I find this topic really boring/uninspiring! Probably won't do this.
Behaviourism, Gilbert Ryle
Don't like this either ):
fatalism, Ancient Greek, Sophocles
predestination, Christian doctrines, St. Augustine
radical freedom, Sartre
individuals, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard
society, socio-biology, Emile Durkheim, Hegel
Continental philosophy, Methodology involves thematic analysis in literature, art, Existentialism, Sartre, Camus
Eastern philosophy, 'enlightenment', Buddhism
the enduring self, Kant
personal identity, bodily continuity, immaterialism, Descartes, Discourses on the Method (1637), "It is certain that I (that is, my mind, by which I am what I am) is entirely and truly distinct from my body, and may exist without it.", mathematical rationalists; methodological, dualist; determinist, method of doubt, attempts to construct a complete philosophic edifice de novo, Sixth Meditations: "do materials exist?", Cartesian method: proves content of one's own mind, mind <- sensations <- body (proves union between the two), real distinction of soul and body cannot be demonstrated except through demonstration of their substantial union, Wax argument: changing nature of it demonstrates deception of the senses, Dream argument, "Malignant demon" argument, discards perception as a method; uses deduction (logical truths), mind and body are different substances, dualism: bi-directional, interaction point: pineal gland "seat of the soul", philosophy: thinking system that embodied all knowledge (metaphor of 'the tree'), "cogito ergo sum" (Part IV), self as a "thinking thing", "clear and distinct ideas", "there is nothing more easily or clearly apprehended than my own mind", makes mind more certain than matter, and my mind more certain than other minds, God as non-deceiver, sensory receptions are involuntary, God gave us "propensity" to believe sensations are caused by material things, destructive process much more interesting than the constructive part, Berkeley/Spinoza's responses: different substances can never interact, Meditations Concerning First Philosophy (1641/2), memory, Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), using a "historical plain method" to "set down ... measures of the certainty of our knowledge", first experiment in critical epistemology, empiricist; rejected notions of "innate ideas", epicenter of innatist/idealist argument is "universal consent" to certain propositions, Lock's counterargument: children, idiots, etc. don't concur, tabula rasa = the blank slate, replaces Cartesian notion of the Self as "clear and distant ideas", "determinate and determined" ideas, sensations and reflections upon conscious choices, work to create "complex ideas" rather than discover them, simple ideas: sensory experience, complex ideas: synthesis/analysis, individuals are "atoms of consciousness", personal unity, phenomenalism excludes grounds for an objective essence of man, personal identity = "sameness of a rational being", conscious stream of a psyche, extends as far as memory's outer limits, bypasses mind-body division
self does not exist, self is foundation of most Western thought, Eastern philosophy, Theravada Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, gained enlightenment in 5th century, Buddha: honorific title: "Awakened One", all things composite/transient, delusion that self exists = source of all suffering, spiritual enlightenment, rebirth/reincarnation: accepted fact, Karma: Sanskrit for action/deed, all deeds have negative/positive effects extending from one life to the next, "if a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him", not straightforward, "man is punished by his sins, not for them", mix of determinism + free will, "we choose our actions but we have to live with the consequences", "by oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers", goal is to exit from Wheel of Life by achieving enlightenment, Four Noble Truths, suffering, (misdirected) desire is cause of suffering, "It is not life and wealth and power that enslave a man, but the cleaving to them", end of desire is end of suffering, Nirvana: state of perfect consciousness; sense of union with the universe, Noble Eightfold Path ("Middle Way"), "Avoid these two extremes", right views, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right concentration, right meditation, Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, empiricism, cannot perceive self; therefore, self does not exist, all we perceive is constant flow of sensations, bundle theory, Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf, plural 'selves'
Aristotle, Ethics, "What is the good goal of human life", Happiness, goal: life lived by the virtuous person, Happiness = success (at being human), Four Primary Virtues, Courage, Justice, Temperance, Wisdom, Democratic principles, Epistemology, Empiricism, Criticism of Plato: The Republic, Family is rooted in human nature, Idea of private property "natural", Rejected concentration of power, Supported rule by middle class
best form of the state
powers of the state
State, "monopoly on the legitimate use of violence" (Max Weber), group of people, sovereignty and control over distinct, defined geographical territory, international recognition
Government, politically presiding body of a nation, state or community
Civil society, voluntary, civic and social apolitical organizations to form a functioning society
Corruption, misuse of legislated powers for illegitimate private gain by government officials
Anarchy, society should be a free association of all its members, social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law
Liberalism, belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights for individiuals, constitutions, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, free trade, freedom of religion
Conservatism, maintenance of traditional institutions, minimal and gradual societal change, emphasis on stability and continuity, opposition to modernism, neo-conservatism: powerful anti-communist beliefs, vigorous enforcement of morals and free trade, pro business policies
