History of Psychology: Philosophy

Teacher Notes


History of Philosophy
I. Description
	A. Asks questions about ourselves, place in universe, the human experience
	B. Looks at human behavior
	C. Meaning - Love of wisdom
	D. Branches
		1. Logic - deciding between in-/correct reasoning
		2. Metaphysics - reality/what kinds of things exist
		3. Epistemology - possibilities/extent of human knowledge
		4. Ethics - evaluates human conduct
	E. Thinking and writing about issues in specific manner
	F. Create/adopt beliefs and then prove them systematically
II. Greek Philosophy
	A. 6th Century BCE
	B. Society ripe for philosophical thinking
	C. Three tenets
		1. Understand natural explanation of world (not simply gods)
		2. Guide human contact based on reality of world/interactions
		3. Critical thinking and deciding how to judge legitimacy of argument
	D. Milesian Speculation
		1. Miletus colony - group of thinkers
		2. Complex world actually has simple foundation
		3. Thales - all comes from water
		4. Anaximander  - Thales student
			a. World works in cycles
			b. All elements came from the Boundless (infinite stuff)
		5. Anaximenes - all comes from water vapor
		6. Thinkers didn’t argue with each other, devoloped independently
	E. Pythagorean Life
		1. Pythagoreans - semi-religious sect in hiding
		2. Created geometric theorem of triangle
		3. Relationship between length of strings and music
		4. Recognized motion of objects in space
		5. Saw order to the world
		6. Humans should live in harmony with this natural order
		7. Reincarnation - soul travels onto other living creatures after death
		8. Key facts - immortality of soul/relation of humans to natural world
	F. 5th Century - began arguing views of others defending/questioning their
		own views
	G. Heraclitus and the Eleatics
		1. Heraclitus of Ephesus - the Riddler
			a. Delivered thoughts in paradoxical form
			b. World in chaos
			c. "Upon those who step into the same river, different waters
			flow."
		2. Parmenides of Elea - Eleatic school		
			a. Nature of reality is nonsense - must be understood through
			thought
			b. What is, is - What is not, is not
			c. Deductive reasoning - inference by reasoning from the general
			to the specific
		3. Zeno of Elea - Paradoxes about motion - motion is impossible
			a. Arrow in motion - during its “now” moment, not moving,
			since path made up of series of now moments, arrow doesn’t
			move
			b. Racetrack - to cover 1/2 of stadium, must cover 1/4, etc.
			a. Will never equal zero -> therefore you can never get started
			c. The Tortoise and Achilles - can never catch up because
			tortoise keeps adding distance (regardless of how small) as first
			Achilles makes up original difference
	H. Empedocles and Anaxagoras
		1. Empedocles - everything in world made up of earth, fire, air, water
			a. Form of an object depends on ratio/quantity of each
			b. Change in world from love and strife
				1. Love puts things together, strife tears apart
		2. Anaxagoras
			a. Mind is source of motion
				1. Mind has no portion of any other object in it
				2. Therefore, it can view objects and move them
			b. Called only the source of motion - god
				1. Seen as atheist
	I. Greek Atomism
		1. All substance made of tiny atoms
		2. Everything that happens is due to collisions of atoms
		3. Epicurus - taught atomism
			a. No immaterial soul exists
			b. Gods have no influence on human lives
			c. All human action is based on obtaining pleasure
				1. Limit desires
				2. Get rid of fears
		4. Not based on microsopic evidence, grouped with other speculations
	J. The Sophists
		1. Class of teachers 5th century BCE
		2. Took in fees for teaching
		3. Focused on rhetoric
			a. Persuade masses of what you believe/regardless of truth
			b. Gorgias - not important to have knowledge or subject to give
				response
			c. Entangle, entrap, confuse opponents
	K. Socrates
		1. Sought knowledge, not just victory over opponent
		2. Questioned everything, quest for understanding
		3. Wrote nothing, what we know from students (Plato main student)
		4. Piety
			a. Asks Euthyphro what is piety while man taking father to court
			b. Disproves what is right is what gods deem correct
				1. Gods disagree > action can be right and wrong
				2. Issue irrelevant in monotheistic (one god) culture
			c. "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it
				pious because it is loved by the gods?"
				1. If gods deem certain deeds right, there must be other
					criteria for something being right
				2. the gods love pious things because they are god-loved -
					this circular argument makes no sense - I love
					chicken because it is loved by I
				3. Think about same issue in regards to parents/laws
					a. Realize two parents/two governments will differ
					b. One man’s right is another man’s wrong
		5. The Apology - Greek for explanation/defense - not I’m sorry
			a. Put on trial, speech in his defense is called the Apology
			b. States earned bad reputation due to his exposure of 	
				ignorance in those considered wise
			c. Not afraid to die.  Important thing is to do what is right
			d. Criticizes Athenian focus on material wealth
			e. Soul exists before person - take care of it
			f. Says he should be punished by eating with the 		
				worshipped athletes
			g. Not afraid of death, emotions come from knowledge, 	
				he has no knowledge of death