The 491 new ideas included in the latest update (of 10th February), by Theme

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
The health of the soul is a good blend of beliefs [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
A wise man's chief strength is not being tricked; nothing is worse than error, frivolity or rashness [Zeno of Citium, by Cicero]
Wise men should try to participate in politics, since they are a good influence [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
No wise man has yet been discovered [Stoic school, by Cicero]
Wise men are never astonished at things which other people take to be wonders [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Wise men participate in politics, especially if it shows moral progress [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
Unfortunately we choose a way of life before we are old enough to think clearly [Cicero]
1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 5. Later European Thought
The Scientific Revolution was the discovery of our own ignorance [Harari]
For millenia people didn't know how to convert one type of energy into another [Harari]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Divisions of Philosophy
Philosophy has three parts, studying nature, character, and rational discourse [Zeno of Citium, by Diog. Laertius]
Six parts: dialectic, rhetoric, ethics, politics, physics, theology [Cleanthes, by Diog. Laertius]
Three branches of philosophy: first logic, second ethics, third physics (which ends with theology) [Chrysippus]
Ethics studies impulse, good, passion, virtue, goals, value, action, appropriateness, encouragement [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Stoic physics concerns cosmos, elements and causes (with six detailed divisions) [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
True philosophising is not memorising ideas, but living by them [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
Philosophy investigates the causes of disagreements, and seeks a standard for settling them [Epictetus]
Habermas seems to make philosophy more democratic [Habermas, by Bowie]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is hopeless with its present epistemology; common-sense realism is needed [Colvin]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Thoughts are learnt through words, so language shows the limits and shape of our knowledge [Herder]
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 2. Phenomenology
Phenomenologists say all experience is about something and is directed [Aho]
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 3. Hermeneutics
Hermeneutics is hostile, try to overcome the other person's difference [Derrida, by Zimmermann,J]
Hermeneutics blunts truth, by conforming it to the inerpreter [Derrida, by Zimmermann,J]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 1. On Reason
Art can make reason more all-inclusive, by articulating what seemed inexpressible [Bowie]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
Stoics study canons, criteria and definitions, in order to find the truth [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
Rather than instrumental reason, Habermas emphasises its communicative role [Habermas, by Oksala]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 5. Objectivity
We take part in objective truth, rather than observe it from a distance [Zimmermann,J]
Hermeneutic knowledge is not objective, but embraces interpretations [Zimmermann,J]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 2. Sufficient Reason
Everything happens necessarily, and for a reason [Democritus]
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
Like spiderswebs, dialectical arguments are clever but useless [Ariston, by Diog. Laertius]
Dialectics is mastery of question and answer form [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Rather than in three stages, Hegel presented his dialectic as 'negation of the negation' [Hegel]
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 2. Elenchus
In discussion a person's opinions are shown to be in conflict, leading to calm self-criticism [Plato]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Speak lies, intend lies, intend deception, aim at deceptive goal? [Aquinas, by Tuckness/Wolf]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
Falsehoods corrupt a mind, producing passions and instability [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
The truth bearers are said to be the signified, or the signifier, or the meaning of the signifier [Stoic school, by Sext.Empiricus]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 2. Correspondence to Facts
Graspable presentations are criteria of facts, and are molded according to their objects [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
How could you ever know that the presentation is similar to the object? [Sext.Empiricus on Chrysippus]
4. Formal Logic / A. Syllogistic Logic / 2. Syllogistic Logic
Stoics like syllogisms, for showing what is demonstrative, which corrects opinions [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
4. Formal Logic / B. Propositional Logic PL / 2. Tools of Propositional Logic / e. Axioms of PL
Chrysippus have five obvious 'indemonstrables' of reasoning [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / c. not
The contradictory of a contradictory is an affirmation [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 7. Application of Mathematics
At one level maths and nature are very similar, suggesting some deeper origin [Wolfram]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
True Being only occurs when it is completely full, with atoms and no void [Democritus, by Aristotle]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
Being does not exist more than non-being [Democritus, by Aristotle]
The non-existent exists as much as the existent, because it has causal powers [Democritus]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
The only distinctions are Configuration (shape), Disposition (order) and Turning (position) [Democritus, by ]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / h. Dasein (being human)
For man, being is not what he is, but what he is going to be [Ortega y Gassett]
'Dasein' expresses not 'what' the entity is, but its being [Heidegger]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 4. Existence as One
Defenders of the One say motion needs the void - but that is not part of Being [Parmenides, by Aristotle]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 5. The Absolute
The 'absolute idea' is when all the contradictions are exhausted [Hegel, by Bowie]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 8. Criterion for Existence
Whatever participates in substance exists [Zeno of Citium, by Stobaeus]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Nothing comes from non-existence, or passes into it [Democritus, by Diog. Laertius]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
We can only distinguish self from non-self if there is an inflexible external reality [Colvin]
Common-sense realism rests on our interests and practical life [Colvin]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
If objects are doubted because their appearances change, that presupposes one object [Colvin]
Arguments that objects are unknowable or non-existent assume the knower's existence [Colvin]
