Western Philosophy by Mind Map: Western Philosophy
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Western Philosophy

Mindmap of Western Philosophy by Jason Buberel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Pre-Socratic

Four elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire

Sophists ~ 450BC

Started around 450BC in Athens

First attempt at a full-fledged philosophical doctrine

Protagoras, Considered the first sophist

Professional teachers

Despised by Plato, Because they charged fees, Because they used rhetorical sleight-of-hand

Pythagoreans ~ 500BC

Believed in reincarnation

Heavily influenced by mathematics and mysticism

Transmigration of the Soul was a core belief

Were vegetarians

Heraclitus - 535-475BC

"No man steps in the same river twice."

Diogenes primary biographer

Parmenides ~ 450BC

Only known work was "On Nature" - a poem

Claimed that truth cannot be know through sensory perception, only through logos.

Zeno of Elea - 490-430BC

Reducto ad Absurdum

Zeno's Paradox, Arhilles and the Tortoise

Herodotus - 484-425BC

Greek Historian

First known writer to collect and document his ideas systematically.

Thucydides - 460-395BC

The Pelopomnesian War - his greatest contribution to history.

"The Father of Scientific History"

"The Father of the school of political realism"

Classical Greek

Socrates - 469-399BC

Ethical truth was absolute

"To Know the Good is to Do the Good"

Plato

Invented Metaphysics

The Socratic Method

Forms

Republic, Shadows on the Cave Wall, Women should hold political power, Political leaders chosen from among best & brightest, Anti-democratic, What is Justice?, Give each man his due, Might makes right, Reason, No nuclear family, No private property, Philosopher "guardians" of Reason will rule

Asked the question "What is virtue?"

Invented Dualism of Mind and Body

Aristotle

Democratic principles

Invented term "physics", Greek for "Nature"

Criticism of The Republic/Plato, Family is rooted in human nature, Idea of private property is 'natural', Rejected concentration of power, Supported rule by middle class

Ethics, Defined ethics as "What is the good goal of human life?", Happiness is the life lived by the virtuous person, Happiness is the goal of human life, Happiness originally meant "success", Happiness means good at being human, Four Primary Virtues, Courage, Temperance, Justice, Wisdom

Epistomology, We acquire our knowledge of the world via our senses

Epicureanism

We are made of atoms

No afterlife

Abstain from Political Life

Abstain from sexual involvement

Take nothing to excess

Stoicism

Zeno of Citium - 334-262BC, Considered founder of Stoicism, "Happiness is a good flow of life", Pathos is a disturbance of the mind repugnant to Reason and against Nature., Virtua is the consistency of the soul with Right Reason and Universal Reason (logic)

Zeno of Elea - 490-430BC, Realist/Materialist, Best known for his Paradoxes

Critical response to epicureanism

Freedom from suffering through discipline

Duty to community

Considered philosophy a way of life

Actions more important than beliefs

Romans

Cicero - 106-43BC

Brought Greek philosophy to the Romans

Combined Skeptics, Epicureanism

Virtue is happiness from Aristotle

Epicurean principle of refined and disciplined pleasure

Skeptics

Sextus Empiricus

Raised the question "How do we know what we know?"

Can we trust any of our own knowledge?

Christians

Hebrew Bible

Explores the relationship between God and the people of Jerusalem

Central theme is the Covenant

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel)

Old Testament

Book of Job, Asks the question "Why do the righteous suffer?", Satan challenges Lord, Lord inflicts cruelty on Job, Job does not forsake his Lord

New Testament

Paul, Early author, The Gospels, Baptism as the means by which Jews become Christians, Rejects circumcision as a necessary rite to become Christian

Augistine - 354 - 430

Combined christian with platonic

Wrote "Confessions"

The Grace of God

Is grace a gift of god, or must it be earned?

Predestination - God knows from the start who will receive The Grace

Aquinus - 1225-1274

Argues that the eternity of the world cannot be demonstrated by pure logic.

