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How am I to undestand the world?

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Andrea Amezcua

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of How am I to undestand the world?

How am I to understand the world?
-How can we know?
-What is knowledge?
-Knowledge through different perspectives
-Epistemological conditions: Science and Religion.

The branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge, what it is, and how we acquire it.
Aristotle: "All men naturally desire to know"
Beyond solipsism to a material world
"An inferior being cannot be the cause of a superior one"
Cartesian circle
Mind is thinking and unextended, whereas matter is unthinking and extended in space: How to unite them?
-Principia Mathematica- by Newton
Philosophers turned to natural world, experience, senses to understand the reality and the knowledge.
"The belief that meaningful knowledge can be acquired only through sense experience.
Skepticism: "The philosophical doctrine that knowledge is uncertain and (in its strictest sense) that absolute knowledge is unattainable.
Mind is nothing but a "bundle of perceptions".
Mind, self, God all become epistemologically meaningless.
¿What about science?

¿How can we understand its conditions?
Egocentric predicament
The human condition of being unable to leave the boundaries of our individual selves to determine what anything is really like, as opposed to how it seems to us.
The use of methodic doubt
René Descartes: Doubt everything systematically, see what remains after de process.
¿How can we identify and re-identify?
Exp. the wax
¿How to distinguish dreams from reality? Exp. Chuang-tzu "Am I a Chinese philosopher who has dreamed himself a butterfly, or am I a butterfly who now dreams himself to be a Chinese philosopher?
The proof by which Descartes established his mental existence.
*No trust on senses nor learnings.
¿What can be true outside the self?
: belief that only mind exists and everything else is a perception of that mind.
The mind-body problem
A problem of metaphysics created when Descartes divided reality into mind and matter; making each a separate substance, how can two completely distinct substances interact in one person?
Baruch Spinoza
*Consider both, thinking and extended, characteristics of God.
*The mind is the idea of the body and the body is the extended aspect of the mind.
*Heretical problem: give God a body.
Gottfried Leibniz
The world is a single substance: Monads
Definition: the simple, unextended, teleological substances that make up the universe.
The mind is a monad that perceives better that others for example, the body.
Empiricist philosophers
"Any statement that purports ti tell us something about the world must originate in sense experience rather that the mind".
Philosophy must describe in actual observations of the world rather than on our ideas about the world.
-Essay on Human Understanding-
Reject innate ideas such as:
*Principle of identity.
*Principle of non-contradiction.
Mind as "tabula rasa": all our ideas have their origin in experience.
Primary qualities: Solidity, extension, figure, mobility and number. They have the power to produce in us sensations like color, sound, taste, texture and smell.
George Berkeley
Secondary qualities only exist in the mind of the perceiver. They cannot warranty the existence of a material world.
"How can we account for the fact that the world seems to remain intact even when all of us are asleep?"
God as the permanent perceiver.
Berkeley was unable to stay within the first premise of empiricism.
David Hume
"All the perceptions of the human mind resolve themselves into two distinct kinds, which I shall call Impressions and Ideas" The difference is in the degrees of force and liveliness.
What sense impression could we possibly have of either mental or physical "substance"?
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