Wednesday, February 07, 2018

PHI 101 Part 3 Knowledge Spring 2018

Rowan College Blackboard



Reference for all papers:

Purdue University Owl APA

Purdue Owl APA

Review the APA style, find a sympathetic reader to review your writing before handing in, and revise your pre-writing based on the comments, and at a later date I will cover the requirements for Part 2. Contact me outside of class if you need additional assistance.

Finally, as part of your daily Discussion participation you will produce a one-paragraph answer to your self-assigned section. Bring a hard copy to class to discuss with your small group and send a text file through Bb. 

Part 3
Group Learning Objectives:

By last name you will be arranged in groups of four.

You will collaborate with your colleagues in your group by self-assigning the #1-4 questions in the assigned selection from Part 3, Knowledge. 

You will report back to your group during the next two class sessions about what you were self-assigned. 

Caring and Epistemic Demands - Linda Zagzebski

What Is Knowledge? - A. J. Ayer

Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? - Edmund L. Gettier

Conditions for Knowledge - Robert Nozick

Appearance and Reality - Bertrand Russell

What Can I Know? - D. Z. Phillips

The Problem of Induction - Bertrand Russell

Induction Without a Problem - P. F. Strawson

Puzzling Out Knowledge - Susan Haack

Meditations on First Philosophy - Rene Descartes

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding - John Locke

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge -
George Berkeley

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - David Hume

Critique of Pure Reason - Immanuel Kant

Part 2

Learning objectives: one, find a colleague whose name you may not know (ask if you do not) so you learn another colleague's name. 

Two, this person must not have addressed the same selection or question that you wrote about so you learn something about another selection in Part 2. 

Three, review whether the person followed the directions of the assignment: is the assignment typed? Did the person write one paragraph?

Perhaps most importantly, read your colleague's paragraph but do not have your colleague explain anything about their paragraph. Read it silently. With your editor's pen in hand comment on the mechanics of the selection and note, by writing on your colleague's paper, any questions that you have.

After you have written corrections, comments, and made notes on their paragraph feel free to discuss their answer.

You should now know at least your own selection that you answered and at least one other selection from Part 2.

Introduction to Philosophy, Part 3 Knowledge

Descartes to Kant

Learning objectives: read and review texts on Bb: "Hume on Perceptions," "Do You Exist?," "Giles Buddhism," introduction of important terms about knowledge, PP lecture: Descartes to Kant, in which you should know the differences between the philosophers reviewed, and, important terms covered in the PowerPoint.

Discussion: how do you know (Hume on Perceptions)?

Hume on Perceptions

Hume contends that we never experience a self, but only an ever-changing flow of perceptions, and therefore have no legitimate basis for positing the existence of a self, for claiming that persons retain their identity over time. He further states that the images we form of an object are so similar from moment to moment that we are misled into thinking there is some unchanging "substance" underlying these changes. In the case of Human beings, we call this alleged substance a "self." Giles, using the Buddhist perspective, holds that what we call the self is just a bundle of ever-changing elements, and that although it is permissible to speak of a "self" in conventional speech (which is established by mutual agreement), the word has no referent in ultimate speech.

2 Questions:

What attributes would make you the same person as you were 6 months, 2 years, and 10 years ago? i.e., a soul, the psyche, something physical (isn't the very essence of being a life form have to do with change and growth)?

What do you think is the underlying rationale for these theories? 

What terms should be mentioned? a priori, a posteriori, empiricism, etc.

Discussion: Do You Exist?

PHI 101 Do You Exist?

Hume starts by pointing out that although some philosophers believe we are continuously aware of something we call the self, when we look to our experience there is nothing to substantiate this belief. We are never, says Hume, aware of any constant invariable impression that could answer to the name of self. What we experience, rather, is a continuous flow of perceptions that replace one another in rapid succession. "When I enter most intimately into what I call myself," says Hume, "I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception."

Within the mind, he continues, these perceptions "successively make their appearance; pass, re-pass, glide away, and mingle in an infinite variety of postures and situations". And there is nothing to the mind but these perceptions. There is consequently never any simplicity within the mind at one time nor identity at two different times. Nor, says, Hume, do we have any idea of a self; for every real idea must be derived from someone’s impression: "but self or person is not any one impression, but that to which our several impressions and ideas are supposed to have reference".

