Notes on Introduction to Philosophy -- Phil A201

William Jamison - Instructor

Lecture 7

Seventh lecture notes for Introduction to Philosophy:

Leibniz and Stephen Stephen Hawking - What's a Quark? This was mostly a review of what had already been discussed last week concerning Leibniz and what we have discussed off and on through the course with respect to Hawking. We are moving faster than the syllabus. Is that because of the beautiful weather we have been having?

Berkeley - Idealism To be is to be perceived - if a tree falls...

Slide one:

George Berkeley 1685-1753

bulletEssay towards a New Theory of Vision objects of sight versus touch.
bullet(1) object (or ideas) of sight have nothing in common with the objects of touch
bullet(2) connection of sight and touch is "arbitrary" and learned by experience only. The connection is arbitrary; but it is regular and constant. What we see suggests to us what we may expect to touch and handle.
bulletIn using sight to guide our movements we interpret the language of God.

Slide two:

Principles and Three Dialogues

bulletHylas (matter) Philonous (Love of mind)
bulletLocke secondary and primary qualities
bulletSecondary qualities do not exist apart from sensations
bulletPrimary qualities exist irrespective of our knowledge
bulletBerkeley denies this distinction
bulletto be is to be perceived - esse is percipi
bulletmaterialists have faith in substance instead of faith in God

Slide three: All in the mind of God

Existence of Self, Other Minds, and God

bulletyou have, properly speaking, no idea of your own soul
bulletnotion of matter as the unthinking support of ideas, is "repugnant" or self contradictory
bullet"it is no repugnancy to say that a perceiving thing should be the subject of ideas, or an active thing the cause of them." while "I have no reason for disbelieving the existence of Matter," "the being of my Self, that is, my own soul, mind, or thinking principle, I evidently know by reflexion."

Slide four:

Spirit the only real cause or power

bulletSuch is the nature of Spirit, or that which acts, that it cannot be of itself perceived, but only by the effects which it produceth.
bulletThe world is a constant creation; the infinite Spirit is ever speaking to the spirits of men.
bulletThe permanence and continuity that characterize our changing experience find their explanation in the reasonable constancy of the divine Will which is actively present in it all.

Also note Jonathan Edwards and his relationship with Berkeley.

Second exam given

Hume - Skeptic of skeptics -- Who am I? -- Communitarian Ethics

Slide one:

David Hume - 1711-1776

bulletNever literary attempt was more unfortunate than my Treatise of Human Nature. It fell dead-born from the press...
bulletperceptions (following Locke)
bulletlively - impressions
bulletless lively - ideas
bulletall ideas are derived from impressions
bulletIdea of God is merely extrapolation

Slide two:

Custom and Habits of the Mind

bulletAssociation of Ideas
bulletcontiguity in time or place
bulletcause and effect
bulletRelations of Ideas and Matters of Fact
bullet1st intuitive or demonstrably certain
bullet2nd founded on cause and effect
bulletcomes only from experience

Slide three:

Cause and effect

bulletThe mind has never anything present to it but the perceptions, and cannot possible reach any experience of their connection with objects.
bulletReason is as much a matter of habit as emotion
bulletThere is no synthetic a priori
bulletMetaphysics is impossible
bulletPhilosophical skepticism is result

Slide four:

Personal Identity

bulletWe refer to ourselves according to habits and customs
bulletthere is no "I" that we can experience
bulletwe can not have an objective experience of the subject of our experience
bulletpractical living is not under question
bulletonly philosophical metaphysics is shown to be untenable and useless
bullettherefore: give up metaphysics

Slide five:

Hume on Religion

bulletconservative side - Cleanthes offers a posteriori arguments for God's existence, particularly the design argument:
bulletMachines are produced by intelligent design
bulletUniverse resembles a machine
bulletTherefore, the universe was produced by intelligent design

Slide six:

Hume on Religion

bulletDemea: a priori arguments (Leibniz)
bulletThe world contains an infinite sequence of contingent facts;
bulletThe explanation of this whole series cannot reside in the series itself;
bulletTherefore, there is a necessary substance which produced this infinite series, and which is the complete explanation of its own existence as well.

Slide seven:

Hume on Religion

bulletPhilo - skeptic against both:
bulletdesign argument - faulty analogy: we don't know whether the order in nature was the result of design since we did not witness the formation of the world.
bulletcosmological argument - a sufficient explanation for each particular fact in the infinite sequence of facts leaves no need to inquire about the origin of the collection of these facts.

Next lecture

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