Wrote the "Summa Theologica"

Aristotelian

Truth could be achieved through natural or divine reason

Four Cardinal Virtues, Prudence, Temperance, Justice, Fortitude

Five Ways on the Nature of God, God is simple, without composition of parts, God is perfect, lacking nothing, God is infinite, God is immutable, God is one

Medieval Thought

Realism, Words have meaning in and of themselves

Nominalism, Words have no inherit meaning

Luther - 1483-1546

Disagreed with Augustine's automatic granting of grace by god

Wrote the 95 Theses, In response to Indulgences sold by the Pope, Strongly believed that freedom from God's punishment could not be purchased with money.

Earned grace through belief in Jesus, Salvation is not earned by good deeds, Faith in Jesus brings salvation

Once justified, you can be condemned through the commission of sin.

Calvin - 1509-1564

Grace was given by god

Knowledge of God not attainable through experience, only through studying of scripture

Rejected catholic doctrine of merit

Supported the notion of predestination

Once justified, always justified

Justification comes through having a conversion experience

Proponent of the concept of the original sin

The Renaissance

Machiavelli

Inventor of Political Science

The Prince, "It is better to be feared than to be loved, because love is fickle but fear is constant., Reputation for honesty, integrity is important, But not the practice of it.

Thomas Moore

Wrote "Utopia", Mocked modern English society, All property is communal, Marriage is by love, not arranged, Elected parliament, Price elected for life, War for 3 Reasons, Defend Territory, Defend Ally Territory, Liberate oppressed people, Moral Theory focused on happiness

Erasumus

Opposed strong enthusiasms

Galileo

Francis Bacon

Sought to separate religion from natural philosophy

Stressed Induction and Experimetnal Methods

Descartes

"Cogito ergo sum", The most basic of all ideas, the existence of which cannot be disputed

Two Proofs of God, A perfect being could only come from a perfect being., From necessity: a perfect being must have existence to be perfect.

Dualist (Mind/Body Dualism)

Hobbes

Leviathan

We are guided by passions, not reason

Passions, Desire for Power, Fear of Death

Government is a means of escaping struggle between power and fear

Governments derive their power from the subjects in exchange for peace and security

The Social Contract

Brutish, solitary and short.

Spinoza

Freewill is a logical impossibility because all causes have precedents

Rejected dualism of Descartes

Bayle

Skepticism

What do we know with any certainty?

God cannot be known via reason, only faith

Newton

Principia

Law of Gravity

Laws of Motion

Discovered calculus

Modern optics

The Enlightenment

Adam Smith - 1723-1790

The Wealth of Nations: The Division of Labor, Specialization of job function leads to massive gains in efficiency., Coordination and cooperation between specialists is done out of self-interest., We get what we need from others out of their self-interest, not their charity.

The Theory of Moral Sentiment, Offers an explanation and basis for the cooperation and coordination that are required for the division of labor described in Wealth of Nations., Why?, We want the approval of others, The reactions of others to us and our behaviors is important to us., We generally seek to behave as if there were an impartial spectator observing our behaviors. Would they approve of them?, Our conscience is a product of these factors., Obeying the law, We do so because of the utility of doing so. In general, we derive benefit when we do so.

He was aware of the dangers and problems that could arise from too much specialization of labor and the social isolation that could result.

He worried about the moral impact on someone who shifted from a village-centric social context to that of a large city and the anonymity that could result.

Smith is also concerned about class and wealth disparity and that impacts that would have on society.

Rousseau - 1712-1778

Critiqued the progress of modern society, Moral decadence always accompanies cultural progress, American Indians in their simplistic life compare favorably to Europeans in their levels of happiness and virtue.

Claimed that enlightenment beliefs led to eventual collapse of civilizations

Called for a return to nature

Social Contract, All power is given to the state, Your happiness is calculated as your share of the overall societal happiness

David Hume - 1711-1766

Epistemology, Ideas are copies of our sense impressions, Three relations among ideas, Resemblance, Spatio-temporal, Cause-effect, Reason alone cannot justify our belief in experience, Belief in our experiences as representing the external world accurately is based on our instinct or custom, and cannot be proven with reason.

