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SOPHIA Unit_1_tutorials_great_philosophers (2020) | SOPHIA Unit_1_tutorials_great_philosophers _100%

Unit 1 Tutorials: Great Philosophers INSIDE UNIT 1 Introduction to Philosophy and the Pre-Socratics What is Philosophy? Why Study Philosophy? Cosmology and the First Philosophers The Atomistic Worldview Parmenides and the Doctrine of Permanence Heraclitus and the Doctrine of Impermanence Socrates and Dialectic Socrates: The Father of Western Philosophy The Socratic Approach Introducing Arguments Evaluation and Analysis of Arguments Evaluating an Argument in Action The Apology: A Defense of Philosophy The Apology- Socrates' Arguments The Crito: The Duties of the Social Contract The Phaedo: The Death of Socrates Plato and Aristotle Plato: An academic approach to concepts Plato Forms: The Objects of Knowledge Plato Forms: The Foundations of Being Applying Plato's Metaphysics The Footnotes to Plato Aristotle: The Dissection of Reality Aristotle on What There Is Plato vs. Aristotle: The Mathematician or the Biologist Philosophy as a Way of Life Aristotelianism: The Naturalistic Worldview Aristotle's Highest Good Applying Aristotle's Ethics Stoicism: The Ethics of Dispassion Philosophical Analysis as a Way of Life What is Philosophy? by Sophia Tutorial © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 1Philosophy is a field of study that many people (including students) don't know much about. This course enables you to increase your knowledge of philosophy by examining its origins in ancient Greece, as well as some of the areas that are studied by philosophers today, including logic, epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. This section responds to the question, "What is Philosophy?" in three parts: 1. The Beginning of Western Philosophy 2. The Big Picture and a Contemporary Definition 3. Some Major Branches of Philosophy 1. The Beginning of Western Philosophy Western philosophy is traditionally thought to have started when a mathematician named Thales of Miletus successfully predicted an eclipse in 585 BCE. Although this may seem to have been an accomplishment in the field of astronomy, not philosophy, astronomy, like many other sciences, was once considered to be a branch of philosophy. Imagine for a moment that you lived in Greece 2600 years ago, but Thales had not made his famous prediction about the eclipse. What would people have thought caused the eclipse? Would they have concluded that the gods were angry, or bringing the world to an end? Whatever conclusions might have been reached about the meaning of the event, it's likely that it would have been connected to the gods. By making his prediction based on analysis of his observations, Thales demonstrated that humans were capable of interpreting reality on their own, without divine assistance. Thales demonstrated that the world was fundamentally understandable and predictable. Human beings do not need to appeal to the gods to learn about the world, or to use what they learn. By applying reason to observations, people can solve many of life's puzzles. The desire to know and learn is the foundation of philosophy. Illustration of Thales. 2. The Big Picture and a Contemporary Definition To better understand what philosophy involves, consider the etymology of the word, “philosophy.” It comes from two Greek words, philos and sophia. Philos means "love." It is the basis of a number of common words, including “philanthropy” and “Philadelphia.” Sophia, which is also part of “sophisticated” and “sophomore,” means “wisdom” (and before you sophomores start feeling too proud, sophomore means “wise fool”). Philosophy, at a fundamental level, is the love of wisdom. Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. One can have all of the knowledge in the world but still lack wisdom. Rather than referring to information retained in memory (i.e, knowledge), wisdom refers to the ability to apply reason to knowledge, in order to make use of it in beneficial ways. Wisdom focuses on how we use what we learn, rather than on what we learn. © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 2The highest degree one can earn in biology is a PhD — a doctorate in philosophy. A PhD in biology not only means that you know facts and concepts in the field (i.e., knowledge), but that you can use that knowledge to make new contributions — in biology or a related field. You can evaluate the body of biological knowledge and determine how parts of it can be used in new ways. As a result of philosophy's focus on wisdom, science and philosophy share a similar methodology. Defining philosophy as “love of wisdom” helps us to begin to understand it, but it lacks precision. Here is the definition of philosophy that we will use in this course: Philosophy The pursuit of truths that cannot be wholly determined empirically. Philosophy seeks to find truth in areas where science cannot. Consider this philosophical question: “Is there a creator god of a certain description?" We cannot answer this question by looking for a god through a telescope. In this