Unit 3 - Transition

Unit 3 - Transition - Unit 3 Transition Lecture: Does...

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Unit 3 – Transition – Lecture: Does Epistemology Kill Metaphysics? – E. Clark – March 29, 2011 Elements of this Transitional Unit I. Descartes’s answer to External World Skepticism – this engenders a major turn in philosophy from a focus on metaphysics to a focus on epistemology. II. Methodology of Metaphysics – the shift toward epistemology has a major impact on how metaphysics is viewed, and importantly for us, it serves to raise questions about how to do metaphysics. III. Philosophy of Kant – the shift in epistemology lead to the philosophy of Kant, who is regarded as destroying the prospects for metaphysics. IV. To understand Kant’s philosophy, we must understand a history of science from Plato to Newton. Metaphysics – the study of reality V. Metaphysics as “First Philosophy” - the study of being as being VI. Ontology – what exists, the basic categories of things that exist and how the categories are related. VII. Special Problems – specific features or themes (modality, existence, time, space), and specific issues (free will, the existence of God, mind-body problems) Major Themes in Philosophy from the pre-Socratics were themes in metaphysics VIII. First Principle – Is there something in reality that explains the rest of reality? Is this something we can know? IX. Permanence and Change – Are there substances or is reality just a series of events? Can we know about substances? X. Appearance and Reality – Does reality appear as it is? Can we be misled by appearances? Is there anything beyond appearances? How to do Metaphysics – the metaphilosophical issue of methodology XI. The Epistemological Approach to Metaphysics A. While the first two themes are themes in metaphysics, the third theme is the most overtly epistemological: it is about our knowledge of reality, and so it might seem that before we talk about what the nature of reality is , we might want to consider first what we can know about reality, if anything at all, and how it is that we do know. This approach to metaphysics grants the distinction in (III) above and uses the distinction as an approach to metaphysics. Let us call this the epistemological approach to metaphysics .
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Unit 3 – Transition – Lecture: Appearance, Reality & The Modern Philosophers – E. Clark – March 29, 2011 2 B. This approach, the approach of metaphysics through epistemology, transforms the first two questions, as seen above. In fact, there are three sorts of consequences of the epistemological approach. 1. Discovery or clarity on a positive methodology of metaphysics, i.e., how we are supposed to have metaphysical knowledge. 2. Skepticism about metaphysical knowledge, viz., we cannot know reality, but only appearances . 3.
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Unit 3 - Transition - Unit 3 Transition Lecture: Does...

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