The idea that everything is relations is contradictory; relations are part of the concept of things [Colvin]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Stoics have four primary categories: substrates, qualities, dispositions, relative dispositions [Stoic school, by Simplicius]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism
It is not possible to know what sort each thing is [Democritus]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / a. Platonic Forms
Platonists argue for the indivisible triangle-in-itself [Plato, by Aristotle]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
Platonic Forms are just our thoughts [Stoic school, by Ps-Plutarch]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
How is divisibility possible, if stoics say things remain united when they are divided? [Alexander on Stoic school]
How is separateness possible, if separated things are always said to be united? [Alexander on Stoic school]
Stoics say wholes are more than parts, but entirely consist of parts [Stoic school, by Sext.Empiricus]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
Maybe modal sentences cannot be true or false [Casullo]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
The Master Argument seems to prove that only what will happen is possible [Diod.Cronus, by Epictetus]
A proposition is possible if it is true when nothing stops it being true [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals
Conditionals are false if the falsehood of the conclusion does not conflict with the antecedent [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 1. A Priori Necessary
If the necessary is a priori, so is the contingent, because the same evidence is involved [Casullo]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
Knowledge is a secure grasp of presentations which cannot be reversed by argument [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Knowledge is threefold: apprehension, reproduction by imagination, recognition by concepts [Kant, by Bowie]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / b. Elements of beliefs
Two sorts of opinion: either poorly grounded belief, or weak belief [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / d. Cause of beliefs
Belief is no more rational than is tasting and smelling [Hamann]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 7. Knowledge First
A grasp by the senses is true, because it leaves nothing out, and so nature endorses it [Zeno of Citium, by Cicero]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Appearances do not hide the essence; appearances are the essence [Sartre]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
The absolute I divides into consciousness, and a world which is not-I [Fichte]
German Idealism says our thinking and nature have the same rational structure [Bowie]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 1. Nature of the A Priori
There are non-sensible presentations, which come to us through the intellect [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Epistemic a priori conditions concern either the source, defeasibility or strength [Casullo]
The main claim of defenders of the a priori is that some justifications are non-experiential [Casullo]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 3. Innate Knowledge / c. Tabula rasa
Stoics say we are born like a blank sheet of paper; the first concepts on it are sensations [Stoic school, by ]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 4. A Priori as Necessities
Analysis of the a priori by necessity or analyticity addresses the proposition, not the justification [Casullo]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 5. A Priori Synthetic
Kant bases the synthetic a priori on the categories of oneness and manyness [Kant, by Bowie]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 11. Denying the A Priori
What is considered a priori changes as language changes [Habermas]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
Snow is not white, and doesn't even appear white, because it is made of black water [Anaxagoras, by Cicero]
In phenomenology, all perception is 'seeing as' [Zimmermann,J]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Non-graspable presentations are from what doesn't exist, or are not clear and distinct [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 3. Representation
Man is separated from reality [Democritus]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 5. Interpretation
Stoic perception is a presentation to which one voluntarily assents [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
Perceived objects always appear in a context [Heidegger]
The mind does not unite perceptions, because they flow into one another [Merleau-Ponty]
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
Obscure knowledge belongs to the five senses, and genuine knowledge is the other type [Foa]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
All our concepts come from experience, directly, or by expansion, reduction or compounding [Stoic school, by Sext.Empiricus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / c. Defeasibility
If a grasped perception cannot be shaken by argument, it is 'knowledge' [Zeno of Citium, by Cicero]
If experiential can defeat a belief, then its justification depends on the defeater's absence [Kitcher, by Casullo]
'Overriding' defeaters rule it out, and 'undermining' defeaters weaken in [Casullo]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / c. Knowledge closure
Sphaerus he was not assenting to the presence of pomegranates, but that it was 'reasonable' [Sphaerus, by Diog. Laertius]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 1. Epistemic virtues
Dialectic is a virtue which contains other virtues [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
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 / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism
We actually know nothing, and opinions are mere flux [Democritus]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism
Every true presentation can have a false one of the same quality [Cicero]
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 / 6. Relativism Critique
How can we state relativism of sweet and sour, if they have no determinate nature? [Theophrastus]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 2. Demonstration
Demonstration derives what is less clear from what is clear [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
Science has to abstract out the subjective attributes of things, focusing on what is objective [Aho]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Consilience
Consilience is a common groundwork of explanation [Whewell]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
Democritus was devoted to discovering causal explanations [Democritus, by Eusebius]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by reduction
Six reduction levels: groups, lives, cells, molecules, atoms, particles [Putnam/Oppenheim, by Watson]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / c. Features of mind
Eight parts of the soul: five senses, seeds, speech and reason [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 2. Psuché
The soul is the same as the mind [Democritus, by Aristotle]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 7. Animal Minds
