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Transcript of Modern Epistemology
By Manuel Alejandro Morales Márquez
Origin of Knowledge refers to...
The process through which knowledge is acquired.
There are four main branches: Rationalism, Empiricism, Criticism, and Constructivism.
Main representatives: Plato (428-348b.c.), Aristotle (384-322b.c.), Descartes (1596-1650), Spinoza (1632-1677), Leibniz (1646-1716).
Even though the matter world is real, when it’s perceived in a chaotic way, it’s our reason what gives it a meaning through interpretation.
This is achieved through the perception of a substance, an essence that remains within the objects.
AN EPISTEMOLOGY TIMELINE
William of Ockham
Contemporary Dark Days
He brought up the
mind – body problem
His system is known as
or Cartesian doubt.
In order to reach
you have to start from an
I think, therefore I am (
cogito ergo sum
There are two types of substances:
. The “I think, therefore I am” proves the existence of the first one, but how can we prove the existence of the second one
Through the existence of
If God exists, all my clear and distinct ideas will be true.
: thought and extension.
All things in the world are modifications of the only substance, God.
This doctrine is known as
idea implies an objective reality
, for idea and matter are attributes of the same reality.
There are no true nor false ideas, but
There are three levels of knowledge:
– Imagination: it’s empiric and leads to confusion.
: adequate ideas common to all human kind.
: holistic knowledge of God.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Physical reality can’t be based in something extensive (the extensive can’t be made of unextensive points).
Extension is an illusion and is made of simple, all-containing and non material beings, called monads.
Like atoms, but without the matter!!!
God (again) as the
Man: combination of
Monads of reason perceive with more clarity than the others, that’s where
knowledge is born
Main representatives: Hobbes (1588-1679), Locke (1632-1704), Berkeley (1685-1753), Hume (1711-1776).
This branch was born in England under the strong influence of Isaac Newton.
The only way to know the world is through empiric experience (your senses!). There can’t be innate ideas.
Knowledge is originated by the
; without these, our mind is like a “
The thinking process goes from
(combination of simple ideas)
, figure, mobility
), are in the objects.
colors, sounds, tastes
the product of the influence of objects in our senses.
Primary and secondary
in the subject
If the physical world exists, is only because
God “creates it constantly”
Knowledge comes from
which leave sensorial
from which we form
Knowledge can be about facts and their relations or association of ideas.
Concepts such as mind or God fall apart.
, such as cause and effect, are product of people’s imagination.
What are the logical principles????
Principles that work as the common sense of our reason.
A→B→C, then A→C
(If I’m a human being → I am a mortal being → I’ll have to die eventually. This is the same as If I'm a human being → I'll die eventually).
(I’m hungry if and only if it’s not the case that I am not hungry).
Man cannot know the real nature of the world:
This is because there can be
relations of ideas
(they tell us nothing about the world); or
matters of fact
He tried to answer the question: what can we know about the world?
were right about something, but also mistaken in some other matters.
Knowledge starts with the
But it is
) the one that brings order to the sensorial information.
are rational operations that we use to put
order to the information captured by the senses. Examples: time and space.
: the things as they appear before us according to the categories of perception.
: things as they are on themselves, beyond the limits of perception and human knowledge.
Name used to descibe Immanuel Kant's (1724-1804) philosophy.
: human faculties.
The knowledge that we can obtain requires the combination of
In the 20th century analytic philosophy (the
analysis of propositions
) is born.
One of its branches is the
(language analysis to determine its precision).
It affirms that knowledge is acquired through the
“What I am saying right now is false.”
Socrates says: “What Plato says is false”. And Plato affirms: “What Socrates says is true”.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
Austrian thinker who influenced every philosopher until today.
His philosophy is divided in two stages:
Thoughts are logic representation of
. Language reflects
shows us the world.
A proposition that can’t be proved, should not be said.
Rejects the previous stage, for one same word can have different meanings according to the context in which it’s used.
There are many languages and they evolve. Wittgenstein called them
What really matters is not the
language – fact relation
, but its
In order to know a proposition you must verify to which language game they belong.
Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)
He’s considered to be a
, that is, reason gets a confidence vote, as long as we can verify its content empirically.
He was a
Scientific knowledge is true knowledge but fallible, not certain.
Critic method: scientific knowledge is always hypothetical, consists in search and eliminate mistakes in order to reach the truth.
Science shouldn’t be based on faith but in reason.
Principle of falsifiability
: for a theory to be label as scientific, it must be able to be falsifiable. This means that the scientist can contrast it with reality in order to refute it.
could never be definitive. There’s always the possibility of finding new facts by reformulating a theory or creating a new one.
Gaarder, J. (2001). El mundo de Sófía. España: Siruela.
Mitchell, H. (2011). Roots of Wisdom. A tapestry of philosophical traditions. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage.
Bowen, J. (2008). The dream weaver. One boy's journey through the landscape of reality. USA: Pearson.
Rauhut, N. (2011). Ultimate questions. Thinking about philosophy. New Jersey: Pearson.
Moore, B. and Bruder, K. (2005). Philosophy. The power of ideas. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Reale, G. y Antiseri, D. (2010). Historia de la Filosofía. Tomo II. Del Humanismo a Kant. Barcelona: Herder.
Types of Monads
Just perceiving Monads
The memory Monads
Like in the non-rational animals.
Like our understanding (soul) or God.
(identity, cause, perception) as dispositions.
But since each Monad contains everything, we virtually know everything.