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Philosophy 2017 doubts,discussions and answer writing

A dedicated thread for doubt solving and discussion regarding philosophy optional 2017.
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  • All optional takers are also welcome to write an article on a small topic from syllabus and post here. Eg. Descartes' proof for the existence of God or Plato's theory of forms. It would be even better if aspirants can ask other aspirants to write an article on any topic and they would gladly oblige.
  • bro can v here solve 10 yrs previous papers
    if not writing a full answer we can also form stucture only
  • @vikasthakur@philosopher

    I don't see any reason why we can't do it and I was thinking it would be better if we do it not only section but also philosopher and topic wise
    Eg. Descartes we can put under rationalism and can also add all questions pertaining to his philosophy under his name
  • edited November 2016
    Cartesian Dualism, arguments and criticism

    Cartesian Dualism or Mind-Body Dualism is one the main philosophical problems that was prevalent since Ancient Greek philosophy but established by Descartes in the modern era. His arguments for this Dualism was rejected by several philosophers like Pf Strawson and it's still a matter of debate.

    According to Descartes, mind and body are two substances, relative in relation to God which is the only independent substance.

    Arguments given by Descartes for Mind-Body Dualism:
    1. Cogito Ergo sum establishes Existence of self but not that of body. Thus they've to be separate.
    2. According to Descartes, I've a clear and distinct idea about self but not that of body. Therefore they've to be different
    3. I can think of mind without body and body without mind => separate
    4. Mind and Body have opposite attributes of thought and extension and can't change into each other
    5. Mind is a simple object and doesn't occupy space whereas body is a material object and occupies space.

    Criticism
    1. By saying that we don't have clear idea of mind but not of body doesn't establish Dualism between the two. This is leading to the fallacy of masked man
    2. We can think of "water" and H2O separately but that doesn't mean they're different. It's in the psychology.
    3. Strawson refutes Cartesian Dualism for its inconsistencies like identification problem of disembodied mind, differentiation problem of two minds.
    4. If body and mind are totally separate then the interaction between them would become impossible. Theory of interactionism is unsatisfactory.
    5. Relation between mind and body can be either mental or physical but both ways, there would be inconsistencies as mental/physical can belong to either body or mind and not both and this relationship can't actually be established.
    6. Violation of law of energy occurs due to Dualism.
    7. Metaphysical issues: Which came first? In order to answer this, Descartes postulated that God is the creator of both, but by accepting this, Descartes Dualism became non-dualism
    8. According to Gilbert Ryle , mind in body is like ghost in a machine. To believe that Mind and Body are separate substances is a category mistake , we can't predicate substance to mind.

    Conclusion: These days most of the philosophers dont accept theory of substance Dualism but they talk about two types of qualities: mental and physical or linguistic Dualism.

    (350-400 words)
    Discovery.
  • @yoga123 : Nice and thanks a ton for the article!! I have a couple of questions though : 1. In arguments given by descartes, 4th and 5th arguments to me seem essentially same. What's the difference there?

    2. In criticism, 2nd argument says that we can think of water and H2O as different substances but that doesn't make them different, but hasn't descartes in fact proved that mind and matter are two completely different substances with two altogether different attributes? One is res extensa whereas the other is res cogitans. So please elaborate the validity of this argument.

    3. In 4th and 5th criticisms, how can we say that interaction between mind and body is impossible when we often see the opposite to be the truth. For eg. If I shoot you, you feel pain (Body influencing mind) and If you remember that you forgot your mobile in a restaurant and you rush there to get it back (mind influencing body). I do agree that explanation given by descates regarding interaction btw mind and body in pineal gland doesn't hold valid, I don't see how 4th argument can be true either.
  • @yoga123 : Nice and thanks a ton for the article!! I have a couple of questions though : 1. In arguments given by descartes, 4th and 5th arguments to me seem essentially same. What's the difference there?

    2. In criticism, 2nd argument says that we can think of water and H2O as different substances but that doesn't make them different, but hasn't descartes in fact proved that mind and matter are two completely different substances with two altogether different attributes? One is res extensa whereas the other is res cogitans. So please elaborate the validity of this argument.

    3. In 4th and 5th criticisms, how can we say that interaction between mind and body is impossible when we often see the opposite to be the truth. For eg. If I shoot you, you feel pain (Body influencing mind) and If you remember that you forgot your mobile in a restaurant and you rush there to get it back (mind influencing body). I do agree that explanation given by descates regarding interaction btw mind and body in pineal gland doesn't hold valid, I don't see how 4th argument can be true either.