Animals have a share of reason [Democritus, by Porphyry]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 8. Brain
The directive centre is located in the whole head [Democritus, by Ps-Plutarch]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness
Consciousness is shaped dialectically, by opposing forces and concepts [Aho, by Aho]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 1. Faculties
Our conceptions arise from experience, similarity, analogy, transposition, composition and opposition [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
There are 23 core brain functions, with known circuit, transmitters, genes and behaviour [Watson]
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 1. Existence of Persons
Persons must be conscious, reasoning, motivated, communicative, self-aware [Warren, by Tuckness/Wolf]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 2. Ethical Self
The real subject is ethical, not cognitive [Kierkegaard]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness
Maybe a person's true self is their second-order desires [Tuckness/Wolf]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body
The powerful self behind your thoughts and feelings is your body [Nietzsche]
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 2. Self as Social Construct
Nazis think race predetermines the self [Bowie]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Sources of Free Will
Epicurus showed that the swerve can give free motion in the atoms [Epicurus, by Diogenes of Oen.]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 4. For Free Will
Chrysippus allows evil to say it is fated, or even that it is rational and natural [Plutarch on Chrysippus]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will
A swerve in the atoms would be unnatural, like scales settling differently for no reason [Chrysippus, by Plutarch]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / a. Determinism
Chrysippus is wrong to believe in non-occurring future possibilities if he is a fatalist [Chrysippus]
Everything is fated, either by continuous causes or by a supreme rational principle [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
If we could foresee the future, we should collaborate with disease and death [Epictetus]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / b. Fate
Fate is an eternal and fixed chain of causal events [Chrysippus]
The Lazy Argument responds to fate with 'why bother?', but the bothering is also fated [Chrysippus, by Cicero]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 4. Occasionalism
Without God's influence every operation would stop, so God causes everything [Aquinas]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Democritus says the soul is the body, and thinking is thus the mixture of the body [Democritus, by Theophrastus]
The soul suffers when the body hurts, creates redness from shame, and pallor from fear [Cleanthes]
Traditional ideas of the mind were weakened in the 1950s by mind-influencing drugs [Watson]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 5. Causal Argument
A body is required for anything to have causal relations [Zeno of Citium, by Cicero]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
Concepts are intellectual phantasms [Stoic school, by ]
Every concept depends on the counter-concepts of what it is not [Hegel, by Bowie]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use
Study the use of words, not their origins [Herder]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Predicates are incomplete 'lekta' [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
A proposition is what can be asserted or denied on its own [Chrysippus]
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
Concepts are only analytic once the predicate is absorbed into the subject [Schleiermacher]
19. Language / F. Communication / 1. Rhetoric
Rhetoric has three types, four modes, and four sections [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Eloquence educates, exhorts, comforts, distracts and unites us, and raises us from savagery [Cicero]
Rhetoric is built into language, so it cannot be stripped from philosophy [Bowie]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 1. Intention to Act / c. Reducing intentions
Action needs an affinity for a presentation, and an impulse toward the affinity [Plutarch]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
Passions are judgements; greed thinks money is honorable, and likewise drinking and lust [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / b. Poetry
Tragedies are versified sufferings of people impressed by externals [Epictetus]
The hermeneutic circle is between the reader's self-understanding, and the world of the text [Zimmermann,J]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
Prime values apply to the life in agreement; useful values apply to the natural life [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
There are no values to justify us, and no excuses [Sartre]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / b. Fact and value
We do not add value to naked things; its involvement is disclosed in understanding it [Heidegger]
Facts don't oppose values; they are integrated into each person's aspirations [Gadamer, by Zimmermann,J]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
The appraiser's value is what is set by someone experienced in the facts [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
The goal is to 'live in agreement', according to one rational consistent principle [Zeno of Citium, by Stobaeus]
Live in agreement, according to experience of natural events [Chrysippus]
The goal is to live consistently with the constitution of a human being [Stoic school, by Clement]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / c. Love
Virtuous men do not feel sexual desire, which merely focuses on physical beauty [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
Final goods: confidence, prudence, freedom, enjoyment and no pain, good spirits, virtue [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
Happiness is the end and goal, achieved by living virtuously, in agreement, and according to nature [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / c. Value of pleasure
There are shameful pleasures, and nothing shameful is good, so pleasure is not a good [Chrysippus]
Stoics say pleasure is at most a byproduct of finding what is suitable for us [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 3. Pleasure / f. Dangers of pleasure
Rapture is a breakdown of virtue [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / a. Preconditions for ethics
Levinas took 'first philosophy' to begin with seeing the vulnerable faces of others [Levinas, by Aho]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
Fate initiates general causes, but individual wills and characters dictate what we do [Chrysippus]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
De Sade said it was impossible to rationally argue against murder [Adorno/Horkheimer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
Human purpose is to contemplate and imitate the cosmos [Chrysippus]
Instead of having a nature, man only has a history [Ortega y Gassett]
Humans have been hunter-gatherers for 99.5% of their existence [Watson]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / g. Will to power