Hume turns to the question of why we have such a proclivity to ascribe identity to our successive perceptions. Prefacing his reply to this question, Hume points out that a distinction must first be made between "personal identity as it regards our thought or imagination, and as it regards our passions or the concern we take in ourselves". His concern here, he says, is with the former. He then starts his answer by distinguishing between the ideas of identity and diversity. In the former case we have the idea of an object that persists, invariable and uninterrupted, through a particular span of time. It is this that comprises our idea of identity. In the case of diversity we have the "idea of several different objects existing in succession, and connected together by a close relation". 

Now although these two ideas are plainly distinct, it is certain, says Hume, that in our "common way of thinking" we generally confound them. That is, we often claim that an object at one time is identical with an object at another time, when in fact the two are little more than a succession of different objects connected by a close relation.

Hume is building on the use of language "Hume concludes his account with the important remark that all "nice and subtle" questions concerning personal identity are best considered as grammatical rather than philosophical difficulties. Thus, except where the notion of a fictional entity or principle is involved, all disputes about personal identity are merely verbal disputes and can never possibly be decided." He asks if the Oak tree is the same as the seedling, or the church rebuilt is the same as the previous structure or assembly. All of these hinge on the definition or use of the word "same." Maybe the better word to use is "similar", and ask the question "is the Oak tree similar in attributes to the Oak tree in previous time periods?

"As for the "self" if all it consummates is a series of instances or perceptions (like the frames of film showing a second of time strung together to make a motion picture; or the flip cards used to animate the original Mickey Mouse cartoon) can you really ever know or define the self or postulate an identity? Do you exist?

Giles Buddhist No-Self Theory

Giles picks up this idea of "use of Language" from the Buddhist perspective. In the earliest texts of Buddhism, the Pali Canon (about 500 B.C.), we come across a distinction drawn between two types of discourse: that of direct meaning and that of indirect meaning. The former type of discourse is said to be one whose meaning is plain while the latter type needs to have its meaning inferred with reference to the former. In the discourses of indirect meaning, words are used which apparently refer to persisting entities such as a self or an I which, according to the Buddha, are merely "expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world which the Tathagata (i.e., the Buddha) makes use of without being led astray by them." That is, although we may use words like "self" and "I," we should not be led into thinking that they actually refer to something, for they are but grammatical devices.

The discussion of the two types of discourse is continued in the various Buddhist commentaries on the Pali Canon, and here we are introduced to the related ideas of two levels of truth. In one commentary it is stated that all "Buddhas (i.e., enlightened beings) have two types of speech; conventional and ultimate. Thus 'being', 'man', 'person', (the proper names) 'Tissa', 'Naga' are used as conventional speech. 'Categories', 'elements', 'sense-bases' are used as ultimate speech." Because of this division in speech, we are told that the Buddha "declared two truths; the conventional and ultimate, there is no third. Words (used by) mutual agreement are true because of Worldly convention; words of ultimate meaning are true because of the existence of elements." Although the various elements are said to be the constituents of which everything else, including what we call the self, is made, it is not because the elements are more basic than the self that the self is said ultimately not to exist. It is simply because there is nothing in the world, not even an assemblage of the elements, which can be identified with the self. Although the Buddha cites various characteristics that something must have if it is to be considered a self, the most important is that of permanence or identity over time. But when we look to our experience, there is nothing but impermanence: our bodies, feelings, and thoughts are forever coming and going. In this sense the Buddha is in complete agreement with Hume: where there is diversity there can be no identity. None of this, however, implies that statements which make use of words like "self," "I," "you," "Tissa," or "Buddha" are false or nonsensical at every level of discourse. For they can be true at the conventional level, which means that they can be true because of their being used in accordance with mutual agreement, that is, linguistic convention.

We now have to ask what it is that leads someone into perceiving the constructed self-image as being a self. And here again the work of Buddhist philosophers is most helpful. According to Buddhist theory, what we call a person is really just an aggregation of the five khandhas or elements. These are: physical form, perceptions, feelings, motives, and consciousness. But none of these elements, whether considered separately or in combination, can rightly be identified with the self, for they lack the various qualities which we attribute to the self. This, however, does not stop one from mistakenly identifying oneself with one or another of the elements, and indeed this is a ubiquitous confusion from which Buddhism hopes to set us free. But what is it that leads a person to this mistaken identification? To answer this we need to refer back to our previous discussion of the conventional and ultimate levels of truth. There we saw that although personal names and personal pronouns do not at the ultimate level refer to anything, at the conventional level it is quite acceptable to use such expressions for pragmatic reasons. Thus the Buddha uses the language of the self as convenient designations without being led astray by them. The problem is that, unlike the Buddha, many of us do get led astray by the expressions we use; that is, in failing to notice that we are using language at the level of convention, we end up thinking that there must be something to which the words "I" or "self" refer. And so we turn our gaze inward (because this is where the self is supposed to exist) and, coming upon one or another of the elements, or a collection of the elements, hasten to identify it with our self.