instance, science cannot help us to find the truth. There are two possible answers to this question: "there is" or "there isn’t." In seeking to arrive at the truth, philosophy is not mere opinion. If two people disagree, this doesn’t mean that it is not possible to find an answer, and that they must agree to disagree. With respect to the example above, If two people disagree as to what is true, one of them is simply wrong. Philosophy helps us to determine which one. Since we cannot use a telescope, a microscope, etc. to discover who is right and who is wrong, we must make inferences: We take the evidence we have, and ask whether it supports one position or the other. We use logic to decide which position is better-supported and, therefore, more reasonable. It is for this reason that logic is the backbone of philosophy. 3. Some Major Branches of Philosophy Philosophy encompasses a number of branches/sub-disciplines. The three most significant branches involving the philosophers we'll study in this course are ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Ethics The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of value, and thereby determines right and wrong. Questions of right and wrong fit within the definition of philosophy provided above. Consider this action: punching a small child. The sciences can tell us a lot about this action. Medicine can predict the damage it would cause. Political science can determine its legal consequences. Psychology can provide insight into the mind of the perpetrator. But no scientific analysis can tell us that this action is wrong. Of course, it is wrong, and anyone who claims that "wrong" is merely an opinion, and that this action is not something that can be true or false, should be ignored. Science can tell us that this action would cause pain, but it is a philosophical truth that causing pain unnecessarily is wrong. Although questions of right and wrong are the prerogative of philosophy, science has a role. Later in the course, we will consider philosophical approaches to ethics, including the philosophy of Socrates, who was not only deeply interested in determining how to live a morally upright life, but was willing to die to uphold his beliefs. Philosophy provides a benefit to science through epistemology. Epistemology The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of knowledge and the methodologies by which it is attained. Philosophy is sometimes called the "mother of the sciences" because it determines what constitutes knowledge. For example, it helps biologists determine what is biological knowledge (versus mere opinion), and what methods can generate knowledge. Philosophers of science were the driving force behind the development and refinement of the scientific method. Socrates distinguished knowledge from opinion, while Plato gave the first clear account of knowledge. Aristotle, the father of physics, biology, and astronomy, used philosophy to develop and enhance these disciplines. The largest and, perhaps, the most fundamental branch of philosophy is metaphysics. Metaphysics The branch of philosophy that seeks to uncover and describe the ultimate nature of reality. The prefix “meta” means “beyond.” Metaphysics works on fundamental issues that are beyond science — principles in which science may be grounded. For instance, although science identifies and describes the laws of physics, what is a law? What is its status? What kind of a thing is it? These are metaphysical questions. Metaphysics also considers questions including, is there a god? Are we free to make © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 3decisions, or are all of our choices predetermined? What is the ultimate nature of time? What is causation? All of the philosophers included in this course have something to say about these topics. Additionally, we'll learn how metaphysics informs other philosophical disciplines, such as ethics. These three branches of philosophy will be a major focus of this course. Other branches of philosophy (e.g.,natural philosophy and cosmology), have been largely relegated to the sciences. Natural Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines nature and the universe Cosmology The branch of philosophy that studies the universe in its totality The subjects studied in what was called "natural philosophy" have moved from philosophy to physics, astronomy, and other sciences. Cosmology is now a branch of astrophysics (cosmogony is a branch of cosmology that focuses on the origin of the universe). Since philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom, it supports all pursuits of knowledge. To discover wisdom, philosophy uses logic, reason, and critical thinking, and studies topics including ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. In this course, we’ll learn about these branches of philosophy, practice logic, and examine philosophical approaches to questions including “what is knowledge?” “what is real?” and “what is a good life and how should I live?” Source: Image of Thales, PD, TERMS TO KNOW Cosmology The branch of philosophy that treats