Philosophy of Man- Syllabus

July 30, 2017 | Author: niLo12 | Category: Rationalism, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, René Descartes, Epistemology, Karl Marx
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1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4



2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4



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Defining philosophy Branches of philosophy Roots of philosophy Methods of philosophizing


Man as a rational being Cartesian mind and body dualism Man as subjectivity Man in the perspective of Eastern philosophies


Gabriel Marcel’s concept of freedom Freedom in Sartre’s existentialism Deliberation and choice - Aristotle Free will as the cause of Evil - Augustine


Evil as forgetfulness - Plato Virtue as the golden mean - Aristotle The Categorical Imperative - Kant Master morality vs. Slave morality - Nietzsche


Utilitarian concept of justice Categorical concept of justice Value of Human Life Justice as fairness – Rawls


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1.1 DEFINING PHILOSOPHY Philosophy is a subject that many students find hard to grasp. One of the reasons for this is the idea that the discipline of philosophy is too concerned with abstractions, mental experiments, and arguments that have nothing or little to do with practical life. This misconception is really far from what philosophy is and what it aims to achieve. The application of philosophy is actually so vast and expansive that it can be applied to most other disciplines if not all. This introduction seeks to enlighten students and educators alike by discussing what philosophy really is and how important it is to man’s daily existence. So what is philosophy? Although the etymological[1] definition is rather overused in most introductory courses in philosophy, it is important to discuss for it gives us a very basic and clear idea of what philosophy is. Etymologically Philosophy is dissected into two Ancient Greek words: Philosophy then, according to its etymological definition is simply, ― love for wisdom.‖ There is also the traditional lexical[2] definition of philosophy: Both the etymological and lexical definitions of philosophy give us an idea what philosophy is, however, to take these two very different definitions as sufficient enough to describe this very broad discipline is still a subject of controversy regarding many armchair and professional philosophers alike. If we examine the etymological definition, we can see that it poses more questions than it answers. Love might be understood as having an affectionate desire towards wisdom, nevertheless the question of what is wisdom still remains. The lexical definition, a definition that is largely attributed to Alfred North Whitehead, a British philosopher, is also very problematic. Some philosophers contend, especially those coming from the eastern tradition that philosophy is not only done through ―reason‖ alone. Various methods such as meditation, prayer, and some literary methods are used by eastern philosophers and regard the ―logical‖ and ―rational‖ approach to philosophy as biased and western in its roots. It is important to remember, though, that the dichotomy between east and west is not absolute; at times their methods overlap each other that this distinction blurs. 1.2 BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY[3] Epistemology Epistemology is the study of ―knowledge.‖ Epistemology deals with the process by which we can know that something is true. It addresses questions such as:

  

What can I know? How is knowledge acquired? Can we be certain of anything?

Within epistemology there are two important categories—rationalism and empiricism. Rationalism stresses reason as the most important element in knowing. Rationalism holds that knowledge is gained primarily through the mind. It also asserts that we are born with innate ideas that precede any experiences we may have with our physical senses. Empiricism, on the other hand, asserts that all our knowledge comes from our five senses. To use the terminology of the empiricist, John Locke, our minds are a ―blank slate[4]‖ at birth. Thus knowledge comes from our experiences. Metaphysics Metaphysics is the study of ―reality.‖ More specifically it is the study of reality that is beyond the scientific or mathematical realms. The term ―metaphysics‖ itself literally means ―beyond the physical.‖ The metaphysical issues most discussed are the existence of God, the soul, and the afterlife. Ethics Ethics is the study of moral value, right and wrong. Ethics is involved with placing value to personal actions, decisions, and relations. Important ethical issues today include abortion, sexual morality, the death penalty, euthanasia, pornography, and the environment. Logic Logic is the study of right reasoning. It is the tool philosophers use to study other philosophical categories. Good logic includes the use of good thinking skills and the avoidance of logic fallacies. Aesthetics Aesthetics is the study of art and beauty. It attempts to address such issues as:

   

What is art? What is the relationship between beauty and art? Are there objective standards by which art can be judged? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

