Philosophy Essay Example With Questions

Published: 2018-09-27
Philosophy Essay Example With Questions
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Physics Mathematics
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1662 words
14 min read

Philosophy Essay Introduction


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Edmund Gettier discovered the Gettier problems in 1963. These questions are used in defining the justified true belief. The problems are possible situations that people believe to be true and supported by evidence but are said not to have any knowledge. Gettier had previously refused to acknowledge the definition of knowledge. The cases by Gettier are supposed to challenge the proposition knowledge. Gettier uses the cases to challenge what people believe to be knowledge. The analysis of knowledge is known as the justified true belief (JTB). Justified True Belief indicates that a general structuring can absorb or generate comparatively specific analyses. JTB also provides a form of theory that explains more on the issue of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge means knowing something and believing that thing as long as that thing provides evidence to make one believe. Therefore if one knows that they are a person, then they will believe they are a person by looking at the similarities between them and other people. Therefore, JTB needs to be in order to constitute an understanding between knowing and not knowing. Some cases posed as problems for JTB by making it false, but an explanation was not offered of whether JTB should be replaced if it is false.


The dream argument states that perceptions are similar to dreams, but there are no definite signs that distinguish dreams experience from the waking experience. It could be possible to dream and have false perceptions at the same time. According to Descartes dreams can be illusions. On the other hand, the evil genius hypothesis raises doubts in religious teachings and the existence if God. Descartes poses a devastating possibility that the truth about an omnipotent God would be made false and change the world all together. The hypothesis of deceiving God serves as a logical way in meditating. Descartes offers other views of the hypothetical doubt for the sake of the people who might get offended by his arguments. Descartes believes that there is some sought of demon that tortures him for his mistakes and thus manipulates his reasoning. Descartes want to proof the existence of God, but his proves are unoriginal. Therefore, this proof is unsuccessful as it relies on the comprehension of the causation of things. Descartes has to find the source of knowledge about the existence of God in his mind. In this argument, he reasons that 2+3=5 but reminds us that an evil demon is manipulating his mind, so we might as well be cheated into believing that 2+3=5. Therefore, when reasoning, the knowledge must be combined with other consideration to rule put the evil genius hypothesis.

Descartes Knowledge


The cogito, “I think” is Descartes’ first certainty and his first step into knowledge. Descartes argues that there is one thing that he is most certain of and even the evil demon can manipulate and make him doubt. He cannot doubt that he thinks because even doubting of a form of thinking and that means that he will be thinking. Even if the demon made him doubt that he is thinking, he would be confident that he is thinking that the demon is making him doubt his thinking. He cannot also doubt that he exists and if he were to doubt of his existence, he would prove that he exists because of his thoughts, and thus his thinking means he exists and hence if he exists then he must be thinking of his existence. Therefore, Descartes extends his certainty by saying that if he cannot know the truth, then he can know that he is thinking or experiencing this. Thus, he cannot acknowledge that he cannot doubt his thinking and doubt his thinking that he exists or experiences some sensation of light.


Descartes recognizes that he receives sensory ideas from something else. According to his third meditation, the causal adequacy, the external feeling must have at least have some reality formally or eminently as it produces the sensory ideas. Therefore, the external object must be a body of himself or a body or thing extended that contains a sensory idea or god or some creature that is noble, more than a body to possess such sensory reality eminently. Descartes argues that that body cannot be him, as he has no control of such ideas. Similarly, it cannot be God or a noble body because, if it were God, then that would mean the God is a deceiver. The strong indication that the external world would a body could be wrong and if it is wrong then, there is mo faculty that would be used to discover any error. This would, therefore, mean that God is the cause of mistakes and not human beings, making him a deceiver. So he came to a conclusion that bodies must be the cause of the external ideas and thus, bodies exist externally to the mind.


Russell was not skeptic Russell agreed that we know about the external materials such as tables or trees. However, he gave a different explanation on the external world. According to Russell, we do not immediately see a table. We experience some interaction and shade of color and shape, and as we get close, we see a larger object, which we construct with our sense perception. Russell calls sensible objects, sensible data that have particular shapes and patches of colors and textures as well as immediate sense as well as perception. Russell says that these objects are appearances or aspects of material objects. Russell talks of perceptual variation from the beginning when we become aware of the object. Therefore, as we move towards the table, our sense of appearance change from seeing something small to visualizing a larger object. The table does not change in appearance, but our perception changes are we get closer to the table. The material object stays the same, but our senses change since we do not immediately sense the material objects. Russell does not believe in the illusion of sense since objects stay as they are but our perception changes. Additionally, sense perception of the mind is directly related to the external, non-mental, and physical objects.

Different Physics Problems


Begging the question means assuming or postulating from the idea of logical postulate or assumption arose. It is requesting of beseeching to get an answer or get a topic or point investigated. Begging the question is also a form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the answers. Therefore if claim x assumes x is true then, claim x is true. Therefore, the skeptics claim that we do not know what we think that we now. According to Humes, instances that we have no experience are the same as instances of which we had experience. Therefore, there is always an argument of if we can use the past to predict the future. For instance, because the sun has risen in the past, we predict that it shall rise in the future. This means that an object followed by another and whose appearance always conveys the thought to that other. Then if we have As followed by Bs and not opposing instances, then observing a new A would make us expect that it will be followed by B. Therefore, we could use the instances of the past to predict the future. However, the problem arises when we cannot distinguish a bad thing from good in the induction process. Induction can yield a conclusion only with a certain probability, hence if all observed As have also been Bs then c is and A, which means that the c that has not yet been observed will also be a B.


The problem of induction has been one of the most problematic topics in epistemology. Russell establishes that we are conversant with our sense data and the memories of the past. Therefore, to draw our understanding of the matter, we draw inferences. Inferences mean that A is a sign of B. Thus, the existence of something like thunder shows that lighting precedes it. Inferential judgement occurs every day and thus provides a useful extension of the knowledge of our previous experience. Like we anticipate that the sun shall rise tomorrow because so far nothing has made that doubtful. We have expectations in life-based on the past. Therefore, experience shows that the uniform succession of how things happen causes us some expectation of the same succession to be repeated in the future. Russell says that people instinctually assume that the uniformity of nature will determine what will happen in the future, and thus we believe that everything that has happened will happen again.


The problem of other minds is the issue of justifying the belief that others besides oneself have minds and are capable of thinking and feeling as we do. Mill accepted the Cartesian view that we are always aware of our minds because we are directly conversant with them. Therefore, if we are to be justified in believing that other people have minds like we do, then we must make a simplifying implication from our case to theirs. According to Mill, in simplifying the implications then I obey the rules of experimental inquiry. However, people have different thought from we do even if they possess similar minds. It is not possible for a person to feel and think the same way another person does. For one to have almost similar feelings, they must have had a similar experience that would make them think and feel the same way as another person. The sensation of oneself cannot replicate the sensation of another. If one feels pain, then that pain is distinguished from another’s pain by the causation of the pain. This means that a toothache cannot be the same as a stomachache because the sensation and part of the pain are different. Therefore, bringing a difficulty in analyzing the feelings.

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