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Philosophy Lec1.docx

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William Seager

Philosophy: Lecture/Notes 1 September 11, 2012  Philosophy = set of beliefs (personal philosophy)  Metaphysics = what there is  Philosophical Scepticism  Dualism Examples of Philosophical ???  Is there a God?  Belief vs. Knowledge  Mind Body problem  Ethics  Mind only that exists = solipsism  Philosophy is the oldest subject  Every civilization has a philosophy  Questions nobody knows how to answer (e.g. What is water made of?  Thales, this once was a philosophical question, now it is a scientific question; Does God exist?)  Category of truth, knowledge, metaphysics  METHOD o Deduction  Terrible problem  can‘t learn anything new Metaphysical Questions:  What is God? Does it exist?  two very different questions  What is now?  is time flowing, from past to present to future? If it is, how fast? How much time does it take for a second to pass?  What is mind vs. brain?  Example: the trashcan  ―What is it?‖  If you remove some 3000 molecules out of it, is it the same?  Difference between knowing and believing (i.e. I think my girlfriend has her period, I know she does)  Scepticism: Certain that we know nothing September 13, 2012 WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?  Philosophical Questions o Fundamental o General o Conceptual Analysis (getting clear)  I.E. Can submarines swim? (can‘t set up laboratory project to prove it, instead think about what does it mean to swim, what does it mean to be a submarine, …not a deep question but still can‘t be answered; similarly can aeroplanes fly?  fish can swim, submarines also have fins so why can‘t they swim  these questions don‘t matter but you can use the same method to answer deeper questions)  Why no Philosophyical Labs? o Thought experiments (another branch neuro-philosophy)  Most famous: The trolly problem, you‘re the only one in a streetcar, some problem, brakes failed, only choice send it right or left; on the right hand track you have 5 workers all wearing headphones, on the left hand, there‘s one worker wearing headphones…lets assume if you don‘t do anything, the trolly will go right…ethical question, what is the right thing to do?  Could do nothing, clean hands response  its an accident if you do nothing (if you weren‘t in the car, that‘s what was going to happen)  Or you can switch it to left and kill one  Suppose you have three tracks, the middle track kills none, should you switch then? Almost everyone agrees to this one  It‘s a false distinction, in this case an act of omission IS actually doing something (i.e. act of euthanasia vs. do nothing in hospitals) *** IMPORTANT CONCEPT***  Second scenario, you‘re not in the car but you‘re on the bridge overhead, there‘s a fat person on the bridge. Thus if you push the weighty individual you will stop the track from going right (in this case there is no one on left track, only fatty will get killed). But no one agrees to do this.  emotional segments of brain start kicking in, this is not a philosophical explanation  The ‗Hand Off‘ o As philosophy began, asking all the questions there are…over time science rew and answered these questions.  No mystic gurus! o Is the believing of things because they are true but you can‘t justify them, ―I just know there are invisible people here‖ o Philosophy doesn‘t care what you believe, but it doesn‘t like it if you force people to believe your beliefs without proof  What is an argument? o A structure of statements designed to prove some point, o Premises o Conclusion o Premises must be relevant to the conclusion. o Relevance = the premises mus
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