Philosphy

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Philosophers provide reasons for thinking their ideas are plausible

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Philosophers provide reasons for thinking their ideas are plausible

plausible—they give us arguments.

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we should believe what they say if

there are good reasons for doing so.

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Argument

A group of statements in which one of them is meant to be supported by the others

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Statement

An assertion that something is or is not the case and is therefore the kind of utterance that is either true or false

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Conclusion

The statement being supported.

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Premise

The statement supporting the conclusion.

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A good argument has

(1) solid logic and (2) true premises.

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Deductive Arguments

intended to give logically conclusive support to their conclusions so that if the premises are true, the conclusion absolutely must be true.

  1. All dogs are mammals.

  2. Rex is a dog.

  3. Therefore, Rex is a mammal.

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To Locate an Argument

Find its conclusion first, then its premises. Look for indicator words: Premise indicator words: in view of the fact, assuming that, because, since, due to the fact that, for Conclusion indicator words: consequently, as a result, thus, hence, therefore, so

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An Argument: Law enforcement in the city is a complete failure. Incidents of serious crime have doubled.

No Argument: Law enforcement in the city is a complete failure. Nothing seems to work anymore. We've seen this kind of bad situation before.

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Inductive Arguments

supposed to give probable support to their conclusions. They can establish only that, if their premises are true, their conclusions are probably true.

  1. Eighty-five percent of the students at this university are Republicans.

  2. Sonia is a student at this university.

  3. Therefore, Sonia is probably a Republican

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Strong arguments

such that if their premises are true, their conclusions are probably true.

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Inference to the Best Explanation

a form of reasoning in which we reason from premises about a state of affairs to an explanation for that state of affairs.

  1. Tariq flunked his philosophy course.

  2. The best explanation for his failure is that he didn't read the material.

  3. Therefore, he probably didn't read the material.

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Fallacious Reasoning

mistaken belief

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Straw Man Fallacious Reasoning

Misrepresenting a person's views so they can be more easily attacked or dismissed

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Appeal to the Person Fallacious Reasoning

Rejecting a statement on the grounds that it comes from a particular person, not because the statement itself is false or dubious

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Appeal to Popularity Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing that a claim must be true not because it is backed by good reasons but simply because many people believe it.

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Genetic Fallacy Fallacious Reasoning

Can be judged true or false based on its source.

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Begging the Question Fallacious Reasoning

Trying to prove a conclusion by using that very same conclusion as support.

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Appeal to Ignorance Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing either that (1) a claim is true because it hasn't been proven false or (2) a claim is false because it hasn't been proven true.

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False Dilemma Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing erroneously that since there are only two alternatives to choose from, and one of them is unacceptable, the other one must be true.

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Equivocation Fallacious Reasoning

Assigning two different meanings to the same significant word in an argument.

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Slippery Slope Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing erroneously that a particular action should not be taken because it will lead inevitably to other actions resulting in some dire outcome.

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Composition Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing erroneously that what can be said of the parts can also be said of the whole.

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Division Fallacious Reasoning

Arguing erroneously that what can be said of the whole can be said of the parts.

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Metaphysics

The study of reality, an inquiry into the fundamental nature of the universe and the things in it.

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Axiology

The study of value, including both aesthetic value and moral value.

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Epistemology

The study of knowledge

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Logic

The study of correct reasoning.

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# ___ Socrates

first of the big 3 accent philosophers

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Socrates:

Worried about getting people to think about things The soul is harmed by lack of knowledge. To get to the truth, we must go around the false certitudes of custom, tradition, and superstition and let reason be our guide.

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The Socratic Method

  1. Someone poses a question about the meaning of a concept.

  2. Socrates' companion gives an answer.

  3. Socrates raises questions about the answer, proving that the answer is inadequate.

  4. To avoid the problems inherent in this answer, the companion offers a second one.

  5. Steps 3 and 4 are repeated several times, revealing that the companion does not know what he thought he knew.

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Propositional Knowledge

Knowledge of a proposition, or knowing that something is the case.

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Rationalists

Those who believe that through unaided reason we can come to know what the world is like

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Empiricists

Those who believe that our knowledge of the empirical world comes solely from sense experience

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Skepticism

is the view that we lack knowledge in some fundamental way.

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A Priori Knowledge

Knowledge gained independently of or prior to sense experience.

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A Posteriori Knowledge

Knowledge that depends entirely on sense experience.

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#_____ Plato

2nd of the big 3 accent philosophers

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Plato's Rationalism:

Since we clearly do have knowledge, we must derive it from a reliable source—and that source has to be reason. Reality comprises two worlds: the fleeting world of the physical accessed through sense experience; and the eternal, nonphysical, changeless world of genuine knowledge accessed only through reason. The Forms: perfect conceptual models for every existing thing, residing only in the eternal world penetrated by reason alone.

