Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Brian Davies, Sextus Empiricus and Richard Wollheim

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102 ideas

1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 2. Analysis by Division
You cannot divide anything into many parts, because after the first division you are no longer dividing the original [Sext.Empiricus]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis
Ordinary speech is not exact about what is true; we say we are digging a well before the well exists [Sext.Empiricus]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason
Reasoning is impossible without a preconception [Sext.Empiricus]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 6. Conclusive Proof
Proof moves from agreed premises to a non-evident inference [Sext.Empiricus]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
It is only when we say a proposition that we speak truly or falsely [Sext.Empiricus]
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 8. Material Implication
A valid hypothetical syllogism is 'that which does not begin with a truth and end with a falsehood' [Sext.Empiricus]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
'Man is a rational mortal animal' is equivalent to 'if something is a man, that thing is a rational mortal animal' [Sext.Empiricus]
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 7. Paradoxes of Time
Since Socrates either died when he was alive (a contradiction) or died when he was dead (meaningless), he didn't die [Sext.Empiricus]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
Classes rarely share properties with their members - unlike universals and types [Wollheim]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
Parts are not parts if their whole is nothing more than the parts [Sext.Empiricus]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
Some properties are inseparable from a thing, such as the length, breadth and depth of a body [Sext.Empiricus]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 2. Common Sense Certainty
If an argument has an absurd conclusion, we should not assent to the absurdity, but avoid the absurd argument [Sext.Empiricus]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / c. Representative realism
Whether honey is essentially sweet may be doubted, as it is a matter of judgement rather than appearance [Sext.Empiricus]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation
How can the intellect know if sensation is reliable if it doesn't directly see external objects? [Sext.Empiricus]
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
Some say motion is perceived by sense, but others say it is by intellect [Sext.Empiricus]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 3. Pragmatism
We distinguish ambiguities by seeing what is useful [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / b. Need for justification
Fools, infants and madmen may speak truly, but do not know [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / b. Basic beliefs
Some things are their own criterion, such as straightness, a set of scales, or light [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 3. Reliabilism / a. Reliable knowledge
Madmen are reliable reporters of what appears to them [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism
The basis of scepticism is the claim that every proposition has an equal opposing proposition [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism
The necks of doves appear different in colour depending on the angle of viewing [Sext.Empiricus]
The same oar seems bent in water and straight when out of it [Sext.Empiricus]
If we press the side of an eyeball, objects appear a different shape [Sext.Empiricus]
The same tower appears round from a distance, but square close at hand [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique
How can sceptics show there is no criterion? Weak without, contradiction with [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 1. Relativism
How can we judge between our impressions and those of other animals, when we ourselves are involved? [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 3. Subjectivism
If we had no hearing or sight, we would assume no sound or sight exists, so there may be unsensed qualities [Sext.Empiricus]
If we enjoy different things, presumably we receive different impressions [Sext.Empiricus]
Some actions seem shameful when sober but not when drunk [Sext.Empiricus]
Water that seems lukewarm can seem very hot on inflamed skin [Sext.Empiricus]
Sickness is perfectly natural to the sick, so their natural perceptions should carry some weight [Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 4. Cultural relativism
With us it is shameful for men to wear earrings, but among Syrians it is considered noble [Sext.Empiricus]
Even if all known nations agree on a practice, there may be unknown nations which disagree [Sext.Empiricus]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 1. Observation
How can you investigate without some preconception of your object? [Sext.Empiricus]
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
If you don't view every particular, you may miss the one which disproves your universal induction [Sext.Empiricus]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 4. Objectification
We often treat a type as if it were a sort of token [Wollheim]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 6. Idealisation
If we try to conceive of a line with no breadth, it ceases to exist, and so has no length [Sext.Empiricus]
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 4. Emergentism
The incorporeal is not in the nature of body, and so could not emerge from it [Sext.Empiricus]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
If we utter three steps of a logical argument, they never exist together [Sext.Empiricus]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / b. Empirical concepts
We can only dream of a winged man if we have experienced men and some winged thing [Sext.Empiricus]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 2. Aesthetic Attitude
A love of nature must precede a love of art [Wollheim]
Interpretation is performance for some arts, and critical for all arts [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 1. Defining Art
A criterion of identity for works of art would be easier than a definition [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 2. Art as Form
If beauty needs organisation, then totally simple things can't be beautiful [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 4. Art as Expression
Some say art must have verbalisable expression, and others say the opposite! [Wollheim]
It is claimed that the expressive properties of artworks are non-physical [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 6. Art as Institution
The traditional view is that knowledge of its genre to essential to appreciating literature [Wollheim]
Style can't be seen directly within a work, but appreciation needs a grasp of style [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 7. Ontology of Art
