The Essentials of Philosophy
An important resource for those needing to understand the key concepts in philosophy and ethics and their relevance to current issues.
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The Essentials of Philosophy
Lecture 1 The Crisis of Philosophy and The Right of Philosophy
Lecture 1 The crisis of philosophy and the right of philosophy
1. The crisis and the possibility of philosophy
The crisis of philosophy is that philosophy often does non-philosophical things (it seems, it is not). Philosophy does not advocate abstract thinking, but rather concrete thinking. Philosophy is in the details.
2. Three rights of philosophy
① Philosophy gives you the right to understand and the right to know.
②Philosophy gives you the right to freedom (the right to create), that is, the right to freedom.
③The combination of the right to know and the right to freedom is the highest goal of philosophy-the right to truth
3. "Freedom" and "Truth": The Unity of Ontology and Epistemology
Ontology Theory of knowledge: Before cognizing objects and beings, we must first consider the conditions and rights of cognition. Cognition has boundaries. The theory of truth pursues the unity of epistemology and ontology, and insists on the right to pursue truth.
Lecture 2 The Path of Philosophy and The Best Way to Learn Philosophy
Lecture 2 The path of philosophy and the best way to learn philosophy
1. All roads lead to philosophy
You can go to philosophy any way, but to find your own best path, you can only go by yourself. The most important thing in philosophy is to "do" and practice.
2. the way up and down
There are two ways to do philosophy:The way to ascend is from experience to philosophy, from general experience to philosophical thought, philosophical theory, or philosophical knowledge. The other is a downward path, from philosophy to experience, from philosophy to practice.
It is recommended that people who study philosophy go down the road
3. The basic skills of philosophy: "listening", "speaking", "reading", "writing"
Philosophy majors take philosophy as the starting point and base of their own learning. Reading philosophical works is the necessary way and the best way.
Recommended bibliography: Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason", Hegel's "Phenomenology of Mind", Heidegger's "Being and Time"
Lecture 3 How to Understand "Philosophy"
1. Why philosophy is a science
Philosophy belongs to the humanities. Science is a system of knowledge, a system consisting of concepts, judgments and reasoning. Similarly, philosophy is a system of knowledge.
2. Philosophy talks about right and wrong, and more about the depth
Philosophy talks about right and wrong, but more importantly, it talks about depth. It’s not by what you say on the surface, but by the weight of what you say, and whether it’s deep
3. What is "real thought"
Kant said that a category is empty without intuition, while intuition is blind without thought and category. Only when intuition and category are combined can theoretical knowledge.
4. What is meant by "philosophical reality"
In philosophy, finite and infinite, freedom and necessity, all and parts are all integrated into a conceptual system and category system. The meaning of the category itself is to connect with reality. The concepts and categories of philosophy are not abstract. The theory of philosophy is not a collection of abstract concepts, but a system of concrete concepts.
Lecture 4 Metaphysics and Philosophy
1. Metaphysics: Etymology and Translation
metaphysics-the person who sorted out Aristotle's works, put the content of philosophy after physics, the original meaning of "meta" was "after", "behind"
The translation of "metaphysics" is taken from the Book of Changes: "The metaphysical is the Tao, and the metaphysical is the implement." The tangible is physics, which refers to physics in a broad sense. "Physics" in ancient Greece refers to nature, natural phenomena, and also means growth. The process of growth and change in the great world is called the theory of things and physics. "Tao" is metaphysical, and metaphysical is intangible.
2. Metaphysics and Dialectics
Metaphysics has not been well-known in recent decades. It is considered a rigid, unchanging, abstract, and one-sided concept. Dialectics is opposed to it, seeing things not rigid. But in fact, Aristotle's metaphysics can also be understood as an advancement of the discipline of philosophy: its problems have absorbed the problems of ancient naive dialectics and systemized it.
3. The transcendence of "metaphysics": the basis for the existence of philosophy
At the beginning, metaphysics proposed that it did not correspond to dialectics, but to physics, that is, metaphysics corresponds to metaphysics. Metaphysics refers to the empirical sciences such as physics and natural science. Metaphysics emphasizes transcendence. "Beyond" means that it does not rely on "experience" but can be applied to "experience". Metaphysics is more fundamental, basic, and primitive than physics. It is beyond the scope of experience.
