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AS and A Level: Philosophy

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  1. Jesus And Women

    Jesus drank form the Samaritan woman's cup, which she had drawn from Jacob's well. Jews saw the Torah as like water. Jesus had superseded Judaism and created Living water which is the Gospel giving eternal life. Jesus declares he was the Messiah "I am hw who is peaking to you now" (v.26). The woman was a witness and Smalley adds that Jesus' need for a drink shows his humanity first and then later his divinity is revealed. It has also been suggested that the act of Jesus actually drinking and revealing his Messiah ship on the same occasion was to refute Gnostic claims that separated the man and God into different beings.

    • Word count: 1338
  2. Plato Questions - Concept of the Soul

    The physical world is inferior, or course, to the realm of Forms. Any knowledge we have of the physical world is through our senses and is subjective and inexact. Plato adopted the theory that our soul had already lived a life in the World of Forms, and as the body experienced things, this caused the soul to recollect lost memories. Plato called this the Theory of Recollection - All our ideas are innate such that all learning is a remembering. At birth, as the soul is cast into a body, it is thrown into a state of forgetfulness.

    • Word count: 1145
  3. Ensayo de teoria de conocimiento

    Si se compara esta definici�n con la de conocimiento, podemos distinguir la diferencia sin problemas. La inteligencia es una capacidad con la que se nace y es el que facilita el acceso y el procesamiento de conocimiento mediante nuestra mente y nuestros sentidos. En cambio, el conocimiento se puede ver como una persona mediante un objeto reflexiona acerca de las percepciones y representaciones para llegar a una decisi�n concreta que normalmente se necesita cuando nos enfrentamos a una situaci�n de varias opciones. Por otro lado, la ignorancia es la ausencia, la falta de conocimiento, se refiere a un estado de "permanecer ignorante" y desinformado.

    • Word count: 1272
  4. Describe Aristotle's teaching about the difference between the final cause and the other sorts of cause.

    What makes a table fall into the category of furniture, and finally 4) The Final Cause - what it's for, what is it's purpose or why was it made? This is the cause which Aristotle believed to be the most important. The Final Cause of something is could also be called it's purpose, it's aim or goal and it is essentially simply 'What it's made for'. Aristotle also wrote about god, The Unmoved (or Prime) Mover. The Unmoved Mover is like a the Efficient Cause of everything as well as their Final Cause.

    • Word count: 897
  5. The Goodness of God

    The Jews liked order as chaos was seen to be evil. In the Seven Day Creation story God's goodness holds the forces of evil at bay. Each act of creation is seen to be good. "And he saw that it was good" (Genesis 1: 10). The end result of God's creation was the Earth and mankind. Everything created was made for mankind to take stewardship upon, and nothing existed purely out of coincidence. So not only is God morally good and requires humans to be good, but God's creation is also good.

    • Word count: 2334
  6. Can the problem of evil be solved

    Augustine interprets the goodness of the world to mean that there is a hierarchy of beings. He believes each plant and animal has a place in the hierarchy of beings and is good. Augustine says that evil is nothing in itself it is not a force rather is simply lack or absence of goodness. Augustine believes that evil exists when something turns away from its proper place in the hierarchy of being and thus renounces its proper role in the divine scheme; it ceases to be what God meant it to be. Augustine believes that all angels and humans have freewill so when things run away from their proper role in creation they are exercising their freewill.

    • Word count: 1990
  7. Assess platos smile of the cave

    He would go outside and see all sorts of objects; the last object he would be able to see is the sun. Which, in time, he would learn to see the sun as the object that provides the seasons and the courses of the year, presides over all things in the visible region, and is in some way the cause of all these things that he has seen. Once enlightened, so to speak, the freed prisoner would not want to return to the cave to free "his fellow bondsmen," but would be compelled to do so.

    • Word count: 1401
  8. Religious Experience presents a convincing argument for the existence of God. Analyse this claim.

