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Mind Matter God Notes weeks 1-7

by: Matt henslee

Mind Matter God Notes weeks 1-7 PHIL 160D2 - 001

Marketplace > University of Arizona > Philospohy > PHIL 160D2 - 001 > Mind Matter God Notes weeks 1 7
Matt henslee

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Notes cover everything said in lecture
mind matter and god
John Maloney
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Matt henslee on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 160D2 - 001 at University of Arizona taught by John Maloney in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see mind matter and god in Philospohy at University of Arizona.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
unsigned blue books (8.5x7) August 23: ­Philosophy: a thought or idea about a topic/ determination to think in logic and critically and  objectively about questions that aren’t easily answered. Commitment to logic in dealing with  difficult questions ­Difference between the thought process of things. How things think about what they’re doing  rather than following the course of nature. Matter/Mind ­Minds w/out bodies= the divine August 25: Bottom up perception: pure information Top down interpretation: inference based on background beliefs and attitudes ­Rely on observational abilities to give us information about what we know about the universe. ­Appearance and reality can go their different ways ­Why can we see her one way or the other way? ­Whenever any of us look at anything, we’re really doing 2 things Open your eyes and letting visual do it’s job/same vision Brings prior history of learning to image to make a decision ­Brain uses information stored to make observations ­Information that biases her to make her decision on the image ­Reasoning their way to different solution because they bring different systems of belief  ­Person who knows the truth before getting to the observational moment ­If you get the story wrong the chances of you leading a life you want is low. Low success ­Perception is colored by what we know ­Or won't listen to what we know Presocratic philosophers: Is universe orderly or random? Some change is regular some is not, why? Is the universe determined by Gods or something fixed, constant, knowledgeable? ­Haven’t yet discovered scientific method but are still in a world full of questions ­Some change is reliable, some is totally surprising 2 options for why things happen: ­Entity thinks/feels then acts ­Something exists that has power to cause action (unobservable) ­Entity that doesn’t think or feel at all but cause action ­Forces cause actions that we can’t observe to explain what we can observe Presocratics: Ancient Greek philosophers (600­470 BC) who lived before time of Socrates (470­ 399 BC) Pluralists: accept reality of  observable and orderly change. Universe consists of movement and  many different things Monists: Deny pluralists. Only one thing makes up universe.  Skeptic: Denies that genuine knowledge is possible knowledge is beyond our place, we just don’t know everything August 30: 200 word summary of lecture today Top down vs Bottom up: about how our mind actually engages the world when we make  observations Top down: inspired by ambiguous image. Whenever you perceive the world in which you live,  not merely relying on sensory organs, world is making its impression on you. Unbeknownst to  you, your mind is contemplating what could it be? Make perceptions based on prior knowledge. Bottom up: No matter what you know, doesn’t change how it looks. Still looks like what it is.  Perception doesn’t care what you know about the situation. Purely based on information. Skepticism: Looks like we’ll never have knowledge because observations are not always enough. Just because you believe it, don’t conclude that you actually know. Knowledge is difficult to get. Conception of illusive nature of knowledge. Presocratics: Socrates famous philosopher. Lived in Athens (300bc). Philosophers before  socrates are presocratics. Plato was a disciple of Socrates. A world rich in change. Some changes are recurrent and predictable, some changes are completely unpredictable. Manipulate the Gods  to help deal with the random changes. Unobservable control the observable.  A priori:  Something we know that doesn’t depend on observation. Correct mathematics  knowledge. Just thinking logically, can know certain principles to be true (pythagorean theorem). x=y=z x=z without observation. Exercising capacity of purely mathematical thought without  observations. A posteriori:  Knowledge you have to make observations on. Check temperature (make  measurement). Not always certain knowledge.  Thales: Maybe we could explain why the volatile world changes by throwing away the concept  that the Gods control what happens. Likes the idea that unobservable controls the observed. Does it occur because the Gods are psychological? Might there not be a purely mechanical explanation of it all? One that allows existence of Zeus but denies his role in the observable. Observable things need not appear to be what they really are deep down. What if everything is  composed of what water is composed of? To understand what makes changes, find out what that  1 thing everything is made out of. Underlying but not apparent, whatever water is makes up  everything.  