1.2 ROOTS OF PHILOSOPHY[5] Ancient Greek Philosophy THALES: c.610 – c.546 BC Thales, the first philosopher in recorded history, lived in the Greek city of Miletus on the western coast of Asia Minor. No works written by Thales have survived. All that we know about him comes to us from stories handed down by later writers. Thales was described by Aristotle as the first philosopher because he held the view that ―All is water.‖ PYTHAGORAS: c. 582 – c.507 BC Pythagoras, whose views are only known to us through the teachings of his followers, was born on the Greek island of Samos. Beginning with the observation of the numerical relationship between musical notes, the Pythagoreans held that Number was the essence of reality. HERACLITUS: c. 535 – c.475 BC Heraclitus lived in the Greek city of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor in the eastern Mediterranean. Only fragments quoted from his work remain. Heraclitus held that reality is constantly changing, that ―All is Change.‖ PARMENIDES: C.610 – C.547 BC

Parmenides founded a school of philosophy in Elea, southern Italy, and became leader of a group of thinkers known as the Eleatics. In Parmenides’ view, all change is an illusion. Reality, which he termed ―Being‖, is unchanging, eternal, undivided. SOCRATES: 469 – 399 BC Socrates, perhaps the most famous of all philosophers, lived his entire life in Athens. Unlike Thales and other early thinkers, Socrates was more concerned with the health of the soul, than the nature of reality. PLATO: 427 – 347 BC Plato, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, lived and died in Athens. Deeply influenced by Socrates, he became his teacher’s biographer. Plato held that all of reality was divided between a higher, perfect, non-physical realm of truths and the lower, imperfect physical universe. ARISTOTLE: 400 – 320 BC Aristotle, one of history’s most influential thinkers, was born in Stagira, Macedonia in northern Greece. Though a student at Plato’s Academy, Aristotle abandoned his teacher’s emphasis upon a higher, non-physical realm of truths and spent his life analyzing what could be known by the senses. Aristotle, because of his careful, and extensively recorded observations, is known as the ―Father of Science.‖ Roman Philosophy EPICURUS: 341 – 270 BC Living in Athens before Rome had gained control of Mediterranean, Epicurus taught that happiness is achieved when we wisely pursue pleasure. The highest pleasures are those that are long lasting, like those produced by the simple life and the company of good friends; the lowest pleasures are those that are costly, like expensive possessions, or short lasting, like sexual intercourse. Epicurus’ philosophy, as carried on by his followers, influenced Roman intellectual life for 500 years after his death. SEXTUS EMPIRICUS: c. 200 AD Almost nothing is known about Sextus Empiricus’ life except that he was a physician and saw himself in a line of Skeptics dating back to Pyrrho (361-170 BC), the founder of Skepticism. Sometime in the 3rd century BC, Sextus summarized the principles of skepticism in three works: Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Against the Dogmatists, and Against the Professors. Middle Ages Philosophy ST. AUGUSTINE: c. 354 – 430 AD Augustine, born in North Africa, lived in the closing decades of the Western Roman Empire. Ordained a priest at 37, he became bishop of Hippo in northern Africa five years later. Among his many writings, the Confessions is a classic autobiographical description of the inner workings of Christian life. On the Trinity summarizes key elements of Christian theology, and The City of God attacks paganism and presents an extended description of the Christian view of history. ST. ANSELM: 1033 – 1109AD Born in northwestern Italy, Anselm became a monk at the age of 27 and after only two years, was named prior of the monastery at Bec in southern France. Continuing to advance in the church hierarchy, Anselm was nominated archbishop or Canterbury, England in 1093. As archbishop, Anselm successfully resisted the desires of two English kings (William II and Henry I) to control and tax religious institutions. At the core of this argument is the view that a careful analysis of the definition of God will prove that God must exist. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: c.1225 – 1274 A.D. Growing up in central Italy as the son of aristocratic parents, Aquinas was expected to pursue a career in politics of the military. At 19, however, he joined the Dominican Order and remained true to his determination to become a monk, despite being imprisoned by his parents in a tower for a year. Aquinas served as a professor of theology in Paris and Naples and was largely responsible for reconciling the ideas of Aristotle with Christian beliefs. Aquinas rejected the Platonic otherworldliness that had influenced the church since the days of Augustine, and argued instead for Aristotle’s sense-based analysis of reality. In Aquinas’ view, the truths of theology and science are mutually compatible. Reason supplements and does not contradict faith. Considered the greatest philosophical achievement of the Middle ages, Aquinas’ works were declared the official philosophy of the Catholic Church in 1879.

