After Midterm 2 Flashcards Preview

Philosophy Final > After Midterm 2 > Flashcards

Flashcards in After Midterm 2 Deck (88):

What is the good? What is goodness? (Nicomachean Ethics)

Everyone agrees that it is called (named) Eudaimonia.


Three definitions of happiness (Nicomachean Ethics)

1) Our definition or concept: has a lot to do with emotion
2) The ancient Greek definition: Flourishing.
3) Aristotle’s Definition


What is the ultimate good for human beings (Nicomachean Ethics)

• People are agreed about its name: Eudaimonia
• The prefix, “eu,” means good
• And “daimonian” means spirit (it is the basis of our word demon)
• The word does not refer to an emotional state
• But how does “good spirit” refer to flourishing
• When one flourishes, it is as if one’s life were blessed by a good spirit.
• A divinely blessed life would be a flourishing life.
• One sense of the word “happy” means blessed. (cf. The Beatitudes)
• People are not agreed about what Eudaimonia means
• People suggest pleasure, honour, wealth, and contemplation
• Aristotle suggests we find a clue in the function of humans
• Aristotle suggests the unique capability or function of humans is reasoning
• Therefore, he defines Eudaimonia as activity of the soul in accordance with virtue (the best virtue) over a complete life
• How does this follow from our function being reasoning? What happened to reasoning?
• Here “soul” refers to the principle of life
• Humans have a rational principle of life (as opposed to vegetative or sensitive)
• The activity of a rational soul includes reasoning.


3 things regarding virtue (Nicomachean Ethics)

1. English meaning of virtue
2. Greek meaning of arête: excellence of any kind
3. Aristotle's definition of excellence: A state of mind involving decision making, with the best decision being the intermediate between two extreme vices


Aristotle's definition of excellence (Nicomachean Ethics)

A state of mind involving decision making, with the best decision being the intermediate between two extreme vices


Aristotle's definition of Eudaimonia (Nicomachean Ethics)

Aristotle’s Definition: Activity of the rational soul in accordance with excellence (or the best excellence) over a lifetime.


What is excellence? How is excellence required? (Nicomachean Ethics)

Not by nature
Not by “book learning”


All of these help form the disposition or character.

Aristotle does not explicitly address this question, but he does have an answer.


The doctrine of the mean (Nicomachean Ethics)

¬ General Justice- Lawfulness
¬ Specific Justice-Fairness
¬ Distribution
¬ Rectification, not equal to reciprocity


Anselm's Ontological Argument (Nicomachean Ethics)

Ontos: being

Ontology: the study of beings
¬ a branch of Metaphysics

Metaphysics: the study of the nature of reality

Epistemology: the theory of knowledge

First part of his argument-
Definition of God: a being then which nothing greater can be conceived.

Second part of his argument-
We understand the term god.

Third part of his argument-
God exists in the understanding.


Deductive Knowledge (Has to do with hypnotist question, Nicomachean Ethics)

Certainty but not now.

Ex, "1+2=3"
"if p than q. P therefore q"
"No bachelors are married"

Based on reason
Primacy given to reason


Inductive Knowledge (has to do with hypnotist question, Nicomachean Ethics)

Now, but no certainty

Ex, "10% of flash bulbs fail"
"No human is immortal"
"No human can be hypnotized into doing what they believe is immoral"

Based on observation
Primacy given to reason


Define death

Passage in the Phaedo where Socrates says death is the separation of soul from the body


Define virtue

A state that decides or chooses consisting of a mean relative to us.


Two types of motions (Nicomachean Ethics)

Moved motions (require an Explanation) (possible explanation: the mover was itself moved. But
you cannot go back forever). (Circle
drawn around this on the board).

Unmoved motions (?)

Finite matter
+ infinite time
=finite combinations


Argument about motion (Nicomachean Ethics)

It is certain, and obvious to the senses, that in this world some things are moved. But everything that is moved is moved by another.


Two types of effects (Nicomachean Ethics)

Caused (need an explanation for that cause, there needs to be a first).

Uncaused (?)

Sustaining cause: if the sustaining cause isn’t in effect than the effects themselves cannot go on to have further causes.


Uncaused effect (Nicomachean Ethics)

based on the notion of an efficient cause: We find that among sensible things there is an ordering of efficient causes, and yet we do not find—nor is it possible to find—anything that is an efficient cause of its own self. For if something were an efficient cause of itself, then it would be prior to itself—which is possible.


Sustaining cause effects
(Nicomachean Ethics)

taken from the possible and the necessary, and It goes like this: Certain of the things we find in the world are able to exist and able not to exist for some things are found to be generated and corrupted and, as a result, they are able to exist and able not to exist.