Morality, Scientific theory of morality, Moral judgment cannot be based on rational deliberation, because simpletons and infants are also capable of making more judgments., There is no evidence that indicates that the most intellectually capable members of our species are the most moral., Therefore, our sense of morality is based in part on our biology and in part by our social context., What makes a moral rule a universal more rule?, Primarily, its utility, All government and political institutions have their basis in utility to society., We have a natural appreciation for virtuous behavior, and are thus naturally moral at least in part., You cannot deterministically go from an "is" to an "ought"

Religion, Basing religious belief on inference from experience has four flaws, It means that religion is probable at best, because all ideas are derived from experience, not reason., In all scientific inquiries, negative evidence counts more than positive evidence. So we would require positive evidence with zero negative evidence in order to justify our belief in god through experience., Effects do not prove a cause., In the end, Hume is dismissive of both religion in general and in the ability to base religious belief on experience.

Montesquieu - 1689-1755

Objected to Locke's Epistemological Relativism

The laws of nature are demonstrable across cultures, therefore not all knowledge is relative

Believed that democratic republics are the most morally desirable but least stable forms of association

Greatly influenced American Revolution, Must limit the ability of government to grow in power

Affluence eventually leads to despotism

Bishop Berkeley - 1685-1733

There is no existence independent of perception

To exist is to be perceived

Disagreed with Locke's argument that human knowledge depends on the existence of material objects independent of minds.

Claimed that materialism was dogmatic superstition.

All of our ideas are derived from our experiences

Mandeville - 1670-1733

The Fable of the Bees

Central Human Traits, Selfishness, Egocentrism

Vico - 1678-1744

Philosophy of history

Human societies are cyclical, Worship of gods, Emergence of Heroes and kings, Age of man, Inherently unstable, Leads to collapse

Disagreed with social contract theory, Society is not a contract but the natural progression from customs and mores

Leibniz - 1646-1716

Co-inventory of Infinitesimal Calculus

Asserted "The best of all possible worlds"

Metaphyics - La Monadologie, An attempt to resolve the problem of mind/body dualism, Nothing arises from nothing, Everything that exists has a reason to exist, Everything which exists is better than anything non-existent

Théodicée, Reason and faith are gifts from God, Sin and Suffering are the result of metaphysical imperfections, Although God has unlimited reason and willpower, humans do not which makes sin and suffering possible.

Early developer of formal/algebraic logic

John Locke - 1632-1704

Politics, A man is free when he is subject only to political authority to which he has consented., Natural liberty is freedom from the arbitrary power of others, Beginning of modern democratic political theory., Denies need for authoritarian power, which leads to despotism and tyranny, Denies that fear is the primary motivator of men, Natural Rights, Life, Liberty, Property, Men are governed by laws from a legislature, Opposed monarchies, Modern social contract theory, An agreement among free and equal men to exit the state of nature and by forming a limited polity., Stressed that equality was legal equality, not equality of material possessions.

Knowledge/Epistomology, Empericist, Ideas are acquired via experience, Two forms of experience, The external world, Reflection on the mind's own operations, There are no innate ideas, The mind is a Tabula Rasa

Ethics, Ethics are learned, not innate, Ethics are derived from experience, and thus relative to our experience of the world

Age of Ideology

Kant

The Critique of Pure Reason, Science is the study of the world as perceived by our senses, To experience that world, we impose upon it forms and categories that make our experience of the world possible and coherent., Space and Time, Object Persistence, Causality, Existence, Plurality, Unity, Metaphysics goes beyond our experience, and thus outside of pure reason, Disagreed with Locke and Hume and their empericism - the idea that all ideas and truths come from experience, Without his 'categories of understanding' none of our experiences would make any sense.

