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General Philosophy
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General Philosophy

Author: Oxford University

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A series of lectures delivered by Peter Millican to first-year philosophy students at the University of Oxford. The lectures comprise of the 8-week General Philosophy course, delivered to first year undergraduates. These lectures aim to provide a thorough introduction to many philosophical topics and to get students and others interested in thinking about key areas of philosophy. Taking a chronological view of the history of philosophy, each lecture is split into 3 or 4 sections which outline a particular philosophical problem and how different philosophers have attempted to resolve the issue. Individuals interested in the 'big' questions about life such as how we perceive the world, who we are in the world and whether we are free to act will find this series informative, comprehensive and accessible.
33 Episodes
Part 8.4. The final part of this series. Explores the distinction between mind and body and whether this makes a difference to the idea of personal identity.
Part 8.3. Criticisms of Locke's view of personal identity; if personal identity is dependent on memory then how does forgetting personal history and the concept of false memory change Locke's view of personal identity.
Part 8.2. Looks at John Locke's view of personal identity; how consciousness and 'personal history' distinguish personal identity and the idea of memory as crucial for personal identity.
Part 8.1. Introduces the concept of personal identity, what is it to be a person, whether someone is the same person over time and Leibniz's law of sameness.
Part 7.4. A brief explanation of Hume's argument for sentimentalism and Robert Kane's views on free will and determinism.
Part 7.3. Looks at Hume's views on liberty and its relationship to causal necessity; that we have free will but it is causally determined.
Part 7.2. Looks at Hobbes' and Hume's views of free will and the three concepts of freedom, and considers the idea of moral responsibility as dependent on free will.
Part 7.1. Explores the problem of free will and the ideas of moral responsibility, determinism and choice; the need for a concept of freedom to allow free choice, the problems associated with this and asking whether we really have freedom of choice.
Part 6.4. A brief overview of contemporary accounts of perception; including phenomenalism (that objects are logical constructions from sense data) and direct realism (that we perceive objects and the external world directly).
Part 6.3. Criticisms of the resemblance theory of perception and an introduction to idealism - that perceptions of the external world are all within the mind as ideas.
Part 6.2. Explores Berkeley's and Locke's arguments concerning the resemblance of qualities and objects; that the perceived qualities of objects exist only in the mind or whether secondary qualities are intrinsically part of the object.
Part 6.1. Introduces the problem of perception (and the distinction between the world and what we perceive), along with the concepts of primary and secondary qualities.
Part 5.4. Looks at the role the concept of knowledge plays in life, the different levels of knowledge we require in certain contexts and the return of scepticism over knowledge.
Part 5.3. The difference between internalist and externalist accounts of knowledge; whether we need external factors to justify knowledge or whether internal accounts are sufficient, and the Gettier cases.
Part 5.2. Explores the idea of conscious and unconscious knowledge (should a person know that they know something or does it not matter?) and the theory of justification of propositions and beliefs.
Part 5.1. Looks at the problem of knowledge; how can we know what we know, three types of knowledge and A J Ayer's two conditions for knowledge.
Part 4.4. Looks at some of the modern responses to Cartesian Dualism including Gilbert Ryle's and G. Strawson's responses to the idea.
4.3 Cartesian Dualism

4.3 Cartesian Dualism


Part 4.3. Introduces Descartes' idea of dualism, that there is a separation between the mind and the body, as well as some of the philosophical issues surrounding this idea.
Part 4.2. Investigates some of the possible solutions to Descartes' sceptical problem of the external world, looking at G.E Moore's response, among others, to the problem.
Part 4.1. Introduces the problem of how do we have knowledge of the world, how do we know what we perceive is in fact what is there?
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