Skepticism Philosophy Essay

Incredulity: • It comes from the Grecian word skeptikoi which means “seekers” or “inquirers. ” • It refers to the critical attitude wherein a adult male inquiries different things including the well-known absolute truth or cognition. • Note that incredulity ( philosophical that is ) should be contrasted with philosophical bigotry wherein the latter is the direct antonym of the former. Philosophic bigotry refers to an attitude wherein a adult male believes to hold absolute truth/knowledge ( “dogma. ” intending rigorous regulations ) . Short History of Skepticism Classical Skepticism.

Gorgias • A Sophist who believed that nil truly exists. • He lived from 483-376 B. C. ( Leontini. Italy ) . He went to Athens to carry through his mission as an embassador. He was a pupil of Empedocles. • In Greece. he was the wise man of Thucydides ( writer of the Peloponnesian War ) and Isocrates. • His issue with respect to the doctrine of being can be understood by holding a full clasp on the logical contradiction. • His whole thought of being commences from the premiss that nil exists. Or. if something exists. it must come from another beginning.

The beginning of the being of “something” is said to be unknowable. • Besides. Gorgias postulated that a “being” should come from another being. It is impossible for this being to come from nil. • We can see Gorgias as a Sophist instead than a skeptic. It should be noted. nevertheless. that early incredulity came from the early sensed doctrine. and that is Stoicism. Philosophical Skepticism The followers are the philosophical enquiries of the sceptics: 1. Epistemology • Can adult male attain absolute cognition? • Where does the absolute cognition come from?

• How does feel perceptual experience operate in the service of accomplishing cognition? 2. Metaphysicss • What is/are the composition/s of the existence? • What are the separating characteristics of human nature? • Does God be? 3. Ethical motives • What should be the measure uping factors to measure human behavior? • Is it possible for adult male to find whether an action is morally right or incorrect? 4. Metaphilosophy • Is Philosophy important to human life? • What are the proper purposes and ends of philosophical enquiry? Phyrro and Stoicism • He is considered as the earliest philosophical sceptic in Western doctrine.

He lived from 360 to 270 B. C. • Some bookmans find a political beginning of Phyrro’s incredulity in this: on the theory that traumatic periods produce disenchantment and surrender. the souring and obsolescence of traditional beliefs. a retentive relativism of beliefs. virtuousnesss. and habits that will non delegate absolute high quality to any. and a demand for new methods of get bying in a feverish universe. • Taught that peace of head was the highest terminal of life and that cognition of truth was required to achieve and keep it.

• Phyrro consequently sought truth. nevertheless for every philosophical inquiry that the Stoic doctrine replies ; it is being contradicted by several other schools of idea. • What was worse was that each place had grounds and grounds to back up itself and to overthrow and rebut its oppositions. • He gave up in desperation and admitted to himself that he could non make up one’s mind among them and did non cognize what was true. The Stoics were accused by the Greeks as advocates of bigotry: • It is the direct antonym of incredulity. • A doctrinaire is certain that cognition is possible. because he is certain that he hold some.

• A individual is still a doctrinaire even if he is non certain. but still asserts something to be true. whether on a intuition. an intuition. and a sensed plenty of grounds. mystical urges. blazing bias. or crackbrained repeat. A. Academic Skepticism • Asserts that at least some truths are wholly unknowable. • Cicero postulated that: “Nothing could be known except the place that nil else could be known. ” B. Empirical Skepticism • An empirical sceptic is person who refuses to accept certain sorts of claims without first subjecting them to a series of scientific probe.

• Difference between an empirical sceptic and philosophical sceptic: a philosophical skeptic denies the really being of cognition while an empirical skeptic simply seeks for cogent evidence before accepting a claim. C. Scientific Skepticism • A subdivision of empirical incredulity that addresses scientific claims. • It uses scientific techniques in order to formalize the acquired cognition. D. Religious Skepticism • It refers to incredulity towards religion. • Religious sceptics based their claims harmonizing to immortality. Providence and disclosure.

• A spiritual sceptic is non needfully an atheist or an agnostic. David Hume: • He was born in Edinburgh. Scotland. David was merely two old ages old when his male parent died. • He was fond of analyzing Mathematics. History. Ancient and Modern Philosophy and Science. • His major philosophical plants are: o A Treatise of Human Nature ( which he completed from 1739-1740 ) O Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding ( 1748 ) o Refering the Principles of Morals ( 1751 ) O Dialogues Concerning Religion ( 1779 ) • He is besides considered as one of the best British empiricists along with George Berkeley and John Locke.