Marxism, codified body of thought, scientific and practical analysis of society, teleological theory of history founded upon the class struggle emerging from the capitalist economy
Libertarianism, individual liberty prioritized, property rights, freedom of expression, freedom of action, minimization or elimination of the state
Mill, "rights"-based, utilitarianism, right = "valid claim on society to protect him in the possession of it", demonstrates key issue of conflict between public interest and "individual justice", The Harm Principle
Hobbes, radical mechanistic view, rationalist, deterministic, nominalist, nothing universal but names, written during the English civil war, Leviathan (1651), fundamentals of European liberal thought, artificial character of political order, liberal interpretation of the law, justice is not a natural law, bellum omnia contra omnes ("war of all against all"; state of war/nature), "every man has a right to everything; even to one another's body. And therefore ... there can be no security to any man.", "no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short", "force and fraud are, in war, the two cardinal virtues", everyone is roughly equal in terms of destructive capacity, no law, solitude, struggle, collisions/conflict inevitable, fundamental law of nature: "every man ought to endeavour peace", fear of death + desire for "commodious living", social contract: "mutual transferring of right", morality/obligation exist only when contract involved in mutual transference of right to beneficiary is entered into, covenant between people to agree ruling power as majority chooses, not contract between the ruling party and the people, absolute right: right to self-preservation, commonwealth (an "artificial person", prevent people from reneging on contract, not a single natural person (tantamount to slavery), sovereign: artificial person, "that Great Leviathan ... that mortal god", no limitations on power; no checks/balances, "covenants, without the sword, are but words", source of all law; absolute authority, assumption: main interest is preservation of internal peace, democracy = direct participation of every citizen in legislation and administration, can be manifested in different ways, monarchy, democracy, artistocracy, in-built limit, sovereignty instituted by covenant, for sake of peace and security, no obligation to obey governmental commands that fundamentally defeat these purposes, no right to rebellion, where the law is silent, liberty exists, right of censorship, even the worse despotism is better than anarchy, exception: no duty to sovereign without sufficient power to protect, liberty: absence of external impediments to motion, absence of comment on international relations, Russell: "So long as national States exist and fight each other, only inefficiency can preserve the human race. To improve the fighting quality of separate States without having any means of preventing war is the road to universal destruction."
Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762), establishment of body politic = true contract between people and leaders, social contract = base of all civil society, society beginning of decadence for human condition, state is conceptually subject to and receives its legitimacy from the people, however, the sovereign is subject to the 'general will', everyone must alienate everything but in that case, an individual alienates himself to no one, "while uniting himself to all, each and every one nevertheless obeys but himself and so remains as free as he was before", "one is more free in the social pact than in the state of nature", strictly governed yet supremely free, sovereign = united wills; common/general, no private citizen can be harmed without all others being harmed, law impersonal yet equal (not tyrannical), "whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body", instinct -> justice (morality), physical -> voice of duty, impulse/appetite -> law, civil (moral) liberty > natural liberty, fundamental limitation to human liberty = inequality from power exercised by man over man, any dependency on man unacceptable, wanted to legitimize social bonds (conventions) over physical bonds (force), "Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains. He believes himself the master of others, who nonetheless is more of a slave than they.", injustice = "enjoy the rights of citizenship without being ready to fulfil the duties of a subject", requires small, intimate community, great simplicity of life, little/no luxury, rights of individuals vs. society's will, "Were there a people of gods, it would govern itself democratically. So perfect a government is not suitable for men.", unstable, shifting nature of democracy leads to civil war, requires vigilance/courage, response to the modern state, imposed by rich and wealthy, constituting inequality, entrenches natural inequality
Rawls, A Theory of Justice (1971), rights according to first principles, systematizes and prioritizes ideas about social/political values, rejects 'trade off' of values, welfare state liberalism, government must open up to citizens the widest possible range of civil rights and economic opportunities, "justice as fairness", not maximization of social welfare, nobody is means to an end, discrete persons in society, focuses on worst-off person in society, "difference principle", distribute benefits so that least-well off person does as well as possible, unequal distribution is fair if it makes worst off person better, civil liberties > economic matters, fundamental: respect personal integrity, equal opportunities in economic matters, talents form part of common social pool, individuals do not own their talents, liberty takes lexical priority over the difference principle, individual has "an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with a like liberty for all", defends civil disobedience, citizens' ultimate duty: preserve rule of injustice, non-violence; submission to legal penalties, only possible/useful in some political situations, [criticism: cannot find out what rights/duties we have by asking what they should have been if they were created by a contract], "inequalities are arbitrary" when they work to everyone's disadvantage; "every party must gain from the inequality"
Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), most states' actions are ultra vires (beyond their proper bounds), natural rights, intrinsic, recognizable by all other members, negative in character, right to life, right not to be hurt vs. right to 100% quality healthcare, UN Declaration of Human Rights, power can only be exercised to prevent harm to others, minarchist state, transition from anarchy to state: right to punish offenders against these natural rights of individuals, anarchy will always transition into a minimal state, critical mass gives one security enforcement agency more authority and subsequently monopoly (de facto 'state'), "a minimal state, limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on, is justified", no such thing as 'victimless crimes', i.e. prostitution, blackmail, against state imposition of rights but permits voluntary ones, state defends what is legitimately our own, no right to tax more than policing, state has no property to distribute, Experience Machine thought experiment, pre-programmed neural simulation giving us pure experience, people intuitively choose against that, rebuttal against classical utilitarianism + prioritization of felt experience, "entitlement theory", humans as ends in themselves, redistribution of wealth/goods only upon consent, non-patterned historical principle, vs. other patterned principles of justice, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, communism, following the form "to each according to ...", "From each as they choose, to each as they are chosen", justice in acquisition, justice in rectification (if 1 is violated), justice in holdings, justice in transfer, Wilt Chamberlain example, D1: patterned distribution, 1 mil people freely gives Wilt, famous basketball player, 25c each to watch, D2: Wilt has $250 000 more than rest, no longer ordered by D1 pattern, no patterned principle of just distribution will be compatible with liberty, taxation = forced labor, man working longer to gain income to buy movie ticket, man spending extra time on leisure, "End-state and most patterned principles of distributive justice institute (partial) ownership by others of people and their actions and labor", Lockean proviso, forbids appropriation when positions of others are worsened, does not signify duty to 'improve' other people's conditions, does not provide correction measures for restoring abuses of appropriation, objects to positive rights, equality of opportunity, equality of life, "These 'rights' require a substructure of things and materials and actions, and other people may have rights and entitlements over these."
Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690), existence of natural law, based on the will of God, law has to appeal to self-interested parties, men = rational; enlightened self-interest, state of nature, state of nature: all men equal, free (natural right of self-determination, expression of right: private property, possession limited to what man can produce/consume before it spoils, self-sufficiency, scarcity, civil society, wealth, surplus, will of majority, genuine possessors of power = people, motivation of the "common good", safeguard property (equivalent to individual liberty/happiness), value of object derives from labour expended on it, "useless as well as dishonest to carve ... too much or take more than he needed", "the labour of his body and the work of his hands are properly his.", "life, health, liberty or Possessions", if government goes beyond "better preservation of property", its legitimacy is forfeited, power reverts to the people = revolution, unused property = waste/offence against nature, moderate balance between divine rights of king and Hobbes' crushing Leviathan state, advocated governmental separation of powers, revolution an obligation under some circumstances, introduction of currency reflects selfishness of human nature, eliminates limits of accumulation, inequality not a result of civil society but tacit agreement on use of currency, subsequently associated with 19th century laissez-faire bourgeoisie, classical republicanism/liberal theory reflected in American Declaration of Independence, first explicitly liberal philosopher
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1849), individuals should not allow government to atrophy their consciences, "Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice", government is primarily an agent of corruption and injustice, individual has obligation not to commit injustice and not to give injustice practical support, chief method: withholding of taxes, "That government is best which governs least", motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War
"all armed prophets have conquered and unarmed ones failed"
The Prince (1513), concerned with the conquest and loss of principalities, designed to please the Medici, hierarchy of eminent men, founders of religions, religion should have a prominent place in the State, not on grounds of truth but as a social cement, founders of monarchies/republics, literary men, destroyers of religion, suberters of republics/kingdoms, enemies of virtue/letters are bad, tyrants = wicked, received morality must be repudiated where the conduct of rulers is concerned
Discourses (), doctrine of checks and balances, "these three powers will keep each other reciprocally in check" (princes, nobles and people in the Constitution), power is for those with the skill to seize it in free competition, popular government not derived from rights, but empirical observation that they > tyrannies, question of 'ends' and 'means', achievement of political ends = requires power
The problem of democracy is rule by majority. It would be preferable to have a benevolent dictator in charge. S/he would not have to face re-election and so would not have to pander to the prejudices of the masses., "preferable"