So Hume and Giles are both suggesting that we, by necessity of self-awareness, use language to describe ourselves. How else would we know who was "present" or to whom or what we were relating too? The only way we can associate with "ourselves" and environment is by an agreed upon set of "terms" that have become the standard. The other question would be "How has this "standard set of terms come about"? Are they learned empirically and maybe written on our proverbial whiteboard, or are they built in or innate?

Can knowledge exist for robots? What is the difference between human knowledge and machine knowledge?

Assignment 1.2: Conflicting Viewpoints Essay – Part II

Due 6 March 2018 11:59 pm 

"Deeper learning" was first introduced by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2010 and specified a set of six educational outcomes:
  • Mastery of rigorous academic content;
  • Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Effective oral and written communication;
  • Developing and maintaining an academic mindset.

Meet the most lifelike robot ever created, 3:53

Pregnant Robot Gives Birth: Tech Meets Medicine, 2:59

Can robots give birth? What is  the difference between human birth and machine birth?

Meet Victoria, one of most technologically advanced and highly realistic "patient simulators" on the market. Watch her give birth via emergency c-section, as part of a medical training exercise. WSJ's Tanya Rivero reports.

realistic robot can hold conversations and answer questions, 2:45

Can robots talk? What is the difference between human speech and talking by robots?



Boston, 2:41

A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

:55 Backflip

Some terms/philosophers to know:

Subjective, objective, empirical, innate, Descartes, Locke, Kant, etc.

Learning objectives:

Knowing vs. believing, skepticism, what is knowledge, Gettier case, what are ordinary objects, induction, certainty (Descartes), Descartes vs. Locke, Berkeley, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, and tabula rasa.

How do we know what is true? 

The Latin phrases a priori (lit. "from the earlier") and a posteriori (lit. "from the latter") are philosophical terms popularized by Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (first published in 1781, second edition in 1787), one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy.

However, in their Latin forms they appear in Latin translations of Euclid's Elements, of about 300 bce, a work widely considered during the early European modern period as the model for precise thinking.

A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience, as with mathematics (3 + 2 = 5), tautologies ("All bachelors are unmarried"), and deduction from pure reason (e.g., ontological proofs).

A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence, as with most aspects of science and personal knowledge.

Part 3: Knowledge

Questions about knowledge are closely related to the part of philosophy that deals with epistemology or how do we know what we know.

PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: Introduction to Theory of Knowledge [HD], 6:10

What is the difference between knowing and believing?

According to Professor Nagel, how are truth and confidence to be defined?

In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) launches our Theory of Knowledge series. We look at the line between knowing and just believing something, focusing on factors like truth and confidence.

PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: The Problem of Skepticism [HD], 9:45

Is knowledge humanly possible? In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) looks at skeptical arguments, starting with Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy, and moving forward into contemporary brain-in-a-vat scenarios.

We’ll review a variety of reasons to worry that knowledge might be impossible, and we’ll examine the difference between global and local forms of skepticism.

What do you think: Is knowledge humanly possible?

What similarities and differences are there between Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy forms of skepticism?

What does she mean by contemporary brain-in-a-vat scenarios?

PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: Three Responses to Skepticism [HD], 9:50

In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) looks at three historically influential responses to the challenge of skepticism.

We start with René Descartes’s efforts to prove that God would not let us be chronically deceived.

Next, we examine Bertrand Russell’s efforts to disprove the skeptic through a strategy called ‘inference to the best explanation’, and we finish with G. E. Moore’s common sense approach.

What are the three historically influential responses to the challenge of skepticism?

What did René Descartes’s efforts attempt to prove?

Second, how Bertrand Russell’s efforts attempt to disprove?

Finally, what was G. E. Moore’s approach?




Is there anything you can know for sure?

We know ideas, e.g., an infinite and perfect being.

If there is a good and all-powerful God we can't be permanently deceived.

Skeptical: infinite ideas cannot be produced by finite beings.

Russell: different strategy, 1) allow that the bad case is possible; 2) give reasons to think it's not actual.

Common-sense hypothesis: simple, systematic explanation of regularities. Fits with instinctive beliefs which form a perfectly consistent scientific story. Reasonable enough to count as knowledge.

Moorean: You don't need God, don't need inference to the best explanation, you just need your hands. You have hands, hands are external objects, therefore, external objects are real. Particulars can't be explained because there is nothing more basic to start from.

Your position depends on your starting point.

