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Intro to Philosophy - Slides 01

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Introduction to
Philosophy
PREFATORY MATERIAL
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Let’s do some philosophy first
You need the following:
◦Paper to write on
◦Something to write with
Answer this question: Who are you?
We have 2 minutes.
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First Day Materials
You should have been given the following:
◦Syllabus summary
◦Philosophy Starting Questions – homework
◦Plato’s Apology
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Syllabus: Course Information
Slides, emails, office hours, Canvas
Attendance, Drops & Participation: I only call roll one time –translation: “It pays to be on time.”
Contact Information
◦ Office Location: ACA1-322E –west end near stairs
◦ Office Hours: M-Th 7-7:45am & 12:15-3:15pm & T/Th 7-7:45am
◦ Email: [email protected]
Scholastic Dishonesty
Academic Support
Electronic Devices in Classroom
◦ Cell phones –silence them and put them away.
◦ No Recording of lectures
Always read the footnotes:
◦ “The instructor of this course reserves the option of making changes to the syllabus with proper
notice to the students.”
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Syllabus: Grades
Grade Break Down
A 90%-
Grade Make Up
Excellent
Final Exam 20% B 80-89%
Above Avg
Exam Avg
45% C 70-79%
Quizzes
Average
15%
D 60-69% Marginal Participation 20% F 0-59% Failure
Excellent superior, exceptional, superlative grasp of the course material. Average
ordinary,
passable, sufficient grasp of the course material.
Failure
Omission or lack of satisfactory performance of action or task, inadequate grasp of the course
material.
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Syllabus Materials
Exams
Quizzes:
Participation – “necessary & sufficient conditions”
◦ You must not be marked absent & You must participate Reading
Less
on
Topic
Assignments
Required Reading
1
Introduction to Philosophy and Course
2
What is philosophy? & Philosophy in
Practice
3
What is Truth?
253-266
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Introduction to Argument & Logic
23-40
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Exam #1
6-Q’s Due
Plato’s Apology xxiiixxv, 1-23
the Schedule
Questions?
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What is Philosophy?
I can’t do philosophy!
“Meek young men grew up in libraries, believing it their duties to accept the
views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given; forgetful that Cicero,
Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these
books.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Presidential Address for Phi Beta
Kappa Society, Cambridge, Aug 31, 1837
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What is Philosophy?
“I only wish that philosophy might come before our eyes in all her unity, just as the whole expanse
of the firmament is spread out for us to gaze upon! It would be a sight closely resembling that of
the firmament. For then surely philosophy would ravish all mortals with love for her, we should
abandon all those things which, in our ignorance of what is great, we believe to be great.”Seneca
(circa 3BC – 65AD)
Bill:
“The only true knowledge is knowing that you know
nothing.”
Ted: “Dude – That’s US!”
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure ©1989
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What is Philosophy?
“Philosophy” – ‘Philo” (love) & ‘Sophia’ (wisdom) i.e., The
“love of Wisdom”
Pythagoras , c 500BC “I am not wise but I love wisdom”
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“Make it thy business to know thyself, which is Socrates in Plato’s Apology the most
difficult lesson in the world.” Cervantes
Philosophy is nothing lessthan taking a carefully critical & questioning
view of the world.
Philosophy is nothing morethan thinking hard about the universe.
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What is Philosophy?
Philosophy as an Activity
◦ Philosophical Analysis: Philosophers analyze ideas. “We take them apart and then try to put them
back together, to understand how they work. Like auto mechanics, we conceptual grease monkeys
often aim to adjust and repair rough-running ideas” (Thomas V. Morris, Philosophy for Dummies,
45).
◦ Philosophy includes the “activities of clarifying concepts and analyzing and constructing arguments
and theories as possible answers to [the] perennial questions” of life (Louis Pojman, Introduction to
Philosophy, 3rd ed., 1).
Philosophy as the Love of Wisdom
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What is Philosophy?
Skills for Philosophy
1.
Analysis 2.
Assessment
◦
◦
Is it coherent?
Is it complete? ◦
Is it correct?
3. Argument
Wisdom Rules: “Wisdom is first and foremost simply insight about living. Insight
itself is a sort of perceptiveness or perspicacity of judgment that penetrates
beneath appearances and latches onto realities” (Morris, 35).
Wisdom is “knowledge rightly applied.” (Sadler)
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Philosophical Questions
What Is the Good?
Are We Ever Really Free?
What is a Person?
What’s the Deal with Death?
Is There a God?
What Is the Meaning of Life?
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Can We Know Anything at All?
Belief, Truth, and Knowledge
◦Our Beliefs about Belief.
◦Our Beliefs are our map of reality (Morris, 41).
◦Beliefs are “truth claims” or claims about the way the world is.
◦The Importance of Belief.
