MODERN WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
MODERN WESTERN PHILOSOPHY PHIL 104
Virginia Commonwealth University
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gia Wyman on Wednesday October 28, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 104 at Virginia Commonwealth University taught by Kuczynski in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see /class/230679/phil-104-virginia-commonwealth-university in PHIL-Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University.
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Date Created: 10/28/15
February 3rd 2009 352009 40300 PM Topic Substance Things have properties Nothing could possibly not have any properties But what is the thing which has the properties What is underneath all the properties Ex There s the property of being brown and there s the brown book If you take away the book the property of brown is still in existence but the book is not It has nothing but its properties Locke is asking What is the underlying thing in which these various instances of properties adhere o The idea that there are property instances without a property bearer is illogical at first So there s something cuz you can t have a disembodied shape it could be just a hologram or smoke o Locke doesn t know and he says its unanswerable so he feels bad for other philosophers who try to figure it out c There must be something that has these properties but is distinct from it o Substance supposed underlying bearers of properties somehow discharges the function of having properties Ex Brown book If you move the brown part over to the left the rectangle part goes with it The substance makes instances of properties stick together somehow Talking about cookie dough o Because you can t shed something of all it s properties that thing is simply an amalgamation of all of its properties o Get rid of the properties get rid of the thing Leibniz s Law if x and y are the same thing then x has any property that y has and vice versa neither can have any characteristic that the other lacks So the appropriate answer to What is a raven is it is black has a beak a certain mass lives in a certain place eats certain foods you re setting all these properties But then we re back to the what is underneath all this stuff thing So it s a big circle and we don t really know what s up February 5 2009 352009 40300 PM What is this object o Causal vs Constitutive o Causal the book came off a press and was bound 0 Constitutive It s brown full of pages At a given moment what is the relationship between the shape volume mass etc that these various properties constitute one thing Hume o For a constellation of events to qualify a thing There is nothing to thinghood except for having explanatory and predictable instances Surd the Cheshire Cat s grin February 17 2009 352009 40300 PM Berkley s Idealism to be is to be perceived Objects are our perception of them Topic Analyzing Berkley s argument for idealism Objects can t exist independent of the mind there cannot exist unperceived objects The idea of an unconceived object is contradictory cuz if we re thinking about it we re conceiving it Suppose there s an unperceived apple existing in the world In your effort to conceive the unperceived thing The appearances that objects give rise to are highly variable and depend on the condition of the object 0 Water can feel warm to someone and cold to someone the temperature exists in the relationship between the perceiver and the object o SizeShape depends on your relationship with the object your size compared to it your distance from it the way you view it Color the ocean can appear blue black clear Speed how fast an object appears as it is moving by you highway vs walking 0 Weight before and after you have some muscle the bar can feel like lead or feathers 0 Just because thing appear differently to different people it doesn t mean that they are always accurate Ex someone who guesses badly the size of an object O O Philonius is Berkeley s view How do you get from the fact about the appearance being variable to the actual appearance of the object He wants to avoid skepticism that you don t know how things work We know things through our perception of them Problem which perception is the right perception There is no principal way of saying which perception is the right one Assumption 1 We do know about the world how it is Assumption 2 We know it through sense perception So our perceptions vary competing equally accurate we cannot really throw out any of the perceptions or say that one is seeing it better than the others o Assumption 3 Those sense perceptions give competing statements about the properties of objects 0 Assumption 4 All of those assumptions are equally worthy of belief 0 Problem nothing at a given time can give a property that it lacks Ex In the room or not in the room Stationary or moving Green and not green 0 Our senses seem to say that about objects the bar is heavy and not heavy o So you get rid of the object and now it is only your perceptions of it o The house just IS all of our perceptions of it Hold onto perception Avoid skepticism Avoid the problem that a property might have two different interpretations of the same object a Objects don t have inconsistent properties Sense perceptions tell us about the world don t give us incoherent descriptions of the world We just have to do translating distinguish the surface structure from the logical structure February 19 2009 352009 40300 PM Test moved to Thursday next week multiple choice bring a scantron and a pencil Topic Analyzing Berkley s argument for idealism The heart of the matter is whatever we know about the external world we know through sense perception different but credible sources give us inconsistent messages if we just say that there are not things besides the veil of perceptions and we just deal with them we can explain what we know about the external world through our sense perceptions eliminates incoherence Also whatever you believe about objects you can translate that object statement into a