Philosophy Notes up to Midterm
Constancy and Flux
Theseus` Ship
Is the ship in which Theseus arrives at his destination the same ship on which he departed?
No: Theyre not the same ship.
Something cant change and still be the same
Rationale:
(1) Nothing can change without becoming different than it was
(2) But different and same are opposites
(3) Therefore, nothing can change and still be the same
Yes: They are the Same Ship
Rationale:
(1) Some changes are so small or insignificant that they dont prevent it from being the same object
after it changes: Make the daily changes that small or insignificant
(2) Then, the ship on Day (1)= Day (2).
And the ship on Day (2)= Day (3)
And the ship on Day (3)= Day (4)
(3) Identity is transitive (i.e. if A=B and B=C, then A=C)
(4) So, the ship on Day (1)= ship on Day (n) Visualizing the Rationale
Day (1)= Day (2)
Day (2)= Day (3)
Day (1) = Day (3)
Day (3)= Day (4)
Day (1) = Day (4)
Day (4)= Day (5)
Day (1) = Day (5)
And so on, until...
Day (1) = Day (n)
The views of Change and Sameness
(1) The cannot be reconciled: if an object changes, then it becomes different in some way, then it
isn`t the same object
(2) They can be reconciled: Some changes in an object can be so insignificant that they do not
prevent it from being the same object after it has undergone such changes
Now if it should become different by one hair in 10000 years, it will all perish in all of time
(Melissus, pg. 26)
All change is really destruction and creation; so nothing persists through change
The Early Materialists: The Flux
Thales (625-545 B.C.E)
Heraclitus (535-475 B.C.E)
Only matter (Earth, Air, Water, and Fire) and what is composed of matter, exists Materialism: The Four Elements
Thales (Water)
Everything is made of water
Philosophers of Nature
There is a single, unified explanation of a great variety of different phenomena
The explanation does not rely on the supernatural (e.g. the Gods)
The explanation can be grasped by the human intellect.
Materialism: The Four Elements Heraclitus(Fire)
Fire
Air
Water
Earth
Creation and Destruction:
(How new is the sun every day?)
Heraclitus: Fire lives in the death of earth and air lives in the death of fire (19)
So...There is a different sun every day, because each days sun ceases to exist and a new one is
created in its place
Heraclitus: The Logos
Logos
The root of logic, study of .
The rational pattern (Logic) in the flux. Some Materialist themes
(1) Everything is matter (4 elements)
(2) Matter is in FLUX (forever transforming from one form to another)
(3) One form of matter is primary and basic; others are secondary or derivative
(4) There is an Order or Rational Pattern (Logos) in transformation of matter
The Idealists: Constancy
Pythagoras (580-496 B.C.E)
Parmenides (540-470 B.C.E)
Zeno (489-430 B.C.E)
Idealism: the changes we perceive are not real
A
B C
(i) The sum of the 3 angles of a triangle equals exactly 180
(ii) But no such triangle that we can actually perceive has angles adding up to exactly 180
(iii) So, what we perceive are not real triangles
What we perceive areonly approximates of real triangles
Pythagoras
(1) Numbers, and geometric figures, are the only things that are real
(2) But numbers, figures, and relationships between them are permanent and unchanging
(3) So, what is real is permanent and unchanging
Parmenides
[A] There are two paths we can follow in our investigations
(1) Path of truth: It is, and is impossible for it not to be.
(2) Path of Error: It is not, and is necessary for it not to be.
I.e. what is must exist, and what is not cannot exist ( nothing can be either created or destroyed)

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