Early Modern Philosophy Introduction/ Historical Background - Scholaticism: Middle ages philosophy • Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William Ockham • Interpretations of Aristotle in a christian context - Aristotle: Greek, born 384 BCEWe also discuss several other topics like twilight domain ua
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, Student of Plato - Hylomorphism: objects are composites of matter and form • Hulê: matter or body • Morphê: form or soul - What is a Form? • The actuality of a potentiality (corpse vs living human) - Early Modern Philosophy • New methods in science and mathematics • Nature is intelligible (we can figure it all out) • Mechanization of nature (all parts work together) Francis Bacon(1561-) - Preconceptions cause an automatic bias to every thought • “The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all other things to support and agree with it. And though there is a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet it either neglects and despises these, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.” (New Organon, RMP 7)Galileo Galilei(1564-) - Italian mathematician, astronomer, scientist - Supporter of Copernican astronomy, trouble with the catholic church - Instrumental in changing the conception of science and the conception of the physical world - Corpuscularianism • Rediscovery of ancient atomism: - Lucretius, Democritus, Epicurus • Atomism: The wide variety of things we experience in the physical world is the result of different configurations of minute bodies(or corpuscles) - Contrast to Corpuscularianism • Aristotelianism: The wide variety of things we experience in the physical world is the result of the presence of different forms in bodies - Substantial forms: explain the differences between things - Accidental forms: explain the differences between properties. - Aristotle and Medievals - Galileo - on bodies • “Now, whenever I conceive of any material or corporeal substance, I am necessarily constrained to conceive of that substance as bounded and as possessing this or that shape, as large or small in relationship to some other body, as is this or that place during this or that time, as in motion or at rest, as in contact or not in contact with some other body, as being one, many or few – and by no stretch of imagination can I conceive of any corporeal body apart from these conditions.” (The Assayer, RMP 9) • Bodies must have: - Boundaries - Shape - Size - Position - Motion - Proximity to other bodies - Quantity- Galileo - on properties • “But I do not at all feel myself compelled to conceive of bodies as necessarily conjoined with such further conditions as being red or white, bitter or sweet, having sound or being mute, or possessing a pleasant or unpleasant fragrance. On the contrary, were they not escorted by our physical senses, perhaps neither reason nor understanding would ever, by themselves, arrive at such notions. I think, therefore, that these tastes, odors, colors, etc., so far as their objective existence is concerned, are nothing but mere names for something which resides exclusively in our sensitive body, so that if the perceiving creatures were removed, all of these qualities would be annihilated and abolished from existence.” (The Assayer, RMP 9) • Bodies do not have: - Color - Taste - Sound - Scent - Texture • These do not really exist, except in the minds of the perceivers. • If you can not remove a feature of your idea of an object, it is essential. René Descartes (1596-) - Discourse - So-called “father of modern philosophy” - Wanted certainty, reason comes from the right application and method - Early work on philosophical method: • How do we know we are reasoning correctly? • E.g. Galileo’s considerations about bodies - Philosophical Method • “Good sense is the best distributed thing in the world, for everyone thinks himself to be so well endowed with it that even those who are the most difficult to please in everything else are not at all wont to desire more of it than they have…” • “It is not likely that everyone is mistaken in this. Rather, it provides evidence that the power of judging well and of distinguishing the true from the false (which is, properly speaking, what people call “good sense” or “reason”) is naturally equal in all men, and that the diversity of our opinions does not arise from the fact that some people are more reasonable than others, but solely from the fact that we lead our thoughts along different paths and do not take the same things into consideration. For it is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to apply it well. And those who proceed only very slowly can make much greater progress, provided they always follow the right path, than do those who hurry and stray from it.? (Discourse on Method, RMP 12) • What is the right path? 1. Never accept anything as true that I did not plainly know to be such - (Gotta see it to believe it) 2. Divide each of the difficulties I would examine into as many parts as possible and as was required to resolve them - Foundationalism (epistemology) 3. To conduct my thoughts in an orderly fashion, by commencing with those objects that are simplest and easiest to know, in order to ascend little by little, as by degrees, to the knowledge of the most composite things(things you can not doubt - God exists - “I” exist 4. Everywhere to make enumerations so complete and reviews so general that I was assured of having omitted nothing. - Don’t stop until you explore every option - Euclid’s Elements: Proposition 13 • If a straight line stands on a straight line, then it makes either two right angles or angles whose sum equals two right angles. 1. Let any straight line AB standing on the straight line CD make the angles CBA and ABD. I say that either the angles CBA and ABD are two right angles or their sum equals two right angles. 2. Now, if the angle CBA equals the angle ABD, then they are two right angles. (I.Def.10) 3. But, if not, draw BE from the point B at right angles to CD. Therefore the angles CBE and EBD are two right angles. (I.11) 4. Since the angle CBE equals the sum of the two angles CBA and ABE, add the angle EBD to each, therefore the sum of the angles CBE and EBD equals the sum of the three angles CBA, ABE, and EBD. (C.N.2) 5. Again, since the angle DBA equals the sum of the two angles DBE and EBA, add the angle ABC to each, therefore the sum of the angles DBA and ABC equals the sum of the three angles DBE, EBA, and ABC. (C.N.2) 6. But the sum of the angles CBE and EBD was also proved equal to the sum of the same three angles, and things which equal the same thing also equal one another, therefore the sum of the angles CBE and EBD also equals the sum of the angles DBA and ABC. But the angles CBE and EBD are two right angles, therefore the sum of the angles DBA and ABC also equals two right angles. (C.N.1) - Definitions, Common Notions, etc. • Definition 10: When a straight line standing on a straight line makes the adjacent angles equal to one another, each of the equal angles is right, and the straight line standing on the other is called a perpendicular to that on which it stands. • Proposition 11: To draw a straight line at right angles to a given straight line from a given point on it. • Common Notions 1. Things which equal the same thing also equal one another. 2. If equals are added to equals, then the wholes are equal.