Karl Marx, stresses centrality of work in creation of human nature/self-understanding, The German Ideology (1846), primarily philosophy of history, teleological view of history, too often history is dominated by idea that conquest, "violence, war, pillage and robbery [are] accepted as the driving forces" so that history = taking, history is also about production, productive forces are independent of individuals, "real inasmuch as they are part of the intercourse and association of individuals", influenced by Hegel's dialectical method, materialism, "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.", "let us revolt against the rule of thought", real 'essence of man': sum of productive forces, Homo faber: "man the maker", instead of Homo sapiens ("thinking man", "separate individuals form a class only insofar as they have to carry on a common battle against another class", "conditions of their existence" is comething over which the proletariats "have no control"; "to assert themselves as individuals they must overthrow the State", individuals lost on the "slaughterbenches of history", division of labour : private property = activity : products of activity, oppressive state of affairs, implies "division of conditions of labour and the distinction between capital and labour", private property justifies "oppression" of proletariats, alienated labour, product, process, nature, other individuals/society, all struggles within states are illusions, "the real struggle is between different classes to gain dominion in order to represent its interest as an illusion of the general interest", "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas. The class [with] the means of material production ... has control over the means of mental production", "every revolutionary struggle is directed against a class", to rid itself of the "muck of the ages", regulates the production and distribution of ideas, dialectical materialism, clash of opposing forces in human history is ultimately ordered and purposeful, transition from Middle Ages to modern industrial society, "greatest division of material and mental labour is the separation of town and country", "the transforming of capital into centralized industry capital ... created industrial cities ... destroyed craft skill", true source of history: civil society (buergerliche Gesellschaft), society not equivalent to individuals but the sums of relations between individuals, Communism, "economic movement" overturning all previous relations between people by accepting that the present conditions are created by production and intercourse.", purpose: liberation of each individual, state will regulate production so that each individual is free to do what they want, when they want, "brotherhood of man is not a hollow phrase", Capitalism, economy in which means of production are owned by private individuals, competition, inequality, materialistic values, structure of our days, education, profit motiv
Lewis Mumford, The City In History, a city = "a product of earth ... a fact of nature ... man's method of expression", critical of urban sprawl, structure of modern cities is partially responsible for many Western social problems, urban planning should emphasize an organic relationship between people and their living spaces, medieval city = 'ideal city', modern city too close to the Roman sprawling megalopolis, which ended in collapse
a new focus rearranges societal structure
largely structuralist - attempt to understand the large structures and institutions that affect the lives of people, and how they change over time and space
Marx: primarily economic structures
Weber: economic order of paramount importance but other important structures such as religion, ideas, status, bureaucracy, could influence people's actions in ways not directly derivative from purely 'economic' interests
Weber: "rational bureaucracy" most significant factor, not class struggle
Neil Postman, The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School, "education without spiritual content or, without a myth or narrative to sustain and motivate, is education without a purpose", function of school being a democracy where different views are shared to help unite us"
Max Weber, examine broad historical changes, origins and development of capitalism, political issues, nature of society, religion, ideas, values, meaning and social action, verstehen (understanding): bridged gap between large structures of society and individual social action; individual meaning attached to societal norms, rise of capitalism and modernity, processes of rationalization, secularization and "disenchantment", strongly influenced by German idealism and neo-Kantianism; also, Nietzsche, neo-Kantian belief that reality is essentially chaotic and incomprehensible, with all rational order deriving from the way in which the human mind focuses its attention on certain aspects of reality and organizes the resulting perceptions, the "deep tension between the Kantian moral imperatives and a Nietzschean diagnosis of the modern cultural world is apparently what gives such a darkly tragic and agnostic shade to Weber's ethical worldview", "The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the 'disenchantment of the world'", The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (), ascetic Protestantism associated with rise of capitalism, bureaucracy and the rational-legal nation-state in the Western world, argued against Marx's historical materialism, importance of cultural influences embedded in religion as means for understanding genesis of capitalism, rationalism as core theme in hits works, society's movement towards rationalization, individual cost-benefit calculation, wide, bureaucratic organization, freed humans from traditional, restrictive and illogical social guidelines, but dehumanized individuals as "cogs in the machine" and curtailed their freedom, trapping them in the bureaucratic iron cage of rationality and bureaucracy, disenchantment: opposite of understanding the reality through mystery and magic, world becoming more explained, Godless, Protestantism contributed to successful development and adoption of a capitalist system, as