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Free «Philosophy Issues» Essay Sample

SESSION 1

A

Socrates: And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: Behold! Human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

B

Socrates: And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: Behold! Human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads.

The words of Socrates: And now, let me show how far the world is either civilized or uncivilized, whereby humanity is tied in a den and can only see the light that travels there but cannot get out enjoying it. They are so much tied to what they see that they cannot realize that other things do exist.

 Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

Surrounding them is a fire from which they are prevented by walls raised in between, just like prisoners from escaping the cells. It is a wall like a screen, which presents to the people what is not, hiding what is.

C

The words of Socrates: And now, let me show how far the world is either civilized or uncivilized, whereby humanity is tied in a den and can only see the light that travels there but cannot get out enjoying it. They are so much tied to what they see that they cannot realize that other things do exist.

Surrounding them is a fire from which they are prevented by walls raised in between, just like prisoners from escaping the cells. It’s a wall like a screen, which presents to the people what is not, hiding what is.

Is C an accurate representation of A?

In this phrase, Socrates speaks of a people blocked from seeing what reality is and believing that what has been presented to them is gospel truth. Their minds and eyes only know of a situation, in which they are forced into accepting and believing.

SESSION 2

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A

Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once. Yet although the senses sometimes deceive us about objects that are very small or distant, that doesn’t apply to my belief that I am here, sitting by the fire, wearing a winter dressing-gown, holding this piece of paper in my hands, and so on. It seems to be quite impossible to doubt beliefs like these, which come from the senses. Another example: how can I doubt that these hands or this whole body are mine? To doubt such things I would have to liken myself to brain-damaged madmen who are convinced they are kings when really they are paupers, or say they are dressed in purple when they are naked, or that they are pumpkins, or made of glass. Such people are insane, and I would be thought equally mad if I modeled myself on them.

B

Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once.

All that I accept as being true is what my senses say it is, but they have at times failed me, giving me reason not to fully trust them again.

Yet although the senses sometimes deceive us about objects that are very small or distant, that doesn’t apply to my belief that I am here, sitting by the fire, wearing a winter dressing-gown, holding this piece of paper in my hands, and so on.

However, although our senses are known to lie about little issues that should almost be obvious, I cannot doubt that am seated in this dressing and by the fire.

It seems to be quite impossible to doubt beliefs like these, which come from the senses. Another example: how can I doubt that these hands or this whole body are mine? To doubt such things I would have to liken myself to brain-damaged madmen who are convinced they are kings when really they are paupers, or say they are dressed in purple when they are naked, or that they are pumpkins, or made of glass. Such people are insane, and I would be thought equally mad if I modeled myself on them.

On the same note, it is hard to doubt what comes from the senses. That these hands and the whole body are mine I cannot doubt, otherwise I be likened to mad men who call themselves kings yet they are paupers and claim to be dressed when indeed they are naked.

C

All that I accept as being true is what my senses say it is, but they have at times failed me, giving me reason not to fully trust them again. However, although our senses are known to lie about little issues that should almost be obvious, I cannot doubt that am seated in this dressing and by the fire. On the same note, it is hard to doubt what comes from the senses. That these hands and the whole body are mine I cannot doubt, otherwise I be likened to mad men who call themselves kings yet they are paupers and claim to be dressed when indeed they are naked.

Is C an accurate representation of A?

When saying these, Descartes means to give an implication that our senses are never always right.

And, therefore, they do not deserve to be trusted fully. He, however, argues that what our senses present as right is almost entirely true, but at times, they do lie. His argument that doubting one’s senses can be likened to being mad shows that he is an advocate of believing in one’s senses.

SESSION 3

A

Nor must I imagine that, since the reality that I consider in these ideas is only objective, it is not essential that this reality should be formally in the causes of my ideas, but that it is sufficient that it should be found objectively. For just as this mode of objective existence pertains to ideas by their proper nature, so does the mode of formal existence pertain to the causes of those ideas by the nature peculiar to them.

