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IGNOU BPY 008 Solved Assignment 2022-23 , BPY 008 Modern Western Philosophy Solved Assignment 2022-23 Download Free : BPY 008 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 , IGNOU BPY 008 Assignment 2022-23, BPY 008 Assignment 2022-23 , BPY 008 Assignment , BPY 008 Modern Western Philosophy Solved Assignment 2022-23 Download Free IGNOU Assignments 2022-23- BACHELOR OF ARTS Assignment 2022-23 Gandhi National Open University had recently uploaded the assignments of the present session for BACHELOR OF ARTS Programme for the year 2022-23. IGNOU BDP stands for Bachelor’s Degree Program. Courses such as B.A., B.Com, and B.Sc comes under the BDP category. IGNOU BDP courses give students the freedom to choose any subject according to their preference.  Students are recommended to download their Assignments from this webpage itself. Study of Political Science is very important for every person because it is interrelated with the society and the molar values in today culture and society. IGNOU solved assignment 2022-23 ignou dece solved assignment 2022-23, ignou ma sociology assignment 2022-23 meg 10 solved assignment 2022-23 ts 6 solved assignment 2022-23 , meg solved assignment 2022-23 .

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IGNOU BPY 008 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

1. Give Answer of all five questions.
2. All five questions carry equal marks
3. Answer to question no. 1 and 2 should be in about 400 words each.
4. If any question has more than one part, please attempt all parts.


1. Write a note on the salient features of Rationalism and Empiricism.

Or

Explain and analyze Kant’s Idea of Space and Time.

Rationalism

The Intuition/Deduction thesis, the Innate Knowledge thesis, and the Innate Concept thesis are essential to rationalism. Since the Intuition/Deduction thesis is equally important to empiricism, the focus in what follows will be on the other two theses. To be a rationalist is to adopt at least one of them: either the Innate Knowledge thesis, regarding our presumed propositional innate knowledge, or the Innate Concept thesis, regarding our supposed innate knowledge of concepts.

Rationalists vary the strength of their view by adjusting their understanding of warrant. Some take warranted beliefs to be beyond even the slightest doubt and claim that intuition provide beliefs of this high epistemic status. Others interpret warrant more conservatively, say as belief beyond a reasonable doubt, and claim that intuition provide beliefs of that caliber. Still another dimension of rationalism depends on how its proponents understand the connection between intuition, on the one hand, and truth, on the other. Some take intuition to be infallible, claiming that whatever we intuit must be true. Others allow for the possibility of false intuited propositions.

Two other closely related theses are generally adopted by rationalists, although one can certainly be a rationalist without adopting either of them. The first is that sense experience cannot provide what we gain from reason.

The Indispensability of Reason Thesis: The knowledge we gain in subject area, S, by intuition and deduction, as well as the ideas and instances of knowledge in S that are innate to us, could not have been gained by us through sense experience.

The second is that reason is superior to sense experience as a source of knowledge.

The Superiority of Reason Thesis: The knowledge we gain in subject area S by intuition and deduction or have innately is superior to any knowledge gained by sense experience.

How reason is superior needs explanation, and rationalists have offered different accounts. One view, generally associated with Descartes (Rules, Rule II and Rule III, pp. 1–4), is that what we know by intuition is certain, beyond even the slightest doubt, while what we believe, or even know, on the basis of sense experience is at least somewhat uncertain. Another view, generally associated with Plato (Republic 479e-484c), locates the superiority of a priori knowledge in the objects known. What we know by reason alone, a Platonic form, say, is superior in an important metaphysical way, e.g. unchanging, eternal, perfect, a higher degree of being, to what we are aware of through sense experience.

Empiricism

Empiricists also endorse the Intuition/Deduction thesis, but in a more restricted sense than the rationalists: this thesis applies only to relations of the contents of our minds, not also about empirical facts, learned from the external world. By contrast, empiricists reject the Innate Knowledge and Innate Concept theses. Insofar as we have knowledge in a subject, our knowledge is gained, not only triggered, by our experiences, be they sensorial or reflective. Experience is, thus, our only source of ideas. Moreover, they reject the corresponding version of the Superiority of Reason thesis. Since reason alone does not give us any knowledge, it certainly does not give us superior knowledge. Empiricists need not reject the Indispensability of Reason thesis, but most of them do.

