Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 71


Definition of Philosophy

Philosophy etymologically or originally speaking came from two Greek words

philo and sophia. Philo means love, while sophia means wisdom. So,
philosophy, originally defined as love of wisdom. Wisdom is generally viewed as
the true, right or good discernment or judgment.

Love of knowledge is also correct etymological definition of philosophy, if this

knowledge is used properly and correctlyor this knowledge pertains to the best
ends and the best means.

With the said background of philosophy, the latter is defined as search for true,
right and good meaning of different things. So, if someone has a philosophy in life
or in pursuing education at tertiary level, then, this philosophy will guide him or
her in life or in pursuing college education.

In effect, philosophy answers the reason or meaning of life. It answers the reason
or meaning of taking up a college education after we finished high school. The
reason and meaning are used in this discussion of philosophy in the context of
deep reason and deep meaning. Therefore, not all reason and meaning are
connected with philosophy. For example, a man has just finished eating to solve
his hunger. The reason of eating is for the purpose of resolving the problem of
hunger in a specific time. But, if we are looking forward on the reason of hunger
of people in the Philippines for a long period of time, then, the context of reason
here is philosophy because we are looking for truth on this social problem.

Birthplace of Philosophy

The philosophy that book is talking about is the Western philosophy only that
started from Greece and developed in Europe. Eventually, it was exported to the
United States of America and other parts of the world. The philosophy of Chinese
philosophers and Islam are known as Eastern philosophy.

1 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Western philosophy was born in Miletus, across the Aegean Sea, on western part
of Ionia in Asia Minor around 585 BCE (before common eraphilosophers use this
terms than Before Christ since the latter is Christian context used in the Bible).
This is the reason why the first philosophers were called Milesian philosophers.
The Milesian philosophers started to find out the root of the things around them
and how these things change. This activity of finding truth was called wondering.

The branches/divisions of philosophy are as follows:

1. Descriptive or speculative philosophy this is the study about the nature,

essence or substance of reality of things. Methaphysics is under this branch.

2. Normative philosophy this is concerned with the good and bad things,
with right and wrong. Ethics or moral philosophy belongs to this branch.

3. Practical philosophy this is focused on the relationship of the true

knowledge and its action. Logic is under this branch.

4. Critical philosophy this branch is concerned with the truth. Epitemology

belongs to this branch.

Chapter 1

The Milesian philosophers



Thales lived from 624 to 546 B.C. (Before Christ period; other philosophers used Before
Common Era so that the abbreviation is B.C.E.) in Miletus.

He was described as a Milesian or Ionian philosopher because Miletus was situated in

western shores of Ionia, Asia Minor.

He was a teacher.

2 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was one of the so-called Seven Wise Men of Greece.

He studied geometry in Egypt.

He was known as a mathematician due to his abilities in mathematics. For example,

Thales could measure the pyramid of Egypt by way of measuring the height of the
pyramids shadow during day time wherein the said shadows length is equal to the
shadows height. Thales could also calculate the distance of a ship while at sea by merely
taking the corners (first and the back) of the ship and placed it at the land for

He also managed to predict the eclipse of the sun in May 28, 585 B.C.

Apart from being a mathematician, Thales was also considered as a philosopher. In fact,
he was described as the first philosopher in the western civilization because during his
time, he was the first one to inquire and studied the composition of things. This means
that Thales was the very first one among the thinkers during his time who demonstrated
love of wisdom.


Thales believed that despite all things are different to each other, they have common
element, which is water. In other words, the root of all things is water. He did not
elaborate his water theory.

Later on, Greek philosopher Aristotle perceived that Thales pinpointed to water as the
root of all things probably due to the presence of moist on a lot of things. He noted that
even heat is generated by a moist.

The correctness of Thales philosophy is debatable for the philosophers, but water as an
element of a thing could not be readily ignored since water is a very important element
in a thing. Even the universe and human body have substantial amount of water.

Thales, likewise, offered the idea that a right angle is produced once we placed a triangle
in a semi-circle. This observation of Thales has later on led to the conceptualization of
deductive science, a process of coming up suppositions and mathematical statements
by means of logical thinking. Logical thinking or logic is a branch of philosophy.


3 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Anaximander was also from Miletus.

He was actually a pupil of Thales.

He was born on 546 B.C.


Anaximander followed Thales knowledge that all things are connected to each other due
to commonality of one thing or stuff.

But he did not believe that they came from water. He said the root of all things could not
be ascertained since all things are continuously changing. Therefore, he argued that all
things were product of an indefinite or boundless situation.


Anaximenes was the third and the last Milesian philosopher.

He lived from 585 to 528 B.C.

He was a contemporary of Anaximander.


Anaximenes agreed that all things are related to each other, but strongly rejected both
Thales and Anaximanders origin of things since he strongly argued that the root of all
things was air. He asserted this because air gives life to things. For example, a man will
live due to air; a man can breath through air; a plant lives due to air.

Chapter 2

The other Pre-Socratic philosophers


4 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy


Pythagoras was born in 570 B.C. at Samos, Ionia, Greece.

He died in 490 B.C. in Metapontum, Lucanium, Italy.

In 532 B.C., he migrated to the city of Croton (now Crotone) in Southern Italy because
he was strongly dissatisfied with the tyrannical rule of Polycrates on Samos.

He was very well known as a mathematician.

Pythagoras founded a school of mathematics since he loved mathematics very much.

However, his love on numbers was in line with his religious conviction.

He also founded a religious organization where all of their properties are commonly
owned by all the members of the said society. All the members, however, were not
allowed to eat beans, touch white rocks, or look into mirror beside a light since they are
all sins. Pythagoras religious organization was popularly called as Pythagorean
brotherhood by its members and followers.

Unknown to many, he was also a philosopher.

Pythagoreans believed that all things are represented by numbers.

They, likewise, believed that music is highly therapeutic for some nervous disorders.

o Aside from it, the Pythagoreans discovered that the intervals of notes in music
could be expressed in numbers.

o They further discovered that the length of strings of a musical instrument like
guitar or violin is proportionate to the actual interval of the sounds they

o Due to love of numbers, the Pythagoreans were able to establish the system of
numbers (that is from 1 up to the succeeding numbers) after series of counting
of pebble. This means that a single pebble was number 1, two pebbles
represent number 2, three pebbles were, therefore, number three, and so on.

5 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The Pythagoreans asserted that all shapes and sizes have numerical basis after they
found that arithmetic is related to geometry: two pebbles mean two points or dots. The
two points produce a line; three points produce a triangle and the four points were able
to produce a solid.

o Another important Pythagorean philosophy was the relationship of the numbers

and the magnitude (proof about the principle of structure and order in the
universe) which was expressed through the well-known formula of Pythagorean
theorem: a2 + b2 = c2 (Verbally, this can be expressed as the hypotenuse is equal
to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled triangle). The point in
the relationship between numbers and magnitude is that the numbers mean
figures like triangle, square, rectangle, etc.

They argued that number is the best purifier of the soul.

They asserted that there were three kinds of life due to the existence of three kinds of
soul: 1) the first is only concerned with gaining profit; 2) those who are fond of
competition due the honor or recognition they gain from it; and, 3) those who prefers
giving observation or analyzing the situation around him. In other words, those who
love wisdom, knowledge, ideas, and the likes.

They believed that things have form, which means limit. Limit produces harmony or

o This philosophy was believed to be more appropriate in music and medicine.



Heraclitus lived in Ephesus at Ionian cost of Asia Minor from 540 480 B.C.

He was called as a weeping philosopher obviously because he was weeping over what
he claimed as ignorance of mankind.

6 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was also described as obscure since his writings and explanations of his
philosophies could not be understood. Even Socrates had even commented that he
could not ascertain the main point of Heraclitus philosophy.


Heraclitus asserted that the things around us were in the state of flux, meaning
continuously flowing or changing.

He strongly believed that the changes that happen are the fire itself because the way the
fire moves is the way the change happensvery fast. When Heraclitus said that
everything is in the state of flux, he was actually pointing out that the world was an
ever-living fire. This continuous movement of fire or continuous change would not lead
to complication since they were placed in a balance situation through the measures of
kindling and measures of going out. These measures mean that the level of changes is
proportionate with the amount of what it releases.

In the case of the world, there is, for sure stability due to the balance assured by the fire
that keeps the world changing. The changes that happen in the world are manifested in
two paths: upward and downward. Heraclitus explained that the upward movement
means that the earth becomes liquid, which produces various forms of life. The
downward movement, on the other hand, is about the coming of the being of things
that we experience in life. As this happens, the fire would be condensed so it would
become moist and the latter would become water due to intense pressures and the
water would eventually end up as earth.

Heraclitus asserted that the constant change was a product of Gods universal reason
(logos). This reason was a product of the soul, which to Heraclitus, was the most real
thing that has a wisdom or thought. However, Heraclitus had no distinction between
God and soul.

For Heraclitus, it was the fire that was a basic reality, which he identified as the One, or
God already. (with this particular philosophy, Heraclitus was considered as a pantheist
a description for those who define God as identical to the totality of things in the whole

For particularities, the above philosophy means

o all things are fire or God;

o human soul is also part of fire or God;

7 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o fire or God is universal reason itself;

o human beings principal activity is thinking since fire or Gods most important
attribute is wisdom;

o fire or God unifies and orders all things to move and change according to
thought and rational principlesthe latter became the essence of law so that
a universal law can be found in all things;

o all thoughts of human beings are thoughts of God due to the unity of God
and human beings;

o even a stone joins in Gods reason, thus, all stones are equal under the law of

o sleep is a manifestation of mans thoughtless or ignorance;

o conflict or strife or disunity is natural since it is a form change;

Heraclitus philosophy on universal reason should not be ignored since it became

the basis of Stoics philosophy of cosmopolitanism: all people are citizens of the
world because they all join in Gods reason.

It also became the foundation of the natural law. This law is a vital component of
the legal theory.



Parmenides was born in 510 B.C. at Elea, Southwest Italy.

He put up a school of philosophy in Elea, whose students and believers were called as

8 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy


Parmenides believed that the world is composed of only one thing. And he called this as
One that has no parts, never change, and could never be destroyed.

He came up with a framework something is, something is not which to him is actually
meant that the supposed changes that happens in a thing is not really a change since the
essence or reality of a thing never change nor destroyed despite the changes that
happens on its appearance. Thus, there is no motion and no space. This philosophy
became the basis of truth and opinion. The essence of a thing is the truth (or reality),
while the appearance is an opinion.

Parmenides philosophy is very significant since Plato adopted it in

conceptualizing his own philosophy of intelligible world and the visible world of



Empedocles of Acragas, Sicily, was believed to have lived from 490 430 B.C.

He was a believer of pythagoreanism since many of his ideas were ideas of Pythagoras.

He was a poet.

He invented rhetorics, the art of persuasive speech.

He was a politician. He started his political career by prosecuting two government

officials of Acragas for their arrogant behavior (tyrannical tendencies) on foreign guests.
Also, he was in favor of democracy.

He had medical skills and healing powers.

9 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He wanted to be known and remembered as a god, so he killed himself by leaping into
the crater of Mount Etna. In this way, it would appear that he went up to heaven since
there was no trace of his body.


Empedocles had opposed Parmenides idea that the world is composed on One thing,
but it is composed of many things.

These many things or particles, which are roots of an object, are eternal and not
changing, according to Empedocles. These particles are actually the four elements,
namely: earth, air, fire, and water.

He believed that a matter physical appearance is changing, but not its four elements.
However, the changes occur through mixture, mingling or interchange of the four
elements or a combination of any of the four.

He believed that there is motion.

He claimed that there are two forces that drive the changes of the objects appearance.
They are love (harmony, unity, compatibility, etc.) and hate (discord, disunity,
incompatibility, separate, destroy, etc.) The changes happen in this way:

o Only love is present the four elements have harmony or unity to each other;

o Love is dominant, but hate is starting to invade the four elements have
harmony or unity to each other, but there is already an aspect of hate among the
four or any of them;

o Love is still present, but hate is already dominant the four are not harmonious
or not unified since they only agree on a small point; and,

o Only hate is present the four do not agree or unit to each other and the worse
thing is that they hate each other already. Thus, the four elements disintegrate or
separate from each other.


10 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy


Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (now called Turkey) lived from 500 428 B.C.

He later migrated to Athens, but transferred to Lampsacus after Pericles government

falls. He died in Lampsacus in 428 B.C.


Anaxagoras believed on the existence of matter, which is composed of various material

substances, but they were formed by means of separation and not through love and
hate theory.

