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What is Rationalism? Who Supported it?
- All knowledge is a priori. Independent of experience.
What is empiricism? Who supported it?
- All knowledge is a posteriori. All knowledge comes from experience.
- John Locke
- George Berkely
- David Hume
Descartes triumphantly declares, “I think, therefore I am!” Explain the significance of this claim and why he thinks it’s true.
Uses this statement as the basis for all of his later arguments for rationalism. How could he be deceived unless he existed in order to be deceived?
Name the three general metaphysical views and give a brief definition of each.
- Dualism-There are material and immaterial things
- Materialism-Nothing exists except matter
- Idealism-No material things only minds and ideas exist
Name the three general theories of perception
and give a brief definition of each.
- Naive Realism- mind is directly acquainted with objects of perception
- Representative realism-perception is mediated by ideas
- Idealism-ideas are the objects of perception
- What are primary qualities, and how do they differ from
secondary qualities? Give some examples of each.
Primary qualities are properties that objects have independent of any observer, such as solidity, extension, motion, number and figure. These characteristics convey facts. They exist in the thing itself, can be determined with certainty, and do not rely on subjective judgments. For example, if a ball is round, no one can reasonably argue that it is a triangle
Secondary qualities are properties that produce sensations in observers, such as colour, taste, smell, and sound. They can be described as the effect things have on certain people. Knowledge that comes from secondary qualities does not provide objective facts about things.Primary qualities are measurable aspects of physical reality. Secondary qualities are subjective
- What method does Descartes use in his meditations? Why
does he employ this method?
- To find that which cannot be doubted.
David Hume recognizes only two legitimate kinds
of subject of inquiry. What are these?
Give an example of each that Hume would
recognize as correct.
- relations of ideas-proved by demonstration-Math
- matters of fact- given through experience-The sun rises in the morning
How does the representative realist theory of
perception differ from direct realism?
Which philosopher have we encountered who
endorses representative realism?
Direct realism claims that the senses provide us with direct awareness of the external world. In contrast, indirect realism and representative realism claim that we are directly aware only of internal representations of the external world.
- According to Descartes, what are the two basic kinds of
substances that make up all reality?
- David Hume claims that all knowledge is either of relations
of ideas or matters of fact. Explain why causation seems to fall under neither
Hume says relations of ideas are a priori using reason alone to come to conclusions and that matters of fact are a posteriori and obtained by empirical investigation but causation states that our knowledge or understanding is based on cause and effect and essentially based on habit and not reasoning or investigation
- Rehearse Hume’s statement of empiricism, being careful
to explain the difference between ideas and impressions and between simple and
- All simple ideas are copies of impressions
- impressions are the direct, vivid, and forceful products of immediate experience-Perception,
- emotion, pain, etc.
- ideas are merely feeble copies of these original impressions-Conception,
- volition, memory, imagination,
- complex ideas-fire
- simple ideas-heat, cold etc.
- In the First Meditation, Descartes presents three
skeptical arguments. Discuss each of them and explain how they work to bring us
to the conclusion that no one knows anything.
- sense perception- senses can be decieving (straight stick bent in water)
- the dream argument-how can i tell this is not a dream
- the evil demon argument-I am being deceived by an evil demon or evil genius
- brings doubt on all the things we use to come to conclusions
In Meditations Three and Four, we encounter the
“Cartesian Circle in the argument for the existence of God and the argument for
the Clarity and Distinctness principle. Explain
How does Descartes answer this charge of
- descartes uses the existence of god to prove that what he clearly and distictly percieves to be true is true and then goes on to use this clarity and distinctness principle to prove the existence of god.
- God only need guarantee his memory
Explain the disagreement between Descartes and
Berkeley over the nature of sensible objects. Which thinker endorses the
Substance Theory and which the Bundle Theory? What are these theories, and
which is more plausible, and why?
Descartes believes in the substance theory which states that all objects are made up of a substance and it's properties. Berkley is a proponent of the bundle theory which states that an object consisits of its properties and nothing more. I believe the bundle theory is more plausible because like berkeley states one can not think of an object without thinking of its properties.
- Recount and explain the significance of Plato’s
Allegory of the Cave. How does it relate to his theory of the two realms (the
divided line? What is the relationship between this story and his theory of the
plato uses the allegory of the cave to illustrate how we need to see beyond the illusion of shadows. the allegory of the cave mirrors the theory of the two realms where as the shadows represent the physical world and the exit of the cave represents the intelligible world. When the prisoner leaves the cave and can look upon the sun is where the forms are.
- What is the Problem of Induction? Rehearse Hume’s argument here in as much detail as you
can. Address at least the following: why he thinks causal relations can’t be
known a priori, why he thinks any argument for the Uniformity Principle is
Hume's argument for the problem of induction is that we use inductive reasoning to explain the behavior of objects. Most commonly using causal relations to reason inductively such as the sun will rise tomorrow because it has always risen. This cannot be known a priori because we only know this because it has happened in the past. He believes the uniformity principle is circular because you cant prove something will happen in the future just because it has in the past.
- How does Hume argue that we do, in fact, have an idea
of causation, consistently with his empiricist principles?
because we learn these causes and effects from experiencing similar causes and effects take place
- The persistence of objects when no one perceives them
seems to present a problem for Berkeley’s idealism. Explain why this is a
problem for Berkeley and how he attempts to solve it. Critically assess his
This is a problem for berkeley because berkeley's idealism states that somethin cannot exist unless it is percieved. Berkeley attempts to solve this problem by stating that there must be an omnipotent being watching over everything all the time.
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