Notes on Sophies World

Sophie’s World Notes Introduction Questions posed: Who are you? Is there life after death? Where does the world come from? Why are we here? How ought we to live? Is the human brain like an advanced computer? Ideas: “It’s tragic that people have to get ill to appreciate life”, the possibility of something coming from nothing, we study philosophy because reading what others think can help us formulate our own ideas. We are aware that we are part of something mysterious. Philosophy started because myths could not be trusted. Natural Philosophers Each philosopher or group of philosophers has a project.

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This group wanted to explain the natural world. Questions posed: Is there a basic substance? Can water turn to wine? How can earth and water produce a frog? How does transformation occur in nature? Xenophobes(570 BC) – wanted an explanation of how god created man in his own image. Thales(585 BBS) – thought all life was made of water. Meanness(526 BC) – air made all life, water is condensed air. Parricides(480 BC) – can’t trust your senses, things don’t really change, everything stays the same. Heraclites(480 BC) – there is constant change, characterized by opposites Impedances(430 BC) – both of the above are right & wrong.

Four basic substances: earth, air, fire, & water. We can combine these to make everything. Love binds while strife separates – this explains the chemical changes. Raised the question, “how can I see a flower? ” Believed that the eye contained all four substances. Angoras(428 BC) – everything is built from an infinite number of small particles. But, the whole is in every part (like DNA). He thought that the sun was a red hot stone and that the planets didn’t make their own light. Democratic(370 BC) – Hypothesized atoms – you can use them over & over again.

Believed in nothing but material things(materialist). Did not believe in a soul. More questions: Why is Logo ingenious? Do you believe in Fate? Is sickness punishment from the gods? What forces govern the course of history? Meaner malign influence from the stars. Hip. Oath + moderation&healtly lifestyle -> good health Classic Greeks Some Sq + beliefs: Does natural modesty exist? Wisest is one who knows that they don’t know. He who knows right will do so. True insight comes from within. Sophists – skeptics; they accept that man can’t know the truth about the universe.

Propagators(410 BC) – “Man is the measure”, said that right or wrong must be noninsured in relation to a person’s needs. Wondered about what was natural and what was socially induced. Socrates(47()-BBC) – Plato wrote about him so it’s difficult to distinguish between his philosophy and Plat’s. Socratic method – ask questions until they see the weaknesses in their own Justifications and views, which leads to true insight. He was killed because he introduced new gods and corrupted youth, according to the Greeks. There’s an allusion in the book for a parallel between J and Socrates.

He knew he didn’t know everything and had an unshakable faith in human reason(rationalist). Felt that because people want happiness and can’t handle guilt, if they know what’s right, they do right. Plato(428-BBC) – Concerned with what is eternal and immutable versus what flows. Felt that all substances could change. The “form” of a horse is immutable. (In essence, he noticed that atoms don’t form randomly into a ladies or a Croatian. ) The “form” idea is that a perfect copy or “idea” of all objects resides in god so to speak & that we are born with these “ideas” already in our head so we can identify objects into categories.

He felt that you can only have true knowledge through reason nice physical things are always in a state of change, unlike the “ideas” they are based upon. So, reality has two regions – the sensory and the ideas. We DO have an immortal soul because we have the realm of reason to explore ideas. The sensory world is dark and dreary compared to the clarity of ideas. His political ideas are based on rationalism. Questions posed: Are all horses the same? Is there an immortal soul? Are men and women the same? Aristotle(384 – BBC) – Rupee’s first great biologist; interested in the changes in nature. He didn’t believe in ideas.

He thought that humans saw a whole bunch of hinges and then categorized them(taxonomy). Man has the innate ability to classify. Man has reason, but no innate ideas. There are four causes in nature: material, efficient, formal and final cause. All matter has the potential to achieve form (like a only live a good life by using all of his abilities. Man is political – should have monarch, aristocracy and polity. Thought that women were incomplete men. Women are substance while the man is form. Assumed that god started all movement. Hellenize 3 kingdoms – Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. By 50 BC, the Romans dominate (late antiquity).

There is some merging of culture and religion. Alexandria becomes the center of science. Cynics – Antitheses, Diogenes, etc. Believed that happiness is not found in material goods. Stoics – Zone, Marcus Aurelia’s, Cicero; Believed in universal reason and unity of nature Life w/individual is the focus(humanism). Learned to accept destiny, everything happens through necessity Epicureans – Airstrip’s, Epicures; Get the highest possible sensory enjoyment. Avoid pain of all forms. Must weight the short & long term consequences of actions. Neoplasm’s – Plotting had a dual theory; God is light.

All that exists is God, but there’s a point light can’t reach. All forms in nature have a faint glow of the one. Mysticism – one can disappear into God. In Western mysticism, there’s a personal god. Eastern – total fusion. **London-Europeans – polytheistic, good vs…. Evil, sight important, cyclic view of history Semite – Arabian peninsula w/3 religions, linear view of history, did NOT picture god. Goal – redeemed of sin as opposed to released from rebirth **Jews – after David, they deteriorated, by proclamation they be saved by some “son of god. ” Then Jesus came using that language – “kingdom of god”, “father”, forgiving sins, etc.

