Philosophy 101 Study Guide

7 July 2016

When: Thursday, the 26th Day of September, 2013, 3:00pm – 4:15pm Where: The same location our class normally meets What to bring: Your ASU Student ID, for when you hand in your exam & An Exam book (blue book or green book) available at the bookstore & A Scan-tron form (bubble-in forms) available at the bookstore & TWO number 2 pencils for filling in the scantron form & A blue or black ink pen (optional – pencil ok), for your exam book. I will not have extras available. If you forget yours, you’ll have to rely on the kindness of your peers or else run to the bookstore to buy some, losing you valuable time. If you bring extras for your peers, they will be supremely grateful. Structure of the Exam

The exam will consist of: •60 multiple choice questions (for Scantron form) •Worth 4 points each •240 points total •questions limited to topics covered on this study guide •1 essay question (for exam book) •worth 60 points total •questions will be broad and comprehensive for Unit 1. •Answer should be 4-5 paragraphs Study Guide Warranty IF: you fill out this study guide completely based on your notes, the readings, and the lectures, making a recognizably serious attempt to put in relevant and correct information, and you turn in the completed study guide prior to the exam, either

Philosophy 101 Study Guide Essay Example

•as a MS Word attachment sent by e-mail to [email protected], with the subject line “PHI 101 STUDY GUIDE WARRANTY”, or •as a paper copy turned in to the SHPRS office on the 4th floor of Coor hall, time-stamped and clearly marked on the top page “Jeff Watson, Phi 101”, or •as a paper copy turned in on the day of the exam prior to picking up your exam. and you take the quiz and answer all 60 of the multiple-choice true/false questions. THEN: On the multiple-choice section of the exam, you will receive at least 173 out of 240 points (72%, equivalent to a B-/C+). •If you receive fewer than 173 points on the multiple-choice section, and you turned in the completed study guide, then contact me after the exam, and I will automatically raise your grade on the multiple-choice section to 173 points.

•No warranties are here given for the essay portion of the exam. •If you don’t take advantage of this warranty, and you get less than 173 points, no excuses or complaints. STUDY GUIDE FOR MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS

From Solomon’s Little Philosophy Book:

Chapter 1

What did the followers of Confucius teach? How did Confucius’s virtues differ from Socrates?

Socrates emphasized the importance of the individual soul, however; Confucius insisted that what was most important in life were one’s relationships with other people. Confucius wanted to live life the right way by being honorable and faithful while Socrates believed living life the right way had to do with looking after the good of one’s own soul. Confucius teaches that one follows the dao by being respectful of the customs of one’s society, by being deferential to one’s parents, and by being a good citizen.

What did the Daoists teach? How did they differ from the Confucians? Daoists act “more towards nature” rather than relating with social proprieties. They liked living naturally and a simple and respectful life. Daoist teachings aren’t teachers but rather paths that guide people to finding their true natural selves.

What did Buddhism teach about the self? The Buddha taught that not only individuality but the universe as a whole was something of an illusion. Focuses less on individual self and more on living in harmony with the larger spiritual world, like Daoism.

Who were Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle? How did they know each other? They were all early philosophers, Socrates wrote nothing down; Plato his prized student wrote down everything and that’s how we know about it/him and Aristotle was Plato’s student.

Chapter 4

What’s the difference between local skepticism and global skepticism? Local skepticism is the view that one can not possess knowledge in some particular domain. Global skepticism is the view that one can not know anything at all.

Why did Descartes insist that we begin by doubting everything we thought we knew? His aim was to use this method of doubting everything you know to discover what we actually do know for certain. So we can prove them.

What did Hume argue we cannot prove about our experiences and the real world? Hume argues that we cannot prove that there is a real world outside our experience, much less that our experience is an accurate representation of that world. He says we need to get outside our experience to see whether it does fairly represent the world, however, its near impossible to do that.

What did Hume believe about the laws of nature? Hume states that hoe do we know that the laws of nature tomorrow will be the same as the ones today, we only have the past to rely on which doesn’t say much about the future. We cannot prove the laws of nature and their existence.

What does Solomon think is the “healthy” kind of skepticism? It means not simply taking at face value what other people tell you or simply accepting “common sense” without thinking about it on your own. You are able to think it out for yourself and figure out where your beliefs come from and how you would back them up.

Plato’s Apology (‘the Trial of Socrates’)

What happened in the Apology? Socrates is charged for not regarding the gods correctly, creating new deities and corrupting the youth of Athens, so he makes this speech the ‘Apology’ to defend himself.

