PHILOS 2 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Scoot, Determinism, Definition

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Published on 11 Sep 2017
Philosophy 2 Notes The puzzles and paradoxes 谜题&悖论
6/27 Tuesday
Socrates 469-399BC
Philosophy is the source of joy
Paradox: something odd, incredible
Giordano Bruno: ending bad
The search/ love for wisdom: pleasurable but risky
Puzzles: keep challenging and frustrating us no matter how many answers are
provided; having a view does not close the issue.
Sometimes Puzzles generates paradoxes
Paradoxes: beyond belief; incredible; cannot understand or plausible believe.
The town barber shaves all and only the people who do not shave themselves, who
shaves the barber.
o Leaves no possibilities
o Resolved: there is no such a person; we just cannot appoint such a person with
that qualifications
#1 Is there a first beginning of everything?
o If athig eists, e. A eists, thee is a ause B, ad B has a ause C….
o The eternity of the past; and the infinity of the past
o Infinity happen one step at a time?
o Argument: Time must have a beginning otherwise nothing could happen; cannot
justified for everything
o Can the past actually go on forever?
o Never get a reason of why it happened in the first place.
o Used as a basic of the augment of the existence of God
Cosmological argument
o The Big Bang Theory
o But hat akes this thig ualified as a egiig?
Looks arbitrary when to locate the first beginning
Why is this point better than the other point?
You can always ask the same question (what is the cause) for that point.
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But probably not the problem of the world but the problem of our
#2 Can we speak about what is not?
o Pegasus does not exist.
This is an augment about Pegasus; if it does not exist, how can it be an
augment or anything about it.
If it does not exist, there is no Pegasus to be about.
Seems to be true and about Pegasus; but cannot be both. Two conflicting
qualities of the statement.
o Alexius Meinong
Being has varies levels/degrees
Being in general sense
Pegasus does not have to exist in order to have something about it, it only
need to be a very general being, for example, a subject of discourse.
o Bertrand Russell (1872 -1971)
The Statement is not about Pegasus, but about something else.
It is about the being of a mythical horse; just the name and the thing
does not correspond. (?)
The idea of Pegasus/ the concept/ the word of Pegasus.
o Large implications: What existence is? In what way things be? Languages.
#3 Can one and the same thing change over time?
o Identity problem- the most common relationship with itself
o Opposite: deisticness & diversity; A has the quality that B does not have
o Two things identical are the one very same thing
o Aristotle 284- 322BC
o After change, is the object/person identical to the old one?
o Different qualities over time after changing, still the same person/thing?
o Democritus
o Heraclitus claimed you can never step into the same river once, because water
flows and changes, it is not the same river any more.
o Cells change in the body, but I am still me after cell changes?
o How can something change, yet stay the same?
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o Aristotle proposed that a lot of things change, a lot of qualities vary. But there are
qualities that represent my essence, that remain the same thing. Changes is
surface show (superficial), what matters is the core of being, the essence. As
along as the core of being remain the same, me is still me. Body is like a dress, a
But vague when trying to define what exactly is the core/ essential qualities.
Change of the core = Lose your very being.
What are those is a problem.
The essence is to be a rational being/animal, but every human has that.
Socrates= The essence of Socrates
Callias = The essence of Callias
The essence of Socrates = the essence of Callias
Socrates! = Callias
o Identity will be a social contract; a label people use.
o Personal identity
John Locke proposed: our identities are defined by our memories; as long as
we maintain the unity memories, we maintain ourselves.
But memories could be unreliable and faulty
But there could be many person in me, therefore different memories are
o Immanuel Kant
Ojeted Loke’s ie: newton's cradle, motion is translated to one and
othe, h ould’t it e e ae ogaized i the sae a? Memory
transfer to the one and next. Memory is a function; its unity does not
guarantee the same object.
o Summary: the issue is identity is a very universal relation, very being has this
relationship itself. When two things are identical, they are the same things having
the exactly the same qualities. Yet, with things like a person, a tree or a table,
things that can be called space-time continuants, can continue to be the same
while continue changing qualities, which seems to be a problem. Three main ways
to go about it: 1. As long as the core of being stay the same, the other qualities
changes does not matter. But the question would be what would be the
core/essence, and answer would be vague that makes more things identical while
they are not. 2. Memory is the core/essence to human identity. As long as one
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