Are contingent things able to exist (Nicomachean Ethics)

Contingent things are possible to exist and possible not to exist. A necessary thing would be able to exist, an impossible thing is not able to exist.


Goals as a Knower (First Meditation)

To have no false beliefs: have no beliefs

To believe all true beliefs: Just believe everything


Reasons to doubt one's own beliefs (First Meditation)

1. The senses can deceive—better not to trust
-Objective, can’t doubt (all) the senses under proper conditions,
1. Good senses
2. Multiple senses confirming,

2. I might be dreaming.
-But cannot be wrong about the simplest basic elements or “simple reasoning” which make up our dreams.

3. There might be an evil genius.

Belief system include falsities,
To get rid of falsities start over.
Can’t check every belief.
Undermine beliefs by undermining foundations.
(Overall Strategy: to find undoubtable beliefs to serve as new foundation).

It's been called Radical Doubt


The cogito argument (First Meditation)

I think, therefore I am.

Someone has suggested it should be “Something thinks” instead of “I think” because it already insinuates you exist.

Descartes when he refers to the soul is referring to the mind. When he refers to the mind he is not referring to the brain. When he refers to the brain he is referring to part of material body.

The difference between these arguments is Decarte thought you can’t think without being aware of it, and he thought that you could walk without being aware of it.


Dualism (First Meditation)

There are 2 kinds of substance:
Presuppositionless starting point,
Either Descartes doubts too little or he doubts too much.


Is Descartes a rationalist (First Meditation)

It is perceived that Descartes is a rationalist


Solipsism (First Meditation)

Ideas--Innate, Cause from outside, Invented by me

He's going to try and prove the existence of god through the three steps


Circular reasoning that Descartes uses (First Meditation)

The problem of the external world:

To know anything about external world need to remove evil genius

If there must be as much in the cause as the effect then only a good/perfect God can explain my idea of God

If there is all powerful perfect/good God then no evil genius

These rotate in a circular motion, from top to bottom


Who is a substance dualist (First Meditation)

-There are two kinds of substance (mind and matter)


Mind, soul: (First Meditation)

Thinking, un-extended substance


Body, brain (matter): (First Meditation)

extended, unthinking substance


What is monism (First Meditation)

-There is only one kind of substance
-2 kinds of monism: materialism and idealism


How can there be casual interaction



Philosophy of mind

Refer to notes on January 31st



Refer to notes on January 31st



the view that everything has a mind

Pan: all--everything has a mind
Psychism: souls



-John Locke- Tabula Raza
-G. Berkeley- To be is to be perceived
-D. Hume



-R. Descartes- I think therefore I am
-B. Spinoza
-G. Leibniz


Hylas-->matter: Immediately perceived (First Meditation)

Dog's footprints
Uses Senses
Sensible qualities


Hylas-->matter: Mediately perceived (First Meditation)

Dog was on beach
Uses sense
Use inferences


What is the mind

a. A distinct kind of substance (Substance Dualism)
b. A variety of certain sorts of behaviour and dispositions (Behaviourism)
c. The brain (Reductive Materialism)
d. It is like a program running on the brain (Functionalism)
e. An outdated idea based on folk psychology (Eliminative Materialism)
f. The only kind of substance that exists (Idealism)


Does matter as a substance exist

a. Yes
b. No


Does innate (knowledge you were born with) knowledge exist?

a. Yes
b. No (Berkeley's position


Define Empiricism

Our best (most trustworthy) knowledge is from experience.


Excessively pictorial (First Meditation)

comes from rejecting abstracts theory of ideas. Which ultimately comes from Tabula Raza

John Locke-had the idea of Tabula Raza- “Blank Slate”


Are ideas equivalent to notions (First Meditation)

Ideas does not equal notions


Burden of proof (First Meditation)

Berkeley: there is no matter
Most people: there is matter


Secondary qualities (First Meditation)

2 arguments: One based on pain and pleasure and one based on relativism.
The list of secondary qualities include: temperature, smell, tastes, sounds, and colours.


Primary qualities

1 argument based on relativism
The list of primary qualities include: size, shape, motion, and weight.


Sense data

J. Locke: tabula raza.
Berkeley: we assemble sensations (sense data) into objects.


Aquinas' Objection #1

Objection 1: If one pair of contraries were infinite, it would totally destroy the other contrary. God is a certain infinite good, and if god existed there would be no evil in the world. Evil exists, therefore God does not.


Aquinas' Objection #2

Things that can be accomplished with few principles are not done through more principles. Everything that happens in the world can be achieved through other principles without God. Things that are natural are traced back to nature as a principle, things that are purposeful are traced back to human reason or will as a principle. Therefore, there’s no need to claim there is a God
Exodus 1:14 contradicts this by saying under the personage of God, “I am Who am”.


