SECOND SET OFSTUDY QUESTIONS FOR MODERN PHILOSOPHY
1. What does the Fall 1997 Life Special Double Issue, The Millennium, presenting its list of 100 most important people of the past millennium, say of Locke, at p. 164?
"Enlightenment philosopher John Locke was noted for his writing on education, science, and religious freedom. But the Englishman's ideas about politics--that people by nature have certain rights, including life, liberty and property, and that their consent is the only legitimate basis of government--had a more profound effect. His proposals for legislative representation and free speech influenced the Constitution."
2. What has Locke "ever since his day been regarded as the chief"? Magee 102
"the chief founding father of empiricism and all that flows from it"
3. What was Locke's masterpiece published in 1689? Magee 102
Essay concerning Human Understanding.
4. In what way was Locke involved in the 1688 "Glorious Revolution," in which James II fled England and William of Orange, head of the Dutch Republic) and his wife (eldest daughter of James II), Mary, were put jointly onto the throne, thereby keeping England Anglican, rather than Catholic? Magee 102
Locke was an advisor to William, and he escorted Mary to England.
5. In what two areas was Locke "a thinker of the front rank"? Magee 103
Theory of knowledge (epistemology) and political philosophy.
6. With what limits was Locke particularly concerned? Magee 103
"the limits of what is knowable"
7. What did Locke mean by "ideas"? Magee 103-104
"anything that is immediately present to conscious awareness" "regardless of whether they are intellectual, sensory, emotional, or anything else."
8. How did Locke believe that we acquire knowledge of the world around us? Magee 104
"the raw data, the basic input, comes to us through our senses . . . [and] eventually we begin to form general notions and expectations about them."
9. How do S&H put this? S&H 194
"we should place our confidence in experience."
10. What enduring tradition in British philosophy do S&H say began with Locke? S&H 194
11. What long-standing suspicion does it jettison? S&H 194
12. What is the "single, all-purpose principle" on which Locke's empiricism is founded? S&H 194-95
13. To what did Locke liken the mind at birth? S&H 195
14. What contrasting position did rationalists assert? S&H 195
"a fair number of inborn or 'innate' ideas"
15. What metaphysical position did Locke take over from Descartes, and what followed from it for Locke? What did Calkins say about Locke and Descartes (see below)? S&H 195
"the distinction between the mind and the body [Cartesian dualism, metaphysical dualism], and accordingly [Locke] held that knowledge is concerned, first of all, with the examination of the mind." Note that Locke and Descartes are largely in agreement metaphysically but sharply in disagreement epistemologically. Calkins (see the chart from her p. 10) says, "Like Descartes, Locke taught that the universe consists of a multitude of finite substances, spiritual and material, subordinated to one infinite spirit, God. . . . Descartes had attributed to matter but the one quality, extension; Locke, on the contrary, teaches that the essential--or, as he calls them, the 'primary'--qualities of material substances are extension [in space, as Descartes also maintained], with its modifications, and [as Descartes did not say] solidity. Furthermore, Locke lays more emphasis than Descartes lays on the important teaching that all other so-called qualities of bodies--color, sound, odor, and the like--do not really belong to material substances. On the contrary they are, so he holds, mere sensations in us produced by the primary qualities of material things, i.e. by the bulk, figure, texture, and motion of [their] insensible parts." That is, Locke teaches, as Descartes had taught, that real bodies, or material things, are without color or sound or fragrance; they are mere masses of colorless, extended, solid, and moving particles, which produce in us (1) ideas resembling these qualities--'primary' ideas of extension, solidity, and motion; and (2) ideas unlike the qualities themselves, 'secondary' ideas of color, fragrance, and the like" (pp. 111-12).
16. What problem do S&H say arose from Locke's acceptance of "the old Aristotelian notion of substance," and what is Locke's solution to it? S&H 195
17. What did Locke say about new opinions? Magee 106
"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common."
18. What is the social implication of Locke's epistemology? Magee 105
"If everyone comes into the world with a mind that is a blank sheet of paper, a tabula rasa, then no one is superior by birth to anyone else: everything for the individual depends on how he or she is educated.
19. What was provided with "a solid foundation" by Locke's "idea that a person was entitled to property, not by law or custom but by 'natural right'"? S&H 199
20. Compare and contrast Locke and Hobbes on humankind's original "state of nature" and on rights after formation of a social contract. Magee 107
Locke believed that "As a creature made by God in His own image man was not, even in a state of nature, a jungle beast, for God had given him reason and conscience. So Locke's view of the state of nature is very different from Hobbes' [war of all against all]. Even so, the absence of any such things as government or civil order is so greatly to the detriment of human beings that, Locke believed, individuals came together voluntarily to create society. As with Hobbes, the social contract is seen as being not between government and the governed but between free men. Unlike Hobbes, however, Locke sees the governed as retaining their individual rights even after government has been set up. Sovereignty [in Locke's view] ultimately remains with the people. The securing of their rights - the protection of life, liberty, and property of all - is the sole legitimate purpose of government. If a government begins to abuse these rights (i.e. becomes tyrannical) or ceases to defend them effectively (i.e. becomes ineffectual) the governed retain a moral right - after seeking redress through normal procedures and failing to attain it - to overthrow the government and replace it with one that does the job properly."
21. From what did Locke's belief in toleration flow? Magee 106
"In his view certainty in our knowledge of the empirical world is not available, but only a kind of working probability. This being so, he sees it as both mistaken and morally wrong for political and religious authorities to impose their beliefs."
22. How important was Locke's political influence? Magee 108
"He was a key intellectual influence on the American and French revolutions. It is doubtful whether any philosopher between Aristotle and Karl Marx has had a greater influence on practical affairs."