He asserted the concept of mind (nous), which is different from matter. This mind is
something infinite and self-controlling, and that is has been mixed with no thing, but is
alone itself by itself," said Anaxagoras. Mind, according to him, is the one that moves,
changes or controls matter. Mind is Anaxagoras greatest contribution in philosophy.

Leucippus and Democritus



Leucippus background was unknown, which made many students of philosophy to

conclude that he actually never existed.

He was a contemporary of Empedocles, according to some.

11 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was called the founder of Atomist philosophy.

Democritus, a disciple of Leucipppus, expounded and defended atomist philosophy.

He was born on 460 B.C. in Abdera, North Greece.

He died on 370 B.C.

He wrote around 70 books.


The two were called as Atomist precisely because they were proponent of atoms. They
asserted that the things in the universe are composed of indefinite number of particles
called atoms. They have different shapes and sizes. They are solid. They are indivisible.

They believed in spaces since the atoms move in the spaces.

They believed also in motion. Atoms could move in any direction.

The duo believed that everything was a product of the collision of atoms moving in the
spaces, thus, no particular mover or designer.

The atomist philosophy was born precisely to reject the Eleatics philosophers
headed by Parmenides belief on One, no spaces, and no motion.

Democritus, however, advanced philosophy on gaining knowledge through perception.

He said there are two kinds of perception: through the senses and by means of
understanding. These was further categorized as trueborn knowledge and
illegitimate one. Trueborn can be manifested by saying that two persons were to able
to taste mango. Whereas, illegitimate is seen by saying that the first person said that
mangos taste was sweet while the second person claimed that the taste of mango was
not good. He, however, described the two as both are kinds of mechanical process.

On top of that, he offered philosophy on ethics stressing that man should look happiness
which is an important goal. This happiness could be realized through moderation in all
his activities together with the practice of good culture.

Chapter 3

12 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The Sophists


Protagoras of Abdera lived from 490 420 B.C.

He was considered as the most influential among the sophists (intellectuals or teachers
who came to Athens to propagate their philosophies).


Protagoras offered this philosophy: man is the measure of all things. This means that
man (whoever he is; how far his knowledge would be) would serve as the standard of
any judgment he makes on any thing. Since each man is different from each other, then
there is no single correct or good standard. The correct or good standard will always
depend on the indicators or basis of correctness or goodness of different individuals. To
simplify Protagoras idea, it means that to others black is the most beautiful color, but to
other people black is only a good color to them.

Knowledge, for him, is varied. It will depend on each mans perceptions. In effect, man
As knowledge would be different from man Bs knowledge. The same with man Cs,
which is perhaps completely different from A or B. The reason is that every human
being has his own perception which is partially or completely different with others. And
these differences could not be destroyed easily since they appeared to be in a
permanent position on human beings. In short, knowledge is relative in so far as
Protagoras was concerned.

Even the correctness of the nature of an object is relative for Protagoras due to the
differences of peoples perceptions on the object. Different people have different views
on the reality and the appearance of the object.

In the case of God, Protagoras has no exact position because he said that he could not
do so since he was not able to prove the existence of God. He did not know whether
God existed or not. However, he never suggested to completely ignore Godit seems
that his point was that it would depend on the peoples view, belief or perception.

On ethics (behavior, attitude, morality), still Protagoras asserted there was no definite
or single ethics of the people. He said that the behavior, attitude, and moral values of

13 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

the people are different due to the differences of the peoples customs. To him, custom
is the basis of the behavior, attitude and values and not the nature. This was the reason
why the people from different places have different laws, rules and regulations,
according to Protagoras. However, Protagoras noted that the laws, rules and
regulations of one nation are crafted by the government officials, thus, the people must
follow the laws, rules and regulations made by their government.


Gorgias of Sicily was believed to have lived in the late 5th century B.C. There was no
available exact date of his birth and death.

He was an ambassador from the city of Leontini, Sicily.

He was a teacher of rhetoric.

Gorgias was a sophist.


Gorgias asserted that there is no truth on anything.

He believed that nothing exists.

He pointed out that if ever there was something that exists, then, it could not be

And if in case it could be understood , then, it could never be communicated.

o In effect, Gorgias, abandoned philosophy. He focused himself on studying and

teaching rhetoric.

o Along the process, he was able to develop the technique of deception using the
powers of psychology and suggestion.


14 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Thrasymachus was believed to have lived during the late 5th century B.C.


He believed on the correctness of injustice than justice. Thus, an unjust person has a
superior character and intelligent.

Chapter 4

The Greek Philosophers



Socrates lived from 470 399 B.C. in Athens, Greece.

He was a teacher, but he did not accept payment unlike the sophists. As a teacher, his
students were Plato (one of the greatest western philosophers), Alcibiades (a military
genius), Aristippus (founder of the Cyrenaic school of hedonism), Antisthenes (founder
of Cynic school of philosophy), Xenophon (military leader and a historian), and Crito (a
very wealthy man of Athens).

He served as a soldier where he participated in the wars of Petidaea, Delium and

Amphipolis during the Peloponnesian War, during the warfare with Sparta. Socrates was
able to save Alcibiades, a popular Athenian general, during Petidaea battle.

He worked as a stonemason.

He also was a sculptor. He had completed two works of sculpture: "Hermes," the god,
and "The Three Graces."

15 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was sentenced to death through drinking hemlock by an Athenian jury after he was
found guilty of impiety, corrupting the youth, and intervention with the city of Athens
religion. The one who charged him of impiety was his son Euthyphro.

Socrates wrote nothing (but a lot of philosophies and ideas were attributed to him as
pointed out and elaborated by his students, particularly by Plato and Xenophon).


Knowledge and virtue are closely related to each other so that improper attitudes or
wrong acts are products of ignorance of values or virtue. This means that to know good,
one has to do good things.

All ideas or concepts have a certain and universal definition (basic description of a thing
or essential nature). Things or events would pass away or change. But Socrates stressed
that its definition is definite or fixnot relative ideas or knowledge as what Protagoras
pointed out.

In his quest for true knowledge, a man should humble enough to accept his ignorance
about the topic or problem being discussed.

He developed the concept of the psyche or soul (The capacity of man for intelligence
and character. A mans conscious personality). Souls role is to know, influence, direct
and governs mans activities toward goodness. In effect, the soul knows what are the
good things that must be done by a man so that what man thinks and does are good. In
short, Socrates was truly concerned with mans good life.

Socratic Methods of Learning:

Dialectic is defined as the systematic discussion or exchange of ideas to ascertain a true

idea. This dialectic is done through inductive method (from particulars to general ideas
or concepts). This dialectic served as an intellectual midwife of pregnant minds of people
who participated in the discussion. It begins with presenting and defining the problem/s.
Then, all the participants will express their respective thoughts about the problem. They
will discuss their thoughts. The last, which is the final result of the discussion is the clear
and unified statement/s of the participants about the problem/s and its definition.

16 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Elenchus is defined as a technique showing the contradictions lurking on other
persons thoughts which will forced him to abandon his wrong thoughts. In this
technique, Socrates didnt want to demonstrate that he was intelligent from other
people but he wanted to show to others the proper technique of learning correct

Teleological refers to the idea that the things have their respective function or purpose
that leads to good dimension or framework.

Firmness on the correctness of his idea, definition or explanation, thus, he does not
surrender or be intimidated with the idea, definition, or explanation of other people.



Plato was born in 427 B.C. in Athens during Peloponnesian War.

He came from an Aristocratic family.

His family were connected with political figures (i.e. Platos father was related to the old
kings of Athens and to god Poseidon; his mother Perictione was sister of Charmides and
cousin of Critias who were both leading and influential personalities of a ruling
oligarchy that was formed following the fall of Athens as the latter was involved in the
Peloponnesian War; when Platos father died, his mother married Pyrilampes who was
a close friend of Pericles, the head of Athens democratic government).

He was a teacher, a school owner and administrator as he put up his own school called
Academy (more on research) in 388 B.C. Among his students were Aristotle,
Speusippus, and Xenocrates. Plato focused himself in finding and enriching knowledge
on various disciplines (that is what philosophy all about actually!) after he was
extremely disappointed with the practice of politics when Athens government that was
practicing democracy allowed its court to sentence Socrates to death. Plato strongly

17 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

believed that Athens democratic government was extremely wrong for killing a truly
good (in thoughts and practice) citizen.

He was 81 years-old when he died in 346 B.C.

Plato composed more than 20 philosophical dialogues.

He was described as the first great systematic political philosopher.


On knowledge

On this issue, Platos knowledge is that it is one and firm, regardless of the situation.
This knowledge does not change and its nature is universal. He got this from Socrates.
To simplify, it looks like this: The definition of beautiful is one and firm whether the one
who is talking about beautiful is from the Philippines, or Greece, or United States of
America, or Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, etc.; or the definition of beautiful is one and firm
regardless of the one who is talking is a grade 1 pupil, a 2nd year high school student, a
college student, or an old man.

Knowledge is a vision of a man whose purpose is to ensure that a man has a clear
direction of looking and analyzing things so that he could ascertain and produce the
correct knowledge out of his mind. The vision is necessary and important in helping
people to find out the true knowledge out of the world of darkness and deception.

A man has to pass three stages to attain and know true knowledge. The first stage is
imagining, the second stage is belief, and the third stage is thinking. After the
third stage, man would gain intelligence whereby he would learn the true knowledge.
(Imagining is represented by the images, the belief is represented by the things, and the
thinking is represented by mathematical objects. The intelligence stage is represented
by the good or forms).

1. Imagining is the manner of sensing the idea of physical appearances. For example:
appearance of a flower, appearance of a man, which are correct already.

2. Belief is the stage wherein a man feels certain about what he is seeing. The latter
constitute believing since the visible objects always depend on their contexts due to
its many characteristics. For example, we believe that the water is blue in front of us

18 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

is blue since its color appears to be blue. But when the water is taken out of the sea,
the color is clear.

Another example, the color of the box inside the house that has no light is black.
But when there is light, the color of the box is brown.

3. Thinking is the process of ascertaining the meaning of a visible thing that it

symbolizes or represents. Thinking, however, is being used by mathematician,
according to Plato, in drawing ideas out of visible thing (say, the shape triangle) in
comparison with the intelligible thing (say, essence of triangle).

4. Intelligence is actually the manner to achieve the highest level of knowledge. This is
not simply a definition of a thing but an explanation of said thing in relation to other
things of which the purpose is to comprehend the essence of the whole thing. In
short, intelligence is all about grasping the essence of an object.

Still in relation to knowledge, Plato came up with the idea about the Forms. Forms,
according to Plato, are the essence or substance of an object which are changeless,
eternal and non-material. For example, essence of flower this essence or form of
flower is different from object flower, but the said essence can be found inside the
object flower so that the latter would a sense or true meaning; the same with the
essence or form of heart.

o Plato stressed that the Forms is separate from an object. It exists independent
of the object.

On goodness

Goodness of human being is the result of the movement of his soul and practice of

o Soul, to Plato, is the principle of life and movement. (Principle is generally

defined as general laws. With this definition, a man acts according to his soul.)

o Plato divided the soul into three parts: reason, spirit/courage, and appetite.
(Take note that Plato came up with the three parts after he found three
common activities on almost, if not all bodies, of human being, which were
linked to the three).

19 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Reason is the rational part of the soul. With the presence of the reason,
it means that man is conscious that the goal of what he is doing at any
time and in any place is good or for the good of all.

Spirit/courage is the irrational part of the soul (let us use both words
spirit and courage since various authors used either of the two in
pinpointing to Platos second part of the soul). It refers to the passion (it
is generally defined as ardent love, strong desire, boundless enthusiasm)
as a driving force or shall we say motivating factor of mans activities. On
its first stage of operation, spirit is neutral and is expected to lead to
reason on the next stage of its operation. If the spirit cooperated and
allowed to be controlled by the reason, then it functioned for the good
of all. But if the spirit refused to cooperate with reason and instead
allowed to be controlled by the appetite, then it means that the spirit
has functioned not for the good of all.

The appetite is also an irrational part of the soul. It is concerned on the

material needs of man.

o With reason, it is not automatically mean that man will do good things due to
the presence of the spirit and appetite. Meaning, the spirit and the appetite
have their respective force to influence mans soul. If, for example, the spirit
rules in the soul, man is not expected to have a good goal. And what will happen
if the appetite controls the soul? Material interests and needs of man will

o To ensure that man will be doing good things, the reason must have a complete
control of the entire soul. The reason must see to it the spirit and the appetite
are closely working with her so that the three who are working as one and along
the goals set by the reason could truly produce good things.

o If the reason has no complete control or could not put the spirit and the
appetite under her, then, evil or wrongdoing or ignorance will prevail.
Remember, Plato stressed that despite of the presence of the reason, evil will
still occur and possibly dominate the soul due to the presence of the two
irrational parts of the soul, thus, the control of the reason to the spirit and
appetite is extremely important to man.

o Virtue, according to Plato, refers to the fulfillment of the function of anything.

