Poem About Western Philosophy
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Poem About Western Philosophy
Four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Sophists ~ 450BC
First attempt at a fullfledged philosophical doctrine
Considered the first sophist
Despised by Plato
Because they charged fees
Because they used rhetorical sleightofhand
Pythagoreans ~ 500BC
Believed in reincarnation
Heavily influenced by mathematics and mysticism
Transmigration of the Soul was a core belief
"No man steps in the same river twice."
Diogenes primary biographer
Parmenides ~ 450BC
Only known work was "On Nature" a poem
Claimed that truth cannot be know throughsensory perception, only through logos.
Zeno of Elea 490430BC
Reducto ad Absurdum
Arhilles and the Tortoise
First known writer to collect and document hisideas systematically.
The Pelopomnesian War his greatestcontribution to history.
"The Father of Scientific History"
"The Father of the school of political realism"
Ethical truth was absolute
"To Know the Good is to Do the Good"
The Socratic Method
Shadows on the Cave Wall
Women should hold political power
Political leaders chosen from among best &amp; brightest
What is Justice?
Give each man his due
Might makes right
No nuclear family
No private property
Philosopher "guardians" ofReason will rule
Asked the question "What is virtue?"
Invented Dualism of Mind and Body
Invented term "physics"
Greek for "Nature"
Criticism of The Republic/Plato
Family is rooted in human nature
Idea of private property is 'natural'
Rejected concentration of power
Supported rule by middle class
Defined ethics as "What is thegood goal of human life?"
Happiness is the life lived bythe virtuous person
Happiness is the goal of human life
Happiness originally meant "success"
Happiness means good atbeing human
Four Primary Virtues
We acquire our knowledge ofthe world via our senses
We are made of atoms
Abstain from Political Life
Abstain from sexual involvement
Take nothing to excess
Zeno of Citium 334-262BC
Considered founder of Stoicism
"Happiness is a good flow of life"
Pathos is a disturbance of the mindrepugnant to Reason and againstNature.
Virtua is the consistency of the soul withRight Reason and Universal Reason(logic)
Zeno of Elea 490-430BC
Best known for his Paradoxes
Critical response to epicureanism
Freedom from sufferingthrough discipline
Duty to community
Considered philosophy a way of life
Actions more important than beliefs
Explores the relationship between God and the people ofJerusalem
Central theme is the Covenant
Book of Job
Asks the question "Why do the righteous suffer?"
Satan challenges Lord
Lord inflicts cruelty on Job
Job does not forsake his Lord
Baptism as the means bywhich Jews become Christians
Rejects circumcision as anecessary rite to becomeChristian
Combined christian with platonic
The Grace of God
Is grace a gift of god, or mustit be earned?
Predestination God knows fromthe start who will receive TheGrace
Argues that the eternity of the worldcannot be demonstrated by purelogic.
Wrote the "Summa Theologica"
Truth could be achieved through natural ordivine reason
Four Cardinal Virtues
Five Ways on the Nature of God
God is simple, without composition of parts
God is perfect, lacking nothing
God is infinite
God is immutable
God is one
Words have meaning in and ofthemselves
Words have no inherit meaning
Disagreed with Augustine's automatic granting of grace by god
Wrote the 95 Theses
In response to Indulgencessold by the Pope
Strongly believed that freedom from God'spunishment could not be purchased with money.
Earned grace through belief in Jesus
Salvation is not earned by good deeds
Faith in Jesus brings salvation
Once justified, you can be condemned through the commission of sin.
Grace was given by god
Knowledge of God not attainable throughexperience, only through studying of scripture
Rejected catholic doctrine of merit
Supported the notion of predestination
Once justified, always justified
Justification comes through having a conversion experience
Proponent of the concept of the original sin
Adam Smith 1723-1790
The Wealth of Nations: TheDivision of Labor
Specialization of job functionleads to massive gains inefficiency.
Coordination and cooperationbetween specialists is done out ofselfinterest.
We get what we need from othersout of their selfinterest, not theircharity.
The Theory of Moral Sentiment
Offers an explanation and basis for thecooperation and coordination that are required forthe division of labor described in Wealth ofNations.
We want the approval of others
The reactions of others to usand our behaviors is importantto us.
We generally seek to behave as if therewere an impartial spectator observing ourbehaviors. Would they approve of them?
Our conscience is a productof these factors.