What is Knowledge? (Philosophical Definitions), 1:59

A description of how philosophers define knowledge, all the way back to Plato, and a basic introduction to the distinction between warrant and justification. This video will help you to understand the basics of epistemology.

PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: Argument and Evidence [HD], 6:24

Greg Ganssle (Yale University) discusses the role of argument and evidence in deciding what to believe, both in philosophy and more generally.

He discusses evidence that falls short of proof, and the fact that that's the kind of evidence we almost always have.

His main example for exploring these issues is evidence concerning the existence of God.

Claim: you cannot prove the existence of God. What does it mean? Proof: deductive argument. Real work is in the premises. The case is cumulative. It's all about the fit. What is the evidence that these claims are true?

Caring and Epistemic Demands
Linda Zagzebski

What Is Knowledge?
A. J. Ayer

Sir Alfred Jules "FreddieAyerFellow of the British Academy, 29 October 1910 – 27 June 1989), usually cited as A. J. Ayer, was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism, particularly in his books Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956).
He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, after which he studied the philosophy of logical positivism at the University of Vienna. From 1933 to 1940 he lectured on philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford.

During the Second World War Ayer was a Special Operations Executive and MI6 agent.
He was Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London from 1946 until 1959, after which he returned to Oxford to become Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College. He was president of the Aristotelian Societyfrom 1951 to 1952 and knighted in 1970.

Logical positivism and logical empiricism, which together formed neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was verificationism, a theory of knowledge which asserted that only statements verifiable through empirical observation are cognitively meaningful. 

The movement flourished in the 1920s and 1930s in several European centers.

AJ Ayer on Logical Positivism, 1:23

A J Ayer in discussion with Bryan Magee on logical positivism.

Efforts to convert philosophy to this new "scientific philosophy", shared with empirical sciences' best examples, such as Einstein's general theory of relativity, sought to prevent confusion rooted in unclear language and unverifiable claims.

The Berlin Circle and Vienna Circle—groups of philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians in Berlin and Vienna—propounded logical positivism, starting in the late 1920s.

AJ Ayer Summaryy, 3:37

A2 Philosophy project By Ben Gill, Jess Hill and Stef Dickinson-Smith

Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?
Edmund L. Gettier

PHILOSOPHY - Epistemology: Analyzing Knowledge #1 (The Gettier Problem) [HD], 6:46

Is knowledge the same as justified true belief?

In this Wireless Philosophy video, Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) discusses a Gettier case, a scenario in which someone has justified true belief but not knowledge.

We’ll look at a Gettier case from Edmund Gettier’s famous 1963 paper on this topic, and a structurally similar case from 8th century Classical Indian philosophy.

Conditions for Knowledge
Robert Nozick

Robert Nozick November 16, 1938 – January 23, 2002) was an American philosopher. He held the Joseph Pellegrino University Professorship at Harvard University, and was president of the American Philosophical Association. He is best known for his books Philosophical Explanations (1981), which included his counterfactual theory of knowledge, and Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974), a libertarian answer to John RawlsA Theory of Justice (1971). His other work involved decision theory and epistemology

Appearance and Reality

Bertrand Russell

What is this object?

Russell on Appearance and Reality, This is not a table (Video Essay), 3:23

An examination of Bertrand Russell's argument that reality is distinct from its appearance.

What we see is our mind's interpretation of reality, not reality itself.

This is in essence, notes on chapter 1 of Bertrand Russell's "The Problems of Philosophy"

What Can I Know?
D. Z. Phillips

Dewi Zephaniah Phillips (24 November 1934 – 25 July 2006), known as D. Z. PhillipsDewi Z, or simply DZ, was a leading proponent of Wittgensteinian philosophy of religion. He had an academic career spanning five decades, and at the time of his death he held the Danforth Chair in Philosophy of religion at Claremont Graduate University, California, and was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Swansea University.

Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (German: 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From 1929 to 1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of CambridgeDuring his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), one article, one book review and a children's dictionary. His voluminous manuscripts were edited and published posthumouslyPhilosophical Investigations appeared as a book in 1953, and has since come to be recognized as one of the most important works of philosophy in the twentieth century. His teacher Bertrand Russell described Wittgenstein as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived; passionate, profound, intense, and dominating".