B

Nor must I imagine that, since the reality that I consider in these ideas is only objective, it is not essential that this reality should be formally in the causes of my ideas, but that it is sufficient that it should be found objectively.

Is it well if I consider that it is not obvious that the reality that I consider in my ideas is intentional and what I want to believe in or rather that it is good and enough that they are indeed intentional?

For just as this mode of objective existence pertains to ideas by their proper nature, so does the mode of formal existence pertain to the causes of those ideas by the nature peculiar to them. 

Just as the ideas seem to be intentional in nature, so do their very own causes.

C

Is it well if I consider that it is not obvious that the reality that I consider in my ideas is intentional and what I want to believe in or rather that it is good and enough that they are indeed intentional? Just as the ideas seem to be intentional in nature, so does their very own causes.

Is C an accurate representation of A?

Descartes says this to mean that some ideas may not just be as they are, but the motive behind them may be of great influence to their meaning and intentions. The very causes of these ideas, therefore, should not be treated as innocent, but truth be told they are as well intentional.

SESSION 4

A

They depend on the primary qualities. What I have said concerning colors and smells may be understood also of tastes and sounds, and other the like sensible qualities, which, whatever reality we by mistake attribute to them, are in truth nothing in the objects themselves, but powers to produce various sensations in us; and depend on those primary qualities, viz. bulk, figure, texture, and motion of parts, as I have said. 

B

They depend on the primary qualities. What I have said concerning colors and smells may be understood also of  tastes and sounds, and other the like sensible qualities, which, whatever reality we by mistake attribute to them, are in truth nothing in the objects themselves, but powers to produce various sensations in us; and depend on those primary qualities, viz. bulk, figure, texture, and motion of parts as I have said. 

Whatever is said and believed to be true as concerns colors, smells may be true of tastes and sounds, since it all depends on the primary qualities. The attributes given to these are nothing near truth, but mere sensations in the minds of people.

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C

Whatever is said and believed to be true as concerns colors, smells may be true of tastes and sounds, since it all depends on the primary qualities. The attributes given to these are nothing near truth, but mere sensations in the minds of people.

Is C an accurate representation of A?

Locke speaks of human understanding as being complicated, since what they seem to believe in is nowhere near existence, but just sensations they have themselves created.

SESSION 5

A

But, besides all that endless variety of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise something, which knows or perceives them, and exercises divers operations, as willing, imagining, remembering, about them. This perceiving, active being is what I call mind, spirit, soul, or myself. By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, wherein, they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived.

B

But, besides all that endless variety of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise something which knows or perceives them, and exercises divers operations, as willing, imagining, remembering, about them. This perceiving, active being is what I call mind, spirit, soul, or myself.

True it is that there is a set of endless ideas and objects of knowledge, yet there is only one thing that knows and perceives them all, the mind, spirit, soul and self.

By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, wherein, they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived.

By saying these, I make reference not to any idea, but a fact that distinguishes across them all, where and why they were perceived; for it is true that an idea not perceived never exists.

C

True it is that there is a set of endless ideas and objects of knowledge, yet there is only one thing that knows and perceives them all, the mind, spirit, soul and self. By saying these, I make reference not to any idea, but a fact that distinguishes across them all, where and why they were perceived; for it is true that an idea not perceived never exists.

Is C an accurate representation of A?

Berkeley says this to appreciate the role of oneself, mind, spirit and soul in generation and existence of ideas, for without humanity, there could never be ideas.

Sessions 6

A

20. All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a proposition, which expresses a relation between these figures. That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe. Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths

Demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty and evidence.

21. Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible; because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so conformable to reality. That the sun will not rise tomorrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction than the affirmation, that it will rise. We should in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood. Were it demonstratively false, it would imply a contradiction, and could never be distinctly conceived by the mind.

B

All objects of human rationality may be dichotomized into wisdom, ideology and fact. The first type is the mathematical, which is either determined or unknown. Given a square as is a product of its two faces is a theory linking the faces. A product of digit five and three is fifteen links the two numbers. These theories are possible through reason without relying on fiction. Non-existence of these shapes in nature before proves that Euclid was correct.