The Critique of Practical Reason, Maxim: Act only that that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law., Practical Reason is concerned with how we ought to live., A moral law cannot consist primarily of hypothetical imperatives, Ex: If you want to stay healthy, you should eat right and exercise., Ex: If you want to become a doctor, than you should study., Hypothetical imperatives fail because they only apply to those who want the outcome they describe., Categorical Imperatives have no qualification clause, Instead of saying "Do not lie if you want to be trusted" (hypothetical), instead it should be "Do not lie"., Categorical Imperatives must not depend on circumstance, desire or on the consequences of their actions, The notion of Free Will is justified by our ability to self-legislate - to create rules that we should follow, and then to follow them.

Burke

Strongly condemned the French Revolution

Strongly supported of the American Revolution, Because it did not propose a social upheaval or overturn, only a political one., He believed that is used as its basis the notion of traditional rights - no taxation without representation - derived from English common law.

Believed that individual rights were not derived from abstract principles but were instead based on traditions and conventions of the population.

These are 'conventional' rights that could not be derived from theory.

Hegel

Founder of Modern Historicism

Opposed the Enlightenment concepts of materialism and that the unfolding of history was purely mechanical.

Marx

Historical materialism

Division of Labor

There will always be a scarcity of the goods needed to satisfy the cultural wants of all of society., A consequence of this is that one part of society establishes itself as a ruling class in order to secure a dispropotionate share. This is inevitable as human nature

Modes of Production, Communism is the answer to the problems inherit in the Capitalist Mode of Production., It addresses the problem of disparate incomes., It addresses the problem of scarcity on a global basis.

Felt that the downfall of Capitalism was inevitable. And that Communism was its logical successor.

Felt that Capitalism would lead to alienation., Capitalism and Private Property would alienate man from other men and from himself.

Capitalism leads to exploitation and inequality, especially for women.

Mill - 1806-1873

Wrote "On Liberty" - classical defense of freedom from intrusive government AND from majority rule.

Main defender of Utilitarianism, The idea that one ought do what brings about the most benefits and causes the least amount of harm., The greatest good for the greatest number.

Jeremey Bentham - 1748-1832

Founder of Utilitatianism, it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong, Considered a hedonistic approach to utility.

Introduced the design of the Panopticon

Coined the term "Codify", proponent for condensing all British common law into a single set of cohenrent statutes.

An early advocate of animal rights

Early advocate for gender equality

Supported the liberalization of laws against homosexuality

Kierkegaard

Founding figure of Existentialism

Felt that true Christian faith required one to make a "Leap of Faith"

Was concerned with Reason usurping the role and need for Faith.

Felt that Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son Isaac when requested by God was a great "Leap of Faith", Abraham's faith was justified when he raised up the knife to sacrifice his own son only to have his hand staid by God., This is true belief, true faith.

Three States to Human Life, Aesthetic - the pursuit of immediate pleasures., Ethical - Through repentance and marriage., Religious - Faith in the incarnation of God in Christ.

Schopenhauer

First to bring eastern Buddhist philosophy into western circles.

Very pessimistic view of human existence.

Buddha's Four Noble Truths, Life involves suffering, Desire causes suffering, Suffering will cease when desire ceases, The solution to suffering is the renunciation of the will.

Believed that experiences of aesthetic beauty were as close as one could come to the true nature of existence.

Nietzsche

Perspectivism, Strongly rejected the Aristotelean notion of an objective real world., There is no true metaphysics., The world of appearances if the only world that we have access to., We have no access to knowledge about an objective world. We have only our perceptions, conceptions and interpretations., There is no 'Gods Eye View' of the real world., This led to his proclomaition that 'God is Dead', His epistemology was practical, pragmatic.

The Will to Power, Morality is an expression of The Will to Power, Stressed master and slave morality, strength over weakness.

Morality is Subjective, Values are relative to the time, place, circumstances and customs.

"Become who you are!", Ethics becomes an aesthetic pursuit of becoming a beautiful person - Give Style to your Character., We should not contradict our character, but instead cultivate our strengths and virtues., "Thus Spake Zarathustra", We should not follow the herd

Modernity I

James

Pragmatism

Saw his approach to philosophy as empowering the individual.

There is no notion of absolute truth.

Freud

Id, Represents the Self, More powerful than ego, superego, Seeks to gain pleasure, avoid pain, Knows no moral judgements, Produces frustration by making demands that cannot be fulfilled.