Born in Vienna into one of Europe's richest families, he inherited a large fortune from his father in 1913. He initially made some donations to artists and writers and then, in a period of severe personal depression after the First World War, he gave away his entire fortune to his brothers and sisters. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Wittgenstein contemplating it too. He left academia several times—serving as an officer on the front line during World War I, where he was decorated a number of times for his courage; teaching in schools in remote Austrian villages where he encountered controversy for hitting children when they made mistakes in mathematics; and working as a hospital porter during World War II in London where he told patients not to take the drugs they were prescribed while largely managing to keep secret the fact that he was one of the world's most famous philosophers.He described philosophy as "the only work that gives me real satisfaction".

His philosophy is often divided into an early period, exemplified by the Tractatus, and a later period, articulated in the Philosophical Investigations. The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world and believed that by providing an account of the logic underlying this relationship, he had solved all philosophical problems. The later Wittgensteirejected many of the assumptions of the Tractatus, arguing that the meaning of words is best understood as their use within a given language-game.

Thus, his early work almost entirely contradicted his later work.

The Problem of Induction
Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl RussellOMFRS 18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense". He was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore, and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logicset theorylinguisticsartificial intelligencecognitive sciencecomputer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially the philosophy of languageepistemology, and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed, and "welcomed with enthusiasm" world government.He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he concluded war against Adolf Hitler was a necessary "lesser of two evils". He criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950 Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"

Induction without a Problem
P. F. Strawson

Both Stawson and Russell dealt with induction.

The problem of induction is the philosophical question of whether inductive reasoning leads to knowledge understood in the classic philosophical sense, since it focuses on the alleged lack of justification for either:
  1. Generalizing about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class (e.g., the inference that "all swans we have seen are white, and, therefore, all swans are white", before the discovery of black swans) or
  2. Presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (e.g., that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the principle of uniformity of nature.
The problem calls into question all empirical claims made in everyday life or through the scientific method, and, for that reason, the philosopher C. D. Broad said that "induction is the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy." Although the problem arguably dates back to the Pyrrhonism of ancient philosophy, as well as the Carvaka school of Indian philosophy, David Hume introduced it in the mid-18th century.

On the problem of induction, 2:29

What is induction?

How does induction impact scientific thought?

William Lane Craig addresses the problem of induction (expressed by philosophers David Hume and Bertrand Russell) and shows how atheist Peter Atkins misunderstood the questioner's question.

Puzzling Out Knowledge
Susan Haack

Meditations on First Philosophy
René Descartes

Can We Be Certain of Anything? (Descartes) - 8-Bit Philosophy, 2:47

René Descartes (French: "Cartesian"; 31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosophermathematician, and scientist. Dubbed the father of modern western philosophy, much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–49) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of NassauPrince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. He is generally considered one of the most notable intellectual representatives of the Dutch Golden Age.

Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes's influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, used in the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the scientific revolution.

Descartes refused to accept the authority of previous philosophers. He frequently set his views apart from those of his predecessors. In the opening section of the Les passions de l'âme, a treatise on the early modern version of what are now commonly called emotions, Descartes goes so far as to assert that he will write on this topic "as if no one had written on these matters before". His best known philosophical statement is "Cogito ergo sum" (French: Je pense, donc je suisI think, therefore I am), found in part IV of Discours de la méthode (1637; written in French but with inclusion of "Cogito ergo sum") and §7 of part I of Principles of Philosophy (1644; written in Latin).

Many elements of his philosophy have precedents in late Aristotelianism, the revived Stoicism of the 16th century, or in earlier philosophers like Augustine. In his natural philosophy, he differed from the schools on two major points: first, he rejected the splitting of corporeal substance into matter and form; second, he rejected any appeal to final ends, divine or natural, in explaining natural phenomena. In his theology, he insists on the absolute freedom of God's act of creation.

Descartes laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of HobbesLockeBerkeley, and Hume.Leibniz, Spinoza[16] and Descartes were all well-versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well.

Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated) is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in 1641 (in Latin). The French translation (by the Duke of Luynes with Descartes' supervision) was published in 1647 as Méditations Métaphysiques. The original Latin title is Meditationes de prima philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur. The title may contain a misreading by the printer, mistaking animae immortalitas for animae immaterialitas, as suspected already by A. Baillet.

The book is made up of six meditations, in which Descartes first discards all belief in things that are not absolutely certain, and then tries to establish what can be known for sure. He wrote the meditations as if he had meditated for six days: each meditation refers to the last one as "yesterday" (In fact, Descartes began work on the Meditations in 1639. One of the most influential philosophical texts ever written, it is widely read to this day.

The Meditations consist of the presentation of Descartes' metaphysical system in its most detailed level and in the expanding of Descartes' philosophical system, which he first introduced in the fourth part of his Discourse on Method (1637). Descartes' metaphysical thought is also found in the Principles of Philosophy (1644), which the author intended to be a philosophy guidebook.

