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Unit One of Intro to Philosophy: Logic, Plato and Socrates

by: Roger Osiel Villarreal

Unit One of Intro to Philosophy: Logic, Plato and Socrates PHIL 1110

Marketplace > East Carolina University > PHIL-Philosophy > PHIL 1110 > Unit One of Intro to Philosophy Logic Plato and Socrates
Roger Osiel Villarreal

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These notes cover the majority of Unit one. The notes cover areas like Socrates' teachings, Plato's beliefs, Metaphysics, an assessment of Logic and argument structures.
Intro to Philosophy
Dr. Beaulieu
Class Notes
Plato, Socrates, logic, Contingency, philosophy of religion, Cosmological Argument
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Roger Osiel Villarreal on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1110 at East Carolina University taught by Dr. Beaulieu in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views. For similar materials see Intro to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at East Carolina University.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
Chapter One: Logic I. Areas of Philosophy A. Epistemology: the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion. 1. Knowledge vs. Opinion (or mere belief) a) Belief: “a propositional attitude.” b) Knowledge: is believed, is justified and is true. “justified true belief” (1)Know That vs. Know How B. Metaphysics: the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. 1. Reality: justifying your reality. 2. Reality vs. appearance. C. Philosophical Ethics: The branch of philosophy that deals with morality. Ethics is concerned with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous (righteous) and non virtuous characteristics of people. 1. What is right and wrong? 2. We’re not comparing cultures or ideas, we are trying to find a common ground that captures the right and the wrong. a) Normative or Prescriptive? (1)Normative: How one ought to act, morally. II. Logic A. Definition: the study of valid inference or good reasoning. B. Logical fallacies: Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim. III. Fallacies A. Composition: most of the fallacies made in composition is that it makes you make an assumption based off of a statement. 1. Ad: The monthly payments of a car are cheap. 2. You: Oh, therefore the car must be cheap. B. Equivocation: It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings). C. Ad Hominem: You attack the human or person, instead of looking at the credentials of the argument. 1. You don’t believe someone because you don’t personally like them. D. Post Hoc 1. A happened, therefore B will happen. a) Correlation does not mean causation. I. The Search for Wisdom A. The beginning of Socrates 1. Socrates was born in 470 B.C in Athens. 2. “I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess the wisdom which I find wanting in others.” 3. “I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your person and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul.” II. Socrates Method A. Socrates method of achieving wisdom and striking conversations was referred to as the Socratic method or Socratic questioning. Plato referred to the method as dialectic. 1. The seven stages of Socrates’ method a) Socrates unpacks the philosophical issues in an everyday conversation. b) Socrates isolates a key philosophical term that needs analysis. c) Socrates professes ignorance and requests the help of his companion. d) Socrates companion proposes a definition of the key term. e) Socrates analyzes the definition by asking questions that exposes its weaknesses. f) The subject produces another definition, one that improves on the earlier one. g) The subject is made to face his own ignorance. B. reductio ad absurdum- a form of argumentation that means “reducing to an absurdity.” 1. Socrates would begin the argumentation by assuming that his opponent's position is true. III. Socrates’ Teachings A. Socrates main concern with his philosophy revolved around ethics. Socrates was interested in this topic primarily to answer this one question: How should we live if we are to be successful and fulfilled human beings? Socrates’ answer to this question can be summarized in three points 1. The unexamined life is not worth living. 2. The most important task in life is caring for the soul (the real person). 3. A good person cannot be harmed by others. B. The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living 1. What is important is who we are and who we are trying to become. Socrates’ thesis is that making oneself as good as possible is the true goal in life and the key to genuine success. C. The Most Important Task in Life Is Caring for the Soul 1. For Socrates, ignorance is the deadliest disease for the soul. 2. Skepticism: the belief that we cannot have knowledge. 3. One should realize that their potential as a person is the most important occupation one has in life. D. A Good Person Cannot Be Harmed by Others 1. “If the real me, the most important part of who I am, is not my possessions nor the outward, physical part of me, then no one can corrupt me or damange me from outside.” 