scope of philosophy

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Mind Map on scope of philosophy, created by samelesedy on 06/16/2013.

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Created by samelesedy over 6 years ago
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scope of philosophy
1 will to pwer
2 critique of past philosophers
2.1 he criticises past philosophers for believing in a transcendent world independent of our senses, and for denying perspctivity
2.1.1 the idea that there is a transcendent world originates from the idea of what is valuable (truth, alturism, goodness, wisdom and so on) cannot have its orgins in its opposites, the 'lowly deceptive world' of the senses and desires. philosophy is thought of as a priori, but if nietzsche can show that philiosophical values and arguments have historical origins, then they aren't a priori. As a priori ideas would not change through history or as a result of someone's psychology. philosophers have consulted their intuitions to justify moral principles, but they have only been aware of one morality of which their justifications are only expressions. moralities and moral principles have a history and are not a priori. nietzsche created geneology, which is the method of looking at historical origins of phlisiohphical and religious ideas to see how they have developed over time.
2.1.2 plato has denied perspectivity and given higher authority to truth. why do we prefer truth over falsity? how much are we willing to risk in gaining truth. he argues that the will to truth originates in self-deception, it is not driven by the value of truth but in fact by drives which aim to protect a certain kind of life. so when philosopher's claim they know the truth they are infact being influenced by a certain set of values
2.2 people should question the value of truth, and understand that falsity are conditions of life, to believe this we need to look at oppositional values
3 motivational analysis
3.1 nietzsche sees the 'philosophical animal' as striving for the optimum combination of favourable conditions which allow them to expand all their energy, and to achieve the maximum feeling of power. he therefore sees philosophical beliefs being guided by intuitions, which are guided by physiological demands for a certain standard of life.
3.1.1 philosophers may claim that their conclusion has been reached by 'pure hard reasoning' but they have just found reasons to support their pre-existing claims, "every great philosophy is the personal confessions of its author" we should look at why someone holds a particular belief, this will help us understand their values. philosophy is not driven by a pure will to truth, a philosopher interprets the world in terms of their values.
3.2 as nietzsche argues that our values support a particular kind of life, one in which we can exert maximum power. if philosophical beliefs are expressions of values, and values are expressions of power,then inderectly philisophical beliefs are expressions of power.
4 truth and interpretation
4.1 nietzsche talks about perspectivism, this is that things need to be seen in perspective, this is linked to the truth as he says "there are no truths only interpretations" as to hold a truth is to look at things from one perspective.
4.1.1 this is linked to the idea of 'foreground evaluations', that a person is interpreting the world from what is near (in the foreground) to them he argues that we cannot escape our perspectives and we should embrace them, and that some perspectives are less distorting than others. (1) a perspective may be aware that its a perspective, being aware of perspectival knowledge is an improvement in knowledge. (2) the more perspectives that we adopt we can get a more conception, i.e. the more points of view that we take on board. we need to be flexible and not be trapped to a certain set of values.
4.1.2 philosophers make the mistake of denying perspectivity and by interpreting the world through one perspective and claiming that this perspective is an objective truth, when really it is just a representation of their values.
4.1.3 he argues that perspectivism applies to sense perceptions: (1) we are adverse to new things, and so our experience of the world is dominated by emotions, familiar emotions will effect how we see. e.g. we find it easier to reproduce an image we're familiar with than to remember what is new and different to our sense emotions. (2) we cannot take in everything we experience as we cannot cognitively manage it, what we select is guided by our values, e.g. when we see a tree we don't notice all the details of a tree we just notice the outline and fill in the detail in our head with past experiences and our imagination. with this nietzsche also argue that our truths are false and rest upon certain assumptions that are guided by our values.