WILLIAM OF OCKHAM: c. 1285 – 1344 AD William of Ockham, an English Franciscan philosopher-theologian studied at Oxford where he became influenced by the thought of Duns Scotus and Peter Lombard. In 1324 Ockham was charged with heresey, but his trial did not reach a conclusion. Thereafter, Ockham allied himself with Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, the pope’s enemy. Ockham is said to have remarked to Louis, ―Defend me with your sword and I will defend you with my pen.‖ Under Louis’ protection, Ockham wrote all of his most important political works. Ockham’s important contributions to philosophy include his work in logic and his analysis of the problem of universals. Under Ockham’s view, universals like ―dog‖ or ―triangle‖ are merely names, and have no existence, as Plato thought, independently of our language. Renaissance Philosophy THOMAS HOBBES: c. 1588-1679 AD Besides his work in philosophy and political theory, Thomas Hobbes was a mathematician, a translator of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and a tutor of Charles II of England. Hobbes met some of the best minds of his day, including Galileo, Marin Mersenne and Rene Descartes. In Leviathan, his major work, Hobbes argued for the absolute power of kings, in opposition to the medieval supremacy of the church. In De Corpore he argued that philosophy’s sole subject should be the study of bodies in motion. Hobbes works, because of their attack upon traditional Christian positions, provoked intense opposition. RENE DESCARTES: c. 1596 – 1650 AD Born in La Haye in northwestern France, Descartes studies in a Jesuit school and then sets out to learn from the ―book of the world‖ by traveling through Europe and serving in two armies. At 41, he publishes La Geometrie, in which he makes important contributions to calculus, and develops a graphing technique (now known as the Cartesian system), which links algebra to geometry. Four years later, in Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes attempts to build a philosophical system based on a single, absolute certitude, cogito ergo sum, ―I think, therefore I am.‖ Summoned to Sweden to teach his philosophy to Queen Christina, Descartes dies of pneumonia at the age of 54. BLAISE PASCAL: c. 1623 – 1662 AD One of the most remarkable geniuses of his day, Blaise Pascal invented the barometer, hydraulic press, syringe and a calculating machine. In addition, he conducted important researches in geometry, probability theory, and the ―theory of indivisibles‖, a forerunner of calculus. In 1654, Pascal experienced a powerful religious transformation and entered the Jansenist monastery at Port-Royal, France. He stayed with the Jansenists for four years, writing, under a pseudonym, a series of aricles attacking the Jesuits. Pascal eventually broke ith his religious superiors, and, until his death at 39, worked on mathematical studies. BARUCH SPINOZA: 1632 - 1677 AD Born into a jewish family in Amsterdam, Spinoza receives an orthodox Jewish education. However, by the age of 24, Spinoza has been so strongly influenced by the work of Descartes and other Christian thinkers, that he is pronounced a heretic and formally cast out of his synagogue. For the rest of his life, Spinoza supports himself on the meager earnings of a lens grinder. Spinoza’s main contribution to philosophy is his Ethics, in which he deduces an elaborate philosophical system following the model of geometry. Spinoza’s central beliefs include the view that God and Nature are identical, that all events are predetermined and that the highest human happiness is produced when reason actively controls the passions and focuses upon ―the intellectual love of God.‖ GOTTFRIED WILLHELM VON LEIBNIZ: 1646 – 1716 From youth, Leibniz demonstrates his genius, reading difficult philosophical works with ease. At the remarkable age of 21, he is offered a professorship, which he declines. Choosing a political rather than an academic career, Leibniz serves a succession of German dukes of Hanover. Among his other accomplishments, Leibniz develop the notion of kinetic energy and is the first to publish a system of calculus. As a philosopher, Leibniz argues that God has created the best of all possible worlds and that reality is based upon an infinite number of spiritual entities he terms monads. A rationalist, Leibniz holds that the mind at birth contains innate truths which can be developed and clarified as the mind matures. Enlightenment Philosophy JOHN LOCKE: 1632 – 1704 AD The founder of British Empiricism, John Locke was born in 17th century England, a country in political turmoil. When Locke was 17, King Charles I was tried and beheaded for treason. This victory of English citizens of the monarchical system helped shape Locke’s lifelong support of democracy. His writings on the natural rights of man invluenced the American Bill of

Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke attacked the rationalistic view that the mind contains innate truths. Instead, he proposed the doctrine of tabula rasa, the view that the mind is like a blank tablet which is filled by information acquired by the senses. GEORGE BERKELEY: 1685 – 1704 Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, George Berkeley went on to a remarkably varied career which included composing works of philosophy, attempting to found a college in Bermuda, becoming an Irish Bishop and touting the medicinal benefits of drinking tar water (a mixture of pine tar and water). In A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonus (1713), Berkeley combined empiricism, the belief that all knowledge comes through the senses, with the unusual view that ideas are the only reality. All that we know of the world is sensebased knowledge; all sense-based knowledge of matter is really knowledge of ideas of matter. According to Berkeley’s principle, esse est percipi – to be is to be perceived; what appears to be the physical universe is really only our idea of matter. In Berkeley’s view, all ideas reside, ultimately, in God’s mind. DAVID HUME: 1711 – 1776 David Hume, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, grew up on a moderately well to-do family. Gifted with remarkable intellectual powers, he began research at 16 that would lead to his great philosophical work, A treatise on Human Nature. According to his mother, he was ―uncommon wake minded.‖ Hume left the University of Edinburgh after three years to pursue a career in philosophy. Hume’s philosophy begins in empiricism, the view that all knowledge comes through the senses, but ends in skepticism, the view that little if anything can be known for certain. Thus, though all we know about the universe is based on sense evidence, a careful analysis of what our senses tell us reveals that we can know nothing about cause and effect, the ―laws‖ that guide motion and change, or any other general principle of nature. In addition to philosophy, Hume also made important contributions to sociology, economics, politics, and history. A friend described him as ―one of the sweetest tempered men and the most benevolent that was born.‖ Suffering from cancer, he faced death with great calm. Hume died in 1776, the year of the American Revolution. JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU: 1712 – 1778 Despite his important contributions to music, educational practices, and esthetic theory, Swiss born jean Jacques Rousseau’s most influential work was in political theory. Rousseau addressed the question of the origin and proper powers of government, a philosophical topic since the 5th century B.C. he especially concerned himself with the social contract, the supposed agreement among citizens and their rulers as to their mutual obligations. Rousseau’s major works include Discourse on the Arts and the Sciences (1750), Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1755), Social Contract (1762), and his autobiography, Confessions (1781) IMMANUEL KANT: 1724 – 1804 Immanuel Kant never ventured further than 80 miles from his birthplace, Konigsberg, Germany. He lived a life of mechanical punctuality; according to legend, his neighbors set their clocks by the minute he passed their house during his daily walk. The great dramas of Kant’s life were internal. Roused by David Hume’s skeptical arguments, Kant established what he believed would be an entirely new direction for philosophical investigation. Hitherto, philosophers had looked outward at the universe; kant argued that philosophers must look inward at the ways the mind constructs the universe. In addition to important work in metaphysics and epistemology, Kant broke new ground in ethics with his analysis of human nature and the will. Kant’s major works include, Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and Metaphysics of Morals (1797). Philosophy of the Industrial Revolution JEREMY BENTHAM: 1748 - 1832 In accordance with his will, the clothed skeleton of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham is permanently exhibited at University College, London. Despite the peculiarities that may have occupied his mind near death, Bentham’s career was notably pragmatic. As a founder of Utilitarianism, he inspired many social reforms, especially in the penal system, was a strong advocate for the rising tide of democracy, espoused the new economics of Adam Smith, and founded the radical magazine Westminster Review (1823). In ―An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation‖ (1789), Bentham states a central principle of Utilitarianism: ―Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is from them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.‖ Thus, it is our won pleasure and pain, not god’s direction, or the guidance of eternal ethical principles, that should determine life’s path. A variation of this view is as old as