    Hey
    1. Let's assume we are talking about some other substances (not in philosophical sense) say ears and eyes. We can apply 4th argument to them as they've different attributes and as such can't change into each other. But we can't apply 5th arg to them. I hope u see why these two arguments, though seemingly same are actually different.
    2. We're actually refuting Descartes arguments for proving M-B Dualism in all possible ways. This criticism is simply a part of it saying that though we can talk about M without B and vice versa but that doesn't prove their distinct like water and H2O. Just showing the futility of Descartes arguments here.
    3. What is said in the interaction is the fact that the way Descartes proves them to be totally different, interaction isn't possible
    Even his interaction theory can't do it. We are not denying that mind and body are connected. :p obviosuly they're not totally separate.

    Ps. There can be more explanation of every point to make them clearer. But we don't have to go there as far as exams are concerned
    We have to put as many points as possible (as told by every teacher including philosophy professors). I hope u get the idea :)
    Discovery.
  • @Rocky_Sultan one suggestion about this thread.
    Most of the threads of philosophy go dead after a while. Since you've created this thread, keep posting things here and then others would be motivated. As far as paper I is concerned it's quite factual and most of the questions get answered by Patanjali + Mitra mix. So not a lot of benefit is to be gained by discussing obvious questions (like the one above - Cartesian Dualism). U may post questions of paper ii and others may chip in. There are no set answers in paper ii, so it would be much more beneficial to have some good answers collected at one place.
    Discovery.
  • @yoga123 Point duly noted. However I have started this thread also for those absolute beginners like me who aren't taking any coaching. Further I have seen many misconceptions regarding theories of Indian and western philosophy. So writing articles and discussing them is very beneficial in getting the firm ground both for newbies and experienced.

    Now regarding aforesaid article, Descartes agrees that in spite of M nd B being different, they are a complete whole. Our common sense also says if A and B are different, it doesn't mean they cannot come together and interact.
  • Hi , I have patanjali printed and class notes, do I need notes also?
    yoga123 said:

    @Rocky_Sultan one suggestion about this thread.
    Most of the threads of philosophy go dead after a while. Since you've created this thread, keep posting things here and then others would be motivated. As far as paper I is concerned it's quite factual and most of the questions get answered by Patanjali + Mitra mix. So not a lot of benefit is to be gained by discussing obvious questions (like the one above - Cartesian Dualism). U may post questions of paper ii and others may chip in. There are no set answers in paper ii, so it would be much more beneficial to have some good answers collected at one place.

  • Descartes' causal argument for the existence of God

    Causal adequacy principle : Cause has to be at least as great as the effect, as nothing comes out of nothing (Ex nihilo nihil fit)

    1. I have an idea of God as omniscient,omnipotent,omnibenevolent and eternal perfect being.
    2. I doubt,hence I am imperfect. Because if I would have been perfect, I would have all knowledge that I require and wouldn't need to doubt.
    3. As I have the idea of a perfect being (effect) in my mind (cause) which is imperfect (Remember, for Descartes he is a res cogitans), that idea couldn't be a product of my mind (refer to the above priniciple)
    4. Hence, the idea of a perfect being (effect) would have been placed in my mind only by a perfect being (cause) and so a perfect being i.e. God must exist.
  • @yoga123 Point duly noted. However I have started this thread also for those absolute beginners like me who aren't taking any coaching. Further I have seen many misconceptions regarding theories of Indian and western philosophy. So writing articles and discussing them is very beneficial in getting the firm ground both for newbies and experienced.

    Now regarding aforesaid article, Descartes agrees that in spite of M nd B being different, they are a complete whole. Our common sense also says if A and B are different, it doesn't mean they cannot come together and interact.

    Philosophy and common sense don't go together esp in rationalistic philosophy #truefact
    And there is no possible way to either refute or accept these philosophical system coz we don't know a bit about actual philosophy of these thinkers that run in several books in Latin, German, etc etc :no_mouth: except the surface stuff taught by coaching teachers. It's for the best coz the purpose is just to get done with the exam.
    Even if you hadn't joined any coaching, pls refer to their material. :)
    @Neyawn pls chip in about do's and don't's in philo optional :D
    Discovery.
  • @yoga123 I don't think there would be anybody who is taking philosophy optional and wouldn't refer to coaching material ;) . Yes any guidance regarding do's and don'ts is more than welcome for newbies like us.
  • @yoga123 I don't think ;) . Yes any guidance regarding do's and don'ts is more than welcome for newbies like us.

    Thought the same initially but ur doubts made me re-think coz some of the arguments mentioned above for refuting dualism are taken from Mitra sir's notes. Hardly any space of doubts regarding them :p
    Discovery.
  • @yoga123 LOL.. Yeah I refer to Mitra's handwritten and printed notes,too. I supplement these notes with reference books as not all concepts are very well written for the beginners. However, you will easily see the difference while reading my note on Descartes' causal argument.
    PS : any remark (Read : criticism, if any) on that note is always welcome.
  • @yoga123 btw have you appeared for mains earlier with philosophy optional ?
  • @Rocky_Sultan no I haven't appeared with Philo earlier but that status is about to get updated in about a month ;)
    What about your note on Descartes' argument?
    Discovery.
  • @yoga123 btw have you appeared for mains earlier with philosophy optional ?