Paul spreads the word. There is a collision between Greek philosophy and Christian redemption. Women were fervent converts. Creed -Jesus is a god and a man. Middle Ages Rome falls in 476. Plat’s school closes in 529. Christianity spread, and school systems started, Pope started (Chrism’s deputy on earth). The old Roman Empire had 3 distinct cultures – Rome, Istanbul, and the Middle East. Old Greek Science was taken over by the Arabs. Medieval philosophers – took Christ as true. SST. Augustine(430) asked where evil comes from? His answer was that all existence is divine so evil is an absence of God.

There is fate. Through your soul you can know god. Started to be Church vs…. State argument. Thomas Aquinas(1225 – 74) Christianizes Aristotle. You can arrive at God through either faith OR reason. Also, the Bible made sense with Aristotle view of women. (Add a bit here? ) Renaissance + Reformation Birth of humanism – importance of individual. ” Go to the source. ” Many technical economy existed. Man is considered valuable. Not only are we human, but each human is unique. (Individualism) Man did NOT purely exist for God’s sake. Pantheism is the belief that God is present in everything.

A new approach to science emerged: investigate with your senses(empirical) and run experiments. New World View from Copernicus(1 543) & the telescope, followed by Galileo: inertia, gravity. Keeper – path of planets; Newton – Universal Law of Gravitation; Now a personal relationship with god was more important. Reformation – Luther wanted to do away with Church dogmas like indulgences for God’s forgiveness. Thought everyone should read the Bible and be their own priest. Baroque Pearl of irregular shape, careerism & vanity. Gave birth to modern theatre. Reminiscent of Plato – both here&now and celestial. Two viewpoints – idealism & materialism.

Hobbes was a materialist. Newton had a mechanistic world view. Lovelace believed in determinism through science. Leibniz – believed that material can always be broken up while the soul can not be. Descartes(1 596-1650) Both a philosopher and a mathematician; a rationalist, only believed in reason. Wanted to build a philosophical system from the ground up, rather than relying on the work of others. “The father of modern philosophy’ Interested in “certain” knowledge and the relationship between the body and the mind. Was not a total skeptic. There must be a connection between the body and consciousness, but they re not exactly the same. Sort of like Plat’s belief in separation between body & soul. ) Believed in a philosophical system that goes from simple to complex. Realized that you can’t trust your senses. But, he realized that he did doubt his own senses. In order for him to be able to do that, he must exist. Thus, we have “l think, therefore I am. ” What else could he perceive? A perfect entity, God. He felt that the idea of God was innate and therefore also exists. The more self-evident something is to one’s reason, the more certain he was that it must exist. After that quantitative properties (weight, etc. Ere deemed okay, but qualitative ones were not. However, there is an outer reality because a perfect God would not deceive us. God’s guarantee – what we perceive with reason corresponds to reality. Two realities: thought & matter. These two have no contact with each other. Thus, Descartes was a dualist. Animals belong completely to extended reality, but man is a dual creature. Bodily processes obey laws of matter. But, the mind is independent of extended reality. The mind can be affected by the physical, but it can also detach itself. He was an excommunicated Jew. He had a historic-critical interpretation of the

Bible. He wanted to see things from the “perspective of eternity. ” Said God is all, all is God. So he’s a pantheist. In ethical matters, we must free ourselves from all feelings and passions. Unlike Descartes, Spinal was a monist. He only believe in substance. God is all of these substances. We humans recognize two of God’s qualities. God manifests itself as either, or even more, but we only know two. Muff are but a finger of God’s body. ” You are governed according to the laws of nature. He had a deterministic view of the natural world. Everything happens through necessity. Outer circumstances can constrain humans.

Humans will never achieve free will because they are constrained by desire. Locke(1632-1704) He was an empiricist. Which is opposite of a rationalist. There is nothing in the mind that hasn’t been sensed. (Berkeley and Home were other empiricists. ) He had two main questions: Where do we get ideas? And Can we rely on our senses? We are born innocent and then take in information with our senses. A sense is a reflection. (We must classify and process an experience. ) We can only perceive simple sensations. But, after eating an apple, we put these simple sensations together and come up with a complex thought ‘apple.

Primary categories – are all quantitative while secondary categories are relative, like color, etc. Believed in intuitive knowledge and natural right. Home(1711-1776) Empiricist who influenced Kant. Experience is the key to life. You have two perceptions: impressions – which are immediate sensations, and ideas – memories of impressions, they are more faint. Both can be simple or complex. We need to purge false complex ideas. First, figure out which simple ideas go into a complex one. Question of I – a complex idea. Home said that ‘(ego) is a series of impressions in perpetual flux and movement.