• His doctrine was partly influenced by Adam Smith ( his stopping point friend ) and Cicero ( ancient philosopher ) . David Hume’s Skeptic View on Reality and Human Belief • David Hume is one of the greatest sceptics in the history of Philosophy. He besides influenced the development of the two philosophical schools of idea: empiricist philosophy and incredulity. Hume’s View on Reality • Harmonizing to Hume. there are two differentiations of mental construct. to humor. feelings and thoughts. Impression – refers to the direct. vivid. and forceful merchandises of immediate experience. Ideas – these are simply lame transcripts of these original looks.

• It should be emphasized that these two differentiations should be treated individually with each other. • Hume’s View on Human Belief • Relations of Ideas/Priori – beliefs grounded on associations formed within the head. • Matters of Fact/Posteriori – beliefs that claim to describe the nature of bing things. _____________________________________________________________________________ GROUP FOUR: UTILITARIAN PHILOSOPHY Basic Concepts ( Formal Definitions ) • Etymologically talking. the word “utilitarianism” comes from the Latin word utilis. which means “useful.

” • In Ethics. utilitarianism is a philosophy that what is utile is good. and accordingly. that the ethical value of behavior is determined by the public-service corporation of the consequence. • Utilitarian philosophers believe that it is normal for human existences to execute activities which lead towards felicity ( that is. to maximise felicity and to avoid hurting ) . • This theory is under the normative political theory. Normative Political Theory – this theory asks a peculiar inquiry as “what is ought to be” as compared to the inquiry “what is” in political life.

It is non confined on the scene or building moral theories. nevertheless. it analyzes the effects of the constructed moral theories in the political life of an person and how it is being applied/practiced in the existent political sphere. This attack of the normative political theory is spearheaded by Jeremy Bentham. He is a extremist nineteenth century societal reformist. who is seemingly a useful. • Bentham argues that the nature of human existences is to obtain felicity ( complacency ) and to avoid hurting. In this respect. the morally right political determinations are based on the corporate felicity of the society.

• This corporate felicity may be characterized in the signifier of public-service corporation. This public-service corporation could be of any sort that would convey felicity to the society ( i. e. belongings. advantage. chance. goods. services etc. ) . • Bentham did non supply theories or methods on how to achieve societal public-service corporation or maximization of felicity. Harmonizing to him. the attainment of felicity depends on how an single defines his/her felicity. In connexion to this. every member of the society which comprises the whole society should consolidate their definition of felicity in order to obtain societal public-service corporation.

• It should be emphasized that Bentham was focused on the involvement of community/group. • The supreme aim of moral action and the foundation on which all morality should be grounded is the accomplishment of the greatest happiness/satisfaction of the greater figure. • Nature of Utilitarianism • Because this doctrine is greatly focused on the accomplishment ( or maximization ) of felicity. it doesn’t matter whether the consequence of the effect is good or bad. Remember the celebrated axiom of Niccolo Machiavelli: “the terminal justifies the agencies. ” · Hedonism • It refers to an political orientation wherein felicity can be found between pleasance and hurting.

• Utilitarian philosophers besides use “hedonistic calculus” wherein they believe that a moralist could easy find the unit of pleasance and of hurting. O Bentham’s “hedonistic calculus” has similar construct with the theory of Epicurus. O The hedonic concretion is used to find the entire sum of pleasance and hurting of an person. O Moral agent –person who conducts hedonic concretion. Historical Traces of Utilitarian Philosophy • It is believed that Utilitarian doctrine flourished in England. We can presuppose the fact that utilitarianism came from English doctrine.

• Some historiographers argued that Richard Cumberland originally perceived the thought of utilitarianism. He was an English philosopher and theologian ( bishop of Peterborough ) . • Afterwards. a British “moral sense” philosopher clearly defined the useful doctrine. Francis Hutcheson did non merely explicate the philosophical position of utilitarianism which is “the greatest felicity for the greatest numbers” but he besides provided for a mechanism for ciphering the appropriate effects of the activities to achieve such felicity. This mechanism is called “moral arithmetic.

” • Jeremy Bentham. a outstanding figure in useful doctrine. admitted that he found the rule of public-service corporation from the Hagiographas of the following eighteenth century minds: O Joseph Priestly – a priest who was known for his find of “oxygen. ” o Cesaria Beccaria – an expert in legal affairs ( Italian legal theoretician ) . o Claude-Adrien Helvetius – writer of a doctrine of “mere esthesis. ” • John Gay ( scriptural bookman and philosopher ) – he considered God’s will as the greatest modification factor for virtuousness. Furthermore. he argued that God’s goodness is the beginning of human felicity.