Obeying the law
We do so because of the utility of doing so.In general, we derive benefit when we doso.
He was aware of the dangers and problemsthat could arise from too much specializationof labor and the social isolation that couldresult.
He worried about the moral impact on someonewho shifted from a villagecentric social contextto that of a large city and the anonymity thatcould result.
Smith is also concerned about class andwealth disparity and that impacts thatwould have on society.
Critiqued the progress ofmodern society
Moral decadence alwaysaccompanies culturalprogress
American Indians in their simplistic lifecompare favorably to Europeans in theirlevels of happiness and virtue.
Claimed that enlightenment beliefsled to eventual collapse ofcivilizations
Called for a return to nature
All power is given to the state
Your happiness is calculated as yourshare of the overall societalhappiness
David Hume 1711-1766
Ideas are copies of our senseimpressions
Three relations among ideas
Reason alone cannot justifyour belief in experience
Belief in our experiences as representing theexternal world accurately is based on ourinstinct or custom, and cannot be proven withreason.
Scientific theory of morality
Moral judgment cannot be based on rationaldeliberation, because simpletons and infantsare also capable of making more judgments.
There is no evidence that indicates that themost intellectually capable members of ourspecies are the most moral.
Therefore, our sense of morality is based inpart on our biology and in part by our socialcontext.
What makes a moral rule a universal more rule?
Primarily, its utility
All government and politicalinstitutions have their basis in utilityto society.
We have a natural appreciation for virtuousbehavior, and are thus naturally moral atleast in part.
You cannot deterministically go froman "is" to an "ought"
Basing religious belief oninference from experience hasfour flaws
It means that religion is probable at best,because all ideas are derived fromexperience, not reason.
In all scientific inquiries, negative evidence counts morethan positive evidence. So we would require positiveevidence with zero negative evidence in order to justify ourbelief in god through experience.
Effects do not prove a cause.
In the end, Hume is dismissive of both religionin general and in the ability to base religiousbelief on experience.
Objected to Locke'sEpistemological Relativism
The laws of nature are demonstrable acrosscultures, therefore not all knowledge isrelative
Believed that democratic republics are themost morally desirable but least stable formsof association
Greatly influenced AmericanRevolution
Must limit the ability ofgovernment to grow in power
Affluence eventually leads todespotism
Bishop Berkeley 1685-1733
There is no existenceindependent of perception
To exist is to be perceived
Disagreed with Locke's argument that humanknowledge depends on the existence ofmaterial objects independent of minds.
Claimed that materialism wasdogmatic superstition.
All of our ideas are derivedfrom our experiences
The Fable of the Bees
Central Human Traits
Philosophy of history
Human societies are cyclical
Worship of gods
Emergence of Heroes and kings
Age of man
Leads to collapse
Disagreed with social contracttheory
Society is not a contract but thenatural progression from customs andmores
Coinventory of Infinitesimal Calculus
Asserted "The best of allpossible worlds"
Metaphyics La Monadologie
An attempt to resolve theproblem of mind/body dualism
Nothing arises from nothing
Everything that exists has areason to exist
Everything which exists isbetter than anything nonexistent
Reason and faith are gifts from God
Sin and Suffering are the resultof metaphysical imperfections
Although God has unlimited reason andwillpower, humans do not which makes sin andsuffering possible.
Early developer of formal/algebraic logic
John Locke 1632-1704
A man is free when he is subject only topolitical authority to which he hasconsented.
Natural liberty is freedom fromthe arbitrary power of others
Beginning of moderndemocratic political theory.
Denies need for authoritarian power,which leads to despotism andtyranny
Denies that fear is the primarymotivator of men
Men are governed by lawsfrom a legislature
Modern social contract theory
An agreement among free and equal men toexit the state of nature and by forming alimited polity.
Stressed that equality was legalequality, not equality of materialpossessions.
Ideas are acquired via experience
Two forms of experience
The external world
Reflection on the mind's ownoperations
There are no innate ideas
The mind is a Tabula Rasa
Ethics are learned, not innate
Ethics are derived from experience, andthus relative to our experience of theworld
Brought Greek philosophy to the Romans
Combined Skeptics, Epicureanism
Virtue is happiness from Aristotle
Epicurean principle of refinedand disciplined pleasure
Raised the question "How dowe know what we know?"
Can we trust any of our ownknowledge?