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Flashcards in Philosophy - Plato and Aristotle Deck (94)
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1
Q

What is epistemology?

A

The branch of philosophy that studies knowledge.

episteme = knowledge.
logy= study of.

2
Q

What are the two schools of thought (ways of thinking) in epistemology?

A
  1. Rationalism: human reason is the source of all knowledge and truth.
  2. Empiricism: all knowledge and truth are derived from the senses, experiences and observation.
3
Q

What is rationalism?

A

an epistemological position that argues HUMAN REASON is the source of all knowledge and truth.

4
Q

What do rationalists believe?

A

HUMAN REASON is the source of all knowledge and truth.

5
Q

What is empiricism?

A

an epistemological position that argues all knowledge and truth are derived from the SENSES, EXPERIENCES and OBSERVATION.

6
Q

What do empiricists believe?

A

all knowledge and truth are derived from the SENSES, EXPERIENCES and OBSERVATION.

7
Q

What is a prioi knowledge?

A

Knowledge which is not dependent on experience, can be known ‘prior’ to experience, e.g. triangles have three sides. a bachelor is an unmarried man.

8
Q

What is a posteriori knowledge?

A

Knowledge which is dependent on sense experience. e.g. the chair is green.

9
Q

What is an a priori argument?

A

a type of philosophical argument that relies on logic or reasoning. Empirical evidence is not used in this type of argument.

10
Q

What is an a posteriori argument?

A

an argument based on sense experience and observations of evidence.

11
Q

What is an inductive argument?

A

An argument that moves from specific instances to a generalisation. It can only lead to a PROBABLE conclusion.

  • Evidence is collected from OBSERVATIONS and EXPERIENCES to suggest a hypothesis which is then reinforced by further observations and evidence.
  • Inductive reasoning is the basis of the SCIENTIFIC investigation.
12
Q

What is a deductive argument?

A

An argument that moves from the general to the specific.

The conclusion is derived through the use of REASON.

This type of argument can reach a CERTAIN conclusion.

13
Q

Is this argument inductive or deductive?

Premise 1: All men are mortal.
Premise 2: Socrates is a man.
Conclusion: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

A

Deductive.

This is because the conclusion is derived through the use of REASON alone. No generalisations/assumptions have to be made (unlike inductive arguments).

14
Q

What is metaphysics?

A

The branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of reality.

e.g. Plato’s view on metaphysics is that this world is not real and that the real world is an unchanging world of Forms.

15
Q

What is meant by using one’s ‘reason’?

A

Using logical thought in order to reach conclusions.

16
Q

What is Plato’s view on metaphysics?

A

This world is not real and that the real world is an unchanging world of Forms.

Metaphysics: the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of reality.

17
Q

What is Plato’s theory called?

A

The Theory of the Forms

18
Q

What is the name of Plato’s book which contains his theory of the Forms/the analogy of the cave?

A

The Republic

19
Q

SPECIFICATION QUESTION:
For the Plato topic, what are the THREE main areas you are expected to be able to discuss?

A
  1. His understanding of reality (his use of rationalism and rejection of empiricism).
  2. The Forms (the hierarchy, including the Form of the Good).
  3. The analogy of the cave (which illustrates his theory of the Forms).
20
Q

What does Plato’s analogy of the cave illustrate?

A

His philosophical ideas.
Each part represents a different aspect of his theory of the Forms.

21
Q

What is the name of Plato’s analogy which illustrates his theory of the Forms?

A

The analogy of the cave.

22
Q

According to Plato, all ‘knowledge’ gained empirically is merely doxa. What does this mean?

A

Doxa = opinion.

23
Q

Why did Plato think that the material world (the Realm of Appearances) cannot be the source of truth?

A

Because truth is absolute (fixed), certain and immutable (unchanging), whereas our world is constantly in flux - always changing.

24
Q

What is a Form?

A

an ideal concept.

ideal = perfect.
concept = idea.

Forms are the source of truth and are known RATIONALLY.

25
Q

How are Forms known/recalled?

A

Rationally.

26
Q

Which aspect of us ‘experienced’ the Forms?

A

our immortal soul.

27
Q

What is anamnesis?

A

The term Plato gives to the soul’s recollection of the Forms.

28
Q

What is a particular?

A

The name Plato gives to objects in the empirical world/Realm of Appearances which are merely IMPERFECT COPIES of the Form.

29
Q

What does it mean to say that particulars participate in Forms?

A

Participation refers to the act of particulars (objects in our world) IMITATING Forms (ideal concepts/perfect ideas).

e.g. a ‘particular’ red chair is ‘participating in’ (imitating) the Form of Red and the Form of Chair.

30
Q

How does Plato understand ‘learning’ in the Realm of Appearances (our physical world)?

A

For Plato, all ‘learning’ is actually recollection of the Forms our soul experienced in a previous life or lives. Education does not put anything into a child’s mind – it draws out what is already there, hidden by forgetfulness. In the same way, an inventor is not creating something new, but is the first to remember the perfect Form of it. Any subsequent improvement to an invention is the result of people focusing their minds ever more clearly on the original idea (the ideal concept of that thing - the Form).