4. Debate on "True" and "False" in Metaphysics
Noumena is the body of thought and the object of thought, not the object of reality, so it is very one-sided. A considerable number of philosophers believe that the questions raised by traditional metaphysics are meaningless and false. These people are not saying that metaphysical issues are not worth thinking about and studying. What they say is meaningless means that they cannot be proved logically, and there is no experience to prove or falsify.
Chance (that is, reality) enters metaphysics, and metaphysics is not abstract, one-sided, rigid, and unchanging. At this time, metaphysics has the dialectical spirit and its own negation. When chance comes in, it becomes comprehensive. Dialectics is comprehensive. It does not mean that boundlessness is opposite to boundlessness. In fact, there is boundlessness in boundless things, and no specific things can restrain oneself.
5. The path to understanding metaphysical issues: "Primitive Anti-End"
The problem of metaphysics always returns to its original zero point, and the original is the end. It does not seem to have progressed in the usual sense. The metaphysical overall problem is the zero problem, the original problem, the original problem, and the original problem.
6. the three branches of metaphysics
Ontology, Epistemology, Theory of Value
Lecture 5 What is "Existence"——Traditional Ontology (Part 1)
1. The foundation of ontology: "Only existence can be known"
Ordinary people think that what they feel is true. In fact, only what they understand and grasp is true and real. You can only know what exists, not what does not exist, and what you feel can often be "non-existent"; only what you understand and prove can not be non-existent. The idea of "only existence can be known" must not be ignored, it has laid the foundation of all science.
2. Existence as an "Entity"
True ontology cannot become an abstract concept. Substance is sensible, sensible, and esthetic in the original sense of Aristotle. It is not an abstract concept, but a real one, so it is translated into "entity". It is not something in thought, not a "body of thought" in the Kant sense. Substance is a concrete thing that can be separated from other things. Only with substance can we talk about specific attributes.
3. Existence as a "subject"
Hegel has a very famous saying: "Absolute is not only to be understood as an entity, but also as a subject." Because the subject is active, the substance is active. Therefore, he said that the absolute is the entity, and the entity is the subject. If the subject is active, he must open his own content.
It is not enough to just say being as being, because the foundation is perfect but not perfect, it is unfinished. How should it be done? Hegel added the element of negation. This substance, existence, and subject reveal themselves, step by step, and then negate the negation, return to themselves, return to themselves. Existence and being at this time is not an abstract thing. Substance at this time is a real, truthful, solid, and real existence.
Lecture 6 How to "Exist"——Traditional Ontology (Part 2)
1. Plato's idealism and Aristotle's realism
Plato talked about idealism. Idealism means that, as far as existence is concerned, it is not universal things that are problematic, but rather individual things. The universal is more essential, more important, or more primitive than the individual, while the individual is the imitation, imitation, or "popularity" of this universal or general. Therefore, the real existence is the ideas, not the individual things. In this way, ideas come before things and other concrete things. Such a line of thinking implies that general things are more real than individual things, and more qualified to be judged to exist than individual things.
Aristotle proposed "existence as existence", which means that the idea does not exist, and the existence can exist because of the existence, not the non-existence.
2. Realism and Nominalism in the Middle Ages
The development of this different way of thinking has created another opposing theory in the history of philosophy, that is, the dispute between realism and nominalism in the Middle Ages. They came up with different ways of thinking about existence. . Realism holds that universal things and universality are also real existences, while nominalism holds that a universal thing is actually just a name, a name, and not an actual thing.
3. The identity of thinking and existence: from Parmenides to Descartes
Ideas belong to "thinking". How can "thoughts" exist? This brings us back to the question of the identity of Parmenides' thinking and existence.
