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by: Noemie Kiehn
Noemie Kiehn

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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Noemie Kiehn on Monday October 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 002 at California State University - Sacramento taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see /class/218863/phil-002-california-state-university-sacramento in PHIL-Philosophy at California State University - Sacramento.

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Date Created: 10/05/15
CSUS Philosophy 2 Philosophical Ethics Epperson Lecture 1 Notes 1 Inductively vs deductively reasoned ethics 2 First principles underlying both theological and philosophical ethics a in philosophical ethics these often begin with logically necessary truths b in theological ethics these begin with revealed truths c con icting ethical arguments often derive from different sets of incompatible philosophical or theological first principles and these are often manifest in incompatible premises eg People are inherently evil therefore freedoms should be restrained by authority so that evil works can be avoided vs People are inherently good therefore freedoms should be protected so that good works can be done without impediment 3 Philosophical first principles are typically either induced from experience the empirico inductive method or posited hypothetically with all other conclusions deduced from these hypothetically posited first principles the hypothetico deductive method eg Euclidian geometry which argues from ten assumptions 5 common notions such as things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another and 5 geometric postulates such as it is possible to draw a straight line from any point to any point Together these common notions and postulates represent the axioms of Euclid s geometry An axiom is a logical principle which is assumed to be true rather than proven and which can be used as a premise in a deductive argument Euclid s set of axioms or axiomatic system represents a collection of quotfirst principlesquot from which other principles can be produced using deductive reasoning Of course any deductive arguments are only sound if Euclid39s common notions and postulates really are true a Problem is Relating the order of necessary immutable unchanging logical implication to the order of contingent changing causal relationiie the order of real things in the real world which constantly changes eg 1 l 2 vs I smoke a cigarette therefore Iwill get cancer This is still a philosophical problem today and this separation was first suggested in preSocratic Hellenistic philosophy and most thoroughly given in Plato b Many systems of philosophical ethics entail both induction and deduction utilitarianism pragmatism Every current approach has its roots in Hellenistic philosophy 4 The PreSocratic Philosophers good examples of hypotheticodeductive reasoning a Milesian School 7 16th Centuries bce First thinkers to attempt to explain the relationship between change and permanence in nature explanations in terms of con ict of opposites Good example of the hypotheticodeductive method Thales Anaximander Anaximenes b Pythagorean School 6m51h Centuries bce Unlike the Milesian thinkers whose first principles are rooted in con ict of opposites for the Pythagoreans all is harmonious Harmony of music harmony of universe All things are numbers in purity The Pythagoreans regarded numbers spatially l point 2 line 3 plane 4 solid All bodies consist of points in space which together constitute number Objects are sums of points numbers are sums of points therefore objects are numbers Heracleitus 0f Ephesus 540 7 480 bce All things are in a state of ux This is not the kernel of his philosophy but it is a central idea By saying that all things change he is not saying that there is no reality however This is not the most important feature of his philosophy though since it is not novel we saw it in other Ionian philosophers The fundamental substance for Heraclitus is fire 0 Interesting note Buddha Sidhartha Gautama lived from 560479 and espoused similar first principles d Eleatic School Parmenides the likely founder of this school Had a dialogue with Socrates in 451449 Believed that Being the One is and that change or Becoming is an illusion For if anything comes to be it comes either out of being or nonbeing if the former then it already is if the latter then it is nothing since only nothing can come from nothing Plurality is then also an illusion Rejects Pythagorean school because it embraces the concept of change Introduces a duality of Truth vs Appearance or Reason vs Sense Makes explicit this distinction between Truth and Appearance only implicit in other philosophies Heraclitus etc The Eleatic School is one which espouses monistic materialism Only reasoninot senseican apprehend the material and unchanging One Despite this he is often called the father of Idealism This is wrong He may have in uenced the Idealism of Plato but his true lineage goes down through Empedocles and Democritus Empedocles 0f Akragas 490 7 430 Akragas Agrigentum in Sicily Amalgamated previous philosophies Embraced Parmenides concept of material being without end indestructible etc Nothing arises from nothing something cannot arise out of nothing But accounted for the experience of change motion and plurality via an atomist doctrine Collections of atoms may come into and go out of being but the atoms themselves do not The Void is something not nothing D Empedocles invented the classi cation of matter into the four classes Earth Air Fire and Water These cannot interchange Objects come into being via the intermingling of the four elements and cease to be via the separation of the elements Love and Strife are the forces which drive these atomic interrelations Empedocles mediates the philosophy of Parmenides and the facts of sensory experience ie he employs both deduction from hypothetically posited first principles as well as induction from sensory experience f The Atomist School Leucippus H 400 7 500 Member of the school of Parmenides student of Zeno