For example, a teacher is proven to have virtue if he functions properly and

20 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

effectively as a teacher. A student is proven to have virtue is he functions
properly and effectively. The same with a ballpen, with a paper, a bag, and even
a knife.

Plato clarified that the soul is separate from the body. This means that the soul can
and will exist without the body. In the same manner, the body can and will exist even
if the soul is absent. This further means that when the soul is inside the human body,
man will think and act depending on what part of the soul is dominant.

On justice

Justice is a very strategic idea to Platos philosophy since it has something to do with
the character or essence of human being and the social structure. Justice is connected
with the concept of goodness of human being.

Justice means harmony or working together of the parts of the body of human being
or of the state according to their functions. This means that if all the parts of the body
of human being functioned according to their respective functions, then justice rules
on the human being. In the case of the state, this means that all the parts of the state
are working together according to their respective functions, then justice rules in the
state so it also rules in the society. If justice rules, in effect the deepest knowledge

On state

A state is an instrument in a society to function the various needs of the people. It

existed due to the economic needs of the people.

It is divided into three classes: 1) rulers [leader] represent the rational element; 2) the
guardians [soldiers] represent the spirit; and 3) craftspeople or artisans
[workers/laborers] represent the appetite obviously patterned by Plato from the
three parts of the soul.

o The craftsmen are varied. There would be a factory worker, farmer, retailer,
shoemaker, teacher, etc.
o Plato noted that all the people could be promoted to the next higher level of
class up to the highest one depending on how he was educated and trained.

o Plato likewise stressed that everyone in the society should be unified as to

who would be the leader and why they must obey him.

21 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The state would be in trouble if the one who is leading and managing it has no
knowledge about leading and managing the state. Meaning, the state must be ruled
by someone who is knowledgeable in such function as emphasized by Plato. He
pointed out that the qualification of the ruler must be competencethe ruler called
as philosopher-king must have the abilities to think and act in accordance with the
functions of the philosopher-king.

The king (ruler) must be a philosopher (meaning, having complete knowledge) so that
the parts of the state will function according to their respective functions.

o The philosopher-king is extremely important to Plato, thus, he made a

strategic plan to produce a real philosopher-king.

Starting at 18 years-old, the would be philosopher-king must study

literature, music and elementary mathematics;

By 19, he will undergo physical and military training;

By 20, he will pursue advance mathematics;

When he is 30 years-old, he will take up a 5-year course in dialectic and

moral philosophy;

From 35 years-old to 50 or a total of 15 years of OJT in public service;

When he is already 50 years-old, he is now well-prepared to rule the

state since he attained the highest level of knowledge, ascertain the
vision of the good, and acquired the abilities of the philosopher-king.

The function of the state is to ensure that the people would realize the highest level
of goodness of human being. Failure to do so, then, the state is no longer virtuous
precisely because it failed to do its functions.

On government

Plato came up with five forms of government, which are as follows:

1. Aristocracy the head is the philosopher-king, therefore reason controls the

other lower parts of the state.

2. Timocracy the head is the ambitious member of the ruling class who loves his
own honor than letting the people realized the highest level of goodness among

22 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

themselves. The spirit of the soul of the said leader controls his reason and the

3. Plutocracy the head is the member of the ruling class who thinks of enriching
himself due to his love on wealth. This means that appetite rules in the soul of
the said leader. With this, the division of the society from rich to poor citizens is
very clear. Plato emphasized that the Plutocrat is a dangerous leader because he
utilizes his money to accumulate all things that satisfy him.

4. Democracy during Socrates and Platos periods, democracy was defined as

direct participation of all the people in the affairs of the government or state. But
Plato viewed it as the rule of the appetites of the souls of all the people because
all of these people, including craftsmen or laborers wanted freedom and equality
with the other citizens of Athens. The point of Plato was that the people in the
lower class have no right or authority to become equals with the leaders of the
society since they were not trained to become leaders. For Plato, only trained
and educated individuals who have the right and authority to become leader of
the state.

5. Despotism this is the rule of a leader who has an absolute power that led to the
enslavement of the people. This means that the said leader has already an unjust



Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. in Stagira, Thrace.

He died in 322 B.C. at the age of 62 in Chalcis due to digestive disease.

At 17, he went to Athens and enrolled in Platos Academy. He studied 20 years at the

23 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was called as the reader and the mind of the school while a student in the

In 335 B.C., Aristotle put up his own school which he called as the Lyceum (derived
from the grooves where Socrates was known to stay just to think deeply and which
served as the precincts of Apollo Lyceus). He decided to establish his own school
after he was by-passed for the second time as head of the Academy. The first was
when Plato died in 347 B.C. where his nephew Speusippus became the Academys
chief instead of Aristotle. The second incident was when Speusippus died in 335.

Aristotle married Pythias, niece of Hermias (Aristotles friend and classmate at the
Academy who became king of Atarneus). They had a daughter.

In 342 B.C., he became a tutor of Alexander, who was then a 14 year-old prince of
Macedonia, upon the invitation of Philip (Macedonias king).

He returned back to Athens in 336 B.C. when Alexander became the king of
Macedonia following the assassination of Philip. His wife died while they were at

He entered into another relationship with a woman named Herpyllis. They had a son
named Nicomachus.

While at Athens, Aristotle was charged with impiety (the same with Socrates) due to
his being a tutor of Alexander and friendship with Antipater (Macedonian leader).
This meant that it was a crime (impiety) in Athens (that was during the reign of
democracy) if a teacher teaches the leaders with a different knowledge.

He wrote many important works where significant number was different ideas from
his teacher Plato. Among his works are Metaphysics, Politics, Nichomachean Ethics
(this name was derived after Aristotles son Nicomachus), .

He was the founder of logic as a discipline or scientific study.

Aristotle was considered as the first political scientist.


On logic

24 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Aristotle defined logic as the analysis of language, the process of reasoning, and the
manner in which the language and reasoning are related to reality.

In logic, Aristotle stressed the importance of how to start reasoning in a discussion.

He said reasoning must start with ascertaining the kind of subject matter. In this way,
the discussant knows what exactly the topic that he will assert and depend about.

In reasoning out, he divided the important components of a sentence into two:

substance and accidents, or subject and predicate, respectively. The
substance/subject is the topic, while the accident/predicate is the description of the

A single subject can be described in various words depending on the view of the
person who makes the description. Thus, Aristotle came up with the concept of
category. He offered nine categories, which are as follows: quantity, quality, relation,
place, date, posture, possession, action, and passivity. For example, the students are
studying (the predicate is action). The birds are 100 in all (the predicate is quantity).

o The predicate could be intrinsic or accidental. Intrinsic refers to the description

that is permanent, while accidental refers to non-permanent description.

On syllogism

Syllogism is a system of logic, which means a discourse wherein certain premises are
stated and followed by a conclusion. To ensure that the conclusion is correct, the
premises must be based on reality so that these premises are valid. These reliable and
valid premises were called by Aristotle as first principles. The correctness of the first
principles could be ascertained when human beings mind managed to recognize or
see the truth using certain facts.


First premise All human beings are rational.

Second premise Donald Laguipo is a human being.
Conclusion Therefore, Donald Laguipo is rational.

The purpose of Aristotle in offering syllogism is for people to have an instrument in

the conduct of scientific demonstration. In scientific demonstration, there is what we
call systematic process of reasoning or presenting and asserting the correctness of

25 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o There are three types of reasoning:

1. Dialectical reasoning reasoning based on opinions that are generally


2. Eristic reasoning reasoning that starts with opinions which appeared

as accepted by all but actually not.

3. Demonstrative reasoning reasoning based on true and primary

premises, which are reliable and valid. This one manifest syllogism.

On metaphysics

Aristotle defined metaphysics as wisdom which is a product of deep thinking.

Therefore, knowledge produced through the use of senses are not wisdomnot

Metaphysics is about study of being or substance. For example, study of being a

student. So, what does it meant to be a student. Here, we want to know the
substance (essence) of being a student. To know the correct answers, we have to
know the principles and causes of being a student.

To Aristotle, substance is always a combination of matter and form. Matter means

essence or content, while form refers to structure/appearance.

On change

Aristotle believed on change. He offered four features of change, which he called

causes. These causes are:

1) What is it? Identification of a thing

2) What is it made of? Ingredients

3) By what is it made? Procedure of production or manufacturing

4) For what end is it made? Purpose

For Aristotle, there are two steps of change: 1) potentiality; and 2) actuality. An
object has a potential to become another kind of object because the latter has
actually existed before. For example, an egg (object) has a potential to become a

26 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

chicken (another kind of object) because there was actually a chicken before the
egg existed. The egg will not become a chicken if in actuality there was no chicken.
Let us make it clear that an object can be considered as a potential (meaning, there
is a way for it to change) due to the existence of something actual before hand.

Unmoved mover

In the process of change, Aristotle asserted that there is a force which he called
Unmoved Mover that let an object to change. This Unmoved Mover is the reason
for or the principle of motion, thus, a change happens.

Aristotle has ascertained the unmoved mover is not a god or God of Christianity,
rather it is an internal force that moves or changes the object.

He considered the unmoved mover as the mind of the world.

He asserted that the only function of the unmoved mover is to make things
move/change but in complete unity with the truth about the whole reality.

On soul

Soul was defined by Aristotle as the first grade of actuality of a natural organized
body. Therefore, soul is a form, while the body is matter. Soul and body are
combined as a one unit. They are not separated since body could not exist without
the soul. Likewise, the soul will not exist if the body is absent.

The soul gives life to the body since the soul is the actuality, while the body is the
potentiality. Thus, the body becomes an actuality due to the presence of soul.

Aristotle offered three parts of the soul, which are as follows:

1) Vegetative soul act of living. This part moves so that man could live.
Due to this part, man eats and drinks.

2) Sensitive soul act of living and sensing. This part allows the soul to do
two activities: eating/drinking and movements of various senses.

3) Rational soul act of living, sensing and thinking. This part is where the
soul does three functions: eating/drinking, movements of various
senses, and the thinking/analyzing/reasoning out/decision-making. Due
to this rational soul, a man becomes rational.

27 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o This rational soul appears to be the driver of the human beings,
thus, humans function rationally, which is definitely better than

o There are two kinds of rational soul. They are 1) theoretical

(intellectual) or scientific reason, and 2) practical (moral) or
calculative reason.

1. Theoretical/intellectual/scientific is concerned with

mans knowledge about fixed and yet correct principles
or philosophical wisdom. To properly function, it has
three intellectual virtues: a) rational intuition which help
man to correctly apprehend the fixed principles, b)
scientific knowledge helps man to establish the
connections of things, and c) theoretical wisdom allows
man to reach and understand the highest and deepest

2. Practical/moral/calculative gives man the capacity to

make things and guidelines to express moral values in
what he is doing.

o Aristotle made it clear that the theoretical/intellectual/scientific

part of the soul is connected with the practical/moral/calculative,
thud, not completely separated to each other.

On ethics

Aristotle discussed his ethics in a writing he called Nicomachean Ethics. His main
point here was that the framework of good and right are already inside the human
being. In other words, man is basically good and right. What man needs to do is to
think and do good and right things for him to attain and realize the good and right in

He offered two kinds of ends (results) of ethical framework. They are 1) instrumental
ends (means to produce other ends) and 2) intrinsic ends (means that produce the
end itself; the result of the actions of human beings. The result of the actions of man
is different from the actions of human beings profession).

28 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o Example for instrumental ends - the guns were used by government soldiers
to fight the communist rebels that resulted to victory of the government.
Here, the gun users were able to achieve their ends as government soldiers
and that was defeating the communist rebels.

o Example for intrinsic ends the aim of the victory of the government soldiers
was for the restoration of peace and order to the Philippines, thus, the
victory was good.

His ethics is intended for the goodness and righteousness of humanity for the

Once man attained or realized goodness or righteousness, then, man would be

happy. For happiness is the ultimate end of mans activities and existence. Actually,
for Aristotle, happiness is the other word or name of goodness.

When man does good or right thing, then, he unquestionably done virtuous thing.
Aristotle recognized the role of virtue in human beings activities. He defined virtue
as a mean (or middle ground) to prevent man from acting in favor of deficiencies,
wrongdoings, excesses, and related matters.

o Mean is not the same on all men and not all activities have a mean to prevent
doing negative actions, according to Aristotle. In short, a mean is a relative
concept, depending on the doer and the circumstances.