He was an agnostic. Only experience counts, so you can’t say that a stone will always fall to the ground. To Home, laws of nature are not really laws, until you experience the cause&effect. (He did NOT deny natural law, but said that we can’t come up with them. ) Just because B follows A doesn’t mean that A caused B. According to Home, reason does not determine what we do, our sentiments(feelings) do. It isn’t reasonable or unreasonable not to help someone in need, Just unkind. You can NOT draw a conclusion from an is sentence to an ought sentence. Thus, right/wrong can not come from reason. Berkeley(1685-1753)

Irish bishop who felt philosophy and science did threaten religion. He was an empiricist. Worldly things ARE as we perceive them. But, we do not perceive material or matter. (We can be tricked into thinking that something is hot or cold. ) All ideas have a cause – a spiritual one. Only other spirits can cause ideas that make up the ‘corporeal’ world. We exist only in the mind of God. Questioned our material reality and time and space. A week or two for us isn’t the same for God. Opposition to authority, rationalism, cultural optimism, return to nature, natural religion and human rights were all themes of the Enlightenment.

Here are some basic tenets of the era: 1) Felt that the individual must find their own answer to each question. (Clergy, kind, nobility) 2) Locke – God and moral norms are within human reason. This was the core idea of the movement. 3) The movement was characterized by an unshakable faith in human reason. (Due to much of the new science around. ) There was a need to enlighten the masses – a great focus on education(pedagogy). First encyclopedia is compiled. 4) cultural optimism – once reason and knowledge are widespread, humanity will progress greatly. 5) Noticed that savages were healthier and happier than Europeans.

This prompted a “return to nature” sentiment. A child should be allowed to be naturally innocent. People wanted a natural harmony between religion and reason. 6) It was believed to be rational to believe in God and an immortal soul. They wanted to strip religion of irrational dogmas. Deism –God never reveals himself in supernatural ways. 7) Fought for the natural rights of citizens, freedom of the press, freedom of thought, abolition of slavery, and more humane treatment of criminals. Declaration of the Rights of Man. Concrete – focused on the rights of women as well. Olympia De

Gauges also fought for women’s rights. She was beheaded and women for forbidden from politics. Kant(1724-1804) Felt it was essential to preserve religion. (Was Christian. ) He was also a professor of philosophy, so he knew about the past. Everybody was concerned with “What can we know about the world? ” There are two possibilities: how we sense it, and how we reason it. Certain conditions govern the mind’s operation which influence the way we experience the world, certain conditions in the human mind contribute to our conception of the world. We can not “take off’ the glasses of time.

These are our modes of perception, not actual physical attributes, necessarily. The mind conforms to things, but things also conform to the mind. Human reason sees everything as cause. “And things as they appear to us” – the thing in itself vs…. The thing for me. ‘ We can say how things will be perceived byte he human mind. Material knowledge – external conditions perceived through senses. Form of knowledge – through time, space and causality. Question! Attribute of human reason to ask, “Where do we come from? ” But it is impossible for us to know since we are one tiny part of the universe.

On these questions, Kant says there will always be two opposing views. We can’t prove God. But humans should have faith. It’s essential to believe in the immortal soul, God and free will. (These are practical postulates to accept w/o proof. ) We can never understand ourselves or the universe completely. Ethics – believed the difference between right and wrong was inherent in human reason. Moral law – since we have reason to distinguish between right and wrong before we are born, acting morally is a categorical imperative. Universal Law of Nature – Do as you’d want everyone else to do in your situation.

Treat people not Just as meaner, but as an end also. We can’t prove what our conscience tells us, but we do indeed know it. Only when you do something out of duty can it be a moral action. The consequence of an action does not determine whether it was right or not. Animals don’t have freedom to follow moral law. We have no freedom if we only listen to our senses. Obey universal reason also – free Cant’s law of morals is conscience. Romanticism Similar to the Renaissance(SP), this was a reaction to the emphasis on reason(from the enlightenment). Art is important to human cognition. Only art can bring us closer to the inexpressible.

University students were anti-middle class at the time. The duty of the romantic was to dream himself away from life. Theme – unrequited love, yearning for nature and natures mysteries. Viewing nature as a whole(Spinal & before). Shelling(1775-1854) – The human soul and physical reality are expressions of one absolute world spirit, (like Spinal). Man bears the whole universe within himself and comes closest to the mysteries of the universe by stepping inside of himself. Nature is an organism, like a flower unfolding or a poet unfolding verses. Von Herder – History is characterized by continuity, evolution and design.

We have to identify with other cultures to understand them better. (national identity) Universal Romanticism and National Romanticism; National – interested in history, language and culture of the people. Considered plants and the nation to be an organism. Fairly tales & Beethoven, the artist has free reign. (hypnotic trance. ) Hegel(no-1831) German with the common phrase, World spirit’. But Hegel used this phrase differently. He meant, “the sum of human utterances. ” Truth is subjective and there is no truth above human reason. All philosophers before said that there were some timeless truths.

Hegel thought that human cognition changed from generation to generation in constant flux. You can’t say that one is better than another. Thoughts at a particular time simply shape the future. So you can’t claim a thought to be correct forever, Just at a particular point in time. A thought may be reasonable now, but not in the future. You can not detach anyone from historical context. The world spirit thought, followed by a dissension, followed by the synthesis of those two ideas. That which is right survives. The thought that women couldn’t think was ruled by opinions and arbitrary inclinations.

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