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Chapter 1-10

Philosophy, Chapters 1-10 Notes

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William Seager

Readings p. 1-19 CHAPTER 1: What is philosophy? ∙ Subjective realm: opinion ∙ Objective realm: fact ∙ Ethical subjectivism: is the philosophical these that there are no ethical facts, only ethical opinions. ∙ Utilitarianism: that action you should perform in a given situation is the one that will produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of individuals. ∙ Metaphysics used to describe what there is (exists). ∙ Philosophical problems: Does god exist + knowledge + brain/mind and ethics. ∙ Philosophical skepticism: not even knowing things that we take to be most obvious. ∙ Dualism: mind separate from brain. ∙ Theory of utilitarianism: Actions performed in given situation should produce the most happiness to the largest amount of people. ∙ Solipsism: mind is the only thing that exists. ∙ Mystical guru model: Making deep and mysterious pronouncements off the top of your head that sound very important but that are hard to make sense of when you try to think about the clearly. What philosophy is NOT.  Review questions: 1. What is the difference between objective and subjective? Objective is fact, subjective is opinion. 2. If you want to say what philosophy is, why isn’t it enough to list some examples of philosophical problems? Giving examples would only give a hint of what philosophy is, to give the full meaning you would have to give a theory and examples/hypothesis. 3. Which of the ideas presented here about what philosophy is also apply to mathematics? Which do not? Metaphysics & objective realm; can relate to mathematics because they both describe facts and cannot be change, the things they describe just ARE. Subjective and utilitarianism do not relate to mathematics because they are opinions. CHAPTER 2: Arguments ∙ Arguments in two parts: Premise and Conclusion (expressed by declarative sentence, either true or false). ∙ 2 questions we will want to ask about arguments are: Is it deductively valid? Are all the premises true? ∙ Reductio ad absurdem argument form: Assume the opposite of what you want to prove and see if the conclusion is absurd thus proving that the first idea is the correct idea. ∙ Good Arguments rationally persuasive (good reason to believe in the conclusion), Also have true premise. Premises must be relevant to conclusion. Do not beg the question (if u had uncertainty about the premise and the conclusion does not help) [p is y/ p is y]. ∙ Sounds Argument: Correct form with true Premise. ∙ Deductively Valid argument: If premise is true, so must be the conclusion. ∙ Deductively Invalid argument: Possibility that the conclusion can be false even with true premise. Conditionals: If/ Then statements (2 separate statements If p then q) “P being the antecedent and Q being the consequent” Conditionals don’t say that the antecedent or the consequent are true. If P the Q has a contrapositive which if NOT P then NOT Q. A conditional and its converse are not equivalent (if p then q not equal to if q then p).  Review questions: 1. When is a statement or idea valid? (trick question). Philosophers never say whether a statement or idea is valid or invalid. It is the argument that determines that validity of statement or idea. The statements or ideas might not make sense, but if the conclusion backs it up, it is still a valid argument. 2. Define what it means to say that an argument is deductively valid? If premise is true, so must be the conclusion. 3. Invent an example of a valid argument that has a false premises and a true conclusion. Invent an example of an invalid argument that has a true premises and a true conclusion. All vegetables grow on trees. Some fruit are vegetables. Therefore, some fruit grow on trees. All humans have a heart. All animals have a heart. Therefore, all cats have a heart. 4. Can a statement be a premise in one argument and a conclusion in another? If you think so, give an example. No, a statement cannot be a premise in one argument and a conclusion in another. EX: Smith lives in Ontario. Everyone who lives in Ontario lives in Canada. Smith lives in Canada Smith lives in Canada. Everyone who lives in Ontario lives in Canada. Smith lives in Ontario. 5. Which of the following argument forms are valid? Which are invalid? For each of the invalid ones, construct an example of an argument with that form in which the premises are true and the conclusion false. For the argument forms you think are fallacious. Invent names for these fallacies by using the vocabulary about conditionals presented in the box on page 14. a) if P, then Q b) if P then Q c) if P, then Q d) if P, then Q P Q_ Not-P Not-Q Q P Not-Q Not-P a) valid b) invalid All reptiles are warm blooded, All alligators are reptiles, Therefore, monkeys eat alligators. (Converse) c) invalid The world is round; therefore our o-zone layer is round. The world is no round; therefore our o-zone layer is not round. (Contrapositive) d) valid P - antecedent Q - consequent P therefore Q - Q therefore P – Converse Not equivalent Not P therefore not Q - Not Q therefore not P - Contrapositive 6. A sign on a store says “no shoes, no service.” Does this mean that if you wear shoes, then you will be served? This does not mean that if you wear shoes you will be served. There