Phil 1 Week 1 Notes
Phil 1 Week 1 Notes
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Date Created: 04/07/14
Philosophy 1 Introduction to Philosophy Week One Lecture Notes Reader Notes and Study Guide Instructor Tim Butzer Office South Hall 5720 Office Hours Tuesday 2 4 PM Email timbutzer gmailcom Course Website httpphillucsbwordpresscom Grades 0 Paper 2 page 10 0 Paper 4 page 25 0 Paper 4 page 25 0 Final Exam 30 0 Section 10 Lecture Notes Introductory Material 0 The word philosophy comes from Greek 0 Philos love 0 Sophia wisdom o Philosopher lover of wisdom 0 But what does wisdom means 0 Proposal 1 Knowing and being able to instruct others on how to lead a good fulfilling life I Very few people who call themselves philosophers today fit this description 0 Proposal 2 Gaining wisdom just means acquiring andor discovering knowledge about the word I If you know a lot you are wise I Seeking wisdom seeking knowledge I Doesn t single out philosophers though there could be other people that seek wisdom that aren t philosophers ie anthropologist psychologist 0 What distinguishes philosophy from other disciplines is its subject matter and methodology 0 Main Branches of Philosophy I Metaphysics I Epistemology I EthicsValue Theory 0 Metaphysics the study of the most fundamental features of existencebeing What is the nature of space and time Why is there something rather than nothing What does it take for something to persist over time 0 Coffee cup example chipped lost properties no longer warm but still coffee cup What is it for one thing to cause another Does God exist 0 Subbranch Ontology what exists What are minds and how do they relate to bodies What is required for an entity to possess free will Do we possess free will 0 Epistemology Episteme is Greek for knowledge Thus epistemology is translated as the study of knowledge Some questions 0 What is knowledge 0 What does to take to possess knowledge 0 Do we or can we know anything If so what 0 What are good sources of knowledge and what makes them so 0 What makes a belief justified 0 Are we or can we be justified in believing anything If so what 0 Do you have to always have reasons supporting a belief in order for it to be justifiedknown 0 How and when are you justified in believing something that someone else tells you 0 Ethics Ethic is the study of morality It is the study of what we ought and ought not do morally speaking and why we ought or ought not do it What makes an action right or wrong Do only the consequences of an action matter to its moral status Are there objective moral facts or are all such facts relative to the societyculturetime in which one finds oneself Are there moral facts at all or is it the case that nothing is morally permissible or impermissible Is abortion morally permissible If so under what conditions Are we morally obligated to give to charity Is raising animals and slaughtering them in order to eat them morally permissible Some other disciplines Philosophy of Mind Philosophy of Language 0 OOOOO 0 Logic Political Philosophy Philosophy or Science Philosophy of Math Aesthetics Philosophical Methodology 0 While some of the preceding topics bleed over a bit into various science e g physics cognitive psychology political science philosophers employ a different methodology than these empirical disciplines 0 Instead of formulating hypotheses and running experiments to test them philosophers typically conduct their investigations using reason and arguments 0 Philosophy like math is usually thought of as an a priori discipline 0 A priori knowledge knowledge that does not require the senses or empirical evidence for its justification o A posteriori knowledge knowledge that does require sensory or empirical evidence for its justification Reading Assigned William Paley Excerpts from Natural Theology pg 1 Some Very Basic Logic 0 Vocabulary o Argument An attempt to present rational support for a conclusion This consists of presenting a series of premises that collectively support the desired conclusion 0 Premise a proposition which purports appears but not definitely to support a conclusion 0 Conclusion the proposition an argument attempts to rationally support or prove 0 Example Argument 0 1 The Bible is the word of God 2 God is infallible therefore the word of God is infallible 3 The Bible says that God exists 4 Therefore God exists 13 are premise 4 is the conclusion Not a good argument The first premise is based on the fact that God exists which is what they are trying to prove o This is called Question BeggingBegs the QuestionCircular Argument assumes the truth of its conclusion in its premises OOOOOO 0 Claims sentences propositions or premises are true or false 0 Snow is white is either true or false 0 Arguments are valid or invalid sound or unsound 0 An argument is deductively valid if and only if the truth of its premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion In other words if all the premises are true then the conclusion must be true I Question Can a valid argument have a false conclusion Yes the premises could be false I Argument 0 1 If I had woken up late today then I would have been late for lecture 0 2 I woke up late 0 3 Therefore I was late to lecture 0 This argument is false professor was