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Philosophy Notes

by: Anagrace Salem

Philosophy Notes PHIL 101

Anagrace Salem
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About this Document

These notes are about Russell's theories of philosophy.
Introduction to Philosophy
Dr. wishon
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Anagrace Salem on Thursday October 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 101 at University of Mississippi taught by Dr. wishon in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy in Philosophy at University of Mississippi.

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Date Created: 10/06/16
1. What is Russell’s conception of how philosophy should approach philosophical problems, and how does it differ from the traditional conception of how to do philosophy? In particular, how does it differ from Descartes’ method of using skeptical doubt to discover a foundation of absolutely certain beliefs about the world? Russell doesn't think we have certain knowledge. He argues and claims that philosophy has no value and has questions that cannot be answered, cannot be right or wrong, and there is no point. The results of philosophy is that it generates other fields. Philosophy should be studied as the things we have the greatest evidence for. Descartes' was looking for absolute, certain knowledge, leading philosophy to follow the absolute beliefs. He believed that you must legitimize both sides of beliefs to decide which belief is more justified. 2. What is Russell’s distinction between “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description”, and how does it relate to his distinction between “knowledge of things” and “knowledge of truths”? Acquaintance and Knowledge can be evaluated when something is true or false and when there is a knowledge of things. Knowledge by Acquaintance is knowing something and knowing about something and it experiences knowledge DIRECTLY. This can relate to Things and Truths because Knowledge of Truths is when there is something to be thought of and talked about, like statements. Knowledge of Things has some Knowledge of Truths as its source. Knowledge of things is through Knowledge by Acquaintance and Description. 3. What argument does Russell use to support the view that there is a world beyond our personal experience? The argument from simplicity allows us to believe that there is a world beyond our personal experience. The principle of simplicity urges us to adopt the natural view, that there really are objects other than ourselves and our sense-data, which have an existence and not dependent on our perceiving them. Russell further divides human knowledge into knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description. To be acquainted with something is to be directly and immediately aware of it, without the action of an intermediary 4. What are the basic differences between traditional empiricism and traditional rationalism, and how does Russell’s own view differ from each? Traditional empiricism believes that ALL knowledge comes through experience and is justified by experience, traditional rationalism believes some knowledge comes from something other than experience and is justified by something other than experience. 
 Russell believes that all knowledge comes through experience, but is justified by something other than experience. 5. What is the act/object distinction, and how does it help Russell avoid Bishop Berkeley’s view that all of reality is fundamentally mental? Acquaintance with objects essentially consists in a relation between the mind & something other than the mind. This constitutes the mind's power of knowing things. Russell differs from Berkeley by saying that an objects existence depends upon the relation of our sense organs to the physical object, rather than Berkeley who believes it is an idea in the mind of God. 6. What kinds of things does Russell think we are acquainted with? Russell thinks we are acquainted with things that we experience both directly and indirectly. 7. What kinds of general principles does Russell think we can know on the basis of our powers of conceiving, and on what basis are they justified? Universals can be known through the powers of conceiving. They're justified through memory, sensation, and introspecting through "Knowledge by acquaintance.” 8. What argument does Russell use to defend his claim that the “sense-data” we are immediately aware of in sensory experience are “signs” of external objects rather than the external objects themselves? Russell’s argument against Naive Realism. Sense data is explained as "things that are immediately known to us in sensation". He explains that the things we see such as color, our minds automatically have a sensation of the color, but the color itself is not a sensation. We have sensations of what the color, shape, and size are but you cannot say sense data and the table are directly related because he questions whether there is even such a thing. 9. What is the problem of induction, and can science solve the problem on the basis of empirical evidence alone? Why or why not? The problem of induction is that it causes us to rely on something to happen in the future. Empirical science can't solve this problem. It's reasonable to think that the sun will rise tomorrow, but will the laws of motion remain in operation until tomorrow. The problem of induction is the philosophical question of whether inductive reasoning leads to knowledge understood in the classic philosophical sense. 
 Empirical science cannot solve everything because of the fact that we have more knowledge than our senses, such as thoughts of logic. Even though empirical science is a theory based upon predicted facts, there's no way that anybody could be absolutely sure. 10. What are the three traditional “laws of thought”? Why does Russell think it is misleading to call them “the laws of thought”? 1. Law of Identity (whatever is the case, is the case)
 2. Law of contradiction(Nothing can both be and not be)
 3. Law of the excluded middle(everything must be or not be, but not both) 
 Russell doesn't like calling them "the laws of thought" because he believes there are plenty of laws of thought. They're not laws of thought, rather how we find reality. 11. What is the traditional analysis of knowledge? How does Russell challenge it? The traditional analysis is that knowledge consists in justified, true belief. Russell’s view is knowledge consists in justified, true belief, acquired or believed in the right way. We are justified in our basic beliefs about sense data, our thoughts, and self evidence general principles, together with whatever we can infer logically from these basic beliefs. Begging the Question: Christians justify the existence of God by the Bible. If God exists, what evidence do we have? The Bible. Who wrote the Bible? God did. See how the question comes back around? argues simplicity. simplicity urges us to believe in the natural view, that there are really objects other than ourselves and sense data, it urges us to believe in the existence and not the dependence of perceiving them. empiricism is all knowledge comes form experience and is justified by that rationalism is knowledge comes from somethings other than experience and is jsutieif by that. russell believes that all knowledge comes form experience and is justified by the belief that knowledge comes from something other than experience. he further divides human knowledge into knowledge of description and acquaintance. to be acquainted by something is directly and immediately becoming aware of something, without the action of intermediary to be acquainted with an object consists in a relation with the mind and something other than the mind. this constitutes the minds power of knowing things. russell differs from berkley because berkley believes its an idea in the mind of god. russell believes that existence depends on the relation of sense organs to the physical object russell thinks we are acquainted with things we experience directly and indirectly


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