The main characteristic of empiricism, however, is that it endorses a version of the following claim for some subject area:

The Empiricism Thesis: We have no source of knowledge in S or for the concepts we use in S other than experience.

To be clear, the Empiricism thesis does not entail that we have empirical knowledge. It entails that knowledge can only be gained, if at all, by experience. Empiricists may assert, as some do for some subjects, that the rationalists are correct to claim that experience cannot give us knowledge. The conclusion they draw from this rationalist lesson is that we do not know at all. This is, indeed, Hume’s position with regard to causation, which, he argues, is not actually known, but only presupposed to be holding true, in virtue of a particular habit of our minds.

We have stated the basic claims of rationalism and empiricism so that each is relative to a particular subject area. Rationalism and empiricism, so relativized, need not conflict. We can be rationalists in mathematics or a particular area of mathematics and empiricists in all or some of the physical sciences. Rationalism and empiricism only conflict when formulated to cover the same subject. Then the debate, Rationalism vs. Empiricism, is joined. The fact that philosophers can be both rationalists and empiricists has implications for the classification schemes often employed in the history of philosophy, especially the one traditionally used to describe the Early Modern Period of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries leading up to Kant. It is standard practice to group the philosophers of this period as either rationalists or empiricists and to suggest that those under one heading share a common agenda in opposition to those under the other. Thus, Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz are the Continental Rationalists in opposition to Locke, Hume, and Reid, the British Empiricists. Such general classification schemes should only be adopted with great caution. The views of the individual philosophers are a lot more subtle and complex than the simple-minded classification suggests. (See Loeb (1981) and Kenny (1986) for important discussions of this point.) Locke rejects rationalism in the form of any version of the Innate Knowledge or Innate Concept theses, but he nonetheless adopts the Intuition/Deduction thesis with regard to our knowledge of God’s existence, in addition to our knowledge of mathematics and morality. Descartes and Locke have remarkably similar views on the nature of our ideas, even though Descartes takes many to be innate, while Locke ties them all to experience. The rationalist/empiricist classification also encourages us to expect the philosophers on each side of the divide to have common research programs in areas beyond epistemology. Thus, Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz are mistakenly seen as applying a reason-centered epistemology to a common metaphysical agenda, with each trying to improve on the efforts of the one before, while Locke, Hume, and Reid are mistakenly seen as gradually rejecting those metaphysical claims, with each consciously trying to improve on the efforts of his predecessors. It is also important to note that the rationalist/empiricist distinction is not exhaustive of the possible sources of knowledge. One might claim, for example, that we can gain knowledge in a particular area by a form of Divine revelation or insight that is a product of neither reason nor sense experience. In short, when used carelessly, the labels ‘rationalist’ and ‘empiricist,’ as well as the slogan that is the title of this essay, ‘Rationalism vs. Empiricism,’ can impede rather than advance our understanding.

An important wrinkle for using this classification scheme in the history of philosophy is that it leaves out discussions of philosophical figures who did not focus their efforts on understanding whether innate knowledge is possible or even fruitful to have. Philosophy in the early modern period, in particular, is a lot richer than this artificial, simplifying distinction makes it sound. There is no clear way of grouping Hobbes with either camp, let alone Elizabeth of Bohemia, Anne Conway, George Berkeley, Émilie du Châtelet, or Mary Shepherd. This distinction, initially applied by Kant, is responsible for giving us a very restrictive philosophical canon, which does not take into account developments in the philosophy of emotions, philosophy of education, and even disputes in areas of philosophy considered more mainstream, like ethics and aesthetics.

2. Explain and analyze Descartes mind-body dualism.

Or

Explain August Comte’s idea of Positive Philosophy.

