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Philosophy by Moore & Bruder: From Descartes to Kant

Explain and evaluate Rene Descartes argument for knowledge including the role of skepticism, the evil demon, and god in resolving his doubts

Rene Descartes argument for knowledge revolves around skepticism, the evil demon, and God. Descartes uses skepticism as a tool to resolve his doubts and argues that if people doubt anything, then it is indeed uncertain. According to Moore and Bruder, Descartes states that the evil demon misleads him to believe that what is false is true (102). Consequently, he believes that God is not deceptive, especially on matters that pertain to the external world.

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Explain and evaluate Thomas Hobbes view that all objects are material, including thoughts, feelings and ideas

In the view of Thomas Hobbes, everything is material, including thoughts, feelings, and ideas. According to Moore and Bruder, Hobbes believes that everything in the world is material and is in motion (277). From his perspective, Hobbes highlights that immaterial things do not exist, and those present comprise material things, which are continually mobile. To compound his argument, he states that even thoughts, ideas, and emotions are mobile materials that move within the brain. Furthermore, Hobbes does not believe in the existence of a nonphysical soul but argues that everything is material.

Explain and evaluate John Locke’s Theory of Representative Realism and of primary and secondary qualities

In John Locke’s representative realism theory, human beings perceive objects using a range of primary and secondary qualities. In theory, Locke highlights that individuals have a picture or an impression of an object, and by looking at it, they confirm the accuracy of their perceptions concerning the object (Moore and Bruder 113). In his perspective, the primary qualities of an object represent the size, shape, and weight, whereas secondary qualities range from color, taste, texture to odor.

Explain and evaluate Benedictus de Spinoza’s view the “God is all” (or everything)

Benedictus view that ‘God is all’ is a representation of a single substance that he refers to as god. Moore and Bruder emphasize that the god that Benedictus uses in the assertion is not the Christian God but is a term used to imply a singular infinite substance that comprises elements like thought and extension (110). In his argument, he uses the body and explains that the body is the extension, whereas the mind represents the thought.

Explain and evaluate Benedictus de Spinoza’s view that we are determined to be free in the context of the notion of free will

In line with the context of free will and determination to be free, Benedictus de Spinoza explains that free will is an illusion. He believes that activities take place because the nature of substance instigates their occurrences. Moore and Bruder clarify that Benedictus explains that the bodies are under governance and control of laws of physics (111). As a result, whatever occurs in mind materializes in the body. In his opinion, the mind and the material body are single components that directly affect one another.

Explain and evaluate Anne Conway’s monism in light of the fact that she argues for 2 distinct substances

Although Anne Conway highlights that there are material and mental components of life, she asserts that they reduce to one irreducible substance. The reducing aspect of Conway outlines the fact that all substances reduce and become singular objects that incorporate the components (Moore and Bruder 107). To substantiate her monism argument, she remarks that all creatures are singular bodies that have both mental and physical components.

Explain and evaluate the two versions of epiphenomenalism: occasionalism and parallelism

The two versions of epiphenomenalism occasionalism and parallelism explain the concept that enables individuals to undertake their activities and coordinate the material and immaterial components of the body. Moore and Bruder explain the in occasionalism, God prompts the act when a person wants to do something (105). In the concept, when a person plans to undertake an activity, God occasions the material body to fulfill it. Consequently, parallelism explains that the material and immaterial components of the body operate in two parallel and coinciding events. As a result, when the mind, which is immaterial, thinks of doing something, the material body performs the act in a simultaneous manner.

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Explain and evaluate Olivia Sabuco de Nantes’s view on the connection between mind and body

Oliva Sabuco believes that the mind and body have a connection in the brain where the soul resides. Moore and Bruder elucidate that, according to Oliva, the body and the mind act in accordance with the demands of the soul (104). As a result, the body behaves like a miniature world where the soul acts as a small god controlling all the events occasioned by the body and the mind.

Explain and evaluate George Berkeley’s view that “to be, is to be perceived”

George Berkeley argues that to be is through perception and that objects are not certain if the mind cannot perceive their presence or existence. Berkeley asserts that without the perception of the mind, the object cannot be in existence. As such, things that are present in the world exist only because the mind perceives their presence (Moore and Bruder 117). He explains that if the human mind cannot perceive that a given object exists, God’s mind perceives its existence.

Explain and evaluate Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s view of monads

Monads in Leibniz view represent non-divisible units of activity that are non-physical. It is imperative to state that Leibniz believes that these units are constituents of reality. In essence, he explains that the units or monads are atoms, which initiate certain activities or forces (Moore and Bruder 112). Since the units are nonphysical and non-material, Leibniz considers them as ‘souls,’ which are distinct from the common human souls.

Explain and evaluate David Hume’s arguments against induction (including the notion of the role the principle of the uniformity of nature plays in the argument) and also arguments against cause and effect

David Hume explains that everything that is present in the world is an effect of a certain cause. According to Moore and Bruder, Hume asserts that everything, which lives, came into existence due to a cause that initiated its presence (415). In addition, he highlights that the cause and effect has a chain that ends with a deity that is not a result of any cause. In his opinion, the deity, which he calls God, is uncaused, and therefore, no entity occasioned its presence.

Explain and evaluate Immauel Kant’s notion of the noumenal and the phenomenal

Immanuel Kant states that human knowledge is limited to phenomenal objects. He explains that the mind can only unify or categorize objects that it can experience and are phenomenal. Fundamentally, Kant refers to objects that one can experience as phenomenal. Moore and Bruder explain that Kant argues that if one can experience the objects, then the mind can classify, categorize, or unify them (138). The limitation, according to Kant, arises when an object is beyond experience, and thus, cannot be experienced. Kant states that objects, which lack the capacity of experience, are noumenal.

Explain and evaluate Hegels arguments against the noumenal

Unlike Kant, Friedrich Hegel argues that the mind does not categorize things that it can experience, but the categories are practical. In the assertion of Moore and Bruder, Hegel states that if the mind cannot experience an object, and hence, categorize it, then the object does not exist (139). To justify his argument, Hegel reasoned that the absence of experience implies that the object is not present. In his justification, he explains that if an object is not present, then its existence is void.

Explain and evaluate Schopenhauer’s pessimism

In his assertion of pessimism, Schopenhauer explains that the world is irrational and insecure. In his explanation, he states that the world is full of people who are selfish and have a primary goal of fulfilling their negative desires. To substantiate his argument, he notes that people commit evil deeds in an attempt to accomplish their desires and meet selfish objectives (Moore and Bruder 142). Furthermore, Schopenhauer highlights that humans are irrational and do not think or consider the welfare of others.

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Which, if any of the philosophers in these chapters has a reasonable view of epistemology or metaphysics and why?

All the philosophers highlight different perspectives concerning epistemology and metaphysics. Therefore, because of their contributions, the present generations have a better understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. In this context, it is evident that all the philosophers played an important role in developing a reasonable view of epistemology and metaphysics.

Works Cited

Moore, Brooke, and Kenneth Bruder. Philosophy the Power of Ideas, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.

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