23. Why have some referred to Locke as "the first modern mind"? Magee 108
"This is because he brought together and fused into a single outlook some of the fundamental concerns of post-medieval thought. Part of his basic message could be put into such words as 'Don't unthinkingly follow authorities, whether intellectual, or political, or religious. And don't unthinkingly follow traditions, or social conventions. Think for yourself. Look at the facts, and try to base your views and your behavior on how things actually are.' It is difficult for us nowadays to understand just how new this message was. It had revolutionary implications in education, in science, in politics, and in philosophy itself."
24. What is Berkeley's "single insight which no one since has been wholly able to ignore"? Magee 110
"Locke was entirely correct, said Berkeley, in saying that all we can ever directly apprehend are the contents of our own consciousness. But in that case, he asked, what possible warrant can we have for asserting that the existence of these mental contents is caused by things of an entirely and fundamentally different character from them to which we can never have direct access, namely material objects."
25. According to Berkeley, to what does a consistent empiricism lead us? Magee 111
"the conclusion that what exists are minds and their contents, or subjects and their experiences. There are no grounds for believing in the existence of anything else. We could certainly never have grounds for believing in the existence of inert, independent matter. Locke's material substance ['a "something I know not what," as Locke himself said'- p. 106; 'a word for our ignorance,' Bertrand Russell, as quoted by Hartshorne in Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers, p. 19] - which Locke himself admitted was unconceptualizable. In asserting the existence of something beyond the bounds of all possible experience Locke was breaking the fundamental principle of empiricism."
26. What is the famous quotation from Berkeley given by S&H but not Magee, and what is the importance of God in relation to it? S&H 196
"To be is to be perceived," [esse est percipi--or percipere, to perceive] he perceived, but everything that exists must therefore be perceived, all the time, by God."
27. By what name was the position of Berkeley (and many others) "subsequently known"? S&H 196
idealism [also immaterialism, and spiritualism, in a sense not to be confused with the religion of that name].
28. In what way did way did Hume turn "Berkeley's own principle against Berkeley"? Magee 113
Referring to Berkeley's refutation of belief in the existence of matter as something real in itself, Magee, speaking for Hume, asks, "Who has ever been able to observe his own self, let alone anyone else's. When we introspect, what we find ourselves contemplating are sensory experiences, thoughts, emotions, memories, and so on and so forth, and all these things are fleeting, but we never find ourselves confronting a different sort of entity from these, an experiencing self, having these experiences. Therefore, on the principle that we ought not to postulate the existence of anything that is not to be found in experience, we have no grounds for supposing an experiencing self to exist in the way Berkeley does. The experiencing self, the subject of knowledge, is a fiction, says Hume. If you ask, in that case, who or what "I" am, the only answer that can be sustained by experience or observation is that 'I' am a bundle of sensations [the bundle theory of the mind]."
29. What did Hume believe about God? Magee 113
"The most that can be claimed . . . is that the degree of order evidenced by the universe could possibly be the manifestation of something remotely analogous to a designing intelligence. But that is a far cry from proof of the existence of a personal God, the God of the Christians or the Jews. And feelings of certainty are not knowledge."
30. How is Hume's reasoning about the self and about God similar? Magee 113
". . . Hume's argument takes the same basic form. To be justified, he says, in claiming the existence of these things we have to be able to point to evidence for it in observational experience, and there is none."
31. What did Hume recommend about theological writings failing to provide "sound arguments or good evidence" for the beliefs expressed in them? S&H 197
32. To what other major problem does Hume apply such reasoning? Magee 113
"This basic form of argument was used by him most influentially of all about the cause and effect relationship, causality itself."
33. Why is causality important? Magee 114
"It appears to be what binds the whole known world together: it is why the cosmos is not just a jumble or a chaos. One event causes, or is caused by, another; and there are persistent regularities in many of these happenings, such that different states of affairs connect up with one another in ways that are intelligible to our understanding, thus enabling us to make sense of our environment. If there were no such thing as causal connection our experience would lack intelligibility, in which case human life (as distinct from the life of the lower animals) would be impossible."
34. What does Magee say about the roles of common sense, science, and philosophy in relation to causality? Magee 114
"Common sense takes causal connection for granted, but the scientist is all the time trying to uncover hitherto unknown causal connections, while the philosopher queries the very nature of causality itself and asks: 'What is this amazing phenomenon, without which there would not be an intelligible world - what is causality?' In other words, because the philosopher's task is to understand reality in terms of its most general features he finds that understanding causality has got to be one of his central preoccupations."
35. What similar statement did Alfred North Whitehead make at p. 4 of his Process and Reality?
"Speculative Philosophy is the endeavour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted."
36. What is Hume's view of cause? Magee 114
We may see that event B regularly follows event A, but we cannot see "a third thing, a causal connection, linking the two.
37. Where does Hume go after destroying, to his satisfaction, knowledge of self, God, and causality? Magee 115-16
"But we do not really have the option, he says, of living in accordance with such a perception of things. The reason why that is so is that our aims in life are not chosen by our intellects. . . . The ends of our behavior are set by our desires, our passions, our emotions, our tastes - our feelings of every sort. And the chief way in which reason comes in is in adopting and adapting all the various means to secure our ends. In a phrase made famous by Hume, reason is the slave of the passions."
38. What sort of attitude is implied by Hume's "mitigated scepticism"? Magee 116
"We should admit to ourselves that conclusive proof plays no part in human affairs outside mathematics. We do not really know anything: we have our expectations, but that is not the same thing as knowledge. . . . He believes we should hold our opinions and expectations diffidently [hesitantly, tentatively], knowing them to be fallible, and should respect those of others. The whole temper of his philosophy is in this way modest, moderate, and tolerant, like his own character and life."
