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Lecture 2

PHL 605 Lecture 2: week2

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Ryerson University
PHL 605
John Caruana

PHL 605- Week 2 Dualism  The mind and the body are two separate things  This crisis of self assertion creates a need for a way to answer the questions  Means we need a way to answer questions  I.e.- method  The sciences developed a systematic way of developing theories Mechanistic view (Descartes) – singular answers and narrowing and objectifying answers  Step 1 - You start with a theory about the way things are  To create a theory, you need a hypothesis  Step 2- you develop a hypothesis  To create a hypothesis, you need a definition of terms  Step 3- definition of terms  To define means to delimit, you are saying only the things with these definitions are counted as existing, things outside are not  For this reason, this is not a good method  Step 4 - Once you got your definition of terms you devise the experiment  Step 5 - You then do the experiment and gather the data  Step 6 - And then you interpret it  Descartes is known to be the first modern philosopher  At his time there was only one body of literature which was Aristotle that you had to study for a thousand years in European history because we had lost Plato, Socrates, etc.  In order to become a doctor, you had to do a disputation. You stood in front of you colleagues and explain to them what you knew about Aristotle. If you knew a lot they called you a doctor and you got your PHD. o Descartes thought this had a lot of errors Humanism history/literature (Vico)- multiple answers  Vico noticed that when we write history we cannot write it from a point of view  History never has one answer, and literature absolutely does not have a single answer  There are multiple answers for every questions for history and literature  Multiple answers mean there is not a certainty about the world around us that we hoped there was  The scientific method tries to create that certainty  Hermeneutics is basically that there is no one method or group of methods that will lead from the theory to the truth of that theory  this is damaging because it means that there is nothing but uncertainty the quarrel of the ancients and the moderns  the Iliad is 16000 lines long and the odyssey is  homer did not write the Iliad and the odyssey no one knows who wrote them.  Descartes said that the things taught in his youth are errors so he barks on fundamental philosophy  What is important in fundamental philosophy is the attempt to drop what you know  Descartes said the way to go about this is a skeptical point of view  “doubting the contingent universe” because he kept doubting and doubting he got rid of the whole universe. He realized that because he is doubting, he is thinking, and if he thinking there is something that is doing the thinking o he comes up with his line “I think therefore I am” o he need to identify what’s doing the thinking o he realizes that there are two kinds of substance in the universe one is mind and the other is body o he said mind and body are two different substances but he does realize that the mind is in the body o he says that the mind can exist with out the body o this is the moment in philosophy when the mind was born to modern philosophy. Prior to that the mind was known as the soul Mind  unextended  and is indivisible  this is quantity Body  extended in three dimensions  and it is divisible  this is quality First principle sui generis  irreducible  everything depends on it  this is known as reductionism its fine that I am thinking
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