    Nope . She hasn't. But she is good. We discuss sometimes.
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • @Neyawn Yea I believe she is.
  • @Neyawn We newbies would love it if you could also pitch in a couple of articles of your choice on any philosopher and post some questions pertaining to the articles. It would be better if it's written in original language.
  • edited November 2016
    If Trump wins US presidential election tomorrow, would Hegel opine that Idea/Geist has provoked itself?
  • bro can v here solve 10 yrs previous papers
    if not writing a full answer we can also form stucture only

    good to see people chiping in..i had started a thread on similar lines but that was not successful...will put my answers here...please contribute with ur valuable suggestions..lets move ths thread till mains..
    but as mentioned by rocky bhai...regular articles on various topics should also be there alongwith solving papers

  • Write a short note on esse est percipi.(150 words,10 marks,2015)
    Ans-Concept of esse est percipi was given by Berkeley.It means that to be is to be perceived. Berkeley believed that nothing can exist independent of our mind.Esse est percipi is necessary condition for something to be real as per him. In his 'Three dialogues' through the mouthpiece of Philonous he conveys the idea that there exists no material substance as it is made up of primary and secondary qualities. But neither primary qualities like extension, solidity,dimension etc nor secondary qualities like color,taste ,heat etc have independent existence. The common argument that he takes to refute the qualities is that they are perceived differently by different people. Had there existence been independent of mind, they would have appeared same to all. Even abstract ideas have been refuted by him.
    However he faulted when in order to avoid solipsism he proposed that things exist even when they are not perceived by us as they are the thoughts in God's mind. Also, Philosophers like Moore have made the distinction between things in themselves and things as perceived by us. Things existing in themselves have independent existence. Samuel Johnson criticizes Berkeley by giving an analogy. I kicked a stone and I got bruises which does not involve mind. Lastly Perry criticized him for committing the fallacy of exclusive particularity.
    Though there are problems in Berkeley's esse est percipi but he can be said to be a 'Locke made consistent' by proposing such theory and defending it appropriately.

  • Evaluate critically Hume's criticism of causation.(2014,15 marks)
    Ans-According to principle of causation, every effect must have a cause. Both Indian and Western philosophers in this principle.But Hume criticizes the principle. His criticism can be traced out as follows:
    1.No quality of those things which we call 'causes' can be origin of things as there is no common quality in them.
    2.There is no impression which proves causality.
    His understanding of causality-doesnt reject causation but its understanding empirically. As per him causation is the relation in the way we experience three relations:
    1.Contiguity-causes and effects must be immediately contiguous. Essential for causal relation.
    Critique-He didn't commit to this principle in third part of 'Treatise' where he says that till we find more proper occasion we should accept is as essential.
    2.Temporal priority-Cause must be temporally prior to effect for succession.
    3.Necessary connection-From which impression, idea of necessary connection is derived. so not necessary for him.
    here he asks two important question:
    a)For what we reason we pronounce that such particular causes must necessarily have such causes?Criticizes Locke,Clarke and Hobbes.
    b)Why do we necessarily conclude that such particular causes must have such particular effects?
    For him,On the basis of past experiences and on our remembrance of constant conjunction, we make transition to necessary connection.
    Thus idea of causation,according to him,has two elements-a)human nature in the form of imagination and principle of association.
    b)Past experience of constant conjunction which later develops into feeling and beliefs.
    Critique-
    1.Kant-perhaps what is important is to inquire why two events are in contiguity?so there is unique or epistemic necessity.
    2.Copleston-Hume's critique of Locke,and Hobbes etc beg the question by presupposing the very validity of principle(anything which begins to exist must have a cause) which they want to demonstrate.
    3.Rejecting even causality may put him in category of sceptics no matter he tries to deny.
    Causality plays and important role in science and human lives, so Hume's long exposition on the matter is appreciable. He led many thinkers like Kant to think that how some universally accepted principles may be replete with egregious flaws. His critique shows that he had been true to his empiricism and hence regarded as most consistent empiricist.
  • @Vivaan Thanks a ton for the answers. Let's be active and keep the momentum going.
  • Vivaan said:

