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28 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Define "philosophy" as written in slide 1:
Inquiry into the meaning of concepts and the logical coherence of argument.
Explain the difference between a "contingent truth" and a "necessary truth":
May be true contingently that ill-educated people are uncooperative. But it is not necessarily true. Not true by definition.
What is analytic philosophy?
Inquiry into the meaning of concepts and the logical coherence of argument.
Define "concept":
The idea of a class of objects. (Cf. Words, ideas, thoughts, images.)
Briefly define "empirical":
Derived from experiment and observation
Explain the 4 stages of cognition:
Imagining, belief, thinking, knowledge.
What is a key question asked by analytic philosophers?
What are the criteria that define a concept?
What is distinctive of humans?
In the normative/evaluative sense of “human”, the distinctive criterion is Mind.
Mind = developed understanding. Dependent on language.
What is necessary to being educated in a normative sense?
Peters: to have a well-developed mind = a well-developed understanding.
What are the four criteria that pick out the formal nature of the understanding:
i) Breadth ii) “Cognitive perspective” iii) Transformation of the agent
iv) Commitment to standards implicit in a subject
What was Spencer's argument?
Complete living involves: i) self-preservation ii) securing necessities of life iii) rearing of offspring iv) maintenance of relationships v) leisure
What was Spencer's ideal curriculum?
Curriculum to match: i) physiology ii) math, chemistry, geology, biology iii) psychology iv) sociology v) ?
What is Hirst's "Form of Knowledge"?
Basic claim: there are a few subjects/ disciplines that between them have the potential to yield answers to questions about all aspects of our world, and are in that sense fundamental. E.g. science and mathematical questions can be asked about almost anything; by contrast, while you can ask scientific questions about, e.g., gardening, you cannot ask gardening questions about science.
What is the formal definition of a form of knowledge?
Formal definition of a form of knowledge.
i) Has its own distinctive concepts
ii) Has its own distinctive logic
iii) Has its own distinctive tests against experience to establish truth
By his criteria, Hirst originally distinguished 8 forms of knowledge. What were they?
Science, Maths, Human Sciences, History, Moral Knowledge, Religion, Philosophy, Literature & the Fine Arts
What are the criteria that define knowledge? Which criterion is the most problematic?
Criteria that define knowledge: i) a belief
ii) that is true (corresponds to a state of affairs in the world)
iii) for which we have justification.
The crucial and problematic criterion is the third
What is a need?
A necessary means to a desired end.
Define indoctrination:
To cause people to become committed to unverifiable ideas or bodies of belief uncritically, especially of a religious or political kind.
List the three necessary conditions for indoctrination:
1 Non-rational methods.
2 Content: unverifiable beliefs
3 Intention: to close the mind.
What's the difference between education and indoctrination?
Education, by contrast with indoctrination, provides reasoning/evidence, and understanding that some matters are not capable of definitive proof.
What are skills?
Skills are discrete (usually physical) abilities made perfect by practice.
Developing a skill and developing understanding are quite distinct.
What is religion?
A set of beliefs concerning a supernatural divine being(s), with certain specific attributes (e.g., omnipotence, love, vengeful nature), who has power over us and who is to be worshipped/recognized/revered.
Is religion a form of knowledge?
No. It lacks a distinctive way of “testing against experience.”
We cannot “know” that a particular religion is true.
What is morality?
“A set of beliefs concerning how we ought to
live; what we ought to do for its own sake rather than through, e.g., fear, seeking reward, compulsion.”
Explain how moral relativism is both true and false:
If “moral relativism” implies that “morality can be defined in any way you choose” or that “any moral code adopted by a society is as ‘true’ or ‘acceptable’ as any other”, then it is false.
If it implies that there may be, within limits, different codes of behaviour that are equally moral, it is true.
What are the five fundamental moral principles?
Freedom: presupposed by the very idea of morality.
Fairness: treating people impartially (which does not necessarily mean in the same way).
Respect for Persons: recognising others as persons and ends in themselves. (Immanuel Kant,1724-1802.R.M.Hare).
Truth: a value presupposed by any sincere attempt to understand anything. Logically connected to notions of right and good.
Human well-being, flourishing, happiness. The object of morality. (Utilitarianism; Jeremy Bentham,1748-1832; John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873; Geoffrey Warnock, The Object of Morality.)
What is the scientific method?
Assumption that laws govern matter. By observation and experiment we infer laws of causation.
[Correlation: “correspondence.” High correlation = close correspondence.]
Why can't the scientific method be used in social sciences?
i) Concepts are not (usually) unequivocal or directly perceivable (recognizable).
ii) Humans are not inanimate and may “interfere” with experiment.
iii) Trying to control thousands of possible variables in these circumstances is at best a daunting task, perhaps impossible.