Aquinas' five ways to prove there is a God

1. It is obvious to the sense that things in the world are moved. Everything moved is moved by another. For something to affect movement it must be lead from potentiality into actuality which can only be done by a being in actuality. Something can’t be both a mover and be moved. The thing that moves something is moved by another, and so on, but doesn’t go to infinity. There has to be a first mover, which is perceived as God.

2. Sensible things have efficient causes. There is not efficient cause of its own self, because that would mean it would be prior to itself. It’s impossible to go onto infinity among efficient causes. The first is a cause of the intermediate and the intermediate is a cause of the last, regardless if the intermediate is part of many causes or by just one. When a cause is removed, so is its effect. If the efficient causes went on to infinity there would be no first efficient cause therefore no last effect or any intermediate efficient causes. There must be a first efficient cause—God.

3. Certain things are able to exist and able not to exist. This is because some things are found to be generated and corrupted resulting in them being able to exist or not be able to exist. It’s impossible everything that exists should be like this because if it is able to not exist at some point it does not. If everything is able to not exist then nothing would exist at some point, if this is true nothing would still exist. Not all beings are able to exist (and able not to exist), it must be that there is something necessary. Every necessary being has a cause of its necessity from outside itself or it doesn’t. If beings have a cause of their necessity it is impossible to go onto infinity. One must propose something that is necessary that is a cause of necessity for other [necessary] things. This cause of necessity everyone calls God.

4. More and less are part of diverse things since they approach in diverse ways which is maximal. There is something that is maximally true, maximally good, etc. so it is a maximal being. Things that are maximally true are maximally beings. The maximal in a given genus is a cause of all the things belonging to that genus. Therefore, there is something that is a cause for all beings, their goodness, and each of their perfections. This cause is God.

5. Things lacking cognition, namely, natural bodies, act for the reason of an end. This is clear because they always or very frequently act in the same way in order to bring about what’s best. It is clear that it’s not by chance but a result of a tendency to attain the end. Things lacking cognition lean toward an end if they are directed by something that has cognition and intellective understanding. (An arrow directed by an archer). There is something with intellective understanding by which all natural things are going to end. This thing with an intellective understanding is God.


Reply to Aquinas' objection 1

Since God is maximally good, he wouldn’t allow any evil to exist in His works if he were not powerful enough and good enough to draw good from evil. It is part of God’s infinite goodness that He permit evils and elicit goods from them.


Reply to Aquinas' objection 2

Since the direction of a higher agent that nature acts for the sake of a determinate end, those things done by nature must be traced back to God as the first cause. It must be traced back to a higher cause and not to human reason and will; because human reason and will are changeable and subject to failure.


First Meditation

The senses can be deceiving.
It’s impossible to doubt basic beliefs that come from the senses. This is false—when you are sleeping or awake can be deceiving.
Physics, astronomy, medicine, and all other sciences dealing with things that have complex structures are doubtful. Arithmetic, geometry, and other studies of the simplest and most general things contain something certain and indubitable.


Second Meditation

The fact that nothing is certain remains true.
“I think therefore I am”
Things grasped are by the mind’s faculty of judgment


Third Meditation

Whatever you perceive very vividly and clearly is true.
Blind impulse leads one to think there’s things that give ideas or images of themselves through the sense organs
Something can’t arise from nothing
What’s more perfect contains in itself more reality—can’t arise from what is less perfect
The idea of a supremely perfect and infinite being is—God.



Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz--> Wolfe--> Kant



Locke, Berkeley, D. Hume --> God (crossed out) --> self (crossed out) --> minds (crossed out) --> Causation


Occams Razor

The explanation that the fewest entities is the best


Kant's transcondental argument

what must be in order for knowledge to exist?


Naomenal Realm

The things in themselves
Not knowable
What kinds of knowledge are possible for us
Some think it's Metaphysics- very controversial


Phenomenal realm

The things as they appear
Epistenology is primary


What kinds of knowledge are possible for u

Wittgemstein says to answer the question you must answer which kinds of things can be meaningfully expressed


Trausceudental Argument (Deduction)

Epistemology: What conditions are necessary for any knowledge to be possible

Morality: What conditions are necessary for our moral concepts to be possible?

Postulates of reason:
1. Free will
2. After life
3. God


Two terms of good

1)Good without qualification
2)The Good Will
Good will doesn’t mean charity
Good will involves best intentions --> intending to conform to the moral law


Consequentialism (Kant disagrees with)

The rightness or wrongness of an act is determined by the goodness or badness of its consequences



Psychological Egoism: Humans cannot help themselves, they only do things to help themselves; there’s no morality in the world, people aren’t doing it as a duty for good will, but for their own intentions
March 14th, 2018
Maxim: principle the person understands himself or herself to be acting or
Example: Whenever the circumstances are X then I will Y

Skeptic might ask: Why be moral? Why be so mathematical

The golden rule, do unto others as you would have others do onto you

Universalize: imagine if everyone did that

Declarative sentence

Hypothetical statement: if ____ then ___
Hypothetical imperative: if you want X, then you must do Y.

