Philosophy

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Unit 1 – Introduction to Philosophy

Chapter 1: Introducing Philosophy
Philosophy: thinking about thinking, or the love of wisdom
Autonomy: the ability to freely make rational decisions
Materialism (physicalism): a metaphysical theory, developed by the PreSocratic philosophers, that says that everything, including a person’s thoughts, consciousness, and personality, is composed of matter Philosophical System Builder: someone who tries to construct a complete system of knowledge First-Order Language: a specific statement or question about an observation or event Second-Order Language: a term used to describe language that is used to discuss and clarify first-order language Socratic Method: a question-and-answer process named after Socrates. It is used to zero in on knowledge by challenging commonly held assumptions. Thought experiment: a tool used by philosophers to encourage people to re-examine common-sense beliefs; often begins with or includes the question, What if…? Philosophical Argument: a debate between two or more people who present reasoned ideas for the purpose of discovering the truth Areas of Philosophy: areas of philosophical inquiry: logic and philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and social and political philosophy

Chapter 2: Introducing Human Nature
Human nature: characteristics or qualities that make human beings different from anything else Altruism: unselfishness
Egoism: an ethical theory that says that people should act in their own interest Li: a Chinese word that refers to ritual principles or people’s obligations based on their social position Essentialism: a theory that says that the ability to reason is the distinguishing feature of human beings Tripartite theory of the soul: a theory, developed by Plato, that said that a person’s soul, or personality, psyche, mind, or inner self, is made up of reason, spirit, and a Essence: the fundamental nature of a thing - what makes the thing what it is Buddhism: a school of ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological thought that emphasizes individual harmony. It was developed by Gautama, the Buddha. Doctrine of impermanence: the belief, often associated with Buddhism, that all things, including human beings, are constantly changing and moving Behaviorism: a theory that says that people’s behavior is controlled by their environment Existentialism: a philosophical movement that focuses on individual autonomy and the necessity of making reasoned decisions for oneself

Philein – to love
Sophia – wisdom
= the love of wisdom

Allegory of the Cave: p. 8

From: darkness, complete ignorance -> gradual change and growth, ultimate truth, insight

Socratic Method: p. 11
-effective way of responding to those who claim to be right without being able to explain why -What time is it? 12:30. It is not 12:30 in Nova Scotia. It is 3 hours behind.

First Order & Second Order Language: p. 10
1st: What time is it? 2nd: What do you mean by time? Are you ruled by time?

Thought Experiments: p. 13
-tool used to push common-sense beliefs to the breaking point -propose a possible world

Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Human Needs: p. 16

Self-actualization refers to finding fulfillment and reaching one’s potential. Essence & Existence: p.35
essence: what makes something what it is
-a being’s essence is shared by all members of the species -Plato’s belief that the human soul existed before birth meant that he also believed that essences goes before existence -> human beings enter the world already with defining characteristics

Plato’s Tripartite Theory of the “Soul” = mind psyche p. 34 Reason: logic – most important element
-reason will prevail over spirit and appetite
-takes place in the soul
-seeks knowledge, truth, and wisdom
Spirit: emotional side
-seeks power and success
Appetite: desires or needs – lowest element
-seeks possessions and wealth
-instincts, makes us no better than animals
-ex. Greed, anger,...
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