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UNC / Philosophy / PHIL 112 / Why does Plato think one can survive the death of one’s body?

Why does Plato think one can survive the death of one’s body?

Why does Plato think one can survive the death of one’s body?

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School: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Department: Philosophy
Course: Making Sense of Ourselves
Professor: Martin glazier
Term: Fall 2016
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Cost: 50
Name: PHIL 112 Final Exam Study Guide
Description: This study guide compiles the relevant notes that could be helpful in answering each question!
Uploaded: 12/12/2016
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PHIL 112 Final Exam Study Guide


Why does Plato think one can survive the death of one’s body?



1. Why does Plato think one can survive the death of one’s body? How might (Perry’s character)  Weirob’s argument be thought to show that Plato is mistaken? Should Plato’s view be rejected  on this basis?  

a. Plato’s view:

i. Soul more important than body because that’s where reason and knowledge  reside

ii. Soul reasons best when there are no bodily obstacles- body is cause of all things  bad in the world

iii. Death is only true way to separate body and soul and acquire truth

iv. Rule of opposites: opposites always coming and going to each other or  

becoming the other

1. Opposite of living is dying

2. Dying comes from living and living comes from dying/being dead

3. All pairs of opposites become each other in a never-ending cycle

basically reincarnation

v. Recollection


what are Plato’s view?



We also discuss several other topics like what is Edwards bellamy's popular novel

1. Everything that is recollected must have been learned before that  

moment

2. People recollect things they haven’t necessarily experienced, so must  

have experienced it when soul was somewhere else

vi. The forms/divinity

1. Soul shares characteristics with concepts (Equal, Beautiful, etc.), such as  

unchanging and invisible

2. Soul rules body and rulers are divine, so the soul is divine and shares  

characteristics with other divine things If you want to learn more check out What is Neuron Structure?

a. Immortal, uniform, unchanging

3. Soul and body are opposites, so body is mortal and shares  

characteristics with other mortal things

a. Dies, changes, takes many forms

b. Weirob’s objection to Plato:

i. If soul is immaterial, no way to know if it exists after death

ii. Possible that souls are continually replaced, impossible to tell because they are  immaterial  


what is Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean?



1. Wouldn’t make sense to say that they are the reason recollection  

happens

2. Explain Plato’s view on the relationship between the body and the soul. Why might Elisabeth’s  objections to Descartes be thought to also pose an objection to Plato? Should Plato’s view be  rejected on this basis?  If you want to learn more check out What is Antoribital fenestra?

a. Immortality argument:

i. A living body is considered alive because it has a soul

ii. A soul brings along life (the form of life)

iii. If something brings along a form, then it has to share characteristics of that  form

iv. A soul, therefore, must share characteristics of life

v. Things can’t share characteristics of opposite forms

vi. Life and death are opposites

vii. Soul has to share characteristics of life, so it can’t share characteristics of death  (the opposite)

viii. A soul is deathless

ix. Deathless things are indestructible (can’t die)

x. The soul must, therefore, be indestructible  

b. A soul controls the body because soul is able to control the desires of the body i. Ex. If the body is hungry, the soul can say no we’re going to eat later

c. Death is separation of body and soul- only way to actually separate them i. Body acts as obstacle to workings of the soul

d. Elisabeth’s objection: Don't forget about the age old question of What is El Nino?

i. Movement happens from pushing on a surface- immaterial things don’t have  surface, so doesn’t make sense that immaterial things affect material things ii. Causal closure: things that happen in physical world are caused by things in  physical world

iii. If body and soul are two separate things, how do both body and soul lose  consciousness when body passes out? Soul has quality of reason, so it should  still be able to exist/be conscious when body isn’t  

3. Explain Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean. How might Kant’s discussion of moderation be thought  to pose an objection to Aristotle? Is this objection successful?  

a. Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean:

i. Virtues ruined when there is too much or too little of it (excess and deficiency) ii. Must be in the middle of both extremes to be considered virtuous We also discuss several other topics like what is parasympathetic nervous system

iii. Example: if mean (virtue) is generosity, then excess is wastefulness and  deficiency is stinginess

iv. Not every feeling/action has a good mean

1. Example: murder or jealousy are always bad

v. Two kinds of mean:

1. Object itself: the exact middle of something, equidistant from each  

mean, always the same for each object

2. Relative to us: the right amount for each individual person that is not  

too much or too little for what that specific person needs, different for  

each individual person

vi. Difficult to reach the mean because many more ways to miss the mean vii. Must recognize individual’s natural tendencies toward vices

1. To achieve virtue, must try to act opposite of tendency to correct it

viii. Being virtuous requires deep self-knowledge, most be self-aware

b. Kant’s discussion of moderation 

i. Moderation is virtuous, but only truly good when combined with good will 1. Ex. Villain with self-control is more dangerous and more concerning

ii. Moderation contributes to the inner worth of a person, but still can’t be  considered good without limitation

c. Aristotle focuses on the right kind of person, actions follow 

i. Kant focuses on having the right will to be considered a good person

4. Why does Aristotle think that happiness cannot be conceived of as pleasure? How might Mill be  thought to offer an objection to Aristotle? Is this objection successful?  

a. Aristotle’s views on happiness 

i. Happiness is desirable in itself

ii. Happiness is not a form of amusement

1. Would undermine difficult and serious work

2. Would make life absurd and childish, which it is not Don't forget about the age old question of what are the examples of green algae?