the universe in its totality Epistemology The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of knowledge and the methodologies that attain it Ethics The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of value and thereby seeks to determine right and wrong Metaphysics The branch of philosophy that seeks to uncover and describe the ultimate nature of reality Natural Philosophy The branch of philosophy that treats nature and the universe Philosophy The pursuit of truths that cannot be wholly determined empirically © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 4Why Study Philosophy? by Sophia Tutorial Philosophy is sometimes stereotyped as an "ivory tower" discipline that does not apply to the "real" world. In this lecture, we will cover four areas in which the benefits of philosophy are easy to see: higher education, the sciences, society, and the people who study philosophy. This section answers the question, "Why Study Philosophy?" in five parts: 1. Philosophy and Higher Education 2. Benefits of the Philosophical Mindset 3. Benefits Through the Sciences 4. Benefit to Society 5. Benefit to the Individual 1. Philosophy and Higher Education Recall that philosophy is the pursuit of truths that cannot be wholly determined empirically. Philosophy pursues wisdom, and is therefore crucial in defining methods for the development and refinement of knowledge in all fields. As a result, philosophy is nearly synonymous with higher learning. Indeed, the words “academia” and “academic” come from the name of Plato’s school of philosophy, the Academy. The highest degree attainable in academia is the PhD, Latin for philosophiae doctor, or doctor of philosophy. Philosophy The pursuit of truths that cannot be wholly determined empirically. Asking “why care about philosophy” is like asking “why care about higher education?” Philosophy is a collegiate activity that signifies intellectual maturity. One can question the status quo — not to be belligerent, but out of a genuine desire to understand it. All you have learned previously becomes a starting point, not an end. 2. Benefits of the Philosophical Mindset In enumerating the advantages of philosophy, 20th century philosopher Bertrand Russell pointed out that it enlarges our thoughts and frees us from the “tyranny of custom.” How does philosophy do this? By asking “why” questions, and determining whether the answers are satisfactory. Philosophy requires that all beliefs be justified. What does this mean? State a belief: “I believe (fill in the blank) is true.” Next, ask “why” you believe what you've stated. Why do you think your belief is true? If you can provide a good answer, one that is good enough to convince a reasonable skeptic, then you have justified your belief and, therefore, know it. If you cannot provide an answer, or only an answer that a skeptic would find unsatisfactory, you have an opinion, but do not know. You should not believe what you 've stated, or should believe it only provisionally. Philosophy's requirement that beliefs must be justified leads to regular questioning of beliefs and refinement of answers. For thousands of years, people believed that only certain organic matter (composted plants and excrement) were adequate fertilizers. In the 20th century, someone finally asked the crucial question: “Why do we think that we can only use organic matter as fertilizer?” No one could provide a good answer to this question. What people had believed for thousands of years was opinion, not knowledge — something handed down through generations of farmers. It was Russell’s “tyranny of custom.” When freed from this tyranny, scientists developed nitrogen-based fertilizers, more land was farmed, and every acre produced more crops. Millions of people were spared famine and starvation, thanks to the philosophical mindset and its determination to hold only justified beliefs. This is only one example, but it represents how progress has taken place over the centuries. 3. Benefits Through the Sciences As the last example demonstrated, the philosophical mindset is key to progress in the sciences. However, the connection between philosophy and science is deeper than that. © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 5Philosophers have made the significant contributions to scientific methodology, and have contributed to the formation of science as we know it today. Epistemology set the standards of knowledge, and the philosophy of science developed methods to attain it. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, is considered to be the father of physics and biology. He contributed to the development of the foundations of science. His concepts were later refined and incorporated into the modern scientific method by Francis Bacon, who was also a philosopher. Epistemology The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of knowledge and the methodologies used to attain it. Images of Aristotle and Francis Bacon Philosophy has inspired breakthroughs in theoretical science. Isaac Newton’s Principia is, in part, a text on natural philosophy. Albert Einstein cites the work of philosopher David Hume as the primary influence on his development of the Theory of Relativity. Hume’s work also inspired much of Adam Smith’s economics. Many philosophers were also mathematicians and/or scientists, including René Descartes (perhaps you have heard of Cartesian coordinates), and G.W. Leibniz, who developed the binary number system and symbolic logic, without which we would not have computers. When someone’s passion is knowledge, and that knowledge is groundbreaking, distinctions between philosophy and theoretical science disappear. 