Basic Teachings Of The Great Philosophers

Aristotle taught others that the soul is to be found wherever life is. Since signs of life are found in nature, the soul must be found throughout nature. He also believed that the human soul is higher than other beings because it has the ability to think in terms of concepts. He also stated that the soul of man has the power of reason. This reason perceives concepts just as the lower part of the soul perceives objects in the world. He believes there are only two types of reason. Creative reason and passive reason. Creative reason is a form and it existed before body and soul.

Passive reason is passive and will perish when the body is ultimately destroyed. Personal immortality is impossible. The only part of the soul that survives death is actually part of God and simply returns to God. Alquinas had a slightly different view than Aristotle. Aquinas believed God created the human soul. This soul was immaterial and the intellectual and vital principle of the body. The soul is added to the body only at birth and this soul can will. It does not depend on the body for existence or function. Therefore, it can continue to act even after the body has perished.

The soul forms a spiritual body for itself so it can live for eternity. Almost all of the Christian believers today still follow this view. Bacon had an interesting view on the Soul and Immortality. His view is fairly different from anyone else. He believed the human soul was actually two souls, one divine or rational and the other irrational. He said that the divine soul could only be handled by religion and nothing else. The irrational soul was open to study through scientific methods. Through science we can find the soul to be material, but invisible which resides in the head and runs along the nerves.

This soul was the basis for reason, imagination, understanding, memory, appetite, and will. 4. What’s Locke’s view of immortality? Locke believed that the body was composed of both souls and the body. Souls, according to Locke, are spiritual substances with the power to perceive, will, and think. Man has arrived at the idea of the soul from combining various operations of the human mind. The soul is both passive and active. It is passive because bodies influence it so that it has ideas. It is active because it interacts with the body. The soul is immortal. It lives after death of the human body, and is a matter of faith.

It is not anything of which we can have a clear or distinct idea. It is something above reason. Kant had a view thats more practical then anyone elses. He believed that understanding couldnt know anything. It could only know something that is experienced. Reason can go beyond this and conceive a world of which we can have no actual experience. It transcends, rises above experiences and gives us transcendent principles. This reason has given man the idea that soul is the gathering together of all mental processes. There is value in thinking that an immortal soul exists even though we cannot prove its existence.

The idea of the soul comes from moral law and is the basis for a moral life. The human soul goes on and on until it reaches perfection or the realization of the demands of the moral law. I do not believe that the human soul comes from nature, or from any other materialistic element. But… who am I to say where it comes from or where it goes in the end. All I can say is my beliefs in the matter. I believe your soul is what makes up the human body. Without the use of your soulyou wouldnt be you. I also believe that all your emotions come from deep within your very soul.

All your anger, all your happinessall your everything comes from your soul. All this feeling builds up inside your soul and your feelings express your souls feelings. Its very hard to put into simple words my opinions and views on this subject, but Ill try my best to summarize this as best I could. Your soul is who you are. Its what you are and what youre made of. When you pass away, I believe your soul goes into heaven and only your body, your human form, lays six feet under. 1. Compare the Pythagoreans with the Sophists. The Pythagorean’s and Sophists had entirely opposite views.

The Pythagoreans believed that the individual should subordinate himself to the whole and that he should always act for the good of the state. They taught their members respect of authority laws, of civic virtues of the times, and the idea of sacrifice for the good of the whole. On the other hand, the Sophists believed that man shouldn’t center their attention on the group, but rather on themselves. They asserted man’s ultimate worth and independence. They wanted to teach the individual how to succeed, how to gain his own ends, and how to avoid law by skillful argument.

They believed that laws were mere inventions of the weaker members of the group, to hold down the stronger. 2. What’s Socrates idea of a good citizen? According to Socrates, the good citizen was one who constantly searched for true knowledge. A good citizen is also one who was forever questioning. Asking more about things means that he is willing to learn more about those specific things. When a man discovers true knowledge, he will act on it and will conduct himself appropriately in all his relations with his fellows. To Socrates, the state was a mother who had given him life, despite all its mistakes.

He thought his followers to remain loyal to the state. Through this loyalty, they will learn to help the state correct its faults as well as its mistakes. 3. What’s Machiavelli’s ideal? How will he achieve it? Machiavelli wanted to establish a united Italian nation wholly independent of the Church. Only a strong and absolute depot could establish such a state. However, Machiavelli knew that this would destroy civic freedom. He hoped for a free, independent, nation in which civic rights were cherished and the independence of each individual guaranteed.