opposed to other Roman Catholicism and, origins of modern capitalism found in religious ideas of the Reformation, Calvinist/Protestant work ethic, Predestination reduced agonizing over economic inequality, prized material wealth, "spirit of capitalism"; Protestant religious ideology justified the pursuit of profit with religion, instead of being fuelled by morally suspect greed or ambition, "bureaucratic administration means fundamentally domination through knowledge", Politics as a Vocation, state as an entity with a successful claim of monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, categorized social authority into distinct forms, charismatic, familial, religious, unstable, traditional, patriarchs, patrimonialism, feudalism, rational-legal, modern law and state, bureaucracy, inevitable end, analysis of bureaucracy emphasized that modern state institutions are increasingly based on rational-legal authority, The City (posthumously, 1921), city: politically autonomous organization of people living in close proximity, variety of specialized trades, physically separated from the surrounding countryside - fully developed in the West and shaped its cultural evolution
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958), Western philosophical tradition devalues human action/appearance (vita activa), Plato, prizes contemplation, essence, eternal (vita contemplativa), theoria > praxis; episteme > doxa (Greek words, missing accents D: ), tripartite division: labor, work action, cause of political alienation, proposed: "personalization of politics", "single-issue politics", labour, biologically necessary for maintenance of life, neverending; results are fleeting, least human; shared with animals; bound by nature, "animal laborans" = slave, unfreedom, Ancient Greek slavery, work, fabrication of an artificial of things, distinct from/shapes nature, durable, semi-permanent, relative independence from actors, "homo faber":= builder of walls (physical and cultural), preconditions for existence of political communities, human institutions: "a common world", e.g. architect, artist, legislator, homo faber threatened by 'rise of the social' (labour), fundamentally instrumental - means to an end (product), vita activa = true freedom, ineliminable freedom, status as an end in itself, not inner phenomenon, but worldly/public, awareness of freedom in intercourse with others, influence of Augustine: human action as beginning, industrial modernity, "all the values characteristic of the world of fabrication - permanence, stability, durability ... are sacrificed in favour of the values of life, productivity and abundance", 'world alienation', highly critical of Marx, Aristotelian distinction of oikos (private household realm - labour, economy) vs. polis (public realm of political community), contemporary linking of the two has destroyed contemporary politics, prioritization of economic (capitalist) eclipsed the possibilities of "meaningful political agency"
Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1961-2), communication technology (alphabetic writing, printing press, electronic media) affects cognitive organization, which affects social organization, print technology -> individualism, democracy, Protestantism, capitalism and nationalism, changes perceptual habits: "visual homogenizing of experience", "fosters a mentality that gradually resists all but a ... specialist outlook", invention of movable type accelerated and intensified cultural and cognitive changes since the invention and implementation of the alphabet (phonemic orthography), print culture favoured visual over aural/oral, print technology: principle of "segmentation of actions and functions and principle of visual quantification", visual, individualist print culture would be ended by "electronic interdependence"; electronic media will replace visual culture, society moves from individualism and fragmentation to a collective identity = "global village", technology has no moral bent per se, but is a tool that profoundly shapes an individual's, and by extension, a society's self-conception and realization, prophesied the World Wide Web; coined the term 'surfing' to refer to rapid, irregular and multidirectional movement through a heterogeneous body of knowledge, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), "the medium is the message", medium affects society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself, i.e. lightbulb = no content, but has social effect, enabling creation of social spaces during night; it "creates an environment by its mere presence", content has little to no effect on society, different medium invite different degrees of participation, hot: enhance a single sense so that viewer exerts less effort (i.e. movies); high definition, complete involvement without considerable stimulus, favour analytical precision, quantitative analysis and sequential ordering, as they are usually sequential, linear and logical, emphasis one sense over others, print, radio, film, lecture, photography, cold: more viewer effort required for analysis and comprehension (i.e. TV); low definition
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Warns of decline in the ability of mass communications media to share serious ideas, Rise and domination of television, Confounds serious issues, Undermining political discourse, Converts complex issues into superficial images, Entertainment > ideas and thoughts, Not an effective way of education: top-down information transfer, not interaction, Relationship between information and human response = "Information-action ratio", Informing Ourselves to Death (1990 speech), Overreliance on and burden of "the din of information", "the tie between information and action has been severed", information = commodity; society dominated by indiscriminate mining of more information, Contemporary vs. Middle Ages (science vs. religion); contemporary society could believe in anything and everything, whereas in the Middle Ages, the populace believed in the benevolent design they were part of and there was order in their beliefs
