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PHIL115 Winter Exam Notes

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PHIL 115
Jacqueline M Davies

OntologicalArgument -All objective knowledge is dead; we haven't killed God, we have killed objectivity -World without objective knowledge = no morality, horrible way of life, animalistic -Anselm: atheists are fools -Reductio ad absurdum: reduce somebody's argument to something stupid -Contingent existence vs. necessary existence -Descartes reworks Anselm's argument, Kant challenges it, and Gaunilo creates a reductio ad absurdum Sartre -To say that one must act a certain way because of human nature is to act in bad faith, not authentically -Human essence is in being as becoming -Condemned to freedom; weighty responsibility -We must not only choose, but choose well -Choosing well = choosing the right choice about what we choose to be/become -Meaningful choice = justifiable to oneself and others, holds oneself accountable -Ameaningful choice is not just what I think is right for me at this moment -Human condition characterized as anguish, abandonment, and despair -Existence precedes essence -Ahuman is nothing but what he makes of himself -Existentialism recognizes our capacity for transcendence -Anguish does not prevent action, we still choose and act -No a priori morality with existentialism -One cannot blame anyone or anything for one's choices, either within or outside oneself -Choosing morality is constructing a work of art; it isn't obvious what makes it great until it is done -In our choices we choose for all humanity, which puts us in a position to praise or condemn others; we may not know all facts about others, therefore we cannot make accurate judgements -4 criticisms: dwell in quietism, depicts humans as mean and ignores beauty, considers humans in isolation and ignores solidarity, and denies the reality of human affairs by allowing anything Frondizi -The self is a complex combination of parts -We can account for the unity of the self without assuming that there is anything constant (“atomistic core”) -Gestalt: whole is more than the sum of its parts -Wool is made of many fibres and not one long thread, yet we see a piece of wool as one unified thing -It is a unified thing out of which even more complex unified things (sweaters) can be made -Unity of the self is neither substantial nor atomistic -Organic unity -Sweater = made of wool, woollen thread = made of fibre -2 dimensions of complexity: transversal and horizontal -Transversal = complexity of a person's identity at one moment, “time slice” -Time slices are composed of bundles of three kinds of experiences: intellectual, emotive, volitive -Intellectual = perceptions, images, ideas -Emotive = affect, how we feel -Volitive = will, what one is inclined to do/not do -Each kind of experience is related to the other two -Horizontal complexity cannot be broken up into discrete parts or moments because the past structures the future in psychological time -Current experience is tied to the past & shaped by an anticipated future -Self is made up of experiences but not equivalent to their sum -Our self is a sweater made from the knitting of a long piece of wool, which is in turn made up of shorter, twisted fibres -Knitting = looping forwards and backwards through our psychological experience of time -The knitting gets tighter and looser, much like the unevenness of our experience of time -Structural unity is a function of the interrelations and tensions between parts -Gestalt allows for a permanent and mutable self -Both immanent in and transcends its experiences, and both a unity and multiplicity -Unity = structure, multiplicity = various aspects Buddhism & Descartes -From the Zen Buddhist tradition -Pra = being born, Jna = to know -Vi = separation/differentiation, Jnana = to know -Sanskrit terms -Vijnana analyses reality into knowing subject and known objectivity -Analysis = to loosen, unravel, investigate, dissect -Prajna = intuitive pure knowledge, grasps reality in its “oneness” -Samadhi = non-dualistic state of consciousness; single pointed concentration -Satori = enlightenment, waking up -Buddhists and Descartes are both interested in producing a method that could 100% distinguish between knowledge of reality and uncertain beliefs/dreams Buddhism & Ethics -Four noble truths: suffering, origins of suffering, cessation of suffering, path leading to cessation of suffering -Dukkha = truth of suffering -Three categories: ordinary suffering, suffering caused by impermanence, suffering associated with identity/conditioned states -True origins of suffering/3 poisons: craving conditioned by ignorance, attachment, and aversion -True ending of suffering = liberation from cravings -Steps of path to cessation (“8-fold path”): -Right View (understanding noble truths) -Right Intention (good will, non harmful) -Right Speech (kind, no slander) -RightAction (peaceful) -Right Livelihood (support consistent with path) -Right Effort (towards virtuous states of mind) -Right Mindfulness (focused contemplation) -Right Concentration (Samadhi) -Requires developing compassion for others and wisdom about ultimate emptiness of selves -Ethics depend on knowledge of the nature of suffering and desire to liberate oneself from suffering -First steps focused on liberation from suffering and compassion/love, final steps are mental trainings which depends on the previous steps -Bodhisattva = person who postpones enlightenment/Nirvana for the sake of all other things -One takes a vow of not passing into Nirvana until one has helped everyone and everything else attain Nirvana -Ultimate stage of pure altruism; “why am I not doing everything possible to help others?” -Self is illusory -Buddhist doctrine of no self called anatta or anatman -Experiences in which we experience our “self” keep us in samsara, the realm of suffering -Suffering is a function of the delusion of self -Instead of self w
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