not late because premise 2 is false 0 An argument is sound if it is both valid and has true premises I Question Can a sound argument have a false argument No 0 An argument is valid just in case the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion 0 If a valid argument also has true premises then the conclusion has to be true 0 Two good Argument Forms 0 Modus Ponens I 1 if p then q 39 2 P I 3 Therefore q o Modus Ponens example valid but not sound I 1 If Adrian Peterson is healthy then the Vikings will win the Superbowl I 2 Adrian Peterson is healthy I 3 Therefore the Vikings will win the Superbowl 0 Modus Tollens I 1 If p then q 39 2 q I 3 Therefore p I means not 0 Modus Tollens example I 1 If I ate at Cajun Kitchen for breakfast I would have had eggs for breakfast I 2 I did not have eggs for breakfast I 3 Therefore I did not eat at Cajun Kitchen for breakfast Does God Exist 0 Nature of God 0 The four qualities of God for our purposes I Omnipotent all powerful I Omniscient all knowing I Omnibenevolent perfectly good I Creator of the universe 0 This is only one concept of God but it seems to be the notion of God advocated by the Judeo Christian family of religions 0 This constrains what counts as a good argument for God s existence 0 1 Cosmological argument 0 2 Pasca1 s Wager 0 Cosmological Argument 0 The argument I 1 Every event must have a cause I 2 The causal chain cannot be infinite I 3 Therefore there must have been a first cause I 4 Therefore God exists 0 Valid Just because there is a rst cause doesn t mean that the rst cause is God 0 Does the existence of a first cause mean the first cause must be God in our senses I Why not a very powerful but not omnipotent creator I Why not a mostly but not perfectly good creator I Why not a coalition of creators 0 Even granting all of the premises it doesn t prove the conclusion 0 Pascal s Wager o Pascal pointed out that there are four exhaustive possibility regarding God s existence and your belief I 1 God exists and you believe that God exists heaven I 2 God exists and you don t believe that God exists hell I 3 God doesn t exist and you believe that God exists nothing I 4 God doesn t exist and you don t believe that God exists nothing 0 Given this distribution we should try to form the belief that God exists if God exists Pragmatic argument Two of many problems I First the existence of Hell may seem incompatible with the idea of a perfect benevolent allpowerful deity 0 Not so bad We can revise the argument slightly to say if you don t believe you just don t get into heaven You still lose I Second the argument does not only work for God 0 What if it was Zeus I Both Zeus and the JudeoChristen God are jealous so if you believe in the wrong one you go to hell 0 Pascal s Wager doesn t really give you anything Paley vs Dawkins The Teleological Argument 0 Why They Failed o The two arguments we looked at last time failed because they did not establish that a being with the following properties exists I Omniscience I Omnipotence I Omnibenevolence 0 Even if they show that we should believe in something they don t tell us what Logic works for Zeus 0 Preliminaries o Telos is translated from Greek as purpose end or goal 0 Teleological arguments for the existence of God purport to show that God must exist because the universe or some feature of it could have only been brought about by a designer 0 Usually their structure is to point to one or more structures in the universe that seem to designed and argue that design implies a designer o Paley s famous argument epitomizes two argument forms we haven t discussed yet I Argument by analogy I Inference to the best explanation o NonDeductive Arguments I Deductive arguments go wrong when One or more of the premises are false or poorly supported The premises do not entail the conclusion The argument commits some fallacy or other e g circular reasoning I Argument by analogy is a nondeductive argument of the following form X has feature A X is relatively similar to Y Therefore Y has feature A Ways for an argument by analogy to fail o The two compared phenomena are not that similar 0 They are similar in some ways but different relevant to the feature under consideration 0 The similarity between the two kinds of things is superficial and not supported by looking at a wider sample size 0 There are unintended consequences to the analogy I Inference to the Best Explanation Inference to the best explanation is another kind of nondeductive argument of the following form X is an observed phenomena If Y were the case then it would best explain why X is the case Y is the case Examples 0 You are walking on the beach and see two sets of shoeprints next to one another ones et of adult size and one significantly smaller 0 You conclude that the footprints are those of a parent and a child because this best explains the data you have Could be a pig with boots however unlikely What makes something the best explanation 0 Power 0 Elegance don t make it fancy o Simplicity don t go above and beyond 0 Consistent with proven explanations of other similar observations 0 Fits into an explanatorily useful theory 0 Pa1ey s Argument The Watch 0 We walk through the woods and come across a watch What conclusions should we draw about