Noting Details

John Locke distinguished, in his Essay, “real essence” from “nominal essence.” Nominal essence, according to Locke, is the “abstract Idea to which the Name is annexed (” Thus, the nominal essence of the name ‘gold’, Locke said, “is that complex Idea the word Gold stands for, let it be, for instance, a Body yellow, of a certain weight, malleable, fusible, and fixed.” In contrast, the real essence of gold is “the constitution of the insensible parts of that Body, on which those Qualities [mentioned in the nominal essence] and all other Properties of Gold depend (” A rough way of marking the distinction between real and nominal definitions is to say, following Locke, that the former states real essence, while the latter states nominal essence. The chemist aims at real definition, whereas the lexicographer aims at nominal definition. This characterization of the distinction is rough because a zoologist’s definition of “tiger” should count as a real definition, even though it may fail to provide “the constitution of the insensible parts” of the tiger. Moreover, an account of the meaning of a word should count as a nominal definition, even though it may not take the Lockean form of setting out “the abstract idea to which the name is annexed.”

Perhaps it is helpful to indicate the distinction between real and nominal definitions thus: to discover the real definition of a term X one needs to investigate the thing or things denoted by X; to discover the nominal definition, one needs to investigate the meaning and use of X. Whether the search for an answer to the Socratic question “What is virtue?” is a search for real definition or one for nominal definition depends upon one’s conception of this particular philosophical activity. When we pursue the Socratic question, are we trying to gain a clearer view of our uses of the word ‘virtue’, or are we trying to give an account of an ideal that is to some extent independent of these uses? Under the former conception, we are aiming at a nominal definition; under the latter, at a real definition. cogito, ergo sum, (Latin: “I think, therefore I am”), dictum coined in 1637 by René Descartes as a first step in demonstrating the attainability of certain knowledge. It is the only statement to survive the test of his methodic doubt. The statement is indubitable, Descartes argued, because even if an all-powerful demon were to try to deceive me into thinking that I exist when I do not, I would have to exist for the demon to deceive me. Therefore, whenever I think, I exist. Furthermore, he argued, the statement “I am” (sum) expresses an immediate intuition, not the conclusion of dubious reasoning, … (100 of 131 words)

“There are four classes of Idols which beset men’s minds. To these for distinction’s sake I have assigned names — calling the first class, Idols of the Tribe ; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theater.” “The Idols of Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.” “The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For everyone (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature, owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance.

Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.” “There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market Place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate, and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.” Lastly, there are Idols which have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call Idols of the Theater, because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion. Utilitarianism vs Deontology

Morality has it tha people will justify or not the end and the means. Not only that it directs individuals to do what is right or wrong; moreover, it makes them do what is in the best of their conscience. There are several schools of thought regarding morality. Among these are the ethical systems of utilitarianism and deontology. Utilitarianism revolves around the concept of “the end justifies the means.” It is the brainchild of philosophers John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. It believes that outcomes as a result of an action have a greater value compared to the latter. It also states that the most ethical thing to do is to takeadvantage of happiness for the good of the society. As a result, utilitarianism depends on consequentiality. The utilitarian approach can be present in health care. Examples of these may include: Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders and Euthanasia. Although confronted heavily by critics, the philosophical outlook on these cases is purely reliant on its recipients.

The utilitarian approach can also be selfish in nature as it gears on judgments more ideal to the philosopher. Meanwhile, deontology is another moral theory that is dependent on the Scriptures—which may refer to rules, moral laws, and intuition. It is based on the Greek words “deon” and “logos,” meaning the “study of duty.” It centers on the principles of 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant. Deontology advocates that both the actions and outcomes must be ethical. It points out that the action’s morality is of greater weight, and the result of a wrong action does not make its outcome the same. One particular example is the birthing process wherein the mother and the baby are at equal risk. The doctors know that saving at least one of the two is better, yet trying to save them both would be best. Deontology sports a fair trial of right or wrong as it depends on a universally accepted morality approach. It also makes the philosopher study both sides of a situation without compromising the outcomes. 1.Utilitarianism and deontology are two known ethical systems. 2.Utilitarianism revolves around the concept of “the end justifies the means,” while deontology works on the concept “the end does not justify the means.” 3.Utilitarianism is considered a consequence-oriented philosophy. Immanuel Kant

First published Thu May 20, 2010
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields. The fundamental idea of Kant’s “critical philosophy” — especially in his three Critiques: the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and the Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790) — is human autonomy. He argues that the human understanding is the source of the general laws of nature that structure all our experience; and that human reason gives itself the moral law, which is our basis for belief in God, freedom, and immortality. Therefore, scientific knowledge, morality, and religious belief are mutually consistent and secure because they all rest on the same foundation of human autonomy, which is also the final end of nature according to the teleological worldview of reflecting judgment that Kant introduces to unify the theoretical and practical parts of his philosophical system. Though Kant is sometimes credited with uniting the warring empiricist and rationalist movements of his time, it might be most accurate to say that he united them by arguing that they were both completely wrong.

His reasoning was something like this: Nobody’s senses and thoughts are completely free to do anything – they operate on limits. Thus, neither senses alone nor thoughts alone can ever directly exceed these limits and see the world in itself.

Instead, he argued, the two disciplines needed to work together. Rationalists cannot reasonably deny the entire world of the senses – senses are all we have to know anything but our own minds. Thus any rationalist idea which involved anything other than the mind of the person doing the thinking cannot possibly be correct without a bit of empiricism mixed in with it.