On city-state

Aristotle defined the city-state as the union of villages. Its purpose is for the good life of
all the citizens.

He came up with several forms of government like 1) monarchy vs. tyranny, 2)

aristocracy vs. oligarchy, 3) polity vs. democracy.

o Monarchy is a rule of one leader for the common good, while tyranny is the
perverted or opposite form which is the rule of one ruler for the interest or good
of one;

o Aristocracy is a rule of the few for the common good while the oligarchy is the
rule of the few in favor of the interest of the few;

29 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o Polity is the rule by the many for the interest of everybody while its opposite,
democracy is the rule by the many but not for the good or interest of everybody.

The important point in Aristotles form of government is the purpose of

rule or governance. The number of ruler or leader is secondary.

In politics, good refers to justice and justice is about the promotion and
advancement of the common good or common interest of the citizens.

To Aristotle, the best form of government is the rule of law for its means the
supremacy of reason and Gods will.

State to him was formed by nature because every man was forced by the existing
economic conditions to depend on the whole. This only implies that each man was
part of the state which serves as the whole. But this state was put up for the
goodness of the lives of the citizens of Greece.

On slavery

Slavery is acceptable and therefore justified if it is created by nature. Meaning, a

man became a slave based on his own choice. They became slave because they lack
reason and could not govern their selves.

Slavery of men as a result of military conquest by one territory to another is not

accepted and not justified because to overpower other people do not mean that
other people are by nature superior than others.

Also, slavery of men due to legal sanction is not acceptable since government was in
the first place established to enslave people.

While Aristotle believed in the correctness of natural slavery, still he stressed that
the slaves should be given liberty as a reward of their services.

Actually, his claim of the correctness of natural slavery was an alternative to

prevailing forms of slavery (by force or legal sanction).

On family

30 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The union of male and female, and of master and slave. Aristotle also called this as
household whose reason of existence is for the satisfaction of their daily needs. The
formation of several households is called village for their goodness.

On art

To Aristotle, art has a cognitive value because the art work of the artists, which is
actually a copy of the nature, then, it logically means art communicates information
about nature to the citizens.
Aristotle believed that the artists deal with the universal concepts or ideas since
artists study particular things that they translate into arts. Universality means the
way man acts or speaks in accordance with the law of probability or necessity.

In particular, Aristotle pointed to poetry that has a purpose of universality than

history, which was concerned on particular event. Thus, poetry is philosophical and
higher thing than history.

Chapter 5

Hellenistic philosophers
Hellenistic philosophers are the philosophers who were influential during 300 years of the
Hellenistic period. This period started from the death of Alexander the Great of Macedonia in
323 B.C. up to the time Rome conquered Egypt in 30 B.C.

Alexander became king of Macedonia after his father, King Philip II, died in 336 B.C. As
Alexander assumed power, his teacher, Aristotle, leaved Macedonia and returned back to

Alexander ruled as an absolute ruler of Rome. He carried out his plan to expand Romes rule
and control to other territories like Greece, Egypt, Iran, Phoenicia, Babylon, Lydia, and several
states in the Punjab region in India. After Alexanders death, his predecessors stopped
Alexanders expansionist thinking.

As such, a lot of philosophers managed to express their ideas but the Hellenistic philosophers
became dominant. Among them were Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics, and the Neoplatonists
whose philosophies centered on individual satisfaction of man.

31 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy
Epicurus was born in 341 B.C. at Samos Island in the Aegean Sea. Aristotle was 42 years-
old at that time.

He died in 270 B.C.

He transferred to Asia Minor where he became teacher of several schools after the
Athenians were kicked out from Samos.

In 306 B.C., he transferred to Athens where he established his own school. His school
became an influential one like Plato, Aristotle and Zeno.

He was the founder of Epicureanism.


Epicurus philosophy was founded on Democritus atoms theory so that he asserted

that everything is composed of atoms, tiny particles placed in empty spaces.

Philosophy, for him, was a medicine of the human soul, thus, it must have a direct effect
and control on human beings.

He asserted that the principal purpose of human life is pleasure, which was later
understood by many as: man should focus on eating, drinking and making self happy.
But Epicurus pointed out that pleasure should not exceed on human beings capacity
and satisfaction because an excess of it will lead to pain, which is an opposite of

When he pushed the idea that everything consisted of atoms, Epicurus included that
even God was a product of atoms, therefore, not the creator of everything nor the start
of all as what Christians claim.

o Due to this idea, Epicurus noted that he managed to liberate human beings from
their fear of God and death. Man will not think anymore that God is behind of
what is happening on him or around him.

o However, he made it clear that despite of human beings freedom from God and
death, it does not automatically mean that human beings are completely free of
doing anything they wanted to do. There must be a limitation, according to
Epicurus, since the surplus/excess would not do good to human beings.

32 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Epicurus said pleasure serves as the standard of goodness because man will select good
or right pleasure for his satisfaction instead of those that will cost him pain. In effect,
man could attain and realize the happiest stage in life if the pleasures he preferred were
not more than what he needs. The point is, think and decide wisely and not greedy.

His pleasure theory led to the idea of creating friendship with others since friendship is
a key ingredient of happiness.

It likewise pursued the knowledge of not inflicting harm or pain to other members of a
society so as to ensue a peaceful and orderly civil society.


Zeno of Citium is the founder of Stoicism.

He was born in 334 B.C.

He died in 262 B.C. in Cyprus.

He was one of the original disciples of Crates the Cynic, whose passion was to keep on
doubting and questioning the conventional ideas.

He established his own school on the stoa (Greek word of porch which means steps), in


Zeno said that knowledge was a product of sense perception. What human beings
senses perceive produces knowledge.

Even judgment or observations about goodness, or correctness, or even negative

judgment on objects, things, and events is a product of mechanical process of sense

For him, knowledge is a content of happiness. It means, once man got knowledge he
attained happiness.

33 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

But Zeno argued that while man has knowledge, he cannot control things. He cannot go
against events. What he can control is his feelings, behavior, views, and emotions about
things and events.

He said that everything is a product of matter. This means that matter is the basis of
things, objects, events, and the likes.

o The said matter has an active power or force which produces movement,
change, and production of another object from the other objects. This active
matter/power/force is actually fire.

o But this fire is rational, so, Zeno concluded that this fire is in essence the God. If
that is the case, God is found on everything.

Nature is ruled by one law, which is the law of reason that should be applied to all men.
And this law of reason is actually the law of God, thus, all men must obey it.

Stoics believed on God. For them, He is the soul of world. Mans soul is part of God.

They also believed about the concept on the equality of men regardless of their position
or role in a society. When we talk of the role, the Stoics stressed the intention and not
the result. This is because the result is beyond the control of man unlike the intention.
So, man must act properly. That is according to the intention of what he will do.

To Stoics, each man must work for equality of men. So honor, success, wealth, and the
likes are not important since they all produce inequality of men.

The goal of human being is to attain perfect reason (divine reason or reason consistent
to Gods reasons).

Natures order (as produced by divine reason) is the standard of right and wrong.

Stoics came up with the concept of cosmopolitanism, which means people are citizens
of one community that has one law, one justice connected with God. This produced
concepts on universal brotherhood and universal natural law of justice. However, in the
said universal community, there are few wise men who were better than the rest of the

Panaetius of Rhodes

34 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy


Panaetius is considered as a middle stoic.

He was born in 185 B.C.

He died in 109 B.C.


Originally, stoicism does not accept emotions and desires since the two are forms of
disturbance. But to Panaetius recognized the expression of emotions and desires by
human beings on the condition that they are in accordance with the needs of human
reason. He did this because believed in Platos idea about the irrational part of the
human soul.

He argued that the divine reason must be the law (natural law) for all people regardless
of their differences in character and endowment (income or ability).

o This natural law should be the standard of actual practices of all societies and
not only of the few wise men to ensure equality of all men.

o This natural law also serves as a guide for all men to realize inner peace in life.

o It further stood as general principles that all governments must follow.


Seneca is one of the late stoics.

He was born in 4 B.C. of a wealthy Spanish family in Cordona, Spain.

He died in 65 A.D. after he committed suicide.


Seneca was proponent of simple life, thus, he was strongly opposed to the accumulation
of material wealth.

35 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He said that human beings must comprehend and accept whatever good things around
them. So, dont reach things that are far from you.

Man should not base his decisions on fortune but he must make his own in accordance
with divine reason, he said.

He stressed that man must not work without purpose. If man work with purpose, make
it sure that the purpose has a sense.

He pointed out that man should not work if it was caused by empty motivation.

He stressed that human beings should live within the framework of nature so as to
prevent poverty. This is because those who aimed beyond natures boundary will libe in
poverty even in the greatest opulence.

Dont do anything that opposes nature, he said, since this will not make man happy. To
achieve happiness, human beings must live in accordance with natures reason/laws.
Happy life, he clarified, means self-sufficiency and following tranquility (calmness and

The attainment of good is the accumulation of divine reason. So, the absence of divine
reason means absence of goodness.

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was also part of the late stoics.

He was born in 120 A.D.

He died in 180 A.D.

He became Romes emperor from 161 180 A.D.


To Marcus, tranquility means the good order of the mind.

36 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He said that a man can attain quiet life or freedom from trouble if he retires into his soul.

Human being should not be afraid of death since it is natural change and dissolution of
the elements that composed human body. So, he said, humans should wait for their
death with a cheerful mind.

There must be reverence so that all things must be utilized and treated with respect, he

He believed that all things are connected and related to each other due to the active
movement , mutual conspiration and unity of the substance. This unity is holy, thus
its hard to find one that is not connected with others. He further noted that this unity
leads to one universe where there is an order. This order means that there is one God,
one substance, one law, one common reason in all intelligent man, one truth, one
perfection for all animals with the same stock and participate in the same reason.

He accepted the existence of pain on man but it has limits and do not last long.

He argued that injustice acts are impious acts (disrespect) since the existence of the
universe was for the purpose of helping one another and not injure nor transgress to
others will. The impiety is actually guilty of impiety towards the highest divinity,
Marcus Aurelius stressed.

Pyrrho of Elis

Pyrrho of Elis (361 270 B.C.) was the founder of a philosophy called skepticism.

Another skeptic philosopher was Arcesilaus (316 241 B.C.), head of the Academy of
Plato. However, his skepticism was a rival of Pyrrhos. His skepticism was kept on
knowing the truth using Socratess dialectics instead of Platos metaphysics.

Around 200 A.D., an avid follower of Pyrrho named Sextus Empiricus revived and
defended skepticism.

Skepticism came from the Greek word skeptikoi which means seekers or inquirers of

Their mode of thinking was keep on searching.

They dont deny the appearances of objects since the appearances influence the sense
perception of human beings. What they doubt and question is the ideas or descriptions

37 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

they offer on the appearances. Sextus stressed that the knowledge from senses are

Even moral rules were questioned by the skeptics since different people from various
communities have different and contrasting views and knowledge on morality. So which
one is correct? Skeptics answer to this is: It is true that it is hard to get the exact correct
knowledge, so the best way is to have the probable knowledge, meaning the knowledge
that is nearest to true knowledge, which would be a reasonable assurance to attain and
realize happiness and peace in life.

Sextus offered two types of inquiry: 1) those that deals with evident matters, and 2)
those that deals with non-evident matters.


Plotinus was born in 204 B.C. in Egypt.

He died in 270 B.C.

He was considered as founder of a philosophy called Neoplatonism.

He is considered as important by a number of philosophy professors because Plotinus

appeared to be the bridge between the classical philosophers and the Christian
philosophers headed by Augustine.
When he was 40 years-old, Plotinus went to Rome from Alexandria where he put up his
own school. He taught the teaching of Plato with a focus on the soul and related

He wrote 54 treatises, which were arranged by his ablest student named Porphyry into
6 of 9 and titled them as Enneads.

Plotinus was the first philosopher who seriously expounded the concept of God, but he
never mentioned the name Jesus Christ.


Plotinus main point was that God created everything on the basis of necessity. Necessity
means emanation. And emanation means flow from. In other words, when we say God

38 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

created everything, it means that everything has emanated from God. This process of
emanation is similar to light that emanated from the sun, or water that flowed from the

To him, God is the changeless reality and not the material world.

He also said that God transcends on everything. He is present on everything. He is not

finite. He is not divisible. He has no specific form. God is one. He is the absolute unity.

The first thing that emanated from God, according to Plotinus, was the mind. This means
that even mans mind or intelligence came from God.

