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Epistemology, dualism, and determinism - philosophy in flowing charts

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Vu Chau

on 17 November 2012

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Transcript of Epistemology, dualism, and determinism - philosophy in flowing charts

PHILOSOPHY Epistemology Dualism Determinism et cetera What is the absolute truth?
Is there falsity?
How do we find out? How do we explore the world? Rationalism (pure reasoning) Empiricism (our five senses) Plato, Parmenides, Zeno, Descartes, etc. George Berkeley, Hume, etc. Immanuel Kant Parmenides "What is" exists The "nothing" does not exist Path to the truth Void to avoid How to prove? Matters are created from
1. Nothing (There is no "nothing")
2. Something (Already created --> created --> existence) Matters never disappear
1. Disappearing into nothing? (There is no "nothing)
2. If not disappearing, then existing forever There is no empty space The entire world is completely filled with "what there is"

The emptiness is eliminated Uniform density If it is dense here, so is it equally there There is no emptiness BLACK HOLES VS. Empiricism Can't you see that the world is made up of separate entities?
That it is full of motion?
If everything is indivisible unity, then why do you speak to us as if we and you are different persons?
Don't you see this? Don't you smell that? Don't you touch that? The five senses There are the "way of appearance" and the "way of truth."
Why do you come to me with the 'way of appearance?"
--the senses?
I am coming to you in the name of logic!
You shouldn't consider the so-called evidence of the
senses when logic teaches you otherwise, because logic,
and only logic, is "the way of truth." Parmenides' reasoning: When do our senses fail and when does logic take over? Zeno Descartes LOGICAL REASONING:
There are Achilles and Bob racing.
Achilles runs ten times faster than Bob,
so let us place Bob in the middle of the road.
When Achilles has passed the first ten meters,
and has reached the spot where bob started out,
Bob will have passed one meter.
Now, in order for Achilles to reach Bob, he has to pass
this extra meter as well. But while Achilles is zooming through
this tiny distance, Bob is continuing to move ahead, and during
this time he will gain ten centimeters.
So Achilles has to pass Bob in order to win the race, but each time
he gains a distance, Bob will have passed another extra distance, and
so there will always be a gap between the two. Hence, logic tells us that Achilles
will never win the race. 10m 1m 10m 10cm To move from one point to another,
one must first move pass half the distance between the two points.
But, before one could traverse that distance, one must travel 1/4 of the
total distance. Before traversing 1/4 of the whole road, one must first travel
1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and so on of the entire distance. One will never be able to start moving.
In the end, it turns out that motion is impossible since
no object can even begin to move. EMPIRICAL REASONING:
One man places a tortoise at the middle of where he is and a tree
at the end of the road. He starts racing against the tortoise, and he wins. DEAD END MOTION IS IMPOSSIBLE There must be a point of origin
a. The famous Archimedean point (to move and transport the Earth somewhere else)
b. The first axiom
c. The cornerstone of science and knowledge
d. The springboard for the rest of our knowledge In search of the absolute and certain truth THE TRUTH
IS DISGUISED A stick placed in water seems bent.
SENSES ARE DECEPTIVE Empirical sciences based on senses
--physics, astronomy, medicine, etc. are deceptive
and uncertain DEAD END 1. Using SENSES 2. Using EXISTENCE Properties and features (perceived through senses) of external
objects are discarded.
Only that object itself exists. The boundary between dream (sleep) and reality (wakefulness) is hard to distinguish.
An object's existence is no more certain as when one is dreaming and touching it, it might not realistically exist at all. Everything could be nonexistence, and hence,
uncertain. DEAD END 3. Using MATHEMATICS We make mistakes when performing calculations,
whether hard or simple, especially when we are fooled and the external world is deceptive The possibility we make mistakes dividing 1579 by 142
is greater than dividing 4 by 2. External hypnosis and psychological deception are possible Mathematics is also infected.
The external world is to be discarded DEAD END 4. Casting DOUBT I have doubted everything.
But I cannot doubt the fact that I am doubting! No one can challenge this truth,
for the very act of doubting it affirms its existence I think I exist.
How to prove the existence of the external world? If God is infinite and omnipotent and exists in my mind, then my mind must be neither inifite nor omnipotent because if it is, I would know everything from the outset and would not doubt. Since I am finite, it is impossible for me to invent the idea of infinity by myself Only God could be the creator of the idea of infinity, and it is He who put this concept into my mind. Hence, God exists God is not deceitful. Deceitfulness is connected with some sort of fault, while God, who is infinite, is perfect and faultness. He surely did not create the world that would lead us
into profound and extensive errors. Our senses are also structured to constantly hint at the existence
of a world outside the "I" which contains matter and objects. Therefore, it
is evident that the external world exists, since the good God is not deceitful. How the world exists Proving God's existence DEAD END Rationalism David Hume The point of origin upon which
knowledge rests.
Also the point to explore the absolute and certain truth Invitation to Philosophy, by