The Cogito (Meditation I), 7:10

An explanation of Descartes's project on the first of his "Meditations on First Philosophy". This includes the descent into Skepticism and the background for the famous statement "I think therefore I am".

In your own words explain the important terms that were on the Descartes to Kant PowerPoint.

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
John Locke

John Locke - a 5-minute summary of his philosophy, 5:21

What period is associated with John Locke?

How did Locke influence important documents?

This short but info-packed video tells you everything you need to know about John Locke, the 17th Century Philosopher. It focuses on three key areas which he thought and wrote about, namely epistemology (theories of knowledge), political philosophy and religious toleration. This talk places Locke firmly within the period of the Enlightenment, and shows how he influenced other philosophers such as Kant, Hume and Rousseau, as well as documents like the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

John Locke 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as David Hume, Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasaContrary to Cartesian philosophy based on pre-existing concepts, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception. This is now known as empiricism. An example of Locke's belief in Empiricism can be seen in his quote, "whatever I write, as soon as I discover it not to be true, my hand shall be the forwardest to throw it into the fire." This shows the ideology of science in his observations in that something must be capable of being tested repeatedly and that nothing is exempt from being disproved. Challenging the work of others, Locke is said to have established the method of introspection, or observing the emotions and behaviours of one’s self.

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
George Berkeley

George Berkeley 12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753 — known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne) — was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism" (later referred to as "subjective idealism" by others).

This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers and, as a result, cannot exist without being perceived.

Berkeley is also known for his critique of abstraction, an important premise in his argument for immaterialism. Berkeley College, one of Yale University's 14 residential colleges, is named after George Berkeley.

In 1709, Berkeley published his first major work, An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, in which he discussed the limitations of human vision and advanced the theory that the proper objects of sight are not material objects, but light and colour. This foreshadowed his chief philosophical work, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, in 1710, which, after its poor reception, he rewrote in dialogue form and published under the title Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous in 1713.

In this book, Berkeley's views were represented by Philonous (Greek: "lover of mind"), while Hylas (Greek: "matter") embodies the Irish thinker's opponents, in particular John Locke. Berkeley argued against Isaac Newton's doctrine of absolute space, time and motion in De Motu (On Motion), published 1721. His arguments were a precursor to the views of Mach and Einstein. In 1732, he published Alciphron, a Christian apologetic against the free-thinkers, and in 1734, he published The Analyst, a critique of the foundations of calculus, which was influential in the development of mathematics.

His last major philosophical work, Siris (1744), begins by advocating the medicinal use of tar water and then continues to discuss a wide range of topics, including science, philosophy, and theology. Interest in Berkeley's work increased after World War II because he tackled many of the issues of paramount interest to philosophy in the 20th century, such as the problems of perception, the difference between primary and secondary qualities, and the importance of language.

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (commonly called Treatise when referring to Berkeley's works) is a 1710 work, in English, by Anglo-Irish Empiricist philosopher George Berkeley. This book largely seeks to refute the claims made by Berkeley's contemporary John Locke about the nature of human perception. Whilst, like all the Empiricist philosophers, both Locke and Berkeley agreed that we are having experiences, regardless of whether material objects exist, Berkeley sought to prove that the outside world (the world which causes the ideas one has within one's mind) is also composed solely of ideas. Berkeley did this by suggesting that "Ideas can only resemble Ideas" - the mental ideas that we possess can only resemble other ideas (not material objects) and thus the external world consists not of physical form, but rather of ideas. This world is (or, at least, was) given logic and regularity by some other force, which Berkeley concludes is God.

Top 14 George Berkeley Quotes - (Author of A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge), 2:24

What is your favorite quote of Berkeley, and why?

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
David Hume

David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism.

Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist. Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour and argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge is ultimately founded solely in experience; Hume thus held that genuine knowledge must either be directly traceable to objects perceived in experience, or result from abstract reasoning about relations between ideas which are derived from experience, calling the rest "nothing but sophistry and illusion", a dichotomy later given the name Hume's fork.

In what is sometimes referred to as Hume's problem of induction, he argued that inductive reasoning, and belief in causality cannot ultimately be justified rationally; our trust in causality and induction instead results from custom and mental habit, and are attributable to only the experience of "constant conjunction" rather than logic: for we can never, in experience, perceive that one event causes another, but only that the two are always conjoined, and to draw any inductive causal inferences from past experience first requires the presupposition that the future will be like the past, a presupposition which cannot be grounded in prior experience without already being presupposed.