The ruler had the right to use any means necessary including, force, deceit, or breach of moral law. All in all, he wanted to create a nation that is less corrupt. Grotius was a leader of the aristocratic party in Holland who developed the theory of absolutism. He believed that man had natural rights not even God could interfere with. These natural rights are limited by positive law, which results from man’s agreement to live in groups. We give up natural rights in order to live as a state. The state is a result of the free agreement of its members. Nietzsche and Locke also had very opposite views from each other.

Locke was more for democracy. Nietzsche believed that there was no use for equality or any democracy. The will to power is his dominant idea. In the struggle of the universe, this will to power is expressed. The most powerful wins and deserves it. If others are weaker and unable to survive that is good. The weak should be destroyed to make room for the strong. Slavery to him seems perfectly natural and women should not have the same rights as men. Since inequality is a characteristic of nature and the natural state of man, it is unnatural to replace it with forced equality.

Locke opposed that the natural state of man was one of war and self-seeking. He was opposed to the divine right of kings. The original state of all men is one of freedom and equality. No one has the right to take away a man’s life, liberty, or possessions. The original nature of man is that of peace, good will and mutual assistance. The main purpose of law is to preserve the social group. He divided the powers of government into the legislative and executive branches. He also said that power always rests ultimately in the people. Many of Locke’s views are the basis for our government.

Voltaire condemned traditional authorities and championed for human freedom. He did not believe the lower classes had the capacity for self-government. Whenever restraint was removed, the “ignorant rabble” was a danger. Freedom was to be the privilege only of the enlightened or the intelligent. Roussea believed that all men fought for their freedom. He wanted to take away the representative government and replace it with direct government. Since all men were created free and equal they should not be robbed or ruled by a privileged class.

To attain this freedom, would cast away all the trappings of modern society and return to nature. Government merely carries out the will of the people. Mill believed that the phenomenon of social living conforms to fixed laws just as other phenomena do. The factors involved in society are so numerous and changing so constantly that prediction is impossible. Methods from the laboratory are not applicable to the study of society. We can see tendencies in human social development and can point to them as guides. By a study of history, we can discover the laws of social progress and development.

He also believed that social well-being was necessary for individual well-being. Society stands for the good of all-individual and it is considered ideal when the society guarantees economic freedom. Spencer believed that each individual had the right to preserve himself. He saw in nature a struggle in which the fittest survived and the less fit perished. Man must be free to struggle and prove their fitness. Society, to him, is essential. Everyone has a right to act to a certain extent, but no farther. The states chief functions are to prevent internal aggression and to protect its members from foreign invasion.

Competition among the members of society was to be encouraged and permitted. The best life, he wrote, was one lived with only a minimum of regulation by the state. I think that the only way a society can be successful is if the people work hard for it. Being successful does not happen overnight. It takes time and work to build a strong society. Also, I believe in laws of the state. Without them, people would be running amuck without anyone to tell them right from wrong. It builds strong people and teaches them discipline as well as morals. 1. What are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle’s view?

Socrates believed education should make a man a better citizen and thereby a happier individual. He emphasized man as a member of a group. The most valuable thing a man can have is knowledge. Removing individual differences and discovering the essentials upon which all men would agree should obtain knowledge. Socrates went around Athens challenging ideas and found many beliefs to be false because they were superficial. Socrates had a method of asking questions. In his book the “Republic,” Plato, has a system of education, which he believed would insure a happy and just state.

He believed men were by nature differentiated, and should be put into different classes. For the first 18 years a child should be trained in gymnastics, music, and literature. People who were considered not able to carry on more education will become the merchants and farmers. Those who were able would move on to further training and become the leaders of that society. Plato held education to be a matter of state concern. Education should be supported and controlled by the state and its function was to select and train service for the state. This will produce an ideal society in which everyone is happy.

The aim of education, according to Aristotle, should be to make people virtuous. From ages 7 and lower the child should be concerned with training for school. From ages 7-21, the child should be in formal schooling learning literature, music, and gymnastics. Aristotle also believed education was a state matter. He believed the state should determine whom a man should marry; so desirable offspring would be assured. The state should use education in order to develop citizens, who could defend and make the state better 2. What’s Bacon and Locke’s view? How does it compare with Rousseau?