Ultimately, all being is willing. The nature of primal being is the same as the nature of willing [Schelling]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / k. Ethics from nature
Zeno said live in agreement with nature, which accords with virtue [Zeno of Citium, by Diog. Laertius]
Only nature is available to guide action and virtue [Chrysippus]
23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 8. Contract Strategies
Punctuality and justice in dealings are excellent for raising a man in the world [Franklin]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue
Chrysippus says virtue can be lost (though Cleanthes says it is too secure for that) [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Virtue inspires Stoics, but I want a good temperament [Montaigne]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character
There is not much point in only becoming good near the end of your life [Montaigne]
We don't choose our characters, yet we still claim credit for the actions our characters perform [Schelling]
In becoming what we want to be we create what we think man ought to be [Sartre]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
Contentment comes from moderation and proportion in life [Democritus, by ]
An appropriate action is one that can be defended, perhaps by its consistency. [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / e. Honour
Honour is just, courageous, orderly or knowledgeable. It is praiseworthy, or functions well [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / h. Respect
We should respect the right of people to live in their own way, even if it is irrational [Swift]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / a. External goods
Crafts like music and letters are virtuous conditions, and they accord with virtue [Stoic school, by Stobaeus]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / c. Wealth
Money does produce happiness, but only up to a point [Harari]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology
It is basic that moral actions must be done from duty [Kant]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty
The idea of duty in one's calling haunts us, like a lost religion [Weber]
Are we only obligated by agreement, or should we always help the weak? [LaFollette]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 3. Universalisability
When my personal freedom becomes involved, I must want freedom for everyone else [Sartre]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
If maximising pleasure needs measurement, so does fulfilling desires [Tuckness/Wolf]
Desire satisfaction as the ideal is confused, because we desire what we judge to be good [Tuckness/Wolf]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 2. Ideal of Pleasure
If an experience machine gives you any experience you want, should you hook up for life? [Nozick]
Modern utilitarians value knowledge, friendship, autonomy, and achievement, as well as pleasure [Hooker,B]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 5. Rule Utilitarianism
Rule-utilitarians prevent things like torture, even on rare occasions when it seems best [Hooker,B]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 1. Existentialism
Man is a brave naked will, separate from a background of values and realities [Murdoch]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
If man considers himself as lost and imprisoned in the universe, he will be terrified [Pascal]
Anxiety is staring into the yawning abyss of freedom [Kierkegaard]
Fear concerns the world, but 'anguish' comes from confronting my self [Sartre]
If existence is absurd it can never have a meaning [Beauvoir]
Anxiety, nausea, guilt and absurdity shake us up, revealing our freedom and limits [Aho]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
Culture is now dominated by boredom, so universal it is unnoticed [Heidegger, by Aho]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 5. Existence-Essence
Our 'existence' is how we create ourselves, unconstrained by any prior 'essence' [Aho]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
Feelings are prior to intelligence; we should be content to live with our simplest feelings [Rousseau]
Sincerity is not authenticity, because it only commits to one particular identity [Sartre, by Aho]
It is dishonest to offer passions as an excuse [Sartre]
The self is constituted by its choices made within a social context [Aho]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 7. Existential Action
What matters is not right choice, but energy, earnestness and pathos in the choosing [Kierkegaard]
24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 1. Applied Ethics
Errors in moral practice might be inconsistent or inappropriate principles, or inappropriate application [LaFollette]
We can discuss the criteria of a judgment, or the weight given to them, or their application [LaFollette]
24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 5. Omissions
The highest degree of morality performs all that is appropriate, omitting nothing [Chrysippus]
The act/omission distinction is important for duties, but less so for consequences [LaFollette]
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 1. Moral rights
Too many options may open us to unwanted pressures, like being paid very little [LaFollette]
Should people be forced to make choices? [LaFollette]
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 2. Sexual Morality
Why do sexual relationships need permanence, if other relationships don't? [Punzo]
Does engaging in sexual intercourse really need no more thought than playing tennis? [Punzo]
A rape disregards the status of being a person - but so does all assault [Foa]
Rape of children is dreadful, but no one thinks children should have a right of consent [Foa]
If men should lust and women shouldn't, that makes rape the prevalent sexual model [Foa]
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 3. Animal Rights
Justice is irrelevant to animals, because they are too unlike us [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion
Is abortion the ending of a life, or a decision not to start one? [Tuckness/Wolf]
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide
Suicide is reasonable, for one's country or friends, or because of very bad health [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 5. Euthanasia
Euthanasia may not involve killing, so it is 'killing or not saving, out of concern for that person' [Hooker,B]
Euthanasia is active or passive, and voluntary, non-voluntary or involuntary [Hooker,B]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
Maybe humans are distinguished from other animals by feelings, rather than reason [Unamuno]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life
Rational animals begin uncorrupted, but externals and companions are bad influences [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
Human beings can never really flourish in a long-term state of nature [Wolff,J]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / c. A unified people
The biology of societies: kin selection, parenting, mating; status, territory, contracts [Wilson,EO]
Collective rationality is individuals doing their best, assuming others all do the same [Wolff,J]
