PHIL Exam #1

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What is Plato's main idea?

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1

What is Plato's main idea?

-student of Socrates

-idealism

-believed philosphy was his purpose under God

"unexamined life is not worth living"

-Rationalism (a priori)

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2

What is Bertrand Russell's main idea?

-atheist

-"the goods of the mind are at least as important as the goods of the body"

-primary aim of philosophy is knowledge

-all material advancements originated from philosophy

-"the value of philosophy is to be sought largely in its very uncertainty

-value of philosophy is to think freely (importance of the mind)

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3

What is James' main idea?

-pragmatic theory of truth

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4

What is Richard Rorty's main idea?

-eradicate critical sense rationality & replace w/ pragmatic rationality

-replace objective truth w/ unforced agreement

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5

What is Daniel Dennett's main idea?

-value truth & science, subjectivity & objectivity

-scientific method best method for discovering truth

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6

What is Rene Descartes' main idea?

-Rationalism (a priori)

-Foundationalism

-aims to cast doubt upon skepticism

-foundation of knowledge is senses

-skeptic of physical not mathematical science because physical based on imperial beliefs, and mathematical based on basic beliefs

-Cogito ergo sum "I think, therefore I am"

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7

What is John Locke's main idea?

-Empiricism (a posteriori)

-realism

-tabula rasa

-something can't be true & false at same time

-counters innate ideas (if truly innate, would be universal idea)

-ideas are mental, reality is extra-mental

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8

What is George Berkeley's main idea?

-Empiricism (a posteriori)

-esse, est percipi

-don't have direct experience of material objects, only of sensory perceptions

-primary & secondary qualities nothing more than sensations that exist only in the mind (rejects distinction between two qualities)

-sensible objects don't cause sensations they are simply sensations

-only ideas (sensible objects exist)

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9

What is Blaise Pascal's main idea?

-Faith is a logical bet

-God exists, but is incomprehensible

-will be confronted w/ decision of believing at some point in life

-everything gained or everything lost

-what harm will befall you if you believe?

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10

What is William Clifford's main idea?

-wrong to believe anything upon insufficient evidence

-never lawful to stifle doubt

-actions always have consequences, even if you believe you are doing the right thing

-"belief.. is ours not for ourselves but for humanity"

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11

What is William James' main idea?

-are we better off if we believe?

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12

Philosophy

the practice of thinking critically about our fundamental concepts and beliefs

-"Love of wisdom"

-distinguished from its predecessors by reason, argumentation, evidence

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sophos

wise

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episteme

knowledge

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techne

knowledge of a craft, technical skill

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16

doxa

common belief or mere opinion

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Critical Thinking

deliberate process by means of which we can distinguish what we know from what we don't know

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Epistemology

study of knowledge

-justified true belief (JTB account)

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19

Metaphysics

study of reality/existence

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Axiology

study of value

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Ethics

A system of moral principles.

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Aesthetics

the study of beauty/appearance

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23

Justification

the process whereby a given belief or judgement is supported by reasons that recommend its general adoption

-expressed in form of argument

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24

Objectivity vs. Subjectivity

Objectivity: statement about a factual matter, can be proven true or false by means of standards (2+2=4)

Subjectivity: not factual, expression of belief, opinion, or personal preference (dogs are better than cats)

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Criterial vs. Pragmatic Rationality

Critical: to be rational is to be methodical; to have criteria for success laid down in advance (laws, business, math, logic, natural sciences)

Pragmatic: to be rational is to simply discuss any topic (religious, literary, or scientific) while avoiding bias

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Rationalism vs. Empiricism

Empiricists: all knowledge is gained via experience (a posteriori)

Rationalists: some or all knowledge gained via reason, independent of experience (a priori)

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Ideas vs. Qualities (Locke)

-Simple & Complex Ideas

-Primary & Secondary Qualities

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Simple vs. Complex Ideas

Simple: white, brown, round, square, cold, warm

Complex: snowball, cup, horse, tree

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Primary vs. Secondary Qualities

Primary: solidity, extension, figure, motion, number

Secondary: colors, sounds, tastes, smells, temperature

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30

Descartes' Arguments

-Argument from Illusion

-Dreaming Argument

-Evil Genius Argument

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Evil Genius/Demon Argument

God isn't a deceiver because God is good in the highest degree

-everything can be doubted

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Dreaming Argument

I can't trust my experience as a foundation for all knowledge

-if you couldn't wake up from a dream, how would you know if it was a dream?

