PHLA10 Final Exam Notes

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Dustin Stokes

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PHLA10H3 F Exam Review Unit 1: Existence of God • Anselm: The Ontological Argument-Proslogion • Paley: Excerpts from Natural Theology • Mackie: Evil and Omnipotence • Pascal: The Wager • James: Excerpts from The Will To Believe Unit 2: The Problem of Free Will • Ayer: Freedom and Necessity • Chisholm: Human Freedom and the Self • Frankfurt: Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person Unit 3: Philosophy of Minds and Persons • Locke: Of Identity and Diversity • Reid: Of Mr. Locke’s Account of Our Personal Identity • Descartes: Meditation II & IV and excerpts from The Passions of the Soul • Smart: Sensations and Brain Processes • Putnam: The Nature of Mental States • Chalmers: The Puzzle of Conscious Experience Unit 4: Belief, Reason and Knowledge • Descartes: Meditations I & II • BonJour: The Regress Problem and Foundationalism • Hume: Excerpts from Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding • Russell: On Induction UNIT ONE: THE EXISTENCE OF GOD Anselm’s Ontological Argument -Deductive Argument – reductio ad absurdum Reductio Ad Absurdum – Assume opposite position and show how it leads to logical contradiction; indirectly proves conclusions by showing problems with the opposite Anselm’s God characterized as having many good-making perfections as possible; Something than which nothing greater can be thought - Takes existence as good-making quality, better to exist in reality than in understanding To be possible = logical possible (which is if and only if it involves no logical contradiction) Atheist says there is no God, but can understand “something than which nothing greater can be thought”. If can be understood, it exists in his understanding. But in order for it to be which nothing greater can be thought, must exist in reality or else something greater CAN be thought. 1) God (Being than which nothing greater can be thought) exists in the understanding. 2) God might have existed in reality (existence possible) 3) If something exists only in understanding but might have existed in reality then may have been greater than it is 4) Suppose God only exists in understanding 5) God might have been greater than he is 6) God is a being than which a greater is possible 7) The being than which none greater is possible is a being than which a greater is possible C) It is false that God exists only in the understanding C2) God exists in reality Derives existence from definition Challenge – Gaunilo defense of the fool Criticizes structure of the argument: you can derive existence of any perfect thing; reasoning flawed; absurd to derive existence from mere thought of it Challenge – Kant’s Challenge Challenges existence as a great-making quality; challenge supposition that existence is a property; when we make statements we assume existence which would lead to Tigers (which exist) exist, which is redundant or Unicorns which exist do not exist which contradictory Challenge – To the concept of God Omnipotent being is capable of anything, but can God make a stone that God can’t lift If yes, there is something God can’t do, if no there is something that God can’t do Paley: The Argument From Design Appeal to analogy & inference to the best explanation Analogy of finding a watch – several parts framed together for a purpose, if any other size, shape or manner of order would not serve same purpose or none at all, infer must have a maker that must have existed at some point Thus best explanation of apparently designed object is created by intelligent designer Even f no knowledge or experience of kind of machine OR ignorant of how some parts work OR if machine sometimes malfunctioned, still infer designer Biological world exhibits same general features: pattern, order, design, therefore make analogous inference for biological world having intelligent designer Critiques David Hume: does not establish kind of God most theists would like: consistent with stupid imitating God, Sequences of stupid Gods who create by trial/error, imperfect God, no presently existing God Criticize Analogy – inference for watch maker supported by knowledge of it, purpose, function: insufficient knowledge of biological world to make it analogous so we cannot infer the same Response – Ignorance irrelevant marks of design sufficient OR forget analogy biological world displays apparent design and is best explained by intelligent designer Criticize Inference – Other possible hypotheses to explain complexity and design of biological world: Darwin’s theory of natural selection, Appearance of design not sufficient to infer reality of design; appearance of design explained without intelligent designer; blind watchmaker Mackie: The Problem Of Evil Inconsistent Triad 1) God is Omnipotent 2) God is wholly good 3) Evil exists Assumptions – Belief in God is belief in God who is both omnipotent and wholly good: Theistic position if Mackie’s target, granting assumption alone suffices the problem of evil Existence of evil appears inconsistent with existence