Difficult to discern in this school between the works of Leucippus and Democritus the latter came much later and was not a preSocratic Atomism is the logical development of the philosophy of Empedocles who reconciled Parmedian changelessness with the evident change of matter via elemental particles and the two forces Love and Strife The Philosophy of Empedocles formed a transitional stage to the explanation of all qualitative differences by a mechanical juxtaposition of material particles in different patterns Love and Strife would have to be replaced by a more sensible mechanics All these mechanics were developed by the Atomists 5 The Sophists Empiricoinductive method Practical No objective trut and conclusions not meant to be treated as such Virtue became derived from the ability to win arguments and public approval rather than from truth as with the preSocratics a Protagoras 485 7 410 came to Athens around 450 Pragmatic relativism Believed in the value of an educated society ethical tendencies in all people can only be brought out in an organized community therefore a good citizen must absorb the whole social tradition of the community Man is the measure of all things Controversy as to the exact meaning Man as individual meaning truth is individually relative or Man as humanity Also unknown whether the saying is to apply to objects only or objects and values An objection re the objectivity of geometric shapes to all people was met by Protagoras with the rebuttal that there is no geometry in concrete reality For Protagoras the supposition that ideas of things correlate with the things in themselves is unwarranted Protagoras held an ethical relativism but valued according to practical bene t b Gorgias of Leontini 483 7 375 of Leontini Sicily came to Athens in 427 Pupil of Empedocles Led to skepticism by the dialectic of Zeno thus becoming a critic of the Eleatic School Protagoras along the Eleatic lines holds that everything is true while Gorgias holds the opposite Nothing exists A since anything must either be 1 eternal or 2 derived from nonexistence Cannot be the latter since only nothing comes from nothing cannot be eternal since the eternal must be in nite and the in nite is impossible because the in nite cannot be in itself and cannot be in something nite so it must be nowhere and therefore nothing B Even if something existed true knowledge of it cannot be imparted since every sign is different than the thing which it signi es cannot impart color via words etc Sophism was valuable in that it introduced questions which illuminated the deficiencies of the preSocratic cosmologies but it failed to introduce any constructive solutions Eventually Sophism became regarded negatively as relativistic Sophistry Against this relativism Socrates and Plato reacted endeavoring to establish the sure foundation of true knowledge and ethical judgments 6 Socrates 470 7 399 Socrates was focused on attaining universal de nitions contrary to the Sophists Example Aristotle s concept of man as rational animal All men are rational universally yet they vary in degree type etc Universals enduring objective vs Particulars eeting subjective We might be mistaken in thinking we GRASP the universal universal beauty for example but we must admit that it exists Applied to ethics Relative justice of Sophism is replaced by the acknowledgment of a universal standard by which all particulars are measured in the same way that a universal and necessarily abstract standard of straight line is applied to the measurement of all lines in practice a Inductive arguments But not via a sheer focus on logic as with Aristotle Socrates method was the dialectic which proceeded from a less adequate de nition of a term or concept to a more adequate one or from consideration of particulars to consideration of universals b Driven to alleviate his own ignorance discovery of what the good life is via the discovery of truths such that universal standards of ethics could be had Deeply convinced of the value of the soul and knowledge of truth was the best way to tend the soul Called his method midwifery because the goal was to get his conversation partners to produce true ideas in their own minds with a view to right action right ethics This explains his emphasis on de nition not pedantic but a genuine desire to ascertain the Truth clearly True Ideas via the clear form of De nition for practical ethical rather than strictly theoretical purposes Desired to inspire people as he was inspired to seek virtue through wisdom Look to the State itself before looking to the interests of the State Xen M emorabelia I I 16 Apol 36 To do this we must know what a good State is Knowledge is always a means to ethical action 0 Ethics Via knowledge but ethics and knowledge are ONE One who truly knows what is right cannot but do what is right That is the goal Aristotle criticizes this Socratic identi cation of Knowledge and Virtue 0n the grounds that Soc forgot the irrational parts of the soul and the fact of moral weakness One could counter that Soc would say that knowledge of a wrong during the commission of a wrong isn t True knowledge 3 1 From the identi cation of Virtue and Knowledge follows the unity of Virtue There is only one virtueiinsight into what is truly good for man what really conduces to is soul s health and harmony Also then Virtue is TEACHABLE since knowledge is teachable This is Socratic intellectualism as a doctor has learnt medicine so a just man is one who has learnt what it is to be just Teaching was for Soc not lecturing for in that case you could teach someone what virtue IS without producing a virtuous person Soc s teaching involved self discovery and in that sense it is understandable how virtue was thought to be teachable by Soc Fquot This is a view not favorable to democracy States should be ruled by those who possess the requisite knowledgeiand therefore the requisite virtue If the sick are only reasonably entrusted to doctors who are knowledgable in medicine then the state should only reasonably be entrusted to those who are knowledgableinot to the unknowing masses quot1


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