the thing I That it was designed This is known by the features I The object has certain features The parts are all arranged in a manner that produces a certain motion 0 If the parts were of slightly different physical form the motion would not occur 0 If here were missing or different parts the motion would not occur 0 If the parts were arranged differently the motion would not occur 0 Paley claims that the best explanation of these features is that the object has a purpose and that it was designed by some intelligent entity to fulfill that purpose 0 The argument from analogy Living organisms share all of these qualities 1 The parts are all arranged in a manner that produces a certain motion 2 If the parts were of slightly different physical form the motion would not occur 3 If there were missing or different parts the motion would not occur 4 If the parts were arranged differently the motion would not occur Pa1ev s Teleological Argument 0 O 1 Watches have complex features the best explanation of which is that the watch was created by an intelligent designer for some purpose 0 2 Living organisms are similar to watches in these respects 3 Therefore the best explanation of the complexities that we find in living organisms is that living organisms were created by an intelligent design Disanalogies O 1 We know how a watch is constructed but we do not know how a human is constructed But do we know this about the watch you and me we don t know how to build one Even if we know how would it matter What if we happened across some advanced alien technology Some lost art of ancient people We would still know that it was designed o 2 We know the purpose of the watch but we do not know the purpose of living things 0 Summing Up 0 We don t need to know particular purpose of an artifact to know that it was designed fro some purpose or other Example piece of random metal in your house The same goes for individual parts of the watch 3 Watches do no duplicate themselves organisms do Imagine that a watch can multiply it would simply be more evidence of design and cause for greater respect for the designed Would make it likely that the first watch we observed was not the original but this should not affect our conclusion that there was some original watch that was designed by an intelligence designer There cannot be design without a designer contrivance without a contriver order without choice arrange without anything capable or arranging subserviency and relation to a purpose without that which could intended a purpose means suitable to an end and executing their office in accomplishing that end without the end ever having been contemplated or the means accommodated to it Reader Notes Paley William The Teleological Argument from Natural Theology pg 1 Main point The universe is like a watch where even if you had never seen a watch before it would be obvious the watch had a maker In the case of the universe it is obvious that there is a GodDeity This obviousness is shown by the properties which are discussed in the article of said watchuniverse Chapter 1 State of the Argument 0 A stone may have been on the ground forever by accident as opposed to a watch by rational thought Watch implies intelligence and mind Why I Examining it suggests that there is a maker because it is simply too complex to have been created randomly There are also certain qualities about the design that makes it obvious there is a creator 0 Paley offers that this conclusion cannot be argued against Chapter 5 Application of the argument continued 0 The watch is only an example The same thing can be said about animals our eye etc o Imperfect creations like faulty Watches can occur but due to imperfect materialsexecutions not the maker himself 0 We should judge intentions from successes not failures 0 We are only dealing with the existence therefore imperfection which is due to something besides the creator or due to the creator s ignorance of the imperfection has little to no weight Study Guide What does philosophy mean literally translated o Lover of wisdom What are the two proposals for the meaning of wisdom What are metaphysics epistemology and ethics Give an example of what a philosopher studying each one would ask Does philosophy bleed into other topics What are a priori and a posteriori arguments Which one is philosophy generally considered as Paley compares a watchmaker to God Why Why is it obvious that a Watch has a creator Paley is concerned with imperfection Why do faulty creations carry little weight in dealing with the creator according to Paley Define argument premise conclusion begging the questioncircular argument valid sound What is Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens Give an example of each What are the four generally accepted qualities of God Explain Pascal s Wager and what his conclusion is Are there any issues with his conclusion What are nondeductive arguments and how can they go wrong What is an argument by analogy and how can that go wrong What is inference to the best explanation How can you infer the best explanation Explain Paley39s argument What are some arguments against the argument and counter arguments for them on Paley39s behalf
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