Rousseau assumes that laws need a people united by custom and tradition [Wolff,J, by Wolff,J]
Should love be the first virtue of a society, as it is of the family? [Wolff,J]
World government needs a shared global identity [Oksala]
If a group is bound by gossip, the natural size is 150 people [Harari]
Anti-colonial movements usually invoke the right of their 'people' to self-determination [Swift]
In a democracy, which 'people' are included in the decision process? [Tuckness/Wolf]
People often have greater attachment to ethnic or tribal groups than to the state [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Freedom
If men are born free, are women born slaves? [Astell]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 3. Natural Equality
Men are created equal, and with certain inalienable rights [Jefferson]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 5. Original Position / a. Original position
The original position models the idea that citizens start as free and equal [Rawls, by Swift]
Choosers in the 'original position' have been stripped of most human characteristics [Sandel, by Tuckness/Wolf]
Isn't it more rational to maximise the average position, but with a safety net? [Swift]
For global justice, adopt rules without knowing which country you will inhabit [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 5. Original Position / b. Veil of ignorance
You can't distribute goods from behind a veil, because their social meaning is unclear [Walzer, by Tuckness/Wolf]
The principles Rawls arrives at do not just conform to benevolence, but also result from choices [Oksala]
The veil of ignorance ensures both fairness and unanimity [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
The state should produce higher civilisations for all, in tune with the economic apparatus [Gramsci]
States have a monopoly of legitimate violence [Sartre, by Wolff,J]
The Nazi aim was to encourage progressive evolution, and avoid degeneration [Harari]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / a. Sovereignty
Hobbes says the people voluntarily give up their sovereignty, in a contract with a ruler [Hobbes, by Oksala]
Rousseau insists the popular sovereignty needs a means of expressing consent [Rousseau, by Oksala]
Unjust institutions may be seen as just; are they legitimate if just but seen as unjust? [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract
We no more give 'tacit assent' to the state than a passenger carried on board a ship while asleep [Hume]
Kant made the social contract international and cosmopolitan [Kant, by Oksala]
For utilitarians, consent to the state is irrelevant, if it produces more happiness [Wolff,J]
Social contract theory has the attracton of including everyone, and being voluntary [Wolff,J]
Maybe voting in elections is a grant of legitimacy to the winners [Wolff,J]
Social contracts and markets have made society seem disconnected and artificial [Aho]
Hypothetical contracts have no binding force [Swift]
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
Eventually political parties lose touch with the class they represent, which is dangerous [Gramsci]
We can see the 'general will' as what is in the general interest [Wolff,J]
25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship
A citizen is committed to ignore private advantage, and seek communal good [Epictetus]
Cosmopolitans reject the right of different states to distribute resources in different ways [Swift]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / a. Autocracy
Caesarism emerges which two forces in society are paralysed in conflict [Gramsci]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / c. Despotism
Totalitarian parties cut their members off from other cultural organisations [Gramsci]
Modern totalitarianism results from lack of social ties or shared goals [Arendt, by Oksala]
The ideal subject for dictators is not a fanatic, but someone who can't distinguish true from false [Arendt, by Oksala]
How can dictators advance the interests of the people, if they don't consult them about interests? [Wolff,J]
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / d. Elites
If winning elections depends on wealth, we have plutocracy instead of democracy [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / a. Government
What is the function of a parliament? Does it even constitute a part of the State structure? [Gramsci]
'Separation of powers' allows legislative, executive and judicial functions to monitor one another [Wolff,J]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
Only when working people are poor do they remain obedient to God [Calvin, by Weber]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Culture
Human cultures are organisms which grow, and then fade and die [Spengler, by Bowie]
We stabilise societies with dogmas, either of dubious science, or of non-scientific values [Harari]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
If minority views are accepted in debate, then religious views must be accepted [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / B. The State / 9. Population / b. Human population
Since 1500 human population has increased fourteenfold, and consumption far more [Harari]
People 300m tons; domesticated animals 700m tons; larger wild animals 100m tons [Harari]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 1. Political Theory
The best government blends democracy, monarchy and aristocracy [Stoic school, by Diog. Laertius]
Political choice can be by utility, or maximin, or maximax [Wolff,J]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 2. Social Utilitarianism
Maximise happiness by an area of strict privacy, and an area of utilitarian interventions [Mill, by Wolff,J]
Sidwick argues for utilitarian institutions, rather than actions [Sidgwick, by Tuckness/Wolf]
Utilitarianism probably implies a free market plus welfare [Wolff,J]
Utilitarianism neglects responsibility, duties and rights [Oksala]
Utilitarians lump persons together; Rawls somewhat separates them; Nozick wholly separates them [Swift]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 3. Anarchism
It is hard for anarchists to deny that we need experts [Wolff,J]
A realistic and less utopian anarchism looks increasingly like liberal democracy [Wolff,J]
Anarchists prefer local and communal government [Oksala]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
A system of democracy which includes both freedom and equality is almost impossible [Wolff,J]
Democracy expresses equal respect (which explains why criminals forfeit the vote) [Wolff,J]
Democracy has been seen as consistent with many types of inequality [Wolff,J]
A true democracy could not tolerate slavery, exploitation or colonialism [Wolff,J]
Occasional defeat is acceptable, but a minority that is continually defeated is a problem [Wolff,J]
Democracy is bad, but the other systems are worse [Swift]
Since all opinions are treated as equal in democracy, it implies there are no right answers [Swift]
Design your democracy to yield political stability, or good decisions? [Swift]
Design your democracy to treat citizens equally, or to produce better citizens? [Swift]
Epistemic theories defend democracy as more like to produce the right answer [Tuckness/Wolf]
Which areas of public concern should be decided democratically, and which not? [Tuckness/Wolf]