Ego, Represents Reality, Rational, cautious, Weakest element of our personality, Attempts to negotiate between Id and Superego, Source of anxiety

Superego, Represents Morality, Imposes standards of moral perfection that cannot be sustained., It produces guilt.

Conflict among these three factions leads to unhappiness.

"Civilization and Its Discontents"

AJ Ayer

Philosophy should abandon the pursuit of an absolute metaphysics.

All talk about the world was a "logical construct" of our phenomenal and sensual experience.

Considered philosophy the handmaiden of science - to help explain scientific meaning.

Positivism was partly a response against the complete relativism of Kant. Positive = Pro-science

Positivism was also built on the progress in symbolic logic and related mathematics.

Language does not have a deterministic meaning or external provable correspondence.

Believed that statements of ethical judgements were meaningless.

Max Weber

Founder of modern sociology

Focused on how authority is legitimated in societies.

Legitimacy has three forms, Legal, Traditional, Charismatic

Dewey

Pragmatist

Gave pragmatism a historical context -

Pragmatism stats that the meaning of a statement was the practical results in experience that we would expect if that statement were true.

Rejects the notion of truth and replaces it with "warranted assertability"

Heidegger

Wittgenstein

Greatly influenced by Bertrand Russell.

Believed that metaphysics was flawed, because it was based on the mistaken use of language.

recent nytimes discussion, traditional philosophy was inherently scientific, purely theoretic philosophy is in conflict with a scientistic approach, traditional philosophy over analogizes and over simplifies in the name of theoretical consistency, modern philosophy must therefore avoid theory creation and should be primarily therapeutic

Husserl

Criticized the relativism of Nietzsche, who believed that absolute truth cannot exist apart from our perspectives of it.

Rejected skepticism for stating that even if there were absolute truths, we would have no way to know them.

Rejected historicism for insisting that all truth is relative to the historical context in which it originates.

Rejected positivism for insisting that only truths that are based on empirical phenomena are possible - partly because it leaves to room for mathematical axioms/truths which are not empirical.

Husserl believed that philosophy should seek certainty, not facts.

Modernity II

Hayek

Socialism and central planning is incompatible with individual freedom

Argued that there is a social division/dispersion of knowledge that leads to an efficient determination of prices.

Prices do not necessarily represent merit.

Therefore, rewards and social justice will not always be dispersed according to merit.

Wrote the "Road to Serfdom", People have incompatible preferences which central planning cannot possibly account for., Planned economies lead to concentrations of power., Therefore, central planning inevitably leads to a loss of freedom.

Popper

Was strongly influenced by how Einstein challenged the thoroughly confirmed and widely held confidence in Newton.

Argued that science can strive for truth, but will never be 100% sure if/when it has achieved it.

Our best form of knowledge is science, but that cannot be taken as justified truth.

Insisted on the testability of scientific ideas.

The objectivity of any scientific idea could only be established through critique.

Kuhn

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Paradigm Shift

Most scientific work is spent filling out the details of the prevailing paradigm, not in divergent or critical investigation.

Over time anomalies accumulate in the prevailing paradigm, eventually building into a 'paradigm shift', Aristotle (earth is center of universe), Copernicus (sun is center of universe), Newton, Einstein, ???

A field of study is NOT a science until it has a single, unifying paradigm within which most of its practitioners work.

Kuhn characterized progress in science as a highly social, and not necessarily rational, mechanism.

Qine

Effective critic of logical positivism

Attacked Empiricism, There is no real distinction between synthetic truths and analytic truths., The principle of reductionism - that every high level statement could ultimately be reduced to simpler statements of sense experience - does not work., This is because our ability to reason about sensory experience is constrained by the symbol language we use to reason about it. These language impose their own boundary conditions to what can be reasoned.

Habermas

Stressed the importance of the 'public sphere' of communications and how it enabled democracy.

These social institutions enabled groups of individuals to discuss and openly debate and ultimately impact their political institutions.