the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Bentham’s arguments powerfully influenced not only legislators but also many other thinkers, including his younger colleague John Stuart Mill. JOHN STUART MILL: 1806 – 1873 John Stuart Mill, under the influence of his overbearing father, began to study Greek at three, Latin at eight, logic at 12 and political economy at 13. In his late teens, Mill had a nervous breakdown which lasted for two years. Later in life, he remarked, ―I never was a boy; never played at cricket; it is better to let nature have her way.‖ Mill was strongly influenced by his father’s friend, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of Utilitarianism. Mill, like Bentham, dedicated himself to social reform. One of the leading liberals of his day, Mill endorsed free trade, secret voting, reorganization of parliament, equality for women, and trade unions. Mill made two crucial changes in Bentham’s Utilitarianism. First, he rejected Bentham’s ―hedonic calculus,‖ the attempt to assign numerical values to pleasure and pain; second, Mill made a crucial distinction between the quantity and quality of pleasure. For Bentham, all pleasure is the same, whether it is produced by soaking in the tub or listening to opera. For Mill, a small amount of high quality pleasure, opera listening, is more valued than a large amount of low quality pleasure, tub soaking. KARL MARX: 1818 -1883 Born in Germany, Karl Marx lived the life of a revolutionary. For his radical views, he was expelled from Cologne and Paris (twice), and lived the last three decades of his life exiled in London. Financially supported by Frederick Engels, a wealthy British manufacturer who became his co-author, Marx developed his views during years of research in the library of the British Museum. Generally unrecognized during his life, only eight people attended Marx’s funeral. The influence of Marx upon the modern world has been enormous, probably more than any other philosopher. As one of the founders of Communism, his views are embraced by millions; his account of the dynamics of society laid the foundation for sociology; Marx’s description of historical change as being driven by economic class struggle powerfully influenced the development of both economics and modern theories of history. Marx’s major works include ―Manifesto of the Communist Party‖ (1848) and the three volumes of ―Das capital‖ (the last volumes were published after his death). Modern Philosophy LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN: 1889 - 1951 Born in Austria to a wealthy industrialist family, Ludwig Wittgenstein had a fierce daring in all his pursuits. He was wounded in battle during WWI, earning a medal for his actions. His genius was displayed in every undertaking – despite having no formal training, he designed and supervised the construction of a house for his sister that is acclaimed as a work of art. During WWII, he developed a new method for sorting and typing blood that continued to be used for decades after. As a schoolteacher in Vienna, he developed a widely used dictionary for children. Wittgenstein is almost unique in having developed not just one, but two radically original approaches to philosophy. Both approaches are primarily concerned with the relationship between our ability to understand the world and language. Wittgenstein’s first approach, developed in the ―Tractatus‖, claimed that sentences (propositions) form a kind of picture that we compare to the world. This ―picture theory‖ of language claims that sentences form word pictures, which we then compare with the world in the same way that we might compare a model of a building to the original. The ―Tractatus‖ is written in a simple, yet deeply artistic style; it has been aptly described as a ―logical poem.‖ Wittgenstein’s second approach to philosophy said that our knowledge of the world is completely dependent upon language; we can only understand the world through language, and the way our language happens to work controls how we understand the world and what we are able to understand. Wittgenstein claimed that language is a tool, or more accurately a variety of tools. There is no single or necessary logic to how language works, just as not all tools function in the same way. MARTING HEIDEGGER: 1889 – 1976 Born in Germany, Heidegger studied under Husserl, whose phenomenology he rejected in favor of a philosophy that was almost its direct opposite. Heidegger was primarily concerned with the study of the question of being, a question that dates back to the Pre-Socratics. He believed that being was inextricably tied with time, as evidenced in his major work, ―Being and Time‖. This book strongly influenced Jean Paul Sartre and other involved in the movement known as existentialism, which focused upon an analysis of the human situation. ―Being and Time‖ brought Heidegger instant fame in Europe; however, his vocal support of the Nazi party in its early days tainted his later career. Heidegger was deeply concerned about the way technological society had alienated people, and he thought that the Nazis would provide a means to allow people to be more ―authentic‖, a term Heidegger used to describe humans when we are bring uniquely ourselves, making truly free choices. While he strongly denounced the action of the Nazis in WWII, Heidegger never apologized for his earlier support. This lack of regret is perhaps appropriate, given his