39. What did Hume consider "the great guide of human life"? Magee 115
40. What grounds did Hume provide for ethical behavior? S&H 197
Our sentiments, our emotions. "Each of us is born with a natural capacity for sympathy and a natural concern for utility, with which we construct, among other things, about justice and society.
41. What do S&H say about Hume in relation to aesthetic values and his general attitude? S&H 197-98
42. S&H give the themes of "the definitive Hume" as "his fascination with problems of knowledge and his skepticism; his Newtonian ambitions to develop a general theory of mind; and his narrow focus on the logical and the empirical." To what do they say that the last of these would lead? S&H 200
"the dismissive philosophy of 'logical positivism,'" which is considered at pp. 274-76
43. After dealing with Hume, what do S&H say that "the rationalists and empiricists together managed to" do? S&H 198
44. What was "their true target"? S&H 199
irrationality. "The Enlightenment was not about the nature of knowledge so much as it was a defense of knowledge and inquiry."
45. What does the Fall 1997 Life Special Double Issue, The Millennium, presenting its list of 100 most important people of the past millennium, say of Adam Smith, at p. 164?
"Scottish economist Adam Smith advocated open competition and freedom from government regulation, principles that would become the bedrock of modern capitalism. In his 1776 book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Smith argued that the free market is self-regulating and that by pursuing their own interests individuals would produce the types of goods most needed by society. He saw labor--not land or money--as a thing of primary value. His ideas spurred the study of economics."
46. What was Smith's personal relationship to Hume? S&H 200
47. Of what is Smith known as the father, and which of his books is most related to this? S&H 200
"the father of the free-enterprise system" Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, "his 'bible' of capitalism"
48. How did Smith redefine "wealth of nations"? S&H 200
49. What was necessary for the economic system to work? S&H 201
50. What did Smith believe about self-interest? S&H 201
Through the law of supply and demand, "self-interest could serve the public good."
51. What did both Smith and Hume offer in place of the "'selfishness' theories of Hobbes and others"? S&H 202
"the naturalness of the exemplary moral sentiment, sympathy . . . or what we would call 'empathy.'"
52. How does Smith understand a sense of justice? S&H 202
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
53. How does Magee summarize Burke and his political theory? Magee 118
"The supreme conservative. Because in a developed society tradition embodies the accumulated wisdom and experience of many generations it is likely to be a more reliable guide to action than any one person's opinion."
54. What did Burke argue in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, and to what did it lead? Magee 119
Contrary to "the 18th-century Enlightenment belief that clarity is an essential quality of great art, . . . he maintained [that] great art strives after the infinite, and the infinite, having no bounds, [so] can never be clear or distinct. . . . In England, at least, it was this book that signalled the first turning away from the formal classicism of 18th-century thinking about art in favor of the romanticism that superseded it."
The American (1775-1783) and French (1789-1793) Revolutions
55. How do S&H characterize the American and French revolutions? S&H 202
56. Why did liberalism take on "a sharper edge on the Continent of Europe than it had in England"? Magee 123
In England "the comparative freedom and decency of life gave reformers scant incitement to militancy. The Church of England was almost notoriously easygoing: from Church as well as State there was little in the way of oppression . . . In France, by contrast, there was despotic rule by individuals who flouted the law, hand in hand with an intolerant Catholic Church that used the political power thus conferred on it for purposes of persecution."
57. How does Magee summarize Voltaire? Magee 122
"The supreme popularizer. Voltaire did more than any other writer to propagate the revolutionary implications of the new science and the new liberalism in Continental Europe.
58. What famous quotation attributed to Voltaire is omitted from our books?
"I don't believe a word you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
59. The Lisbon earthquake of 1775 inspired Voltaire to write what parody of the views of Leibniz? Magee 98
60. How does Magee characterize Diderot? Magee 124
"All-around genius - philosopher, satirist, novelist, playwright, art critic - Diderot was the leading editor of the French Encyclopedia, whose impact was international."
61. What was important about Diderot's Encyclopedia? Magee 124
It imported into France English ideas from Bacon, Newton, and Locke with the intention of changing "the common way of thinking"--and it largely succeeded, despite religious and political opposition.
62. What term is especially used to refer to the writers of the Encyclopedia? Magee 126
philosophe; "it means little more than our present-day literary intellectual.'"
63. What does the Fall 1997 Life Special Double Issue, The Millennium, presenting its list of 100 most important people of the past millennium, say of Rousseau, at p. 164?
"An educational theorist who ranked emotional development and experience above book learning, Jean-Jacques Rousseau abandoned his own five children at a Paris foundling hospital. A believer in living in 'a state of nature,' where compassion and honesty could flourish, he also wrote that a good society could improve people if they would submit their own desires to the General Will. Both totalitarians and democrats look to the Geneva-born polemicist as their prophet."
64. What three revolutionary ideas did Rousseau introduce into the mainstream of Western philosophical thought? Magee 127
1. "Civilization is . . . a bad thing." "Man in a state of nature is a 'noble savage.'" People are "corrupted by the experience of growing up in society."
2. "We should ask of everything in our lives, whether our private or public lives, that it meet the requirements not of reason but of feeling and natural instincts: in other words, feeling should replace reason as our guide to life and our judge."
3. A human society is a collective being with a will of its own that is different from the sum of the wills of its individual members, and that the citizen should be entirely subordinate to this 'general will.'"