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Plato

Knowledge of the Forms is already present at birth, inscribed in our minds (our immortal souls) in a previous existence. Accessing it is a matter of using reason to recall what we previously knew in another life.

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René Descartes

Sees sense experience as an unreliable source of knowledge and tries to give all our knowledge a foundation as firm as that which supports unshakeable mathematical truths. Assumes that knowledge requires certainty. Offers the Dream and Evil Genius Arguments. His way out of skepticism: "I think, therefore I am."

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Descartes' Dream Argument:

  1. "There are no certain indications by which we may clearly distinguish wakefulness from sleep."

  2. So it is possible that we are dreaming now and that what we take to be the real world is in fact not real at all.

  3. If so, we can't be certain about anything we think we know through our senses.

  4. Therefore, sense experience can yield no knowledge.

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Descartes' Evil Genius Argument:

Suppose that "some evil genius not less powerful and deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving me."

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We can't be sure that this is not the case.

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And if we are not certain of this, we can't know anything based on experience.

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Therefore, we can't know anything based on experience.

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Descartes' Argument Against Skepticism

I can persuade myself of something; I can have thoughts.

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If I can persuade myself of something, if I can have thoughts, I must exist. Even an evil genius cannot rob me of this knowledge.

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"I think, therefore I am."

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Descartes' First Principle of Knowledge:

"[I]t seems to me that already I can establish as a general rule that all things which I perceive very clearly and very distinctly are true."

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Locke

debunks the notion of innate knowledge. At birth the mind is unmarked "white paper" void of any ideas until sense experience gives it content. From sense experience, the mind obtains "all the materials of reason and knowledge."

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Critics' main charge against Locke:

He has not given us any good reason to think that our sense data are proof of the existence of an external reality.

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Locke says

we directly experience only our sensations, or ideas; we only indirectly perceive external objects.

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Locke asks

What could possibly cause our sense experience if not external objects?

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George Berkeley

Accepts the empiricist notion of our being aware only of sense data but rejects Locke's belief in the existence of material objects. Denies that material objects exist independently of our sense experience, insisting that it is logically impossible for physical objects to exist, for we cannot "conceive them existing unconceived." Accepts subjective idealism: all that exist are minds and their ideas.

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Berkeley's Argument Against the Existence of Material Objects

Material objects cannot exist because their existence would be logically absurd. The commonsense view is that material objects continue to be even when no one has them in mind. But, says Berkeley, this would mean that they can be conceived of as existing unconceived, that we can think about things that no one is thinking about—a logical contradiction. Therefore, Berkeley concludes, the claim that material objects exist is false.

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David Hume

Holds that all our knowledge (aside from purely logical truths) is derived from sense perceptions or ideas about those perceptions. Believes that the mind is empty—a blank slate—until experience gives it content. Hume is driven to skepticism about the existence of the external world, causation, a continuing self, religious doctrines, and inductive reasoning.

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Hume's Argument Against Induction

The principle of induction cannot be an a priori truth, because the denial of an a priori truth is self-contradictory, and the denial of the principle of induction is not like that. It cannot be an a posteriori fact, because no amount of empirical evidence can show it to be true. (To maintain that the principle is an a posteriori fact is equivalent to saying that it can be proved by the principle of induction—which is to beg the question.) Therefore, the principle of induction cannot be rationally justified.

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Relations of ideas

the mind is a blank space it doesn't come into the world with any ideas ex. 1+1=2 you still have to be taught it ex. all bachelors are male (bc bachelor means single male)(just know its true)

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matter of fact

need to investigate further. majority of knowledge that is interesting. ex. its snowing outside, where the bar deals are, trumps president. true or false room for air. inductive reasoning

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principle of uniformity of nature (P.U.N)

the future will resemble the past ex. in the past the sun has risen every morning therefore tomorrow the sun will rise. inductive reasoning these observations are in no way evidence not relations of ideas not matter of fact.

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The Kantian Compromise Analytic statement

A logical truth whose denial results in a contradiction.

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The Kantian Compromise Synthetic statement

A statement that is not analytic.

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The Kantian Compromise Kant

Synthetic a priori knowledge is possible; we can know things about the world, and we can know them independently of or prior to experience. Because this knowledge is a priori, it is both necessarily true and universally applicable

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The Kantian Revolution

The conventional view was that knowledge is acquired when the mind conforms to objects—that is, when the mind tracks the external world. Kant proposed the opposite: objects conform to the mind. Sense experience can match reality because the mind stamps a structure and organization on sense experience. Synthetic a priori knowledge is possible because the mind's concepts force an (a priori) order onto (synthetic) experience.

