Philosophy Study Guide

Topics: Political philosophy, Centuries, Law Pages: 7 (1208 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Philosophy Exam Review
Positive and Negative Freedoms
Positive freedom – Refers to people’s power to control their own lives and to make their own decisions. Negative freedom – Refers to freedom from physical or emotional coercion, or force. No person, institution, or government can pressure someone to act in a certain way.

Satyagraha
Who – developed by Mahandas Gandhi
What – A philosophy and a tool of political action, which means holding to the truth, and refers to non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi believed that the philosophy of non-violence was ethically superior to the rule of force. He also maintained that it represented the first step in people’s liberating themselves from tyranny.

Libertarianism
Who – Robert Nozick’s idea
What – Libertarianism is an extreme version of liberal individualism. Libertarians believe that the purpose of the state is to defend the lives, liberties, and property of citizens, and argue that the state should not be involved in redistributing wealth.

Categorical Imperative
Who – Immanuel Kant’s theory
What – An idea of personal ethical conduct to which everyone should aspire. In ethics and social and political philosophy, categorical imperative is a moral rule that is absolute.

Challenges to Essentialism
Essentialism – theory that states the ability to reason is the distinguishing feature of human beings The Buddhist Challenge – Founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the self does not exist, all things are constantly changing and moving, nature of self is pointless The Scientific Challenge – Reduce human nature to basic elements of matter and mechanical processes The Feminist Challenge – Challenged western ideas about abilities of women, reason is not superior to emotions The Existentialist Challenge – Existence proceeds essence, God does not exist, there is no human nature Natural Law (Thomas Aquinas)

Natural Law – governs natural and social orders, the eternal law that is the basis of morality, ethnics, and political behaviour, directs people to happiness, human law should correspond to it – “obey God rather than men” Thomas Aquinas – 13th century Dominican monk and philosopher, interested in how God’s laws would apply to a secular society, adopted Aristotle’s views on natural law

Tripartite Theory of the Soul
Who – Plato’s theory
What – 3 elements of the soul:
1.Reason - The highest and most important element
2.Spirit - Expressed as emotional states or attributes (pride, vanity, aggressiveness, and courage) 3.Appetite – The lowest element, expressed as desires or needs

Aristotle
Who – Greek philosopher (384-322 BCE)
Significance/Beliefs:
Founder of political science, existence of a well ordered state depends on citizen’s ability to achieve goals •Rule of law is foundation of political order, need for moderation and stability in the political life of state, monarchy aristocracy democracy (categorized types of government)

Thales of Miletus
Who – Turkish philosopher, born in Miletus (624-546 BCE)
Significance/Beliefs:
First philosopher
Invented new way of thinking – what is everything made of? Everything can be reduced to one thing (water)

Socrates
Who – Greek Philosopher (469-399 BCE)
Significance/Beliefs:
Sentenced to death for corrupting young people by preaching false gods •Human nature is to know and do the good
Socratic method way of teaching (basic, straightforward question, basic, common-sense definition, counter example to prove definition wrong, repeat process until a suitable definition is constructed or until the two parties agree that the subject matter is more complex than originally thought)

Plato
Who – Greek philosopher, Student of Socrates (300 BCE)
Significance/Beliefs:
Wrote “Allegory of the Cave” (360 BCE)
Wrote “The Republic”
Came up with tripartite theory of the soul
Believed in equality for women
Did not agree with democracy
His utopia resembled a communist state...
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