Descartes had a famous saying "I think, therefore I am", which was later considered to have laid the foundation of modern philosophy and opened a path of far-reaching influence. All existence can become non-existence and all can be questioned, but there is only one thing that cannot be doubted, that is, I am thinking, I think, I ask questions and I doubt that I am not doubtful, otherwise I will feel myself contradiction.
Kant believes that Descartes's proof cannot be established and cannot use "thinking" to prove "existence", "existence" must have "intuition", and "thinking" only has "concept". The field of phenomena and the field of thought are not the same. Laws and rights are different. How can you use things in this field to prove things in another field?
Kant's formalism tendency was captured by Hegel. In Kant's philosophy, understanding has realistic content, while rationality is only ideal. The idea cannot find its prototype in reality, but the prototype is in the mind. The key to dualism is that it splits thought and existence, separates what can be understood from what can be thought, and that thinking and existence are different. Hegel grasped the question of Kant and returned to Descartes's proposition: Only thinking proves, and only concepts really exist. Hegel's concept is rich and different from Plato. This concept is an infinite, contradictory, and speculative concept.
Lecture 7 Transition from Traditional Ontology to Modern Ontology
1. "Existing in time and space"
Kant believes that (experience) existence must have time and space, must be in time and space, and cannot be separated from time and space. In a sense, that concept and rational thing can easily slip into time and space. "Ontology" and "idea" are not in time and space, and only by transcending time and space can language be understood as abstract symbols.
2. Formalized time and its criticism
Kant only emphasized the inevitability and inference of form, theory, so he must serialize and formalize time. Kant's philosophy is considered to lack substantive things. This is the main criticism of Kant by later generations-all his learning is formal and lacks substantive things.
3. Substantial time-freedom and existence
Bergson proposed a substantial time for the formalized time, that is, freedom and duration. It is only formalized time that serves the inevitable cause and effect, and the combination of the concept of time duration and freedom becomes substantial time, time with content
Through the materialization of time, "existence" is also materialized. Existence is not a formal thing, and freedom is not a formal thing.
Bergson considered Zeno’s paradox and said that time cannot be boiled down to a point, time is a flow, and time must be regarded as an indivisible flow.
Lecture 8 Modern Ontology
1. "Non-existence" enters ontology
Only by letting the question of non-existence enter the vision of philosophy can the relationship between existence and non-existence be clearly understood. Philosophy is to make existence become clear, and this existence needs to be understood through non-existence.
2. Time, non-existence and existence
"Non-existence" is also "existent"
Being and non-being are a process of being
According to philosophy, time is an inseparable stream, continuous
3. "Man" brings "nothing" (non-existence)
Sartre said that thought does not exist, and that human consciousness is not reality as we understand it. Is it in this sense that people have brought nothingness to the world? People have thoughts, so people bring thoughts. Thoughts are meaningful. If you have ideas, you can see the world, and if you have ideas, you can form concepts. Does it mean that people bring nothing to the world? Just having this meaning is not enough, we say that human beings are limited as Dasein. This Dasein reveals non-existence most fundamentally and clearly, because Dasein will "die"
4. The ontological significance of human death
Time is an inseparable flow, and only dead problems can divide time. Time was originally chaotic, and the problem of death brought "degree". This degree is divided between existence and non-existence, existence and non-existence. "Time" and "Point" are the ontological boundaries of time, not instrumental division (year, month, day, hour, minute, and second), but an ontological scale.
Lecture 9 "Language is the Home of Existence"
1. Art preserves "existence"
Existence is in nonexistence, in art, in poetry, in philosophical works. These are not realistic things. From the perspective of reality, they are not present and non-existent, but it is precisely this non-existence that retains existence. Art retains history and life, and history and life live and preserve in art and ideas.
2. "Language is the home of existence"
3. Language brings news of existence
Neither person nor speaking can fully embody the essence and existence of language. On the contrary, language makes speaking an act and makes people a speaker. It is not "people want to speak" but "something is said by others", and it becomes "something to say". This "word" is not a personal subjective will, but an independent thing, an essence, and more important than the person who speaks; And "I" and "Say" seem to have become tools, both conveyers.