Yuval Steinitz I am a first-year university student who takes Philosophy classes to fulfill the core requirement and to explore the ways we explore life, reality, the truth, and the metaphysics, etc. This presentation, while incomprehensive, provides philosophy for those who are new to the subject and would like to quickly grasp the essential principles while catching up with what is taught in class. The information shown here is taken from the aforementioned book, simplified, reordered and restructured to make philosophy even more interesting and knowable. Enjoy!
-Vu George Berkeley Pro-Berkeley: The world that interests us is
the totality of our impressions--
what we grasp, or what can be grasped, through our senses. The five senses
two possible arguments Anti-Berkeley: There is a material world behind
our senses impressions.
Impossible to get to know it through senses. Whether we assume that the world is made up entirely of impressions, or whether it also contains matter, we miss something very important. And it is: CAUSES What is a "cause"? When a certain event A is the cause of event B, we mean
that A brought about B, or that it was responsible in one way or
another for the generation of B Hardly a definition What is a "cause"? If event A is the cause of event B, this means that if A
had not occurred and in other respects the world had been
exactly the same, then B would not have occurred either Let us move on When we bang on a table, we hear noise Scientist: Because we hear the noise after seeing the action of banging, we say that banging on the table causes the noise (after multiple trials, it is the same) Hume: Hearing the noise after banging on a table does not necessarily mean that banging causes noise. There is no connection between the two events, and
that the noise follows the banging by chance, although too many times that we mistake the noise for the effect and banging as the cause. Hume: All we perceive, including repeated experiments, are just
impressions. And impressions are not causality. Scientist: Our experience also contains cumulative learning from the past.
Seeing a table being hit countless times and the noise repetitively coming after the blow
teaches me that the blow is the cause of the noise. SCIENTIFIC REASONING DAVID HUME Hume: Perhaps the coupling of these phenomena
came about by chance,
and perhaps not. I don't know. Scientist: Everything that exists must have a cause. For what
could have brought any given thing into being if there was no cause
for it? It might not be possible to discover all the causes in the entire universe, but there must be something that brought about something else. Hume: I claim that it is impossible to prove this. Scientist: If there is something without
a cause, then it's the cause of itself Hume: There's a third option--it has no cause at all. Scientist: If we accept that there are things entirely without a cause, then let us recall Parmenides' dilemma--everything must be created either from something or from nothing. If a thing isn't created by any being, then it is created from nothing. But the "nothing" does not exist according to Parmenides! Hume: True, but there is also a third option. We cannot even be certain that "everything has a cause." We are not certain that there is causality. Therefore, it is impossible to prove the existence of causality. DEAD END Hume: We won't be able to show that one of
any two specific events is the cause of the other. Therefore, we will never discover ever one single cause. What is its implication in scientific
discovery and the formulation of laws? Scientists base their experiements on two assumptions:
1. Everything has a cause
2. Once a cause, always a cause However, these assumptions cannot be proved. Scientists may not rely on them since it is possible that they are wrong. Thus scientists are not able to prove
even one scientific law, and they
are not able to predict how nature will work. Immanuel Kant Is this the end of the empirical sciences? I want to unite rationalism with empiricism! Instead of asking "Is it possible?", ask "How is it possible?" How is knowledge of the world possible? How do we know them? In what ways? There are some laws whose statuses science cannot prove, e.g. the laws of causality (Hume's), arithmetic, and geometry.
They are derived from logical reasoning--they are innate and inherent. We cannot prove them. If we do, we end up in a vicious circle. How are arithmetic and geometry innate? Therefore, let us accept that the laws of causality, along with
arithmetic and geometry, are valid and true so that we will be able to prove other things Sarah picks apples for two times. If asked how many apples she has picked, there are two ways she could answer:
1. Open her basket and count the total number of apples
2. Using her memory and a simple arithmetic calculation, she could combine the two numbers and get the same answer Therefore, arithmetic serves as a foundation of daily life But how do we know that they are true? If we can show that there is a coordination
between the logical reasoning (causality, arithmetic, geometry, etc.) and the real world. Take this example: If we are born with green lenses in our eyes, we will not be able to see the real colors of the world. Everything will appear greenish. To an outsider, there are two levels of reality, one that has many colors and one that he knows we perceive which is green. For us, there is only one reality--that which is green. Why so? The green lenses are with us forever. Reality could be influenced by the structure of human vision Logical reasoning is like these
lenses through which we perceive reality. Our mind is subject to the logical laws. We are unable to perceive or think anything that would contradict these laws. We are compelled to see the world as if it were subjected to our logical reasoning. We can use these laws because they are in our mind. 1. These laws fit reality.
2. We exist because of them.
3. Science is restored to its security
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