poli sci 2 - Metaphysics 800-300 or 200 BCE So many views...

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Metaphysics 800-300 or 200 BCE So many views of life are being shattered. Self-conscious attempts to re-create the political home begins to emerge. The city-states of Greece begin to disintegrate into imperialism and war. In the midst of so much dramatic change, 2 questions come down upon some thinkers: 1) Is there anything permanent? 2) What is changeable? What is impermanent? The term “metaphysics” comes from the Greek, meta ta physika, meaning literally, “after the things of nature.” Thought that this term was a name given by Aristotle to texts that were about first philosophy. First philo: is there a fundamental reality? And if so, what is it? It is a question of what does the universe consist. What’s the nature of reality if indeed it has a fundamental nature? Branches of Metaphysics: 1) Epistemology - deals with how we know what we know. The most common way of knowing is through our senses (taste, touch, feel). All of our senses together comprise a branch of epistemology called Empiricism. i. -Empiricism : observe, categorize, and describe. ii. -Another way of knowing almost as universally accepted is to know through our reason, Rationalism . iii. - Intuition - we all know it exists, and without any rational or empirical basis. Not as reliable or acceptable as the 2 others, but for some thinkers, critical. iv. - Revelation is probably even more suspect that intuition. The form of knowing that many religions of the world embrace. We know because Yahweh, God, etc. has revealed it. Divine inspiration of one sort or another. 2) Ontology- the question of being; what is being? What does it mean to be? Can be applied to all forms of being, the being of a tree, rock, but usually we are most concerned w/ what does it mean for us to be? The nature of human being: Are we good? Are we evil? What are we? i. -questions often referred to as Philosophical Anthropology 3) Ethics - about good-ness. Set of guidelines will lead us to good behavior and then a good life. Essentially ethical questions. There are at least 3 different systems of ethical thought: i. - Deontological – creation of abstract rules or codes, such as the Golden Rule ii. - Utilitarian - has to do with the consequences of our actions. Do they cause us pain or pleasure? Do they cause society pain or
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pleasure? – evaluating ethics on the basis of our consequences. iii. -Virtue Ethics- looks at a whole range of factors, including our intentions as well as actions & consequences. Asks what kind of person should I be? Aristotelian ethics. Democritus a. an ancient philosopher who lived from 460-370 BCE; an extraordinary thinker. Asks the question: is there anything fundamental in nature? b. There must be something that is unchangeable. c.
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2010 for the course POLI POLI 1001 taught by Professor Eubanks during the Fall '07 term at LSU.

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poli sci 2 - Metaphysics 800-300 or 200 BCE So many views...

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