Utilitarian Philosophers 1. Jeremy Bentham ( Developer of Utilitarian Philosophy ) Life: • Bentham was a legal theoretician. linguist. societal philosopher and political militant. • He came from a affluent household from England. • Bentham was sent to Westminster School ( one of the esteemed school in England ) and Queen’s College Oxford. He was besides a practicing attorney ; nevertheless. he showed an firm involvement in doctrine. o He examined the philosophical plants of David Hume. Helvetius and Beccaria. Finally. he started to organize his ain thought of utilitarianism.

o Bentham argued that the turning away of hurting and the chase of pleasance are the natural thrusts of human activity. as recognized by the “principle of public-service corporation. ” 2. William Paley Life: • Paley was born in July. 1743 ( Peterborough. England ) . He attained his spiritual grade ( Anglican priesthood ) at Christ’ College in Cambridge. • He became a coach of Christ College three old ages after he graduated from the declared school. • Harmonizing to Paley. utilitarianism is a combination ofindividualistic hedonism ( average between pleasance and hurting ) and theological dictatorship. 3. James Mill Life: • Mill was born in April 6. 1773 ( Forfarshire ) .

• He was a boy of cobbler in Montrose. He was sent to the University of Edinburgh in 1790 and his instruction was financed by Sir John Stuart. • James Mill received his M. A. grade in Edinburgh. He was a full pledged sermonizer. However. Mill bit by bit lost his religion and decided to reassign in Scotland until John Stuart invited him to populate in London. • He became a author of the Literary Journal in London. It can be said that the closing of the Literary Journal had made him write assorted essays. articles and other literary plants such as his reappraisal on the history of Corn Laws and etc.

• He was the male parent of John Stuart Mill. another useful philosopher. • Harmonizing to Mill. the turning away of hurting and the chase of pleasance are the two primary motivation forces behind human actions. • He besides justified the being of the authorities in the society. He stated that the establishment of the authorities exists to guarantee these twin purposes ( maximization of pleasance and turning away of hurting ) are fulfilled for the greatest figure of people possible. Effectss of Utilitarianism in Other Disciplines • Utilitarian doctrine has been so of import to the Fieldss of political relations. jurisprudence and economic sciences.

• Its theories are still relevant in the modern-day times particularly in rendering of import political determinations. care of societal stableness ( chase of pleasance and turning away of hurting ) and etc. A. Law • For case. some viewed penalty as tantamount to “retributive theory. ” This theory merely states that a condemnable ( i. e. convicted raper. liquidator or robber ) should be punished to pay for his offense. • Harmonizing to the useful doctrine. penalty is served non to ease retribution/retaliation but to reform the felon and insulate the society from him. B.

Politicss • V Harmonizing to the useful philosophers. the best signifier of authorities is democracy. Social contract. natural rights and natural jurisprudence are the bases of authorities authorization and importance of single rights. • V “Democracy” comes from the Grecian word demos which means “people. ” It coincides with the philosophical purpose of useful doctrine wherein the general involvement of the people ( and maximization of their felicity ) should be the footing of the government’s political determinations. • V Utilitarian doctrine is besides known for its comparative positions on socio-political issues.

• Harmonizing to this doctrine. a strong authorities should be needed to keep the selfish involvements of its topics. As mentioned before. one of the chief duties of the authorities is to keep the stableness of political order. Based on this rule. the useful statement is on the side of conservative/authoritarian place. § Nazi Germany ( Adolf Hitler ) § Soviet Union ( Joseph Stalin ) § Cuba ( Fidel Castro ) • On the other manus. William Godwin ( laminitis of philosophical anarchism ) had an optimistic position of human nature ( parallel to the philosophical theory of John Locke with respect to human nature ) .

Harmonizing to him. the chase of greatest felicity may take into “philosophical anarchism. ” • Philosophical anarchism – Godwin emphasized that values must be profoundly imbibed in every person. Furthermore. he argued that sufficient supply of goods ( economic resources ) should be every bit distributed to guarantee that the economic demands of the society are decently fulfilled. He hoped that authorities governments must explicate Torahs to equalise the unjust distribution of wealth. Furthermore. Godwin stated that the authorities should minimise its engagement to advance academic freedom. C. Economics.

• Early useful philosophers argued that the authorities should non tamper on economic personal businesss of the society. • Subsequently on. they admitted that the authorities has a important function in the economic system. Jeremy Bentham’s Mode of Thinking Theory of Psychological Hedonism • Harmonizing to Bentham. human behaviour can be explained by mention to the primary motivations of pleasance and hurting. • Pleasure and hurting – it is believed that nature has placed mankind under the administration of these two motivations. • Utilitarian philosophers ever ask inquiries affecting “what we ought to do” and “what we shall make.

” • Bentham argued that the human person is the basic unit of societal domain. An individual’s relation with others is unneeded of being what he is. • He defined “relation” as a fabricated world. Community. on the other manus. refers to the amount of the involvements of the persons who composed it. • However. there are some cases that the involvements tend to collide with each other. Such happening diminishes the chief construct of “community” ( amount of the involvements of the persons ) . Bentham argued that the authorities and statute law should work together to harmonise the aforesaid struggle.

