«Philosophical Questions in Action» - Great Essay Sample

«Philosophical Questions in Action»

Question 1

Aristotle's phrase that describe a person as a political (public, social) animal means that everyone can achieve self-realization only in human society (Aristotle, 1996). Outside society, formation of human personality is impossible. A person is born as a political creature and carries an instinctive desire of common life. Innate inequality of abilities is the reason for uniting people in common groups of friendship, which explains the difference between functions and positions of people in the city. The first result of the social life of a person is family. This necessity for a mutual way of life leads to the creation of families and villages, the emergence of a government system.

A government system arises only when communication and human socialization between families and clans are created. Thus, every individual is a political entity, as they represent political interests. The responsibility of a civilized state is to ensure a decent life for every member of a community. Therefore, the poor and rich are diametrically opposed elements, which affects the respective form of the state system. Aristotle closely linked a person’s position with the question of property: the essence of the world designs subjugation (slavery) of some creatures (Aristotle, 1996). Consequently, socialization and politicization of a person leads to the identifiction of their essence that can turn them into property.

Question 2

Descartes tries to bring a skeptical statement to its logical conclusion. He wants to get such a position that cannot be a subject of any skepticism. Doubt should be implemented radically and systematically. The authority and power should be questioned and doubted. Any judgment should be perceived as trustworthy in spite of the authority of its author (Descartes, 1641). Personal experience allows doubts regarding senses. Feelings can be deceiving (a rectangular tower may appear round, a stick in a glass of water may seem to be broken). If feelings cheat, they cannot be trusted. It is possible to doubt that the world exists. A body does not exist. The mind is also a subject of question that is the reason of doubting, even the knowledge regarding doubting.

Descartes solves this skepticism with the following chain of thoughts (Descartes, 1641). Since even one’s own existence is a subject of doubt, it confronts its own reasoning with the undoubted truth. A person is able to doubt - therefore they do not exist as a physical entity, but as a subject of thought and doubt, as a thinking creature, their thinking process confirms their existence, as doubting one’s own existence is the most radical doubt. With this question a person arrives at the undoubted truth - so cogito ergo sum -- the starting point in the development of all further philosophical systems.

Question 3

God is the concept of a perfect being, nothing greater can be conceived (Oppenheimer & Zalta, 1991). If a person understands that they are an imperfect creature, their self-esteem suggests that they have the idea of perfection. This can happen only to an individual who has the advantage of perfection. The concept of God is the notion of a perfect being. The symptom of perfection includes the fact of being someone that cannot be replaced by any other symptom. Omniscient, all-good individuality without being depreciates perfection. Therefore, God exists. The existence is an integral part of being.

A lot of philosophers criticized this argument. Thomas Aquinas rejected this argument. The scholar tried to justify the criticism by the human inability to know God. David Hume described the lack of empirical arguments, as he showed the failure of the idea of mandatory existence of anything. Immanuel Kant's reasoned that if nothing was said about the reason for existence, then existence was not a predicate, thus, a supreme perfect individual may not exist. Dunbar Broad claimed that some of the features of a great God were incompatible with other features of a perfect God. As a result, God's perfection was impossible. Thus, many philosophers rejected the argument.

 

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