"All our inventions are but improved means to an unimproved end." Henry David Thoreau
Neil Postman, Technopoly (1992), Humanist, "New technology can never substitute for human values.", "Technopoloy" = "primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgment ... and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts.", Society has to "use technology rather than [be] used by it", Questions to ask about technology, "To what problem is this technology a solution?", New technologies often decrease our options (not to have something), "Whose problem is it?", Whose problem is it, how much does the solution cost, and who pays for the solution?, "What new problems will arise from the solution to this problem?", e.g. automobile, antibiotics, What institutions will be most harmed by this solution?, winners and losers with any new technology
Lewis Mumford, deliberate use of 'technics', Greek word: tehkne (technology, art and other representation of human creativity/activity), "wishes, habits, ideas, goals" and "industrial processes" of a society, Technics and Civilization (1934), polytechnic, multiple modes of technology, complementary to societal functions and institutions, providing complex framework to solve human problems, monotechnic, distortedly isolated dependence on one type of technology that disrupts the natural rhythm of society; technology for its own sake; oppresses humanity as it moves along its own trajectory, automobile, "ritual sacrifices" = car accidents, obstacles for other modes of transporation, America's transportation networks, moral, economic and political choices we make, not machines we use, that have produced a capitalist, industrialized machine-oriented economy, "megamachines", large hierarchical organizations; machines using humans as its components, spontaneous features, accounting, standardization, elevation of military leaders, e.g. repetitive nature of Egyptian paintings of enlarged Pharaohs, e.g. public display of enlarged portraits of socialist leaders (Mao, Stalin), quantitative accounting records (Nazi Germany), enormous bureaucracy, humans as "servo-units", working without ethical involvement, technological improvements weaken the perennial psychological barriers to questionable actions, e.g. Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official conducted logistics behind the Holocaust, people willing to carry out placidly the extreme goals of megamachines = 'Eichmanns', "stage theory of civilization", "Urbanites have the advantages of neither solitude nor society. No shopping center can give cohesion or social focus to the sprawling suburbs.", Clock, herald of Industrial Revolution, instead of the steam engine, "The clock is a piece of machinery whose 'product' is seconds and minutes.", led to standardized work week
Martin Heidegger, essence of technology as 'a way of revealing' truth in its many forms, all ways of revealing make up truth, searches for 'essence' of Technology, One Dimensional Man, essence of modern technology: exploitative (maximum yield at minimum expense), objects as pure resource, this view of 'truth' excludes all others, scientific truth should not have a monopoly on all truth, pinnacle of human achievement to achieve dominance over Nature, solution: more symbiosis
Herbert Marcuse, technical rationality, critical rationality
Val Plumwood, Nature, Self and Gender: Feminism, Environmental Philosophy and the Critique of Rationalism, Dominance of Western rationalist-framework, Dominance of "[r]ationalism is the key to the connected oppressions of women and nature in the West", key to anthropocentrism of the Western tradition, the "cleavage" between the human and nonhuman world, and within the human self, oppression of rationalism: morality is seen as the domain of disinterested, distant reason, "respect for nature ... becomes an essentially cognitive matter", a recognition of intrinsic worth and an extension of universalized ethical principles, Forms of dualism, reason/emotion, Kantian ethical framework using the reason/emotion dichotomy, "the prestige of reason", "the disembodied self", term "human" is not simply descriptive but prescriptive and evaluative: "it is what is essential or worthwhile in the human that excludes the natural", "the discontinuity problem", the definitive characteristic of human is reason; "[H]umanity is defined oppositionally to both nature and the feminine", critique of rationality, "challenge to the cultural legacy of rationalism made by other critiques of rationalism": feminism, critiques of technocracy, bureaucracy, and instrumentalism, "inadequate historical analysis and understanding of the way in which the inferiorization of both women and nature is grounded in rationalism", mind/body, moral respect/personal sympathy (general / particular), Universalization required in the Kantian and Rawlsian framework to check natural self-interest, "Moral progress" as civilized, moral abstraction and generalization away from the "merely particular", the "merely selfish", "capacity to care ... is an index of our moral being", male/female, human/nature, 'rights'-based, strong individual separation of rights-holder, "framework of human community and legality", based on Mill's notion that if someone has a right to a thing, others are obliged to intervene to secure it, not suitable for particular human social context in which 'claimants are part of a reciprocal social community', reassess "centrality of ethics in environmental philosophy", the view of nature as "sharply discontinuous or ontologically divided from the human sphere"; a polarization, relational account of self, critique of the egoistic self of liberal individualism, "Relationships ... play an essential role in shaping what it is to be human", the view of "self-in-relationship", "respect for the other results neither from the containment of self nor from a transcendence of self, but is an expression of self in relationship, not egoistic self as merged with the other but self as embedded in a network of essential relationships with distinct others"
Deep Ecology, accounts of self, indistinguishability, expanded self, transcended or transpersonal self
