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What Philosophy is… Phil = love Sophia = wisdom. Basic Structure of Philosophical Studies Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge) Metaphysics (Basic Nature.

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Presentation on theme: "What Philosophy is… Phil = love Sophia = wisdom. Basic Structure of Philosophical Studies Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge) Metaphysics (Basic Nature."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Philosophy is… Phil = love Sophia = wisdom

2 Basic Structure of Philosophical Studies Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge) Metaphysics (Basic Nature of Reality) Axiology (Value Theory) 1.What is knowledge? 2.What is truth? 3.What makes one belief better than another? 4.What are the limits of human knowledge? 5.Can we reason safely from what we know to new knowledge? 1.What kinds of things exist? 2.Are there kinds of existence? 3.Does God exist? 4.Are their minds and bodies, or just one or the other? 5.Do qualities recur, or are they all different from one another? 1.What is goodness? 2.Are there different kinds of goodness? 3.What is beauty? 4.Can we know what is right and wrong? 5.Are there moral facts?

3 Metaphysics 1. What kind of things exist? A. Are there minds and bodies, or just one or the other? B. Are there substances in addition to qualities? C. Are there substances that exist independently of our minds, or is everything dependent on thought? D. If there is thought, just there be a thinker? E. Does anything we can think about exist in some sense? F. Can things we can’t even think about exist?

4 500 BC200 BC Greek Philosophers (500BC – 200BC) Timeline The Great Three Plato ( ) Socrates ( ) Plato, 20, meets Socrates, 60

5 Platonic Forms (Ideas) In virtue of what are these two things red? It’s not the paint, dye, pigment, light waves, frequency of waves, etc., that makes the circle on the left red, that makes the circle on the right red, because all that stuff is over there (on the left) rather than over here (on the right) … similarly, it’s not the paint, dye, pigment, light waves, frequency of waves, etc., that makes the circle on the right red, that makes the circle on the left red, because all that stuff is over here (on the right), rather than over there (on the left). So, in virtue of what are they both red? Plato’s answer: _______________ Notice that ‘red’ is a singular term … the subject is plural, but the predicate is singular! These are not ‘reds’. How can this be?! How then, can two things be one thing?! Plato’s answer: ________________

6 Platonic Forms In virtue of what are these two things circular? It’s not the curve of the border that makes the circle on the left circular that makes the circle on the right circular, because that curve of the border is over there (on the left) rather than over here (on the right) … similarly, it’s not the curve of the border that makes the circle on the right circular that makes the circle on the left circular because that curve of the border is over here (on the right), rather than over there (on the left). So, in virtue of what are they both circular? Plato’s answer: ___________ Notice that ‘circular’ is a singular term … these are not ‘circulars’! How then, can two things be one thing?! Plato’s answer: _____________

7 Consider: The 3 angles of any triangle add up to two right angles This is a feature not just of each triangle, but, for Plato, of triangularity. Triangularity, because of that universal trait (a trait had by all triangles), came to be called a Universal. Platonic Forms

8 Plato thinks we need universals to account for our knowledge. If, as Heraclitus said, the only thing real is flux or change, then we couldn’t know anything (nothing our thoughts were about would match our thoughts, since what our thoughts are about is always changing). Consider the statement: blue is darker than yellow What would happen if every blue and yellow thing winked out of existence? Would the statement be false? Similarly, when we know The 3 angles of any triangle add up to two right angles there must be something outside of the physical world that makes that statement true, since nothing in the physical world could. Platonic Forms (Ideas)

9 Plato believed that these Forms, or Universals, are: Eternal Unchanging Necessary (exist [subsist?] necessarily) If they were not so, ‘blue is darker than yellow’ and the truths about geometry, and innumerable others, could all be false. But, when you think hard about them, they apparently cannot be false. Platonic Forms (Ideas)

10 Qualities colors shapes sounds textures temps flavors odors aspects of all etc. Platonic Forms (Ideas) Relations lighter/darker rounder/squa rer higher/lower rougher/smo other sweeter/soure r etc. Kinds animal vertebrate human metal steel apple book sandwich etc.

11 Problem: How do Plato’s non-temporal, non-spatial, eternal, unchanging Forms interact with the temporal, spatial, temporary, changing world of our experience? Plato tells us: by a relation of ‘participation’ or ‘sharing’ Another way to say it, Forms are ‘instantiated’ in physical things. This red thing has an instance of redness, this ‘being in between’ is an instance of inbetweeness, this dog is an instance of dogness. But, how do physical things participate in Forms? Or, how are the Forms instantiated in things? Platonic Forms (Ideas)

12 Aristotle rejected Plato’s Forms as entities that exist separate from the things that instantiate them. He held, instead, that the Forms exist only in re (in things) not ante rem (not before things) and, that we know them by lifting them out of sensible objects by precise abstraction simple (just noticing a feature of something) common (recognizing two features are one and the same) precise (cutting off reference to all other features) It is the last kind of abstraction Aristotle believes Plato uses, illicitly, to derive his concept of separated Forms Aristotle’s Universals

13 There are Forms only for those qualities, relations, and kinds that have existed, exist, or will exist What it means to be a universal is to be ‘predicated of many’. His emphasis on language led medieval commentators to follow suit, and seemingly led to both Conceptualism (universals are concepts in the mind), and, Nominalism (universals are a mere ‘puff of voice’; universal words) Aristotle’s Universals

14 William of Ockham (of Oak Hamlet, Surry, England) rejects both Plato’s and Aristotle’s views about Universals. Ockham is a Nominalist (some scholars now think he should be considered a Conceptualist instead). From Paul Spade’s Stanford article on Ockham:Stanford article He [Ockham] believed in “abstractions” such as whiteness and humanity, for instance, although he did not believe they were universals. (On the contrary, there are at least as many distinct whitenesses as there are white things.) He certainly believed in immaterial entities such as God and angels. He did not believe in mathematical (“quantitative”) entities of any kind. Ockham on Universals

15 Ockham, from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy There is no universal outside the mind really existing in individual substances or in the essences of things…. The reason is that everything that is not many things is necessarily one thing in number and consequently a singular thing. [ Opera Philosophica II, pp ] Ockham on Universals

16 Ockham provides an argument to support his view … from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, again: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy …it would follow that God would not be able to annihilate one individual substance without destroying the other individuals of the same kind. For, if he were to annihilate one individual, he would destroy the whole that is essentially that individual and, consequently, he would destroy the universal that is in it and in others of the same essence. Other things of the same essence would not remain, for they could not continue to exist without the universal that constitutes a part of them. [ Opera Philosophica I, p. 51] Does this argument work equally well against both Plato’s and Aristotle’s conceptions of universals? Ockham on Universals

17 If Ockham’s view is best characterized as ‘Resemblance Nominalism’, or ‘Resemblance Conceptualism’, what arguments weigh against it? Read Rodriguez-Pereyra, if interested. (You are not responsible for anything from this link)Rodriguez-Pereyra Resemblance Nominalism

18 Socrates’ image: Plato’s and Aristotle’s images: References


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