How did Socrates defend himself against Meletus? He makes Meletus feel like a fool and makes him question everything he says.

How did he interpret the words of the Oracle at Delphi? He used the notion that the oracle told him that no one was smarter than him to go an interrogate everyone, and be a nuisance to the people. He took it as a riddle, he knew he had no wisdom and gods didn’t lie.

What punishment did he offer to accept? He is sentenced to death. Locke’s Essay ‘On Enthusiasm’ What is “enthusiasm”? Enthusiasm is a vain and unfounded confidence in divine favor or communication, Locke strongly rejects it. What’s the unerring mark of the lover of truth for truth’s sake? One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.

Assuming an authority to dictate the opinions of others is a sign of what? The assuming an authority of dictating to others, and a forwardness to prescribe to their opinions, is a constant concomitant of this bias and corruption of our own judgements.

How does evidence for something’s rectitude (or truth) relate to the strength of our persuasions about it? The strength of our persuasions is no evidence at all of their own rectitude: crooked things may be as stiff and inflexible as straight: and men may be as positive and peremptory in error as in truth. Only have strength in your own persuasion.

How should our degree of belief relate to the evidence? Our degree of belief guides us to all answers, it’s our greatest form of persuasion and our biggest evidence.

Why does Locke think his opponents’ arguments are circular? It is a revelation because they firmly believe it, and they believe it because it is a revelation. Based on Locke’s view, what’s the best way to develop a character that allows others the freedom to hold their own opinions?

Guide to Philosophical Argument (the Standard View…):

What is and isn’t a representation? A picture of you may be a representation of you, but it’s not you. It’s how someone or yourself can view you. But you can always misinterpret a representation

What’s a proposition? Propositions are representations of the world which are in some sense language-independent. What makes a proposition true or false is whether the proposition corresponds to a fact. If it corresponds it’s true, if not, no.

What is a fact? What is an opinion? Facts are things which we know for certain (however there can be facts about things people don’t even know) and opinions are things which we don’t really know, and we have a thought or suggestion about it.

What’s the difference between being vague, ambiguous, and relative? Something can be vague but not ambiguous, or vice versa. Bat is ambiguous but not vague. And relativism: A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.

What sorts of things might make a relative truth true? There is no truth, everything is a matter of opinion. However, if all the facts are true then it might be true.

What’s the difference between sense and reference? The sense of the word is the concept the word expresses and the what the word refers to is the object, entity or property in the world that it stands for. Mammal- sense of the word animals with mammary glands and whatnot, reference whales, lions and tigers for example.

How could a word have no referent? Like the word unicorn, there’s a sense of it; a horse with a horn on it’s head. But its mythical and doesn’t exist so there are no unicorns which leave it with no reference. How could a word have no sense?

Then there’s a word like love, everyone has a different sense of love so there’s no one universal sense to it.

How would two words have different senses but the same referent? President of America, refers to Barack Obama but could refer to someone else in 4 years.

Why are all opinions either true or false? Opinions are beliefs about what facts are, so one person’s beliefs may end up to be true and one’s may not.

If I have so much evidence that I must believe something, why could it still be false? I can think I can fly by just flapping my arms, but there are rules of gravity that allow me not to fly, so it’s difficult to believe it’s true.

How would you recognize an inductive argument? Inductive arguments start with a series of particular truths about individual instances, and draw a general conclusion about a large group of instances.

How would you recognize a deductive argument? Deductive arguments can start with “If…then…” statements, or “either….or…” statements, and lastly Reductio arguments which involve believing something, then finding a contradiction in the belief and then proving it false.

How would you recognize an abductive argument? Abductive arguments are weak, all they prove is that there is a plausible working hypothesis, not that it’s true or false. What’s the difference between logical necessity/possibility, epistemic necessity/possibility, and natural (or ‘nomic’) necessity/possibility.

Logical possibility is the broadest sense of ‘possible’, its a scenario which contains no contradictions. Logical necessity means that every possible way the world could be is one in which the proposition is true (all cats are cats).

Epistemic possibility, given the evidence I have, something is probably highly unlikely to be true (pigs can fly). Natural possibility, something might be logically possible but contradict with one of the laws of nature. (flyings example but violates law of gravity). What’s it mean for an argument to be valid?

An argument is valid when, and only when, there is no logical possibility of the premises being true and the conclusion being false.