    He wrote, in I and Thou, that everyday human relationships are of a simple level, which he calls "I-it". However, there are relationships that are much more meaningful and of a deeper level that he calls "I-thou". According to Buber, this is the relationship that humans have with God, who is the "Eternal Thou". William James, in Varieties of Religious Experience, observes that religious experience draws on emotions, specifically happiness, fear and wonder and directs them towards the divine. The person experiences an overwhelming sense of reverence, a joyful desire to belong to God, and a renewed approach to life.

    • Word count: 1955
  9. Assess Empiricism

    which combine to form a complex idea, and so we may never have experienced an actual hippogriff, our experiences are enough for us to create a complex idea, but ultimately it remains a posteriori knowledge. However the main problem with empiricism has been its reliance on inductive reasoning, which as Rationalists are keen to point out is weaker than reaching conclusions deductively. Even Hume, an empiricist himself, admitted that causal relationships have no reason to be the same in the future as what they had been in the past.

    • Word count: 931
  10. Explain Descartes(TM) wax argument and evaluate the conclusions he draws

    All of the properties we identified in the wax have changed, yet we still know that it is the same piece of wax. Therefore two questions are brought about, what is the wax? How do we know the wax? The answer to the first question is that the wax is a material thing/substance that can change. The answer to the second question is that we cannot know the wax through our senses as the properties have changed but we still know it to be the same piece of wax.

    • Word count: 934
  11. Body soul destinction

    Plato used evidence such as the "world of the forms". He suggested that by taking care of the soul and ignoring physical pleasures the soul can return to the word of the forms when the body dies. The evidence of Plato's theory can be seen everyday. For the body to survive it must meet its basic needs such as food, reproduction and physical pleasure. On the other hand for the mind to be stimulated it has other needs that are met through deep thought and learning. However, there is a flaw to Plato's theory, how can you have two completely different substances that are the same thing?

    • Word count: 1731
  12. compare Plato and Aristotle's view of the soul

    Plato, a dualist, believed the body and soul to be two separate entities. The soul he considered immaterial and belonging to the "world of the forms" as part of the "form of the good". He believed that the soul was implanted within a human longing to return back to the "forms". The soul in the opinion of Plato is immortal and unchanging and the only link between a person and full understanding or knowledge. The second part of a person, the body Plato suggests was the physical part enabling us to perform actions such as communication.

    • Word count: 625
  13. God as a miracle worker

    Other texts within the bible suggest miracles performed by God. For example during the story of Moses where he parts the reed sea in order for the Israelites to escape from the Egyptians. Another way miracles are shown within the bible is through Jesus. This is shown in such miracles as the feeding of 5000 and healing of the paralysed man Jesus was told to even bring people back to life. The bible uses these miracles to show Gods immanence within the world and his the relationship between God and humanity.

    • Word count: 923
  14. Explain Plato's analogy of the cave

    Yet when he returns to the darkness of the cave to explain this new awareness of reality, his discoveries are rejected by the other prisoners who decide to remain in the cave, intending to put to death anyone who tries to free another prisoner. Evidently Plato intended the components of the cave story to have allegorical meanings; however it is possible to interpret it in many different ways. To some extent it is used as an explanation for Plato's theory of the forms, in which Plato suggests a separate world containing ideal forms of everything that exists in our ever-changing "world of appearances".

    • Word count: 951
  15. strengths and weaknesses of the ontological argument

    He used the analogy of an island to form an argument with the same form as Anselm's that lead to undeniably false conclusions. Gaunilo's argument ran that if one is able to conceive of an island which is greater than any other- i.e. 'an island than which no greater island can be conceived'- then this island must be an island which possesses all perfection. Therefore taking Anselm's claim that existence is a perfection, Gaunilo said that the island must therefore exist.

    • Word count: 1200
  16. outline the cosmological argument for the existence of God

    Therefore he saw that it was necessary to arrive at a 'first mover- a being that does not require a mover itself- and this is the being that we know as God. Plato also used this idea, claiming that the world required some sort of "self-originated motion" which was responsible for starting the motion that exists today. Aquinas also presented an argument from efficient causes, which puts forward that "in a world of sense", nothing can be found to be the cause of itself- everything has been caused by one or many intermediate causes, and these intermediate causes must lead finally to an first cause.

