Philosophy 151:
Exam 1 Study Guide


Study Guide for Exam 1 - Spring 2001
PHIL 151 - Dr. Keith Korcz

NOTE: On the exam there may be some questions asked about topics not mentioned on the study guide and there may be topics on the study guide that do not appear on the exam. The best strategy for studying is to learn everything listed on the study guide, and study anything else that seems to you to be important. Also, I may announce additions to the study guide in class prior to the exam. This study guide should help you considerably. Note that all exams are closed book/closed note. Be sure to bring a half-page (50 question) Scantron and pencil for the test.

Philosophy & Logic: Be able to compare and contrast philosophy and science as done in class, and know the characterization of 'truth' given in class. Know the arguments that we may not assume that belief in God merely a matter of opinion. Know what the point of presenting arguments is (i.e., what arguments are for) and be able to determine whether an argument is sound/unsound, valid/invalid, inductive/deductive, strong/weak, as appropriate.

Epistemology/Descartes: Know what skill knowledge and acquaintance knowledge are, and how they differ form propositional knowledge. Know what beliefs are and know how beliefs are distinct from other attitudes one may have regarding propositions, how beliefs are a matter of degree and whether they need to be occurring in consciousness to be beliefs. Be able to explain why knowledge requires good reasons. Be able to explain how epistemic justification differs from pragmatic and moral justification. Be able to explain the difference between epistemic justification and knowledge. Be able to explain the paradox of skepticism. Know the point of worrying about the skepticís argument. Also know the summary version of the skepticís argument as given in class. Be able to present the regress argument and know what it is an argument for. Be able to explain how science was typically done prior to Descartes, and how it differs from modern science. Be able to explain what Descartes thought was wrong with Aristotelian empiricism. Know what Descartes hoped to achieve with the Meditations. Know what Descartesí method of doubt is. Be able to present the example of the apples and explain its point. Know the argument from deceptive sensory experience, the Dream argument, and the evil deceiver argument, and be able to explain the point Descartes is attempting to make in presenting them . What role does Descartes' claim "I think, therefore I am" play in his theory of knowledge? What kind of thing does the "I" in "I think, therefore I am" refer to?
What are the two theories of what it is to be a thing? What is the point of Descartes wax example and how is it relevant to the two theories of what it is to be a thing?
What is Descartes' criterion of truth? What are the two motives for raising the question of God's existence in Meditation III? Know the three categories of being, Descartes' theory that there are degrees of reality, and which sorts of things are said to have more reality than others. Know Descartes' argument for the existence of God in Meditation III. Know Descartes' argument that clear and distinct perceptions give us knowledge. Know the objections presented in class to Descartes' overall argument in Meditation III.
Why does Descartes need to explain how we make errors? How does he think we make errors? Know what the will and the intellect are, and what role they play in Descartes' account of error. Know Descartes' argument that ordinary physical objects exist.
What is Cartesian dualism? Know Descartes' argument for dualism and the objections to it discussed in class.
Know what primary and secondary qualities are, and be able to give two examples of each.
Know what fallibilism and infallibilism are and the advantages of a fallibilist theory of justification. Be able to present the barn facades example, and know what the point of the example is.

Text Only: Know the main point of each of the articles assigned thus far.

Additional terminology:  principle of closure for infallible justification
internalism    externalism    infallibly justified
interactionist dualism   foundationalism  based on a reason
materialism    basic belief   reason
truth     non-basic belief  empirical belief
epistemology    empiricism   epistemic justification
proposition    rationalism   indubitable