65. S&H suggest what might be considered a fourth revolutionary idea. What is it? S&H 203
"his theory of human nature as 'basically good'"
66. What did Rousseau, in Emile, see as the proper task of education? Magee 128
to encourage children's "expression and development [through] direct experience of people and of things" in the context of the family.
67. What is "the mainspring of the Rousseau idea of democracy," unlike Locke's view? Magee 128
"the forcible imposition of the general will, whereas the mainspring of the Locke model is the protection and preservation of individual freedom."
68. From what did Rousseau believe came the fall into society as we know it and "the whole litany of inequalities and injustices that have ruled human lives"? S&H 203
69. Of what was Rousseau "the acknowledged leader"? Magee 129
"the Romantic movement, which soon after him was to supersede the classicism of the 18th century."
70. What does the Fall 1997 Life Special Double Issue, The Millennium, presenting its list of 100 most important people of the past millennium, say of Jefferson, at p. 166?
"Were it not for his mind and his pen, the world might have witnessed one more bloody revolution signifying nothing. A lawyer by trade, a pioneer of American architecture, a president who spurred westward expansion, a slave owner who opposed slavery, Thomas Jefferson embodied many of the aspirations of a newborn nation. It was a self-evident truth, wrote the 33-year-old Virginian, 'that all Men are created equal.' Natural law, the right to 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,' became the New World blueprint. It remains an alluring goal for democracies around the world."
71. What ideas, largely from Locke and the Scottish enlightenment, did Jefferson include in the Declaration of Independence? S&H 204
" self evident truths . . .
 the moral sentiment theorists' emphasis on fellow feeling and the development of character; and
 the idea of natural human rights, including the rights to life, liberty, private property, and 'the pursuit of happiness'"
[One might also emphasize the less theory-based "rights of Englishmen," gradually gained over the centuries.]
72. What "new invention of political philosophers . . . becomes central to politics" with Jefferson? S&H 204
73. Of what did the Constitution and its Bill of Rights perhaps constitute "the first genuine instance"? S&H 204
74. What does the Fall 1997 Life Special Double Issue, The Millennium, presenting its list of 100 most important people of the past millennium, say of Kant, at pp. 164-66?
"His entire life was spent in Konigsberg, East Prussia, and it is said that he was never out of earshot of the town's church bells. But Immanuel Kant made up for his lack of adventure by traveling far in his mind. In the Critique of Pure Reason he examined the nature and limits of human knowledge. He wrote on aesthetics and ethics, and established the direction of modern philosophy."
75. Why is Kant's philosophizing often called his "Copernican Revolution"? Frank Thilly and Ledger Wood, A History of Philosophy, 3rd ed., p. 445
It is because of "his contention that mind prescribes laws to nature, and not vice versa."
76. What awakened Kant from what he referred to as his "dogmatic slumbers"? S&H 206
77. What is the title of Kant's most famous book, possibly "the greatest single book in philosophy"? S&H 208
Critique of Pure Reason
78. How does Richard Tarnas in The Passion of the Western Mind, p. 341, summarize the challenge to Kant?
"The intellectual challenge that faced Immanuel Kant in the second half of the eighteenth century was a seemingly impossible one: on the one hand, to reconcile the claims of science [Newton et al.] to certain and genuine knowledge of the world with the claim of philosophy [Hume] that experience could never give rise to knowledge; on the other hand, to reconcile the claim of religion that man was morally free with the claim of science that nature was entirely determined by necessary laws.
79. How do S&H summarize Kant's understanding of knowledge? S&H 208
"All of our knowledge begins with experience (and is based on sensations), but the basic categories of our experience are not learned from experience but instead are brought to experience, as a priori organizing principles. . . . The external world is not inferred from our experience but (as a basic category of our thinking and perceiving) is essential to the constitution of our experience. Causality, another category, is also not derived or inferred from our experience but imposed, as another of the basic rules of perception."
80. According to Kant, what are space and time? S&H 208
81. In a Kantian view, how can space be said to be both absolute and relative? S&H 208
82. According to Kant, how does God's knowledge of the world differ from ours? S&H 209
83. Distinguish noumenon (noumenal) and phenomenon (phenomenal). S&H 210
The noumenon is the "thing in itself," which Kant believed that we never can know. The phenomenon is the thing as experienced by us.
84. To what did Kant's distinction of noumenon and phenomenon lead?
years of philosophical effort by Kant's successors to gain knowledge of the thing-in-itself
85. To what does Magee point as a defect in believing in determinism (which would prevent our having free will)? Magee 136
"If we did not [have free will], then there would be no point complaining when others treated us badly or illegally, because it would have been impossible for them ever to do anything else."
86. How did Kant extricate people from the supposed determinism of the world? S&H 211
In his Critique of Practical Reason, Kant says that "we have both noumenal and phenomenal existence," and our free will is part of our phenomenal existence.
87. What is Kant's Categorical Imperative? S&H 212
The first formulation of it is that one should only act on a maxim (or principle) that one can will to be universal law. Another form is that one ought always [to] act so as to treat humanity, in oneself or in another, as an end in itself, and not as a mere means."