How would you recognize a valid argument? A valid argument says the it must be logically impossible for the conclusion to be false if the premises are true. (All dogs are mammals, Old Yeller is a dog, Old Yeller is a mammal.)

What’s it mean for an argument to be sound? All the premises are true, and the argument is valid.

What is the doctrine of recollection? It’s the idea that we are born possessing all knowledge and our realization of that knowledge is contingent on our discovery of it. Our soul once knew everything and forgot it, so we are recollecting all the knowledge.

What’s Socrates’s argument for the doctrine of recollection? Socrates’s conclusion: the soul is immortal, because the truth of all things has always existed in the soul.

What does Socrates think the boy’s knowledge of geometry shows? That he had the previous knowledge already, a priori knowledge.

Why does Socrates argue that Meno’s boy slave has a priori knowledge? Because when he tested him on geometry, the slave was able to get the correct answer because he already had the knowledge in him, he just had to recollect it.

Socrates holds that a priori knowledge comes from where?

Plato is a(n): empiricistrationalist idealist?

From Descartes’s Meditations

1st meditation: Meditator looks back on all the falsehoods and realizes he could have doubted everything, he starts to doubt all the foundations and big things. Ends up realizing even simple things can be doubted.

Why did Descartes begin his process of doubting the existence of the external world? However, his purpose wasn’t to achieve tranquility, but to reveal the foundations of knowledge.It was not because he really didn’t believe we could know anything. It was because he wanted to know what ultimately, at the bottom level, justified all of our other beliefs.

Which 3 arguments does Descartes offer to get himself to doubt? 1. My senses have deceived me. (mirages, etc.) 2. I could be dreaming this all up (very complicated dream). 3. God or an evil demon are making us doubt everything and not fully believe it.

Why doesn’t the deceitfulness of his senses give Descartes reason to doubt everything? Only made him a local skeptic, not a global skeptic, dealt with small matters.

What never changes in Descartes’s dreams? Arithmetic and geometry never change.

2nd meditation: The meditator doubts ‘I’ and if he even exists. Uses the wax experiment, knows the wax exists and studies its being. He uses it as a comparison to himself and realizes happily that he does indeed exist and that his mind is better known than his body, and that all clear and distinct perceptions come by means of the intellect alone, and not the senses or the imagination.

What is the one thing that Descartes can’t doubt? Can he doubt his existence.

How does Descartes know that he exists? He knows he’s having thoughts, and he’s capable of thinking, and something is doing the thinking. (wax experiment).

According to Descartes, what is he? A thinking thing (immaterial soul).

3rd meditation: Proof of god being a perfect being.

Why does Descartes think that an infinitely perfect God must exist? Because the universe couldn’t have come from nothing, something had to create it and he’s obviously not powerful enough to.

4th meditation: Descartes is now certain of god’s existence and questions his motives. God must be responsible for his judgement, but the Mediator doesn’t think himself as a supreme being like God. If god is a perfect being, he should be able to create perfect beings. But he now looks at God as a whole to see his perfection.

How does Descartes use God’s existence as a foundation for all other knowledge? He uses it to see if God created everything perfectly and if God is the one who controls everything. And God created the perfect universe.

What is foundationalism? Why does Descartes hold to it? In philosophy, foundationalism is an epistemological theory which holds that basic beliefs exist and are the foundation for all other justified beliefs. The theory rests on the assumption that beliefs must be justified by other beliefs. Even if his beliefs about the external world were false, his beliefs about what he was experiencing were still indubitably true, even if those perceptions do not relate to anything in the world

5th meditation: “The essence of material things, and considering the existence of God for a second time”. Clear and distinct perceptions are always convincing, according to the Meditator. He sets out to create an analogy between triangles and pythagorean theorem and God, saying he can prove its existence.

Why does Descartes think that the most perfect being conceivable can’t fail to exist? The most perfect being has to exist because something had to have created the perfect universe. Has to prove that his sense are real and the external world exists.

Descartes is a(n): empiricistrationalist idealist?

Lecture on Epistemology:

If you know that p, then what follows? Then p must be true; you must believe p; you must be justified in believing p; your justification must have some sort of explanation (can’t just be luck).

What does “justification” mean, and what is its relationship to knowledge? A justified belief is one you rationally ought to hold, given the evidence that you have. You can’t claim to know that you are going to get a job if you don’t have the evidence for it that warrants you in believing it.