    Write a short note on esse est percipi.(150 words,10 marks,2015)
    Ans-Concept of esse est percipi was given by Berkeley.It means that to be is to be perceived. Berkeley believed that nothing can exist independent of our mind.Esse est percipi is necessary condition for something to be real as per him. In his 'Three dialogues' through the mouthpiece of Philonous he conveys the idea that there exists no material substance as it is made up of primary and secondary qualities. But neither primary qualities like extension, solidity,dimension etc nor secondary qualities like color,taste ,heat etc have independent existence. The common argument that he takes to refute the qualities is that they are perceived differently by different people. Had there existence been independent of mind, they would have appeared same to all. Even abstract ideas have been refuted by him.
    However he faulted when in order to avoid solipsism he proposed that things exist even when they are not perceived by us as they are the thoughts in God's mind. Also, Philosophers like Moore have made the distinction between things in themselves and things as perceived by us. Things existing in themselves have independent existence. Samuel Johnson criticizes Berkeley by giving an analogy. I kicked a stone and I got bruises which does not involve mind. Lastly Perry criticized him for committing the fallacy of exclusive particularity.
    Though there are problems in Berkeley's esse est percipi but he can be said to be a 'Locke made consistent' by proposing such theory and defending it appropriately.

    Hey @Vivaan

    Good write-up, consistent with exam format. Certain points here:

    1. Mention "subjective idealism" and "objective idealism" somewhere in the answer. it will give more substance to it.
    2. For criticism part, writing in points makes it clearer, more readable and saves time too.
    3. "However he faulted when in order to avoid solipsism he proposed that things exist even when they are not perceived by us as they are the thoughts in God's mind" , what exactly is the fault? Berkeley avoided Solipsism in 3 ways, one of which was God's perception. Other philosophers haven't refuted Berkelian idealism due to this point. Moore's and others' refutation were concerned with other points of idealism as you rightly mentioned about RB Perry.
    Discovery.
  • yoga123 said:

    Vivaan said:

    Write a short note on esse est percipi.(150 words,10 marks,2015)
    Ans-Concept of esse est percipi was given by Berkeley.It means that to be is to be perceived. Berkeley believed that nothing can exist independent of our mind.Esse est percipi is necessary condition for something to be real as per him. In his 'Three dialogues' through the mouthpiece of Philonous he conveys the idea that there exists no material substance as it is made up of primary and secondary qualities. But neither primary qualities like extension, solidity,dimension etc nor secondary qualities like color,taste ,heat etc have independent existence. The common argument that he takes to refute the qualities is that they are perceived differently by different people. Had there existence been independent of mind, they would have appeared same to all. Even abstract ideas have been refuted by him.
    However he faulted when in order to avoid solipsism he proposed that things exist even when they are not perceived by us as they are the thoughts in God's mind. Also, Philosophers like Moore have made the distinction between things in themselves and things as perceived by us. Things existing in themselves have independent existence. Samuel Johnson criticizes Berkeley by giving an analogy. I kicked a stone and I got bruises which does not involve mind. Lastly Perry criticized him for committing the fallacy of exclusive particularity.
    Though there are problems in Berkeley's esse est percipi but he can be said to be a 'Locke made consistent' by proposing such theory and defending it appropriately.

    Hey @Vivaan

    Good write-up, consistent with exam format. Certain points here:

    1. Mention "subjective idealism" and "objective idealism" somewhere in the answer. it will give more substance to it.
    2. For criticism part, writing in points makes it clearer, more readable and saves time too.
    3. "However he faulted when in order to avoid solipsism he proposed that things exist even when they are not perceived by us as they are the thoughts in God's mind" , what exactly is the fault? Berkeley avoided Solipsism in 3 ways, one of which was God's perception. Other philosophers haven't refuted Berkelian idealism due to this point. Moore's and others' refutation were concerned with other points of idealism as you rightly mentioned about RB Perry.
    thank you for additions..point 1 is really good...i completely forgot to mention
    2.will take care from next time
    3.fault was that if everything exists in mind then from where God's ideas came when we havent conceived him...yeah God was one of the point to avoid solipsism...Moore we can use here na?
  • @Vivaan Thanks a ton for the answers. Let's be active and keep the momentum going.

    yeah i will be active on this thread as have to catch up the topics...i commit ;p...though not daily but regularly :)...lets hope for more contributions
  • Who is your favorite western philosopher or whose philosophy do you consider explain questions most satisfactorily? Why?
  • Hey @Vivaan

    ur criticism about God may be logically right but have u ever read it in Berkeley's criticism from some authentic source (book, notes, etc) or is it something that u think? I'm stressing on this point coz in philo checking, it's a clear instruction that we can't criticise unless its coming from some philosopher (got to know it from 2 authentic sources). We can sometimes write without naming that philosopher due to paucity of time and space but it has to be a genuine one.
    I haven't read this criticism for Berkeley (may be my sources are silent on this) but if you've read it, then go for it :smiley:

    Discovery.
  • Can anyone explain ''Real is rational, rational is real'?
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