Philosophy Essays

Philosophy Essays-29
When you have looked at a reasonable amount of secondary material you should then - if your reading of that material has not already forced you to do so - go back to the primary texts and read them carefully.

When you have looked at a reasonable amount of secondary material you should then - if your reading of that material has not already forced you to do so - go back to the primary texts and read them carefully.

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" Descartes feels that there is no certain way of distinguishing dream from reality, and even the fact that he is questioning his dreams is subject to doubt, for he could be dreaming at that moment in time also.

He recalls that while dreaming it has felt so real, and only upon waking has he realised it a dream.

[...] In the state of nature described by Locke, all men have the right "to dispose of himself and his possessions as he thinks fit" (Plamenatz, 1992, p338).

This broad conception of property makes it equivalent to freedom and is limited only by man's obligation to God to not destroy himself and by the recognition of the same right of others.

The fact that the argument is a posteriori has advantages however.

It relies on experience which may be universal, or at least testable. there is more than one possible conclusion and it does not demand that we accept the definitions as fixed.These notes are written in a fairly forthright style, peppered liberally with injunctions and prohibitions, but I suppose I should say by way of disclaimer that I do not necessarily think that there is only one correct way of going about writing a philosophy essay, either under examination or under non-examination conditions.So treat these notes as guidelines which you may find of assistance (though, on many points, I don't myself see that there is a realistic alternative).Of course much philosophy tries to be strictly consequential, like a mathematical proof, so that in theory one ought to be able to take it in step by step until one reaches the conclusion, without knowing in advance what the conclusion is going to be until one actually gets there.But we all know that when it comes to an argument (and the point also applies to mathematical proofs, incidentally), it is often very hard to see why earlier steps in a piece of argumentation and included unless one is privy to the intended outcome.[...][...] The Cosmological Argument is an 'a posteriori proof' of God's existence, i.e.It is based on a set of premises which are drawn from experience but do not necessarily contain the conclusion within the premises.We have moved over to using textbooks in our first-year provision on an experimental basis, and we are including them elsewhere in our array, because we want to ensure (as was not the case in the past) that students have access to the relevant primary sources, and can bring them to seminars.But clearly the drawback of moving to textbook-based courses is that a gap potentially opens between the student experience of doing philosophy and the professional experience - because of course professional philosophers cannot rely on textbooks, but must examine relevant texts in their entirety and must obtain these texts even if it is difficult to do so (even if it involves, for example, travelling to a copyright library, something I personally have to do regularly).Property in a narrower sense for Locke meaning the right to exclusive use of an object that no one else has previously claimed is derived from man's right to dispose of himself as he sees fit and is acquired, as already mentioned, by mixing one's labour with an object in its natural state.[...][...] Descartes even subjects our own reality to doubt, as in the dream doubt that is addressed in meditation one; "how often have I dreamt that I was in these familiar circumstances - that I was dressed, and occupied this place by the fire, when I was lying undressed in bed?


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