are also other unwritten rules in society that people just know and follow that would affect if you get service or not. 7. What does it mean to say that an argument is “circular”, that it begs the question? Construct an example of an argument of this type different from the one presented in this chapter. A circular argument is when you believe something because a higher power told you it was true. If you do not believe in the higher power, you do not believe anything they say. Ex: My doctor told me I have Basal Cell Carcinoma, therefore I have cancer because my doctor said I did. 8. What does it mean to say that truth is objective, not subjective? Truth is objective because it is fact, subjective is opinion and truth cannot be an opinion. Readings: pg. 19-52 CHAPTER 3- Inductive and Abductive arguments ∙ Strong, non deductive inference the premise makes the conclusion plausible/possible but not guaranteed. ∙ Induction: these arguments are strong/weak depending on sample size and representation. (Inference based on information gathered from a previous sample experiment. ∙ Abduction: drawing conclusions from something not seen based on premise that described what is seen. BUT if predictions are false then you can validly say that the theory/inference is false (deductively valid). ∙ Surprise Principle (abduction): Hypothesis must not make false predictions. There should also be predictions we would expect not to come true if the hypothesis were false. ∙ Only Game in Town: Fact that there is only one hypothesis does not make that theory likely what so ever.  Review questions: 1. What is the difference between deductive validity and inductive strength? The difference between deductive validity and inductive strength is that deductive validity assumes that an argument is a sound argument if its premises are all true; an inductive strength assumes that it is not probable that its conclusion is false given true premises. 2. What is the difference between induction and abduction? The difference between induction and abduction is that induction is an educated guess; abduction is a statement of what happened and the outcome of that action. 3. What factors affect how strong an inductive argument is? The two factors that affect the strength of inductive argument are sample size and representativeness or unbiasedness. 4. Suppose a given observation discriminates between two hypotheses, but a second observation fails to do this. Construct an example, different from the ones presented in this chapter, illustrating the point. Show how the Surprise Principle applies to your example. Suppose you see someone walking around campus with several philosophy books. H1: The person is a philosophy major. H2: The person is an engineering major. According to the Surprise Principle, the observations you have made favors H1 over H2, but let’s consider a third hypothesis. H3: The person isn’t a student, but is in the business of buying and selling philosophy books. Although your observation discriminates between H1 and H2, it does not discriminate between H1 and H3. 5. An observation can succeed in discriminating between hypotheses H1 and H2 but fail to discriminate between H1 and H3. Construct an example that illustrates this point that is different from the ones presented in this chapter. Show how the Surprise Principle applies to your example. *** 6. What is the Only Game in Town Fallacy? What does it mean to call it a “fallacy”? The only choice, which one must accept for want of a better one. This is a fallacy because there CAN be another explanation but since there isn’t given one, there is no other option to believe even though the only option given may still be false. CHAPTER 4- Part II, Philosophy of Religion ∙ Aquinas proof to the existence of god, 5 parts...introduced 4 for now. ∙ Tried proving god exists as a person who is “all powerful, knowing and good.” (basis of what religions state).  First two arguments: Motion and Causality ∙ Motion: Because cause precedes effect and there is motion, there must be some outside force that acted upon these things in motion. ∙ Argument against states that Newton’s law shows that objects are always in motion, different from Aristotle’s thoughts that influenced Aquinas. ∙ Causality: Events occur due to a cause so there must be some outside force that caused the first event in the natural world. ∙ Birthday Fallacy: Implies that all motion and causality does not have to root back to ONE outside force, it could be many separately. Aquinas’ argument only proves that there is “at least one” outside force. ∙ Nature Infinite? Aquinas states that it is not possible as the causal chain must have a start but if everything was infinite, there would be no start which means no existence today.  Third argument: Contingency ∙ Contingency: Things that need not exist. 
Argument states that if all things were contingent then at some point there was a world where nothing existed....if nothing existed, then it would be empty forever (conservation principle). Supports that not everything is contingent. ∙ Argument against: Atoms are contingent yet they always existed, suggesting contingent things did not, NOT have to exist at some point.  Fourth argument: Properties that come in degrees ∙ All properties have properties to a greater or lesser extent. There must be an
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