Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, October 24, 2013

FQs and summary post for the Nameless Wanderers

We went ahead and narrowed ours down to the top ten, so here they are:

Who propounded the Trademark Argument? Rene Descartes.

What was Descartes's most famous philosophical work? Meditations on Philosophy.

Who was one of the first pantheists who was excommunicated from the synagogue for his views? Baruch Spinoza.

Who wrote "Ethics"? Spinoza.

How did Spinoza die? Lung disease.

What did Spinoza believe in? "God of Nature."

What was George Berkeley's profession? He was Bishop of Cloyne.

What is Voltaire best known for? Candide.

What are the "primary qualities" according to John Locke? Physical characteristics, such as colour, size, shape, etc.

True or False: Pascal was Christian.

Now, post for this class:

We spent a fair amount of our time going through our factual questions, so we didn't have much time for discussion. However, we did talk about Berkeley's  notion that the only real things are ideas, which we all agreed was rather ridiculous. Kayla noted that, according to Berkeley, Shannon would only exist (to Kayla) as a collection of ideas, and that Kayla only exists for Shannon as a collection of ideas in Shannon's mind. I mentioned that the notion demands an explanation for objective reality: How can we know of ourselves when we only exist in other people's minds?


  1. FACT: What time period did Rousseau influence? (Enlightenment)
    DISCUSS: Do you agree or disagree with Hume's quote posted below? Why or why not?
    COMMENT: Glad we got the question list out of the way! Good work, Mitchell.
    LINK: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions". -David Hume

  2. Factual: Where was David Hume born? (Scotland.)

    Discussion: Do you guys think that Rousseau's notion of the "General Will" constitutes a just government? How might one make sense of his idea that we force people to be free? How effective do you think this system of thought would be for governance?

    Comment: Thank you, Seneca. I did think of one other thing to point out about Berkeley and his idea of the only real things being ideas: Strictly speaking, every thing had to begin somewhere as an idea. Therefore, one might argue that at the basis of reality are ideas.

    Link: Just thinking about knowledge in general: "I believe in God as I believe in the sun--not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." ~CS Lewis.

  3. I know "every thing had to begin somewhere as an idea" is a bedrock assumption or intuition of metaphysical idealists and some theists, but it really does beg the question. Likewise, the CS Lewis quote speaks only to those who feel deeply aneed for something supernatural to support nature. Those of us who don't feel that are bound to disagree. But, it's helpful to have the intuition/assumption spelled out so clearly.

  4. Discussion: Do you believe in the Design Argument? Why or why not?

    Fact: Hume set out to explain what? The nature of our humanity and our place in the universe.

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3QZ2Ko-FOg&noredirect=1

    Comment: Study study study.

  5. Fact: Who were thought of as the three
    British empiricists? Hume, Locke, and Berkeley

    Discussion: Do you agree with Mandeville that human beings are the naturally most selfish of animals?

    Comment: Hope everyone gets their studying in!!!

    Link: a link on Madeville http://philosophy.lander.edu/ethics/notes-mandeville.html

  6. Fact: Which work of David Hume contained a chapter attacking the logic of the Design Argument? Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748).

    Discuss: Do you agree with Rousseau that humans are naturally good and only become selfish when taken out of a state of nature?

    Comment: Good luck with your studies everyone.

    Link: http://www.iep.utm.edu/rousseau/
    on Rousseau

  7. I think that is an interesting question Mitchell. I think that while each of us has our own personalities not defined by the ideas of others, our perceived character is based off of the thoughts and opinions of outside sources. But for us to be based entirely off of others ideas of us leaves our own opinion and internal processes ignored