Hume's anti-teleological opposition to the argument for God's existence from design is generally regarded as the most intellectually significant such attempt to rebut the teleological argument prior to Darwin.

Hume was also a sentimentalist who held that ethics are based on emotion or sentiment rather than abstract moral principle, famously proclaiming that "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions". Some contemporary scholars view Hume's moral theory as a unique attempt to synthesize the modern sentimentalist moral tradition to which Hume belonged, with the virtue ethics tradition of ancient philosophy, with which Hume concurred in regarding traits of character, rather than acts or their consequences, as ultimately the proper objects of moral evaluation. Hume's moral theory maintained an early commitment to naturalistic explanations of moral phenomena, and is usually taken to have first clearly expounded the is–ought problem, or the idea that a statement of fact alone can never give rise to a normative conclusion of what ought to be done. Hume also influentially denied that humans have an actual conception of the self, positing that we experience only a bundle of sensations, and that the self is nothing more than this bundle of causally-connected perceptions. Hume's compatibilist theory of free will takes causal determinism as fully compatible with human freedom, and has proved extremely influential on subsequent moral philosophy.

While Hume was derailed in his attempts to start a university career by protests over his "atheism," and bemoaned that his literary debut, A Treatise of Human Nature, 'fell dead-born from the press', he nevertheless found literary success in his lifetime as an essayist, and a career as a librarian at the University of Edinburgh. His tenure there, and the access to research materials it provided, ultimately resulted in Hume's writing the massive six-volume The History of England, which became a bestseller and the standard history of England in its day. Hume described his "love for literary fame" as his "ruling passion" and judged his two late works, the so-called "first" and "second" enquiries, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, respectively, as his greatest literary and philosophical achievements, asking his contemporaries to judge him on the merits of the later texts alone, rather than the more radical formulations of his early, youthful work, dismissing his philosophical debut as juvenilia: "A work which the Author had projected before he left College." Nevertheless, despite Hume's protestations, a general consensus exists today that Hume's strongest and most important arguments, and most philosophically distinctive doctrines, are found in the original form they take in the Treatise, begun when Hume was just 23 years old, and now regarded as one of the most important works in the history of Western philosophy.

Hume has proved extremely influential on subsequent Western thought, especially on utilitarianism, logical positivism, William James, Immanuel Kant, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive science, theology and other movements and thinkers. Kant himself credited Hume as the spur to his philosophical thought who had awakened him from his "dogmatic slumbers". Contemporary philosophers have opined that "Hume, rivaled only by Darwin, has done the most to undermine in principle our confidence in arguments from design", that "No man has influenced the history of philosophy to a deeper or more disturbing degree", and that Hume's Treatise is "the founding document of Cognitive Science" and one of the most important philosophical works written in English. Arthur Schopenhauer once declared that "there is more to be learned from each page of David Hume than from the collected philosophical works of Hegel, Herbart and Schleiermacher taken together." Hume is thus widely regarded as a pivotal figure in the history of philosophical thought.

Language alert

Three Minute Philosophy - David Hume, 3:34

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a book by the Scottish empiricist philosopher David Hume, published in English in 1748. It was a revision of an earlier effort, Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, published anonymously in London in 1739–40. Hume was disappointed with the reception of the Treatise, which "fell dead-born from the press," as he put it, and so tried again to disseminate his more developed ideas to the public by writing a shorter and more polemical work.

The end product of his labours was the Enquiry. The Enquiry dispensed with much of the material from the Treatise, in favor of clarifying and emphasizing its most important aspects. For example, Hume's views on personal identity do not appear. However, more vital propositions, such as Hume's argument for the role of habit in a theory of knowledge, are retained.

What was Kant's guide?

This book has proven highly influential, both in the years that would immediately follow and today. Immanuel Kant points to it as the book which woke him from his self-described "dogmatic slumber". The Enquiry is widely regarded as a classic in modern philosophical literature.

An Introduction to David Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding- A Macat Philosophy Analysis, 3:36

Is all knowledge really derived from what we perceive via our five senses, rather than through reasoning? Watch Macat's short video for a great introduction to David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, one of the most important philosophy books ever written.

Critique of Pure Reason
Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant

Three Minute Philosophy - Immanuel Kant, 3:31

What is the difference between deontology and consequentialistm?

What were his three maxims?

Do his maxims appear sound?

Immanuel Kant German: 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher who is a central figure in modern philosophy.

Kant argued that the human mind creates the structure of human experience, that reason is the source of morality, that aesthetics arises from a faculty of disinterested judgment, that space and time are forms of our sensibility, and that the world as it is "in-itself" is independent of our concepts of it.