iii. Amusement is a form of relaxation

1. Necessary because can’t work forever

2. Only relax to prepare/recharge for activity, so can’t be end goal

iv. Sometimes pleasures of one activity can impede pleasures of another

1. Ex. If derive pleasure from music, when talking to a friend with music in  

the background would impede pleasurable conversation

2. Will choose to do activity that is most pleasurable over the less  

pleasurable activities

b. Mill’s views on happiness:

i. Utilitarianism: greatest aggregate happiness

1. Actions are rights when they promote happiness and wrong when they  

promote the opposite

a. Happiness means pleasure and absence of pain

b. Unhappiness means pain and lack of pleasure

c. Pleasure/lack of pain are desirable as ends/goals

c. Both agree that there are good and bad pleasures 

i. Aristotle: decent pleasures come from excellent activities and blameworthy  pleasures come from bad actions

ii. Mill: Some pleasures more valuable than others

1. Can tell this when people tend to prefer certain pleasures without  

obligation

2. Take into account quality and quantity

3. Human pleasure different than animal pleasure

a. Human pleasure more valuable because even though might lead  

to some suffering, is worth more than any amount of animal  

pleasure

4. Ignorance is not bliss

5. Explain Locke’s view on the origin of ideas. How might Locke’s view be thought to undermine  Descartes’s argument for the truth of his clear and distinct perceptions? Should Descartes’s  argument be rejected on this basis?  

a. Locke’s origin of ideas:

i. Ideas come from sensation or reflection

1. Experience gives rise to ideas

a. From observations of external objects or of thinking about  

internal workings of mind

2. Sensation (outer experience): senses convey to mind perceptions of  

things from how they affect a person

3. Reflection (inner experience): reflection of soul on own mind

a. Creates perception, thinking, doubting, reasoning, etc.

ii. All ideas come from one or the other

1. Proven by trying to think of one idea in mind that didn’t come from  

perception of outside world or inner reflection  

2. Can also think about it in idea of child

a. If infant not exposed to color, it would have no ideas about red  

or green

b. Descartes’s argument for truth of clear and distinct perceptions 

i. Everything perceived clearly and distinctly is true until find one that is false ii. Perceptions are real because aren’t created by will or imagination of humans 1. Sometimes perceptions happen against a person’s will

iii. Had to have been an original first idea that other ideas were built off of

1. Cause of this idea must have objectively contained everything in that  

idea and in all following ideas

2. Therefore, must be some kind of higher being that gave us these ideas

iv. Principle of ideas: cannot have ideas of things unless caused by something real 1. Can have ideas about Sherlock Holmes because created by a real  

person, can have ideas about Obama because he actually exists

v. Principle of perfection: everything is on a scale of perfection and things cannot  come into existence from things that are less perfect than it

6. Explain Locke’s view on innate ideas. How might Plato’s defense of the Theory of Forms be  thought to pose an objection to Locke? Is this objection successful?  

a. Locke’s view on innate ideas:

i. No innate understanding in humans

1. Innate part is the ability to understand

a. Have ideas of colors, eyes to see them, brain to process them

ii. Ideas come from experience (sensation or reflection)

b. Plato’s Theory of Forms:

i. Descriptions of things come from comparisons to the Forms

ii. When people compare things to the Forms, they must have prior knowledge of  those forms

iii. Therefore, knowledge must come before birth because begin making  

comparisons at birth

7. What is the only kind of action Kant thinks has genuine moral worth? How might Mill’s theory of  utilitarianism provide the means for an argument against Kant’s view? Is this argument  successful?  

a. Kant’s view:

i. Good will is the only action that has genuine moral worth, only thing that is  good in and of itself

ii. Actions only good because of relationship to the will

iii. Universal laws: people should only act in ways they would be comfortable  making into a universal law and expecting it of everyone

iv. Treat humans as ends, not as means

b. Mill’s utilitarianism:

i. Actions are rights when they promote happiness and wrong with they promote  the opposite of happiness

ii. Happiness is pleasure and lack of pain and unhappiness is pain and lack of  pleasure

iii. Also should promote aggregate happiness of humanity

1. Promote actions that produce the most happiness

8. Why might Kant and Mill be thought to differ on whether it is morally permissible to harm one  person in order to benefit others? Whose view is more defensible?

a. Kant says not morally permissible:

i. Universal law principle: action only permissible if it can be made into a universal  law, required by all people

1. No way to say that killing or harming others could be made into a  

universal law because then others could harm you and that doesn’t  

make sense

ii. Ex. Borrowing under false pretenses not okay: someone borrows money and  knows they won’t be able to repay it, but won’t get money if can’t pay it back 1. Cannot be made into a universal law because would undermine entire  

basis of trust

iii. Ex. Indifference to others not okay: things going well for one person and won’t  help other people when they need it

1. Always morally wrong to hurt others and morally good to help them

2. Question of whether or not helping people is considered morally wrong

3. Cannot be made into a universal law because if indifferent person needs  love or something else from others, wouldn’t be able to get it

a. Contradiction because no one would will this because harms  

themselves

b. Mill says morally permissible: goal of actions is aggregate happiness

i. Ex. Trolley problem: runaway trolley approaches fork, one way will run over 5  people and the other will run over 1 person

1. You have the ability to divert trolley to one path or the other

2. Assumption that the people are all equal in their lives/accomplishments 3. Utilitarianism says you should flip the switch and kill one person  

because it would promote the most happiness (more people would live  

than die)

ii. Ex. Lying is generally wrong, but can sometimes be okay

1. Use utilitarianism to determine whether lying or telling truth will bring  

about most happiness

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