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Lecture

Rochfoucauld, Rochester, Augustine, & Aquinas

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1F91
Professor
David Hayes
Semester
Fall

Description
18/04/2012 1 PHILOSOPHY 191 PESSIMISTIC AND OPTIMISTIC PHILOSOPHERS 2 Pessimistic and Optimistic theories Optimists believe that humans are basically and naturally good, rational, altruistic and free [or should be free] to control of their own destiny. Pessimists believe mainly the opposite BUT* We are either born naturally egoistic, and/or sinful or stupid/foolish and not in control of our destiny. * There are lots of exceptions to these generalizations 3 Two good examples of pessimists Francois de La Rochfoucauld Earl of Rochester They are definitely expressing cynical views of human nature and not holding out much hope for humankind, because humankind is not kind to humans!! 4 La Rochfoucauld Uses literary non-argumentative style with aphorisms presumably based on his th observations of people in 17 C France and readings about other peoples and making both diachronic* and synchronic** comparisons th th * (= across time) People living at different times [4 century BCE Greece and 17 century Europe CE] **(= same time) People living at the same time [21 century Canada and China] 5 Note bene Maxims 11, 14, 19, 27 78 re Justice: Thrasymachus in Platos Republic and ch. 2 Gyges Ring Notice: he says most men not all men Is he using a tacit inductive argument? Or an impressionistic statistical argument? 83 equally cynical about friendship 135 extremely interesting 6 Other virtues deconstructed Gratitude 223 Humility 253 Love 259 Pity 264 True love and true friendship 473 Idea of roles and role playing 256 7 Earl of Rochester Also uses a literary style but with at least a tacit argument based on his radical 1 Love 259 Pity 264 18/04/2012 True love and true friendship 473 Idea of roles and role playing 256 7 Earl of Rochester Also uses a literary style but with at least a tacit argument based on his radical empiricist epistemology Basic idea is that humans are too rational, too smart for our own well being. We should rely more on the experience of the 5 senses than on Reason. 8 Rochester Prefers being a dog monkey or bear to being a human so proud of being rational. [30 left side] Has an extreme pragmatist view of human reason 9 Reason and the senses I own right reason, which distinguishes by sense And gives us rules of good and ill from thence [31 left side] We kill for no good reason unlike animals: they kill for food; Man undoes man to do himself no good [31 right side] Anticipation of prisoners dilemma on bottom [31 right side] honestys against all common sense; Men must be knaves. tis their own defense 10 Criticism of hypocrisy see what human nature craves: Most men are cowards, all men should be knaves [32 left side] Final page is critique of hypocrisy especially by religious leaders Finishes with interesting line: [32] Man differs more from man than man from beast 11 AUGUSTINE confesses Why do people write confessions? Argues for privileged access a principle that seems obvious but is denied by many modern philosophies. WHY? Mainly because it relies on Introspection and so is not open to interpersonal objective observation 12 AUGUSTINEs Platonic epistemology Starting with 6 [37] outlines a brilliant anti-empiricist theory of human nature and human knowledge that follows Platonic principles 2modern philosophies. WHY? 18/04/2012 Mainly because it relies on Introspection and so is not open to interpersonal objective observation 12 AUGUSTINEs Platonic epistemology Starting with 6 [37] outlines a brilliant anti-empiricist theory of human nature and human knowledge that follows Platonic principles 1. I have both body and soul = the Greek psyche 2. my inner self is the better of the two where the inner self =the psyche and the outer = the body 3. So Augustine is a link between Plato and Descartes! 13 The self, the soul and the senses [38-7] 14 The senses and the memory 1. The senses imprint images of things on my mind [8] 2. But knowledge is not just of images but of facts[9] 3. Memory includes mathematical knowledge = innumerable principles and laws of numbers and dimensions [12] followed by beautiful typically Platonic/Pythagorean argument against empiricism and for rationalism 15 Mathematical Knowledge The principles of numbers and dimens
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