What are the three types of experiences which can justify beliefs about the external world? Three types of empirical justifications: perception, memory and testimony.

What is a priori justification? Its a rational justification which means “rational intuition” or “pure reason”.

What’s a rationalist believe about knowledge? Who were the rationalists? Essentially, rationalists believe that (some) knowledge can be acquired through reason alone or, to put it another way, you can come to know about the world by thinking about it. Thinking about the world logically allows you to construct a complete system or entire set of rules that explain everything. Rationalists tended to believe that knowledge is a bit like maths and that, by thinking clearly enough about things, you can come to know everything without ever having to actually look at the world. As a result rationalists believed in a priori knowledge, knowledge that comes before experience. Descartes was a rationalist.

What’s an empiricist believe about knowledge? Who are the empiricists? Both groups believe in the importance of reason and both groups contain scientists but empiricists believe that reason alone is not enough and that you need to provide your reason with material to work on … which you can only acquire through your senses. As such, for the empiricists, perception is the source of all knowledge and reason just works on the evidence or perception that perception provides., empiricists to believe that all knowledge was more like science and that things could only be known a posteriori, i.e. after or through experience. As such, in order to find out about the world you have to conduct a series of experiments on it and then use reason to work out what those results mean. John Locke was an empiricist.

From Locke’s ‘Knowledge through Experience’

Where does Locke believe that all of the materials of reason, and all knowledge, come from? For Locke, all knowledge comes exclusively through experience. He argues that at birth the mind is a tabula rasa, or blank slate, that humans fill with ideas as they experience the world through the five senses. Locke defines knowledge as the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy, of the ideas humans form.

Does Locke believe in innate ideas? Why or why not? Locke argued that the mind is in fact devoid of all knowledge or ideas at birth; it is a blank sheet or tabula rasa. He argued that all our ideas are constructed in the mind via a process of constant composition and decomposition of the input that we receive through our senses.

Locke is a(n): empiricistrationalist idealist?

Hume’s ‘Experience and the Limits of Human Reason’

Can we trust that the future will resemble the past? Why or why not? We cannot justify our assumptions about the future based on past experience unless there is a law that the future will always resemble the past. No such law exists. We can deny the relationship without contradiction and we cannot justify it with experience. Therefore, we have no rational support for believing in causation.

What is the origin of our ideas? We construct ideas from simple impressions in three ways: resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect.

How are ideas distinct from impressions? Hume begins by noting that the perceptions of memory, imagination, etc., are never as forceful or vivacious as our first-hand perceptions of the real world. Impressions: These are the lively, first-hand perceptions, either of something external (e.g., sensation) or internal (e.g., emotion, desiring, willing). Ideas: These are the less forceful, less lively perceptions, which occur when we reflect on previous impressions (e.g., via the memory, imagination, etc.).

• Where do we get the idea of causation, according to Hume? Hume claims that causation is a habit of association, a belief that is unfounded and meaningless. He notes that when we repeatedly observe one event following another, our assumption that we are witnessing cause and effect seems logical to us.

What does “C causes E” mean, on Hume’s account? Cause and Effect. Fire causes heat. etc.

Hume is is a(n): empiricistrationalist idealist?


What did Berkeley believe about the real world and the world of experiences? They hold instead the mechanistic world view, which denies that the world is as we perceive it, and insists that the physical world is composed of entities possessing only the primary properties of extension. All of the “secondary” properties we perceive physical objects as having, in reality exist only in our perceptions, not in the objects themselves.

Berkeley is a(n): empiricistrationalist idealist?


According to Kant, what ‘world’ can we know, and what world can’t we know? We can be said to know things about the world, then, not because we somehow step outside of our minds to compare what we experience with some reality outside of it, but rather because the world we know is always already organized according to a certain fixed (innate) pattern that is the mind, the rationalists are right in saying that we can know about things in the world with certainty; and the empiricists are right in saying that such knowledge cannot be limited merely to truths by definition nor can it be provided by experience. What does Kant mean by “phenomena?”

Kant theorizes that the human mind is restricted to the logical world and thus can only interpret and understand occurrences according to their physical appearances. He wrote that humans could infer only as much as their senses allowed, but not experience the actual object itself.

According to Kant, how do we have knowledge of a priori truths? According to Kant, a priori knowledge is based on the form of all possible experience. Kant thinks that a priori knowledge, in its pure form, that is without the admixture of any empirical content, is knowledge limited to the deduction of the conditions of possible experience.

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