May 19 (lecture 3).docx

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Stevan Knezevich

May 19, 2010 LECTURE # 3 – The Enlightenment Pre-sociological and social thought (Pre-modernity and Enlightenment)  Enlightenment started in the 16 /17 century  History is the study of concrete phenomena, ideographic explanations  Philosophy is concerned with logic and empirical phenomena nomothetic explanations  Areas of philosophy include:  1) Ontology (metaphysics): what exists? How did it come into being?  2) Anthropology (Aristotle “the nature of human nature”): What are common characteristics of human beings?  3) Epistemology (gnoseology; sources, nature and limits of knowledge): How can we gain knowledge of reality?  4) Ethics: What is moral?  5) Aesthetics: What is beautiful?  The French spread modern civil law  Philosophy is an attempt to think about the world in systematic manner in the above five manners  Physics describes what the world is like; meta describes why the world is the way it is  Idealist- such this immaterial ideas; ideas exist independently from the humans that think about them;  Ideas exist first and independently from material objects  Essence of justice-Plato  Materialist- the only thing that exists are material objects (wood, plastic, human bodies, air, water, food), our ideas,  Our ideas do not have independent existence, they come from our brain (products of human brains)  Positivists do not value introspective knowledge  Goal of knowledge for positivists is to use knowledge as a tool (instrumental)  Polis: is a city-state governed by direct democracy (every voter participates in decision making)  Policy decisions are made in public debate  Participation in public life distinguishes a Greek from a barabarian and an idiotes  Importnance of rhetoric: the art of skilful speech in order to sway others to one’s opinion (doxa)  Today we have indirect democracy: representatives to speak on our behalf  Political participation is what makes an individual a human being  Ancient Greeks were a chauvinistic bunch of people  Idiotes- greek man who takes care of his property in order to make money or take care of his family  Agora is greek for square  Socrates corrupted the young people; tried to teach them to think rationally; he was executed Platonic dialogues  Google-images-“death of Socrates”  Socrates was poisoned with a corrosive called hemp  “I know that I do not know” –you never know anything perfectly, always try to learn more and more about the topic  Idealist: the unchangeable, eternal world of ideas (essences: justice, virtue, beauty)  Truth is universal and eternal; Opposite: opinion (doxa)  Material world is an imperfect reflection of the ideal one. It is changeable.  The ideal society would represent the world of ideas perfectly  It can be achieved by the rule of philosophers (philosop
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