Invitation to Philosophy: Issues and Options
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First ponder the concepts, then discover how experts debate it. INVITATION TO PHILOSOPHY: ISSUES AND OPTIONS walks you through each major topic in philosophy using language you can understand, shows you how it's all connected, and manages to be entertaining at the same time.
the conflicting views of human nature that we are about to examine highlight the fact that the sciences do not speak with a single voice. The biologically oriented perspective of an ethologist gives a very different picture of a human being from the learning-oriented approach of a behavioral scientist. Behavioral scientists, in turn, disagree among themselves about the fundamental characteristics of human nature. Depending on which theoretical approach is adopted (behaviorist, psychoanalytic,
echo the words of the sage Lao Tzu: 'The way to do is to be/' At the heart of Mahayana (Northern) Buddhism is the doctrine that there is no separate human nature; there is only Buddha nature. What the West identifies as human nature is but the false and compulsive grasping of an illusion that has no substance or reality. Buddhists teach that the self is not synonymous with the ego; the self is subsumed in a bottomless unknown that is at the same time no-self. When the conscious self transcends
Religion. A pattern of beliefs, attitudes, and practices in which human beings exhibit a special concern for things supernatural, transcendent, or of ultimate meaning and value. There is great disagreement over the precise use of the term. See Theology. Representative theory of perception. A dualistic theory of perception that claims that objects and ideas are separate. Objects stimulate the senses, which, in turn, copy, or "represent," the objects to the mind—much as a camera takes pictures of
evolution moves toward a goal that was set from the begin- 104 Chapter 5: Metaphysics: What Is Real? ning of time is a teleological concept. Teleology, the claim that purpose, goal, or direction is part of the necessary nature of things, plays an important role in most idealistic worldviews. The case for a teleological interpretation of the evolutionary process is vigorously argued by Lecomte Du Noiiy in his book, Human Destiny. Is the idealist wrong in reminding us that materialism is an
human capacities apply, so far as we now know, to no other living or nonliving thing in the universe. The concepts of levels of reality and emergent qualities can perhaps best be understood in the context of the theory of evolution. Two billion years ago "reality" was nothing but physiochemical processes, becoming progressively more complex. No biologist or psychologist would have been needed at that point to give a complete, metaphysical account of existence. As time passed, however, there