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Lectures 1-8 notes


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHLA10H3
Professor
William Seager

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Philosophy
Lecture One
Week One
What is Philosophy
-Paul Gaugan (1848-1903)
Where do we come from?
Where are we?
Where are we going?
-Big Questions
Is there a God?
What is existence?
What do we know? (Investigated by reason)
What is consciousness?
How should we live?
-dZ^,vK((_
Give off questions to other subjects.
-The Main Branches of Philosophy
Logic
Reason and argument
EG.
~/(ZZÀÀÇ}vZ}v[ZÀZ]uo(U}ZZÀZ]uo(M
(All students are frivolous
Anyone who is frivolous is dilatory
Therefore all students are dilatory.)
Metaphysics
Deal with issues in ontology and being
-What is structure of ultimate reality
-Why is there anything at all?
-What is consciousness?
dZ^,vK((_
-What is Matter?
-What is Time?
____A lot of Philosophical problems with science
Epistemology
What is knowledge?
(The stopped clock -> you know the time by accident.)
-Knowledge of the mind.
The difference between believe and knowledge
-Estimology and Logic
How is knowledge acquired and secured?
-Estimology and Metaphysics
The assessment of Metaphysical claims
Value Theory
Ethics -> Right/Wrong
(The Trolley Problem t kill 5 or kill 1)
Social Theory -> Political Philosophy
Aesthetics -> What is art? Does art have special value?
Metaphysics, Epistemology and Value
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Lecture Three
Week Two
Test of Validity t
-The counter-example: same structure of the original argument with a false conclusion.
How could you tell if an argument is invalid?
-(Logic)
-(Counter-example)
EG.
No philosophers are rocks.
Some philosophers are employed.
No rocks are employed.
No women are men.
Some women are parents.
No men are parents.
Patching invalid arguments
-By adding premises, an invalid argument can be made into a valid argument.
EG.
Fish can swim.
Therefore, some women are wealthy.
Fish can swim.
If any fish can swim, some women are wealthy.
Therefore, some women are wealthy.
-(The patched and valid argument are worthless)
Deductive arguments t Validity and Soundness
-A sound argument is a valid deductive argument with all true premises.
-You can deduce something about the conclusion of a sound deductive argument.
-A deductive argument can take two forms:
Debate about whether the logical form is valid.
Debate about whether the premises are true.
EG.
Nuclear power is safe.
Nuclear power emits zero greenhouse gases.
Therefore, we should use nuclear power.
-Only takes one wrong premise to make an argument an unsound argument.
Deductive Arguments t Conditionals
-A basic argument structure:
If X then YÉ, X; therefore Y.
(Validity is defined using a conditional)
-Valid versus invalid conditionals
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Four forms
t X > Y, X; therefore Y (Valid) X > Y, not-X; therefore not-Y (Invalid)
t X > Y, Y; therefore X (Invalid) X > Y, not-Y; therefore not-X (Valid)
-Necessary and sufficient conditions
Given `If X then Y` X is a sufficient condition for Y. (You live in Toronto, therefore you live in
Canada)
Given `If X then Y` Y is a necessary condition for X. (If you live in Toronto, Canada is a necessary
condition for living in Toronto.)
What is truth?
-The concept of truth is used to define validity.
-The nature of truth however is a deep philosophical question.
-Theories of truth
Correspondence
Problem: what is the mysterious relation of correspondence
In what way does `the cat is on the mat` correspond to the truth of things.
Coherence
(Non coherent) If I live in Toronto then I live in Canada. I don`t live in Canada, but I live
in Toronto.
More than one system of sentences can be coherent t think of `possible worlds`.
Redundancy theory (Alfred Tarski) t Snow is white, Neige est blanc.
To speak the truth, is to say what is that is.
To speak falsely, is to say what is that is not. (Aristotle)
The truth paradox
-This sentence is false
Truth and Objectivity
-Objectivity versus subjectivity
Compare, 1+2=3 with `oranges are the best tasting fruit`
-Objective : Truth for everyone.
According to Fred, oranges are the best tasting fruit.
1+1=2
-Could truth itself be subjective
Truth might mean only true to me, or the society.
-Can this be proven
-Suppose truth is subjective.
Is this claim merely subjective or is this supposed to be the objective nature of truth
If it subjective, then it is not proven.
If it is objective, then truth is not subjective after all.
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