◦What we do can be reduced to our beliefs: Beliefs + Desires =
Actions.
◦False Beliefs.
◦The Ideal of Knowledge
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What is Truth?
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Basic Notions to Understanding Truth
Subject vs Object – the knower/perceiver vs the known/perceived.
Mediation of information
Relativism: there is no single correct view of reality, no single truth –
in opposition to realists & absolutists.
a priori knowledge – something that is known prior to, or without,
necessary experience. a posteriori knowledge – something known
as a result of experience.
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Basic Notions (continued)
Necessary truths are those truths that lie beyond the range of all possible doubt
and refutation. Necessary truths are considered to be a priori truths, which
means that they are independent of experience. "2 + 2 = 4" cannot be justified
by any possible experience.
Contingent truth is a belief that is true but might not have been true. Contingent
truths are based upon experience and necessary truths are not. Contingent truths
are based on empirical knowledge.
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Basic Notions (continued)
Analytic Truth – Demonstrably true by virtue of the logical form or the
meanings of the component words. This is the compliment to:
Synthetic Truth – a noncontradictory proposition in which the predicate is not
entailed by the subject (I. Kant: it “adds an idea to the subject which is not
already contained in it.”)
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The Work of Truth
Access to Truth
1. Senses
2. Reason
3. Testimony – Authority
Tests for Truth – with abbreviated definitions
1. Correspondence – agreement between a proposition and an
actual state-of-affairs.
2. Coherence – interconnectedness of a proposition with a
specified system of propositions.
3. Pragmatic – usefulness of a proposition in achieving certain
intellectual goals.
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Hume’s Fork
A priori
A posteriori
Analytic
Synthetic
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Dividing Up Philosophy
Topical Division of Philosophy
1.
2.
3.
4.
Metaphysics – What is Real?
Epistemology – What is Reasonable?
Ethics – What is Good?
Aesthetics – What is Beauty?
Chronological Division of Philosophy
1.
2.
3.
4.
Ancients – Ontology
Medievals – Theology
Moderns – Epistemology
Post-Moderns – Language
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A Brief Look at 3 Pre-Socratics
Thales– (624 – 546BC). Water is primary matter of reality. Everything
has a source and that source is a solitary entity.
Anaximander – (610 – 546BC). Student of Thales. An “indefinite”
(apeiron) element is the basic, and unknowable, stuff of matter.
Opposites battle each other for supremacy and the arbiter is Time.
Anaximenes – (585 – 528BC). Student of Anaximander. Air is
primary matter of reality. Thickened air is water and thickened
water is earth.
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Thales
eacher
Anaximander
Student
Anaximenes
Grand-Student
General Pattern of History
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Introduction
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Introductory Materials
For the Student: Doing Philosophy
◦ “Your attempt to develop your own thoughts . . . Is central to any study of philosophy”
(xix).
◦ Answer the following Qs as you read the textbook:
◦ Do I agree with what I am reading?
◦ Why / Why not?
◦ Does my ‘why’ answer makes as much sense as the textbook’s answer?
◦ Take note of terms & arguments I do not know – look them up & write them down. ◦
Answer the Qs at the end of each subsection and Chapter in writing.
Writing Philosophy
The History of Philosophy
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Textbook Reading
Socrates
◦Aristophanes, from The Clouds
◦Plato, from The Apology
◦Plato, from The Crito
◦Plato, from The Phaedo
◦Plato, from The Republic
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We will start
here.
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The Apology
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Introduction
Term: Apology comes from apologia Greek (α̉πολογία)
which means “speech before.”
Literary irony: Socrates is on trial for, in large part, putting
Athens on trial for the city’s ‘corrupting the youth’ and
‘impiety.’
◦ What is the true purpose of education? To transmit social mores
intact or to examine and reevaluate social norms? Why do
upholders of custom view thinking as a threat?
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Introduction (continued)
Two sets of accusers
◦ Former – negative public opinion
◦ Materialist – natural scientist like Anaxagoras.
◦ Sophist – “Making the weaker argument the stronger.” They were not Athenians.
◦ Corrupter – Several well known young men, taught by Socrates, joined the Spartans against
Athens.
◦ Alcibiades
◦ Critias
◦ Latter – 3 contemporaries
◦ Meletus – Accuser on behalf of the poets
◦ Anytus – Accuser on behalf of the craftsmen & politicians
◦ Lycon – Accuser on behalf of the orators
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Socratic Argument - Intro
Elenchus - Socrates’ method of dialectical argument. It is the
‘testing’ or ‘refutation’ through questioning of definitions; from
Greek for ‘putting to the test’ or ‘refutation.’
1.Locate some “expert.”
2.Pose a question to them (usually outside their field of expertise).
3.Point out where they are wrong.