Plotinus, however, made it clear that no one or nothing is equal or at par with God.

He clarified that nature was hierarchically arranged, so that the products of the next
emanation would produce its own products. In the case of the mind, it produced the
soul or world soul. This world soul is divided into two aspects, camps, divisions, or
whatever name you choose: 1) pure rationality, and 2) nature. Through the world soul,
the ideas and the natural world are connected or could relate to each other.

The world soul emanated the human soul. It has also two aspects or camps or divisions:
1) intelligence/universal reason, and 2) body. Likewise, through the soul, the intelligence
and the body are connected to each other or were able to relate to each other.
Furthermore, with this thought, Plotinus strengthened Platos assertion that the soul has
existed or can exist without the human body.

o This human soul provides the power of rationality, sensitivity and vitality of the
human body. So once the man died, his body will die but his soul will return back
to the world soul, according to Plotinus.

After the world and human souls, the world of material objects was produced.

o Matter is the dimmest and farthest reach of light, while the extreme limit of light
is darkness.

o Matter has two aspects: the first (higher) is the one that follows the laws of
motion, while the second (lower) aspect is the material world itself.

o Matter is necessary since it is the final destination of emanation from God.

39 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o The worse is that matter is the principle of evil since it is the last stage of

Evil is the absence of perfection, order, and the most important thing is the absence of

What is disturbing is the notion of Plotinus is also the source of evil since He is the
source of matter.

Man would be freed from evil if he returns back to God. This reunification with God has
a number of requirements like 1) successful development of moral and intellectual
virtues, 2) disciplining mans self through rigorous and correct thinking so as to free him
from individualityand with broad knowledge man would be ready to relate and
connect to the whole world, and 3) the attainment of the feeling of ecstacy (absence of
consciousness of selfs separation from God). This ecstacy is the final result of right
conduct, correct thinking, and the proper disposition of the affections.


Dionyius of Areopagite was a disciple of Apostle Paul.

He systematically connected Neoplatonic philosophy to Chriastinity.

He was an influential philosopher throughout middle ages.

The name Pseudo-Dionysius came up when scholars strongly perceived that Dionydius
adopted a pseudonym when he wrote his thoughts.


Dionysius discussed about God but he believed that God placed a virtual ladder or
hierarchy of beings between Him and the human beings which he called heavenly spirits.
In this heavily spirits, God at the top.

God is the goal of all created things. But he argued that there are two ways in reaching
and realizing God: 1) positive way , and 2) negative way. In number one, we think of all
positive attributes to God, so humans would reach God since they have also the positive
attributes that God has such as goodness, light, unity, etc. While in number two, we

40 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

remove all the attributes of finite creatures up to the point of denying God. In this way,
human would find out that God is not an object and no one would know Him.

He did not believe that evil is positive because evil acts existed due to the absence of
positive attributes.

Chapter 6

Muslim philosophers

Avicenna is the Latin version of the name Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina.

Born in Persia in 980 A.D.

He died in 1037 A.D.

He studied in geometry, logic, jurisprudence, Koran, physics, theology and medicine.

At the age of 16, he became a practicing physician.


Avicennas philosophies were adoption of Aristotles philosophies but sometimes

coupled with Neoplatonic view.

He believed that whatever begins to exist must have a cause. And the things that
have cause are called possible beings. And this possible being was a product of a
prior being. This prior being has also a basis of existence. This prior being has
likewise a cause for its existence, which Avicenna called as the First Cause.

To him, this First Cause was not simply possible but necessary.

This knowledge of causes proves that all things have connection or relationship to
each other wherein the beginning was God. This knowledge is better than Thales,
Anaximanders and Anaximenes ideas due to the presence of God as the beginning
of all things. Remember Thales believed that everything is connected to each other
and they came from one stuff, which was moist or water. Anaximander had the same
knowledge about the connection of things but asserted that there is no exact or

41 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

definite start of all things. And for Anaximenes also agreed that all things are
connected to each other but ascertain that air was the beginning of all things.

He pointed out that God being the First Cause was not only possible but
necessary since He has its existence in itself rather than a product of a cause.

He further stated that God was placed at the apex of Being where there was no
beginning. But God was always creating, so in effect He was expressing His full Being.

With knowledge, Avecinna concluded that creation was both necessary and
eternal. This idea of necessity is similar to Plotinus as he said that all things came
from God out of necessity. But his difference from Plotinus was that the latter
offered the theory of emanation to stress the necessity theory, while Avecinna did
not do so.

He also presented knowledge in psychology, of which the main point was the theory
of Intelligence. This theory of Intelligence is that God created a single effect, which
Avecinna called Intelligence. This Intelligence created nine different Intelligences in
descending order. Each Intelligence created one under it and the soul of the
successive sphere.

The ninth Intelligence created the tenth and the final Intelligence, which Avecinna
called Agent Intellect.

The Agent Intelligence was the creator of the four elements of the world and as well
as the individual souls or minds of the peopleand created even the radiates
forms in the said minds. With this view, the people became the Possible Intellect
(the lowest level of angelic beings).

To Avecinna, creatures are composed of two things: existence and essence. Existence
does not mean the essence itself since the two are different things. This means that
the essence of man is not contained on him upon his creation. The essence of man is
to know for him to accumulate knowledge. In other words, man has no knowledge
when he was born. He needs to acquire that to realize essence.

Avecinna said there are two elements of knowledge: 1) senses to perceive the
external appearance of the objects and to retain the images of the objects in the
memory of man and 2) the ability to discover the essence of things through the
power of abstraction.

42 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

But Avecinna emphasized that this power of abstraction is being performed by the
Agent Intellect and not by man. The Agent Intellect illuminates the minds of the
people in order for them to knowfor them to accumulate essence. This means
that if the Agent Intellect refuse to illuminate the mind of some or a particular
person, then these persons would have no essence. In effect, they are existing
without value.


He was born in Cordova, Spain in 1126.

He was 72 years old when he died in Morocco in 1198.

He studied philosophy, mathematics, jurisprudence, medicine and theology in Spain.

He became a judge, a physician, and most importantly a writer.

Because of his writings, Averroes was popularly called The Commentator during
Middle Ages.


Like Avicenna, Averroes had idolized Aristotle. He even concluded that Aristotle was
a model of human perfection.

But unlike Avicenna, he did not adopted Neoplatonic philosophy.

Despite being an Aristotlean like Avicenna, Averroes rejected the latter ideas like the
idea of creation, the difference between the existence and essence, Intelligence, the
idea of immortality.

To him, creation is under the turf of religion and not in philosophy.

There is no substantial distinction in existence and essence, only a logical distinction

for the purpose of analysis.

43 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Averroes said the people have no separate possible intellect but it is already found in
the single Agent Intellect.

Even immortality was not true for Averroes.

He emphasized that the form of a person is the soul, which is a material one and not
spiritual form. Thus, the material souls mortality is the same with the bodys
mortality so that if man dies both the body and the soul will also die.

Averroes had made many comments on the difference between philosophy and
theology stressing their wide distinctions. Because of this, his critics viewed that he
propagated a theory, which they called doctrine of double truth.The latter means
two incompatible assertions that may be true at the same time.

Averroes stressed that philosophy and theology are different worlds, so they have
different functions as they serve two different people they respectively serve.

There are three groups of people, said Averroes. They are: 1) majority of the people;
2) theologians; and, 3) philosophers (minority).

The first group live in imagination instead of reason. But they were virtuous because
they followed out of fear what the preachers tell them.

The theologians are the same with the people. The edge of the former to the latter is
that they inject knowledge to justify the supposed correctness of their ideas but
resulted to failure as they utilized wrong assumptions.

The philosophers knew the truth and they appreciate the truth on the ideas of the
religious people and rational theologians. However they dont resort to using religion
through indirect perspective because for them it is wrong.

Chapter 7

Discussion about did not start from Augustine. Actually, even Heraclitus, a
philosopher at the time Jesus Christ was not born yet, had already brought up the
concept of God when he identified fire as God. A neoplatonist philosopher in the
name of Plotinus talked about God where all the things on earth emanated.

44 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

However, in this chapter we presented philosophers who tackled God from the
point of view of a Christianmeaning, believer of Jesus Christ. These
philosophers were Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.


Born in 354 A.D. in the city of Tagaste, Numidia, Africa.

He was the first among the philosopher during his time who seriously mentioned,
recognized, discussed, defended and propagated the correctness of God and His son
Jesus Christ.

At the age of 16, he studied rhetoric at Carthage, a port city of immoral activities.

He had a live-in partner for a decade where they had a son.

From Tagaste, he went to Milan to become a professor of rhetoric.

While at Milan, he had another live-in partner but they no child.

Being a professor, Augustine encountered the philosophies of Plotinus by reading his

Enneads. At the same period, he learned more about Christianity through a certain
Bishop Ambrose. As a result, he concluded that Neoplatonism and Christianity were
one. However, he further studied Christianity.

By 386 A.D., he became a true believer of Christianity. Meaning, he appreciated

Christianity better than before where he joined a group called Manichaeans in his
hometown. The Manichaeans believed that there were two basic principles in the
universe: 1) the principle of light or goodness, and the 2) principle of darkness or evil.
These two were eternal but opposed to each other.

In 391 A.D., Augustine was able to read St. Pauls letter to the Romans which completely
convinced him about God as the source of true knowledge. Eventually in the same year,
he was ordained as a priest. Afterwhich, he went to Hippo.

By 396 A.D., he became Hippos bishop until his death.

He died at the age of 75 in 430 A.D. in Hippo.

45 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy


Augustine strongly argued that the deep knowledge that human beings knew came
from God. This deep knowledge is the true knowledge, he said.

o Man can find this true knowledge through the process of illumination, which
means God illuminates knowledge on mans mind.

On top of that, Augustine also recognized the knowledge produced by sense perception
like what man sees or what man tastes is also a knowledge, but it has a low level of

He did not completely abandoned skepticism as he pointed out that the act of doubting
or questioning the correctness of an idea is a kind of certainty. In effect, man will only
know if the idea is correct or wrong once God gives light on mans mind.

Augustine was convinced that faith and reason is very much connected to each other.
This means that man cannot understand something if you dont believe it. He arrived
with this point after he was captured by prophet Isaiahs declaration Unless you
believe, you will not understand in the Old Testament. But it should be known that the
context of Isaiahs statement was: if man wanted to know the explanation of human
existence that man was created by God is that he must have faith in God for him to
really comprehend the correctness of the idea that man was created by God despite the
fact there is no physical evidence about this.

He believed that the state is an instrument to control sinful human beings. State existed
since humans have sins. If humans have no sins, there is no need to have a state. With
state, man would be prevented from further committing crimes like destroying or
inflicting harm on fellow human beings.

He pointed out that the true purpose of all human actions is happiness. This happiness
must be, in essence, loving union with God to ensure it is true. In effect, all human
actions must be due to mans love with God, therefore, they contain love. This became
the standard of virtue.

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 in the castle of his father in Roccasecea, near Naples.

46 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

At 5, he sent to Benedictine abbey of Monte Casino.

He studied at the University of Naples.

In 1244 (Aquinas was 29 years-old), he declared that he would be joining the Dominican
Order as a priest. This decision was a complete defiance of his parents expectation on
him to become a monk in the Benedictine Order, a established religious order compared
to Dominican at that time.

As a Dominican friar, he studied at Cologne under Albert the Great.

Under Albert, Aquinas was exposed to Aristotles ideas.

He also studied mastership in theology in Paris beginning 1252.

When he finished the mastership in theology in 1256, Aquinas became the chair of
Theology at the University of Paris. His principal duty as chair was to conduct lectures
about the bible.

In 1259, Aquinas served for 6 years at the papal court in Italy. Thus, he taught in Rome,
Onvieto, and Viterbo. He also became adviser and consultant to the popes, especially to
Pope Urban IV.

Aquinas wrote a lot of essays, but his Summa contra Gentiles and the Summa
Theologica were the most influential works on the Roman Catholicism.

In 1265, he left the papal court upon the death of Pope Urban IV and he put up a
Dominican house of Studies in Rome. At the same time, he taught theology at one of the
citys churches.

By 19th and 20th centuries, Aquinas was recognized as the official philosopher of

In 1268, he returned back to France where he assumed the Dominican chair in Theology
at the University of Paris.

In 1272, he left France in order to establish a Dominican house of Theology in Naples.

In December 6,1273, Aquinas saw a vision while saying a mass which he viewed as a sign
for him to end his scholarly activity. So, he stopped writing essays related to Catholism.

