of his name. His meditations written in first person, as I and me, because he has access to his own thoughts. Founder of Foundationalism – there is a foundation for the house of beliefs and knowledge. Knowledge according to Descartes is that which cannot be doubted, requires absolute certainty. 1. Not trusting your senses under abnormal conditions --distant or small things --drunkness --optical illusions 2. Dream Argument (premise)---I know (a claim) only if I am certain that I am not dreaming. (premise)---I cannot be certain that I am not dreaming because there are no signs to distinguish dreams from waking life. (Conclusion) Therefore, I cannot know (a claim). Test: the guarantee that I’m awake (pinching, brain waves…) Reply: Could dream those tests Test: Dreams are incoherent, reality is coherent (flying and having two heads) Reply: Dreams are sometimes coherent and reality is sometimes incoherent Reply: We’re concerned about the present; memory can be faulty What does the dream argument call into doubt? ---particular sensory claims ---memories What doesn’t the dream argument call into doubt? ---existence ---color, texture, shape ---time and space
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---quantity: number and magnitude 3. …Memory Things are unclear with memory People think some dreams are real, because that is how they remember Empirical – based on observations or experiences A Priori truths vs a posteriori truths A priori- implied truth with knowledge- the evidence that makes them true are concepts themselves, not particular features of the world A posteriori- The evidence that makes these true is how the world happens to be Wednesday, May 16, 2007 Omnipotent - almighty, or all powerful Omniscient – all-knowing Omnipresent – present everywhere Omni benevolent – all good Rationalist – some knowledge is gotten independent of experiences Empiricist – all knowledge ultimately depends upon experience Begging the Question – presupposing as a premise what you’re trying to conclude 3. Deceptive God – Sets aside this worry because it may be inconsistent with God’s native that He deceives
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course PHIL 201 taught by Professor Peil during the Summer '07 term at Iowa State.

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Phil 201 - Phil 201 Monday, May 14, 2007 The philosophical...

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