[SOLUTION] Solipsism and Substance Dualism

Part 1 of 2 Before you look at any other classmates’ entries, post your replies to the entire list of items below, using the rich text editor to make your presentation clear and easy to follow: 1. Refer to the list of items below, and the directions.  While thinking about the content of this Unit, answer the questions for each item. 2. Be mindful of any cognitive state (mental state) words that you use in your responses, and be sure to have read the Basic Logic, Principles of Reasoning, and Epistemology sheet before you begin. List of Items, and Directions* How certain are you of the existence and/or truth of the following things or statements, and why? You should indicate whether you believe the existence of, or truth about, each thing is certain, nearly certain, probable, possible, doubtful, or non-existent. Your reasons might include your sense of perception, your reason, reliance on scientists or other experts, reliance on others, intuition, faith, or some other reason.  You should explain your reasons in complete, declarative sentences, so that your classmates will understand how you arrived at your conclusions.  You could even choose to write up your reasons and conclusion in the form of arguments, since all members of this course are now familiar with those. (a) Flowers (b) Two things plus two things equals four things. (c) All human beings are mortal. (d) Gravity (e) An atom (f) A black hole (g) The number 2 (h) Abortion is immoral. (i) Slavery is immoral. (j) God (k) Souls (l) Heaven (m) Hell  (n) Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Additional information from module this discussion entry should be based on Descartes, mathematician and rationalist philosopher, 1596-1650 Introducing Unit 7: Knowledge, Reality, and Certainty – René Descartes First, we consider directly the question: “What is knowledge?”  In a short paper by Edmund Gettier, we will be given a challenge to the most widespread, general proposal as to what constitutes knowledge.  Since even the standard proposed definition of knowledge can be challenged, perhaps skepticism is the best epistemological stance for us to adopt.  René Descartes, however, thinks that he has discerned a method that makes it possible for us to see that knowledge, understood as certainty, is not only possible, but innate within us.  We follow Descartes through his first three Meditations and engage in his thought-experiments.  In the process of doing this, we encounter solipsism and substance dualism.  We also reinforce some of our logical tools and acquire a few new ones.  We see the effectiveness of reductio ad absurdum argumentation; thought experiments; and witness the emergence of modern philosophy as Descartes demonstrates that by exercising our rational capacity in accordance with his method, each of us is able to see clearly what he himself has demonstrated. Terms aposteriori knowledge apriori knowledge belief Cartesian coordinates Cartesian dualism Cartesianism certainty Descartes, René (1596-1650) dualism dubitability (“able to be doubted”) empiricism evil genius infinite regress innate ideas intentional states justification knowledge Leibniz, Gottfried (1646 – 1716) light of nature manifest or patent falsehoods mathematical knowledge Meditations method of doubt (4 rules) mental states modern philosophy primary qualities rationalism reductio ad absurdum reification science secondary qualities sensations senses skepticism Society of Jesus (Jesuits; Catholic religious order) solipsism Spinoza, Baruch (1632 – 1677) substance dualism theism thought experiments truth wax thought experiment Takeaways The ability to separate and evaluate different cognitive states. Appreciation for rationalism and the ability to articulate what it is. Enrichment of an appreciation for perceptual experience. Definition of solipsism. An understanding of the move into Modern Philosophy. The ability to use reductio ad absurdum argumentation. The ability to recognize infinite regress arguments. The ability to distinguish primary and secondary qualities of material objects. The ability to distinguish and recognize intentional states and sensations. An appreciation for the role of institutional and individual authority. Opportunity to engage in philosophical thought experiments. The ability to distinguish theoretical and practical reason. An understanding of the role of skepticism in knowledge construction.

 

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