The Blackwell Guide to the Modern Philosophers: From by Steven M. Emmanuel

By Steven M. Emmanuel

This advisor brings jointly eighteen unique interpretations of the fashionable philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche. The individuals be successful brilliantly in putting their figures inside a wealthy old, cultural, and philosophical context, noting many of the vital ways that their principles and arguments have been formed by way of the highbrow currents of the time, and the way they in flip formed next philosophical debate.

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Additional resources for The Blackwell Guide to the Modern Philosophers: From Descartes to Nietzsche (Blackwell Philosophy Guides)

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1). So Hobbes holds the nonstandard view that the basic propositions of science consist of empirical terms formulated in definitions and hence necessarily true. He is a term empiricist and an analytic rationalist. For Hobbes, the canonical or logical form for scientific propositions is conditional or hypothetical, even when the usual grammatical form is subject predicate. For example, the proposition, “All human beings are rational animals” is logically of the form If something is a human being, then it is a rational, animal body.

This position has been suggested by passages in the second Replies. In one passage Descartes remarks, concerning clear and distinct intellectual perception, “it is also no obstruction if someone feigns that such things appear false to God or an angel, because the evidence of our perception does not allow us to listen to such fictions” (AT 7:146). Harry Frankfurt, in Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970), p. 179, made much of a related passage, in which Descartes rejected allegations of possible “absolute falsity” because the persuasion he felt was absolutely firm (AT 7:145).

Since there is no way for P1 to determine rationally whether P2 is telling the truth or not, beliefs about revelation cannot count as knowledge. Direct revelation is no better. People often believe that God talks to them in dreams. But, as Hobbes pointed out, to say that God appeared to me in a dream means the same as that I dreamed that God appeared to me. Since the latter has no evidential value, neither does the former. And it is no good to object that some people believe that God appears to them when they are awake; for some people believe that they are awake when they are in fact asleep, even during broad daylight; and what is more likely, that the person is unwittingly asleep or that God appeared to them?

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