Philosophy AS Level Notes

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  • Created by: Caoimhe
  • Created on: 07-02-12 15:20

Conceptual Relativism

Kuhn was the major philosopher of this view.
It is the belief that a true scientific theory is nothing more than a theory that coheres with the conceptual framework accepted by a community of scientists.
The conceptual framework is just an agreed theory or belief that you work by the rules of.
A new finding or belief is true if it fits in with the conceptual belief.
Theories can not be checked through observation, as observation could be biased
True and false is all relative to the conceptual framework.
Against realism. Because realists beluieve you can observe the world independent of theories but they argue this is not possible.
They believe it is impossible to escape the conceptual framework.

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The belief that knowledge only comes from sensory experiences
Your mind is a tabula rasa. (Blank State)
John Locke was the leading philosopher of this belief.
Berekely and Hume were others.
Empric ists look at causeation as we have always seen X lead to happen at the same time as Y so we think there is a necessary connection when there is really just constant conjuction.
Hume believes a mind without experience can know nothing about the real world.
Berekley believes that our bodeis are simply ideas.
'There is no such thing as material substance' - Hume.
Empericists are intrested in Newton. The observation of gravity.
You can't just observe and know.

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Ethical Egoism

Ethical Egoists believe that you should always act in your own interest.
They say it is rational to do so.
James Rachels - ' Ethical egoism endorses selfishness but it does not endorse foolishness'.
Ethical egoist actions be incidentally be detrimental, benificial or neutral to others.
Ethical egoism contrasts altruism.

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Hobbesian social contract

Hobbes is the main thinker.
The idea was that you should give up your own freedom to recieve protection from the 'king'.
Everyone would abide by the leader and would bow to his authority, if anyone went against this he would be able to take your life.
Human life was described as nasty brutish and short.
However if we were like this and were not co operative we would not have language and thus we would not be able to make the social contract in the first place.
After all you cant make a deal with a TIGER.
Hobbes - 'Humans are selfish and rational'.

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Hume - Sympathy

Hume was the main thinker.
He believed that all our moral choices were rationalised and decided through our emotions and because we feel sympathy.
As humans if we see for example someone in distress, we automatically feel sorry for them and then our actions and attitudes towards them are affected by our emotion of sympathy.

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The Cogito

Corgito ergo sum - I think therefore I am .Descartes
If you are thinking of doubting your existence it is the rule that as you are thinking and asking that question then you do exist.
It does not necessarily means that the body exists.
It is an argument that Western Philosophy has dominated shortening it to 'Cogito'.

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