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Chapter 8 - Man: Mystery and Wonder (PHILOSOPHY)

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Chapter 8 - Man: Mystery and Wonder (PHILOSOPHY)

  1. 1. Are you a MAN?
  2. 2. Man is yet a mystery in spite of great penetration into anthropology, psychology, sociolog y, and biology. Even yet when all our studies are complete--if this were possible--man may continue to be a mystery. Man: Mystery and Wonder
  3. 3. Arthur Schopenhauer
  4. 4. I. Views About the Nature of Man A. A Scientific View of Man. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was born in Danzig, Germany, and has the reputation of being the philosopher of pessimism. He incorporated the idea of the will into his philosophy and his principal work is The World as Will and Idea.
  5. 5. 1.  Man is an animal that is akin to all forms of life.  Man is the result of mechanistic evolution that is entirely without help as implied in a Creator. Simpson notes: "Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned." Purpose is only real when man is already here; only man has purpose.
  6. 6. 2. How did man come to be? 3. The unique thing about man in the scientific view is that man thinks. 4. How does man acquire values?
  7. 7. B. The Greek Tradition. l. A High God or Eternal God created lesser gods who are then given the responsibility to create man. 2. Man, without women, is created and within man is placed a divine element or material that is immortal. This may be described popularly as man's soul which is akin to deity and alien to the body.
  8. 8. 3. The first men lived cowardly or immoral lives and were subject to rebirth in the "second generation as women, and it was therefore at that point of time that the gods produced sexual love, constructing in us and in woman a living creature itself instinct with life. 4. Bodily existence is second-rate. There are two emphases about the body in Plato's thought that appear contradictory. The first may be called "body-culture" which is related to our Olympic tradition. This is seen in the Republic in which the development of the body is a good thing.
  9. 9. 5. The wonder of man is reason, and this relates to his deliverance from the body life. Reason is the divine in man. Man is described as a creature of body and soul, on the one hand, and as a tri-part creature on the other. In the Republic, much emphasis is given to the three-fold elements of man's nature: the rational, the courageous, and the appetitive. The courageous and appetitive are mortal while the rational is immortal.
  10. 10. 6. Death does not resolve man's problems. Souls of men who have not given up their craving for body existence will be punished and imprisoned in another body. Because the soul is immortal it can be released from bodily existence by "attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom. 7. Since man's highest good is reason, the way of deliverance from the problems and temptations of life is related to the intellect and contemplation.
  11. 11. Socrates
  12. 12. 8. Freedom is given a paradoxical treatment. Rationality implies considerable freedom and equality. 9. Virtue is acclaimed by all three patriarchs of ancient philosophy. The four virtues, wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice, receive considerable treatment in the works of these masters.
  13. 13. 10. Conclusions: There is much appealing in the ancient Greek view of man. Man's rationality must not be denigrated. But the limits of reason need recognition, but to abrogate the mind as is the tendency in modern Oriental mystical groups is to deny nature.
  14. 14. C. The Judaeo-Christian View. 1. God created man and woman. 2. Man is a living soul. 3. Man is created in the image of God. 4. Man, though created by God, is alienated from God. 5. Man can only be man in relationship to God.
  15. 15. 6. Christian virtues are somewhat different from the Greeks. 7. It is an article of Christian thought that all men are equal before God. 8. Assessment. Probably the greatest criticism of the Christian movement is not its philosophy, but its practice.
  16. 16. II. The Mind-Body Problems
  17. 17. SELF.. the self is a created continuing substance of a spiritual nature, related mysteriously to the body, it is active, free, and immortal.
  18. 18. Does a Self Exist? •Yes •No
  19. 19. David Hume
  20. 20. David Hume For my part, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself at any time without a perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep; so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist. And were all my perceptions removed by death, and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate after the dissolution of my body, I should be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is farther requisite to make me a perfect non-entity.
  21. 21. The association involved is consistent with his claim that if no perceptions came he would be said not to exist. Hume's views have been influential in both philosophy and psychology.
  22. 22.  Several problems are raised against Hume's position.  First, a no-self view makes continuous identity impossible. How would Hume know that he is the same person that he was the day before? For that matter the hour before without some perception that he is the same. Then is sameness a perception? For once he had slept the night and no perceptions came to him, he had been annihilated. When he rises, how does he keep the same identity consciousness.
  23. 23.  Second, the same applies to memory. The years pass and many memories stand clearly in our minds although we do not have even a remote chance to be continually furnished with those lost perceptions. My memory of swimming in the Dead Sea is fresh, but my remoteness to the sea is distant. How can it be part of my "memory" today if there is not a continuousness about my being to retain such memories? Can an "annihilated self" in Hume's terms know the continuing memories to be mine?
  24. 24. Third, value judgments become difficult on a non-self view. If the "self" is a summary of perceptions, how does one choose between those that are true and the false? Or, the good and the bad? Why not accept all perceptions for truth? Or, good?
  25. 25. Ironically, Hume came to confess skepticism about his position to the appendix of his work. He confessed: But upon a more strict review of the section concerning personal identity, I find myself involved in such a labyrinth, that, I must confess, I neither know how to correct my former opinions, nor how to render them consistent.
  26. 26. Materialism. the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy. A. The unintelligibility thesis is that words like "thought, wishing, feeling" should be dropped from use because they have no real meaning. The mind or self refers to nothing. The unintelligibility thesis has never been influential because it is difficult to show that there are no thoughts, feelings, etc.
  27. 27. B. The avowal theory explains thoughts, feelings, wishes, in terms of behavior, and not in terms of statements. C. Another attempt is to admit that these words, thoughts and feelings are meaningful, but must be explained in physicalistic terms, or in behavior terms. D. The identity theory means, then, that a mental and physical state are not really two different things, but one.
  28. 28. Epiphenomenalism is the theory in philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are caused by physical processes in the brain or that both are effects of a common cause, as opposed to mental phenomena driving the physical mechanics of the brain.
  29. 29. Yes, the self does exist.
  30. 30. Descartes Plato
  31. 31. Plato and Descartes. The view of the self as taught by Plato and Descartes has been labeled extreme immaterialism. This will be in contrast to the position of Aristotle and Aquinas which will be labeled moderate immaterialism. The body-soul problem in Plato and Descartes involves the following. The soul is a radically different substance from the body and is in fact alien to it. The body is united to the soul to punish the soul. Its union with the body is temporary and unnecessary. The soul can exist and function without the body.
  32. 32. A. Parallelism.  The greatest philosophical name attached to the view of parallelism was Leibniz (1646-1716) who thought in terms of the body and mind acting independently of one another, but always in harmony with one another.
  33. 33. B. Interactionism.  matter and mind being distinct and independent, they exert causal effects on one another. Example: • You are outside walking and a wild animal suddenly crosses your path. This affects your mind resulting in your face showing fear and you step back. The animal sees your fear, becomes fearful itself, and retreats back into the brush. Mind and matter on both sides just interacted without physically touching each other.
  34. 34.  Aristotle Aristotle did not accept the extreme view of the spirit that Plato had. For Plato, man's soul could exist and think outside of a body, but Aristotle taught that the good of the soul is to be united to a body so that it can think and exercise its abilities.

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