Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2003
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A

Introduction to Philosophy

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber


Knowledge (Again)

Rationalism v. Empiricism
Rationalists: Plato (428-348 B.C.) Descartes (1596-1650)
Empiricists: John Locke (1632-1704), Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Kant's Way of Dividing up the World:
The Analytic and Synthetic distinction again
A priori knoweledge v. a posteriori knowledge - Kant (1724-1804)

What is Knowledge?
Can We Know Anything at all?
How Do We Obtain Knowledge?

Innate Ideas
: Plato's theory of recollecton (The Meno>/I>)

Skepticism: Hallucinations, dreams, illusions: David Hume (1711-76)
Common sxense rebuttals: G. E. Moore (1873-1958)
Norman Malcolm Two types of knowing: strong and weak:
"The sun is 90 Million miles from earth"
"I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts"
"I am sitting in class right now"
"I am sitting down."

Perception and Our Knoweldge of the External World
Realism, direct
Representationaliosm, mediate, the physical world exists
independently of and is the cause of our perceptions.
Phenomenalism constructivism, nominalism, subjective idealism
George Berkeley (1685-1753)
Sense Data and faithful representation of the external world

Primary
(Locke, again): Solidity (bulk) extension, figure, motion (and rest) and number
v
Secondary Qualities:
colors, sounds, smells, tatses, touch (feel) and sensations.

Berkeley: To be is to be perceived ("Esse est percipi")

There was a young man, who said "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the quad.

Dear Sir, your astonishment's odd
I'm always about in the quad
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by,
Your faithfully, God.

Appearance and Reality
The permanency of material things
Causal Activity ("powers")

Theories of truth:
Correspondence theories,
Coherence Theories,
Prgamatic Theories

 


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