Bacon pointed out the need for “clear and accurate thinking, showing that any mastery of the world in which man lived was dependent upon careful understanding of the facts of the world. ” He thought that the world needed to get rid of all prejudices. As society accumulates more knowledge, it should pass this on to the young through schools. Then the young can continue where their elders left off. He said that education was a passing on of the knowledge of the past, the accumulated knowledge of society, to the young. Locke wanted an ideal English gentleman of breeding and wisdom.

He sought to a more practical and efficient type of education. He believed the human soul at power was a tablet that could receive impressions. He saw education as the process of learning through experience with this outside world. His ideal was a sound mind in a sound body. Locke advocated exercise. He believed a child should be exposed to as much of the world as possible. The aim of education should be an individual who knew how to get along with his fellow people, who knew about the world, and who was knowledgeable. Rousseau had a kind of protective parent. Rousseau said that society warps the child and its influence is evil.

He wanted to protect the child from society all times. He also had a system of education. From ages 1-4, a child should physically train, and from ages 5-12, they should develop their senses and encounter nature. At ages 13-15, the child should be book instructed based on his curiosity and from ages 15-20 the child should be put through moral training including the basic principles of sympathy and goodness. He also believed that girls were inferior. Girls, according to him, should be educated to serve men. Rousseau’s main objective was freedom form the requirements of society.

I believe that education is the key to all understanding. Education to children is very important that it is literally the basis of our whole life. No one can go anywhere in life if they do not have an education first. I also believe that everyone deserves the same opportunity for a good education. Racism, prejudicenothing should change that. No one really understands how important an education is. We need it to liveto growand most of allto learn. 1. What’s Plato’s and Aristotle’s view? Plato believed that ideas had been put into the mind before they were placed in the body.

Birth clouded the mind and made us forget all that we knew. However, through a process of questioning, it was very possible to make the mind remember what we knew before birth. Plato had the belief that the universe was composed of two principles: mind and matter. Mind is entirely distinct from matter. Matter to him is a weight mind must carry because mind has been entangled with matter. Matter is the raw material upon which mind works. It has no form until mind forms it. Mind is the only true reality, the thing of most worth, the principle of law and order in the universe.

This matter is impressed by mind with ideas. Aristotle believed that mind was in matter as its formative principle. He thought that there could be no matter without mind and no mind without matter. We find a clearer mind in man. Mind is everywhere. Mind, to Aristotle, is within matter and is the cause of all things. Mind has both a helper and instigator in matter. 2. How did Peter Abelard differ from other Christian Philosophers? Early Christian philosophers had a pessimist point of view concerning mind and matter. They suggested that matter was the source of evil and they disparaged the human mind.

They wanted to elevate God to the place in the universe where they believed he should have. The human mind is a poor and inefficient instrument. It is full of mistakes and order. Man’s conclusions that stem from his reason must conform to divine authority. The ultimate truths were the Church and its doctrines. The function of the mind was to create truth not to create it. Peter Abelard went against all of this tradition. He said that reason should precede faith. He believed the human mind should be free to question doctrines, but he was sure that they would ultimately find them to be true.

Man was no longer detained by authority and began to challenge doctrine. Man will then begin to question things that were never questioned before. 1. What was Socrates’ view? What is inductive and deductive logic? Socrates suggested that the problem of knowledge was key to all other problems. He wanted to discover a method for reaching true knowledge. With all the different thoughts in the world, Socrates wanted to find a common ground that could not be disputed. Logic is either inductive or deductive. Socrates used both of these methods.

Induction consists of beginning with a fact and coming up with a general principle. Deduction starts with a general principle and shows its application to particular facts. Early thinkers used deduction and induction is used by modern science. 2. What is Plato and Aristotle’s view? What is syllogism? Plato was one of the first philosophers to come up with an almost complete theory of knowledge. He agreed with Socrates that sense perception was not true knowledge. Man must go beyond the senses to come of with ideas not dependent on experiences. The soul comes into the world carrying true ideas.

