Introduction to PhilosophyLecture 1-aWhat is philosophy? By David Kelsey
What is philosophy? • The word Philosophy: • Philo-: • sophy: • Philosophy is the systematic investigation into the foundational concepts and principles of any subject matter. • A subject matter is:
Explaining a subject matter • So philosophy consists of the investigation of any subject matter. • Understanding and Explaining a subject matter • Example: Epistemology and knowledge
The disciplines of philosophy • The disciplines of philosophy include: • Philosophy of religion: • Philosophy of mind: • Ethics: • Metaphysics: • Others…
The tasks of philosophy • A philosopher investigates the concepts and principles of any subject matter by use of: • Conceptual analysis & Argumentation • Conceptual analysis is the analysis of concepts. • Concepts: • 2 definitions: words vs. ideas about a bit of the universe • Examples:
The extensions of concepts • Concepts have extensions: • For something to be in the extension of (or to fall under) a concept: • the thing must be an instance of the concept. • The thing must fall under the concept • If X is in the extension of a concept then… • Example: • Knowledge • The extension of any concept: defined as a set of things…
A view on Concepts • A view on concepts: You might also think that concepts are abstract objects which are instantiated in our world. • The picture: • LOVE KNOWLEDGE STUDENT • PHILOSOPHY SCHOOL • WORD TRUTH GRADE • -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • L W P K T Sc G St • W L P K T Sc St G • L P W K T Sc G St • Above the line: abstract objects • Below the line: our world. • Where do concepts lie? • Where is a concept instantiated, above or below the line? • The extension of a concept is:
Conceptual analysis • If you will remember, one of the main tasks of philosophy is the analysis of concepts. • To analyze a concept is • An explanation • A definition • To define a concept: • Examples in the dictionary • The philosopher’s task: • To provide more detailed, full and clear explanations of concepts you can find in your what?
Analytical Definitions: their form • An Analytical definition is composed of a definiendum and a definiens. • The definiendum: • The definiens: • Form: the form of a definition is this: • X =df _____ • Which is the definiendum and which is the definiens? • For example, • Bachelor =df unmarried adult male
Necessary andsufficient conditions • We can think of a definition as a set of necessary and sufficient conditions. • X is a necessary condition of Y if and only if (or iff) we cannot have Y without also having X. • Oxygen and Combustion • X is a sufficient condition of Y iff X is all that is needed to get Y. • Being born in the US and citizenship
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions #2 • X is both a necessary and sufficient condition of Y iff both • 1) we cannot have Y without also having X & • 2) X is all that is needed to get Y. • Bachelorhood and being an unmarried adult male
The Goal of Philosophy: FindingCorrect Definitions • For a definition to be adequate the definiendum and definiens must be co-extensive. • For the defiendum and definiens of any definition to be co-extensive it must be the case that: • Everything in the extension of the definiendum is in the extension of the definiens and vice versa…
Co-extensiveness:An example • So if your definition of BACHELOR as UNMARRIED ADULT MALE is correct then: • Everything in the extension of BACHELOR is in the extension of UNMARRIED ADULT MALE and vice versa.
Testing definitions • To determine if a definition is adequate: • determine if its definiendum and definiens are co-extensive. • Is there any item in the extension of one that isn’t in the extension of the other? • Example: Car =df 4 wheeled vehicle one can drive • All Cars are 4 wheeled vehicles one can drive. • All 4 wheeled vehicles one can drive are Cars. • Universal generalizations and counterexamples • A counterexample: a case that violates a universal generalization.
Counterexamples • 2 examples: • Defining Car as 4 wheeled vehicle one can drive: • We need to find either a Car that isn’t a 4 wheeled vehicle one can drive • Or a 4 wheeled vehicle one can drive that isn’t a Car • Thoughts? • Defining Knowledge as true belief: • We need to find either • a case of knowledge that isn’t what? • Or a case of true belief that isn’t what? • A counterexample: • The Belief Game:
Counterexamples #2 • Love: Say I define Love as a deep seated feeling composed of compassion & care which one can have for another human being. • Can anyone find a counterexample to this definition? • We are looking for either: • a case of love that isn’t ____________ • a case of having this feeling for another human which isn’t ______________ • Any thoughts?