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Lecture

October 22.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 1000
Professor
John Russon

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1 of 3 October 22/2013 PHIL*1000*0106 Introduction to Philosophy Descartes o Last week we looked at the cogito argument "I am a thinking thing"  This meditation went through a systematic doubt of all the sources of knowledge  Concluded there was something he could not doubt: his own existence  His philosophy was trying to determine the things you can know with absolute certainty  The attempt to doubt your own existence results in you contradicting yourself: you know for sure that you exist as a thinking thing  A mind, a consciousness, you exist as an act of being aware When you have the thought that maybe you're just having a dream, you're imagining that you're living in your own private bubble in imagination .Asking the question you still have to recognize that there is a me. You think of yourself as an isolated individual consciousness. You can step into your private internal realm in life. The reality of subjectivity involves this internal private realm of experience. Your thoughts are your own thoughts. We experience the same things as others, but we experience them differently from our own points of view and our own way of interpretation, of which no one else knows about. You can look around and see a bunch of other bodes, but you can't see what their perspective. You can make guesses about what people are experiencing, and you can also learn how to look a way that doesn't actually reflect how you are ie. acting or pretending to be angry. The thing about subjectivity is that to be a person, is to live in that space of private subjectivity. If you're a person, you can conduct the first argument and prove that you can think, but when you do that, you are also proving that you inhabit a private domain of subjectivity. We are individual, and we are something separate from our bodies. You are your consciousness, your mind. The word subjectivity is the word we use to capture this experience. It is the recognition of people as subjects, not as members of a society or organisms, but rather as self contained, private domains of awareness. Another thing that is attached to subjectivity is will. It's the idea that we are in control of our own perspectives, thoughts, knowledge and will. We are subjective beings and this is the important thing to remember* Other people are basically mysteries to us. We have the visual experience of other bodies, but can't confirm that they are in fact other people. If you are encountering one, you don't know what they are thinking. Ancient philosophy talked about the importance of sharing experiences, but when we think about people in this sense, we have no idea how we actually figure into that other person's world. When you start thinking about people as subjects, their privacy is a weird mysterious domain that is part of your world but you have no access to it. There's a whole world of feelings and emotions. 2 of 3 The Wax Argument - second argument o This argument will help us understand what the nature of the body is, while showing us some significant things about the mind and the nature of science o Will lead to a conclusion about the nature of knowledge o Candle vs. Molten wax o Descartes question was how do you recognize that the melting wax on a lit candle is the same wax? o We are looking at the word "see"  You can't see that it is the same wax, for it looks entirely different  Then how do you recognize the sameness? Not with any of the senses - from the point of view of every sense it is not the same as the candle - the wax is hot, the candle cold, the wax is liquid, the candle solid etc. o In the exp
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