Discussion before voting should be an essential part of democracy [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / b. Consultation
How people vote should be on public record, so they can be held accountable [Mill, by Wolff,J]
Voting is a strict duty, like jury service, and must only be aimed at the public good [Mill]
We should decide whether voting is for self-interests, or for the common good [Wolff,J]
Condorcet proved that sensible voting leads to an emphatically right answer [Wolff,J]
If several losing groups would win if they combine, a runoff seems called for [Tuckness/Wolf]
Rights as interests (unlike rights as autonomy) supports mandatory voting [Tuckness/Wolf]
How should democratic votes be aggregated? Can some person's votes count for more? [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / c. Direct democracy
Direct democracy is inexperience judging experience, and ignorance judging knowledge [Mill]
Teledemocracy omits debate and deliberation, which are important parts of good decisions [Swift]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
Your representative owes you his judgement, and betrays you if he gives your opinion instead [Burke]
People can only participate in decisions in small communities, so representatives are needed [Mill]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 6. Liberalism
Liberalism's weakness is its powerful rigid bureaucracy [Gramsci]
Liberals mistakenly think individuals choose their values, without reference to the community [Swift]
The state fostered individualism, to break the power of family and community [Harari]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 7. Communitarianism
Early Marx anticipates communitarian objections to liberalism [Marx, by Oksala]
In 1750 losing your family and community meant death [Harari]
The best way to build a cohesive community is to be involved in a war [Swift]
Membership and inclusion in a community implies non-membership and exclusion [Swift]
Multiculturalism is a barrier to the whole state being a community [Swift]
Liberals are concerned to protect individuals from too much community [Swift]
We have obligations to our family, even though we didn't choose its members [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 8. Socialism
Socialist economics needs a very strong central power, virtually leading to slavery [Hayek, by Oksala]
Redistributing wealth treats some people as means, rather than as ends [Swift]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 9. Communism
Even decently paid works still have their produce bought with money stolen from them [Marx]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 12. Capitalism
Time is money, is money, ..and money breeds more money [Franklin]
Selfish profit-seeking increases collective wealth, so greed is good, and egoism is altruism [Smith,A, by Harari]
Free markets lead to boom and bust, pointless middlemen, and alienated workers [Engels]
Capitalism changes the world, by socialising the idea of a commodity [Marx, by Bowie]
Acquisition and low consumption lead to saving, investment, and increased wealth [Weber]
When asceticism emerged from the monasteries, it helped to drive the modern economy [Weber]
Capitalism is not unlimited greed, and may even be opposed to greed [Weber]
Modern western capitalism has free labour, business separate from household, and book-keeping [Weber]
Marx thought capitalism was partly liberating, and could make labour and ownership more humane [Bowie, by Bowie]
The sacred command of capitalism is that profits must be used to increase production [Harari]
The progress of capitalism depends entirely on the new discoveries and gadgets of science [Harari]
The main rule of capitalism is that all other goods depend on economic growth [Harari]
In capitalism the rich invest, and the rest of us go shopping [Harari]
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 13. Feminism
One is not born, but rather becomes a woman [Beauvoir]
As a young girl assumes her status as feminine, she acts in a more fragile immobile way [Young,IM]
Men have had the power to structure all of our social institutions [Swift]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
There is now a growing universal community, and violations of rights are felt everywhere [Kant]
There are political and inter-national rights, but also universal cosmopolitan rights [Kant]
Marxists say liberal rights are confrontational, and liberal equality is a sham [Marx, by Wolff,J]
If natural rights are axiomatic, there is then no way we can defend them [Wolff,J]
If rights are natural, rather than inferred, how do we know which rights we have? [Wolff,J]
Rights and justice are only the last resorts of a society, something to fall back on [Wolff,J]
Justice can be seen as fairness or entitlement or desert [Swift]
Some rights are 'claims' that other people should act in a certain way [Tuckness/Wolf]
One theory (fairly utilitarian) says rights protect interests (but it needs to cover trivial interests) [Tuckness/Wolf]
Choice theory says protecting individual autonomy is basic (but needs to cover infants and animals) [Tuckness/Wolf]
Having a right does not entail further rights needed to implement it [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / c. Property rights
Locke says 'mixing of labour' entitles you to land, as well as nuts and berries [Wolff,J on Locke]
Property is theft! [Proudhon]
Property is legitimate by initial acquisition, voluntary transfer, or rectification of injustice [Nozick, by Swift]
Can I come to own the sea, by mixing my private tomato juice with it? [Nozick]
Utilitarians might say property ownership encourages the best use of the land [Wolff,J]
You can't necessarily sell your legitimate right to something, even if you produced it [Swift]
Libertarians about property ignore that fact that private property is a denial of freedoms [Swift]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / c. Free speech
Nothing we say can be worse than unsaying it in the face of authority [Montaigne]
Free speech does not include the right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / d. Free market
Market prices indicate shortages and gluts, and where the profits are to be made [Wolff,J]
No market is free of political bias, and markets need protection of their freedoms [Harari]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
Mill defends freedom as increasing happiness, but maybe it is an intrinsic good [Wolff,J on Mill]
Utilitarianism values liberty, but guides us one which ones we should have or not have [Mill, by Wolff,J]
Berlin distinguishes 'negative' and 'positive' liberty, and rejects the latter [Berlin, by Swift]
Liberty Principle: everyone has an equal right to liberties, if compatible with others' liberties [Rawls]
Liberty principles can't justify laws against duelling, incest between siblings and euthanasia [Wolff,J]
Either Difference allows unequal liberty, or Liberty makes implementing Difference impossible [Wolff,J]
Freedom may work against us, as individuals can choose to leave, and make fewer commitments [Harari]
Maybe a freedom is from a restraint, and also in order to do something [Swift]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
Treat equal people equally, and unequal people unequally [Aristotle, by Tuckness/Wolf]
Only liberty, equality and sympathy can stand up to anti-social people [Kropotkin]