of omnipotent wholly good god, one must conclude that a wholly good omnipotent God doesn’t exist Good thing eliminates evil as far as it can; no limits to power of an omnipotent being Adequate Solutions – Deny or weaken omnipotence, deny omnibenevolence, deny evil exists However honest theist only offers half-heartedly, appeals to truth of denied proposition elsewhere Attempted Solutions – Evil Necessary counterpart to good Response – omnipotence does not require doing logically impossible, if evil necessary counterpart to good, logically impossible to have good without evil, which does not deny god’s omnipotence OR, are good and evil opposites like big and small, if so then God’s goodness is only relatively good OR if they are related why do we need SO much evil Attempted Solutions – Universe better with some evil Response – Evil (1) allows Good(2) to exist, can go on forever How can a wholly good God concerned only with maximizing good and not minimizing evil God would eliminate evil(2) , if higher good require evil(2) it will lead to infinite regress Attempted Solutions – Evil is due to Free Will Free Will is good (3), why not make free-choosing humans who always prefer good [human character developed and is higher order good thus god does not create our characters] If we have free will, God cannot control us, thus not omnipotent To be adequate solution needs to show: free will requires possibility of choosing evil, actuality of choosing evil and that goodness of freewill trumps the evil required Pascal’s Wager If God exists, infinitely beyond our comprehension being indivisible without limits, no relation to us. Therefore incapable of knowing what or whether he is, Reason cannot decide this question Choice to believe in God is unavoidable and forced choice decision cannot be made on purely intellectual grounds or evidentialist grounds Probability that God does and some probability that he doesn’t exist; must be something to gain/lose by believing or not Pragmatically rational decision – wisest bet achieves highest value given combination of factors How to determine highest expected value: (Value of Outcome1 X Prob) + (Value of OutcomeN X Prob) = Expected value, this is done for each choice Assume odds 50/50, must commit to believe or not, possible payoffs – God exists: infinite reward or punishment, God Doesn’t: finite gain/loss for commitment Results same no matter value of finite, fool to not believe in god Act as if you belief and it will make you believe naturally James Will To Believe If God exists, infinitely beyond our comprehension being indivisible without limits, no relation to us. Therefore incapable of knowing what or whether he is, Reason cannot decide this question Choice to believe in God is unavoidable and forced choice decision cannot be made on purely intellectual grounds or evidentialist grounds Option (between two hypotheses) Live (both choices are real possibilities/Dead), Forced (cannot avoid making choice/Avoidable), Momentous (involves unique opportunity/Trivial) Genuine Option: Live, Forced, Momentous In forming beliefs FAP(avoid falsehood – Clifford’s) or TSP (seek truths- James) if FAP fewer falsehoods more sceptical(fewer truths), if TSP more truths but greater risk in more falsehoods FAP safer in most situations, but at least in some James urges TSP preferable On moral questions should TSP because cannot wait for sensible proof Since God cannot be answered on sensible grounds, its a moral question, forced to decide We act following passional nature; what we would want to be the case Will yourself to believe (false, we may want to but unable to) UNIT TWO: THE PROBLEM OF FREE WILL Compatibilism - Accept determinism; argue compatibility with free will Libertarianism - Accept indeterminism; argue compatibility with free will Hard Determinism (Incompatibilism) Show consequence is intuitively acceptable Compatibilism – Ayer We can’t appeal to feeling free because we feel free does not prove he is, and just because it is not known what makes him act in a way does not mean there is no cause We can’t deny determinism because it would say nothing is cause in which case our actions are random and not free We ordinarily predict behaviours by attributing mental states to them i.e. open fridge/wanted food/believed food was in fridge: Causes = Mental States Freedom not contrasted with causality but constraint: action consistent with being caused but not constrained Free actions unconstrained but not uncaused Constrained Action (Compulsion by threat of or force, brainwashing/hypnotism, psychological compulsion, in face of oppressive power) Action free just in case if S had wanted to other than a, S would have done other than a Worries – Desires/decisions/choices are events in world are they no less determined by previous events Response – not what we are concerned with, moral responsibility, Klepto example Libertarianism – Chisholm To be morally responsible for action, has to be entirely up to that person to do it or not Beliefs/Desires cause actions, only free if mental states are under our control, if not still forced- Must answer if we will