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Am I a Body or Mind?

by: Mitchell Notetaker

Am I a Body or Mind? PHIL 101-002

Mitchell Notetaker
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes cover the exam to be taken Tuesday, October 18.
Introduction to Philosophy
Andrea D. Conque
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mitchell Notetaker on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 101-002 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Andrea D. Conque in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy in History & Philosophy at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Date Created: 10/13/16
➢ 3 questions asked: ○ Am I a body or mind? ○ Am I only a body?(monist→ we are just body, no soul or mind) ○ Am I a body and mind? ➢ Descartes ○ Believes he solved the question whether we are a body or mind using a particular method: hyperbolic doubt→ doubt taken to the extreme ○ How do you know if you know something? ■ Doubt everything first(hyperbolic doubt) in order to figure out what you can know ○ Descarte believed that there was a problem with perception ○ He also believes we can be fooled by simple claims ■ ex.) this chair is yellow, this person is sitting down ○ If we trust what we see, hear and experience it will be hard to know what is real or not ○ He finally determines that if he can think and doubt then he has to be something that exist in order to do this→ “I think therefore I am”(his famous saying) ○ Believes we are both a body and a mind(interactionism→ believing that they are two substances and that they interact with each other but do not know how) ■ Cartesian dualism(a dualistic point of view) ■ Also called substance dualism→ there are suggested that they are two substances(body and mind) ➢ Gilbert Ryle(a monist) ○ A critic of Descarte ○ Can we really say that there is an actual distinction between body and mind? If there is we need to ask 3 question: ■ Are there such things as minds? ■ Are there such thing as body? ■ If so what are the relations between these two things? ○ Ryle says Descarte made a “category mistake” ■ Calls the Cartesian and substance the official doctrine ■ If it's true that we are a body and mind and that they connect, we would have to have a history of body and mind ● There would have to a be a public(body) world and a private(mind) world ● Physical(body) and mental(mind) ■ “Category mistake” → arises when things or facts of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another ○ His position is called logical behaviorism ■ To call attention to focus on behavior ➢ Alan Turing(does not believe that computers can think)--> ○ Was trying to answer the question that: ■ Can machine think?(computers) ○ Came up with the Turing Test ■ This came from the imitation game(man, women and whoever) ➢ Searle→ the Chinese room(80-81) ○ You can give a computer all sorts of data(input and output) and can look as if that computer could actually “think” ➢ Baron d’HocBach(determinism) v. Jean Paul Sartre(free will) ○ Middle of this is called compatibilism(determinism can coexist with moral responsibility) ○ Bach ■ A hard determinist(all actions are causes and nothing is free; no moral responsibility) soft determinist(some acts are free but some are not) and materialist(we are matter; no free will in matter so we do not have free will) ● Human beings are nothing but a part of nature ● People that believes this hold these 4 things: ○ (1)humans do not have immaterial minds(no mental) ○ (2)humans are not free ○ (3)not creatures of god ○ (4)and do not survive the deaths of their body(no spiritual or afterlife) ● When they say things are determined they mean it was caused(something caused you to do it) ● Have to answer the question of responsibility(can’t be responsible because if something caused me to do it, my choice wasn’t free) ● Never free to act, everything is caused ○ Satre ■ Free will→ we’re always free to choose, no matter what ■ “Existence precedes essence”(existentialism)--> our existence comes before what we are; we are free to make of what our life will be become ■ Human beings are not objects ➢ Ethics ○ On what principles should I judge something right or wrong? ○ Ethical theory→ the careful study of right or wrong human action ■ Separated in 3 parts: ● Normative ethics→ prescriptive; this is what you should or ought to do from different perspectives ● Metaethics→ dealing with the ‘family’ of ethical terms; studying what it means ● Moral psychology→ studies human behavior; tries to answer the question, what makes people act the way they do? ○ Aristotle ■ Lived from 384-382 AD ■ Was the student of Plato; Plato was the student of Socrates ■ Illustration of certain general principles you should follow and how well you judge those principles ■ His ethics is called virtue law; why? Virtue means excellence ■ Says happiness and living well designates a goal(“the good”--> that which is sought for its own sake; we seek this for it self) ■ Defines the soul in 2 parts(virtues) ● Intellectual virtues ○ Engages in intellectual reasoning; ex.)prudence or practical wisdom ○ Can be learned or taught ● Moral virtues ○ The part that cannot reason, but can follow the reasoning; ex.) courage, kindness ○ Get these through imitation and habituation(making something a habit ○ “What character traits should I posses to become a good person?”