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Illusion Argument

I can't trust my experience as a foundation for all knowledge

-if P then Q

-P

-_________ therefore Q

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34

Foundationalism

the epistemological theory which holds that some "basic" beliefs can be known w/ certainty & can be used to justify other, non-basic, beliefs

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Logic

the study of correct reasoning

-aims to discover principles for distinguish good from bad reasoning

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Argument

a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition

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Inference

the process by means of which a claim, statement, or belief (i.e. proposition) is drawn from evidence and reasoning

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Proposition

declarative sentence or claim

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Premise vs. Conclusion

-Premise is a proposition which expresses evidence for accepting a belief or judgement is true

-Conclusion is a proposition that expresses the belief or judgement you take to be true, that which is being supported in an argument

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40

Fallacious Argument

a bad argument with which it uses faulty reasoning, or its premises are false

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41

Historical Periods of Philosophy

Ancient, Medieval, Modern, Contemporary

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42

Mythology

the study of myths

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43

Sophistry

clever but deceptive reasoning

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44

Skepticism

questioning or doubtful attitude towards knowledge or beliefs that are otherwise generally taken for granted

-can be global or local

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45

Global vs. Local Skepticism

Global: doubts grounds of all knowledge

-what if we don't really know any of the things we think we know?

Local: focus only on particular regions of doubt

-religious skepticism

-problem of other minds

-skepticism about language, science, ethics, authority

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46

Knowledge (JTB Account)

justified, true belief

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Propositional Knowledge

the science of nursing or knowledge that is obtained from research and scholarship

"knowledge of facts"

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48

Knowledge by Acquaintance

the kind of knowledge or direct awareness of things we have when we encounter them in experience

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49

Cognitive Realism

-accepts one or another version of correspondence theory of truth

some things exist independently of whether anyone thinks about them

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50

Cognitive Relativism (Anti-Realism)

no mind-independent facts or truth

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51

Plato's Theory of Forms

-distinction between "appearances" and "reality"

-world of human perception (appearances) is always changing

-genuine knowledge of what is true requires grasping external & unchanging forms

-look beyond appearances to gain truth and understand the good

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52

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

explores the notion of belief, illusion, knowledge and Truth. Shadows play a role in the illustration of our ability, or inability to be freed from illusion through wisdom and reason.

-people are trapped in an illusion portrayed by authority

-prisoners outside see light (enlightenment) & try to help others, but resented

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53

Russell's "3 Conditions" of Truth Theory

  1. Theory of truth must be such as to admit of its opposite, falsehood

  2. Theory must make truth a property of beliefs and statements

  3. Theory must make truth a property wholly dependent upon the relation between our beliefs and "outside things"

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54

Truth Theories

correspondence, coherence, pragmatic

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55

Correspondence Theory

a belief is true, if and only if it corresponds to the facts

-mind independent (objective)

-Russell states that belief must be a complex relation as opposed to direct relation between a mind & single object

-meets 3 conditions for theory of truth

-matches way things are, not whether it cohers or not

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56

Coherence Theory

a belief is true if and only if it is a part of a coherent system of beliefs

-Russell objects that if there is a contradiction, the belief is false

-as long as it coheres & doesn't contradict

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Pragmatic Theory

a belief is true if and only if it is useful to believe

-mind dependent (subjective)

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58

Basic Beliefs

held by foundationalists to be self-evident or self-justifying, therefore true (a priori)

-shape, quantity, size, number, temporal duration, spatial location, etc.

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Cogito, ergo sum

I think, therefore I am (Descartes)

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Tabula Rasa

blank slate (Locke)

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Esse, est percipi

"to be is to be perceived" (Berkeley)

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Methodological Skepticism

looks at things, then categorizes, deconstructs, and analyzes. Ex: takes an apple, thinks of different types of apples, categorizes apples++

-doubts anything and everything

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63

Descartes "Fundamental" Principle

Whatever I have a clear & distinct idea of is capable of existing just like I imagine it, at least in principle

-appeals to this to prove existence of his mind/soul, body, and God

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Innate Knowledge

knowledge you are born with

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65

Argument from Universal Consent

Deduces the existence of God from the universality of religion. Universal idea of God in the mind of humankind was placed there by God. No tribes without some kind of religion. All societies in all ages have worshiped something. This idea had to originate somewhere. It came from the seed of God in all men.