Kant took himself to have effected a "Copernican revolution" in philosophy, akin to Copernicus' reversal of the age-old belief that the sun revolved around the earth. His beliefs continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics.

Politically, Kant was one of the earliest exponents of the idea that perpetual peace could be secured through universal democracy and international cooperation. He believed that this will be the eventual outcome of universal history, although it is not rationally planned. The exact nature of Kant's religious ideas continues to be the subject of especially heated philosophical dispute, as viewpoints are ranging from the idea that Kant was an early and radical exponent of atheism who finally exploded the ontological argument for God's existence, to more critical treatments epitomized by Nietzsche who claimed that Kant had "theologian blood" and that Kant was merely a sophisticated apologist for traditional Christian religious belief, writing that "Kant wanted to prove, in a way that would dumbfound the common man, that the common man was right: that was the secret joke of this soul."

In one of Kant's major works, the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781), he attempted to explain the relationship between reason and human experience and to move beyond the failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. Kant wanted to put an end to an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David Hume. Kant regarded himself as ending and showing the way beyond the impasse which modern philosophy had led to between rationalists and empiricists, and is widely held to have synthesized these two early modern traditions in his thought.

Kant argued that our experiences are structured by necessary features of our minds. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience so that, on an abstract level, all human experience shares certain essential structural features. Among other things, Kant believed that the concepts of space and time are integral to all human experience, as are our concepts of cause and effect. One important consequence of this view is that our experience of things is always of the phenomenal world as conveyed by our senses: we do not have direct access to things in themselves, the so-called noumenal world.

Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history. These included the Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788), the Metaphysics of Morals (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797), which dealt with ethics, and the Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790), which looks at aesthetics and teleology.

Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Critique of Pure Reason)

Top 20 Immanuel Kant Quotes (Author of Critique of Pure Reason), 3:18

What is your favorite quote of Kant, and why?

Introduction to Philosophy, Part 3 Knowledge
How Do You Know?

I want you to convince me that you are not a robot. What will you say to help me know you're human? Can you ever know for sure that you're not a robot? 

Knowledge and Truth

Epistemology, put simply, is the study of knowledge. In particular, epistemology focuses on how we come to acquire knowledge and what types of limits there are to our knowledge. In other words, how do we know what is true? 

What is the difference between knowing and believing? 

According to Professor Nagel, how are truth and confidence to be defined? 

What do you think: Is knowledge humanly possible? 

What similarities and differences are there between Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy forms of skepticism? 

What does Prof. Nagel mean by contemporary brain-in-a-vat scenarios? 

What are the three historically influential responses to the challenge of skepticism? 

What did René Descartes’s efforts attempt to prove? 

Second, how Bertrand Russell’s efforts attempt to disprove? 

Finally, what was G. E. Moore’s approach? 

In your own words: what is knowledge?

What is the role of argument and evidence in deciding what to believe?

How does evidence fall short of proof?

Evidence is what we almost always have thus how do these issues relate to the existence of God?

Is knowledge the same as justified true belief? 

What is the Gettier case? 

How is Gettier’s case structurally similar to a case from 8th century Classical Indian philosophy?

Is a table actually a table? Why or why not?

Introduction to Philosophy, Part 3 Knowledge, Locke to Kant

What period is associated with John Locke?

How did Locke influence important documents?

What is your favorite quote of Berkeley, and why?

Whose empiricism did Hume take to its conclusion?

Whose existence did Hume doubt?

What theory did he advance? And, what would be an example of his theory?

How did he address the issue of the self?

What is induction?

How does induction impact scientific thought?

What was Kant's main focus about philosophy?

What were the options of this main focus?

What was Kant's guide?

What were his three maxims?

Do his maxims appear sound?

What is your favorite quote of Kant, and why?

None of these directions apply unless stated in class.

Pick out a last name from the "magical cup of knowledge" (and, unless you picked out your own last name), call it out so your colleague can see you, return the last name to the bottom of the stack, and hand it to the next person until everyone is paired with a colleague. If you have already been partnered with a colleague just hand the stack of names to the next person. Finally, find your colleague for the Discussion today and answer the questions on the handout.

In your own words explain the important terms that were on the Descartes to Kant PowerPoint. 

Reference for all papers:

Purdue University Owl APA

Purdue Owl APA

Review the APA style, find a sympathetic reader to review your writing before handing in, be sure to staple any assessments handed in, revise your prewriting based on the comments, and at a later date I will cover the requirements for Part 2. Contact me outside of class if you need additional assistance.