One of the deepest and most lasting legacies of Descartes’ philosophy is his thesis that mind and body are really distinct—a thesis now called “mind-body dualism.” He reaches this conclusion by arguing that the nature of the mind (that is, a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (that is, an extended, non-thinking thing), and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other. This argument gives rise to the famous problem of mind-body causal interaction still debated today: how can the mind cause some of our bodily limbs to move (for example, raising one’s hand to ask a question), and how can the body’s sense organs cause sensations in the mind when their natures are completely different? This article examines these issues as well as Descartes’ own response to this problem through his brief remarks on how the mind is united with the body to form a human being. This will show how these issues arise because of a misconception about Descartes’ theory of mind-body union, and how the correct conception of their union avoids this version of the problem. The article begins with an examination of the term “real distinction” and of Descartes’ probable motivations for maintaining his dualist thesis.

What is a Real Distinction?

It is important to note that for Descartes “real distinction” is a technical term denoting the distinction between two or more substances (see Principles, part I, section 60). A substance is something that does not require any other creature to exist—it can exist with only the help of God’s concurrence—whereas, a mode is a quality or affection of that substance (see Principles part I, section 5). Accordingly, a mode requires a substance to exist and not just the concurrence of God. Being sphere shaped is a mode of an extended substance. For example, a sphere requires an object extended in three dimensions in order to exist: an unextended sphere cannot be conceived without contradiction. But a substance can be understood to exist alone without requiring any other creature to exist. For example, a stone can exist all by itself. That is, its existence is not dependent upon the existence of minds or other bodies; and, a stone can exist without being any particular size or shape. This indicates for Descartes that God, if he chose, could create a world constituted by this stone all by itself, showing further that it is a substance “really distinct” from everything else except God. Hence, the thesis that mind and body are really distinct just means that each could exist all by itself without any other creature, including each other, if God chose to do it. However, this does not mean that these substances do exist separately. Whether or not they actually exist apart is another issue entirely.

Why a Real Distinction?

A question one might ask is: what’s the point of arguing that mind and body could each exist without the other? What’s the payoff for going through all the trouble and enduring all the problems to which it gives rise? For Descartes the payoff is twofold. The first is religious in nature in that it provides a rational basis for a hope in the soul’s immortality [because Descartes presumes that the mind and soul are more or less the same thing]. The second is more scientifically oriented, for the complete absence of mentality from the nature of physical things is central to making way for Descartes’ version of the new, mechanistic physics. This section investigates both of these motivating factors.

The Religious Motivation

In his Letter to the Sorbonne published at the beginning of his seminal work, Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes states that his purpose in showing that the human mind or soul is really distinct from the body is to refute those “irreligious people” who only have faith in mathematics and will not believe in the soul’s immortality without a mathematical demonstration of it. Descartes goes on to explain how, because of this, these people will not pursue moral virtue without the prospect of an afterlife with rewards for virtue and punishments for vice. But, since all the arguments in the Meditations—including the real distinction arguments— are for Descartes absolutely certain on a par with geometrical demonstrations, he believes that these people will be obliged to accept them. Hence, irreligious people will be forced to believe in the prospect of an afterlife. However, recall that Descartes’ conclusion is only that the mind or soul can exist without the body. He stops short of demonstrating that the soul is actually immortal. Indeed, in the Synopsis to the Mediations, Descartes claims only to have shown that the decay of the body does not logically or metaphysically imply the destruction of the mind: further argumentation is required for the conclusion that the mind actually survives the body’s destruction. This would involve both “an account of the whole of physics” and an argument showing that God cannot annihilate the mind. Yet, even though the real distinction argument does not go this far, it does, according to Descartes, provide a sufficient foundation for religion, since the hope for an afterlife now has a rational basis and is no longer a mere article of faith.

The Scientific Motivation

The other motive for arguing that mind and body could each exist without the other is more scientifically oriented, stemming from Descartes’ intended replacement of final causal explanations in physics thought to be favored by late scholastic-Aristotelian philosophers with mechanistic explanations based on the model of geometry. Although the credit for setting the stage for this scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy dominant at Descartes’ time should go to Thomas Aquinas (because of his initial, thorough interpretation and appropriation of Aristotle’s philosophy), it is also important to bear in mind that other thinkers working within this Aristotelian framework such as Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Francisco Suarez, diverged from the Thomistic position on a variety of important issues. Indeed, by Descartes’ time, scholastic positions divergent from Thomism became so widespread and subtle in their differences that sorting them out was quite difficult. Notwithstanding this convoluted array of positions, Descartes understood one thesis to stand at the heart of the entire tradition: the doctrine that everything ultimately behaved for the sake of some end or goal. Though these “final causes,” as they were called, were not the only sorts of causes recognized by scholastic thinkers, it is sufficient for present purposes to recognize that Descartes believed scholastic natural philosophers used them as principles for physical explanations. For this reason, a brief look at how final causes were supposed to work is in order.

