Philosophy Exam 1 Notes Contd.
• The Value of Philosophy – Bertrand Russell
o Studying Philosophy Alleviates Prejudice
▪ Philosophy is of value. Most men, at the hands of science, believe that philosophy is useless ▪ The fault is in the way philosophy appears to people. Many people have a wrong conception of what philosophy is and wants to achieve. Just as physical science is helpful to many ignorant people, philosophy is helpful indirectly on lives of those who study it. ▪ So, we must run from the “practical man”, who sees everything in dollars, food, and goods. Even if all disease and poverty was gone, there would still be much to be done in efforts to build a valuable society. The goods of the mind are just as important as the goods of the body. o Philosophy is Beneficial Apart from Definite Answers ▪ Philosophy has had far from great success at providing definite answers like other sciences have been able to do. The reason for most of this is because anytime a definite answer is found it is then converted into its own science. ▪ The uncertainty of philosophy goes farther than that. Many questions still go unanswered. But that is what philosophy does, it answers the unknown questions. o Philosophical Contemplation as Uncovering New Possibilities ▪ The value of philosophy is in its uncertainty. Philosophy makes definite everyday things uncertain. Then using philosophy a person could find certainty and free the mind from custom. ▪ We must break the chains of living in the private world and go out and seek the outer world, if our lives are to be great and free. ▪ Philosophic contemplation is used to escape by viewing the world impartially. Also, it does not intend to confirm the universe is similar to man. o Attaining Knowledge Is Achieving Union
▪ Philosophy is not all about showing that the universe is integrated with man. Many believe man is the measure of all things. This view is untrue. Philosophic contemplation is robbed of its value. It sets knowledge not as a union but as a set of prejudices. ▪ Everything personal or private in a person’s life that depends on habit or the self impairs the union of knowledge, which causes a barrier between object and subject. A free intellect has no boundaries and values the abstract and universal knowledge. ▪ The mind will view its purposes and desires as parts of a whole. Contemplation enlarges the objects of our actions and affections, making us citizens of the universe. ▪ SUMMARY: Philosophy is to be studied not for definite answers but for the questions themselves. These questions enlarge our conception of what is possible and enrich our lives. The mind is a great thing due to the contemplation, through philosophy, of the greatness of the universe. Then the mind is able to unify with the universe which is the greatest good. • Chapter 2.2
o Justified True Belief
▪ Some subject must know P; P must be true; S must be justified in believing P ▪ The debate is about HOW MUCH justification is enough ▪ There are no completely justified claims due to the problems of knowing how much is enough o Problem of Knowledge
▪ A contradiction has arisen. We seem to know where our car keys are and what our home phone number is. But it appears we lack knowledge due to the susceptibility of any claim to error. ▪ “We possess instances of knowledge” and “We do not possess instances of knowledge” is the contradiction. Thus the problem of knowledge which is the difficulty in saying that we possess knowledge if knowledge requires the impossibility of believing falsely. ▪ We can make our claims completely justified by making them the conclusions of sound...
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