freely Concerned with Free to will not free to act based on will Free thoughts not acts Should say at least one event involved is caused not by any other event but by the agent Should distinguish between event(transuent) and agent(Immanent) causation Worry 1: Moving Brain – people ignorant of muscles still move them, makes the brain event happen immanent which leads to the action which is transuent Worry 2: Prime Mover Unmoved – seems action causing brain state no different than just occurring by itself – B immanently caused even if agen does nothing to cause it Agent causation unlike any other causation in physical world; by not doing anything We can’t desire at will Compatibilism - Franfurt and Freedom of will and concept of a Person Desires can be confused, mistaken, unconscious, conflicting, vary in intensity Desire/Satisfaction Condition (what actually has to occur to satisfy desire) Focus on freedom to will, the freedom of thoughts Person’s free if desires are satisfied not sufficient for person may not have control over wants and doesn’t distinguish us from lower animals First Order Desire – desire about the world Second Order Desire – desire about mind The will = effective (desires that actually motivates one to act) first order desires Second Order – could desire it or desire it to be effective, in latter(second order volitions), wishes it to be effective in motivating their actions To have second order volition is to want one’s will to be a certain way Wantons – not persons, have second order desires but do not care if they affect their will Drug addict ex. Desire to not take drug wants to be effective – a person Unwilling act if second order volition no satisfied (i.e. if person who wants to not want drugs, takes drugs, its unwilling) UNIT THREE: PHILSOPHY OF MINDS AND PERSONS Necessary & Sufficient conditions – Necessary Square having 4 sides, Sufficient – being king sufficient for being royalty X is a square if and only if x has 4 equal sides and 4 right angles Qualitative vs. Numerical identity (Diachronic = across time) Ship Example: Continuity Criterion (new parts is same ship), Substance Criterion (old parts is same ship) Substance: Body Criterion (same physical body) Brain Criterion (same brain) Continuity Criteria: Life Criterion (continuation of same organismic life), Psychological (psychologically continuous) Psychological Continuity Theory – Locke Numerical identity of persons across time, focus on mind: consciousness and memory Simple Bodies & Complex Bodies (atoms and groups of atoms) are substance criterion Non-living Artificats, Living Plants, Animals, and Humans are Continuity Locke gives account for numerical identity of persons across time consistent with possibility of afterlife, explanation that personal identity matters to us Rejects Body Criterion(cutting off a hand? No longer concerned with it), Human animal life criterion (necessary and sufficient of being human to be a person – smart parrot), Soul criterion (soul is equally unanalyzed, distinct persons can have same soul, distinct souls can occupy same person) Psychological Continuity Criterion Continue as persons by virtue of continued conscious experience Persons are Conscious, thinking, intelligent things P2 at T2 same as P1 at T1 iff P2 remembers first person experiences of P1 Challenges – Gaps in consciousness & sleep [ appeal to potential connection via memory] Memory loss [ distinction between human and person multiple persons in same human] Drunkenness can’t recall actions [ distinction between good legal practice] Reid on Locke’s Psychological Continuity Theory Ordinary opinions and linguistic practices not dismissed without good reason, not always right though Sense in self indispensible to us as rational agents and many mental states presuppose belief in self Persons for Reid are indivisible; mankind place personality in something that cannot be divided Memory can provide evidence but not constitutive of sameness Objections (Circulatory & Contradiction) Circulatory: For memory to serve constitutively needs to be veridical, but for P2 to truly remember some action of P1 as their own it’s just for that experience to be one of P2, which presupposes P2 being same as P1. We can only say agent remembers events earlier in her life IFF we can truly say she is identical to that earlier person Contradiction: Brave Office – a = b, b = c , a=c Parfit – our concept fails to apply to all cases (ex. Of brain transplant and splitting brain in half being two of the same person) Identity is not what matters to us, we can maintain our most fundamental concerns without identity Mind/Body Problem – Descartes The mind is mental states/events. Our bodies are material, minds qualitatively different, how could the mind result from or be identified with part of the body if so different Inconsistent Tetrad: 1)Human Body material 2) Human Mind spiritual 3) Mind and body causilly interact 4) spirit and matter don’t causally interact Reject 1) Idealism, all things immaterial 2) Materialism, Human mind is material 3) Epiphenomenalism (mind cau
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