Reality, being basis of rationality, is not similar nor true, however big its existence. However, criticism is still allowed, since it cannot be the opposite and it is similarly thought to be real. Contradicting facts of nature will not suffice. Instead, we should determine why it cannot work. If nature is believed to be the opposite, it would negate facts and never imagined.

C

In these propositions, Euclid is categorical in isolating fiction and fact. According to him,  mathematical concepts play a major role in determining rationality and influencing the way people will believe and build their imaginations. Euclid is, thus, correct in shaping thought process of mathematicians and physicists.

Session 7

A

3. Having kept a sharp eye on philosophers, and having read between their lines long enough, I now say to myself that the greater part of conscious thinking must be counted among the instinctive functions, and it is so even in the case of philosophical thinking; one has here to learn a new, as one learned anew about heredity and "innateness." As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" opposed to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life For example, that the certain is worth more than the uncertain, that illusion is less valuable than "truth" such valuations, in spite of their regulative importance for US, might notwithstanding be only superficial valuations, special kinds of naiserie, such as may be necessary for the maintenance of beings such as ourselves. Supposing, in effect, that man is not just the "measure of things."

 
 
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4. The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life- preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely imagined world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live--that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil.

B

Being wary of philosophers and after long periods of studying, instincts are the product of conscience and philosophy, with roots in inherited genes that are influenced by environmental factors. The abilities and capacities of the human mind are individual gifts. Good and bad are antonyms and man is worth more than being categorized as the extremes of these. No one is absolutely right, as no language may bear truth. Regardless of our quest for longevity, our judgments will not be always right. There ought to be merging of fact and fiction, as well as true and false. Numbers have helped man to control the universe and live without necessarily guessing and estimating.

C

Friedrich Nietzsche was a philosopher, who arrived at the conclusion that abilities of people are inborn and only molded by their interactions with systems. Humans have the capacity to determine good and bad. None has absoluteness to right and wrong, and so depends on accepted facts to bring equality and similar platform of understanding. He, therefore, linked item 3 and 4 with statements critiquing human capacity to absoluteness.

Session 8

A

4) In the fourth argument when Aquinas is referring to “the Philosopher”, he more than likely means Aristotle. The context of this argument also gives support to this claim, in that Aquinas is arguing for a type of virtue or maximal state of being. Aristotle established the paradigmatic work on virtue with his Nicomachean Ethics. 

5) The final argument makes use of final causation, an object’s aim or purpose. This argument also relates to later arguments on Teleology or arguments from design.

In the replies at the end of this essay, note the juxtaposition of evil with nature. These themes are of major importance for the integration of religion and science, which has become problematic.

This argument makes use of the ideas of “whole” and “parts”, or as a classical phrase formulates: the problem of the one and the many. In a sense it is a reformulation of the argument that something cannot come from nothing, therefore some cause is the reason for the nature of the plurality of things. It furthers the development of the ideas inside/outside, or in Clarke’s language, within/without, which can be fruitfully contrasted with necessary being/dependent being, at least for this particular essay.

B

Aquinas believed that a philosopher is Aristotle and vice versa. His belief was based on his platform of values, in which he epitomized Aristotle as being ethical. He pointed out the necessity of having and aim or objective, which later arguments supported. He opined themes relating science and religion. Contingency approach had purposed to bring relationship between parts and the whole. It defines the basics of existence and building of systems.

C

Aquinas, Aristotle and contingency theorists were philosophers with religious shrewdness. Other scientists coming into arguments with religious leaders had to base their critique or beliefs on fact or fiction/faith. Contingency approach seemed to have negated Aquinas’s religious belief in being created from nothing but a word.

