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REALITY AND BEING Chapter 3. What is real? Metaphysics attempts to answer the question: What is real? Are spirits real? Is power real? Is justice real?

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Presentation on theme: "REALITY AND BEING Chapter 3. What is real? Metaphysics attempts to answer the question: What is real? Are spirits real? Is power real? Is justice real?"— Presentation transcript:

1 REALITY AND BEING Chapter 3

2 What is real? Metaphysics attempts to answer the question: What is real? Are spirits real? Is power real? Is justice real? Is reality more than the material world around us? Are these questions important? Please look at the story on pages When the person tells someone not to worry because spirits aren’t real, they are basically saying not worth paying attention to. Nozick believes that to say something is real is to say it has “value, meaning, importance and weight.” What do you think?

3 Reality as Matter Materialism is the view that matter is the ultimate constituent of reality. St. Augustine did not find it difficult to believe spirits were real. Does this view make sense in the modern world? Why or why not?

4 Eastern Materialism The Charvaka Philosophers of India believed that we should turn away from religion and its delusions. We should focus on the material world. The foundation for this is the notion that all we can know about this world is from our sense perceptions. They reject inductive and deductive reasoning as sources of knowledge.

5 Western Materialism Democritus ( BCE) argued that reality could be explained in terms of matter. He thought the smallest pieces of matter were atoms. He described them as solid, indivisible, indestructible, eternal and uncreated. He thought the soul is made up of atoms. He equated the soul with reason. What do you think of this? Why did people lose interest in this theory?

6 Objections to Materialism How does consciousness fit into materialism? Consciousness is intentional and subjective. It also has no apparent location, mass, or volume. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. At the most basic level, is world intertwined with the mind?

7 Idealism Is reality more than matter? Do we live in a fully non material world? Is the universe only mind and idea? Plato Augustine Berkeley – subjective idealism; objective idealism

8 Objections to Idealism Do idealists commit the fallacy of anthropomorphism?

9 Pragmatism John Dewey, William James, Jane Addams What is the purpose of philosophy? What social forces created philosophy? Is reality subjective or objective? Dewey doesn’t want to relegate values to metaphysical realists. He believes they too often do not take social conditions seriously enough. James argued that “whatever excites and stimulates are interest is real.” “To shut one’s self away from half of the race life is to shut one’s self away from the most vital part of it; it is to live out but half the humanity to which we have been born heir and to use but half our faculty,” according to Jane Addams.

10 Reality and Logical Positivism Logical Positivism focuses on language and meaning. Please read the Ayer quote on page 159. For many logical positivists, metaphysical statements about ethics and theology are meaningless. Emotivism. Do you agree with the logical positivists on this point? Why or why not? What is a criticism of logical positivism? Do you agree with this criticism. Why or why not?

11 Antirealism Antirealists hold that the worlds or world we inhabit depends in part on our minds. What do you think this means? Why do so many feminists embrace this view? Why are some people critical of this view?

12 Encountering Reality: Phenomenology and Existentialism Phenomenology is the study of what appears to consciousness. What does Husserl mean when he writes about ‘bracketing’? What does Heidegger mean by Dasein? Existentialism – we define ourselves through our commitments.

13 Is Freedom Real? Determinism Libertarianism Compatabilism

14 Is time real? Augustine: Only the Present Moment is Real McTaggert: Subjective Time is Not Real Kant: Time is a Mental Construct Bergson: Only Subjective Time is real


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