Peter Singer, The Horizon Lecture, "an expansion of our moral horizons beyond our own species", "expanding the circle of ethics" from family, class, nations, coalitions of nations, all humanity and finally, to animals), tradition of Western thought discourages animal rights, Ancient Greek philosophy, Aristotle: "nature is hierarchy", organisms with less reasoning ability exist for the sake of creatures with more reasoning ability, St. Aquinas: only wrong in animal suffering is its tendency to precede human suffering, Judeo-Christianity, anti-animal rights, sanctity of human lfie, assessment of morality based on presence of human characteristics, seminal question: 'can they suffer' (Bentham), quality of sentience, not intelligence, "How would I like that done to me if I were that being, with the sensitivity and preferences that being has?", "interests of the animal must always be given its full weight within the moral calculus", "see ourselves in perspective", Animal Liberation
role of women in society in relation to men
somatophobia: a fear/loathing of bodies
woman: submissive: oppressed: private: body: nature: emotion: immanence (Beauvoir)
man: dominant: oppressive: public: mind: culture: reason: transcendence (Beauvoir)
Simone de Beauvoir, '[o]ne is not born a woman, but becomes a woman', "no 'feminine' essense, woman as 'other', focus on 'lived experience' combined with historical, theoretical (including literary analysis) approach, "to emancipate woman is to refuse to confine her to the relations she bears to man, not to deny them to her", "Le Deuxieme Sexe" (1949), first influential work of feminist philosophy to distinguish between biological sexual difference and the socially imposed categories of gender
Wittig, May 1970: co-published manifesto of the French feminist movement, The Straight Mind, depicted herself as a 'radical lesbian', Literature "is a mental space where sex is not determining. One has to have some space for freedom.", the category 'woman' exists only as a relation to the category 'man', 'One is Not Born a Woman', there is no biological factor in the construction of woman = lesbians, assuming there is "naturalize[s] the social phenomena [that] express [women's] oppression", rejects superiority of women because that view entrenches the dichotomy of the "political categories" of woman/man, the trap of the myth of woman, the "historical task" is to make evident that "women are a class", i.e. that the categories 'woman'/'man' are "political and economic categories, not eternal ones", 'heterosexual contract', heterosexuality 'a political regime', 'material conditions ... [in society] plays a vital role in the social production of gender'
Butler, Gender Trouble (1990), 'gender is performative', 'Gender is not something that one is, it is something one does, an act a 'doing' rather than a 'being'.", coherence of the categories of sex, gender and sexuality is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time, 'women' do not exist, disconnecting gender from desire, 'disciplinary regimes', dictate possibilities of sex, gender and sexuality in society, disputes existence of biological sex, feminists should not try to define 'woman' as a discrete, ahistorical group with common characteristics, gender and desire to be 'flexible'; idea of identity as free and flexible; gender as performance instead of essence = foundations of Queer Theory, an interrogation of societal pressures and conditions to give people more possibilities of living, Undoing Gender (2004), case example: David Reimer, sex medically reassigned from male to female after a botched circumcision, though identifying as male, criticism: ignores the gendered body
Knowledge is intentional, Knowledge of something
Knowledge of the Forms
'What exists' / 'What is most real'?
Individual, Use of geometry (triangle), The divided line
Society, Political philosophy
Book I (Convention under Attack), What is morality? Why is it profitable?, Main method of the book: dialogue, dialectic, Other methods rejected, Cephalus (non-rational tradition), Age, Wealth, Religion, Conventional morality (poet Simonides), Definition: "truthfulness and giving to others what is owed to them", Socrates: returning weapons to an insane friend, Polemarchus (authority), Culture, Father, Definition: 'doing good to one's friends and harming one's enemies', Socrates: analogy of the arts, "it is never right to harm anyone", a skilled artist works up to a standard but does not exceed it), but only the unskilled goes to excess. Thus, “[t]he just does not desire more than his like but more than his unlike, whereas the unjust desires more than both his like and his unlike", just = skilled = good, Thrasymachus (violence), Definition: 'advantage of the stronger party', Socrates: states/people don't always know what's best for them, Socrates: analogy of the arts, all branches of knowledge are for the advantage of the weaker, i.e. medicine for the sick, morality is the advantage of the weak(er), Thrasymachus' modification: immorality is always more profitable than morality (shepard/sheep relationship), Socrates: strictly speaking, shepherding is for the sheep; morality resembles knowledge and immorality resembles ignorance, Thrasymachus: immorality is effective, Socrates: 'morality and knowledge and a good state' -> concord & friendship vs. 'immorality and ignorance and a bad state' -> conflict & hatred & antagonism, Socrates: argument, 1. everything that exists has a specific funcftion, Eye, Mind, State, 2. a function is something it alone can do, and better than anything else, Sight, vision, Management of the body; authority over life, Management and authority over society, 3. a thing with a specific function has a specific state of goodness that allows it to do its function, Light, Morality, Justice, Every art has an end and an excellence by which the end is accomplished. The end of soul is happiness, and “justice is the excellence of the soul” through which happiness is attained, while “injustice [is] the defect of the soul”. Justice and happiness are thus inseparable.
