PHIL 1F94 Lecture Notes - Akrasia, Hypothesis
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So far we know that philosophers try to solve what Rauhut calls ‘open
Such questions are open because it is difficult to determine what an
irrefutable answer would look like.
Second, we know that philosophers investigate such questions via
We now want to know if there is a methodology that philosophers use to
answer such questions. According to Rauhut, there is indeed a
methodology, which consists of four elements.
Philosophers as detectives
When we speak about clarification in philosophy, we are speaking about
conceptual analysis. In other words, we want to know what the terms,
definitions and concepts a person is using in an argument and how they
are being used.
Example “On the moral and legal status of abortion.” By Mary Anne
“The fetus is not a person and hence not the sort of entity to which it is
proper to ascribe full moral rights.”
Only a person can have moral rights and a fetus even if it is a human
being does not possess those moral rights.
Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the
being) and in particular the capacity to feel pain.
Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively
Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of
either genetic or direct external control.)
The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an
indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number
of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics.
The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual
or racial or both.
Just what makes a person a person?
Lecture 2 : Philosophical Methodology
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Philosophy Page 1
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