True knowledge is reached when the mind remembers what it knew before birth. This reveals the essence of things. Aristotle carried reasoning further. He held that although our world of experiences is the real world, true knowledge consists of knowing the reasons or causes for things. To reach these causes man must follow certain laws of logic or true processes of thought. The pattern of true thought is the syllogism. In this, we move from a general principle to a particular. A very good example of such is just this”All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; Therefore Socrates is mortal”.

He laid down the laws of the science of deductive logic. 3. What is the similarity in Galileo and Bacon’s view? Both Galileo and Bacon believed in close observation of man’s world in order to find true ideas. Galileo rejected authority and mystical speculation in science. He held that all ideas should rest upon ideas observation and experimentation. He built ideas out of observation, experiment, and thought. Scientists in the 16th and 17th centuries realized the importance of observation and experimentation and that any other authority should not determine man’s thinking.

This led to an increased confidence in the human mind to build its own ideas and thought patterns. Bacon suggested a method for receiving true impressions and making them into true ideas. He said that we have to clear the mind of all prejudices and false points of view. After man observes his world carefully, and collects data, they should be in the position to draw conclusions. Man must study all instances in which a factor appears, all factors that it doesn’t, and those instances where it appears in a certain degree, in order to reach a justified conclusion. 4. How did Decartes establish truth?

Descartes wanted to establish a basis for all truth. In order to do this, he reasoned that you must find a premise that could not be denied. He found this premise in Mathematics. This, to him, appeared to be the method all true knowledge could be obtained. One truth that he was able to discover is: ” I think; therefore I am”. These ideas, for him, were clear, distinct, and beyond question. He established a fundamental principle that all true ideas must be clear and distinct. “The mind has its norms of clearness and distinctness, norms given to the mind by nature. Knowledge comes to man. Each idea can be accepted if, after it has been reasoned out, it is clear and distinct. 5. What’s Kant’s view of knowledge and mind? Kant believed that we receive impressions from the environment and that the made shapes these impressions into ideas. The mind, for him, is like a bowl with many crevices. When water is poured into the bowl, it fills the crevices. In this same way the environment extracts impressions into the mind and the mind then shapes them in accord with the nature of this mind. Knowledge to Kant is universal.

This is due to the fact that minds all have certain fundamental categories such, as totality, unity, plurality, and reality. We cannot know the world outside of the mind. We can bring ideas together and make them generalizations, but these are judgments and not provable ideas. 6. What’s Comte’s view? Mills theory of induction? Spencer’s relations theory? Comte took the position that the only knowledge worth knowing was knowledge that could be applied. He was not concerned about what knowledge is, but rather he wanted to find knowledge that could be applied in every day life. The history of knowledge was unimportant.

The only thing that was important was knowledge, ideas, which work to meet problems and solve them. Mills logic theory was based on the laws of association. He wanted to discover how one goes from unknowing to knowing by the process of inferences. This became his theory of induction. One draws conclusions, from experiences. When he goes beyond this to generalizations, he is acting upon the belief that nature is uniform. Man had the right to act so. Our ideas, result from experiences and the inferences we make from them. Spencer held that all was founded upon the fact of relations.

He believed man thought in terms of differences and likenesses. Our ideas are of these differences and likenesses among things. We do not know things directly, only by their likenesses and differences. Ideas are expressions of relationships between things. William James believed that thinking is an instrument, and is no better than its service in a situation. We think for a purpose. James stresses thinking as a process, interest in how it works, and how it can be made more efficient. Dewey identifies reflective thinking with problem solving. He believes that man does not think unless he has a problem to solve.

When one is faced with a situation he cannot solve immediately, he engages in thinking. To solve a problem one must follow certain steps. First, they must define a problem. Then, you must come up with a hypothesis or possible solution. After this you must, test the hypothesis by going through with it. If the hypothesis works, the knowledge gained is generalized or applied to similar situations. It then becomes a general principle. If a step is missed, then the hypothesis might be proven false. I think that our human quality of curiosity helps us to think and experience things much better.

When we are scared or frightened about something, it is a sudden reaction to get the chills. When we are sad, it is just a reaction to cry and pout. And when we are happyit is just a reaction to smile from ear to ear. We do not learn these things or acquire them through our life span. It is something we are born with. You can tell you are born with these reactions and human quality of curiosity because you did the same thing when you were a baby. When babies are wet or crankythey cry. It is something inborn. I believe this will make us experience life to its fullest.


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