Presentation on theme: "Analytic Philosophy Introduction and a Brief History."— Presentation transcript:
Analytic Philosophy Introduction and a Brief History
Introduction About this course Analytic philosophy in the history of philosophy and the history of analytic philosophy Areas of philosophy and central philosophical issues
About this course Mechanics, requiements and expectations
Syllabus OfficeFounders 165c Telephone(619) [USD]; (619) [mobile] Class Websitehttp://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/analytic/http://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/analytic/ Message Boardhttp://analyticphilosophy.blogspot.com/http://analyticphilosophy.blogspot.com/ Turnitin.com InfoTurnitin.com class ID: ; enrollment password: analyticTurnitin.com Office HoursThu Thu 12:15 – 2:15 pm; Wed 1:15 – 2:15; and by appointment. Class MeetingsTue Thu2:30 – 3:50Serra 312
Syllabus ReadingsThere are no hard-copy textbooks for this class! All readings, handouts and powerpoints are linked to the class website. GradeYour grade for the semester will be based upon two tests and a term paper. In addition, you must submit a written proposal for your term paper to be discussed in class and approved by your instructor. Test IThu Mar 1530% of final grade Test IIThu May 3 30% of final grade Proposal due Tue Apr 26must be approved PresentationsMay 8, May 10required Term Paperdue Tue May 2040% of final grade
Term Papers & Turnitin Legal Notification of Policy USD subscribes to Turnitin.com, a web-based application that compares the content of submitted papers to the Turnitin.com database and checks for textual similarities. All required papers for this course will be subject to submission to Turnitin.com for textual similarity review and to verify originality. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting textual similarities and verifying originality. Each student is responsible for submitting his or her papers in such a way that no identifying information about the student is included. A student may not have anyone else submit papers on the student’s behalf to Turnitin.com. A student may request in writing that his or her papers not be submitted to Turnitin.com. However, if a student chooses this option, the student may be required to provide documentation in a form required by the faculty member to substantiate that the papers are the student’s original work.
Schedule: Topics & Readings A schedule of topics and readings, subject to revision, is available at the class website at Class Website:
Analytic Philosophy Analytic philosophy is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. In the United States the overwhelming majority of university philosophy departments self-identify as "analytic" departments. This situation is mirrored in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. [Wikipedia— but if you don’t trust Wikipedia…] Brian Leiter, the “philosophical gourmet,” notes: "All the Ivy League universities, all the leading state research universities, all the University of California campuses, most of the top liberal arts colleges, most of the flagship campuses of the second-tier state research universities boast philosophy departments that overwhelmingly self-identify as "analytic": it is hard to imagine a "movement" that is more academically and professionally entrenched than analytic philosophy.” See also John Searle's judgment (in Bunnin & Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy (Blackwell, 2003), p. 1): "Without exception, the best philosophy departments in the United States are dominated by analytic philosophy, and among the leading philosophers in the United States, all but a tiny handful would be classified as analytic philosophers."
A History of Philosophy The Analytic Philosopher’s Version
Anglo-American Philosophy Empiricists Continental Philosophy Analytic Philosophy Locke Berkeley Hume British Idealists Early 20th Century Rejection of Idealism (Defense of Commonsense) Logical Atomism Logical PositivismOrdinary Language Philosophy Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Subfields of Philosophy Traditional Subfields –Logic –Ethics –Metaphysics –Epistemology –History of Philosophy Additional Special Fields –Philosophy of Mind –Philosophy of Religion –Philosophy of Science – “Applied Ethics” specialties –Aesthetics –Philosophy of Language
Our Philosophical Issues Skepticism and the External World Meaning and Reference The Logical Positivist Program The Mind-Body Problem The Problem of Universals Externalism and the mental Identity (including personal identity) Time and time-travel
The External World Epistemological, metaphysical questions and philosophy of language issues. Do we know there’s an external world? If so, how? What are the constituents of this external world? How should we analyze talk about these things?
The Epistemological Question External world: mind-independent objects Immediate experience and inference (I hear a screeching when I step on the brakes and infer that the pads are worn and metal is grinding on metal. Sight is no different. Veridical and non-veridical experience Do we have any good reason to believe that any of our experiences are veridical? How could we know?
Representative Theory of Perception
The Veil of Perception
Thought Experiments We want to know what is logically (or metaphysically) possible –E.g. Is it possible for persons to “exchange bodies”? Survive bodily death? Reappear in resurrection worlds? Be reincarnated? Conceivability is (roughly) a criterion for logical possibility so… We produce and consider thought experiments to ascertain what is conceivable. These thought experiments—stories about zombies, transport via Startrek Machine, Brains in Vats and life in the Matrix, apparent cases of body-exchange, etc. are fictions intended to pump our intuitions.
The Mind-Body Problem Zombies: physical duplicates of “normal” humans who do not have qualia. Qualia: contents of immediate experience, “raw feels” or “sense- data” The Mind-Body Problem (crude version): is the mind the brain? (or, are mental states just brain states?) Conceivability as a criterion for (“logical”) possibility
Zombies Argument for Mind-Body Dualism Zombies are logically possible (we can conceive of them, right?) A zombie’s brain states are perfect duplicates of the brain states of normal individuals experiencing qualia There must be something more then that brain state when an individual has qualia The mind is not just the brain (mental states are not just brain states)
More Mind-Body Problem The Knowledge Argument, Reversed Spectrum, etc. Can machines think? The Turing Test and Searle’s Chinese Room Are meanings in the head? Hilary Putnam and the Twin Earth problem
The Problem of Universals Statements of the form “x is P” can be true or false. Intuitively, what makes them true or false is an object’s having a property Intuitively, when objects are similar it is because they “share” properties But are there “properties” and, if so, what are they? And how can they be shared?
All standard solutions are unintuitive! Nominalism makes it difficult to account for the fact that some ways of grouping are correct while others incorrect. Conceptualism begs the question: What is it in the object that corresponds to my idea and what is that correspondance? What makes my idea of red the same as your idea? Realism posits crazy, immaterial objects
Reference Plato’s question: “how can I think the thing that is not?” Fictional entities: What makes it true that Pegasus is a flying horse-- and not a unicorn or magic mushroom? What makes it true that Pegasus doesn’t exist? Again, construing Pegasus, et. al. as “ideas” doesn’t help so we seem stuck with the existence of crazy, non-existant objects. Russell’s theory of descriptions & the Russell-Strawson debate.
Logical Positivism Metaphilosophical issues: Hume’s Fork and the rejection of “metaphysics” Hume’s Fork and the Analytic/Synthetic distinction Phenomenalism: objects as “permanent possibilities of sensation” Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”
Identity An equivalence relation –Reflexivity: x = x –Symmetry: if x = y then y = x –Transitivity: if x = y and y = z then x = z An indiscernibility relation: if x = y then they have all the same properties Is the converse true also, i.e. if x and y have all the same properties does x = y?
Identity Puzzles Indiscernibility of Identicals and Frege’s puzzle Identity of Indiscernibles, symmetrical worlds (“Black’s Balls”) and Eternal Return “Branching Cases”: the Ship of Theseus, etc. Personal identity: Locke’s identity problem, survival, “fission,” etc.
And now for some solutions… …none of which are conclusive!