'Social justice' is a confused idea, and inequalities need no justification [Hayek, by Swift]
Hobbes says people are roughly equal; Locke says there is no right to impose inequality [Wolff,J]
Utilitarians argue for equal distribution because of diminishing utility of repetition [Wolff,J]
Difference Principle: all inequalities should be in favour of the disadvantaged [Wolff,J]
Opportunity should ignore extraneous factors, or foster competence, or ignore all disadvantages [Swift]
Most people want equality because they want a flourishing life [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / b. Political equality
Perfect political equality requires economic equality [Gramsci]
Complex equality restricts equalities from spilling over, like money influencing politics and law [Walzer, by Tuckness/Wolf]
Political equality is not much use without social equality [Wolff,J]
Standard rights: life, free speech, assembly, movement, vote, stand (plus shelter, food, health?) [Wolff,J]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Equality is complex, with different spheres of equality where different principles apply [Walzer, by Swift]
Inequalities are needed, as incentives to do the most important jobs [Swift]
A person can desire redistibution of wealth, without it being for reasons of equality [Swift]
If there is no suffering, wealth inequalities don't matter much [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 4. Right to Punish / b. Retribution for crime
How should the punishment fit the crime (for stealing chickens?) [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / a. Legal system
Positive law needs secondary 'rules of recognition' for their correct application [Hart,HLA, by Zimmermann,J]
If being subject to the law resembles a promise, we are morally obliged to obey it [Tuckness/Wolf]
If others must obey laws that we like, we must obey laws that they like? [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / b. Natural law
Justice, the law, and right reason are natural and not conventional [Chrysippus, by Diog. Laertius]
We should obey the laws of nature, provided other people are also obeying them [Hobbes, by Wolff,J]
Natural law theorists fear that without morality, law could be based on efficiency [Zimmermann,J]
Instead of against natural law, we might assess unjust laws against the values of the culture [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / c. Legal positivism
The existence of law is one thing, its merits and demerits another [Austin,J]
Hart replaced positivism with the democratic requirement of the people's acceptance [Hart,HLA, by Zimmermann,J]
Following some laws is not a moral matter; trivial traffic rules, for example [Wolff,J]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. Taxation
Financing is increasingly through credit rather than taxes; people prefer investing to taxation [Harari]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / d. History study
The more you know about history, the harder it becomes to explain [Harari]
History teaches us that the present was not inevitable, and shows us the possibilities [Harari]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. War
People at home care far more than soldiers risking death about the outcome of wars [Montaigne]
Real peace is the implausibility of war (and not just its absence) [Harari]
During wars: proportional force, fair targets, fair weapons, safe prisoners, no reprisals [Tuckness/Wolf]
Just wars: resist aggression, done on just cause, proportionate, last resort, not futile, legal [Tuckness/Wolf]
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
Covers are for shields, and sheaths for swords; likewise, all in the cosmos is for some other thing [Chrysippus]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / a. Void
Growth and movement would not exist if there were no void to receive them [Democritus]
Void is a kind of place, so it can't explain place [Aristotle]
There is no void in the cosmos, but indefinite void outside it [Zeno of Citium, by Ps-Plutarch]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / d. Substantival space
Space and its contents seem to be one stuff - so space is the only existing thing [Wolfram]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / e. Existence of time
If there were many cosmoses, each would have its own time, giving many times [Aristotle]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / f. Presentism
The present does not exist, so our immediate experience is actually part past and part future [Chrysippus, by Plutarch]
Time is continous and infinitely divisible, so there cannot be a wholly present time [Chrysippus, by Stobaeus]
The past and the future subsist, but only the present exists [Chrysippus, by Plutarch]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / i. Time and change
Time is an interval of motion, or the measure of speed [Posidonius, by Stobaeus]
Only heat distinguishes past from future [Rovelli]
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 5. Space-Time
Space-time is indeterminate foam over short distances [Close]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / g. Eliminating causation
The Uncertainty Principle implies that cause and effect can't be measured [Watson]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
That events could be uncaused is absurd; I only say intuition and demonstration don't show this [Hume]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
General relativity assumes laws of nature are the same in all frames of reference [Close]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / c. Atoms
Atoms cling together, until a stronger necessity disperses them [Democritus, by Aristotle]
Atoms are irregular, hooked, concave, convex, and many other shapes [Democritus, by Aristotle]
There could be an atom the size of the world [Democritus, by Ps-Plutarch]
The basic atoms are without qualities - which only arise from encounters between atoms [Democritus, by Galen]
Democritus says atoms have size and shape, and Epicurus added weight [Epicurus, by Ps-Plutarch]
How can things without weight compose weight? [Alexander]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / e. Greek elements
Fire is a separate element, not formed with others (as was previously believed) [Chrysippus, by Stobaeus]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / h. Mass
Mass is a measure of energy content [Einstein]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / i. Modern matter
Modern theories of matter are grounded in heat, work and energy [Close]
Only four particles are needed for matter: up and down quark, electron, electron-neutrino [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / j. Electrons
Dirac showed how electrons conform to special relativity [Close]
Electrons get their mass by interaction with the Higgs field [Close]
Electrons rotate in hyrogen atoms 10^13 times per second [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / k. Fields
The Higgs field is an electroweak plasma - but we don't know what stuff it consists of [Close]
Quantum fields contain continual rapid creation and disappearance [Close]
Electric fields have four basic laws (two by Gauss, one by Ampère, one by Faraday) [Close]
In QED, electro-magnetism exists in quantum states, emitting and absorbing electrons [Close]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / l. Quantum theory