4. Benefit to Society Although you may have hesitated to give philosophy any credit for developments in theoretical science, you need only look around you to see what it has done in ethics and political philosophy. As a result of its influence in these areas, philosophy has led to improvements in society and culture. The U.S. Constitution, including much of the Bill of Rights, is based on the political philosophy of John Locke. Many of the Founding Fathers were Lockeans. General acceptance of democracy as the fairest form of government was a philosophical development. Similarly, most of our modern © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 6concepts and advancements with respect to justice, fairness, and equality originated with political philosophers. If you appreciate the end of slavery, the fight for racial equality, women’s suffrage, or other instances of social progress, thank a philosopher. Philosophy has also contributed to advancement in ethics. Philosophers are often employed as consultants on hospital ethics boards, as well as in other fields of applied ethics including environmental and business ethics. Philosophy has influenced societies' views on right and wrong for millennia. 5. Benefit to the Individual Do you think you would benefit from being wiser? More moral? A better critical thinker? Being better equipped to distinguish knowledge from opinion? Making decisions based on reason instead of emotion? Acting according to your beliefs? Having a consistent worldview? Recognizing value? Minimizing bias while maximizing objectivity? The study of philosophy does all this and more. It makes you a better person, but it can also have more immediate, tangible results. The study of philosophy has been shown to increase standardized test scores and performance in other courses. And, despite opinions to the contrary, philosophy degrees are highly sought by business employers because "thinking outside the box" is vital to business solutions and strategy. Like your other courses, you will get out what you put into a philosophy class. If you make an effort in "Ancient Greek Philosophers," you will be rewarded. Philosophy brings value from the global level to the individual. A philosophical mindset is required for any sort of progress. Philosophy has advanced (and continues to advance) the sciences; it has contributed to the growth of more ethical and just societies; and has broadened and improved the minds of those who study it. Source: Image of Aristotle, PD, Bacon, PD TERMS TO KNOW Epistemology The branch of philosophy that analyzes and defends concepts of knowledge and the methodologies that attain it Philosophy The pursuit of truths that cannot be wholly determined empirically © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 7Cosmology and the First Philosophers by Sophia Tutorial In this section, we will examine the very first western philosophers, the Pre-Socratics. After discussing why they are considered philosophers, we'll learn about some of the major figures and their ideas, and how those ideas shaped the world as we know it. This tutorial examines Cosmology and the first philosophers in three parts: 1. Who Were the Pre-Socratic Philosophers? 2. Some Pre-Socratic Philosophers and their Influential Ideas 3. Intellectual Legacy of the Pre-Socratics 1. Who Were the Pre-Socratic Philosophers? A group of philosophers now known as the Pre-Socratics were active In Greece between (approximately) 600- 450 BCE. Pre-Socratics A collective term used for Greek philosophers who practiced philosophy before Socrates The influence of the Pre-Socratics is limited because most of their work has not survived. What remains of their beliefs and teachings are fragmenta: mostly quotations from other philosophers whose works were preserved, and testamonia: references to them and their work (but not quotations) in other ancient texts. Our access to their work, therefore, is limited, but their work remains important. They influenced and inspired those whose ideas changed our science, culture and intellectual traditions. They were true philosophers, even though what we know about them and their work is limited to their major ideas. They are categorized as Pre-Socratics, not only because of their limited influence, but also because much of their work can be assigned to natural philosophy or cosmology, branches of philosophy that have been largely relegated to the sciences. Natural Philosophy The branch of philosophy that considers nature and the universe Cosmology The branch of philosophy