88. Konstantin Kolenda, in his Philosophy's Journey: A Historical Introduction, deals with three ethical theories of the modern period of philosophy, those of Spinoza, Kant, and J. S. Mill (the Utilitarianism of Mill will be dealt with in the final part of this course). How does he contrast the ethical views of Spinoza and Kant? Kolenda, 185-87
Spinoza's ethics "emphasized the unity, the integration of all things. Like the Greeks, he thought of the ethical ideal as harmony, proper attunement to the total scheme of things. . . . Kant sees ethical life in a very different light. The core of moral experience for him is not harmony, but conflict. It is the conflict between the two sides of man--the natural and the rational. The moral man is very conscious of the possibility that he may not do what he ought to do, because he is always in danger of ignoring the voice of morality and of merely doing 'what comes naturally.' Spinoza had said that all excellent things are both difficult and rare, but Kant added that we never have full assurance that we are ever doing the right, the moral, thing. This does not mean, he continued, that we nevertheless should not try to do the right thing. If one succeeds in doing it for the right reason and from the right motive, one has risen above one's natural inclinations, and this is what morality commands. . . . According to [Kant's ethics of duty], man recognizes the claims of morality only as a thing-in-itself, a noumenon, which is not subject to the laws of phenomena. He thought that unless morality consists in the ability to act according to one's conception of a law, a person's behavior will be governed by some phenomenal law--physical or psychological. But if the latter is the case, neither morality nor freedom can be ascribed to man, because then he would be merely following his natural inclinations."
89. What are Kant's three postulates (unprovable but needed assumptions) of practical reason?
God, freedom, and immortality
90. What was Kant's famous statement about knowledge and faith? Magee 137
"He had ruled out knowledge in order to make room for faith."
91. In what ways did Kant respond to the three traditional arguments, or proofs, for the existence of God? Cushman, op. cit., pp. 274-75.
1. The ontological: "The idea of God is the idea of a perfect being. A being would not be perfect who did not exist. Therefore the idea of a perfect being must include the quality 'existence' among its predicates. The essence of God must involve His existence, because the unreality of the [most perfect being] cannot be thought. Kant replies thus: 'Being is no real predicate.' It is not a quality like love, power, or goodness, for it adds nothing to the content of the subject. . . . We cannot reason from the concept of the actual to its existence. . . ." Charles Hartshorne maintains that the ontological argument in a second form, referring to the impossibility of consistently conceiving of God as nonexistent, is sound.
2. The cosmological: "an argument from the existence of contingent phenomena to the existence of an unconditioned reality. There must be some uncaused cause of existing caused phenomena. Kant's reply is this: Cause has no meaning if it is applied beyond the bounds of experience. Within experience all causes are the results of causes, and therefore an uncaused cause is a contradiction in terms. Every existent thing is contingent. A necessary being can be only a thought, and would not be powerful. . . ."
3. The physico-teleological argument: "based upon the inference that intelligent design found in nature implies an intelligent designer [as a clock implies a clockmaker]. Kant replies as follows: Even granting that the world exhibits the design of beauty, goodness, and purpose in its construction, such a beautiful, good, and purposeful world would only prove the existence of an architect and not the existence of a creator. Kant points out, however, that this proof is the oldest, clearest, and the most popular; and he thinks it deserves to be treated with respect on that account. The wonder and magnificence of nature must free man from the oppression of any subtle argument against the significance of nature. Nevertheless, Kant feels that this proof lacks intellectual cogency; for it is possible that nature is freely acting and has power within itself. . . . Mere conceptual thought cannot be knowledge of the reality of the reality of the soul, God, and the world. . . . [Yet they are] 'regulative Ideas' in that our experience is better governed if we act as if there were a soul, as if God existed, and as if the world were a totality of related things. . . . The Ideas of the Reason clear the way for faith based on morality ."
Darwinian evolutionary theory later would attack the teleological argument by maintaining that people are simply the sorts of animals that were capable of surviving in the conditions in which they happened to live, rather than beings favored by divinely designed conditions provided by them. Later still, F. R. Tennant and Peter A. Bertocci would develop a "wider teleological argument," including, in Bertocci's version, the purposive interrelation of matter and life, the relevance of thought to reality, the interrelationship of moral effort and the order of nature, the interrelation between value and nature, the world as good for people, the significance of aesthetic experience, and religious experience as confirmatory.
92. What additional argument for God did Kant's thought provide?
Kant provided a form of the moral argument for God's existence in holding that the moral obligation with which we are born requires more than an earthly lifetime to be met, so there must be immortality and God to unite goodness and happiness, to bring together and supervise the moral and natural orders.
Without claiming the final effectiveness of the rationalistic arguments for God's existence, Bertocci, Philosophy of Religion, p. 286, emphasizes their value for interpreting our experiences: "The ontological argument clarifies the implications of the unique human awareness of the idea of perfection; the cosmological argument gives an interpretation of the meaning and significance of the existence of determinate and orderly change; and the teleological argument fixes attention on the significance of the interconnected harmonies which pervade the order of nature. The moral argument for God was developed not simply because these other arguments seemed inadequate but because the moral life of man itself needed an interpretation."
93. What is the most famous book by Schopenhauer?
The World as Will and Representation, formerly translated less accurately, but perhaps more helpfully, as The World as Will and Idea.
94. How did George Boas characterize Schopenhauer in his The Major Traditions of European Philosophy, p. 318?
"The revolt against Hegelianism was led by Schopenhauer (1788-1860), who had been a pupil of Fichte. Schopenhauer led his revolt with the cry of, 'Back to Kant,' of whom he pretended to give the only correct interpretation. He revived Kant's theory of the two worlds, the phenomenal and the real, but denied that the real world was unknowable. On the contrary, his lessons with Fichte had taught him that it was known in the Will, and that the firm, rocky, geometrical world of appearance was but a cover to an underlying restless activity, struggling to perpetuate itself."
95. In what ways did Schopenhauer agree and disagree with Kant? Magee 138-40
He agreed with Kant's separation of reality into what could be experienced and what couldn't; with dependence of experience on bodily apparatus; that we can't experience the thing-in-itself; "that time, space, and causality interconnected material objects were features of this world of experience only, the empirical world, and could have no being outside it; [and] that the key to the understanding of this world was science, but that science too could have no purchase outside the empirical world."