4.1.4 nietzsche uses his idea of perpsectivism to attack the 'laws of nature', he argues that the regualrity of nature has been interpreted as laws, this serves a morality of equallity, democracy and atheism (that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law). he argues that nature can easily be interpreted as power claims and a dominant will being consistent (hence regularity). we can object that if this was true then ideas about laws of nature would have come into existence at the same time as ideas of atheism and democracy, leonardo da vinci (1650) contributed to the ideas of laws of nature while living 150 years prior to ideas of democracy. Nietzsche can challenge this in two ways: (1) he can argue that our historical account is wrong, ideas of democracy were present in 14thC when John Wycliffe argued the bible should be for everybody to read. (2) the connection between democracy, atheism and scientific ideas of laws of nature can all be seen to emerge together over several hundred years. though this is not precise nietzsche often lacks detail as he looks at the bigger picture.
4.1.5 perspectivism is a paradox because if a belief in perspectivism is objectively true then this contradicts perspectivism, also a belief in perspectivism is just a perpective, and if objective knowledge is imppossable then aren't all perspective equal? he denies this: (1) some perspectives are foreground persectives while others are less distorting. (2) particular philosophical or moral views are false, e.g. oppositional values. (3) he is an empiricist so believes that the sense can be trained to become 'fine, loyal, cautious organs of cognition', while he rejects the idea of synthetic a priori judgements.
4.2 nietzsche see there to be no distinction between truth and appearance, he argues that we could not do away with appearance and just have truth, he links back to the idea that truth and falsity have the same origin and argues that instead of truth there are just darker and lighter degrees of appearance
4.2.1 nietzsche gives the development of the relationship between truth and appearance: (1) we thought the true world could be known to the true and wise person, plato's view. (2) we thought that truth was unatainable but promised to the good and the wise person, in the form of an afterlife in Christianity. (3) we thought that we could never know the true world but the thought of its existence was consolation and the source of our moral obligations, as thought by Kant. (4) if we cannot know anything about the true world it is not consoling nor can it give us moral obligations. (5) even the idea of a true world has no use, as nietzsche suggests. (6) if we abolish the idea of a 'true world', in what sense are appearances just appearances? they are only thought of as appearances when we have something to contrast them with, but by getting rid of the 'true world' there is no contrast. appearances are no more false than true, as they are all there is. appearances must be understood as what comes first, we then interpret appearances to be appearances of something. this leads to mistakes though as we then think in terms of substances and properties. we should resist this interpretation and understand appearances as ever changing relations. you can only talk about appearances in relation to each other,e.g. shades of red can only be talked about in relation to each other, this should be used as a model for understanding appearances. the world is changing and appearances change with it, we should therefore not talk about a 'true world' beyond appearances. appearances can be distorted by perspectives, but perspectives which are less distorting of appearances are closer to the 'truth'
4.3 will to truth
4.3.1 nietzsche argues that the will to truth so far has misunderstood truth in terms of opposition of values. it understands truth as unconditional in two ways: (1) truth is seen as free of perspective, and so the will to truth aims to free of perspectives and values, encouraging objective detachement. but nietzsche argues that this method is impoverishing of life, which is both emotional and perspectival. (2) it is also unconditional in that it is seen to have incomparable worth, so the will too truth aims to find the truth 'by any means necessary' rather than placing truth in relation to life. the will to truth misrepresents itself as its not 'pure' and is a representation of a system of values, namely the Ascetic ideal. he argues that when we consciously form beliefs these are unconsciously guided by our values, the will to truth serves as self-deception, we think we want truth for the value of truth but the desires for it are guided by the will to power
5 language
5.1 Nietzsche is concerned with the subject-predicate structure of language, with the notion of a substance to which we attribute properties, this structure leads us in to a mistaken metaphysics of substance. to this he refers to the 'i' as we often think that 'i' refers to something, namely the soul. he is more critical of ' i think' as it rests on many assumptions: that thinking is an activity, that 'i' am thinking, that something is thinking, that i exist and that we know what it is to think. 'i think' is misleading as it assumes that we do thinking but in fact a thought comes to us when it wants to, and the process we are referring to might not be thinking, we are just comparing it to past pocesses that we assume is thinking. to be more accurate we should just say 'thinking', but this is not a sentence and we have to say 'there is thinking', in this was grammar constricts our understanding.
