PHL 3000 Week One Notes: Aug. 31- Sep. 12
PHL 3000 Week One Notes: Aug. 31- Sep. 12 PHL 3000
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Haley Cochran on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 3000 at Wright State University taught by Dr. Scott Wilson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in Philosophy at Wright State University.
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Date Created: 09/30/16
Critical Thinking August 31, 2016 Why Critical Thinking? 1. General: applies to any possible subject of inquiry. 2. Reflective: thinking about thinking. 3. Critical: questions whether reasoning is good or bad; aim to improve our thinking. 4. Overcome obstacles due to human nature. Socrates (470399 B.C.) A “Good” person according to the Greeks: Fit, strong, successful, good looking, wealthy. No relation to morals. A “Bad” person according to the Greeks: Sick, poor, failure. Contemporary Good vs. Evil > Moral > focuses on what you do. Socrates was prosecuted for: 1. Corrupting the youth 2. Not believing in the gods of Athens 3. Creating new gods Historical Context ● GrecoPersian War (499449 BC) a. Persia vs. Greek City States b. Persia was the larger, stronger force c. The Greeks won d. Ushered by the “Golden Era” of Athens ● Peloponnesian War (431404 BC) a. Athens vs. Sparta b. Athens loses to Sparts c. Athens was a democracy before the loss d. After the loss Sparta puts 30 Tyrants in charge i. Many were Athenians ii. Many of those were Socrates’s followers September 2, 2016 Plato: ● Wrote dialogues ○ Early (Socratic) ○ Middle ○ Late ■ The Middle and Late Dialogues are known as Platonic Socrates (The Apology) ● Never wrote any texts ● Philosophy is not a subject matter, like biology, math, etc, but a way of life. ○ Philos (love) + sophia (wisdom) = Philosophy (love of wisdom) ● Fully committed to the truth ● He “goes where the arguments take him” ● Applies to all subjects ● Sought the true nature of, or knowledge of: ○ The Most Important Things in Life** ■ Is it… ● Justice ● Truth ● Beauty ● Right and Wrong ● Good and Bad *Asked powerful people who professed to know The Most Important Things in Life He ended up embarrassing them ➔ The Oracle at Delphi: ◆ Known trickster ● For hubris (over confident) ◆ Was asked, “Is anyone wiser than Socrates?” ● Response: “No, none are wiser. ○ Socrates: “How can I be wisest when I know nothing?” Socrates’s Mission from the gods: ● Going to find one wiser than me 1. Politicians 2. Poets (Artist) 3. Craftsmen ● Socrates questions the Politicians: ○ Under questioning, it was shown that they do not know ■ They have no particular knowledge except flattery ● Socrates questions the Poets: ○ Poets have an ability ○ Cannot explain to others how to gain ability ○ Believe ability gives them knowledge of Most Important Things. ● Socrates questions the Craftsmen: ○ Have an ability, plus they can explain how ○ But, they think they also know about the Most Important Things Question: Are they all equally wise, or is Socrates in fact wiser, why? Spectrum of Knowledge: The Official Charges 1. Socrates corrupts the youth of Athens 2. Socrates does not believe in gods (He is an atheist) 3. Socrates creates new gods ** 2 and 3 contradict each others Was Socrates an atheist? ● Socrates did have very unique views about the gods: ○ Socrates’s view: The gods are good. We should follow them because they are right, correct, perfect, and worth following. ○ Popular view: The Gods are powerful. Follow because you do not want to be hurt. ● Socrates believed the gods spoke directly to him ○ Didn’t tell him what to do ○ Told him to avoid wrong ○ Beginning of soul? Did Socrates corrupt the youth? A. Was he a sophist? a. Paid teacher i. 1.5 years salary b. Could support or destroy any position c. Concluded: No truth, only power d. But, he wasn’t one B. Socrates’s Method a. Elenchus i. Ask a professed expert to define a term in their expertise. 1. Ask a series of questions, intending to show this definition contradicts something else the person believes C. Socrates would never intentionally corrupt those around him a. Corrupt people are dangerous people b. Is it reasonable to believe I alone corrupt? c. Concludes: That if he corrupts, he should be corrected, not punished Sentencing Phase ● They suggest death ● They expected Socrates to offer a fine or expulsion ● A series of feast to celebrate Socrates Was Socrates Good for Athens? ● Gadfly Analogy ○ Puts ignorance directly in front of your face ○ He “benefits” people by publicly showing them their ignorance and hypocrisy Socrates on the Good ● The unexamined life is not worth living ○ Good for you requires you to know what goodness is ○ If I know X is good, then I will X. ■ What is good for you is being morally good ■ What is bad for you is being morally bad ○ Aiming at your own perfection September 9, 2016 Eudaimonia ● Attempts to define a. Happiness ■ But happiness is transitory, while Eudaimonia is not b. Excellence ■ But understand as nonmoral c. Flourishing** ■ Compare to plants and animals Biggest Question of Ancient Ethics ● What is eudaimonia ● What does it consist of a. Hedonism* ■ Pleasure = the Good ■ Pain = the Bad b. Wealth/Power* c. Reputation/Honor* d. Being Virtuous ■ Having your soul (or mind) in order ● Reason rules over desire ● You do not want things more than they are worth ○ Objective truth concerning how much things are worth *AC allow for conflict between what is best for you and what is right. If you want to live a life of eudaimonia (which everyone does), then you must always be virtuous and do what is right. Should Socrates Escape From Jail? ● If you don’t, you will be doing just what your enemies want ○ Socrates: so what? ● You won’t support your family anymore ○ Socrates: never did ● We will look bad ○ Socrates: so what ★ Is it right? September 12, 2016 The Crito Why Socrates Thinks He Should Stay ● Basic Principles: ○ One ought never to act unjustly (or do evil) ○ One ought never to return an injustice for an injustice (don’t do evil in return for evil) ○ One must keep their agreement as long as they are just What Do These Principles Imply About Escaping? ● Procedural vs. Content Justice ○ Procedural Justice: Following a fair procedure. Results in just due to procedure ■ Procedure was followed for Socrates ○ Content Justice: Did the verdict get it right? ■ They got it wrong ○ 3 Arguments to Stay 1. The Parent Argument 2. The Benefactor Argument 3. The Agreement Argument ➔ The Parent Argument ◆ The State is (like) a parent to Socrates ● Acculturation ● Gives life, food, things needed ○ Potential Counters: ◆ Abusive Parents ◆ Missing, Racist, Criminal, etc. Parents ◆ Everyone ought to obey their parents ◆ If Socrates escapes he will disobey his parents (state) ◆ Therefore, Socrates ought not to escape ◆ “Forced” into situation, no options. You owe them ➔ The Benefactor Argument ◆ The state is Socrates’s benefactor ◆ Everyone ought to obey their benefactors ● What about State benefits; Friends also benefit ● What if the Benefactor tells you to do wrong thing (evil) ◆ If Socrates were to escape, he would disobey his benefactors ◆ Therefore, he ought not to escape ➔ The Agreement Argument *Passive Agreement, Tacit ◆ Socrates made an agreement to follow the laws of Athens ◆ Everyone ought to keep their agreements ◆ If Socrates escapes he will break his agreement ◆ Therefore, Socrates ought no escape
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