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Cosmological Arguments

Arguments that try to show that from the fact that the universe exists, God exists.

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Teleological Arguments(Arguments from Design)

Arguments that try to show that God must exist because features of the universe show signs of purpose or design

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Ontological Argument

Argument that tries to demonstrate Gods existence by logical analysis of the concept of God

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Argument from Evil

An argument purporting to show that since there is unnecessary evil, an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God must not exist.

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Cosmological Argument: Aquinas

Everything has a cause, nothing can be the cause of itself, an infinite regress of cause is not possible, there must be a first cause. therefore everything must have a first cause which we call God

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Responses to the Cosmological Argument

Its not clear that an infinite regress of causes is impossible. First cause may have been big bang theory or energy or any # go things not God doesn't follow that the first cause currently exists or that theres a single cause

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Cosmological Argument: Craig

whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, the universe has a cause

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Responses to the Design Argument from Analogy

Even if there is a designer of the universe, it doesn't follow that the designer is God: There might be many (non-omniscient and non-omnipotent) designers. Even if there is a single designer, it doesn't follow that it has the omni-qualities definitive of God. Even if there is a single designer, it doesn't follow that it currently exists.

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William Rowe

Argument from Evil- an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being doesn't exist because they could prevent evil equally bad or worse

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Alvin Plantinga: (The Theodicy of Free Will)

Its up to God to create free creatures at all; but if he aims to produce moral good, then he must create significantly free creatures whose cooperation he needs. Thus the power of an omnipotent God is limited by the freedom conferred upon his creatures.

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J.L. Mackie (Response to the Theodicy of Free Will)

If God made men such that in their free choices they sometimes choose good and sometimes chose evil why couldn't he make them always choose good?

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John Hick (Soul making defense)

Personal growth—soul-making—can take place only when people make free choices in response to the pain and anguish of living.

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Responses to the Soul-Making Defense

Sometimes people do not grow in response to the pain and anguish of living. There appears to be more suffering in the world than is necessary for soul-making. When an individual dies from a natural disaster, the only opportunity for soul-making is for others. But that would be wrongly treating the victim merely as a means (not respecting his/her humanity as an end in itself).

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William James (Pragmatic Faith)

Sometimes we may be justified in making a leap of faith to embrace a belief that is entirely unsupported by evidence.

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Blaise Pascal (Betting on God)

We can have only a pragmatic justification for believing in God. We should believe because believing is advantageous; it is our best bet.

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Responses to Pragmatic Faith and Betting on God

One should never believe anything upon insufficient evidence (Clifford). Pascal's wager fails to consider enough possibilities concerning God's nature and how God would treat us. Even if there were good pragmatic reasons for believing in God, we could not actually get ourselves to believe on the basis of such reasons.

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The Problem of Free Will

The challenge of reconciling determinism with our intuitions or ideas about personal freedom

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Determinism

The doctrine that every event is determined by preceding events and the laws of nature.

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Incompatibilism

The view that if determinism is true, there can be no free will.

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Hard Determinism

The view that free will does not exist, that no one acts freely.

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Indeterminism

The view that not every event is determined by preceding events and the laws of nature.

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Compatibilism

The view that although determinism is true, our actions can still be free as long as (1)we have the power to do what we want, and (2) nothing is preventing us from doing it (for example, no one is restraining or coercing us).

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Libertarianism

The view that some actions are free, for they are ultimately caused, or controlled, by the person, or agent.

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Ethics

The study of morality using the methods of philosophy.

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Morality

Our beliefs about right and wrong actions and good and bad persons or character.

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Moral Theory

theory that explains why an action is right or wrong or why a person or a person's character is good or bad. tells us what it is about an action that makes it right, or what it is about a person that makes him or her good.

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Consequentialist theories

insist that the rightness of actions depends solely on their consequences or results.

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Deontological (nonconsequentialist) theories

say that the rightness of actions is determined not solely by their consequences but partly or entirely by their intrinsic nature.

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utilitarianism

The view that right actions are those that result in the most beneficial balance of good over bad consequences for everyone involved.

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ethical egoism

The view that right actions are those that further one's own best interests.

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Kants Theory (Deontological)

The theory that right actions are those that accord with the categorical imperative.

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virtue ethics

A moral theory that focuses on the development of virtuous character.

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ethics of care

A moral perspective that emphasizes the unique demands of specific situations and the virtues and feelings that are central to close personal relationships.

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Divine Command Theory

The doctrine that God is the creator of morality.

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