2. The Socratic vision of the life of philosophical wisdom is one in which self-examination leading to self-knowledge gives us the wisdom to care for the best part of ourselves and liberates us from the control and harm of everything outside, making us inner-directed and fulfilled persons. IV. Plato’s Teachings A. “Republic” 1. The Ring of Gyges Challenge a) You wear this ring, you get away with any injustice. b) Even if you wanted to get caught, you couldn’t. c) The ring will make people admire you. d) Reality vs. Appearance (1)People see you as a just person, even though in reality you are not. e) Intrinsic vs. Instrumental values (1)An instrumental value is something that you value not for its own sake, but you value it to get something else out of it. f) If you wanted this ring, it means you only view justice as an instrumental virtue. 2. Justice in the individual/state a) The structure of individuals and states. (1)Telos: the ultimate purpose of something. (2)Eudaimonia: happiness 3. The unity of the virtues 4. Philosopher Kings: Paternalism + Noble Lies 5. What do the wise know and how? B. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (6) 1. Plato used this story as a rough analogy to the modes of the awareness and levels of reality discussed in his philosophy. C. Plato on Knowledge, Reality, and Value 1. With respect to knowledge, Plato believed that the world revealed to us in sense experience is like the land of shadows; it is an imperfect representation of higher truths that are revealed to us through reason. 2. In respect to reality, levels of reality of reality transcend the world of our sense experience. 3. In respect to the physical world, there is some degree of reality, but it is transcended by and must be understood in terms of the nonphysical world. It is because we can rise above the realm of particular, physical things and understand the higher non-physical realities that we can understand anything at all. 4. Plato would argue that the nature of values is more than subjective opinion, it is something that we can know. D. Plato’s Allegory and the Questions of Philosophy 1. The first rule of philosophy is that you cannot become a prisoner of your society’s regular values, don’t be afraid to question them. 2. Second, with respect to epistemology, Plato's story reminds us that the truth is not always what is obvious nor what is directly before our eyes. 3. Third, there is a distinction between appearance and reality. V. Assumptions of the Virtue Chart A. When Goodness is in question 1. The philosophers know the essence of goodness. a) Knowledge of “the Good” (1)Objective (2)Not-Empirical (3)Practical (a)If you know the good, you must do the good. VI. Plato’s Anti-Empiricist Argument A. The objects of Knowledge must be 1. Fixed/stable/unchanging/objective/not perspectival 2. Never deceiving B. The objects of our senses are neither a nor b. C. Therefore the objects of our senses cannot be objects of knowledge. D. The objects of knowledge are the common elements of the things around us. I. Charting the Terrain of Religion II. Choosing a Path A. Evidentialism: the claim that belief in God must be supported by objective evidence. B. Natural theology: is the project of attempting to provide proofs for the existence of God based on reason and experience alone. 1. The natural theologian does not appeal to the supernatural revelation or faith of any sort. 2. They do not necessarily reject the above, but they believe that it is possible to demonstrate God’s existence solely through philosophical reasoning. C. Non Evidentialism: the claim that it is not rationally required to have objective, rational evidence for our basic beliefs and stance toward life. D. Fideism: the claim that religious belief must be based on faith alone and cannot be justified by appeal to either objective or subjective reasons. III. Arguments for the Existence of God A. All arguments fall into two main groups. 1. Posteriori Arguments: These arguments depend on premises that can be known only on the basis of experience. (empirical knowledge) 2. Priori Arguments: These arguments are based on reason alone and does not require empirical premises. I. Plato’s Anti-Empiricist Argument A. Empiricist: a theory of knowledge based on evidence and what kind of is relevant. B. The objects of knowledge must be fixed/stable/unchanging/objective/ not perspectival and never deceiving. C. If it’s going to count as something you know, then you can’t be 100% sure, then you really don’t know it. D. The object of our senses are neither of the classification for knowledge. E. Therefore the objects of senses are not objects of knowledge. II. Reason- Wisdom A. Knowledge of “the good.” B. Objective- doesn’t depend on perspective. C. Not empirical- you can’t see or taste or sense the object. D. Plato’s model for knowledge is a mathematical way. E. Practical- meaning that if you know the good you can't help but do the right thing. III. Metaphysics A. Reality- essences meaning that of which all x’s have in common, which makes them x’s. X being anything and everything. B. Appearances- sensible particulars meaning what your senses bring in, things that have no one common item, they all look, feel and sound different. IV. Cave Allegory A. Found in ch. 4.


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