philosophical beliefs that the things that make us unique individuals are our free choices. To apologize for this support would have been to apologize for being who he was. JEAN-PAUL SARTRE: 1905 – 1980 Sartre, raised by his maternal grandfather, was a precocious child. As he revealed in his autobiography, THE WORDS, rejection by his classmates caused him to escape into the world of books. While studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, Sartre met Simone de Beauvoir, who became is lifelong companion. During World War II, Sartre joined the French Resistance and was eventually imprisoned by the Nazis. After the war, he spent several years teaching at secondary schools before resigning to devote himself to writing. Sartre is regarded as the foremost exponent of existentialism, a philosophy which traces its roots to the work of Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche in the 19th century. As presented by Sartre, existentialism is an atheistic philosophy which focuses on, among other topics, the problems generated by human freedom. We are ―condemned to be free.‖ RICHARD RORTY: 1931 – 2007 Richard Rory has been labeled a relativist, an irrationalist, and an anti-realist. He (allegedly) maintains that there is no truth, no real world, and no grounds for saying that what the Nazis did was morally wrong. These attributioins are all the more shocking considering that Rorty passed through some of the finest institutions of the American academic establishment, receiving a doctorate from Yale in 1956 and teaching with distinction at Princeton, the University of Virginia and Stanford. Though superficially Rorty’s claims range from unintelligible to appalling, upon closer inspection they reveal themselves to be sophisticated and, for many, quite appealing. 1.3 METHODS OF PHILOSOPHIZING Logic & Argumentation An argument is a set of claims, one of which is meant to be supported by the others. Example: Premise 1: A student must be responsible for his regular attendance and the fulfillment of his requirements on time. Premise 2: Many students in this school fail to fulfill their requirements and are prone to absenteeism. Conclusion: Students of this school must become more responsible in attending class regularly and submitting their requirements on time. An inference is made each time a person draws a conclusion from a premise or set of premises. CONSIDERATIONS IN ARGUMENTS Length – Arguments can be long or short. Some books are written with a single argument in mind. Arguments and Disputes – An argument in our sense is not a dispute. Some people dispute in order to resolve a disagreement while arguing may not necessarily need any resolution. Bad Arguments – an argument can fail for any number of reasons. Its premises may be false, or irrelevant, or provide inadequate support for the conclusion. ARGUMENT FALLACIES Four Fallacies of Relevance Appeal to Ignorance (Ad Ignorantiam) – consists in arguing that because a claim has not been demonstrated to be wrong, the claim is right. Ex: The cake I baked is delicious because no one has told me it’s not. Appeal to Inappropriate Authority (Ad Verecundiam) – the authority we are citing is in a position to provide compelling evidence even though he is not. Ex: My lawyer said that eating too much rice is bad for my health.

Appeal to Popular Belief (Ad Populum) – asserting that a claim is correct just because people generally believe it is. Ex: Most people believe that Noynoy should be re-elected. I will vote for Noynoy in the next elections. Appeal to Popular Attitudes (also Ad Populum) – popular attitudes and the emotions associated with them can be manipulated to incline people to accept claims that have not been demonstrated. Ex: Don’t wear a red shirt if your skin is dark. Most people here in Aurora think that a red shirt does not suit people who have dark skin. Two Fallacies of Inadequate Evidence False Cause (Post Hoc) – involves concluding that because on event occurred before another, the first was the cause of the second. Ex: The door opened because Manuel sneezed. The door opened because Manuel sneezed. Hasty Generalizations – consists in generalizing on the basis of an inadequate set of cases. Ex. Jessica and Anne like wearing yellow. All women probably like wearing yellow. Four Fallacies of Illegitimate Assumptions False Dilemma (False Alternatives) – consists in giving arguments that present alternatives as exhaustive and exclusive when they are not. Ex: Its either you’re with us or you’re against us. Loaded Question (Complex Question) – consists in attempting to get an answer to a question that assumes the truth of an unproved assumption. Begging the Question (Petitio Principii) – a question is ―begged‖ when reasons justifying an answer to it are only apparently presented in an argument. Slippery Slope – the mistaken idea behind the slippery slope fallacy is that when actions can be arrayed along a continuum, justifying the first action is equivalent to justifying the most extreme ones. Four Fallacies of Criticism Against the Person (Ad Hominem) – consists in rejecting a claim by offering as grounds some personal characteristics of the person supporting it. Pooh-Pooh – to pooh-pooh an argument is to dismiss it with ridicule as not worthy of serious considerations. Straw Man – consists in misrepresenting an opponent’s claim or argument so that it is easier to criticize or so obviously implausible that no criticism is needed. Name Calling (Loaded Words) – to apply judgmental terms without providing reasons is another way of trying to get something for nothing. Two Fallacies of Defense Definitional Dodge – consists in redefining a crucial term in a claim to avoid acknowledging a counterexample that would falsify the claim. The Exception That Proves the Rule – The saying is often mistakenly taken to mean ―an exception to a rule establishes its truth,‖ whereas it actually means ―an exception to a rule is a test of the rule.‖ READING:

Insight by Fr. Roque Ferriols, S.J.

[1] Etymology: 1. The derivation of the word, 2. The account of the history of a word or element of a word [2] Lexical definition is definition that comes from the dictionary. [3] [4] Tabula rasa

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