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Philosophy 1010 Class 5 -- (10/1/14) Reading Assignment for 10/8/14 Class Discussion: Velasquez, Philosophy: A Text With Readings, (12e), Chapter 3, Sections.

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Presentation on theme: "Philosophy 1010 Class 5 -- (10/1/14) Reading Assignment for 10/8/14 Class Discussion: Velasquez, Philosophy: A Text With Readings, (12e), Chapter 3, Sections."— Presentation transcript:

1 Philosophy 1010 Class 5 -- (10/1/14) Reading Assignment for 10/8/14 Class Discussion: Velasquez, Philosophy: A Text With Readings, (12e), Chapter 3, Sections 3.1 – 3.3 Midterm Exam will not be next week.

2 Video: What is Human Nature? Chapter 2 On Human Nature: A Metaphysical Study

3 Video: What is Human Nature? Chapter 2 On Human Nature: A Metaphysical Study

4 The Prevalent View Regarding the Nature of Man Makes Four Basic Claims: 1)That the self is conscious (has reason) and has a purpose 2)That the self is distinct from the body, but somehow is related. 3)That the self endures through time. 4)That the self has an independent existence from other selves The Traditional Western View

5 The Traditional Western View of Human Nature is the one most commonly held in our culture. Yet different philosophers throughout history have questioned and rejected every one of the four tenets with various arguments.

6 For Plato, humans have a nonphysical or material soul or self in agreeing with all these assumptions. Plato contends that since reason often conflicts with our desires (or appetites) and that either of these can conflict with our aggression, each of these comprise one of the three main elements of our soul (self). For Plato, man can choose what part of his self rules his actions. (Free Will?) Because reason alone can know how we ought to live, it should rule the appetite and our aggressions. The Traditional Rationalist View (Plato)

7 Aristotle ( BC) mostly agreed with Plato but went on to argue that reason can discover the truth about man in the natural world, and how we should act. Thus, Aristotle is rejecting Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, suggesting that Plato’s world of shadows can be known through reason. Ah, isn’t this the basic motivation for science? For Aristotle, all living things and the natural world have purpose (telos). The purpose of man is to control desires and aggression through reason. The Traditional Rationalist View (Aristotle)

8 “The purpose of man is to love and serve God.” (St. Augustine – AD) Although influenced by Plato, this view asserts that humans are made in the image of God. Man has an immaterial and immortal soul and the ability to love and to know, in the very manner of God. Augustine emphasized that humans have will and intellect, the ability to choose between good and evil. “The purpose of man is to know God through reason.” (St. Thomas Aquinas - c –1274) The Traditional Western Religious View (Judeo-Christian)

9 The Traditional Western View The Traditional Western View of Human Nature is the one most commonly held in our culture. Yet different philosophers throughout history have questioned and rejected every one of the four tenets with various arguments.

10 The most radical view is perhaps the Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre – “Existence precedes essence.” Humans are radically free. Human nature itself is determined by a man’s choices. There is no fixed universal human nature (or soul) prior to the choices that an individual free man makes. Existentialism challenges our basic values of western civilization that human nature in some way is “fixed.” God does not exist. Human, All Too Human

11 The Prevalent View Regarding the Nature of Man Makes Four Basic Claims: 1)That the self is conscious (has reason) and has a purpose 2)That the self is distinct from the body, but somehow is related. 3)That the self endures through time. 4)That the self has an independent existence from other selves The Traditional Western View

12 Sigmund Freud ( ) claimed that man acts only to satisfy his desires. In particular, he possesses a basic, powerful desire for aggressiveness and sexual pleasure. Man views others as objects. Thomas Hobbes ( ) claimed that the man’s primary desire was for power over others. Moritz Schlick ( ) believed that man is able to act only out of self-interest. Schlick recognized the appearance of unselfish behavior, but claimed even such behavior occurred only because of unrecognized self- interest. Other Challenges to the Traditional Rationalist View

13 Feminism The traditional view seems to be sexist in that it assumes that reason is male and emotions are female (e.g. Aristotle & Augustine) By calling for the subjugation of emotions to reason, does the traditional view take a gender bias? Some feminist philosophers repudiate the traditional rationalist view and reject reason as the basis of human nature. Others agree that reason is primary and say the view only needs to be modified to remove gender bias and to acknowledge that reason is gender neutral. Genevieve Lloyd suggests that the issue is even more fundamental and may be near impossible to resolve. Read your text on page 73 carefully!! We will discuss this passage in class next week. Challenges to the Traditional Rationalist View

14 Aristotle claimed that since barbarians were less rational than Greeks, it was justifiable to rule and enslave them because they were less human. Caveat Emptor: Such an assertion does not logically follow from Plato. II the Rationalist View Racist?

15 Darwinism Evolutionary theory claims that random variations and natural selection make species evolve. To many, this suggests that humans are not unique and that there perhaps is no special purpose to human life. Charles Darwin – 1809–1882 Darwin does not himself take a position on the question whether God exists.

16 The Prevalent View Regarding the Nature of Man Makes Four Basic Claims: 1)That the self is conscious and has a purpose 2)That the self is distinct from the body, but somehow is related. 3)That the self endures through time. 4)That the self has an independent existence from other selves The Traditional Western View

17 The Dualist View of Human Nature The Dualist View is an ancient view that can be traced back to Plato and the Traditional Rationalist View of Human Nature. A developed, systematic view of Dualism was best expressed by Rene Descartes ( ). Descartes argues that he can imagine his self without a body, thus the self is not the body. We cannot think of the self without thought which is immaterial. Thus, the mind and body must be distinct. Descartes further argues that the mind or “soul” is the essential form of the self and could exist without the body. I think, therefore I am.

18 The Mind-Body Problem So how can the mind as a non-physical entity cause the physical body to act and how can the physical body cause changes in the state of the mind? Can the mind add energy or force to the physical world? But that is exactly what seems to happen when I decide to move my hand and then move it. How can a physical body alter a state of consciousness or thought? But that is exactly what seems to happen when a fly buzzes near my head and I become annoyed.


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