If artworks are not physical objects, they are either ideal entities, or collections of phenomena [Wollheim]
The ideal theory says art is an intuition, shaped by a particular process, and presented in public [Wollheim]
The ideal theory of art neglects both the audience and the medium employed [Wollheim]
A musical performance has virtually the same features as the piece of music [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / a. Music
An interpretation adds further properties to the generic piece of music [Wollheim]
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 3. Artistic Representation
A drawing only represents Napoleon if the artist intended it to [Wollheim]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / a. Form of the Good
Saying the good is useful or choiceworth or happiness-creating is not the good, but a feature of it [Sext.Empiricus]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
Like a warming fire, what is good by nature should be good for everyone [Sext.Empiricus]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
If a desire is itself desirable, then we shouldn't desire it, as achieving it destroys it [Sext.Empiricus]
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 9. Contractualism
Right actions, once done, are those with a reasonable justification [Sext.Empiricus]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 4. Mathematical Nature
The tektraktys (1+2+3+4=10) is the 'fount of ever-flowing nature' [Sext.Empiricus]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
Some say that causes are physical, some say not [Sext.Empiricus]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation
Knowing an effect results from a cause means knowing that the cause belongs with the effect, which is circular [Sext.Empiricus]
If there were no causes then everything would have been randomly produced by everything [Sext.Empiricus]
Cause can't exist before effect, or exist at the same time, so it doesn't exist [Sext.Empiricus]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
Causes are either equal to the effect, or they link equally with other causes, or they contribute slightly [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / a. Explaining movement
A man walking backwards on a forwards-moving ship is moving in a fixed place [Sext.Empiricus]
Does the original self-mover push itself from behind, or pull itself from in front? [Sext.Empiricus]
If time and place are infinitely divided, it becomes impossible for movement ever to begin [Sext.Empiricus]
If all atoms, times and places are the same, everything should move with equal velocity [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / b. Relative time
If motion and rest are abolished, so is time [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / i. Denying time
Time must be unlimited, but past and present can't be non-existent, and can't be now, so time does not exist [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / c. Tenses and time
Time doesn't end with the Universe, because tensed statements about destruction remain true [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 3. Parts of Time / c. Intervals
How can time be divisible if we can't compare one length of time with another? [Sext.Empiricus]
Time is divisible, into past, present and future [Sext.Empiricus]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 3. Parts of Time / e. Present moment
Socrates either dies when he exists (before his death) or when he doesn't (after his death) [Sext.Empiricus]
If the present is just the limit of the past or the future, it can't exist because they don't exist [Sext.Empiricus]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God must suffer to understand suffering [Sext.Empiricus]
All men agree that God is blessed, imperishable, happy and good [Sext.Empiricus]
How can we agree on the concept of God, unless we agree on his substance or form or place? [Sext.Empiricus]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 3. Divine Perfections
The Divine must lack the virtues of continence and fortitude, because they are not needed [Sext.Empiricus]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. God and Time
God is 'eternal' either by being non-temporal, or by enduring forever [Davies,B]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / a. Divine morality
Can God be good, if he has not maximised goodness? [Davies,B]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / c. God is the good
The goodness of God may be a higher form than the goodness of moral agents [Davies,B]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
How could God have obligations? What law could possibly impose them? [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 1. Proof of God
God is defended by agreement, order, absurdity of denying God, and refutations [Sext.Empiricus]
'Natural theology' aims to prove God to anyone (not just believers) by reason or argument [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
God's sensations imply change, and hence perishing, which is absurd, so there is no such God [Sext.Empiricus]
God without virtue is absurd, but God's virtues will be better than God [Sext.Empiricus]
The existence of God can't be self-evident or everyone would have agreed on it, so it needs demonstration [Sext.Empiricus]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / a. Cosmological Proof
A distinct cause of the universe can't be material (which would be part of the universe) [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
The original substance lacked motion or shape, and was given these by a cause [Sext.Empiricus]
The universe exhibits design either in its sense of purpose, or in its regularity [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / c. Teleological Proof critique
If God is an orderly being, he cannot be the explanation of order [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / d. Religious Experience
Maybe an abnormal state of mind is needed to experience God? [Davies,B]
A believer can experience the world as infused with God [Davies,B]
The experiences of God are inconsistent, not universal, and untestable [Davies,B]
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
The perfections of God were extrapolations from mankind [Sext.Empiricus]
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
Gods were invented as watchers of people's secret actions [Sext.Empiricus]
An incorporeal God could do nothing, and a bodily god would perish, so there is no God [Sext.Empiricus]
29. Religion / A. Polytheistic Religion / 1. Animism
It is mad to think that what is useful to us, like lakes and rivers, are gods [Sext.Empiricus]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 1. Religious Commitment / b. Religious Meaning
One does not need a full understanding of God in order to speak of God [Davies,B]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / d. Heaven
Paradise would not contain some virtues, such as courage [Davies,B]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 3. Problem of Evil / d. Natural Evil
If God foresaw evil he would presumably prevent it, and if he only foresees some things, why those things? [Sext.Empiricus]