Imperative--> categorical (ultimate moral principle),
-->hypothetical--> problematic, assertoric

The categorical Imperative (C.I)
The first version of the C.I

Duties to self --> perfect

March 16th, 2018
Duties to others -->perfect

March 19th, 2018
The consistent Nazi
Maxim: whenever someone is discovered to be Jewish, they should be exterminated

Generalized Maxim: whenever someone is discovered to belong to a group that my group disapproves of they should be exterminated



You have autonomy if you are able to govern yourself

Auto Nomy
Self Law
Self Governing


Ought implies can,

1. If one ought to do X, then one can do X.
2. It is not the case that one can do X.
3. Therefore, it is not the case that one ought to do X.

^Has to do with responsibility and autonomy


Doctrine Double Effect

An act (jumping on the hand-grenade) has two effects, one good (save 7 kids) and one bad (Kids die, you live) effect. The rules to make the act a moral one:
1. The good must outweigh the bad
2. The bad must not be the means to achieve the good
3. You must not intend the bad


Doctrine of Double Effect

Act--> Effect #1: Good
Effect #2: Bad

1. The good outweighs the bad
2. The bad is not the means to good
3. You do not intend the bad (you can foresee)


Utilitarianism and who is associated with this term

Utilitarianism: maximize happiness for the greatest number

-J.S Mill
-J. Benthan


Defining lying

a) Stating what you believe to be false
b) Knowingly deceiving someone


Kant on the right to tell lies

-Claims that truthfulness in statements that one cannot avoid is a duty to everyone. The duty to speak truthfully, regardless of the harm that is caused to another or to oneself has to be regarded as the basis of all duties based on contract
-views the law as having to do with the external actions and not with the internal motivations
-Believes that the formulas (3 formulas of categorical importance) are equivalent. There is only one single categorical importance; the different formulas represent the 'same law' and suggests from the moral perspective, we proceed in accordance with the strict method


What are the three fields of Philosophy and what is involved in these three fields

Either “empirical” study of our experiences or “pure” analysis of concepts


Define Metaphysics

the study of pure concepts as they relate to moral or physical experience


What must moral principles be based on?

Concepts of reason, as opposed to particularities of culture or personality


General principles about moral duties

1) actions are moral if and only if they are undertaken for the sake of morality alone (without ulterior motive),
2) the moral quality of an action is judged not according to action’s consequences, but according to the motive that produced it,
3) actions are moral only if they are undertaken out of respect for the moral law


Can freedom of the will be demonstrated by experience

Never, it is a principle of reason that everything we understand may be explained on the basis of prior conditions


Define Categorical imperative

act only in such a way that you could want the maxim (the motivating principle) of your action to become a universal law. A requirement that we must not treat other rational beings as mere means to our own purposes.


Define Moral law

must express the principle that actions should be undertaken with pure motives, without consideration of consequences, and out of pure reverence for the law


Define Lost Island (Gaunilo)

Definition: The Lost Island is that than which no greater Island can he conceived
-Exists in the mind, but not reality
-Existence in reality is greater than existence in the understanding alone
-It is conceivable that the Lost Island exists in reality
-It is conceivable that there is an island greater than the Lost Island
-There is an island greater than that Island than which no greater island can be conceived


Define death (plato)

The ultimate separation of the soul and body. Regards the body as a prison for the soul and view death as the means of freedom for the soul. Death does not occur when bodily functions cease.


Define virtue (Aristotle)

a disposition to behave in the right manner and as a mean between extremes of deficiency and excess, which are vices. We learn moral virtue primarily through habit and practice rather than through reasoning and instruction.


Define Doctrine of the Mean (Aristotle)

According to the doctrine of the mean, virtue is a mean state between extremes of excess and deficiency. Aristotle describes this mean state as an “intermediate relative to us.” To find the mean relative to us is to find the state of character that “correct reason” requires.


Define Soul (Descartes)

Thought that people were composed of a body and soul. Without souls, human beings were essentially robotic entities


Define reductive materialism

The view that only the material world (matter) is truly real, and that all processes and realities observed in the universe can be explained by reducing them down to their most basic scientific components.


Mediate perception (Berkeley)

We have mediate perception only when we have immediate perception, although the immediate perception need not be temporally prior. Objects of mediate perception are physical existents that are represented by the sense-data or constructed out of sense-data. Immediately perceived is nothing, but the physical objects themselves.