About the Draft
This title is part of the Politicoid Series. It is more or less an alpha version of The Science and Philosophy of Politics. As an alpha version, much of the work is incomplete. In some cases the sections are going to be completely blank. As I have more time, I will add more content, citations, and links to additional reading, as well as quizzes, which can be used to test your own knowledge of the material.
Symbolic logic is both a field in mathematics and in philosophy. It is important to a language in which we can express logical statements. The most basic form of symbolic logic is propositional calculus. In propositional calculus, we create “sentences” using the terms “not”, “and”, “or”, and “implies”, along with variables: items whose truth value can change. These variables usually take the names P, Q, and R. One of the easiest ways to look at such statements is through truth tables.
It’s no small task to discuss all that philosophy entails, nor is it even simple to define philosophy. As the roots of the word describe, philosophy relates to wisdom and the love of it. In my take, philosophy is the set of all questions and answers that have ever been asked and ever will be asked regarding the nature of existence.
The following are just some of the many great philosophical minds. They are by no means any more or less important than ones that I have not mentioned. It would just be impossible to discuss all of them.
Socrates & Plato
Socrates & Plato Socrates himself never wrote. In fact, while pretty much every expert agrees that Socrates existed, it is not so clear the type of person he was. All we know of Socrates is that which was written about him by Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers of the time. The largest source of information is probably from Plato, one of Socrates’ students. Like other philosophers of his time, questions with which Plato wrestles include among others, “what is reality” and “what is justice”.
A common theme that pervades the works of Plato, and others of his time was the concept of the “ideal”. Today we often call the “ideal” version of something, the “Platonic” version of it. For instance, when we look at the picture to the right, it is a representation of a circle. However, is it really a circle? Clearly it isn’t perfectly round, and in fact, what was really drawn was an 18 sided polygon. Yet even still, we can imagine the circle. The circle that we imagine, that abstract circle with no flaws is the Platonic circle.
Allegory of the Cave
Allegory of a cave revolves around the idea of perception of reality and our incomplete view of this reality. The majority of the story takes place from within a cave, where all that can be seen of the outside world are shadows. Now the men living in this cave, having lived there all their lives, assume that shadows to be true forms.
Aristotle was a student of Plato. Aristotle displayed a break from the common theme of his time. Instead of worrying about perfection and ideals, he focused almost purely on the physical world. While other philosophers were merely forming ideas about existence, Aristotle was putting them to use.
Analytica Priora or Prior Analytics is one of the few works of Aristotle which still remain. The book delves into logical deduction as well as the scientific process. This text is important because it more or less acts as the historical foundation on which the scientific process was founded.
We must first state the subject of our inquiry and the faculty to which it belongs: its subject is demonstration and the faculty that carries it out demonstrative science. We must next define a premise, a term, and a syllogism, and the nature of a perfect and of an imperfect syllogism; and after that, the inclusion or non inclusion of one term in another as in a whole, and what we mean by predicating one term of all, or none, of another.
A common theme of Nietzsche’s time in Europe was Nihilism. Many people often incorrectly think that Nietzsche was a nihilist. In fact, Nietzsche warned against the collapse of society that would occur because of nihilism. He believed that nihilism would lead to nationalism, and that is indeed what happened.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra touched on many direct questions and gave many direct ideas. It is from Thus Spoke Zarathustra that we obtain the phrase “god is dead”. Nietzsche describes the concept of the “Superman”. This man is not in any way special. He’s not an evolved form of human or anything of that nature. He possesses no greater intelligence than the average man, nor any super strength. He is a man like you and I.