Philosophy Study Guide II

Philosophy Study Guide II - 1. i. Socratic ignorance is to...

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1. i. Socratic ignorance is to understand that there are a lot of things you don’t know, to understand why there are a lot of things you don’t know, and understand that because there are so many things you don’t know that you should seek to learn about them. ii. The Oracle at Delphi declared that “No one is wiser than Socrates.” Socrates found this statement mind-boggling because he knew that there was a great deal he did not know about. Therefore, he set out to question wise men (judges, poets, priests, etc.) to try and understand this declaration made by the oracle. iii. Upon questioning these so-called wise men, Socrates discovered that they too were not as wise as they were made out to be. It was after these questionings that Socrates understood the Oracle’s declaration: Socrates was wise because he knew he was ignorant. iv. Socrates went about talking to the wise men of Athens, questioning them about their beliefs and what they knew, and subsequently asking more questions and pointing out to them that they were wrong or they really didn’t know anything. For example, he would have asked a judge what justice is, and Socrates would keep pushing until finally the judge made it evident that he really had no defined belief or idea of what justice was. v. Socrates believed that he should accept his death sentence for three reasons. First, he believed that escaping would be contributing to destroying the state with the rationale that the state cannot exist if people do not obey its laws. Rachels said that this is a faulty argument because it is unrealistic to think that Socrates singular act of disobedience would have the harmful effects he believed it would (Athens being “turned upside down”). Socrates’ second reason is an analogy, that is, that people are obligated to obey their parents because they make their lives possible, just as the state does. Rachels deems this argument unsound because as adults, people are not obligated to obey their parents. The third reason Socrates believed he should stay was the argument from the social contract. He felt that since he reaped the benefits of Athenian citizenship, he also had an obligation to obey its laws. Rachels maintains that this is a faulty argument because the idea of the social contract is a fictitious one, and that the only exception to its terms are immigrants; everyone else is born into the system and don’t enter the agreement by arrangement. 2. i. The first version of the cosmological argument for God’s existence states that every event or movement must have a cause. However, this chain of causes for events extending backward cannot go on indefinitely. Therefore, the first cause must be God. The second version of the cosmological argument states that since the universe exists,
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Philosophy Study Guide II - 1. i. Socratic ignorance is to...

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