that considers the universe in its totality Natural philosophy has moved from being a branch of philosophy to an area that is studied in physics, astronomy, and other sciences. Cosmology is now a branch of astrophysics (cosmogony is a branch of cosmology that focuses on the origin of the universe). When we take this into account, we can see that the Pre-Socratics were practicing theoretical science when science was still part of philosophy. Why then was their work once considered philosophy? To answer this question, recall that philosophy is the pursuit of truths that cannot be determined empirically. Questions like, “what are stars made of” could not be answered empirically 2,500 years ago. The theories, discoveries, and tools required to answer those questions had not been developed. All that the Pre-Socratics had to work with was their observations, and what they could conclude based on those observations. Their methodology was philosophical in two ways: First, they used argument and reason to identify the best answers to the questions. Second, their methodology was naturalistic. They did not rely on divine mechanisms to support their answers. Also, they did not only work on these topics. Their findings in natural philosophy influenced their views in other areas of philosophical inquiry. 2. Some Pre-Socratic Philosophers and their Influential Ideas Following is a list of some of the most influential Pre-Socratic philosophers, and their major ideas. The list is a sample; it is not comprehensive. Two significant Pre-Socratics, Heraclitus of Ephesus and Parmenides of Elea, have been omitted because they will be examined in detail in separate tutorials. The Milesians This group, usually considered to be the first Pre-Socratic philosophers, consisted of Thales and his pupils, Anaximander and Anaximenes. It was said that Thales claimed that everything in the cosmos was made of water, but Anaximenes held that everything was made of air. Anaximander maintained that the cosmos was initially apeiron (i.e., “boundless” or “without qualities”), but became © 2018 SOPHIA Learning, LLC. SOPHIA is a registered trademark of SOPHIA Learning, LLC. Page 8differentiated. If these theories seem far fetched, note that their methodology was sound. These philosophers used empirical data (i.e., information obtained by observation) to formulate theories of reality that best fit that data. What these three theories have in common was the positing of a single cosmos: the claim that all matter was united according to a single arrangement/order, governed by universal laws. This was the Milesians’ true philosophico-scientific advancement. They were essentially correct in taking this position. Science worked out the details over the next 2,500 years. Pythagoras Pythagoras (long thought to be the discoverer of the Pythagorean Theorem) and his followers incorporated mathematics into his philosophical worldview. The Pythagorean Theorem, a basic component of algebra courses today, has been around for thousands of years! To the Pythagoreans, the world was a mathematical entity of perfect harmony. They assigned great importance to certain numbers found in nature (e.g., the number of heavenly bodies). A human’s job was to find his or her proper place in this harmonious system. They also formulated and defended a reincarnation doctrine related to their worldview. Xenophanes of Colophon Xenophanes, a travelling poet, was also a philosopher who lived to great age. Secularization played a major role in his philosophy. He reassigned divine mechanisms to naturalistic causes, such as the rainbow, which ancient Greeks believed to be a manifestation of the messenger goddess Iris. Xenophanes identified rainbows as phenomena produced as a result of meteorological causes. Xenophanes maintained that it is better to rely on observation and reason than on signs from the gods. He was not an atheist, but objected to then-common conceptions of the gods, faulting earlier poets for depicting deities as treacherous and deceitful beings who . constantly interfered in human affairs. He also opposed theories that relied on “the god of the gaps,” in which a miracle is used to support an otherwise-scientific explanation because there was no known natural cause. To Xenophanes, the gods controlled all things, but acted predictably, not miraculously. Indeed, science is close to impossible if gods constantly interfere with natural phenomena. Xenophanes characterized this as anthropomorphism — the application of human attributes to something that is non-human (like the gods). In some ways, the Greek gods were depicted as the worst of humans. Zeus used his powers to change his form and rape women. Hera, his wife, punished those women. The gods sometimes helped the strong to defeat the weak, and the unreasonable to kill the reasonable. As depicted, the gods often behaved in ways that humans might behave if they had divine power. In these depictions, therefore, humans projected their attributes onto the gods. As Heraclitus stated: - - - - - - - Continued

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