Emotions are caused by their “water” changing their emotions based on pressure and temperature. EVERYTHING IS WATER CONCEPT. A reductivist Reductionism:  Idea that understanding the changes is based on things that are real but  unobservable. Are things really that different? Everything is made of the same things. Plurality is the mask overlying the differences in things. Pythagoras: Ancient presocratic. Brilliant mathematician. Proves mathematics without  observation, in all places and times without exception. Somethings we know because they don’t  depend on observation. If you think principles of mathematics are true, then the numbers must  exist. Any explanation of things that happen has a quantitative side.  September 1 Pythagoras (560 BC) ­Everything is numbers ­Formula shows how abstract thought (as opposed to perception) can reveal true nature of things ­Abstracta (numbers) are real ­Understand change and reality through mathematics, not perception ­Scientific laws that refer to magnitudes and quantities E = mc2 Golden rectangle 1:1.618 ­For every number there is another ­Laws of mathematics make sure that numbers never change. 5+7=12 ALWAYS A priori knowledge: knowledge you have by thinking abstractly without regard to observation. Principles that are universal and necessary. Necessary: Always true (5 + 7 = 12) Not necessary: Is true now, but isn’t always (shirt is white, but if stained isn’t anymore) A posteriori knowledge: knowledge gained by observation ­Pythagoreans discovered some numbers are irrational cannot be expressed as ratios of integers September 6 Heraclitus (540 BC)­Pluralism  Perpetual flux: always changing “you can’t step into the same river twice”  All things are always changing  How can we have fixed unchanging knowledge of what is always changing? o Consider: how can a fixed picture/idea accurately represent what is in perpetual  flux?  Constantly changing objects defy static representations  Constantly changing (civil) laws defy knowledge and obedience  Logos: Abstract, unchanging, existing, knowable law of all things in the universe that  ensures the necessity and constancy of the pattern of change  Logos is knowable only a priori: through process of abstract thought  Brought idea of plurality connected to change  All objects in the universe are constantly changing internally  Continuous change such that: for any pair of moments, that object is different than it was  before  In order to think of something, you have to have an idea of that something   Our ideas will always be an inaccurate representation of the real world since it is  constantly changing  Things cannot change into something else Atomists: Democritus (460BC)  Posits o Moving atoms out of which all physical matter is composed o The void (space) o Initial swerve  Atoms o Too small to be observable o Simple and not decomposable o Composed of the same matter o May differ individually in shape, but otherwise similar o Move in varying directions at varying speed in accordance with fixed and  mathematically precise (casual) laws of motion  Perceptually apparent diversity and change explained by reductive appeal to number,  position, and law governed motion of atoms and constancy in the logos or governing laws  Reductionisits  Idea of orderly universe coming from complete chaos made them think of why we are  how we are September 8 Presocratics who deny reality of change, motion, plurality, and reject perception  Doubting motion and plurality o Magicians and illusionists entertain us by presenting illusions that impress us as  “convincing” although we know to be misleading o Familiar illusions of apparent motion show that what seems to move might  actually be at rest o Viewed through a prism, a single object can appear to be many o Reference to possibility that perception is top down in a corrupt manner\ Parmenides (500BC)­ Monism  Only one thing – the One­ exists o Pluralism is false  The One is itself internally simple and lacks any form of differentiation  The One is ineffable & incomprehensible  The One is immutable o Change is impossible  If change were possible, then something could come from nothing o X finally becomes a butterfly only if x originally is not a butterfly o Not being a butterfly = being nothing = nothing  But it is impossible that something come from nothing o It is impossible that a butterfly come from nothing o So change is impossible, only illusionary Arguments against plurality  Plurality = the existence of many different things  Of course many people believe in plurality but this is a mistake because…  If X is not Y, then X = the absence of Y  Hence if X is not Y Then X = nothing  If X = nothing then X does not exist, which contradicts plurality  So the very idea of plurality is contradictory and hence impossible  Thus, Monism must be true Zeno  Paradoxes of motion  Abstract a priori reasoning always trumps perception and empirical/ a posteriori  reasoning  This is the lesson of the Pythagorean theorem o We reject measurement or perception as faulty when it conflicts with the abstract  reasoning that established the Pythagorean theorem   Since we go this far w/ Pythagoras should  we accept Zeno’s paradox and reject motion  as illusionary and skeptically repudiate perception Summary of Parmenides & Zeno  Monism is true; motion and plurality are impossible and illusory  Favor abstract ( A priori) reasoning over (A posterior) perception September 13 Determinist: ­There isn’t much room to make different choices since it is all predictable since everything is  atoms ­You think what you do is under your control, but the atoms are controlling the way you think ­Things don’t have choices because the universe conspires what