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Philosophy study guide.docx

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York University
PHIL 1000
Patrick Phillips

Philosophy study guide Chapter 1: At the age of 14, we start to think Philosophically about everything. We think of whether anything is really right or wrong or that life has any meaning or whether death is the end. Philosophy does not rely on experiments or observations and it has no formal methods of proof. It’s done by questioning, arguing, tying out ideas and thinking about possible arguments. Its main concern is to question and understand. Philosophy’s nine problems: - Knowledge of the world beyond our minds - Knowledge of minds other than our own - The relation between mind and brain - How language is possible - Whether we have free will - The basis of morality - What inequalities are unjust - The nature of death Chapter 2: Solipsism is thinking if anything actually really exists, leading us to come to a conclusion that our minds are the only things that actually exist. It is a very lonely view and not too many people hold it. There is also the view of skepticism where we do not know whether anything around us exists or not. The stronger form of skepticism is when you don’t even know if you had a past as you may have just come into this world a few minutes ago with all the present memories. We can even doubt the theoretical explanations from our observations from science as skeptic people. Some argue that radical skepticism is meaningless because the idea of the external reality that no one can discover is meaningless. Verificationism is the idea of things that exist being just an idea of what we observe. The skeptic thinks that if the physical really does exist, there has to be someone who is observing it and if there is no one, then solipsism is meaningless. 1- Is it a meaningful possibility that the inside of our mind is the only thing that exists or that even if there is a world outside your mind, it is totally unlike what you believe it to be? 2- If these things are possible, do you have any way of proving to yourself that they are not actually true? 3- If you can’t prove that anything exists outside your own mind, is it all right to go on believing in the external world anyway? Chapter 3: The special kind of skepticism is when you doubt that the world around you, including your own body, really exists. That is skepticism about the nature or even existence of minds or experiences other than your own. You can never know if other people actually have experiences, thoughts, and feelings. You also wouldn’t know if anyone else would see the colour or taste of something would be the same to everyone. And you have no evidence no matter how deep you dig into the person’s mind to see. Maybe no one around me has any inner experiences or maybe everything has its experiences. For example, when you cut off a branch from a tree, it would hurt it but it wouldn’t be able to express its pain because it can’t move. There is no way to observe anything in this world except from your own experience which also means that there is no way for us to observe the absence of any experience. There could be more conscious to life than what we know of or even less. The only way to judge that would be through our own inner experiences. Chapter 4: Is your mind something different than your brain? Conclusion that there has to be a soul, attached to your body in some way which allows them to interact. Humans could be made of just physical matter and not anything else. Chapter 5: All words do their real world in this w
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