Exampled in his trial when he cross-examines Meletus, one of his
accusers (Plato, Apology 24d– 27e).
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Socratic Argument – Method
adapted from Gordon L. Ziniewicz
1. Begin with the pretense of knowledge – I assume that I
rightly know X.
2. By question & answer “error” is discovered
(demonstrated?). – 1st stage of wisdom: realizing our
own failure.
3. Continue question & answer in search of “truth”. – 2nd stage
of wisdom: motivated searching for truth.
4. Agreement (not necessarily full realized) – 3rd stage of
wisdom: knowledge.
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Moral Prerequisites
o Detachment from worldly goods (29d-e & 36b-e) o Focused
devotion to truth & wisdom (41d-e) o Courage to stand up to the
“common wisdom” of the day
(28b-31c) o Humility (23b) o
Commitment (37e-38a)
Calling &
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The Charges
Impiety
◦ “not believing in the gods”
◦ “teaching contrary to the gods” Corrupting the youth
◦ He worries himself about “things in the sky and things below the earth” –
natural science.
◦ “making the worse the stronger argument” – sophism.
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Response to Public Opinion Charges
1. Materialist – Socrates was a Humanist – concerned about
ethics & politics.
2. Sophist / Teacher – Socrates does not speak with eloquence
nor did he receive payment. Also, he denies being an
“expert” and does not debate facts but their meaning.
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Refutation to First Charge
24e
“Who improves our young men?” - the laws
“who has knowledge of the laws to begin with?” - the jurymen
“All of them or some of them?” - all of them
25b
“All the Athenians, it seems, make the young into fine young men, except me, and I alone corrupt them. Is that
what you mean?” - that is most definitely what I mean
25c-d “Is it better for a man to live among good or wicked fellow – citizens? . . . Do not the wicked do some harm to those
who are ever closest to them, whereas the good people benefit them?” - Certainly “Do you accuse me here of
corrupting the young and making them worse deliberately or unwillingly?” Deliberately
26a
“Either I do not corrupt the young or I do so unwillingly, and you are lying in either case. Now if I corrupt
them unwillingly, the law does not require you to bring people to court for such unwilling wrong-doings, but to get
hold of them privately, to instruct them and exhort them; for clearly, if I learn better, I shall cease to do what I am
doing unwillingly.”
“And so, gentlemen of the jury, what I said is clearly true: Meletus has never been at all concerned with these
matters.”
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Refutation to Second Charge
26c “Nonetheless, tell us Meletus, how you say that I corrupt the young; or is it obvious from your
disposition that it is by teaching them not to believe in the gods in whom the city believes but
in other new divinities? Is this not what you mean when you say I corrupt them?” - That is
most certainly what I do say
“I cannot be sure whether you mean that I teach the belief that there are some gods - and
therefore I myself believe that there are gods and am not altogether an atheist, nor am I
guilty of that- not, however , the gods in whom the city believes, but others, and that is the
charge against me, that they are others.” That is what I mean, that you do not believe in the
gods at all.
26e Meletus claims that Socrates thinks that the sun is stone and the moon earth, as if he were
Anaxagoras. “Is that, by Zeus, what you think of me, Meletus, that
I do not believe that there are any gods?” - This is what I say
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Refutation to Second Charge (continued)
27a “You cannot be believed, Meletus, even, I think, by yourself. . . . I think he contradicts
himself in the in the affidavit, as if he had said: ‘Socrates is guilty of not believing in
gods but believing in gods,’ and surely that is part of a jester!”
27c “Does a man, Meletus, believe in human affairs who does not believe in human beings?
[...] Does any man who does not believe in horses believe in equine affairs? Or in flute
music but not in flute-players? . . . . Does any man believe in divine activities who does
not believe in divinities?” - No
27d “But if I believe in divine activities I must quite inevitably believe in divine beings. Is this
not so?” - Of course
“Then since I do believe in divine beings, as you admit, this is what I mean when I say
you speak in riddles and in jest, as you state that I do not believe in gods and then again
that I do, since I believe in divine beings.”
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Highlights from The Apology
What do you think?
 No man commits evil intentionally…he is just uninformed as to the Good (25e)
 Make your first and chief concern not for your bodies or for your possessions,
but for the highest welfare of your souls (30b)
 An evil man can’t hurt a good man (30d)
 An unexamined life is not worth living (38a)
 Nothing can harm a good man either in life or after death and his fortunes are
not a matter of indifference to the gods (41d)
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Textbook Reading
Socrates
Aristophanes, from The Clouds
Plato, from The Apology – already covered.
Plato, from The Crito
Plato, from The Phaedo
Plato, from The Republic
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Textbook Reading
•What is Philosophy? “Philosophy is first and foremost a
discipline that teaches us how to articulate, hold, and
defend beliefs that, perhaps, we have always held, but
without having spelled them out and argued for them”
(10).