Wrote "Theory of Communivative Action", Argued against the subject/object foundations of Marx and others., Instead, ethics and politics should be analyzed from a social perspective of self/other.

Rawls

Wrote "A Theory of Justice", The task of any theory of social justice is the legitimate the inequalities that emerge in the basic structure of society., To assess any system, you must do so from the 'original position', Veil of Ignorance: You must not know your place in the social structure of society, or what your natural talents may be., All participants must be disinterested in the outcome of the debate., Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty that is compatible with a similar liberty held by all others., If there are any inequalities in the system, they can only be justified if first - they are to everyone's advantage - and second - they be attached to positions or offices that are open to all.

Derrida

Deconstructionist

Questioned the entire western tradition of trying to define a 'true logos' behind our empirical view of the world., This began with Plato's forms, and has been carried forward ever since.

Follower of Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger, Nietzsche did away with the concept of absolute truth., Freud did away with the concept that the subjective self or consciousness has any special access to the 'logos' or true forms., Heidegger did away with the notion of an 'I am' that precedes existence., He argued (from Sartre) that you must exist in order to have an essence. There is no essence without existence.

Deconstructionism directly opposes the Christian belief that Jesus/God embodies the perfect 'form' of man.

Like Sartre (existentialism) - the absence of a higher plan or purpose to life does NOT render life meaningless.

He wants to free us from the guilt over the absence of absolute meaning or purpose in life. There can be none, so get over it.

Rorty

Absolute truth cannot be found in language - it is merely a statement that we approve of.

Modern philosophers should give up the pursuit of absolute truth, and instead should seek to eliminate the cruelties of everyday life that these historical social norms have placed upon us.

His basic critique of western philosophy centers on the refutation of the existence of a "God's eye-view" of the world

Pragmatism is the ultimate anti-philosophy, Rejects the goal of defining truth as the level of correspondence with an objective reality., Truth should be approached pragmatically: Does the statement work for us?, Also rejects absolute realism. Our experience of reality will always be influenced by the conceptual framework in which we analyze it. And that framework is constantly changing.

Argues that many aspects of our language and are beliefs are contingent - not necessarily true or false.

But it is important for our overall system of beliefs to 'hand together' and to be free of inconsistencies.

Gouldner

Critic of the Marxist attempt to define society in terms of who owns the means of physical production, and the class distinctions that such a model result in.

The succession of modern ideologies owes its existence to the American and French revolutions, which made it possible to be an intellectual dissident.

Each ideology seeks to destroy competing ideologies while itself claiming to be disinterested.

Class struggle in the modern west occur between old money and new intelligentsia (engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists), The struggle is not, as Marx described it, between those who controlled the means of production and the serfs below them.

MacIntyre

Rejects the moral relativism that began with the Enlightenment thinkers (Locke, Hume, Kant).

Admits that an absolute proof of any particular moral theory is beyond reach, but that our social traditions are a valid basis by which to evaluate our moral theories.

Claims that social tradition is a necessary precondition for rationality. Without those traditions, there can be no rationality.

The moral relativism of 'modern philosophy' is itself yet another tradition.

He sees 'modern philosophy' as a tradition that is hostile to the very notion of traditions, and is thus self-contradictory.

The 'is-ought' gap, This is the fundamental problem for all moral philosophy., If you believe in a fundamental difference between statements of fact vs. statements of value, it becomes impossible to to move from 'what is' to 'what ought to be'., This inability to find a rational justification to any given set of moral rules is a pervasive feature of modern philosophical endeavors., Thus modern philosophy leads to moral skepticism.

What is a tradition?, The entire history of its world view over time., The community of people who are its bearers., The social practices of that community., They are like Kuhn's Scientific Paradigms., However, it must be possible for one tradition to judge other traditions based on rational criteria., Example (Margaret Med): A primitive New Guinean tribe will have a tradition of beliefs, including truths about the world, that directly contradict most modern western traditions., But we should not conclude that their belief system is un-judge-able, or equal to our traditional system of beliefs - there MUST be a basic by which to critique., Nazi-ism, for example, is a tradition. We should be able to rationally argue why it is a bad tradition. Why it is wrong. Relativism would make this judgement impossible., The criteria: One tradition is more rational than another if, It can explain both the success and failures of the other tradition better than the other tradition itself can explain., If it can understand the other tradition well enough to explain its failures to it in the other tradition's own terms.

