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Phil 1: An Introduction to Philosophy

Feb 23, 2016

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Phil 1: An Introduction to Philosophy. Instructor: Tim Butzer Teaching Assistants: Dillon Schultz Jenna Schaal -O’Connor Alex Dunn. Introductory Material. The word “philosophy” comes from Greek:. Introductory Material. The word “philosophy” comes from Greek: “ P hilos ” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Phil 1: An Introduction to Philosophy

Phil 1: An Introduction to PhilosophyInstructor: Tim Butzer

Teaching Assistants: Dillon SchultzJenna Schaal-OConnorAlex DunnIntroductory MaterialThe word philosophy comes from Greek:

Introductory MaterialThe word philosophy comes from Greek:

PhilosLoveIntroductory MaterialThe word philosophy comes from the Greek:

PhilosSophia

LoveWisdomIntroductory MaterialThe word philosophy comes from the Greek:

PhilosSophia

LoveWisdomLiterally translated, then, philosopher means lover of wisdom.Introductory MaterialBut what does wisdom mean?

Proposal 1: Knowing, and being able to instruct others on how to lead a good, fulfilling life.

Very few people who call themselves philosophers today fit this description.Introductory MaterialBut what does wisdom mean?

Proposal 2: Gaining wisdom just means acquiring and/or discovering knowledge about the world.

This definition doesnt single out philosophers.PhysicistsHistoriansAnthropologists Etc.Introductory MaterialWhat distinguishes philosophy from other disciplines is its subject matter and methodology.Main Branches of PhilosophyMetaphysicsEpistemologyEthicsMain Branches of PhilosophyMetaphysicsEpistemologyEthicsMetaphysicsThe study of the most fundamental features of existence:What is the nature of space and time?Why is there something rather than nothing?What does it take for something to persist over time?What is it for one thing to cause another?Does God exist?What are minds, and how do they relate to bodies?What is required for an entity to possess free will? Do we possess free will?

Main Branches of PhilosophyMetaphysicsEpistemologyEthics

EpistemologyEpisteme is Greek for knowledge. Thus epistemology is translated as the study of knowledge

Epistemologists are interested in how we come to know things, and how we come to have justified beliefs.

EpistemologySome questions that interest epistemologists:What is knowledge? What does it take to possess knowledge?Do we or can we know anything? If so, what?What are good sources of knowledge and what makes them so?What makes a belief justified?Are we or can we be justified in believing anything? If so, what? Do you have to always have reasons supporting a belief in order for it to be justified/known?How and when are you justified in believing something that someone else tells you?

Main Branches of PhilosophyMetaphysicsEpistemologyEthicsEthicsEthics is the study of morality. It is the study of what we ought and ought not do (morally speaking) and why we ought or ought not do it.What makes an action right or wrong?Do only the consequences of an action matter to its moral status? Are there objective moral facts, or are all such facts relative to the society/culture/time in which one finds oneself?Are there moral facts at all, or is it the case that nothing is morally permissible or impermissible?Is abortion morally permissible? If so, under what conditions?Are we morally obligated to give to charity?Is raising animals and slaughtering them in order to eat them morally permissible?

Some other DisciplinesPhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of LanguageLogicPolitical PhilosophyPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of MathAesthetics

Philosophical MethodologyWhile some of the preceding topics bleed over a bit into various sciences (e.g. physics, cognitive psychology, political science) philosophers employ a different methodology than these empirical disciplines.Philosophical MethodologyInstead of formulating hypotheses and running experiments to test them, philosophers typically conduct their investigations using reason and arguments.Philosophical MethodologyPhilosophy, like math, is usually thought of as an a priori discipline.

A priori knowledge: Knowledge that does not require the senses or empirical evidence for its justification.

A Posteriori knowledge: Knowledge that does require sensory or empirical evidence for its justification.Some (Very Basic) LogicReminder: Thursday Sections are cancelledVocabularyArgument: An attempt to present rational support for a conclusion. This consists of presenting a series of premises that collectively support the desired conclusionPremise: A proposition which purports to support a conclusionConclusion: The proposition an argument attempts to rationally support or prove.VocabularyArgument 1:The Bible is the word of God.God is infallible, therefore the word of God is infallible.The Bible says that God exists.Therefore, God exists.

What are the premises and conclusions of this argument? Is this a good argument?

VocabularyClaims, sentences, propositions, or premises are true or false.

Arguments are valid or invalid, sound or unsound.

VocabularyAn argument is deductively valid if and only if the truth of its premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion.

In other words, in a valid argument, if the premises are true, the conclusions must be true.VocabularyQuestion: Can a valid argument have a false conclusion?

VocabularyAnswer: YES!

Argument 2:If I had woken up late today, then I would have been late for lecture.I woke up late.Therefore, I was late to lecture.VocabularyAn argument is sound if it is both valid and has true premises.

VocabularyAn argument is sound if it is both valid and has true premises.

Question: Can a sound argument have a false conclusion?

VocabularyAnswer: NO!

An argument is valid just in case the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. If a valid argument also has true premises, then the conclusion has to be true. Two Good Argument FormsModus PonensIf p then q.p Therefore, q.Two Good Argument FormsModus Ponens (example):If Adrian Peterson is healthy then the Vikings will win the Superbowl.Adrian Peterson is healthy.Therefore, the Vikings will win the Superbowl.Two Good Argument FormsModus TollensIf p then q.~qTherefore, ~p

(~ means not)Some Basic LogicModus TollensIf I ate at Cajun Kitchen for breakfast, I would have had eggs for breakfast.I did not have eggs for breakfast.Therefore, I did not eat at Cajun Kitchen for breakfast.

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