Euclid-proof

Synthetic a priori Judgments and Geometry

In the Prolegomena, Kant uses geometry as an example to show that we do have synthetic a priori knowledge. He argues that grasping how this kind of knowledge is possible there can lead to insights concerning the possibility (and the limits) of synthetic a priori knowledge in other areas, such as metaphysics. We will focus…

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Freedom and the Will

In Meditation Four, Descartes has the Meditator articulate a view of the will and of its role in accounting for the possibility of error in a way that locates responsibility for error within ourselves. In the process, he articulates a view of human freedom that is not just obvious to everyone what thinks about it.…

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Meditations III and IV

In the first Meditation, we are trying as hard as we can to prevent ourselves from falling back on the comfortable acceptance of our long-held, customary beliefs; e.g., the belief that bodies exist, they cause our perceptions, and our perceptions resemble their causes (as Aristotelians and ‘common sense’ would have it); our belief that we…

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Meditations I and II

Reading Questions for 1/21 For Thursday, 1/21, read the first two Meditations with the following questions in mind: What, according to Meditation I, can be called into doubt? How does the Meditator call into question beliefs about particular existing things that were acquired through the senses? How does the Meditator call into question beliefs about…

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Reading Questions for 10/30: Hume’s View of the Operation of the Human Understanding

In Sections IV and V of the Enquiry, Hume presents some skeptical doubts concerning the operations of the understanding (IV) and then seeks to resolve these doubts through embracing a skeptical attitude, rather than through defending human understanding against these doubts (V). This discussion complements the discussions of Sections II and III in establishing the…

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Reading Questions for 10/28: Hume’s Philosophical Methodology

  Statue of Scottish Philosopher David Hume (1711 to 1776) by Alexander Stoddart. Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo Credit: Bandan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons In Sections II and III of the Enquiry, Hume introduces and justifies the particular approach to philosophical problems (and/or to the problems with philosophy) that…