47 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He died at the age of 49 in March 1274 at the monastery of Fossanova in Italy. He was
going to attend a general council of the Roman Catholic church.

Pope John XXII declared Aquinas a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1323.


Thomas Aquinas philosophy was an integration of Aristotelian philosophies (but not all)
into Christianity, which many philosophers called philosophy and theology or reason and

On reason, faith and God

He firmly believed that reason is complimentary to faith. In fact, reason is an instrument

to achieve faith or belief on God.

Philosophy or reason is a search for truth, that is a search of God since God is the truth.

Most of Aquinas essays focused in proving the existence of God. In this light, he offered
five proofs: 1) motion, 2) efficient cause, 3) necessary being, 4) maximum of any genus,
5) order

o It is clear and known to us that there is motion. Meaning, an object has the
potentiality to move. When the object is moving, it is in the actuality of moving.
However, an object will not move if no other object will move it or no one moves
it. Therefore, an object will move if other object moves it or a person moves it.
Now, if an object moves without another object that moves it, nor a person who
does it, there must be a mover who made the object moving. And that mover as
everyone understands to be God, stressed Aquinas. This mover is the First
Mover, who has no potentiality but with actuality, the first in actuality.

o We know for a fact that in every result or outcome, there must be a cause that
led to that result. This result is the efficient cause or the prior cause. This is the
instrument in producing a result. For example, the efficient cause of statue is the
sculptor. The poet is the efficient cause of the poem. But Aquinas pointed out
that there must be a first efficient cause where everyone gives the name of

o There are things that exist due to something that already existing. With this,
Aquinas stressed that there is some being that exist that does not need other

48 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

things for that being to exist since his existence is necessary. Let us call it
necessary being which we talk of God.

o The maximum of any genus is the cause of everything. So, what is the maximum
genus in the being? The answer is: God.

o There is order in the world or human body so that their parts are arranged
properly despite of the absence of intelligence on them. With this, Aquinas
concluded that there must be an intelligent being that ensures that the parts
on things without intelligence are properly arranged. This intelligent being is
God, according to Aquinas.

Aquinas came up with human beings vocabulary in relation to God which are as

o Univocal God and human beings are exactly the same things. So, when we use
the word wise on God, its meaning is the same when we use it on human
o Equivocal God and human beings are totally different to each other. So, when
we use the word wise to God, it is completely different when it is used to
human beings.

o Analogical God is neither totally alike, nor completely different to human

beings. So when we use the word wise it does not exactly the same sense, nor
totally different ways. Analogical is in the midway between univocal and

Aquinas argued that God created the world and He created it eternally.

He believed that God created everything out of nothing (ex nihilo).

To him, evil is a product of the absence of or privation.

Human beings can have happiness if they do good, but the complete happiness will
only be attained if they found God since God is the supreme good.

Human beings moral constitution is composed of sensuality, appetites, the will and
reason, but they are ingredients of free acts. This free act is an indicator of an act as a
human being. However, the free act should lead to attaining the supreme good, thus,
humans will find the truth. Doing good is about making the right choices which will be
achieved by humans if their appetites (pleasurable and good: concupiscent appetite;

49 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

harmful, painful or bad: irascible appetite) are controlled by will (means agency to
achieve goodness) under the direction of reason (referring to intellect).

On law, state and king

Aquinas came up with four kinds of law:

o Eternal law a law based on Divine reason that is not limited to a particular
time. For example, love your fellow human being or love and respect God.

o Natural law is a part of the eternal law that is specifically concerned on

people. It is composed of broad general principles that show Gods objectives to
human beings such as preservation of life, propagation and education of the
children, pursuit of truth, attainment of peace and order in a society.

o Human law a law that came from general framework of natural law. To be
exact, they are the laws made by human beings.

o Divine law a law given or issued by God through revelation and a gift of Gods
grace. It is found in the scriptures.

Aquinas strongly believed that the state is an institution that is a natural product of a
society of which the basis of existence is to provide the material needs of the people.
Thus, the state operates within its world. It should function for the common good of
the people. He said Manhas a natural knowledge of the things which are essential
for his life only in a general fashion, inasmuch as he has power of attaining knowledge
of the particular things necessary for human life by reasoning from universal
principles. But it is not possible for one man to arrive at a knowledge of all things by
his own individual reason. It is, therefore, necessary for man to live in a group so that
each one may assist his fellows, and different men may be occupied in seeking by
their reason to make different discoveries, one, for example, in medicine, one in this
and another in that.

o However, Aquinas stressed that the state should subordinate to the church. This
does not mean that the church appears to be a superstate. The point of
Aquinas here is that the state should operate that will lead to the attainment of
human beings realization of truth on themselves. That is unity with God.
Therefore the state should not do anything against the spiritual life of human

50 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He believed that the leader who is the king should function and operate within his
turf, but is ordered and directed by those who were assigned by God to take care of
human beings spiritual perfection.

While Aquinas stressed the guidance of church people over state people, he did not
set aside the occurrence of unjust and perverted government such as tyrannical,
oligarchical and democratic (Aquinas recognized and accepted Aristotles views on the
types of state). He noted that preventive measures should be employed to stop the
occurrence of unjust and perverted government. Among those suggested by Aquinas
were careful selection of the leader, limited powers of the leader as defined in the
constitution, participation of various classes in the political affairs as mandated by the
constitution, and if in case the leader becomes a tyrant, the latter may be deposed
through legal means or appeal to higher authority.

On human nature and knowledge

Human nature is physical substance, which means unity of body and soul. The soul is
dependent upon the body and the latter is dependent on the former. The body would
have no form without the soul. On the other hand, the soul would not get the needed
organs of sense in order to gain knowledge if the body is absent.

Aquinas believed that knowledge is a product of human minds after it encountered

with the concrete objects.

The universals exist if 1) outside of things on the condition that it is the divine
concepts in Gods mind, 2) in things if the concrete individual essence in all members
of a species, and 3) in the mind following the abstraction of the universal concept
from the individual.

Chapter 8

17th Century philosophers

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon is a British philosopher who was born in 1561.

51 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He served in the British Parliament for 36 years; he became a member of the House of
Commons in 1584.

His father Sir Nicolas Bacon was at one time Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
At 12, he studied at Cambridge University.

At 16, he started studying law at Grays Inn, eventually he became a giant in the legal

He was appointed in various positions such as member of the House of Commons,

member of the House of Lords, solicitor-general, Lord Keeper, and Lord Chancellor.

In 1621, Bacon left government service in order to focus on his projects about
philosophy and scientific method.

He died in 1626 at the time he was conducting the experiment on preservative powers
of snow.


Francis Bacon severely criticized past philosophers, thinkers and even scientists for
committing distempers of learning. Oxford American Dictionary defined distemper as
a disease of dogs and certain animals, with coughing and weakness. Therefore, Bacon
in effect stressed that the previous philosophers, thinkers and scientists were like sick
and weak dogs or certain animals. The kinds of distemper learning are as follows:

o Fantastical learning focus on words; emphasis on texts, languages and style

rather than matter.

o Contentious learning contented with fixed thoughts or ideas as basis of

argumentation or discussion.

o Delicate learning previous or classical ideas as enough knowledge

Bacon argued that human minds were polluted by what he called Idols (Tribe, Cave,
market Place, and Theatre).

o Tribe more on opinions based on the idea that man is the measure of things.

52 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o Cave untrained mind produces limited knowledge that produced the kind of
books, ideas and thinkers the readers or learners get.
o Market Place words being used by the people where produced so that the
ordinary people could easily understand them.

o Theatre long philosophical treatises appeared like shows of systematic dogmas.

Bacon argued that the scientific method of induction was a weak logic.

He believed on the power of reason. This power means that human beings can gain
knowledge through one, true and universal method. The purpose of these components
of power is to discipline human mind.

o In the method he proposing was that the scientist or philosopher for that matter
should be passive participant of the investigation/study/research in order to
prevent him from influencing or dictating the result of such activity. The
intervention of the thinker, researcher or scientist in the conduct of the study
will lead to distortion of the gathered information, dictation or imposition of the
researchers personal view.

o To Bacon, let the subject of the study or research speak for itself. The result or
findings, in effect, are the knowledge already.

o The Bacon method is actually an inductive method but Bacon claimed that his
was the true inductive wherein the goal is to find out the nature or form.

Bacon regarded nature as a matter in motion. It consisted efficient cause and

material cause. Efficient cause refers to motion that produces output, while the
material cause is the ingredients came from the matter which composed of the

o He clarified that matter is neutral since it has no design, nor a purpose.

o Matter has a final cause which Bacon defined as a general law that describes
individual acts.

o With that definition and description, Bacon pointed out that nature as a matter
has existed only to be used by human beings for their own necessity. This
resulted to treat the maximization of the production of different products as
the highest form of excellence than the maximization of reason.

53 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Science, therefore, became the instrument to exploit nature.

Human beings, therefore, became purpose-givers to a purposeless


In his novel entitled New Atlantis, Bacon offered his political philosophy which was a
no-conflict society. It has a governmental unit called House of Solomon composed of
more than 50 scientists and apprentices. They are the intellectual and spiritual leaders
of a community called Bensalem. The role of the leaders is to preserve harmony
among the citizens. The leaders are always one in their decision and voice.

Thomas Hobbes


Thomas Hobbes was English philosopher who was born on April 5,1588 at Westport.

He studied at Magdalen Hall in Oxford, but dissatisfied with Aristotelian logic so he left
Oxford in 1608.

As soon as he left Oxford, Hobbes became a tutor of the Earl of Devonshine, William

In 1620s, he became a secretary of Francis Bacon.

He also became a tutor of the prince of Wales in 1630s

Hobbes died on December 4,1679 at Hardwick. He was 91.


Geometry as an idea

54 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

For Thomas Hobbes, geometry is central and important idea in studying and analyzing

o Hobbes adopted the geometrical type of study or learning because it is free

from dispute, contradiction and too much opposition of two or several
different ideas. Geometrical study is centered on comparing figures and
motions, unlike other types of study.

o The philosopher before him, have not used geometry as guide to direct their
studies, thus they produced wrong ideas according to Hobbes.

o Hobbes asserted that philosophers and even political scientists should practice
geometrical type of learning. It is reductionist form of study since it focuses on
particulars. From these particularities, they will ascertain the laws that operate
on the subject matter being studied. The findings will be applied to universal
framework of the subject matter in relation to what have been discovered in
the study of specifics.

Meaning of motion

Hobbes believed that there are three types of bodies which are as follows: 1)
Physical bodies, 2) Human body, and 3) Body politic

o Motion is the principal characteristics of the three bodies. This motion is not
simply about locomotion, but it about change.

o There are two kinds of motion:

Vital motion this is about a process that starts from birth up to

death. It includes pulse, nutrition, excretion, course of the blood, and
breathing. This motion has no component of imagination.

Voluntary motion examples like going, speaking, deliberate

movements of our limbs and movements in our minds would not
happen if nothing makes them moved. And what makes them
moving was through imagination. Hobbes pointed out that
imagination is the first internal beginning of all voluntary motion.

About this motion, Hobbes excluded the role of God since he did not find any piece of
evidence showing that God has indeed existed. He said he would believe in God if he
was made of body in motion.

55 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He insisted that any kind of minds movement (perception, imagination, memorization,
thinking, etc.) are all voluntary motions. This happens when man, say, saw an object
like green ball. Seeing the green ball is called as phantasm by Hobbes. It means that
phantasm is the image of the object that registered on the mind.

o Humans can see different phantasms depending on what phantasm will register
on the mind. In the case of our example, green ball, they are the green, which is
quality, and the ball, which is the object itself.

o When the image of the object retained on the mind, it is called imagination or
memorization (these two are one in so far as Hobbes was concerned).

o As the image stays long, it will undergo the process of decaying.

o And once the mind thinks about the image of the object, that is a kind of

o Afterwards, words (signs or names) will be produced. These words are

representation of the object or experience encountered by man, for that
matter. This is the difference of man from animal. Man and animal can both
have sensation and memory, but the animal cannot produce words, unlike

Geometry applied in society, public governance and social contract

Hobbes geometry theory was extended even to the society or public governance
where he claimed to have found a solution to the political or governmental problems
of a society. Using geometrical type of study, he discovered a society without political
disputes, opposition, resistance, crisis, and more so civil war. This society is ruled by
absolute sovereign (either of one or group of persons) where all the citizens and the
churches will submit their right to oppose and right to resist against those who are in
the seat of power.

o He claimed that the political instability, crisis and civil war were a result of
varied wrong ideas or opinions made public by the leaders, churches and
universities. These wrong ideas were established from the ambition and envy
of the few leaders.