Session 9

 A

Before elaborating on the upcoming readings, I want to make clear what I consider to be the main issue. The issue is the demarcation between “Design” arguments and “Creationism.” Evil takes a back seat, how interesting! Both sides would like to make this issue clear, but cannot, because there is no criterion to clearly distinguish between the two. The arguments boil down to a matter of definition that allows the arguer to espouse their theory as superior: do not forget Beyond Good and Evil # 6: "It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of, namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious autobiography; and moreover, that the moral (or immoral) purpose in every philosophy has constituted the true vital germ, out of which the entire plant has always grown. Indeed, to understand how the abstruse metaphysical assertions of a philosopher have been arrived at, it is always well (and wise) to first ask oneself:

It would be advisable to go back and re-read the introduction to the Ontological argument and its critique. In this, you may observe that the perspective has moved from the ABC structure to the interpretation of the proper name of LORD, then from the death of being to the birth of the Dionysian actor. From the Bible we have: “‘I AM has sent me to you.” Then, the pronouncement of the death of being, found in Kant, Nietzsche re-interprets this in a tempting questionable formulation: “... his morality furnishes a decided and decisive testimony as to WHO HE IS,--that is to say, in what order the deepest impulses of his nature stand to each other.”

B

Briefly touching upon the previous researches, the issue of creationism and design can be differentiated. Both state that evil has no basis in existence. Their themes are regarded as mighty and such that cannot be defined with human weakness in mind. Both assert that good and evil have a beginning, but scientists and philosophers have not really reached a consensus on the matter.

Revisiting ontological debates puts greater emphasis on defining and understanding the word LORD. Birth of a Dionysian actor and birth of a being can offer totally different perspectives on how birth of one responses to the death of another, as defined by Kant and Nietzsche

C

Human existence by chance or creation is debatable, but regardless of which side of the debate one is on, there is one similarity, which can be identified with a supreme being. The supremacy of the deity is unfathomable and can only be used to question the opinions of philosophers. Philosophy regards their basic platforms of arguments as emanating from another philosophical position. It is imperative to revisit ontological arguments and critique them. It could be that the ABC model may change the understanding of the LORD, human demise and rise of a Dionysian actor. Nietzsche revisits the concept of deity supremacy and seeks to know whether the meaning of ‘I AM has sent me’ may require glorification of other natural supremacies, which are not present by default.

Session 10

A

Dembski wants to bring back design arguments. Something that should be understood as entailing the meaning of final causation, which is the real issue between design and creationism. It is simply a matter of the scope or formal definition of final causation used to justify the particular context of argument. 

Dembski’s position relies heavily on the argument that enables us to distinguish chance from design. Hopefully I can make it clearer for you. When you think about the chance of a coin toss coming up heads or tails, you understand that those are the only two possibilities, so that if it comes up heads at one time and tails at another time there is nothing mysterious in that, and it should be about 50/50 heads to tails. But, if it were to come up heads all the time, then you should be suspicious and look for an explanation as to why this is so. This is what Dembski’s intent is when he justifies the distinctions between levels of complexity. He wants to answer the question whether the phenomenon being observed is exhibiting chance features or qualities that are a sign of regularity.

Once again, we encounter Hume’s interlocutors Dema, Philo and Cleanthes. Philo has been interpreted as the voice of Hume’s skepticism, however if you read closely, Philo tacitly endorses design, when he accepts purpose and intention in nature. So don not be too quick to jump to skeptical conclusions about what is being said.

B

Dembski reintroduces the debate on creation and evolution as being an issue of end justifying means. He believes in probability and absolute confidence. He reiterates the act of tossing a coin and depending on fairness as the only point of ensuring a probable chance for each side of the coin. He intends to seek reason and logic behind these probability criteria. Philo, on the other hand, relies on Hume’s propositions, which explain why this happens. He does not try to manipulate situations, but believes that any occurrence is an act of nature, and not man

C

Dembski and Philo could be reading on opposite side of a flip. They regard probability and natural occurrence as conflicting possibilities. It could be seen from Philo’s point that an action has predetermined reason and justification, which no man can influence, which runs contrary to Dembski’s belief.

   

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