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Phil 2010 Week 2 Notes- Problems of Philosophy

by: Marcia Nascimento

Phil 2010 Week 2 Notes- Problems of Philosophy PHIL 2010 012 (TBA, Introduction to Philosophy

Marcia Nascimento

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About this Document

These notes are a reading response from Bertrand Russell on Problems of Philosophy.
Introduction to Philosophy (2010 012)
Chris Foster
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marcia Nascimento on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 2010 012 (TBA, Introduction to Philosophy at Georgia State University taught by Chris Foster in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy (2010 012) in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Georgia State University.

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Date Created: 08/31/16
Problems of Philosophy Chapter 1 & 2 Marcia Nascimento 08/31/16 10:00 In the first chapter, Russell discusses appearance and reality in relation to philosophy. This drove us to question what we see or what our eyes want us to see. He basically states that, what we see or what appears in front of us could have several explanations. It could be that it is all part of our imagination. Russell questions several aspects of this matter, such as how you would we be certain if it is real or not. He spoke about appearance in relation to reality to emphasize the fact that what we see may not be what is truly there. In order for us to believe that it is truly there, we would have to believe that it exists. What serves as a proof of its existence? In this context, he used a table as an example. What serves as a prove that the table is actually there, or that it is actually a physical object? The fact that we can see it and touch it could still not prove to us that it truly exists. This is because it could be all an illusion in our mind and it could be not. Will that object still be there when we close our eyes? To Russell, people have different points of view, different feelings towards things, different perceptions and ideas. Having said that, Russell then decided to name all the things that we can hear, see, smell or feel the texture- ‘sense data’. He calls it sense data because these are things that are commonly known to us human as well as to our senses. He is not really certain of whether it is actually real or not, Russell further decided to name what we feel towards these things as a ‘sensation’ due to how we react when we see those things. In the second chapter, Russell spoke about existence of matter. His point of view is that, for the table to be considered to exist, what factors determine the existence of a matter? What is it that makes it a matter? Russell outlines that the fact that we can see it could also be an imaginary world that we are living in but nothing actually proves its reality, if we all see it in different ways. It could be that it is all just a fictional story in our minds and it could be not. He also mentioned the fact that people can look at an object and all see it in a different colour, shape and texture. We cannot all be broad minded and say the table in this case exists because we can see it and because we were all made to know what a table looks like, based on what everyone was taught and exposed to. My question is, how do we just look at things and believe they are there just because we can see them? Russell mentions the fact that, one of the few things that could prove the existence of certain objects is that, as much as everyone sees things in different ways, textures or colours, the fact that people can all identify and familiarize with that same object in different ways, proves that it exists, even though they have different reactions towards the same object. My question is, could it be possible that what we see is actually just what we think we are seeing, and that we mostly chose to believe it is there because of the everyday norms that the majority of the people follow and not because we have actual proof of its reality?


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