Book II (The Challenge to Socrates), Glaucon's response, What is the 'nature and origin of morality'?, social contract theory, morality serves inherently self-motivated instrumental purpose, Human nature = selfish or altruistic?, Human nature = self-interested, only expectation of reward / fear of punishment allows otherwise, Thought experiment: Ring of Gyges, Who lives a better life, the moral or immoral person?, Best: immoral person with reputation of morality, Worst: moral person with reputation of immorality
Book II (The Fundamentals of Inner Politics), Socrates, 'person-state analogy', "morality can be a property of whole communities as well as individuals", What was the very first community like?, Basic needs, Individual with single job, 'true' community, morality not intelligible concept, not humans, but animal-like beings?, First community with concept of morality, Needs and wants, Characteristics associated with civilization, Furniture, Seasoned food, Jewelry, 'indulgent, inflamed, bloated and distended', essentially acquisitive and aggressive, resulting in conflict, Guardians (in this case, auxiliaries), Xenophobic (fierce towards strangers and gentle towards familiar faces), 'philosopher's love of knowledge' because 'anything that relies on familiarity and unfamiliarity to define what is congenial and what is alien must prize learning'
Book III, IV (The Guardians' Life and Duties), How should the guardians be chosen?, 'principle of specialization', education, role to discourage social mobility, 'the noble lie' / 'the myth of metals', How should they live?, Minimal private property, Happiness = happiness of community
Book IV (Inner and Outer Morality), examination of the good state, Athenian virtues, Wisdom, Trait of rulers, not workers, Courage, Trait of the auxilaries, Self discipline, Means that the better part of the mind is in control of other parts, Morality, Adherence to principle of specialization, Precondition for other virtues, Immorality = trying to rise above one's station in life, Tripartite Mind, Desire, workers, self-discipline, Reason, rulers, wisdom, Passion/will, auxiliaries, courage, individual morality consists of each part fulfilling its single function, goodness = state of mental health, life isn't worth living if it's immoral/unhealthy, Plato's idea of justice is not atomistic, in that it doesn't judge single actions but rather the overall 'health' of the individual/society
Book V (Women, Children and Warfare), Digression from the main thesis, Private property, auxiliaries and guardians do not have private property 'except what is absolutely indispensable', private property leads to conflict within community, Women, men and women are equal in all respects except perhaps strength, 'innate qualities have been distributed equally between the two sexes', Children, children separated from their natural parents, institution of marriage abolished, communal lifestyle, mating should be controlled; sex is reward for service to community, only superior offspring raised, possibility of sibling incest, these plans kept secret, New node, War, co-ed warfare, youth participation in war, systems of punishment and rewards during war, formulation of rules governing treatment of prisoners of war
Book VI, VII (Supremacy of the Good), guardians must answer the fundamental question: 'what is goodness?', the thing itself is the most real, the thing itself is the object of knowledge, specific examples of things are the object of belief, Simile of the Sun, 'as goodness stands in the intelligible realm to intelligence and the things we know, so in the visible realm, the sun stands to sight and the things we see', provides light, condition for sight (belief), provides heat, condition for existence, Goodness, provides truth, condition for knowledge, provides reality, condition for existence of forms, the divided line, analogy of the cave, the human condition
Book VII (Educating Philosopher Kings), 'reorientation' of the mind, a turning away from the world of things (becoming) towards a world of the forms (Being), curriculum, math, astronomy, music, dialectic, i.e. logic and reason, Equivalent to high school education, Followed by two years of military training, Selected group proceeds to holistic study, Age 30: five years of 'nothing but rational argumentation', Age 35-50: society administration + moral testing, Age 50: perfect records allowed to 'open up the beam of their minds and look at the all-embracing source of light, which is goodness itself', continuous study of philosophy, compulsory political leadership duty, training of new philosophy, destruction of culture to implement system: use the children
Book VIII, IX (Warped Minds, Warped Societies), Good: aristocracy (rule of the good/philosopher-kings), Bad: timocracy (rule of the ambitious), Bad: oligarchy (rule of the few rich), Bad: democracy (rule of everyone), Bad: tyranny (rule of one)
Book IX (Happiness and Unhappiness)