56 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o The philosophy did not contribute to the peace and order and stability of a

o Churches taught doctrines that were theologically unfounded and politically


Hobbes argued that in a society, all citizens must be willing to be governed by a

sovereign leader/s. It means that all citizens give consent or permission to the
leader/s that they will rule or govern them. This is understood as surrender of rights to
all claims and rights to oppose and resist other citizens who did the same and the
leader/s whom was permitted or allowed to rule all the citizenry. This is the social

o Hobbes, however, clarified that if only one or few who has surrendered his
rights, then there would be no unity, no harmony, no stability and no peace.
This will result to political instability, crisis, or possibly war.

o If only one or few who surrendered his rights, then there would be no leader
who has a sovereign will to rule.

Sovereign is indeed important and key to Hobbes political order because it is

o The holder of the seat of power.

o The foundation of the absolute powers of the leader.

o The fundamental basis of the existence of society.

The leader must have an absolute sovereign will to ensure and maintain peace, order
and stability of a society and to settle disputes or differences.

The leader must have coercive powers to ensure and maintain the obedience and
loyalty of the citizens to the sovereign will.

However, the issues of who will be the leader? or what are the qualities of the
leader who will carry out the sovereign will? are not important to Thomas Hobbes
since to him the important matter is the existence of the seat of power that has a
sovereign will to rule a society. Besides, Hobbes noted that the qualities or
qualifications such as justice, good and fair are not consistent with the realities but
merely words.

57 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

o The sovereign leader could either be one or several individuals depending on
the condition and custom of a particular society.

o While Hobbes prefer monarchy to practice sovereign will, still he did not limit
it on monarchy.

John Locke


A leading empiricist, was born in 1632 at Wrington, Somerset.

He died in 1704. He was 72 years old.

He lived and grew up in a Puritan orientation of family.

Studied classical ideas at the Westminster School.

He studied bachelors and masters degrees at the Oxford University.

He became a physician after obtaining a license to practice medical profession in 1674. Being
a doctor, Locke became a personal physician (and confidential advisor of) Earl of Shaftesbury,
a politician in London.

But Locke became famous as a philosopher. In fact, his idea on governance was one of the
theoretical foundations of the US Constitution.


Locke was an empiricist precisely because he strongly believed that the knowledge a man
accumulates came from his experience (all the objects, activities, and similar things that a
man was involved with in the past or even in the present situation). [Empiricist means a
man, person, or philosopher or even a researcher who firmly believe that a knowledge or
idea is based on what he has experienced, witnessed or engaged with.]

58 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Locke was most popular in the concept of Tabular rasa, which asserts the idea that a child
is born with a blank mind. Meaning, a child has no any idea at all. His ideas would come on
him through experience as he grows up.

Locke called knowledge as ideas since they were products of experience.

In coming up with empiricist view, Locke perceived that he was able to debunk the
knowledge of the rationalists philosophers about innate ideas. [Innate ideas is defined as
initial ideas that were already established on the mind of the human being before he
experience or see an actual object. These ideas were received by the human beings souls
while they were still in the womb of their mothers.]

Locke said the innate idea is not only wrong but a dangerous tool of analysis especially if it is
used in a wrong way.

He claimed that there are two kinds of ideas: 1) simple ideas and 2) complex ideas.

Simple ideas are products of using senses, on one hand, and of reflection, on the other

Complex ideas are product of combination of simples ideas, thus, complex ideas could be
called a compound of simple ideas.

When man saw a red apple, then he has already a simple idea, which is an apple that is red.
When he tastes it, then a man would have another simple idea , which is an apple is sweet.
Then came up another idea about the same apple which is big. The fourth is: the skin of the
apple is smooth. So, a total of four ideas. All these four ideas are simple ideas since they
were formed on the mind of a man through the use of his senses. Dont forget that Locke
declared to the whole world long time ago that sensation is a great source of most of the
ideas that we have.

Another source of idea is reflection, which can be done through perception, thinking
doubting, believing, reasoning, knowing, willing, etc., but within the framework of what man
have experienced or is experiencing. For example, a man described the apple as red because
he saw that the said fruit is red. Then he tasted the same apple and said that it was not so
sweet. Because of these ideas that he gained through senses, the said man has perceived
that the red apple is not so sweet. This would become his basis of his idea that the red apple
is not so sweet.

Let us go further. The same person was able to taste a green apple two months ago where
he concluded that the said apple is so sweet. Therefore he got an idea that a green apple is
sweet. When compare together, this man could conduct a reflection activity.

59 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

How about the complex idea? Let us have the idea about the red apple, the idea on the
green, another on the yellow apple, and so on. And let us combine various forms of
reflection activities to come up with complex idea/s about apple.

In complex ideas, the latter works in the mind in this manner: 1) joins ideas ; 2) put the ideas
together but holds them separate; 3) abstracts.

John Locke further studied his ideas, where he discovered the concept of quality.

Quality, according to him, is the power (in an object) to produce any idea in our mind. This
simply means that an object or even an activity have qualities that have power to put ideas
on the human beings minds. Example, an apple has qualities that have the power to transmit
to the mind of a person, so the latter could come up with an idea about the apple.

There are two kinds of qualities: 1) primary and 2) secondary.

Primary is defined as the qualities of an objects that are contained in the objects, so that
what ever we do, wherever we go, that quality will remain the same (example: the ball that
is being used in the game basketball is round therefore, round is a primary quality of the
ball in the game basketball).

Secondary quality, on the other hand, is defined as qualities that are not contained in the
object (example: the ball in the game basketball is big the latter is a secondary quality
because it is not always contained in the said ball. There are balls being used in basketball
that are small, which are appropriate to small people such as children).

Locke further offered the concept of substance found in an object, which to him, is about
subsist. Meaning, the foundation of a quality. But he failed to explain this substance in a
precise manner. He embraced the concept of common sense in order to prove the
correctness of his substance as subsist (for example: a stone is hard because it has a
substance that is hard).

Locke asserted that there are three kinds of perception: 1) intuitive ; 2) demonstrative ;
3)sensitive, which leads man to three kinds of knowledge.

Intuitive means immediate, there is no doubt, the clearest and most certain that human
frailty is capable of.

Demonstrative knowledge is defined as the knowledge that is a product of minds discovery

of knowledge via existing reality/situation. There is certainty with this idea like the intuitive

60 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Sensitive is actually not a knowledge if we verify it in the definition of knowledge. But still
Locke include the said concept simply because it passes under the name knowledge.
Anyway, it means knowledge that was born out of what man has sensed.

Locke also offered a political philosophy when he touched the topic of morality or ethics,
which he said, as conformity or agreement to the existing law.

Locke asserted that there are three types of law: 1) law of opinion ; 2) civil law ; 3) divine

Law of opinion pertains to the judgment (collective or dominant) of the people in the
community on the kind of behavior that will lead them to happiness.

Civil law is about the laws that were made by the courts (since during Lockes time the court
was the one that composes the law, but today as in the case of the Philippines, it is the
Congress composed of Senators and Representatives who makes the law the court is the
interpreter even in the US)

Divine law is the true rule of human behavior, which was given by God.

State of Nature, for Locke, was a principle of unity and commonness as he pointed out that
men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth with
authority to judge between them is properly the state of nature. This principle leads to
moral law. This is the basis of US governance which is stipulated in its Constitution. He, in
effect, attacked Hobbes state of nature: a war of all against all.

Lockes idea on private property was that man could have owned his own land after he
worked hard on it. But the context of this private ownership is the establishment of legal
order. Meaning, there must be laws that rules on private ownership in accordance with the
civil law.

Locke believed the formation of a civil government, which for him is an instrument of the
preservation of [peoples] property. Property refers to the lives, liberty and estates.

Sovereignty for Locke is a supreme power that must be entrusted to the legislature (law
making body). The holding of supreme power by the legislature was only in trust.

David Hume


61 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Born in Edinburgh in 1711; he died in the same place in 1776.

He grew in a Scottish home.

He studied at the University of Edinburg but did not graduate, but he loved wisdom so much,
so he made a rigorous self study.

He became secretary to the British ambassador in 1763.

He became under-secretary of the state from 1767 to 1769.

Aside from those short-held jobs, Hume was a historian, librarian and authors of several


Hume was a skeptic because he failed to come up with a certain answer about the problem
of disagreements and speculations of various ideas.

He believed that the human beings mind was really confined within very narrow limits as
given by the senses and experience.

The materials produced by the senses and experience were called by Hume as perceptions.

There are two kinds of perceptions: 1) impressions and 2) ideas, which are the total content
of mind, but these two have no substantial difference because their difference is about the
degree of their vividness.

Impression is what man hear, see, feel, love, hate, desire, or will. They are lively and clear.

Ideas are copy of impression because the content of the impression is the idea itself. So, it is
not lively and clear compared to impression.

To Hume, ideas are associated to each other through its qualities, which are as follows: 1)
resemblance, 2) contiguity in time or place; and 3) cause and effect.

Resemblance refers to the original thing that transpired in the past, contiguity pertains to its
relation to others but within the framework of time and place, and the cause and effect are
about the basis or reason and its result or output.

On causality, Hume argued that it is not a quality of the object but rather a mental habit of
association after repeating two instances of A and B. This is because there is no impression
on causality or necessary connection, therefore there is no idea about causality or necessary

62 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Hume believed that mans ordinary experience offers that things outside us are actually
existing. But if we will strictly follow the conclusion that the ideas are products of
impressions, then philosophically speaking all we know is impressions. On the other hand,
the senses of human beings do not agree that the things exist independent from them.
However, Hume wishes to find out why human beings think there is an external world.

Constancy means continues arrangement of things, while coherence means close


For Hume, there is no such thing as self-identity, self is merely a collection of different

The mind is a kind of theatre where several perceptions successively make their

In so far as Hume was concerned, there was no substance. He did not discover any idea on
substance since he found out that there was no impression on the said topic.

He did not believe in God since he could not find any evidence about His existence. He
pointed out that the supposed idea on causality should not used as framework in proving
the existence of God like what others have done in the past. The universe, to him, is not
enough to prove that there is God.

Ethics is a very important subject matter to Hume, thus, he studied it thoroughly like what
Galileo and Newton did to natural science. Hume argued that moral judgments should not
be limited to reason. The feelings of man affected or impacted of the conduct that was done
by other person must also be considered before making moral judgment. For example, Juan
gave Juana a cheap chocolate. To judge what Juan did, one must not look at Juans act alone
but Juanas feeling on Juans act. In this case, the judgment on Juans act is correct.

Immanuel Kant


Immanuel Kants 80 years of existence in this world was very fruitful from 1724 to 1804.

He was from East Prussia, specifically in Konigsberg town.

63 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

He was raised by his parents through a modest means, correctness of religion, and teachings
and activities of a sect called Pietist.

He first studied at the Collegium Fredericianum.

He then proceeded to the University of Konigsberg were he learned the classics, physics and
philosophy. In the said university, the philosophy was taught in the philosophies Leibniz
(advocate of rationalism and metaphysics), which were developed by philosopher Christian
von Wolff (1679 1754).

After he graduated, Kant became a family tutor first for eight years.

In 1755, he returned back to the University of Konigsberg as a lecturer.

In 1770, he became the chair of Philosophy Department of the said university. A position
that was held for a long period of time by Kants former professor in philosophy Martin

Kant was an academician and lecturer and authors of several books.


Kant launched critical philosophy which he described as a critical inquiry into the faculty of
reason that was independent of experience. In this framework, Kant said that answers must
be discovered on the questions: What and how much can understanding and reason know,
apart from all experience?

It must be emphasized that Kants critical philosophy was not an act to put an end to
metaphysics but rather to strengthen it despite the fact that he accused Leibnizs rational
metaphysics as rotten dogmatism.

While he took a few idea of Humes empiricism, Kant did not follow the former up to the end
because for him Humes philosophy had no certain conclusion.

His priori knowledge means that man can produce knowledge without the benefit of
experience. He said that while it is true that knowledge would occur from experience, it is
also true that not all knowledge could arise from experience. In others words, Kant asserted
that man could have knowledge before he engaged himself in an experience (or activity for
that matter).

Kant believed that man can make a judgment and he defined the latter as an operation of
thought after connecting the subject and predicate.

64 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Subject is the topic, whereas the predicate is the qualifier of the subject.

There are two kinds of judgments, according to Kant, which he called analytic and
Analytic judgment refers to knowledge wherein the predicate is contained or present in the
subject. For example, the steel (subject) is hard (predicate). Wherever we go, the steel is
hard, thus, the latter is a predicate that is contained or always present in the subject steel.