However, Schopenhauer held, contra to Kant, that "the noumenal could not possibly consist of things (in the plural) as they are in themselves [since that would require] time or space; otherwise they are the same object. . . . Furthermore, said Schopenhauer, it is not possible for the noumenal to be the cause of phenomena, for Kant himself had shown that causal connection, like space and time, could obtain only within the phenomenal realm: therefore causality cannot be what connects that realm to what is outside itself [such as free will's causing bodily motions]; an act of will and the bodily movements associated with it are one and the same event apprehended in two different ways, in one case experienced from inside, in the other observed from outside."
96. What is the character of "the whole noumenal realm"? Magee 140
"will, though not as this word is usually understood"
97. Schopenhauer's philosophy has been classified as a voluntaristic idealism. What is voluntarism?
the belief that will is primary
98. How did Boas describe this will? op. cit., 318-19
"The Will in Fichte had moral ends, even if they were unattainable in finite time. That of Schopenhauer had no end other than its own continuance. It was simply the driving power of Nature . . . Nature was neither mechanistic, nor purposive, nor, as in Schelling--and later in Bergson--exuberantly artistic, inventing new modes of expression. The one place where man knows the Will as Will is in himself. Elsewhere he knows it as matter, revealed to him in the guise of sensation (phenomena). [H]e perceives only the outer shell of volition, not its inner essence."
99. How did H. E. Cushman describe Will and Idea in his A Beginner's History of Philosophy, vol 2, pp. 347?
"The World as Will and the World as Idea do not stand in the relation of cause and effect, but the World as Idea is the objectification of the World as Will. Will is to phenomena what essence is to expression. Will is the freedom that is within all things; and yet all things are determined when they have the form of ideas. There is only one Will, and so the world is in reality a unity. In essence all things are the same--in appearance they are different. The Will has no content; it wills to will--to live--to be actual. In the pantheism of the Will the World as Idea is an illusion.
100. How does Samuel E. Stumpf explain the opening sentence of The world as Will and Idea, "The world is my idea" in his Socrates to Sartre, 6th ed., pp. 322-23?
"The English word idea does not convey the meaning of the German word vorstellung used by Schopenhauer. . . . [It] means, literally anything that is 'set in front of' or 'placed before,' or that is a 'presentation.' This refers to everything that is placed before or presented to our consciousness or understanding, so that the 'world as idea' or 'my idea' refers not only to what we think about (i.e. ideas in the narrow view) but equally to what we hear, feel, or perceive in various other ways. There is no other object out there besides what we perceive, or, as Schopenhauer says, 'The whole actual, that is active[,] world is determined as such through the understanding and apart from it is nothing.' The world presents itself to a person as an object to a subject, and we as subjects know only the world we perceive and thus 'the whole world of objects is and remains idea, and therefore wholly and forever determined by the subject.'"
101. From what does the emptiness of life come in Schopenhauer's philosophy? S&H 224
102. In teaching that all life is suffering, which is caused by desire, so we can end suffering by "putting a end to desire," what ancient teaching is Schopenhauer echoing? S&H 224-25
103. What does Schopenhauer find as a way of overcoming desire? S&H 225
104. Since aesthetic experience falls short of ultimate release from desire, to what does Schopenhauer turn? S&H 225
105. What "new project in Western philosophy" did Schopenhauer initiate? S&H 226
106. Of what did Schopenhauer in old age become "the philosophical darling"? S&H 226
107. What teaching of Schopenhauer particularly influenced Nietzsche and Freud? S&H 226
108. What does Charles Hartshorne, in his Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers, p. 190, say about Schopenhauer's view of determinism and God?
"Schopenhauer also took from Kant the belief in absolute causal determinism of phenomena [not noumena]. He accepted (or did not effectively criticize) Kant's notion of absolute (though for Kant only phenomenal) identity through change, the concept of substance [remember this definition when we get to process thought]. But Schopenhauer broke utterly with Plato and Kant alike in rejecting the idea of a conscious, purposive divine intelligence. He was an outspoken atheist.
Hegel (and Fichte and Schelling)
109. How did Cushman (op. cit., p. 286-88) summarize Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel?
"The stood for . . . the realization of a spiritual realm of free spirits. . . . [They] are sharers in one common movement. They tried systematically to present the evolution of the world as an unbroken evolution of thought. They went back to Kant, but they were bolder than he. They sought to transcend the limitations of thought which he had laid down. They would set thought free, and, gazing in upon their own spirits, they would find there the whole infinite universe. . . . They are members of one common movement toward spiritual freedom, and toward the reestablishment of metaphysics."
110. What do S&H say that Hegel added to philosophy? S&H 214
111. As what did Johan Gottlieb Fichte say that we constitute the world? S&H 215
"a moral stage, on which we then display our valor and our virtues. . . . our categories . . . are primarily concerned with action [rather than knowledge], with our freedom, and we 'posit' the world in order to prove ourselves within it." In the words of Albert E. Avey, in his Handbook in the History of Philosophy, 2nd ed., pp. 172-73: "The relatively negative result of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason indicated to Fichte that men walk by faith rather than by sight; they live by what they believe rather than what they know. The moral interests of man must take precedence over his scientific interests. The basic reality in man is his will; this is the true 'thing-in-itself.' And it is a microcosmic representation of the Whole Universe. Not only is man's chief concern the realization of his ethical obligations; the Whole Universe is a Moral Order working out its tasks on a grand scale. And, since Kant's philosophy had shown the impossibility of transcendental metaphysics and religion, God must be interpreted as the Absolute Spirit immanent in this Universe. Fichte thought that the world of appearances in space and time is posited by the Absolute Spirit as the objectification of its will, as the raw material for duty. It is objective to man because he is finite; and the mistaken notion that what is outside of the human mind must be material has given rise to the customary forms of dualistic and even to materialistic philosophies. Actually, Fichte wrote, what is beyond us is Absolute Mind, as Berkeley had suggested. And as Spinoza had pointed out, Fichte continued, there is only one Substance in the universe, namely God, though Spinoza failed to see that even extension is a form of conscious experience. He insisted that Spinoza's 'Substance' must be interpreted wholly in terms of spirit.
