Philosophy Essay: the Metaphysical and Epistemological Questions

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Explain, in detail, the story that is Platos myth of the cave.
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Why, when one is doing philosophy, is it not enough to memorize the famous philosophical theories of those who have gone before you?
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What are some of the epistemological questions that a philosopher might ponder?
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Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Some of the questions that fall in that category are trying to find the truth, or what truth might be. Is real knowledge even possible? How do we know what we believe is true? Is there only one God? Who says I’m wrong for not believing and what determines that as \”real truth\”? Which brings on questions of is there a singular truth, or multiple?
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What are some of the metaphysical questions that philosophers have argued about?
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Metaphysics questions are place as humans in the universe. What is reality? An important theory is determinism which states we are all not free and ruled by some sort of law. Issues with religion, our destinies, and soul are questioned constantly. Why are humans here, and what happens once we die? Is there one predetermined reality, or is reality what we make of it? Will we reap what we sow?
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What are some of the ethical issues that we continue to grapple with as a society
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Ethics is a huge area studying our values as humans. What determines our moral beliefs. Today, a major issue is should marijuana be considered a drug, or a medicine? Is abortion a woman’s right, or a murder of a humans life? What decides what is morally correct, and what we should follow by? Opinions differ, majority shall rule, but who is \”right\”?
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Who was Gandhi, who/what did he oppose, and what was the principal of ahimsa that he lived by?
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Mahatma Gandhi was a great Indian philosopher in the twentieth-century. Gandhi struggled against the British rulers of India with nonviolent, or ahimsa practices. He fought against discrimination of religion and race. He wouldn’t harm any living thing, and resisted evil.
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Who was Socrates, how did he pursue knowledge, how did he perform a \”gadfly\” role in Athenian society, and why was he sentenced to death?
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Socrates, a Greek philosopher, is what considered the father of philosophy. Although he didn’t leave behind writings, his fellow student Plato left Dialogues about Socrates. Socrates questioned people in a manner of finding the holes within their logic. He questioned all the tradition beliefs of his day like religion, justice, knowledge, and morality. When things went sour, his attitude and loaded questions left everyone blaming him. No one liked their firm beliefs being question, nor being shown a fool. He was a scapegoat, and the perfect target. I think he was right to question, and right to pick at beliefs he thought were not justified.
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According to Darwin, how does natural selection occur? Why does his concept of evolution, as applied to human beings, seem to some people to threaten the Traditional Western philosophical view of human nature and mankind’s role in the world?
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Genetics are shared through generations for the help of survival. Natural selection is the belief that species evolve over time to survive. The concept was applied to humans which goes against the Traditional Western philosophy that humans were born with the ability to reason. Evolution completely goes against this theory saying that humans evolved from a lower form. This distorts the views that we were born with the ability to separate us from animals, but evolution doesn’t separate us like a higher being. We just developed a way to be higher than animals.
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Why do some feminists balk at Traditional philosophy and Traditional views of human nature? Why do they consider the tradition that has roots with Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine and Philo to be sexist?
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Why do philosophers wrestle with trying to reconcile the mind and the body? What problems are involved? Why are various approaches unsatisfying?
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The mind and the body is a complex conversation. The Judeo-Christians believed that the mind and body was created out of God’s image. Our body was made from his image, our minds are able to love, and we can make mistakes. Descartes’ believed the body is just a material asset to this world, and the mind is not. Freud on the other hand things we are all selfish, and Schlick believed that we are only made to act out of self interest.
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What do functionalists believe? What are some objections to their beliefs?
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The functionalists believe that the mind controls just the body and brain. A mind is what connects the body to the sensory inputs which creates external actions. So even a machine, or anything that can respond to a demand has a mind. Functionalist believe that if you achieve that, every person will process the same. Not every person will consciously choose the exact same things every time. The same with some people like mushrooms, and I think they are disgusting. Just because we have a mind doesn’t mean everything will be the same.
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In what way does someone remain the same person from babyhood on? In what ways does he become someone else by adulthood and old age?
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A person can remain the same from birth by keeping certain characteristics of themselves. Once you’re born you always have the comfort of family, and that will never go away. Once entering adulthood you break away from dependency, but you still want the comfort of family. Once you’ve grown old you’ve created your own family, and although the one you started with is gone you still have that family love to pass on.
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What is the difference in philosophy between those with an atomistic view of the self and those with a relational view of the self?
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People with an atomistic view believe they can define themselves alone, and independent. It’s how we can view ourselves regardless of others. Descartes could isolate himself and find out what was true and false to him. The relational view of self decides your view based on your relationship with others. The way you define yourself decides your view based on relationships with other people. I think there is a mixture of both. Hegel claimed that sometimes you don’t notice things until others do, and I fully agree. It’s a give and take from both sides.
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What do materialists believe? What are some objections to materialism?
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Materialist believe that the world only exist of material objects. The only thing that exist is what is physically around us. The Charvaka philosophers believed that only what our senses can perceive is real. The world is just a material thing. Some of the objections to this belief was idealism. Idealist believe the world existed in our mind and what we made of it. Reality was created by our own perception. Like Berkley believed, our ideas and perceptions are the only reality
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How did Berkeley explain the universe around him? What did he mean when he spoke of subjective idealism and objective idealism?
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For Berkeley he believed that reality is what the mind makes of it. Everything we know is through experience with our senses. He breaks it down to saying that some things we can control with our mind the way we want, which is subjective idealism. Some things are always there regardless, which is objective idealism. Subjective idealism are ideas that can be controlled by your own mind, but objective idealism are the things we cannot change around us, like the color of the sky.