perception statement He outlined the language but it breaks down and is not widely accepted Even if you focus on perceptions that we deem veridical we find that they give you messages that are completely different you say it s tall he says its short There s no way to dispute the two sets of perceptions Veridical accurate Our senses give us relational information They tell us how thing are in relation to one another They apprise us of relative heights distances velocities temperatures and masses our eyes tell us not that he car is going 35mph but that it is going faster than the other car our muscles when we exert ourselves tell us not tht the barbell weighs 215 lbs but that it weighs more than the barbells we tried to move a moment ago Out senses tell us not the Smith is 7 ft tall but that he is much taller than Jones We see the world in relation to us And out senses tell us where things are not in relation to some absolute coordinate system but in relation to us So the information given to us by our senses is relational in two senses objects are related to one another and they are also related to an egocentric as opposed to universal coordinate system On the basis of this relational information absolute informationinformation that doesn t embody the peculiarities of this or that person s Ordinary maps give you interobjectual information they tell you where things are and how big they are in relation to one another not in relation to you Doesn t tell you where you are in relation or how big everything is how you relate to it By contrast your cognitive map the map embodied in your sense perceptions is egocentric it tells you how things are in relation to you But it doesn t tell you all the factual stuff o Perceptual information is relative comparative to you and to other objects Berkeley thinks that senses give you absolute observations But that s not really what your senses are telling you Information about comparative heights doesn t change even as you recede from the house You just have to be consistent in your description of the relative information and other information ie the distance of the house from you The way that your eye is able to add this extra information on is by pairing down the what the other information took up Berkeley is confused by c If you re close to a house it takes up a much larger portion of your cognitive map Berkeley seems to project properties of the image itself as told by your cognitive map seem to change which is a nonsequitur doesn t follow If you re getting further away from someone you don t think they re getting smaller you think you re moving backwards We re smarter than Berkeley Empiricism believe the perceptions Berkeley is true to this Is that a problem of empiricism Maybe Review for Test 224 352009 40300 PM Terms to Know Empiricism all knowledge is strictly derived from sense perception or if it can be inferred through your sense perception o The inferences must be capable of sense verification Rationalism there are sources of knowledge other than the senses the external world is the only real thing 0 The intellect without the assistance of sense perception can have substance of knowledge 0 Ex see smoke infer that there is a fire Analytic you can know that a statement is true just by analyzing the statement itself 0 Once you grasp the statement you don t need any more information to know that it s true Synthetic not paying attention Skepticism doubt of the external world or if it is as our senses perceive it 0 Sense perception involves a causal relationship between subject and object and the teminal part of that link the part involving disturbances of the subject s sensory receptors can be mimicked in any number of different ways dream hallucination smoke matrix Why skepticism is defensible When you try to refute it you are begging the question 0 Ex Smith is smart why because he said something smart how do you know that s right because he s smart Moore s argument He proves that skepticism is wrong 0 Premise here is one hand here is another 0 Premise hands being objects in the external world can t exist unless an external world does 0 Conclusion there is an external world Senseperception Chisholm The Problem of the Criterion the problem of coming up with some litmus test that can determine whether something is accurate a hallucination or a dream 0 2 Criteria waking experiences are highly vivid and there s a cohesiveness or continuity o How to distinguish experiences from nonexperiences Properties Propertyinstances everything you take in with your senses when and where a property is substantiated Verificationism the doctrine that a statement is meaningful if and only if it can be conclusively definitively verified If so it s meaningful if not it s not Falsificationism the doctrine that for a statement to be meaningful is for it to be falsifiable 0 Ex All ravens are black We can think of situations where it would be false such as an albino raven so it is falsifiable 0 Sort of inverted verificationism o Idealism the world only exists within conscious beings mind thought o Relationship of empiricism to idealism and to verificationism o Primary vs secondary properties 0 Primary extention mass weight texture shape state of motion solidity temperature They have these properties regardless of how they are experienced Can be thought of as spaciotemperal properties in virtue of having the properties something occupies a certain amount of space or involved in changing the locations of other objects An object with a lot of mass will be displaced less easily 0 Secondary color smell taste tambor the way things make sound pitch Only happen if they are experienced in a certain way o Causal properties are primary properties they relate to displacement of primary properties 0 Shape making a statement about the way that thing will encroach space on other objects and properties o What do we know with certainty o The only things we know with certainty are our experiences But we don t really know that the objects that constitute
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