Quantum theory explains why nature is made up of units, such as elements [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 4. Energy
Heat is a state of vibration, not a substance [Joule]
Helmholtz used 'energy' to mathematically link heat, light, electricity and magnetism [Helmholtz]
Energy has progressed from a mere formula, to a principle pervading all nature [Kelvin]
First Law: energy can change form, but is conserved overall [Close]
Third Law: total order and minimum entropy only occurs at absolute zero [Close]
Work degrades into heat, but not vice versa [Close]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 5. Light
Electro-magnetic waves travel at light speed - so light is electromagnetism! [Close]
Light isn't just emitted in quanta called photons - light is photons [Close]
In general relativity the energy and momentum of photons subjects them to gravity [Close]
Photon exchange drives the electro-magnetic force [Close]
The interference of light through two slits confirmed that it is waves [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 6. Special Relativity
The electric and magnetic are tightly linked, and viewed according to your own motion [Close]
All motions are relative and ambiguous, but acceleration is the same in all inertial frames [Close]
27. Natural Reality / B. Chemistry / 1. Chemistry
The shape of molecules is important, as well as the atoms and their bonds [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / C. Biology / 2. Life
In 1828 the animal substance urea was manufactured from inorganic ingredients [Watson]
Information is physical, and living can be seen as replicating and preserving information [Watson]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 1. Cosmology
There are unlimited worlds of varying sizes, some without life or water [Democritus, by Hippolytus]
Since the cosmos produces what is alive and rational, it too must be alive and rational [Zeno of Citium]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 2. Beginning
The cosmos is regularly consumed and reorganised by the primary fire [Stoic school, by Aristocles]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 5. General Relativity
Newton is a special case of Einstein's general theory, with an infinite speed of light [Close]
General Relativity says there is no absolute force or acceleration [Close]
The general relativity equations relate curvature in space-time to density of energy-momentum [Close]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
We can approach knowledge of God by negative attributes [Maimonides]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / a. Divine morality
The origin of justice can only be in Zeus, and in nature [Chrysippus]
Can God be good, if he has not maximised goodness? [Davies,B]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. 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 / 5. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
How could God have obligations? What law could possibly impose them? [Davies,B]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. God and Time
God is 'eternal' either by being non-temporal, or by enduring forever [Davies,B]
28. God / B. Proving God / 1. Proof of God
'Natural theology' aims to prove God to anyone (not just believers) by reason or argument [Davies,B]
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 1. Ontological Proof
Rational is better than non-rational; the cosmos is supreme, so it is rational [Zeno of Citium]
A possible world contains a being of maximal greatness - which is existence in all worlds [Plantinga, by Davies,B]
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 3. Moral Argument
God is not proved by reason, but is a postulate of moral thinking [Kant, by Davies,B]
God must be fit for worship, but worship abandons morally autonomy, but there is no God [Rachels, by Davies,B]
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 1. Cosmological Proof
A distinct cause of the universe can't be material (which would be part of the universe) [Davies,B]
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 2. Teleological Proof
God's eternal power and deity are clearly seen in what has been created [Paul]
The universe exhibits design either in its sense of purpose, or in its regularity [Davies,B]
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 3. Teleological Proof critique
If God is an orderly being, he cannot be the explanation of order [Davies,B]
28. God / D. Proofs of Evidence / 4. 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 / D. Proofs of Evidence / 5. Miracles
False prophets will perform wonders to deceive even the elect [Mark]
28. God / E. Attitudes to God / 2. Pantheism
The cosmos and heavens are the substance of god [Zeno of Citium]
29. Religion / A. Religious Thought / 2. Religious Meaning
One does not need a full understanding of God in order to speak of God [Davies,B]
29. Religion / B. Polytheistic Religion / 1. Animism
Animism is belief that every part of nature is aware and feeling, and can communicate [Harari]
29. Religion / B. Polytheistic Religion / 2. Paganism
Most polytheist recognise one supreme power or law, behind the various gods [Harari]
Polytheism is open-minded, and rarely persecutes opponents [Harari]
Mythologies are usual contracts with the gods, exchanging devotion for control of nature [Harari]
29. Religion / B. Polytheistic Religion / 4. Dualist Religion
Dualist religions see everything as a battleground of good and evil forces [Harari]
Dualist religions say the cosmos is a battleground, so can’t explain its order [Harari]
Manichaeans and Gnostics: good made spirit, evil made flesh [Harari]
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 1. Monotheism
In order to explain both order and evil, a single evil creator is best, but no one favours that [Harari]
Monotheism appeared in Egypt in 1350 BCE, when the god Aten was declared supreme [Harari]
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 2. Judaism
Traditionally, God dictated the Torah to Moses, unlike the later biblical writings [Zimmermann,J]
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 3. Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism saw the world as a battle between good evil gods [Harari]
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / a. Christianity
We need to see that Christianity cannot be understood [Kierkegaard]
Punish the heretic, but be indulgent to the sinner [Weber]
Protestantism brought the modern emphasis on inner states of the soul [Aho]
29. Religion / D. Spiritual Disciplines / 3. Buddhism
Four Noble Truths: life is suffering, caused by attachment, it is avoidable, there is a path [Aho]
29. Religion / E. Immortality / 1. Immortality
The soul is destroyed with the body [Democritus, by Ps-Plutarch]
Virtuous souls endure till the end, foolish souls for a short time, animal souls not at all [Stoic school, by Eusebius]
29. Religion / E. Immortality / 2. Soul
Death can't separate soul from body, because incorporeal soul can't unite with body [Chrysippus]
29. Religion / E. Immortality / 4. Heaven
Paradise would not contain some virtues, such as courage [Davies,B]
29. Religion / F. Problem of Evil / 1. Problem of Evil
Irenaeus says evil is necessary for perfect human development [Irenaeus, by Davies,B]