Likewise, there are things empiricists must know in order to operate empirically. A rational knowledge of their senses’ limitations CAN help them step outside those limitations. Knowledge of history, memory, prediction, and theory keep us from the need to constantly repeat experiments to prove over and over that something is still true if it was true ten seconds ago. Morality and free will are intuitively apparent, yet completely outside of the empirical realm.

All of which are good arguments. So good, in fact, that both groups decided to play nice for a while. I love it when there’s a happy ending. *General Directions:

This is an essay type of examination with ten items. Every item is equivalent to ten points. Use a yellow sheet of paper. Make sure your handwriting is readable. Do not write at the back of your yellow paper use the next page instead. NO CHEATING. Good Luck.

1. Give a nominal and a real definition of philosophy.

2. Why is philosophy a science? Science of Beings? Explain the difference between a universal science and a departmental science. Where can you associate philosophy; is it a universal or a departmental science? Explain.

3. Explain the difference between Rationalism and Empiricism and how did Immanuel Kant unify the two ideas?

4. Explain the difference between a theoretical philosophy and a practical philosophy. Give a minimum of five examples both in theoretical philosophy and practical philosophy.

5. Discuss briefly Descartes methodic doubt also known as “ Cogito Ergo Sum.”

6. Explain the essence of a human person?

7. How did Alghazzali describe the essence of the human person.

8. Explain the general philosophical definition of knowledge and its formula.

9. Differentiate Utilitarianism and Deontologism.

10. Enumerate Francis bacon’s “ Four Classes of Idols” and explain each.

The philosophy of science is concerned with all the assumptions, foundations, methods, implications of science, and with the use and merit of science. This discipline sometimes overlaps metaphysics, ontology and epistemology, viz., when it explores whether scientific results comprise a study of truth. In addition to these central problems of science as a whole, many philosophers of science consider problems that apply to particular sciences (e.g. philosophy of biology or philosophy of physics). Some philosophers of science also use contemporary results in science to reach conclusions about philosophy. Philosophy of science has historically been met with mixed response from the scientific community. Though scientists often contribute to the field, many prominent scientists have felt that the practical effect on their work is limited.

Marwin M. Azures
Ab-economics II-B

She dreamed of you from the time she was a little girl cradling a baby doll in her arms. She always saw you playing around the little cottage in her childhood dreams. She carried you in her body and you made her sick every morning for weeks and weeks. She bore you into the world through intense pain but when she heard you cry and saw your wrinkled face she forgot all about it and wept tears of joy. She fed you at her breast and her whole world revolved around you. She stole into your room at night just to watch you sleep and she was sure you were the most beautiful child on earth. She set up through the night to bathe away the fever and at breakfast your dad said; “Sleep well, honey?” oblivious to the all-night vigil. She somehow always knew when you needed her, even in the middle of the night, and she came to your room and changed your bedding and made sure you were warm and dry. She covered your ears and gave you your coat and checked your homework and made you practice the piano and set through all your ball games and recitals like they were the seventh game of the World Series and a debut at Carnegie Hall. She nagged you to brush your teeth with words of wisdom like; “Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.” She changed your diaper and cleaned up when you were sick and washed underwear no one else would touch without a chemical suit. And who do you think always cleaned the gunk out of the kitchen sink and bathtub drain? She made sure you had the drumstick and your dad had the breast and acted like she preferred the wings.

Her oatmeal cookies made you forget the beating you took from the neighborhood bully, or the slow rate of greeting card sales. She listened to you and didn’t laugh when others would have mocked you. She believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself and prayed for you even when you didn’t think you needed it. She made you think you could do things you were sure you couldn’t do. She was tough enough to call your bluff and discipline you and give you a sense of boundaries and the security that comes with it. She spanked you when “Spocking” was all the trend with lesser mothers. She knew when you needed a spanking or just a nap and she didn’t always give you candy though she longed to indulge you. She was always waiting when you came in late. When you complained about it, she pretended to be asleep the way you always did when you wanted her to carry you in from the car after a long trip. She read the Bible to you and read the Bible in front of you and did what mothers have to do to make sure the family is faithful in church. She made your dad a much better man than he ever would have been without her. She mended clothes as a labor of love and it broke her heart to see how quickly you grew out of them. She knew you were only loaned to her from God and soon the house would fall silent again. She washed mountains of dishes and truckloads of laundry.

She put up food on the hottest summer days and didn’t complain. Her most sincere prayers were the ones she sent heavenward in gratitude for you. She filled your home with fragrance and beauty and music. The smell or her perfume and fresh-cut flowers, bacon for breakfast and Sunday roast. Her eyes were bright and happy and full of life. She wept though, wept and worried a thousand times for you when no one ever knew. She rose early on holidays so you could enjoy a festive meal and an enduring memory. She planned for days and worked for hours so that in a few minutes you could gulp it down and go watch football. You didn’t always thank her or help her with the dishes, but those meals have been a cherished memory for years. She baked you special treats just to watch you eat them. Something inside made her happier the more you ate (If you could see me you would know this made my mother a very happy woman). She wore old dresses so you could have a new ball glove. She skipped vacations and second honeymoons so you could go to camp. She limited expenses for her hobbies so you could get your band instrument. She was happy with last year’s fashion so you could have this year’s tennis shoes. She didn’t abandon the family when your dad was insensitive to her needs. She took the blame for your failures and stood back and let your dad have the glory for your successes. And having done all these things and a thousand others that make mother a sacred word, she still felt she wasn’t the mother she should have been.