Philosophy

Give a 300-600 word report on one of the following books (links to online editions of these books are provided under ‘Pages’ here on Canvas). Grammar counts, and do not plagiarize:

Plato: Euthyphro

Plato: Apology

Plato: Crito

Plato: Phaedo

Descartes: Discourse on the Method

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy

Berkeley: Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
plato and aristotle
various works from Plato and Aristotle, including Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant
Various primary texts from Descartes, the British Empiricists and Kant too.
For example theHere’s an example of what I’m looking for in the book report. Notice how I am neither cutting and pasting material from the book, nor am I making any citations. I’m using the example of a report on the book: The Concept of Mind, by Gilbert Ryle, which is not one of your options :-):

 

Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind is one of the essential works of Twentieth Century philosophy. Ryle argues that the mind, which is one of the essential existents of philosophy ever since the ancients, is really no existing thing at all. Instead, he argues that the mind is merely a concept, like the concept of team spirit, his own example. He argues that when someone who knows not the sport of cricket (the equivalent of baseball for The Commonwealth) is introduced to the sport, she or he would have many questions. Questions like: what is ball made of? (it’s like a baseball, wound yarn with a leather cover), how much is ‘home run’ worth? (six), and so on. Then, the neophyte might ask, where is the team spirit we have heard about? It is a legitimate question, but we see a problem immediately. To put ‘team spirit’ in the same category as a ball or a ‘six’ is to make what Ryle calls the ‘category mistake’. Certainly, the spirit of the team is not the same type of thing as a ball, which is a physical object. Also, the team spirit is not the same type of thing as a score, which is mathematically evident. In a sense, then, the team spirit is not there except as a byproduct of the play and attitude of the team. Likewise, the human mind is not there except as a byproduct of an individual human being’s behavior. Ryle is not committed to saying that the mind does not exist. He is arguing, however, that the existence of mind is of a unique type compared to physical or mathematical reality, if it exists at all.

At the end of the book, most interestingly, Ryle argues that the viewpoint of Descartes and the Cartesians on the mind is superior, in a sense, to the viewpoint of Hobbes and his ‘offspring’: the reductionists. Reductionism is the view that the mind does not exist, even as a concept. Rather, all that exists is the physical body including the brain. All of human behavior, for the reductionists, can be explained without any reference to the mental. Ryle retorts with an analogy: the reductionist view is analogous to a battalion, while under siege, taking no shelter whatsoever. On the other hand, though the Cartesians and Descartes have a nonphysical shelter (the mind), at least they realize the necessity of building something. Ryle thinks that the complexity of human behavior requires something other than the body to explain it. Ryle is not willing to say that we have minds in the way that Descartes thought, but Ryle is opening the door for further discussion.

professor send us an example this one

Here’s an example of what I’m looking for in the book report. Notice how I am neither cutting and pasting material from the book, nor am I making any citations. I’m using the example of a report on the book: The Concept of Mind, by Gilbert Ryle, which is not one of your options :-):

 

Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind is one of the essential works of Twentieth Century philosophy. Ryle argues that the mind, which is one of the essential existents of philosophy ever since the ancients, is really no existing thing at all. Instead, he argues that the mind is merely a concept, like the concept of team spirit, his own example. He argues that when someone who knows not the sport of cricket (the equivalent of baseball for The Commonwealth) is introduced to the sport, she or he would have many questions. Questions like: what is ball made of? (it’s like a baseball, wound yarn with a leather cover), how much is ‘home run’ worth? (six), and so on. Then, the neophyte might ask, where is the team spirit we have heard about? It is a legitimate question, but we see a problem immediately. To put ‘team spirit’ in the same category as a ball or a ‘six’ is to make what Ryle calls the ‘category mistake’. Certainly, the spirit of the team is not the same type of thing as a ball, which is a physical object. Also, the team spirit is not the same type of thing as a score, which is mathematically evident. In a sense, then, the team spirit is not there except as a byproduct of the play and attitude of the team. Likewise, the human mind is not there except as a byproduct of an individual human being’s behavior. Ryle is not committed to saying that the mind does not exist. He is arguing, however, that the existence of mind is of a unique type compared to physical or mathematical reality, if it exists at all.

At the end of the book, most interestingly, Ryle argues that the viewpoint of Descartes and the Cartesians on the mind is superior, in a sense, to the viewpoint of Hobbes and his ‘offspring’: the reductionists. Reductionism is the view that the mind does not exist, even as a concept. Rather, all that exists is the physical body including the brain. All of human behavior, for the reductionists, can be explained without any reference to the mental. Ryle retorts with an analogy: the reductionist view is analogous to a battalion, while under siege, taking no shelter whatsoever. On the other hand, though the Cartesians and Descartes have a nonphysical shelter (the mind), at least they realize the necessity of building something. Ryle thinks that the complexity of human behavior requires something other than the body to explain it. Ryle is not willing to say that we have minds in the way that Descartes thought, but Ryle is opening the door for further discussion.

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