5.1.1 once we recognise that there is no soul in a traditional sense, that it is not immortal or constant through time,we can redefine the view of the soul, that it's mortal, is multiplicity rather than identical over time, and that its a social construct and a construct of drives.
5.1.2 he makes the same criticism about 'will' and criticises schopenhauer for it. the idea of a will makes us believe that it is just one thing when in fact it is a complicated thing. (1) there is an emotional command, for willing is commanding oneself to do something and with it a feeling of superiority over that which obeys. (2) is an expectation that the mere commanding on its own is enough for an action to follow, which increases our sense of power. (3) there is obedience from the command, from which we also derive pleasure. but we ignore the feeling of compulsion, identifying the 'i' with the 'will' nietzsche thinks that the seduction of language is a result of physiological value judgements. the notion of 'i' relates to the idea that we have an eternal soul, and the 'will', and in particular our concept of 'free will', serves a particular moral aim.
6 the new philosopher
6.1 he criticises past philosophers for their belief in a transcendent world of truth and goodness, and for the ascetic deal of which these ideas are a part of. he argues that this ideal is an expression of the philosopher's will to power, however these beliefs are false and their ideal demands this world and our instinctual life. he therefore argues that there will be a new philosopher who understands the opposition of values, who reject the ascetic ideal and values life above all.
6.1.1 the new philosophers must no just have opposing views to the old philosophers. as all animals seek conditions which allow them to exert maximum power, so the new philosopher must be a different animal with different instincts and drives, ones that don't express themselves best through the ascetic ideal. they will be alligned to the will t power. they will not have a unconditional wll to truth and will understand the value of falsity and that just because something is virtues or makes us happy doesn't mean that it's good, and likewise that if something makes us unhappy or causes harm doesn't mean its bad. the ascetic ideal will be rejected as it is a means of coping with suffering, it provides the comfort of an eternal life. but nietzsche argues that suffering is a good thing as it is a means to grow stronger. the new philosopher will travel further towards truth, so they have to be trained in truthfulness that characterises the ascetic ideal. but they have to travel beyond the ascetic ideal as it is disguising the truth. they must overcome the ascetic ideal, mainly within themselves, this will mean they go beyond good and evil leaving them without orientation in judgement,they will therefore need to create a new system of values. is this possible though? can you create values? nietzsche argues that you can, and that we do through creating favourable conditions for ourselves. but most of us have a need to to obey and to get our moral values from outside, the new philosopher will have strength though
6.2 free spirits and experimenter
6.2.1 the new philosophers are not the same as free spirits, all new philosophers are free spirits but not all free spirits are new philosopher. the free spirits will be help to take down the ascetic ideal, but will not necessaraly create new values. the free spirits will be drawn to a life of solitude because they are exceptional, but the new philosopher will 'come down to' the mass of humanity new philosophers are experimenters, or tempters. (1) they will tempt others by creating values which others can adopt. (2) they will resist many temptations and set themselves their own tests to overcome, this is in the aim to make them fully independent and not dependant on anything, even a detachment of one's values. (3) they will experiment, these experiments will go beyond conventional morality and will be considered harsh, they will investigate things to the point of cruelty. these experiments will help to create values that go beyond good and evil.
6.2.2 sceptic and the critic nietzsche distinguishes between two types of sceptic: (1) the first has bad nerves and is constitutionally unable to say 'yes' or 'no' to things, they call this objectivity or the scientific method. it promotes caution, disinterest and a dampered down of passionate responses, it is supported by a morality that decisive answers. (2) does not originate from fear or lack of nerves, it's suspicious of easy answers and reluctance to give answers, it will dig deeper to the truth and even call into question the value of existance itself. this is one aspect of the new philosopher. the new philosopher will also be a critic, that is they will seek to analyse and define an area of knowledge, to test it for consistency and find its underlying principles. they draw the boundaries of what can be known, the new philosophers will have the rigour and neatness of critics, but will be critics in 'body and soul' that is that they will be critics not just in thought but in the way they live. they will apply this criticism to themselves, not for the sake of criticism but in order to create new values.