Synthetic judgment is a knowledge wherein the predicate is not contained or not always
present in the subject. Let us use the steel as an example again. The steel (subject) is long
(predicate). Wherever we go, the steel is not always long, it could be short or even medium
size, therefore the predicate long is not contained or not always present in the
aforementioned subject, thus, this judgment is synthetic.

Further, analytic judgment is a priori knowledge since it can be presented even before an
experience occurs because the content of the judgment is based on the predicate that is
contained in the subject and not on the experience. The synthetic judgment, on the other
hand, is a posteriori since it can be offered after an experience is done or evidence is
presented because the content of the judgment is based on a predicate that is not contained
or always present in the subject.

Copernican (came from Copernicus who never stooped in conducting an experiment on

heavily bodies by coming up with another hypothesis following the failure of the previous
hypothesis) revolution was Kants change of hypothesis in looking for an answer to the
question of relationship of the priori knowledge and the experience after the previous
hypothesis had failed. His new hypothesis was: the object conforms to the operation of the
mind of man and not the human beings mind conforms to the experience or object.

In the said hypothesis, Kant asserted that the human mind is an active agent that does
something before the experience happens or before the object captures the mind.

He said that the mind of man has a structure that could do something in order to know an
object or experience.

The mind of human being actively organizes the peoples experiences to come up with
knowledge or idea, which means that the mind does not only accepts experience or object
but makes judgment/s on the experience or object.

Kant pointed that there are two sources of knowledge: 1) sensibility and 2) understanding.

In sensibility, objects or experience are brought to the mind. While in understanding, the
objects or experience brought to the mind are being thought, understand, etc. This

65 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

obviously means that the knowledge is a product of the cooperation of the
object/experience and the thinker.

To Kant, thoughts are divided in several categories that depend on its contents. They are as
follows: quantity (number), quality (standard which could positive or negative), relation
(cause and effect or subject and predicate) and modality (either possible or impossible).
These are results of doing a synthesis out of various experiences or objects. [Synthesis
means combination of different parts to form a whole. In this framework of Kant, synthesis is
a combination of various portions or elements of experience that formed a knowledge or
thought] after conducting an intuition through space and time. [Intuition means the power
of understanding or thinking].
It is important to have a unity of different operations of the mind or unity of the self so that
there is knowledge on experience, said Kant. And this unity of experience must lead to the
unity of the self, which was a result of the unity of the different operations of the mind.

He called the self as transcendental unity of apperception, which means that human
beings do not have a direct experience about their selves despite such unity or self is a result
of the human beings actual experience. Therefore, the self is a priori, meaning a necessary
qualifier before human beings could have a knowledge of the experience.

While Kant believed that the human mind could think without the benefit of experience or
object, he likewise is aware that human knowledge is limited in scope forever due to two
reasons: 1) knowledge is limited to the world experience, which is itself limited also and 2)
knowledge is limited the way the human beings minds organize and perceive the
data/information produced by experience or objects.

These limitations were created by the universe. And that is understandable because as Kant
said this universe is not yet the ultimate reality, that is there is a reality beyond the universe.

Kant called the universe as the phenomenal reality, while the other reality is the noumenal
reality, which is purely intelligible, meaning nonsensual reality.

Kant offered three regulative ideas: 1) ideas of the self; 2) ideas of the cosmos; 3) ideas of
God. He called these as transcendental.

The three abovecited ideas were products of pure reason alone since they were not
produced by experience, but they were influenced by experience in the context that the
human beings thought of those ideas in their attempt to attain a coherent synthesis of all
the experience they have encountered in life.

The regulative ideas are not ideas if we will base them in Kants definition of ideas. Rather
the three are called regulative ideas because their only function and purpose is to guide the
holders of real ideas in dealing with the advocates of metaphysics [referring to rational

66 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

metaphysics of Leibniz and the likes] in order to prevent the aforementioned holders from
committing mistakes.

The efforts of human beings to discuss the ideas of self, of the cosmos, and of God on the
belief (context) that they were objects of experience would lead to what Kant called
antinomies. Antimonies mean the inability or failure of the mind to do the thinking about
the ideas of self, cosmos and God. The failure must be the expected output since the three
are not ideas, so why think of them?

There are four antimonies when the world would be discussed beyond experience. They are
as follows:

o The world is limited in time and space, or it is unlimited;

o Every composite substance in the world is made up of simple parts, or no composite

thing in the world is made up of simple parts since there nowhere exists in the world
anything simple;

o Besides causality in accordance with the laws of nature there is also another
causality, that of freedom, or there is no freedom since everything in the world takes
place solely in accordance with the laws of nature;

o There exists an absolutely necessary being as part of the world or as its cause, or an
absolutely necessary being nowhere exists.

Kant noted that the said antimonies were results of disagreements created by dogmatic
metaphysics [knowledge or ideas that have no valid material basis].

He said the antimonies were created due to the existence of nonsensemeaning, an act
to describe a reality without the benefit of the sense experience.

Despite of its weaknesses, Kant still recognized the importance of antinomies because 1) it
gave additional basis on the argument that the world of space and time pertain to
phenomenal view only; and, 2) it only showed that the world freedom is a coherent idea.

On the issue of God, Kant appeared to be a skeptic because he had no certain position about
Gods existence. He said that its hard to prove the existence of God since there were no
proofs to demonstrate His existence, neither there were proofs to His non-existence. At the
same time, pure reason alone was not appropriate to prove the existence, nor the non-
existence of God.

Kant had a knowledge about practical reason, which refers to the theoretical explanation of
moral behavior.

67 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The basis of moral knowledge to Kant is the priori judgments like the scientific knowledge.
In other words, moral knowledge is in accordance with the consciousness of man to act
Morality and rationality to Kant is interconnected to each other because if we are talking of
rationality, we are referring to rational human being who is thinking of doing goods things,
which he thought that good things to all, so that there would be a philosophy on morality.

Good is defined as good will, which means that man does good because his act alone, his
intention or purpose are good. In addition to that, man does the good act out of his will or
determination to do the good act without considering or thinking a reward or recognition of
the good deed. This good will is Kants foundation of morality.

To further strengthen his concept of morality, Kant came up with the idea of categorical
imperative, which is: Act only that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it
should become a universal law. It is categorical since it is applicable to all human beings,
thus, it was ascertain as a universal law. It is imperative since human beings are ought to
act in accordance with the universal law.

Kant viewed everything in nature works according to laws including human beings since
they have the faculty of acting according to the conception of laws.

Obviously, Kants first point of categorical imperative is broad. But, it should be known that
his purpose on this was to offer a universally accepted guideline on how human beings
would act morally.

His second point on categorical imperative was that man must ensure that he is being
treated as a person since he has a rationality that makes human. Therefore, he must allow
anyone to use him as a means for wrong purpose. In line with this, Kant stressed that a man
must possess absolute worth (refers to value) because this is his basis of the supreme
principle of his morality. He wrote: Rational nature exists as an end in itself. All men
everywhere want to be considered persons instead of things for the same reason that I do,
and this affirmation of the absolute worth of the individual leads to a second formulation of
the categorical imperative which says: So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own
person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as a means only.

The third point in the categorical imperative was that man should always so act that the will
could regard itself at the same time as making the universal law through its own maxim. In
this point, Kant had emphasized that the will of man is autonomous, free and independent
from other consideration. In other words, this will is mans own will alone.

However, Kant admitted that the freedom of will could not be proven like the existence of
God. So, he presented several postulates of morality.

68 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

The first is freedom must be assumed. Meaning, man should assumed that he has freedom
to do his moral duties.
The second postulate is the assumption about the immortality of the soul which refers to the
attainment of happiness coupled with the act of doing the highest good. In this case, the
virtue and happiness joins together.

If happiness means the state of a rational being in the world with whom in the totality of
his experience everything goes according to his wish and will, then Kant said that man is
compelled to postulate the existence of God since this will serve as grounds for the
connection of virtue and happiness. This is necessary because man is not the author of the
world nor he has the capability of ordering the world to connect virtue and happiness.

Aside from that, Kant added that man must also postulate the existence of a cause of the
whole of nature which is distinct from nature and which contains the ground of this
connection, namely, of the exact harmony of happiness with morality, thus, it was
necessary to assume that there was God, Kant continued.

When he tackled the issue of aesthetics, Kant noted that there are no reasons or principles
that states the exact meaning of beautiful. To Kant, beautiful is a concept that pleases
universally. So, even if different people have different definition of beautiful, it could be
assumed that all of them think that a beautiful thing pleases the people.

The concept of beautiful is an independent judgment that satisfies man. Meaning, it came to
the mind without using an object that has special interest or consideration of anything for
that matter. He noted that the judgment in an object should not be biased by prejudice of in
favor or not to the object being judged. In short, an aesthetic judgment to an object must be
pure, Kant asserted. With this framework, Kant defines beautiful as: Taste is the faculty of
estimating an object or a type of representation by means of a delight or version apart from
any interest. The object of such a delight is called beautiful.

According to Kant, the concept of beautiful would have a universal delight or application if all
concepts of beautiful or taste about beauty for that matter by all people have no private
interest, individual prejudice, or influenced by any interest such as appetite, desire, or bias.
But if private interest, prejudice, or influence by any other interest, then, it is not beautiful.

Kant continued that the aesthetic judgment should not be based on logic because cognitive
faculties have nothing to do with it. What is involved is the feelings of pleasure or
displeasure in the object. So that the judgment about beautiful is based on feeling and not
on concept. So, Kant offered additional definition of beautiful: The beautiful is that which,
apart from a concept, pleases universally.

There are two kinds of beauty in so far as Kant was concerned. They are 1) free beauty and
2) dependent beauty.

69 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

Free beauty refers to the beauty that needs no further explanation since that object has a
final explanation or presentation of beauty through the object itself such as flower. In flower,
we dont need further explanation about it in order for us to determine if its beautiful or not
because the beauty that can be seen in the flower is final.

On the other hand, dependent beauty presupposes a purpose. So that the beauty that it
carries would be based on the purpose of the object. For example, a building becomes
beautiful because it needs to be one so that the clients of the developers or owners of the
building would be impressed. In that case, there is a big possibility that the clients will buy a
unit/s in the said building. A contestant in a beauty contest must be beautiful to attain her
purpose of winning the said contest.

Kant said that it is necessary to combine the judgment of beautiful with the idea of delight
because it manifested the universal application of beautiful. This necessary combination of
beautiful and delight is not a product of theoretical or practical necessity but rather of a
necessity of a special kind. And to this, Kant added that we can assume that everyone must
have a common sense in communicating the subjective judgment of beautiful so that
everyone has a knowledge about the universal knowledge on the aesthetic judgment about
beautiful. In this additional framework, Kant offered another definition of beautiful, which
states as: the beautiful is that which, apart from a concept, is recognized as object of
necessary delight.

Aristotle (translated by John Warrington), 1966, Ethics, The Great Books Foundation, United States of America

Babor, Eddie R., 2006, Ethics: The Philosophical Discipline of Action, Updated Ed., Rex Book Store, Manila

Malitao, Arnel L., 2003, Essential Logic, National Book Store, Mandaluyong City

St. Augustine (translated by Rex Warner), 1966, Confessions, The Great Books Foundation, United States of

Stummf, Samuel E. And James Fieser, 2008, Socrates to Sarte and Beyond: A History of Philosophy, 8 th Edition,
McGraw Hill, United States of America

Zulueta, Francisco M. And Elda M. Maglaya, 2004, Educational Philosophies of the Worlds Greatest Philosophers in
Foundations of Education, National Book Store, Mandaluyong City

___________________________________ , 2004 Classical and Contemporary Philosophies in Foundations of

Education, National Book Store, Mandaluyong City

70 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy

About the author

Nelson Salazar Badilla is presently connected with the Technological Institute of the Philippines
Quezon City Campus as a member of the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of the College of Arts.

Prof. Badilla finished Bachelor of Arts, major in Political Science at the Philippine Christian
University in Manila. He obtained his Master of Public Administration at the University of the
Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance.

At present, he is working on his dissertation for the program of Doctor in Educational

Management (DEM) at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Graduate School in Manila.

Previously, he taught at the AMA Computer College in Rizal province, The Fisher Valley College
in Taguig City, Taguig City University, and in Far Eastern University in Manila.

But before deciding to teach, Prof. Badilla worked as a researcher at the main office of the
Technical Education and Skills Development Administration (TESDA), reseacher-writer at the
Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) for its project with the International Labor
Organization (ILO), and also researcher at the Jesuits Communication.

71 Nelson S. Badilla: Introduction to Philosophy