◦ Plato, from The Apology – the seeking of wisdom
◦ Karl Jaspers, from “The ‘Axial Period’.” (around 500
BCE) ◦ Lao-zi, from Tao Te Ching
A Modern Approach to Philosophy
◦ René Descartes, from Discourse on Method
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Introduction
LOGIC & ARGUMENTATION
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A Brief Introduction to Logic
Deductive Arguments Inductive
Arguments
Argument by Analogy
Necessary & Sufficient Conditions, etc.
Reductio ad Absurdum
The Worst Kinds of Fallacies
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Deep Thoughts
The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.
Albert Camus
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
without accepting it.
Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
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Argumentation – the Rule
Any opinion for which one can give reasons is admissible in
philosophy, but once a claim has been supported by an
argument, subsequent criticism must then engage the
argument.
From Jay Rosenberg, The Practice of Philosophy, 3rd ed. (1996)
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What is an Argument?
The process of reasoning from one claim to another. An argument
may, but need not, be directed against an explicit alternative (37).
Components – according to Solomon:
◦ Logic: The study of the rules of valid inference and "rational argument." In general, a
sense of order.
◦ Rhetoric: The persuasive use of language to convince other people to accept your
beliefs.
Components – according to Sadler
◦ Form: the structure, approach, or method of inference employed.
◦ Content: the ‘facts’, opinions, assertions, etc.
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Engaging the Argument
FORM
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Argument – Basics: Terms
1. Argument – a sequence of assertions, or statements to back up a
viewpoint
2. Premise – assertion, assumed to be true, made to support/further an
argument.
3. Valid – (deductively valid) an argument that follows established truth
preserving rules.
4. Sound – A deductive argument that is valid and has only true
premises.
5. Fallacy – an error of reasoning.
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Argument – Basics: Forms of Argument
Formal
◦ Deductive – A process of reasoning from one principle to another by means of accepted rules of inference. In a
deductive argument, a conclusion follows necessarily from the premises, and so if you are certain of the
premises, you can be certain of the conclusion, too.
◦ Inductive – A process of reasoning in which the characteristics of an entire class or set of things is inferred on the
basis of an acquaintance with some of its members. In an inductive argument, although the conclusion is
supported by the premises, it does not follow necessarily from the premises and its truth is not guaranteed by
them.
◦
Abductive – An argument that makes an appeal by inference to the best explanation
Informal
◦
◦
Arguments from example
Arguments from analogy
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Forms of Argument: Deduction
Deductive:
◦ A process of reasoning from one principle to another by means
of accepted rules of inference. This form of reasoning draws a
single conclusion is drawn from a set of premises.
◦ Example:
◦ All men are mortal
◦ Socrates is a man
◦ Therefore, Socrates is mortal
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Test for Invalidity – part one
If P then Q
If it rains then my car is wet
P
It rains
Therefore, Q
Therefore, my car is wet
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Test for Invalidity – part two
If P then Q
Q
Therefore, P
If it rains then my car is wet
My car is wet
Therefore, it rained
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Forms of argument: Induction
An argument where the premises point out several
cases of some pattern, and the conclusion states that
this pattern will hold in general. Example:
◦ We have seen 1000 swans, and all of them have been white
◦ Therefore, all swans are white
General problems with induction:
◦ Too small a sample set to formulate a reasonable conclusion.
◦ Conclusion is stronger than the premises (evidence) allow.
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Forms of Argument: Abductive
Abductive (or Hypothetico-Deductive) (i.e., Sherlock Holmes)
◦ An argument that makes an appeal by inference to the best explanation.
◦ points out a certain fact,
◦ points out that if a certain hypothesis were true, we would get this fact, and so ◦ concludes that
this hypothesis is indeed true.
◦ Example:
◦ These coins conduct electricity (fact)
◦ If these coins are made of gold (hypothesis), ◦ then they would
conduct electricity (prediction).
◦ Therefore, these coins are made of gold.
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Final thoughts
Argument from Analogy
◦ Strength of the argument rests in the genuine similarity between components of the
argument.
◦ No two (different) objects are completely alike; otherwise, they would be identical
objects.
Necessary & Sufficient Conditions
◦ Necessity: required (impossible to not be)
◦ Sufficient: guarantees ◦ Possibility: not
impossible
Reductio ad Absurdum
◦ Accept the argument, as such
◦ Demonstrate the absurd result(s) of accepting the argument.
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The Worst Kinds of Fallacies
Mere Assertion
Distraction
Begging the Question
Pseudo-questions
Vicious Circle
Dubious authority
Irrelevancies
Slippery slope
Ad hominem
Attacking a straw man
Unclear / shifting conclusions
Emotional appeal
Changing meanings
Appeal to force
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