    • Word count: 1406
  17. Free essay

    R.S. Philosophy Did God create evil and suffering?

    One of the main reasons behind this confusion is the widespread dilemma of whether God is really the creator of evil or did humans' free will create it? The idea of God creating evil is contrived by many religious groups. Judaism talks about 'yetzer ra' which translates to 'evil impulse, and also 'yetzer tov' or 'good impulse'. Judaists realise they all have these impulses as humans and the goal is to not give into the 'evil' impulse. From a Catholic point of view they believe evil is the absence or opposite of good, and moral evil results from humankind's free choice of sin.

    • Word count: 1077
  18. Aristotle - Forms of Cause and Causality

    Eternal, and 2) A necessary being. Therefore it could not fail to exist ! The cause is eternal because the change in the universe is eternal, and it is a necessary being because it is the cause of all change in the universe, but it is not changed by anything else. Or, as Aristotle put it, 'There is something which moves without being moved, being eternal substance and actuality'. The 'something' is G-d. By 'eternal' he means that G-d has always existed, by 'substance' he means substance without form ; it is invisible, it does not have parts or a body.

    • Word count: 1412
  19. Plato's republic shocked the world

    Many themes are deal with - the nature of justice, whether we do what 'is right' because we want t, or because we fear punishment. Issues such as whether all people are equal and who has the right to rule are also dealt with. It is for these reasons and others that many thinkers and commentators point to the Republic as a book that shocked the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a noted essayist, once said 'Plato is philosophy and philosophy is Plato'2, and later notes as a reason for the success of the Republic that 'His broad humanity transcends all sectional lines'3.

    • Word count: 1160
  20. The three senses of it. Explain the three different interpretations of what Plato may mean by what it is and what it is not

    Plato describes it as being, 'something that has its share of being and non-being, and cannot be said to have the characteristics of either without qualification' (478d)1. The problem arises when trying to determine what is meant by what is and what is not. It is a question of how something can something exist and not exist at the same time, without being simply one or another. There are difficulties even with the language used. In English there can be three contexts in which the word 'is' may be used.

    • Word count: 783
  21. Briefly explain why knowledge requires justification

    In short, without justification, there is no basis to say that something is knowledge. However, some Philosophers have argued that all three conditions can be met, but result in no knowledge, this problem is known as the Gettier problem. For example, let's say I know two twins, Fred and Bob. I walk past a room - Fred's room- and think to myself Fred is in that room. I know that Fred is in the room, because I can see Fred, I am justified in my knowledge, because I can see Fred.

    • Word count: 932
  22. Explain and illustrate one criticism of the view that a belief is knowledge if it coheres with other accepted beliefs

    The separate beliefs do not seem to form together in a coherent way. However, I also remember that my brother was taking my Aunt Dotty to Edinburgh. Furthermore, the writing on the envelope seems to be that of my brother. From this I come to the conclusion that my Aunt Dotty forgot to put the letter in the envelope, and then asked my brother to write the address for her. I would be justified in my son you're a whale belief of this, as all of my beliefs relating to it fit together in a coherent way.

    • Word count: 1464
  23. Free essay

    "You know that you are reading this book". Is this assertion correct

    In other words, because you cannot tell if a person, is thinking, and not just talking, you cannot know if they exist. The same goes for all other objects. The evidence for the existence of the external world falls far short of what is needed, if Descartes' 'I think, therefore I am,' is to be taken as the only premise for true existence. This concept is furthered by Descartes' idea of the malicious Demon. Although we, or I, must exist (we know this from 'I think therefore I am), we do not according to Descartes, really know that the world around us exists.

    • Word count: 1484
  24. Assess reliabilism

    It was only by accident, Fred's hiding under the bed, that I had a (falsely) justified true belief; as a result, I did not have knowledge. However, if reliability is the answer to justification that is not false, reliability must be defined. That is very difficult. Is reliability defined as something that is never wrong? Such a thing would be reliable, but it would also be infallible, o could not be known as merely reliable. Furthermore, if that was, what is reliable, there would be very few reliable methods of justification as most are occasionally wrong.

    • Word count: 1930

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