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In what ways did the famous pragmatists differ in their views? What views and attitudes did they share in common, and what did they criticize about traditional philosophy?
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Peirce, Dewey, and James all focused on the fact you can use reason to understand and help create reality. James didn’t want philosophy to stop connecting with personal and social problems. He was interested in peoples personal experiences. Dewey believed that philosophy is only important at the degree it helps resolve problems. Pierce was more concerned with scientific function of ideas.
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Why did Alfred Ayer and other logical positivists believe that many statements and many lines of philosophical inquiry are, literally, nonsensical?
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Ayer argued that a statement that isn’t tautology or a statement of fact is meaningless. This also included ethical, and theological statements. Moral arguments are pointless to Ayer.
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In what ways do antirealists say that language affects reality? Give some examples.
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Antirealists believe that language perceives our world. There are several different languages, so there can be different realities depending on how we describe it. Our language decides what the moon is and what it means to us. Other languages may look at the moon with another name and a God like meaning. We know why it rains, and what we need it for. Other cultures, with a different language may see rain as a blessing. Language can create new meanings.
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What are Jean Grimshaw’s objections to the arguments of antirealist feminists?
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Grimshaw objects to the anti-realist feminists, because we cannot believe that just our language can decide our reality and makes it valid. Men can believed that woman are nothing be oppressed, and we must take that reality as valid even if women know it isn’t. So not every reality can always be assumed true and valid, because a reality will exist over another language or groups thoughts. This brings us to now having one true reality and every persons reality must be accepted as true and equal. No one would win that fight.
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What did Edmund Husserl mean by \”bracketing\” when he talked about how we experienced an object? What needs to be bracketed?
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to bracket an object, is to separate ourselves from assuming what is actually there. Husserl wanted us to find what actually exist, our consciousness. Sure we can see, touch, and feel things that we have, but Husserl wants us to challenge what we consider always here. So to bracket you must forget the assumptions of what you can see, touch, and feel and let it be to make sure it’s real. You will know that you are experiencing and aware of it instead of just assuming the obvious.
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What are some of the causes of existential angst and anxiety?
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Some existentialist believe anxiety is produced from our fear. We feel anxious changing from the normal, and take a chance on something different or out of our comfort zone. When challenging ourselves or stepping out of shoes we are creating anxiety for ourselves instead of sticking to something we know and are comfortable with.
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What did Sartre mean when he wrote about an in-itself as opposed to a for-itself? What is the distinction, and what, according to him, can make a person more like one than the other?
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An in-itself, to Sartre, were the objects in which we are aware of. To be for-itself you must have a consciousness. Humans are a for-itself. We have the ability to love, hate, think, touch, imagine, and an in-itself cannot. Being able to act upon something and change makes us for-itself. Although if we do not act, or take on some thought of ourselves we are acting more in-itself. We must move forward and act upon our intuition to separate ourselves from in-itself characteristics.
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What are some arguments in favor of NOT holding murderers like Leopold and Loeb and Thomas Koskovich responsible for their crimes?
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Determinists argue that everything is pre-determined. If we can only act out what is suppose to happen anyways how can we be held responsible for our actions? Also, we cannot be free if everything is already determined. By using previous events and laws of nature to determine the future kept the two crimes from the death penalty. I have to disagree that everything is determined because you can always choose what you want to do, especially if you have the mental capability of deciding from what is right or wrong.
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What are some of the philosophical arguments in favor of holding Leopold and Loeb and Thomas Koskovich responsible for the murders they committed?
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Libertarianism holds that we have control, and are free, unlike determinism. We have the choice to do what we want, and we can choose whether or not to commit a crime. Having that choice, we should be help responsible for our actions, regardless of the previous events. At the end of the day we can choose for ourselves, and it hasn’t already been determined. With that being said, despite their lives thus far, in both crimes they could decipher what is right and wrong. If you can do that, then you can take responsibility for your actions.
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What are some different philosophical approaches to the matter of time?
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St. Augustine believes time itself really only exists when it’s happening. The past is just a mental existence, and the future as well. Neither actually exist. He also deciphers between subjective time and objective time. Subjective time is time how we experience it with a past, present, and future. Objective time is more of a fixed timeline of events that happen one after the other never claiming the past, present, or future title. Kant believes that it’s just something we came up with to put order into our lives.
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What are some of the definitions of religion that philosophers and intellectuals have offered? Do their definitions cover all faiths? How would you define religion?
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Religion is a very complex word to define. For many religion is belief in God, but some religions don’t believe in a God. Religion is more of an organized group practicing worship for an afterlife. Smart had 6 parts to a religion, which very well did sum up most.
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Why does David Hume say that evil is a problem, for those who want to believe in an all-good, all-powerful God? How do St. Augustine and others defend the idea of God in the face of evil in the world?
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What are some arguments that feminist philosophers make about traditional representations of God, and religion? How would some change things?
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What did William James mean about the will to believe? Why does he not see rational thought as the answer to these big questions about God?
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For James the will to believe was just your own personal want to believe in a God. If you want to believe, you can. If you don’t, you won’t, but that didn’t prove whether God was real or not. You just have to choose whether you’re strong enough to believe in something that may or may not be true.
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What was William Paley’s argument/proof that there is a God? What kind of mechanical object did he imagine finding, by way of analogy?
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Why did Soren Kierkegaard condemn the religious practices he saw around him and traditional proofs of the existence of God? What did he mean about making a leap of faith?
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Kierkegaard despised religious practice because he believed it should be something within you, that you choose to believe. You must choose if you will take the \”leap of faith\” in believing. What he meant by that was, to decide if you will accept faith in God despite proof.

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