6.3 the eternal return. there is suffering in the world and the ascetic ideal gave meaning to the suffering by offering the promise of a transcendental world, but as this doesn't exist what justifies suffering, nietzsche thinks that as humanity is judged by its highest specimens the suffering is in order to better those higher specimens, as a result the new philosopher needs to be life affirming, to say yes to all that has been, all there is and all there will be, this is to wish the eternal return. but to will the eternal return you must (1) not just accept it but want it. (2) you must will all the previous suffering again. (3) you must accept responsibility for it , you have to be seen as the reason for all the suffering in life.
6.3.1 nietzsche says that to will the eternal return one must resist pity for those suffering, as to pity someone just adds more pain as the pityer feels pain, also to will the eternal return is to say yes to life, and suffering is part of life. suffering is also a condition for greatness, so the free spirit will be thankful for all the past suffering that they have experienced. nietzsche sees there to be no distinction between belief and life, so the free spirit will not just believe in affirming life and the eternal return but also embody it , they will live life as the affirmation of life. the new philosopher will be the 'goal' of humanity to which the ordinary people will only be a means to, he believes that the new philosophers will have to be bread as they are a psycho-physiological type of human being. criticism. we could object to nietzsche on a moral level as he sees the 'lower' people needing to be sacrificed for the 'higher' people, but nietzsche would reject this as it presuposes moral values like equality. (1) we can criticises the idea of the eternal return, if we are to wish everything happens again without knowledge that it will happen, and we can do nothing to change it, one acceptable response is 'so what'. this is not a life affirming answer but it is willing the eternal return. BUT TO YOU HAVE TO WILL THE ETERNAL RETURN AND ALL OF ITS SUFFERING, NOT JUST OBSERVE IT. IT IS ONE THING TO BE AWARE OF SUFFERING BUT ANOTHER THING T WILL IT. (2) suppose we could will the eternal return, then what ? it would make no difference to our lives as we are unable to change anything. Nietzsche however never discussed how the new philosopher would go about doing it, "it is not the works, it is the faith that is decisive here". (3) nietzsche criticises the ascetic ideal for its unconditional morality, but isn't the 'unconditional yes' to everything the same, isn't he just carrying on the ascetic ideal. NIETZSCHE SAYS THAT YOU MUST EMBRACE IT ALL, OR NOT AT ALL, AS EVERYTHING IS ENTANGLED. TO THINK THAT YOU CAN SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE BAD, TRUE FROM THE FALSE, SUFFERING FROM THE GREATNESS, IT IS ALL AN ILLUSION OF THE ASCETIC IDEAL. (4) is the idea of the eternal return coherent? (1) the idea of willing every even again is from a perspective outside the cycle of events, as we are in the perspective of inside the cycle of events we only experience things once. so the perspective embodied in the eternal return is one which isn't available to us I(any more than the one of unconditional truth.). (2) to will the eternal return you have to not want things to be different, but life is not indifference it is about wanting to change things. so it is impossible to affirm life and to not want things to be different. (3) is willing the past from 'this is how it happened' to 'this is how it will happen' a type of self-deception? the past has happened end of story. (5) to say yes to everything you need to see it in the whole general picture, not in single events, as to one could not possibly say yes to single events of horror like the holocaust , so to say yes t everything as a whole and not the individual events is self-deception. BUT NIETZSCHE CAN RESPOND THAT THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ETERNAL RETURN IS TO SEE THE SUFFERING AS A MEANS TO THE GREATER END OF HUMAN LIFE IN ITS HIGHEST FORM.

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