• Bentham’s Moral Theory The followers are the features of Bentham’s moral doctrine: · Principle of public-service corporation • It is synonymous to the “greatest felicity rule. ” • It concerns the involvements of the people who are in inquiry ; it can be the whole community. an person or a little part of the group. • Bentham enumerated the advantages of the rule. to humor: • O The rule should non be consulted to metaphysics philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. Thus. the chief kernel of the rule can be easy grasped.

• O The useful rule offers nonsubjective standard of right and incorrect – application of hedonic concretion · Universal egoism or selflessness • Assuming that the said establishments ( authorities and statute law ) successfully harmonized the involvements of every person in the community. the people may be given to work selflessly to prosecute the common good. • O Altruism – it refers to the unselfish concern to the general public assistance of others. • Determination of common involvement • Hedonistic Ethics • Utilitarian moralss can be defined as an art in which man’s action is geared towards maximal measure of felicity.

Bentham’s Political Theory Harmonizing to Jeremy Bentham. one can understand jurisprudence and political relations if he/she has a good appreciation of human nature. On Liberty • Bentham defined autonomy as a freedom from any external control. A individual can be considered as “free” if he/she is non under the influence of another individual. • In his theory on autonomy. Bentham argued that there is no such thing as a “state of nature” and societal contract. He postulated that the latter is merely historical and fresh literature. On Law • Bentham viewed jurisprudence as a restriction/limitation of autonomy.

It can be considered as hurting ( a Prima facie evil ) to those whose freedom is restricted. • The regulating jurisprudence within the society can non be considered as a “natural law” because it is harmonizing to the will of the Sovereign ( swayer ) . • Bentham proposed that the jurisprudence should be in conformity with the natural jurisprudence. that is. it should be paralleled with the common involvement of the people. • The followers are the positive maps of good Torahs ( although Bentham still regarded Torahs as limitation to autonomy ) : § Good Torahs are indispensable to good authorities. § Good Torahs are necessary to keep societal stableness.

§ Good Torahs develop and protect the people’s personal and material resources. On Rights • Bentham’s position on rights can be rooted on his doctrine about natural jurisprudence. Harmonizing to Bentham. rights are produced by Torahs. and as affirmed before. Torahs can be attributed to the will of the Sovereign. • Socio-political organisation must be formed in order for these two to be. • Bentham related his position on the societal contract theory with the being and usage of rights. Harmonizing to him. it is impossible that rights exist before the constitution of the authorities.

• Harmonizing to Jeremy Bentham. the theory of societal contract is impossible ( if non historical ) because in order for the said contract to adhere. there must be an constituted authorities to implement such contract. • § In contrary. the authorities must be before the definition of different rights. This would once more. take into the issue with respect to jurisprudence and autonomy ( where the Sovereign dictates the sum of autonomy and rights that should be given to the people ) . John Stuart Mill’s Mode of Thinking Moral Theory • J. S.

Mill’s two distinguishable attacks to moral theory: • Intuitive Approach – cognition is attained without holding an entreaty to see. • Inductive Approach – cognition is gained through observation and experience. J. S. Mill’s Utilitarian Philosophy • Mill believed that actions are right if they tend to advance felicity and incorrect if they tend to present the antonym of it. • For him. felicity can be associated with rational and animal pleasance. He besides stated that everything we desire can be considered as felicity. The followers are some of the illustrations of felicity: • Virtue.

• Love of money • Power • Fame • He besides enumerated two sorts of motive: • External Motivation – this arises from hope of pleasing or fright of displeasing God and other worlds. • Internal Motivation – this arises from responsibility. • Duty – it refers to the subjective feeling which develops through experience. Furthermore. worlds have an natural feeling of integrity which guides the development of responsibility towards greater felicity. Mill’s Proof of the Principle of Utility: · The lone manner to turn out that general felicity is desirable is to demo that people really desire it.

§ For case. if X is the lone thing desired. so X is the lone thing that ought to be desired. General felicity is the thing desired. On Justice • Apparently. J. S. Mill’s construct of justness is paralleled to the useful doctrine. • There are two indispensable elements on justness. to humor: • Punishment – it is a combination of societal understanding and retribution • Violation of someone’s rights – violation of rights. • There are differences in the impression of justness when analyzing theories of penalties. just distribution of wealth and etc.

¦ Political and Social Philosophy • On Individuality – J. S. Mill prescribed two standards to find the best sort of single. to humor: • Person who is separately responsible for his ain beliefs and actions. • Person who will non merely be happy in his ain instance but will be concerned with and lend to the felicity of others. • Social Institutions that Contribute to Individuality: • Free and uncensored argument. • J. S. Mill regarded autonomy as a cardinal human right. • Democracy and representative authoritiess encourage freedom and address.