PHL 3000 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Truth Table, Patient, Logical Form

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12 Oct 2018
School
Department
Course
PHL 3000
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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Lecture 1.1
What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is that mode of thinkingabout any subject, content, or problemin
which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing,
assessing, and reconstructing it… It entails effective communication and problem-solving
abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
o A general definition applies to any subject
o Reflective requires you to think about how you think
o Critical it questions whether the way you think is good or bad
o Overcoming obstacles you are often your own worst enemy when it comes to
critical thinking
If you want to think critically you have to overcome your own bias
Another way of understanding critical thinking is to focus on an example of a critical
thinker
o What character traits are required for a person to be a critical thinker
Socrates (470-399 BCE) the father of western philosophy
Prosecuted for “corrupting the youth” among other charges
o Sentenced to death by drinking poison hemlock
o Socrates was never afraid or upset by his own demise
Historical context
o Greco-Persian Wars (499-449 BCE)
Persian empire vs. Greek city-states
Persia was by far the strongest with larger forces
Greek city-states still prevailed
Strong naval forces
o Golden Age of Athens
Powerful, rich, and cultural center
Having repelled the Persian forces, new trade routes were opened, making
Athens extremely prosperous
Became the artistic, economic, and cultural center of the ancient West
Economic prosperity allowed the new discipline of philosophy to occur.
Philosophers spend time asking questions that don’t need to be
answered right away/abstract concepts
They can only exist in a prosperous society, because they have to
be able to have time to think about things other than survival.
Many philosophers at the time
o Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE)
Greek city-states had been united, but they fought each other
Athens vs. Sparta
Athens was one of the strongest greatest cities. However Sparta had only
the basic necessities.
Sparta destroys the entire naval fleet of Athens
Athens surrenders to Spartan rule
o Aftermath of loss to Sparta
Athens was a democracy before the war, while Sparta was an oligarchy
Athens was a place where what people wanted mattered
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Sparta imposed the “Thirty Tyrants” to rule over Athens. They killed and
banished many Athenians during their rule
Many of the Tyrants were Athenians
Anyone who had “done something wrong” had to come before the
Tyrants and were banished or killed
Forced people to bring people before them
In 403 BCE, Athens reclaimed its democracy, but never again achieved its
former status
o Not long after democracy was restored to Athens, an Athenian named Meletus
brought Socrates in front of a jury of his peers, accusing him of various crimes
Socrates defended himself, as was customary, but lost and was sentenced
to death
Plato recounts Socrates’ defense in the “Apology
Apology
o Socratic Irony: Socrates often says the exact opposite of what he means. If he
compliments someone for his wisdom, he really means to say that the person is
not wise.
o Dramatic Cues: If Socrates tells the audience to be calm or to stop yelling, that
indicates that he said something to rile them up.
Lecture 1.2 Part 1
The Apology of Socrates: Part 1 the “older” charges
Socrates (470-399 BCE) lived an unusually long life
o Never wrote any philosophical texts
Philosophy = love (philo) of wisdom (Sophia)
o Philosophy is a way of life, not a subject
o It can be defined the same way critical thinking is
o The attempt to become a better thinker
Plato and Socrates
Plato (428-348 BCE), a follower of Socrates, write many dialogues in which Socrates is
the protagonist.
Dialogues written as texts for use in Plato’s school, The Academy (first university)
o Most are not accounts of actual events, but created as lessons
o The “Apology” however, is an actual event and may be accurate
Plato was recording the events and he references others who were there
o The Socrates of the dialogues may not be the historical Socrates
Socrates’ Reputation
Sought knowledge of truth, beauty, justice, virtue, and other big questions
o Wasn’t interested in anything other than these “most important” questions
Questioned powerful people about these topics in the agora (big open area)
o Socrates would prove that they did not know what they thought they know
Gained a reputation for tricking people with obtuse arguments meant to confuse
o Angry with Socrates
Many of the sons of these powerful Athenians became followers of Socrates
o Began to emulate him
o Plato was one of these people
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