31
Q

What is ‘reality’ for Plato?

A

The Realm of Forms.

NOT our world - the Realm of Appearances - this is just an imitation of reality.

32
Q

What are the three levels that make up Plato’s hierarchy of the Forms?

A

Top = The Form of the Good.

Middle = Higher Forms. Forms of abstract concepts such as Beauty and Justice.

Bottom = Lower Forms. Forms of phenomena such as a chair, a flower and a person.

33
Q

What is Plato’s view of the relationship between the soul and the body?

A

It’s a negative one.

The body imprisons the soul.

34
Q

What does Plato call the ‘ultimate Form’?

A

The Form of the Good.

It’s the highest because all other Forms participate in the Form of the Good. True knowledge, for Plato, is knowledge of Goodness. It is seen as the purest, most abstract of the Forms, the furthest away from the physical world.

35
Q

According to Plato, what causes immorality?

A

Ignorance (lack of knowledge).

People steal or tell lies because they are ignorant of the Form of Honesty (a higher Form). If they became more philosophical and looked for the Form of the Good, they would make better moral decisions.

36
Q

What does the term ‘philosophy’ mean?

A

To love wisdom.

Philos = love
Sophia = wisdom

37
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What do the PRISONERS represent?

A

ordinary people in our world who trust their senses.

38
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the CAVE represent?

A

The empirical world we see and hear around us. The Realm of Appearances.

39
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What do the CHAINS holding the prisoners captive represent?

A

The senses that restrict the way we experience things.

40
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What do the SHADOWS represent?

A

a posteriori knowledge.

41
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the RELEASED/ESCAPEE prisoner represent?

A

The philosopher who is able to access knowledge

42
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the DIFFICULT ASCENT OUT of the cave represent?

A

the road to philosophical knowledge is difficult.

43
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the world OUTSIDE of the cave represent?

A

The Realm of Forms. Reality.

44
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the SUN represent?

A

The Form of the Good (FOTG).

  1. Just like the sun, it gives life/is what the other Forms are reliant on.
  2. Just like the sun, it helps us to see/gives knowledge.
45
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the prisoner’s RETURN to the cave represent?

A

The philosopher, once enlightened, feels it is his duty to free and educate the others

46
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the prisoner’s difficulty in adjusting to the darkness once they have returned to the cave represent?

A

Once a philosopher knows the truth, it is difficult to experience things as the ordinary person does

47
Q

Plato’s analogy of the cave:
What does the persecution given by the other prisoners at the end of the analogy represent?

A

Like Socrates, who was executed by the leaders in Athens, the philosopher will be ridiculed and threatened.

48
Q

Who was Plato’s teacher?

A

Socrates.

49
Q

How did Socrates die?

A

Executed - drank hemlock (poision).

Why: accused of (1) corrupting the youth. (2) not accepting belief in the many gods.

50
Q

Why was Socrates executed?

A

accused of (1) corrupting the youth. (2) not accepting belief in the many gods.

51
Q

Who was Aristotle’s teacher?

A

Plato.

52
Q

What is Plato’s main ‘proof’ for the Realm of the Forms?

A

His argument from knowledge (that all knowledge is recollection).

  1. The one over many argument.
  2. Meno’s slave boy.
53
Q

What is the one over many argument?

A

Plato’s argument to suggest that all knowledge is recollection.

Explanation: In Plato’s view
- without knowledge of the one Form that the many particulars are participating in (imitating), it is not possible to explain the ‘sameness’ that they have in common.
- the ONLY explanation for this awareness is that the soul has knowledge of the ONE ideal concept that the MANY particulars are imperfectly imitating.

54
Q

Who proposed the family resemblance theory?

A

Wittgenstein.

55
Q

Which argument is Wittgenstein’s family resemblance theory used to counter?

A

Plato’s one over many argument, which he uses to prove that all knowledge is recollection.

56
Q

What is Wittgenstein’s family resemblance theory?

A

Wittgenstein suggested that there is no ‘one over many’ but merely a series of overlapping characteristics. Just as members of a family may each resemble other members of the family, but there is no one thing that is specific to the family.

57
Q

How does Plato use the example Meno’s slave boy to support his theory?

A

To prove that all knowledge is recollection.

Despite having had no prior education, the boy is able to solve a mathematical problem presented to him by Socrates, suggesting he had INNATE knowledge of mathematical truths.

58
Q

What does innate mean?

A

Natural. Born with.

Plato believed that all knowledge is innate (a priori).

59
Q

What is a dualist?

A

In metaphysics (the area of philosophy that studies reality) it is the belief that…

there are TWO kinds of reality:
1. material (physical)
2. immaterial (spiritual).

60
Q

What is the term given to followers of Plato?

A

Neoplatonsim

61
Q

What is the name of Aristotle’s theory?

A

The Theory of the Four Causes

62
Q

SPECIFICATION QUESTION:
For the Aristotle topic, what are the THREE main areas you are expected to be able to discuss?

