Analytic propositions: propositions that are true by definition, such as "All wives are women."

Synthetic propositions: propositions that are not true by definition, such as "Jones is bald."

A posteriori knowledge: knowledge attained through the five senses, such as the fact that the door is brown.

A priori knowledge: intuitive knowledge attained without use of the senses, such as 2+2=4.

Kant presents the single categorical imperative of morality: act only on that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

The Formula of the Law of Nature: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature."

The Formula of the End Itself: "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."

The Formula of Autonomy: "So act that your will can regard itself at the same time as making universal law through its maxims."

The Formula of the Kingdom of Ends: "So act as if you were through your maxims a law-making member of a kingdom of ends."


The divine command theory is the view that moral actions are those which conform to God's will.



External World

The Greeks --

Kant --


Other Minds -- Solipsism * and Soloviev --

Philosophy of Sexuality & Suicide --

"Sublime" refers to an aesthetic value in which the primary factor is the presence or suggestion of transcendent vastness or greatness, as of power, heroism, extent in space or time. It differs from greatness or grandeur in that these are as such capable of being completely grasped or measured. By contrast, the sublime, while in one aspect apprehended and grasped as a whole, is felt as transcending our normal standards of measurement or achievement. Two elements are emphasized in varying degree by different writers, and probably varying in different observers: (1) a certain baffling of our faculty with feeling of limitation akin to awe and veneration; (2) a stimulation of our abilities and elevation of the self in sympathy with its object.

The element of magnitude in beauty was noted by Aristotle, and given by him a prominent place in tragedy. But the earliest extant determination of the sublime as a distinct conception is in the treatise ascribed to Longinus, but now supposed to be of earlier date (first century C.E.). In modern philosophy, it was given special prominence by Edmund Burke in his Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful (1756) and Henry Home in his Elements of Criticism who sought a psychological and physiological explanation. According to Burke, it is caused by a "mode of terror or pain," and is contrasted with the beautiful (rather than being part of the beautiful). Kant also distinguished it as a separate category form beauty, making it apply properly only to the mind, not to the object, and giving it a peculiar moral effect in opposing "the interests of sense." He distinguished a mathematical sublime of extension in space or time, and a dynamic of power. Most subsequent writers on aesthetics tend to bring the sublime within the beautiful in the broader sense insofar as its aesthetic quality is closely related to that of beauty.

"Symposium" is the Greek term for a drinking-party. The symposium must be distinguished from thedeipnon; for though drinking almost always followed a dinner-party, yet the former was regarded as entirely distinct from the latter, was regulated by different customs, and frequently received the addition of many guests who were not present at the dinner. For the Greeks did not usually drink at their dinner, and it was not until the conclusion of the meal that wine was introduced. Symposia were very frequent at Athens. Their enjoyment was heightened by agreeable conversation, by the introduction of music and dancing, and by games and amusements of various kinds; sometimes, too, philosophical subjects were discussed at them. The Symposia of Plato and Xenophon give us a lively idea of such entertainments at Athens. The name itself shows that the enjoyment of drinking was the main object of the symposia: wine from the juice of the grape (oinos ampelinos) was the only drink partaken of by the Greeks, with the exception of water. The wine was almost invariably mixed with water, and to drink it unmixed (akraton) was considered a characteristic of barbarians. The mixture was made in a large vessel called the crater, from which it was conveyed into the drinking-cups. The guests at a symposium reclined on couches, and were crowned with garlands of flowers.

The term "tragedy" derives from the Greek literally means "goat-song," perhaps from goatskin costumes worn by early tragic singers in imitation of satyrs. In aesthetics, tragedy is the quality of experience whereby, in and through some serious collision followed by fatal catastrophe or inner ruin, something valuable in personality becomes manifest, either as sublime or admirable in the hero, or as triumph of an idea. The situation itself or its portrayal is termed tragedy. The characteristic subjective effect is that of a complex of strongly painful and pleasurable elements existing simultaneously, both of which may be regarded as arising from sympathy: the painful elements from sympathy with the sufferer in evil, present or future (pity and fear), and the pleasurable from sympathy with the noble or heroic character displayed, or with the triumph of some idea (as in the case of guilt overtaken by catastrophe). In the case of the tragic in art, there is the additional element of the aesthetically pleasing form in which the action, character, or situation is presented. The tragic presupposes a greater magnitude in its objects or events than is necessarily involved in pathos and usually involves a more active collision. * Plato pointed out the mixed character of the feeling of the tragic. Aristotle noted the serious quality and the element of magnitude in tragedy, named pity and fear as the emotion is excited, and stated the result of tragedy to be the effecting of a catharsis (or purging) of such passions. He suggested also that the tragic catastrophe results from some fault or error. This, as the theory of tragic, has been developed in various aspects by German Idealists. Hegel regards it as the triumph of the universal, the idea, and the destruction of the individual. "Presumption" or overstepping of the due bounds of finiteness on the part of the individual has been emphasized as tragic motive by Vischer, Carriere, and Zeising. The inevitable and inherently necessary character of the collision or catastrophe in many cases enhances the tragic effect. This has been interpreted optimistically, by Hegel, Vischer, Carriere and Schiller (who in some way make the loss of the individual exhibit the triumph of the idea, or of the moral nature). It has also been interpreted pessimistically by Schopenliauer and Bahnsen. Others (Lipps, Volkelt) reject the theory of guilt or poetic justice as applicable to more than a portion of tragic situations.

Theosophy --

Vices include cowardice, insensibility, injustice, and vanity. And they are more productive than virtues. The Internet is born because of vanity.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889- 1951) --

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