Essay Western Civ Ii Study Guide

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Descartes
Innate ideas – Rooted in Res Cogitans (of the spiritual realm, unlimited, eternal, finite). Things which we find clear and distinct, knowledge that can be relied upon. Innate ideas include those of the universe, God, the self. These ideas are given to us by God, or the Supremely Perfect Being. If the mind is perfect, only he could allow and enable us to have reason.
Res cogitans/res extensa – This is Cartesian Dualism. Cogitans: the seat of the mind, what can be relied upon. Of the spiritual realm. Unlimited, eternal, finite. Extensa: Rooted in physical reality. Knowledge of the human body, the external world, and the universe are all limited and finite. It’s mechanical, and you can’t know of its existence for sure.
Methodological doubt – How to do it: (1) Reject anything dubious. (2) Divide complex questions from others. (3) Order thoughts from the simple to the complex. (4) Review inferences to avoid gaps in thought. Results…conclusion: Cogito, Ergo Sum (I think, therefore I am.)
Provisional Moral Code – (1) Obey laws of country. (2) Be resolute, or definitive, in actions and views. (3) Conquer yourself, not your fortune (because you can’t control outside events, so concentrate on controlling yourself). (4) Do not go against nature.
I think therefore I am – Cogito, Ergo Sum. Our existence is given from the fact that we know our minds to be functioning. This ability given to us by God.
European Enlightenment – Intellectual changes: (1) Science replaces religion as authority. (2) The physical world is seen as mechanical and secular (governed by natural laws and knowable by physics). (3) Traditions questioned: Authority devalued. Old ways are questioned, changing culture, shift from absolute monarchs to democracy. Schools of thought: (1) Rationalism: All knowledge exists in the mind rather than the senses. (2) Empiricism: Reason acts as a filter to the more important senses, or experience. (3) Determinism: The universe is mechanical and knowable, universe as a machine. (4) Scientific method: gathering of data, etc.
Locke
Reason – Locke is an empiricist, and his view of reason involves Ideas of Sensation, or experience, as well as Ideas of Reflection, or evaluating, proving, and coming to an understanding.
State of Nature – In which people live together without a common judge. All are free to order actions or use property. Hints at human nature: is this freedom idyllic or dangerous. As soon as people realize the nature of personal property, a common judge will be necessary to establish themselves in relation to others as far as property goes.
State of War – This is defined as a violation of natural law and rights. It is a design on the person or property of others. Slavery is the ongoing war between captor and captive.
Property and Wealth – All have property in physical and mental abilities. All have property in things earned by abilities (labor). If you mix the amount of labor you put into something with the resultant resources, you own all the fruits. The resources left to nature are wasted (the waste land)! Their value is improved via labor. This entitles ownership, but how much can one own? Money is the only solution to ensure against spoilage of property.
Natural rights and Natural Law – Natural rights include liberty, but not license to do as one pleases. Also, we have the right to survive and prosper. And people can’t interfere with each other. Natural LAW, on the other hand, is concerned with Common Equity; there is an equal interest in preserving the peace and well-being of people. It also includes commonsense things, such as “do unto others…”
Compact vs. contract – Contract: When one group (poor) has an agreement with a higher group (rich). Compact – When people come together in society to create government by consensus as equals.
Rousseau
Pity – One of the human expressions. Characterizes a state of nature. Concern for others: generosity, mercy, and benevolence. It’s instinctive and…