112. What contributions did Friedrich W. J. Schelling make to philosophy? S&H 216
In creating our worlds, "it is not as if we do this as individuals. Rather, all of us together, as a unified 'will' or 'spirit,' create the world. Schelling cautiously identified this unified Creator with God. (The Romantic philosophers loved this suggestion and took on Schelling as their philosophical champion.) As put by Avey, ibid., p. 174, "Schelling, like Fichte, was an absolute idealist, but as he viewed the Universe the Absolute seemed analogous to a great artist expressing himself in the beauty and sublimity of nature. Schelling maintained that things contain a polarity, which causes them to swing from the unconscious pole to the conscious; this is the creative impulse working out its mastery of resistant material in all possible ways."
113. What three "principles underneath Schelling's philosophy" (and shared with German Romanticism) does Cushman (op. cit., pp. 305-306) give?
"(1) Man's ideal is to expand his soul until it becomes one with God. (2) There is no Thing-in-Itself. The finite world is only a limitation of the ego. (3) Man and the nature world are essentially one. Man has a knowledge of nature when he has a knowledge of himself. In reading his own history he reads the history of nature. The Romanticist drew a veil from the face of nature and found there his own spirit."
114. How does Cushman relate Schelling's philosophy with art? Ibid., p. 307.
"Schelling's philosophy of nature is intelligible only in the light of the great artistic ferment of his time and as the expression of his strong artistic personality. His ideal of artistic insight into nature became for him his idea of science. Reality is nature, and nature is a work of art, self composed and self renewing."
115. How does Cushman contrast the philosophies of Fichte and Schelling? Ibid. p. 310.
"Schelling added a science of nature to Fichte's science of mind; (2) Then he transformed Fichte's philosophy of mind into an aesthetic philosophy of mind; (3) Then he tried in several successive attempts to find a common metaphysical ground for his own philosophy of nature and his recast philosophy of mind. . . . To Schelling the universe must not be regarded [as Fichte did] as the creation of an active moral Ego, but as having an existence of its own. While for Fichte to think is to produce, for Schelling it is to reproduce."
116. What was the problem of Hegel's time that Cushman says that Hegel saw with clearness? Ibid., pp. 325-26.
"The universe must be conceived as an organic unity and yet it must include all phenomena--all the contradictions and variations of life."
117. On the basis of what two principles does Cushman show that Hegel dealt with these two problems? Ibid., p. 326
(1) As a unity, the world must be conceived in terms of the reason; not in terms of the will (Fichte), nor of the intellectual intuition (Schelling). Hegel goes directly back to Kant; the organon [instrument, tool] for the solution of this problem is the human reason. The world is the representation of the human understanding. However, he goes farther than Kant, for Kant had taught that the reason had no knowledge of the supernatural. To Hegel there is no supernatural, because all that is, is rational. (2) A rational world is essentially one of contradictions. Contradiction and not consistency is the fundamental principle of evolution. . . . Consistency is only a veneer. It shuts us out from the real nature of life. [So Hegel sets out to discover the law of the cosmic whole's inconsistencies.] . . . [The cosmic process] creates all contradictions, inconsistencies, and problems of the subjective and objective worlds, but only to solve them."
118. What does Cushman say that Hegel means when he says that "all that is, is rational"? Ibid., p. pp. 328-29.
"He means that every event has rational significance only as a moment in a connected whole--in a unity. The real is rational and the rational is real. But if you extract an event from its historical connection, it falls into the nothingness of the historical contingent. . . . The enumeration of events is not history but chronology; history consists in events as moments of an impersonal, logical movement."
119. At the beginning of his pages on Hegel, how does Magee summarize Hegel? Magee 158
"Evangelist of the Absolute[,] Hegel regarded everything about the world and its history as the development of something non-material, a historical process that culminated in the self-awareness provided by his philosophy."
120. What is it that Hegel believed was developing throughout history, and what is the difficulty in translating the German word for it? Magee 159
Geist. What Geist means is midway between spirit and mind - its connotations are more mental than the English word 'spirit,' and more spiritual than the English word 'mind.'"
121. According to Hegel, what is "the entire historical process that constitutes reality"? Magee 159
"the development of Geist towards self-awareness and self-knowledge."
123. What is the Absolute, according to Hegel? Magee 159
the "self-aware one-ness of everything"
124. What kind of idealism did Hegel have? Magee 159
125. How did Edgar S. Brightman characterize absolutism, absolute idealism, in his An Introduction to Philosophy, 2nd ed., p. 291? How is absolute idealism distinguished from other types of idealism?
