112811.doc

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18 Apr 2012
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2011-11-28
Reason and Feeling in Modern Philosophy
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
Berkeley's View of Free Will
Think of Plato's theory of forms. Forms exist for things that are inventable. If all things are given to us
by presentation through an idea in the mind of God who projects a perceptual field and we enter it. Can
we say by extension that God limits us by experience? We are not the initiators, rather we are
experiencers.
How does Berkeley deal with the problem of evil?
The issue is trying to reconcile the properties of God with what seems to be needed for moral
responsibility. It only makes sense to talk of moral responsibility when you could have done otherwise.
The issue is, if we were determines to do x why would we be praised or blamed for it?
Leibnz asks how we can give humans free will while have a Deity that is all-knowing.
Q: can we add our own opinion to the essays?
A: You need to make your thoughtfulness and insight evident in the essay when reporting on a particular
philosophy. “Surprise” the professor with something you saw in the text (like an inconsistency,
connection, new perspective).
Berkeley and the Issue of Dualism
All things are of the mind. When I see things I see an idea. The collection of my ideas make up an object.
The object just is what I observe, touch, taste and smell and hear.
The issue is we are aware of the mind from our personal case. How do I know that you have a mind like
mind? I know that from my own case, I am aware of my own thinking and understanding of my
perceptions. So when I talk about my ideas and perceptions its all of what's going on in my
consciousness. And the only way I can talk about other is special kinds of things like tables or chairs.
Page 81 pp145
A common argument:
When you speak to me in a thoughtful way in which you have exited ideas in me. That is all I can know
of what is in your mind. The thing that you use to do your perceiving, understanding, willing, imagining
and remembering is done by your own operations.
I see you writing things down. You ask a question and write and essay.
I have immediate knowledge of this book because I am aware of it
The way J.S. Mill puts it as constructing an analogical arguments. An analogical argument is a
comparison between two things. They are very common and use in daily life. Mill couches this argument
for other minds as analogical argument. It goes like this: I know in my own case that if I cut myself with
a knife I will do certain things such as stop the bleeding, disinfect my finger and get a bandaid, etc. All of
those things are observable except the pain I felt. In addition to my saying, that really hurt, I felt pain. I
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