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66

Sensation vs. Reflection

Sensation: external sense

Reflection: internal sense

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67

Intuitive Knowledge

most certain, known directly by comparison of two ideas

-"a circle is not a triangle"

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Demonstrative Knowledge

not immediate, requires process of reasoning (proof)

-"the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees"

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Sensitive Knowledge

least certain, probable but not proven

-"the particular evidence of finite things without us"

-external world

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Locke's "Proofs" of External World

-"first systematic assault on Cartesion rationalism"

-inquire into the origin, certainty, extent of human knowledge together w/ grounds & degrees of belief, opinion, assent

-inquire into orginal of ideas, notions, etc.

-inquire into nature & grounds of faith or opinion

-can't produce senses/thoughts bound off of organs, without external world

-can't stop yourself from experiencing those thoughts, senses from external world

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71

Immediate vs. Mediate Perceptions

Immediate: automatically (book has white background w/ black scribbles)

Mediate: influenced by other thoughts (scribbles are words making sentences)

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Sensible Things

things perceived by the senses

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73

Realism vs. Idealism

Realism: things which are known or perceived an existence or nature which is independent of whether anyone is thinking about or perceiving them

Idealism: ideas are the only reality

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Material Substratum

(Berkeley) Quality-less "material" of the real world that must exist if all properties are non-existent

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Faith

belief in God, religion

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Pascal's Wager

It is better to wager everything on God's existence than to be a skeptic. Believing results in greater benefits than not believing.

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Clifford's Credo

"It is wrong... to believe anything upon insufficient evidence"

-"It is wrong to believe God exists"

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James' "Pragmatic Method"

try and interpret each notion by tracing its respective practical consequences

-if no practical difference can be traced, then the alternative means practically the same thing

-reality is always changing, so truth will change

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Hypothesis (Living vs. Dead)

Live Hypothesis: appeals as a real possibility to the person to whom it is presented

Dead Hypothesis: has no appeal to the person to whom it is presented

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Option (Forced vs. Avoidable)

Forced Option: there is no middle ground, must choose

Avoidable Option: can abstain or avoid choosing

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Genuine Option

living, forced, momentous

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Religious Hypothesis

(1) the best things are the more eternal things; (2) we are better off now if we believe that affirmation to be true.

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83

Plato believed in what?

-idealism

"unexamined life is not worth living"

-questioning everything

-God

-correspondence theory of truth

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84

Russell believed in what?

-correspondence theory of truth

-if enough people think about it, it must be true

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85

James believed in what?

-pragmatic theory of truth

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86

Rorty believed in what?

-pragmatic theory of truth

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87

Dennett believed in what?

-atheist

-scientific method is best "technology" for discovering truth

-believes Rorty's attack on objectivity, truth, science is dangerous because we'll lose all motivation/need to talk about ideas, goals, truths

-value truth & science, subjectivity & objectivity

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88

Descartes believed in what?

-not necessary to examine each former belief separately as long as you tackle most foundational beliefs

-methodological skepticism

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89

Locke believed in what?

-our minds come into the world tabula rasa

-experience includes both sensation (external sense) & reflection (internal sense)

-knowledge is based on claims that always admit possibility that one may be wrong

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90

Berkeley believed in what?

-God is ultimate perceiver

-idealism

-immaterialism

-empiricist (metaphysical idealist)

-anti-realists (deny existence of mind-independent matter)

-it is not possible for an unperceived object to exist

-reality: to exist is to be perceived

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91

Pascal believed in what?

-Faith is a logical bet

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92

Clifford believed in what?

-it is wrong to believe anything without sufficient evidence

-never lawful to stiffle doubt

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93

William James believed in what?

-pragmatic theory of truth

-fundamentalism

-pragmatism

-reality is always changing, so truth will change

-true ideas are like tools, useful for helping navigate the world/goals

-can decide not to choose an option, but must face consequences

-middle ground between Pascal & Clifford

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94

Socrates

systematic questioning

-"What is X?"

-exposes contradictions/fallacious reasoning

-concludes he is wiser because he acknowledges his limits on knowledge (improvement of soul/mind)

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95

Rorty on "Objectivity"

-science, rationality, objectivity, truth are bound to one another

-science offers hard, objective truth - truth as correspondence to reality

-natural sciences as models/patterns of rationality

-some fields (ex: humanities) focus more on subjectivity

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96

Descartes Meditation 1

Of the things which we may doubt

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Descartes Meditation 2

Of the nature of the human mind, that is better known than the body

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98

Descartes Meditation 3

Of God that he exists

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99

Which philosphers believed in foundationalism?

William James, Descartes

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100

Which philosophers believed in idealism?

Plato, Berkeley

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