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8 Cards in this Set

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Why does Aristotle think that there must be a God? Explain briefly his argument for the existence of God and the type of God he believes it shows.
Aristotle argues for the existence of God from the existence of change--specifically motion. Motion cannot exist without the existence of a mover to complement the moved. But if every mover were in itself moved then this would go on into an infinite regress for change is eternal. Therefore motion posits the existence of an unmoved mover. Such a God would have to be fully actual -for if it were in any way potential then it could conceivably change from potential to actual, which is impossible if it is to be unmoved. This entails that God is completely form but devoid of matter--that is pure thought. Aristotle found an analogy between the way everything is moved by God and the way someone is moved by a desire for something (the desideratum being an unmoved mover). He thus thought that all things move because they love and desire to be like the divine such that love literally makes the world go round.
Who are Anniceris, Theodorus and Hegesias? What commitments do they share and what, briefly are their differences?
Cyrenaics. All members of the school claimed a gap between the things in themselves and the pathe (mental states, experiences, emotions) to which they supposedly caused. This leads to the claim that we cannot know or be aware of that which brings about our experiences. So we cannot claim, for instance, that I am seeing a white paper in front of me, but only that I am 'being appeared to whitely.' Similarly they hold that we are not entitled to say that the Good belongs to any part of the world, but only that we have certain subjective experiences of pleasure and pain and that this is the only thing we are entitled to classify as the Good. Anniceris, Theodorus and Hegesias all differ in the different ways they interpreted this kind of Hedonism.

Anniceris identified the highest pleasure as those derived from friendship and patriotism such that we could be justified in making sacrifices for them. Theodorus held that our own pleasure is paramount and that if this leads on occasion to theft, adultury and whatnot then so be it. It is for those reasons that things like friendship and patriotism can be justified (they are only instrumentally valuable). Hegesias held that there was nothing that could be naturally pleasent or unpleasent. As such death is equally desirable to life. The goal of a person's life being, not to obtain the Good, but simply to abstain from Evil i.e. avoid pain.
In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates advances what he regards as a "safe theory of causes." Explain what the theory is and the sense of 'cause' at stake.
Here Plato rejects theories of causation that attempt to explain why something is beautiful by virtue of something such as its shape or color in virtue of what he regards as a 'safe' theory. He holds that something is beautiful if and only if it participates in the form of the Beauty itself. It is a kind of formal causation by which something is beautiful by virtue of its resemblance or particaption in something that is essentially beautiful--i.e. something that is eternally beautiful and is always beautiful no matter what context it is in.
What place does poetry have in the ideal city of the Republic? Explain briefly what Socrates' concerns are and what criteria he advocates for poetry.
Plato does not have much respect for artists in general as they are supposedly third removed from truth (they imitate something in the world which in turn only imitates a Form). That being said, he finds nothing wrong with poetry per se, so long as it is used for the right reason. Given poetry's capacity to stir the emotions, Plato imagines using it for purposes of 'education' by which he instructs them in a 'noble lie' that will guide them to correct action. He imagines capitalizing upon the skills of rhetoricians such that they are used to further the understanding of those who are incapable of grasping the rationality of the system on which Callipolos is based. He also wants to use poetry and myth as a way of 'enobling' the young who are not yet fully capable of rational thought. Poetry and mythology offer examples (such as Heracles etc.) to which the young should imitate and in this way will they be raised in ideals of the city.
What does Aristotle think settles whether the soul, or any part of it, is immortal? Is any part of it immortal, in his opinion? Explain briefly his criteria and the answer he gives
For Aristotle, 'soul' just means that by virtue of which living beings are alive whatever that may be. He thinks that the immortality of the soul depends on whether it can be said to have any features that are 'pecuilar' to it, which would thus make it seperable from the body (which is mortal). Aristotle argued that there is only one part of the soul which is immortal. The soul among its parts (many of which are concurrent with the parts of the body) includes two understandings. One perishable, which is the faculty of representation and one eternal, which is the faculty of abstraction.
What, in outline, is Epicurus' argument for the thesis that all sensations are true? Explain briefly what the conclusion means, including an example of a sensation and what it is true of.
Epicurus argued that it is either the case that: (a) all sensations are false (b) some sensations are false (c) all sensations are true. He argued that since (a) and (b) are wrong, (c) must be true. He argued that (a) is self refuting because all of our judgements depend upon what we are given in sensation. He in turn thinks that there are only three things that could lead us to believe that any sensation is false: (1) a conflicting sensation from a different sense, (2) a conflicting sensation from the same sense and (3) a conflict within reason. (1) is impossible because each sense has its own designated domain such that one sense cannot negate another. (2) is false because no sense can refute itself, if a sensation is contradictory then either it does not exist or there are really two different sensations. (3) is false because of the empiricist thesis that all reason depends on data derived from sensation, therefore reason cannot refute sensation because sensation is reason's foundation. Therefore (b) is false, therefore (c) is true.
Epicurus thinks that we normally think (b) because normally we fail to establish between what is presented (phantasia) in sensations and the beliefs (doxa) we form about them. If I say "this piece of paper is white" then I am not just expressing what is given to me in sensation (the appearance of whiteness) but rather I am making a judgment about how things are based on my sensation.
What is homomensura and who advocated it? Explain what it is and its significance.
Protagoras advocated homomensura by way of his famous phrase "Man is the measure of all things." He stated that there were equally rational arguments to be made on every side of every dispute and as such advocated a kind of relativism. Protagoras most likely took on an infallibilist position by which for any proposition p. If it appears to some Suject that p is true, then p is true for that subject. To say that something is true is to say that it is true relative to a subject.
What is Socrates' argument for the tripartition of the soul in the Republic? Explain the argument and the resulting notion of "part."
Socrates (Plato) argues that no one thing can have contradictory properties. Yet in the behavior of humans we see that much of it is, in fact, unpredictable and contradictory, the only way to explain this would be to assume that each person consisted of several parts, each with their own aims. Each part, then, is actually a loci of desire which takes upon different ends. He argues that there are three such parts as discernable in the three kinds of mutually exclusive behaivor people partake in. There is logos or the deliberative and executive part. There is thumos or the competitive and honor loving part. And there is Epithumia or the acquisitive and appetive part.