4. Language has a "mission"
Lecture 10 Epistemology
1. How is knowledge generated?
Ontology raises the question of "what is existence". When an existence becomes an object, you need to let it be there, and then you can study and understand it, observe, study, analyze, and synthesize it. In this way, the relationship of knowledge comes out.
2. The first concept: all knowledge is actually a kind of power
Actual communication is to survive. According to the needs of survival, we need to have practical knowledge and the ability to deal with practical difficulties. Therefore, we must increase our ability, which is to consolidate our power. Knowledge is power, knowledge is power. Through knowledge we conquer and control nature and conquer others. After this system was derived, it is the mutual control of human beings, the domination of each other, and the distribution of power among each other.
3. The second concept: Knowledge is free knowledge
Being an "object" of practical knowledge, it is actually difficult to become a real object, because it always uses or consumes existence. Philosophy is first to get rid of practical and practical relationships. The theory of knowledge in philosophy started from ancient Greece to construct a knowledge system that got rid of the needs of actual life. Only such a system can study all beings as objects, and master its own laws, not just the actual relationship between it and us.
4. Free knowledge is rational knowledge
5. Reason needs enlightenment
Lecture 10 Epistemology
Lecture 11: Empirical Science Epistemology and Ontology
1. The ontological premise of epistemology
Theory of knowledge and theory of value are actually understood on the basis of ontology. It is precisely on the basis that existence becomes a problem that the great world becomes the object of our research. Therefore, although this object is objective, it is also historical. The horizon of knowledge expands to which step the existence runs.
2. The basis of empirical scientific epistemology
One of Kant’s main ideas is that it is impossible to sum up the law of causality from 10,000 experiences and hundreds of millions of examples. The law of causality is not produced by experience, but established by reason.
This time and space of Kant is a form. Its substantive content is external, but after the substantive content enters the form of time and space, it forms the content of knowledge and concepts. Time and space speak of order, and causality is established on this order of time and space. With the order of time and space, the law of causality advances further. When the intuitive and content causal law comes out, knowledge can be inferred. Knowledge that can be inferred is scientific knowledge. Therefore, scientific empirical knowledge has the basis of epistemology itself, that is, the basis of reason.
3. Kant's theory of scientific knowledge and its limitations
The problem with Kant's theory of knowledge is that the object of his knowledge is established by the subject, and his time is formal time, not substantial time. Therefore, the causality based on this time is also formal, although it emphasizes content and intuitiveness. The first of Kant's three major criticisms is the criticism of theoretical rationality, whose task is to determine the power range of theoretical rationality.
4. The ontological basis of empirical scientific knowledge
Regarding ontology as the most basic knowledge, the clearest answer to the reason why knowledge is possible. Only by understanding the theory of knowledge on the basis of ontology can the theory of knowledge have a solid and realistic foundation.
Lecture 12 Value Theory
1. Why should we talk about value theory?
Our foothold is how to talk about value theory in a metaphysical system based on ontology. Why should we talk about value? Not only because the value issue is an important aspect of Western philosophy, there are many books and thoughts, but also because the theory of value is very seriously involved in the rationality of ontology. They have serious differences in understanding, and we must talk about value issues if we want to talk about a complete ontology.
2. "Axiology transcends ontology"
The question of value appears to a considerable number of philosophers to transcend ontology and existence. Value is not the value of general experience, not practical, practical and phenomenon value.
3. Kant's Theory of Value: Freedom
Where does the theory of value find an absolute value in Kant? It is different from the good or bad experience. It is an absolute thing and an absolute good. What is absolutely good? The absolute good is in the motivation of the behavior, not the result of the behavior. The results are all relative. Only motivation can be said to be absolute good or absolute evil. The results of everything you do are relative. Only the motivation has absolute good. But this motive has not acted yet. It is impossible to infer the motive from the result. The motive is unknowable. This is a principle of Kant.
For Kant, axiology does not belong to ontology and epistemology, but to practice theory, within the scope of practical reason. Practical reason is the scope of freedom, while freedom is unconditional and has nothing to do with the perceptual world. Therefore, it does not belong to the scope of knowledge but the scope of will. In other words, axiology belongs to the scope of will, and freedom of will is the basis of value. In this way, starting from Kant, there are very clear boundaries in the following three fields: the real field (theory of knowledge, reason), the good field (axiology, will), and the beautiful field (emotion).
