Unit 4 - Metaphysics

Unit 4 Metaphysics - Unit 4 Metaphysics Lecture Plato and Aristotle E Clark April 5 2011 1 Preamble a Methodology b Lowe Metaphysics 2 Metaphysics

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Unit 4 – Metaphysics – Lecture: Plato and Aristotle – E Clark April 5, 2011 1. Preamble a. Methodology b. Lowe Metaphysics 2. Metaphysics: the study of reality a. Can be general: what it is to exist, question of universals, modality, notions such as persistence, dependence and part/whole involved in the structure of reality b. Can be specific: E.g., the nature of time, the nature of mind, etc. 3. Ontology: study of what there is – Greek: ontos is the past participle translated ‘being’ a. Classification - what basic sorts of things exist: E.g., individuals such as substances and events; universals such as properties and relations; particularized attributes such as the wisdom of Socrates; numbers, etc. Categories b. Basic conception of how different ontological kinds relate – constituent versus relational ontology. c. Local ontologies – E.g., is cause and effect to be understood in terms of events or changes in substances ? d. The issue of ontological reduction: saying that one thing is nothing but another. E.g., minds are nothing but functions of neurological networks, colors are nothing but electromagnetic waves Plato’s metaphysics: Being and the Forms 4. Typical taxonomy of senses of ‘to be’ or ‘is’ a. Is of existence: ‘Socrates is’ b. Is of identity: ‘Mohammed Ali is Cassius Clay’ c. Is of predication: ‘Socrates is wise’ d. Is of inclusion: ‘The human being is an animal’ (cf. Aristotle) 5. Plato might have given us another sense, one that is not existential. 1 a. In English to get an adverb out of ‘is’ we switch to the word ‘real,’ i.e, ‘really’; whereas in Greek, the verb ‘is’ ( esti ) and its noun form ‘being’ ( ousia ) have an adverb form ( ont ô s ). 1 See Gregory Vlastos, “A Metaphysical Paradox” and “Degrees of Reality in Plato” in Platonic Studies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973).
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Unit 3 - Metaphysics b. Many philosophers have ether overlooked or disregarded what seems to me to be an important distinction between two senses of ‘being’ (this is the participle – the Greek is on ). c.
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course PHIL 110 taught by Professor Errinclark during the Spring '11 term at MO St. Louis.

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Unit 4 Metaphysics - Unit 4 Metaphysics Lecture Plato and Aristotle E Clark April 5 2011 1 Preamble a Methodology b Lowe Metaphysics 2 Metaphysics

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