the object will do ­Infinites call into notion the movement of space and time Plato (428­348 BC)  Athenian philosopher  “Student” of Socrates  Aristotle’s teacher  Founded the academy (closed 525 AD; Justinian)  Composed many (preserved) dialogues on morality, metaphysics and epistemology o Athens had one of the first democracies o Making enemies everyday o Citizens had votes­ voted to get rid of Socrates o Charged Socrates with impiety, corruption of youth  Contradicts the charges against him  Creatures are built such that when given a choice between better/worse, you will opt for  the better choice  By corrupting someone you would be making bad choices and are no longer rational o Will never choose anything that is effectively harming themselves  September 15 Socratic paradox  Paradox means “beyond belief” A paradox expresses something that is simultaneously  credible and incredible. Thus the Socratic paradox regarding rationality, which  paradoxically implied, contrary to our experience, that no psychologically intact rational  person ever does what is wrong intentionally o To corrupt youth is to make them evil o Evil youth would harm Socrates o No rational person would intentionally harm themselves o Since he is rational, he either  Did not corrupt the youth  Or did so unintentionally o Either was he should not be punished September 20  Plato: (428­348BC) o Athenian o Student of Socrates o Author of the various dialogues featuring Socrates expressing the ideas typical of  plato o Founded the Academy  Socrates: (469­399BC) o Plato’s Teacher o Delphic oracle­ no one is wiser than Socrates o Socrates claims to have no special wisdom but does allow that he is sometimes  inspired by the divine voice o Executed by Athenian Democracy o Famous for Socratic paradox: We always do what we think best and right; never  what we think to be bad or wrong (as long as we have full knowledge and are  psychologically normal)  Anecdotal examples of our tendency to reason poorly o Gambler’s fallacy o Salience and selecting a car o Failures in deployment of knowledge  Where are my glasses  Calculation errors on math test  Tip of the tongue phenomenon  Inclination of wanted something, is a betrayal of liberative faculty that you have September 22 Are we rational?  Impact bias in predicting happiness o Daniel Gilbert: Harvard professor of social psychology o Research indicates that humans chronically err in estimating how happy their  activities and property make them  What rules us. Reason or desire? o When we exhibit our bad desires by executing intelligent plans, we exhibit  rational wrong­doing  Augustine: weakness of the will  Hume: reason as slave of desire September 27 The Crito  Should Socrates flee prison in order to escape his unjust condemnation  Crito’s 4 reasons for escaping o The majority will think ill of Socrates and his friends if they do not escape o Since court erred it should not be obeyed o The welfare of the children of Socrates requires his escape o Death is an evil to be avoided Socrates’ reply to Crito  Majority opinion is relevant only if true  Reflection of relativism o Relativism = truth determined by beliefs or attitudes; we create truth o One reason to support some of the forms of relativism is that some truths are  unobservable but knowable  How is this possible?  ­Perhaps such truths are determined according to relativism and hence,  knowable through unobservable o Absolutism = truth is determined by conditions of the world, not beliefs or  attitudes; we discover truth Reasons against relativism  Consistency o If you are not a relativist in science or math, why be a relativist in morals?  The possibility of rational discussion regarding a topic (morals) precludes relativism o If rational disagreement with the moral majority is possible, relativism is false  If morality is a matter of happiness & happiness is an objective/ absolute condition, then  morality is objective/absolute & relativism is false o Is happiness an objective condition? o What is happiness? o Can we be mistaken about our own happiness  If relativism were true then what the Nazis did would have been right (for them)  However, what the Nazis did was not right for themselves or anyone Socrates’ reply to Crito  Socrates’ children are better off by his death than exile (absolutism)  We do not know whether death actually is evil. Hence, we can't appeal to the evil of  death as a reason to escape  What of the injustice of the death sentence? Is civil disobedience just? Civil disobedience & justice  Why does Socrates oppose Civil disobedience?  His implicit contract with Athens o Promise to obey all laws, regardless of how they are enforced  o Is this a binding promise?  Stability of Athens as a condition of Socrates happiness throughout life o Life/s overall quality and the final act  To have lived well, Socrates must now accept execution  Compare the artist’s last brush stroke of the parents’ dying act  Too much is too much: just as moderation in eating is better than excess,  so too not living “too long” is better than living too long Socrates is unjustly imprisoned and is required to drink a glass of poison as death sentence. Those involved in his trial believe Socrates’ friends would arrange for his escape and lead him to exile. Young men were prepared to get Socrates out of jail, but Socrates goes to his concept of  rationality. He believes it would be more rational to stay in jail than escape.  September 29 Relativism


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