The foundation of Kant's theory of value is the desire of will, and desire is free. The desire for freedom and the desire for freedom are the foundation of the theory of value, so the foundation of the theory of value is the theory of desire for freedom. How to understand the desire for freedom in philosophy? Kant proposed to get rid of all perceptual domination. Kant said that reason has its own power, not driven by emotion. Determine my behavior and my motivation directly from rationality. Kant's moral law is an absolute command, there is no perceptual thing, "preserving the laws of nature and destroying human desires." In this way, some later philosophers believed that this command and the principle of heaven were just weak, only form, without actual power.
Motivation is not just. Motivation is unknowable. Why is it unknowable? According to Kant, because it is not in time and space, in the brain, and no meaning can be dissected in the brain; therefore, it is not a matter of knowledge and the scope of existence, that is, it does not exist. Therefore, the meaning of Kant's motivation theory is not what we generally call empirical understanding. You don’t know your own motives, you cannot theorize it, it is not in time and space, it is not the object of knowledge, it is unknowable.
4. Nietzsche's theory of value: creation
Nietzsche said that freedom of will means creation. It is powerful and substantial, not formal. It is not a deficiency, not only a deficiency, nor a need. It is not even full, but full and overflowing. Ancient philosophy is called "streaming".
5. Axiology is a part of ontology
Lecture 13 Axiology leading to religion
1. The general relationship between philosophy and theology
In modern times, philosophy has entered religion from the ways of moral corruption, voluntarism, axiology, and perfectionism, making the problem of Christianity more clear.
2. Epistemology and Theology
Regarding the existence of God, Anselm’s basic idea is that proofs can only be deduced from concepts. The proof must first set an axiom. What kind of concept is it? God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipotent; God is a omniscience, all-encompassing, not an individual attribute. After setting this, it can be inferred: Since it is a complete book, it must exist. Unlike the existence of general perceptual experience, this complete book is just ubiquitous. It is impossible for him not to exist. If it is said that it does not exist, then it is not "Daquan"; since it is defined as "Daquan" and not "Daquan", it is self-contradictory, and self-contradictory things are impossible. Therefore, God must and must exist.
Kant did not approve of this idea. Kant's thinking is that you cannot use concepts to prove existence. Concept is concept, and existence is existence. Existence must be in time and space. It is a perceptual way and can be intuitive; and the concept of God is not an empirical concept. If it is not in time and space, the concept of any thing, even the concept of experience, cannot infer the existence of this thing. .
3. Axiology and Theology
The value of originality that we emphasize is the creation of will and the freedom of will. Nietzsche said that creation does not guarantee your success, and the freedom of will and moral responsibility do not guarantee your happiness. Morality and happiness are completely split in Kant. Not all virtuous people are happy. People with high virtuousness are often unhappy, and those who are not virtuous and ill are sometimes happy. When is it inevitable? It must be so in the city of God, and so in the kingdom of heaven. Later, the Frenchman Levinas said that in Kant's practical rational thought, his moral law can be without God, and God comes out only when it comes to the inevitable relationship between morality and happiness.
4. Ontology and Theology
As far as Kant’s thinking is concerned, happiness and morality are two things that are completely separated in the real world—the world of phenomena. In the world of phenomena, they are empirical and accidental. In the kingdom of heaven, they are absolute and inevitable. In the kingdom of God , The realistic things are combined with the conceptual things.
5. On the "future" standpoint
Humans can only speak theology in the sense of ontology, and can only recall, miss, and think about ontological issues from a future standpoint. It is impossible to regard ontology as an empirical fact. This is the knowledge of philosophy. The knowledge of philosophy cannot replace the knowledge of experience. Philosophical knowledge is not a theology in the Christian sense, but a sacred and pure science. It is impossible to experience the past, present, and future, so we can only understand the integrity of the world in ontology.