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Philosophy Exam Notes.doc

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McMaster University
Stefan Rodde

Philosophy Exam Notes Metaphysics: ♦ Plato o World of Forms; it is in our minds only, part of our collective subconscious soul, unchangeable, lasts forever, what we see is a pale reflection of the Ideal World of Forms, true knowledge is getting beyond the appearances of our world of forms o Allegory of the Cave o Three-part theory of the soul (reason, spirit, appetite) ♦ Diotima o A person is the same as long as they exist in the same physical form cannot perceive a person’s mind of soul ♦ Descartes o I think, therefore I am o Reality exists in both mind and matter o If the soul or thinking mind did not continue to stay the same, they are no longer the same person ♦ Locke o What makes you the same person you are today that you remember being the same person you were during that time, memory o Continuity of consciousness o Believed that the state could justify its authority over its subjects only if it respected and defended their natural rights ♦ Hume o Individual self does not exist, there is no enduring self o Constant flux ♦ Hobbes o Materialism o Matter makes up reality, has mass. Made up of atoms o That humans are naturally bad and need government ♦ Berkeley o Idealism, mental sensations are all that really exist o Objects exist when we perceive them o Things that are not being perceived are still perceived in the mind of God ♦ Dennet o Rationality, mental states, being the subject of a special stance, verbal communication are all aspects of what makes someone a person ♦ Baier o Person tests often reflect the narrow values of those who design them o Persons are born to earlier persons, and learn the arts of personhood from other persons. These arts include the self-consciousness which follows from mutual recognition, along with the sort of representation that speech makes possible…The first person we recognize as such are those who greet us, call to us, answer our calls…” ♦ Warren o A person has the consciousness of objects and events, the ability to feel pain, reasoning and problem-solving ability, the ability to carry out self-motivated activities, the ability to communicate messages, the presence of self-concepts and self-awareness ♦ Ontological Argument o That as existence is part of perfection and God is perfect, God must exist ♦ Cosmological Argument o That everything has a cause and God is the original cause ♦ Teleological Argument o The universe has order and God created this order. ♦ Wollstonecraft o Started the first-wave of feminism. o Argued for the right of women to be educated, because she is primarily responsible for the education of the young. ♦ Friedan o Women should not be entitled to become housewives. o They should have a choice as to pursuing a career just like men. ♦ Wolf o Third-wave feminist. o Criticized the fashion and beauty industries as exploitative of women. ♦ Hooks o Focused mostly on black women’s rights. o Slavery against black women. Morality: ♦ Nihilist o Believe that nothing exists o Life is meaningless o All values are baseless ♦ Existentialist o Existence preceeds essence o People can do what they want but they must accept the consequences ♦ Sartre o Said existence preceeds essence o Man is nothing but what he makes himself ♦ Pascal o That the odds of what will occur when one believes in God are better than what will happen if you don’t ♦ Tolstoy o That God adds comfort to life ♦ Nietchze o That the poor invented God to keep the rich in line ♦ Freud o That God takes the role of authority from parents when people reach adulthood ♦ Marx o Believed that religion was the opiate of the masses o Developed communism ♦ Aristotle o Argued that animals have no moral standing o Being is the substance to which all properties can be ascribed, though it itself is not a property o The Golden Mean o Believed that the ability to reason made humans superior o Believed that women were inferior because they emphasized emotion over reason ♦ Aquinas o People can achieve perfection only through God o A religious determinist, who believes that God controls all actions o Both matter and essence are bound up in physical objects ♦ Bentham/Mill o Developed utilitarianism which states that an ethical action is one that has the greatest good for the greatest number ♦ Rand o Developed the theory of egoism, which states people should make the choices that benefit them the most ♦ Moore o Developed the theory of intuitionism which means to follow your gut feeling on whether an action is right or wrong ♦ Buddhist o Believe in reaching nirvana by following the eight-fold path; that is how to live a good life ♦ Confucianist o A good life is living in harmony with the community ♦ Taoist o A good life is living in harmony with nature ♦ Hedonist o The good life is one devoted to pleasure ♦ Stoic o Don’t cry over spilled milk o Don’t try to control things that you cannot; that is how you live the good life Epistemology: ♦ Post-Hoc o Because one event occurred after the
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