Descartes understood all scholastics to maintain that everything was thought to have a final cause that is the ultimate end or goal for the sake of which the rest of the organism was organized. This principle of organization became known as a thing’s “substantial form,” because it was this principle that explained why some hunk of matter was arranged in such and such a way so as to be some species of substance. For example, in the case of a bird, say, the swallow, the substantial form of swallowness was thought to organize matter for the sake of being a swallow species of substance. Accordingly, any dispositions a swallow might have, such as the disposition for making nests, would then also be explained by means of this ultimate goal of being a swallow; that is, swallows are disposed for making nests for the sake of being a swallow species of substance. This explanatory scheme was also thought to work for plants and inanimate natural objects.

A criticism of the traditional employment of substantial forms and their concomitant final causes in physics is found in the Sixth Replies where Descartes examines how the quality of gravity was used to explain a body’s downward motion:

But what makes it especially clear that my idea of gravity was taken largely from the idea I had of the mind is the fact that I thought that gravity carried bodies toward the centre of the earth as if it had some knowledge of the centre within itself (AT VII 442: CSM II 298).

On this pre-Newtonian account, a characteristic goal of all bodies was to reach its proper place, namely, the center of the earth. So, the answer to the question, “Why do stones fall downward?” would be, “Because they are striving to achieve their goal of reaching the center of the earth.” According to Descartes, this implies that the stone must have knowledge of this goal, know the means to attain it, and know where the center of the earth is located. But, how can a stone know anything? Surely only minds can have knowledge. Yet, since stones are inanimate bodies without minds, it follows that they cannot know anything at all—let alone anything about the center of the earth.

Descartes continues on to make the following point:

But later on I made the observations which led me to make a careful distinction between the idea of the mind and the ideas of body and corporeal motion; and I found that all those other ideas of . . . ‘substantial forms’ which I had previously held were ones which I had put together or constructed from those basic ideas (AT VII 442-3: CSM II 298).

Here, Descartes is claiming that the concept of a substantial form as part of the entirely physical world stems from a confusion of the ideas of mind and body. This confusion led people to mistakenly ascribe mental properties like knowledge to entirely non-mental things like stones, plants, and, yes, even non-human animals. The real distinction of mind and body can then also be used to alleviate this confusion and its resultant mistakes by showing that bodies exist and move as they do without mentality, and as such principles of mental causation such as goals, purposes (that is, final causes), and knowledge have no role to play in the explanation of physical phenomena. So the real distinction of mind and body also serves the more scientifically oriented end of eliminating any element of mentality from the idea of body. In this way, a clear understanding of the geometrical nature of bodies can be achieved and better explanations obtained.


3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 200 words each. 2*10= 20

a) What is the idea of induction? How does Hume criticize the idea of induction?
b) What are the Postulates of Morality according to Kant? Discuss.
c) What is Innate Idea? How Locke criticizes the concept of innate ideas?
d) Write a note on the Spinoza’s idea of God.

4. Answer any four of the following questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20

a) How does Locke distinguish between intuitive and demonstrative knowledge?
b) Examine Berkley’s idea of “Esse Est percipi”.
c) “Thoughts without content are empty and intuitions without concepts are blind.” Explain this dictum of Kant.
d) “Monads are windowless.” Explain briefly.
e) Write a note on the idea of pre-established harmony.
f) What does Spinoza understand from ‘mind as the idea of the body’?


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5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20

a) Idea of Alienation in Marxist Philosophy
b) Causal Parallelism
c) Ex signis
d) Historical materialism
e) Bacon’s Scientific Method
f) Logical Positivism
g) Hegel’s dialectic method
h) Strawson’ idea of metaphysics


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