A
  1. Empiricism and Teleology (study of purpose)
  2. The Four Causes
  3. The Prime Mover
63
Q

What are the names of Aristotle’s Four Causes?

A
  1. Material cause.
  2. Formal cause.
  3. Efficient cause.
  4. Final cause.
64
Q

What did Aristotle observe about reality?

A

Aristotle observed that everything is constantly moving and changing (motus), from potentiality to actuality, in a continuous cycle. He believed that the reason for this change could be explained by a study of PURPOSE.

Through application of the four causes, we can understand reality.

65
Q

What does the Greek term TELOS mean?

A

Purpose, end, goal.

66
Q

What is teleology?

A

The study of purpose.

Aristotle believed this would explain reality.

67
Q

What are two examples of things in the human body that do not appear to have a purpose?

A
  1. Appendix.
  2. Male nipple.

This suggests Aristotle was wrong to assume that all things have a purpose.

68
Q

True or false: Aristotle believed that the Prime Mover (God) created the universe.

A

False. He believed (like many other ancient Greeks) that the universe was eternal.

69
Q

For Aristotle, what determines GOODNESS?

A

How effectively the individual/thing fulfils its purpose.

The more effectively it fulfils its purpose, the better it is.

70
Q

What does it mean to ‘actualise the potential’?

A

To bring about change to something else.

e.g. the carpenter actualised the potential of the wood and the metal and made a table.

71
Q

What does contingent mean?

A

Reliant on something else.

e.g. we are reliant on our parents to bring us in to existence.
We are also reliant on food and water to keep us in existence.

72
Q

What does necessary mean?

A

Cannot not exist.
Aristotle applies this term to the Prime Mover.

73
Q

What is the fallacy of composition?

A

The false assumption that what is true of the parts is true of the whole.

Aristotle is guilty of committing this fallacy by assuming that all things have a purpose.

74
Q

What is the material cause?

A

The MATTER or SUBSTANCE that something is made from.

e.g. the material cause of a ring is silver.

75
Q

What is the formal cause?

A

Describes how we know what something is - its SHAPE and CHARACTERISTICS.

e.g. the formal cause of a ring is that it has a circular shape, a hole through the middle and perhaps a claw to hold a diamond.

76
Q

What is the efficient cause?

A

Describes the ACTIVITY that brought it into existence - the actualising of the potential.

e.g. the designing of the ring, the process of forming the lump of metal into the shape of a ring.

77
Q

What is the final cause?

A

The most important cause for Aristotle. It is the object/things PURPOSE, its reason for existing.

78
Q

What was Aristotle’s understanding of the universe?

A
  1. The Universe is ETERNAL- has no beginning or end. This means it was not created.
  2. He had a GEOCENTRIC view of the universe, as a series of concentric circles with the planets and sun rotating around the EARTH.
  3. Like the continuous rotations of the planets, things within the world also exhibit continuous motus, changing from actuality to potentiality and back to actuality. This movement results in change because they are being drawn towards the final cause (the Prime Mover).
79
Q

Aristotle described that Prime Mover as immutable. What does this mean?

A

Unchanging.

80
Q

What did Aristotle describe as the ULTIMATE Final Cause?

A

The Prime Mover.

It is the final cause of movement and change (motus) because it draws things towards itself, without doing anything itself.

81
Q

How does the Prime Mover cause change?

A

Through ATTRACTION.

We are drawn towards the perfection of the Prime Mover.

82
Q

What does Aristotle say is the only thing that is PURE ACTUALITY (has no potential)

A

The Prime Mover.

83
Q

Would the Prime Mover be described as omniscient?

A

No.
The Prime Mover is pure thought. It cannot think of anything but itself, as knowing of the existence of the physical world and the things within it would cause change.

84
Q

What is the only thing that the Prime Mover can do?

A

Think about itself.
It is pure thought.

85
Q

Would Plato’s Form of the Good be described as a being, like Aristotle’s Prime Mover?

A

No. It is a concept.

86
Q

Which of the four causes is the Prime Mover?

A

Just the final cause (telos/purpose).

87
Q

The Prime Mover is impassive. What does this mean?

A

It cannot feel emotions. This is because this would involve change.

88
Q

‘It is transcendent.’

Does this apply to:
1. the Form of the Good
2. the Prime Mover
3. both?

A
  1. Both.
89
Q

‘It is perfect, unchanging (immutable) and eternal.’

Does this apply to:
1. the Form of the Good
2. the Prime Mover
3. both?

A
  1. Both.
90
Q

‘It attracts all things to itself.’

Does this apply to:
1. the Form of the Good
2. the Prime Mover
3. both?

A
  1. the Prime Mover.
91
Q

‘It cannot be known using the senses.’

Does this apply to:
1. the Form of the Good
2. the Prime Mover
3. both?

A
  1. Both.
92
Q

What is the fallacy of composition?

A

The false assumption that what is true of the parts is true of the whole.

Aristotle is guilty of committing this fallacy in assuming that all things have a purpose.

93
Q

What is teleology?

A

The study of purpose.

Telos = purpose.

94
Q

What is ‘purpose’ in Greek?

A

Telos.