--> to reach “the good” ■ Calls the ethically mature person a spoudaios ■ The golden mean(ancient greek saying)→ says the virtue lies between two extremes: excess(too much) and deficiency(too little) ■ Dialogue written by plato: the laches ● Deals with virtue of courage ● Asks athenian warriors ○ One warrior says courage is not having fear ○ Second warrior says cowardice is having so much fear that you cannot run out on the battlefield ○ Third warrior says they are both wrong; true courage is having fear and overcoming it ○ Relativism ■ the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute ■ Moral cultural→ trying out one’s sword; some things that you just don’t do(morals can’t be subjective) ■ The Sambia ● A tribe that was in isolation from all civilizations since that existed ● The sambia have the men's secretive society; purpose is to make the person of age of 9 masculine through jerungdu(oral sex) ● things what women and men do(they are separate) ○ Utilitarianism(Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill) ■ A ethical system that tells us what we should or ought to do ■ utilitarianism→ the most common form of consequentialism(making moral/ethical choices based on what the consequences of the actions will be) ■ Some accuse them of being hedonists→ someone who is only concerned with pleasure ● Not true ■ Motto called the greatest happiness principle ● “The greatest good (happiness) for the greatest number” ○ If we make useful or good decisions that have utility, we can make ethical decisions based off the consequences ○ "The ones who walk away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Leavin ■ Is it a scathing critique of utilitarianism? For bonus points!! ➢ Immanuel Kant(enlightenment moralist) ○ Lived from 1724-1804 ○ Critique with Utilitarianism ■ Can’t predict the consequences of when you do something that suppose to moral/or for the greatest number of people ■ Treats people as a mean to end; instead of a mean to themselves ○ Kantian Deontology(come froms Deontos= duty)→ ○ Human beings have two things: ■ (1) reason; if people are rational they will come to the same conclusion about what's moral ■ (2)posses a good will ○ Secularising Christian concept ○ Wrote On the Metaphysics of Morals ○ The Categorical Imperative ■ Two ways he writes this: ● 1st Formulation→ worry about your content and not what you do; “act only on that maxim which you would, at the same time, will into universal law” ○ Consider your maxim, rule or principle, then generalize it, and then make certain that it could be a universal law(one that is true for myself and others because it is not self contradictory→ universal law) nd​ ● 2​ formulation called the “kingdom of ends”; human beings , as human beings,ought not be treated as means to an end, but as ends unto themselves ➢ Nietzsche(1844-1900) ○ Genealogy of morals; could be considered a metaethics ○ Questioning what is the concept of good and evil ○ Books where we get his ideas today ■ On the genealogy of morals ■ Beyond good and evil ■ The Anti-Christ ○ Talks about the origins of our concepts of morality→ thinks they are life denying ■ Calls it origins because if we find where it comes from will it make a difference to us? ○ Calls it a genealogy because he wants to know how often do you think about good and evil ○ Criticism: ontogenetic fallacy-> origins doesn’t really tells us anything about that thing itself, just tells us where it comes from ○ Before the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians; our ideas about morals came before that(Slave Revolt in Morality) ● Israelites would not have the same morals as Egypt's; Nietzsche claims the priestly nobles values(Israelites) says this revenge/resentment(ressentiment) turns into an inversion into these values→ the wretched alone are good, the poor,the suffering, the impotent, the meek, and the lowly(these are the good=beloved of God) ■ Egyptians → knightly aristocratic values ● good=noble=powerful=beautiful=happy=beloved of God(life affirming) ○ Believes that christianity is a religion of pityà no other religion in the world has someone as a suffering God ○ Blames Paul; believes that Jesus the evangel(bringer of glad tidings), if a God, came to show people how to live; and Jesus dying on the cross is privileging Christ death over his life is the biggest heresy


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