Nozick

Limited Governement, Wrote "Anarchy, State, and Utopia", Starts with the basic principle that a lone individual has certain rights that no other person may infringe upon., Then asks the question: With that as the basis, is there a form of government that can adhere to that principle? If so, what would it look like?, The starting point is an individual who has the right to personal property. That is the state of nature., Nozick does not attempt to justify this starting point - where does that initial right derive from and can it be proven. He simply takes it 'as-is'., This is a weakness that others have used to refute much of his arguments., He then argues that only a very limited state may exist that would not infringe upon that fundamental right., Involuntary redistribution of the wealth for even a single individual would be illegitimate., Nozick argues that a minimalist government is possible that does not infringe upon this basic right, and that it can be achieved without gaining the consent or participation of ALL individuals (which would necessarily entail some amount of coercion)., The only role of this minimal government is to enforce protection rights (police and judicial).

Redistribution of Wealth, Taxes mean that others have a claim of ownership in you, and are therefore morally equivalent to forced labor and slavery., However, charitable redistribution is fine - only forced redistribution is wrong.

How do we assess a just society, The means: The individual steps that led to the current distribution of wealth were each fair, just and entered into freely by both participants., The ends: The resulting distribution of wealth is equal among all participants, regardless of whether coercion was used to move some wealth from one to another.

Modernity III

Jerry Fodor

Proponent of psychological nativism

mental states are relations between individuals and mental representations

mental states are expressed in a Language of Thought

Daniel Dennett

Believes that the notions of Free Will and Determinism can be reconciled

Focused on establishing a philosophy of mind that is firmly empirical

Has argued that natural selection can account for the emergence of morality

Paul Churchland

Proponent of Eliminative Materialism

Every day mental concepts will eventually be eliminated by a fully mature neuroscience

Thomas Nagel - 1937 -

"What is it like to be a bat?", A refutation of reductionism as it pertains to the mind., Consciousness cannot be explained without reference to the phenomenon of being that thing.

Believes that the current understanding of the physical world is insufficient to explain what it is like to "be some thing".

Student of John Rawls

W.W. Bartley - 1934-1990

Close collaborator with Karl Popper

Best known for pancritical rationalism, Every possible option or explanation will have one valid criticism., The goal is to choose the option whose criticism you are most willing to accept.

Discussion of pancritical rationalism

Leonard Piekoff - 1933 -

Intellectual hier to Ayn Rand

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Metaphysics, There is an objective reality that exists independently of our experience of it.

Epistomology, All knowledge is acquired via an intellectual process

Ethics, Rational self-interest, Rational egoism

Economics, Unregulated Lassiez-faire Capitalism

Politics, The role of government is to protect the rights of individuals, Only government should have the right to apply justice and physical punishment., Democratic with guaranteed individual rights, Government has no rights except those delegated to it by the citizens

Foreign Policy, Use of armed forces strictly defensive, Free trade should be encouraged

Albert Camus - 1913-1960

Absurdism

We value our lives and existence

But our mortality makes our lives meaningless

To embrace that paradox is absurdism

Jean-Paul Sartre - 1905-1980

Existentialism

There is no creator

We are condemned to be free

Existence precedes essence

Authenticity and individuality are earned, not learned

Kurt Gödel - 1906 - 1978

Best known for his "incompleteness theorems"

For any computable axiomatic system, If the system is consistent, it cannot be complete, The consistency of the axiums cannot be proven by the system itself

Bertrand Russell - 1872 - 1970

Developed Analytic Philosophy

Co-authored Principia Mathematica

Established the logical underpinnings of mathematics

Rudolf Carnap - 1891 - 1970

Member of the Vienna Circle

Supporter of Logical Positivism

Developed a formal version of empericism

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