"It is the conception that true reality is essentially one mind which 'somehow' includes and explains all the variety of being disclosed in experience. It is both qualitative and quantitative monism." Brightman defines the Absolute as "that which is complete in itself, not limited by anything outside itself" (p. 320)
There is considerable variation in usage of terms applied to metaphysical idealism, all forms of which sometimes are referred to as immaterialism, mentalism, or spiritualism (in a sense not to be confused with the religion of the same name). A broad category in contrast to absolute idealism is pluralistic idealism, which includes personalism (there are finite persons and divine person [God], whose activity or energizing is nature), panpsychism or psychicalism or panexperientialism (God, we, and the innumerable units constituting nature are minds [experiences] of vastly different degrees of awareness). Sometimes Berkeley's pluralistic idealism is called Berkeleianism; often it is classified as subjective idealism, which is approximately equivalent to solipsism (only I exist); however this is a questionable classification of Berkeley's views, since he recognized the existence of other finite spirits and of God, the Infinite Spirit. Probably all forms of idealism that anyone ever has believed deserve to be called objective idealism, but that term sometimes has been reserved for the metaphysics of specific philosophers, such as Schelling. Hartshorne sometimes calls his Whiteheadian psychicalism realistic idealism; it considers the objects that any subject is aware of to be other subjects.
126. What did Cushman say of the Hegelian Absolute? Cushman, op. cit., p. 331.
"The Hegelian Absolute is not a bloodless, abstract universal like Spinoza's substance, which is devoid of all content. Here for the first time do we have the conception of the Concrete Universal--a universal concept with the world as its content. It is only in terms of conscious synthesis that such a concrete universal can be conceived. The concrete universal is the only true universal. It is individual and unique." Hartshorne, In Insights and Oversights, p. 207, says, "Hegel's concrete universal . . . seems to be intended as in no sense abstract, and this means, I think, that it is a confused notion."
127. What are the three stages of a dialectical process, by which conflicting elements in a situation are resolved (the law, or pattern, of the cosmic whole's inconsistencies, referred to by Cushman)? Magee 159
thesis, antithesis, and synthesis
128. How does Richard Tarnas, in his The Passion of the Western Mind, p. 379, characterize Hegel's "all-encompassing system"?
"a conception of reality that sought to relate and unify man and nature, spirit and matter, human and divine, time and eternity. At the foundation of Hegel's thought was his understanding of dialectic, according to which all things unfold in a continuing evolutionary process whereby every state of being inevitably brings forth its opposite. The interaction between these opposites then generates a third stage in which the opposites are integrated--they are at once overcome and fulfilled--in a richer and higher synthesis, which in turn becomes the basis for another dialectical process of opposition and synthesis."
129. What does Zeitgeist mean? Magee 159
spirit of the time
130. When did Hegel believe that the development of society would cease? Magee 161
"when a conflict-free society is achieved." Additional change then would be neither needed nor desirable.
131. What "three key ideas" of Hegel are given by Magee? Magee 162-63
(1) "One is that reality is a historical process, which therefore can be understood only in terms of how it came to be what it is, and also how, at this very moment, it is becoming something else - in other words, can be understood only in the categories of historical explanation. It may seem incredible now, but this historical dimension had been absent from previous philosophy. Before Hegel, philosophers had thought of reality as a highly complex but given state of affairs which they were called on to explain. Since Hegel, however, historical awareness has entered into the way we look at almost everything."
(2) "another idea introduced by Hegel was that the history of the world has a rational structure, and that the key to understanding the structure is the law of change, in other words the dialectic."
(3) A third idea of Hegel's that has been highly influential is that of alienation. The point here is that man, in the process of building his own civilization, creates all sorts of institutions and rules and ideas that then become constraints on him, external to himself, despite the fact that they are his own invention.
132. How do S&H compare Hegel with Napoleon? S&H 217
133. How is Hegel like Aristotle? S&H 217
134. How do S&H contrast Kant and Hegel? S&H 220
135. What "perhaps [was] Hegel's most important and most controversial contribution to the modern conception of society" and what warning do S&H give about it? S&H 220
136. What is meant by Hegel's reference to the owl of Minerva that flies by night? S&H 220
Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom. The reference suggests "that philosophy comes after the fact to merely describe what has already happened."
137. How do Thilly and Wood, in A History of Philosophy, 3rd ed., p. 478, sum up Hegel's philosophy?
"Hegel builds on the foundations laid by Fichte and Schelling. He agrees with the former in insisting on a logical method--indeed, he undertakes to put the world-view of his friend Schelling on a rational scientific basis; with the latter, in identifying logic with ontology or metaphysics; and with both in conceiving reality as a living developing process. For him, too, nature and mind, or reason, are one; yet he subordinates nature to reason. Indeed, for him all being and reason are identical; the same process that is at work in reason, is present everywhere; whatever is real is rational, and whatever is rational is real. There is a logic in nature as well as in history, and the universe is at bottom a logical system. The Absolute, then, is not an undifferentiated Absolute, as Schelling had taught. Hegel, in his criticism of Schelling, characterizes his Absolute as 'the night in which all cows are black.' Nor is the Absolute a substance--as Spinoza had taught; rather is it a subject, which means that it is life, process, evolution, as well as consciousness and knowledge. All motion and action, all life, are but an unconscious thinking; they follow the law of thought; hence, the more law there is in nature, the more rational is its activity. And, finally, the goal toward which the developing Absolute moves is self-consciousness; the meaning of the entire process lies in its highest development, in the realization of truth and goodness by a mind that knows the meaning and purpose of the universe and identifies itself with the universal purpose."
138. What does Will Durant in his The Story of Philosophy, p. 325, say about the death of Hegel?
"When the cholera epidemic came to Berlin in 1831, his weakened body was one of the first to succumb to the contagion. After only a day's illness he passed away suddenly and quietly in his sleep. Just as the space of a year had seen the birth of Napoleon, Beethoven and Hegel, so in the years from 1827 to 1832 Germany lost Goethe, Hegel, and Beethoven. It was the end of an epoch, the last fine effort of Germany's greatest age."
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