Midterm Exam Study Notes

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5 Apr 2011
PHL200 December Midterm Exam Notes
death of Socrates (The Apology is Platos version of Socrates speech made at his own trial)
should he escape?
Socrates believed that the only way to harm him was to take away his virtue (harm his state
of soul) which no one can do. In fact, by unjustly putting him to death they are only hurting
their own states of soul.
Elenchus: reputation examination
Sophists: argued both sides of a question
- first known teachers because they charged a fee (however this earned them a bad reputation)
Orators (persuasion): making weaker or worse arguments appear stronger and better
right argument: speak whats just
wrong argument: speak the opposite and not be ashamed
elentic: refutational
aporetic: puzzle
the search for the universal definition of the nature of courage
Laches was a man of action who believed that courage is a sort of endurance of the soul,
courage is wise endurance
Nicias was a man of thought who believed that courage is some kind of wisdom, courage is
knowledge of the fearful and hopeful in war and in every other situation
the dialogue ends in a stalemate with each Laches, Nicias, and Socrates arguments being
defeated by the others (aporetic ending
the true definition of courage is a compromise of mixed elements
you cannot be courageous if you do not what it really is and cannot articulate it (therefore an
animal cannot be courageous)
arguing from analogy
a mode of reasoning (however it is a dangerous mode of reasoning because some people may
assume incorrect things) eg. A farmer has only white sheep and therefore assumes that all
sheep are white
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you start off arguing about particulars (specific things or individuals) and move on to
universals (general things/concepts)
Universal definition (forms):
- having a definition that is irrefutable is a sign of knowledge
- you cannot be something if you cannot articulate it as a universal definition
Thales: water
Anaximander: the indefinite (apeiron)
Anaximenes: air
Anaximenes was the only one to give some account to his concept of air being the basis of
everything. He believed it was the variation in temperature and density that made air
appear as so many different things when really they were all made of the same basic thing.
Anaxagoras: all things in existence are made of the same mixture; they just get separated
and combined differently. Anything that we see or deal with is real, its a matter of things
recombining and emerging into visibility in just the right way. Everything is mixed into
everything; its a matter of separation and combination. The reality is that what really exists
never changes; the 4 elements are constantly mixing and combining in different ways in
repetitive cycles. There is no such thing as coming to be and perishing.
Empedocles: like Anaxagoras believed in all things being composed of the same 4 elements,
however he also introduced the idea of ‘love and strife being the cause of why things
combine and separate, they work in a cycle where sometimes love is more dominant and
sometimes strife is more dominant. It is the ratios of elements that affect what we are seeing,
we know what the material matter of everything is, but what separates each mixture from
another is the ratio.
Democritus: an atomist that believed that everyone had a different view on different things,
everyone has different experiences and therefore there would be conflicting views. He
thought that the nature of eternal things consists in small substance, limitless in quantity.
The differences that account for change are: shape, colour, and position. All things are atoms,
there is nothing else, they just appear in different forms.
Difference between Anaxagoras and Empedocles:
Anaxagoras believed that everything is made of everything (homoiomeros) whereas Empedocles
believed that everything was made up of some combination of the 4 elements (earth, air, fire, water)
through love and strife. Anaxagoras makes the principles infinite, both the uniform parts and the
opposites, whereas Empedocles makes them only the so called elements.
Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus
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the first skeptic
believed that we could improve our knowledge of Gods over time, but that no man will ever
really know the truth
we project our own interests into a theory
believed in one over many, rest/stability over motion, argument over perception/opinion, and
reality over seeing/appearance
everything is in existence whether it is a fragment of imagination in the mind or if it exists in
2 paths of inquiry: it is, and it is not (you cannot pursue what is not because you cant think
about, talk about, or visualize it)
even those things that you can only talk or think about exist in some broad vague sense
believed that there is only 1 thing
things are either bound by being or not being
something cannot be broken into different parts, it cannot move from one are or another
because that means that it will not exist in the area that it moves from, it must be of a single
kind because then it can never not be, if there are multiple things then you could sayA
cannot be B and B cannot be Awhich introduces not being
Parmenides challenge: you cannot think or talk about not being
Pluralists: explain change through mixture and separation
Anaxagoras: homoimeric
Empedocles: 4 elements, and love and strife
Atoms: dont mix, they just bond together and do not have qualities
Void: empty space that provides for the locomotion of the atoms
- the movement of the atoms has no purpose, no will, and no design
- if there was no void then the atoms would not be able to move around
- atoms are unlimited in numbers
a follower of Parmenides
believed that there had to be something more (it did not make sense to him)
believed that pluralism was a possible hypothesis (where something can be more than just
one thing)
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