1) How can you tell if you are thinking about ontology and not epistemology?
Ontology mainly deals with the study of nature or reality. It also involves a study on the relations of nature and mainly deals with questions concerning what entities exist and how they can be grouped based on the relationships in the hierarchy. Epistemology on the other hand aims at giving the definition of knowledge, how it is acquired and ways in which we can know what we know. Therefore if a person is thinking about nature and classifications of organisms, then he/she is thinking about ontology whereas when a person is mainly thinking about the various stages involved in knowledge acquisition, then he/she is thinking about epistemology.
2) How do you know if you are studying metaphysics and not ontology?
Metaphysics is the main branch of philosophy that is mainly concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of existence. Metaphysics answers questions on what are existing and the nature of the things in existence (what are they like?). Ontology on the other hand goes deeper into investigating basic categories of what is being analyzed and the relationship that exists between them.
Dualism simply refers to two parts. It can also be used to represent a set of views about the relationships that may exist between mind and matter.
3) Describe the arguments from doubt and divisibility
In the doubt argument, Descartes doubts the existence of his body and cannot doubt his existence as a thinking thing. The argument concludes that the person, who is a thinking thing, is not identical with his body. Therefore this argument is not valid since its conclusion doesn’t follow logically from its premises.
According to the divisibility argument, all extended things are divisible and there are no minds which are divisible. The argument therefore concludes by saying that there are no minds which can be categorized as extended things.
4) Why does Descartes need the theory of interactionism?
The theory of interactionism derives social processes from human interaction and also involves the study of individuals their behavior in the society. Descartes need the theory so as to give more explanation and show the relationships existing between different arguments presented in the theory.
6) What are the different types of materialism?
a. Cosmologic materialism
b. Anthropological materialism
c. Historical materialism
d. Formalist materialism
7) What is the difference between identity theory, eliminativism and physicalism
Identity theory is a type of theory that links self attitudes to the role related behaviors of people in different contexts. Identity theory of the mind implies that the processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Eliminativsm on the other hand claims that people’s common sense is always false and that some of the things that most people believe actually do not exist while physicalism is a position that holds that everything which exists is not more extensive than the actual physical properties possessed by that thing.
8) What is the biggest issue with materialism? The biggest issue with materialism is the attempt to define what matter actually is.
9) Describe strong and weak AI and the theory of multiple realizability
Strong AI is a type of artificial intelligence that matches or exceeds the intelligence of human beings. If a machine can perform tasks in a manner that matches or exceeds that of human beings, then we can say that the machine has a strong AI. A weak AI on the other hand is a type of artificial intelligence that does not meet the standards of the ones for a human being. Multiple realizability implies that the same mental chattels can be implemented in different physical properties or characteristics.
10) Summarize the AI language argument from Turing to Searle
This concept mainly deals with deducing whether computers have the capacity for consciousness. John Searle offers a view on the operation of computers as far as the concept of AI is concerned. He states that strong AI is metaphysically impossible since the computers lack the appropriate understanding of any kind of language. Searle begins by defining Strong and weak AI and then adds that a strong AI requires an understanding of symbols beyond just plain manipulation. His third argument is that computers are incapable of understanding symbols therefore lack the capability to be strong AI.
Turing on the other hand, begins by denying Searle’s conclusion that strong AI cannot exist. In his argument, he places the computers on the same playing field with humans. He concludes by saying that strong AI can exist even without a computer being able to understand the concept of language.
E. Rationalism and Rene Descartes
11) How does rationalism view Math, Metaphysics & Ethics?
Rationalism has always been math and rationalists tend to believe that knowledge is just like math. They also believe that through thinking, you can be able to know everything. Rationalism however does not acknowledge the existence of metaphysical necessity while it recognizes the existence of ethics demonstrating that reason is the ultimate court of appeal in judging.
12) How is mathematics doubted and then reclaimed by Descartes (show steps)
Descartes doubts mathematics through the following three perceptions:
i. Perceptual illusion – in this aspect, Descartes claims that if his senses had deceived him before, therefore he cannot trust all the senses. He also adds that things are not always as they may seem to be. He therefore says that we should not trust wholly all the things that we perceive.
ii. The dream problem – Descartes raises a more systematic method for doubting the legitimacy of all the sensory perceptions. He adds that there is no material world and that things may seem to be what they are not in real sense.
iii. Deceiving God – this is also referred to as the radical hypothesis which is derived from one of the most treasured traditional beliefs. He claims that even if he believes that something is true, an omnipresent deceiver can change the belief and ultimately render his belief useless.
13) Descartes bedrock of uncertainty is on the mind.
14) Do we use our reasoning ability to make sense of everything? If so, is it proof of innate ideas?
In some cases we cannot use our reasoning ability to make sense of everything. There are some cases whereby things happen naturally without the involvement of any sense of uncertainty.
15) What was Pyrrho of Elis’ view and method of Skeptism?
All philosophers are in the agreement that rational thinking is the avenue to truth however, Pyrrho of Elis was in disagreement and claimed that there are some doubts about the quest for knowledge. Pyrrho also argued that if the philosophers could give up their useless intellectual exercises, then could come up with a conservative political philosophy and live by time honored traditions. This system has some weaknesses since a person cannot be able to postpone judgement forever since at one point in time, an action has to be taken. Another weakness of this view is that a person cannot be certain that knowledge is impossible. This view is also called Skepticism and can be compared to the postmodernist Philosophy.
16) How did Plato argue for innate ideas in the Memo
Plato argued that there is life after death an indeed he was right in his arguments. Plato also argued that universal knowledge is not acquired but it is innate. The senses that a person may have do not necessarily mean that it was acquired but a person gained them during the soul’s existence prior to birth. He further adds that all wisdom is recollection of whatever was leant in prior to mortality.
17) What is the difference between induction and deduction?
Induction reasoning involves a type of reasoning whereby the reasoning process is from a particular point to some general knowledge while the deductive argument is one that is from a general point of view to a particular point of view. An argument that may seem to be deductively invalid may on the other hand become inductively valid.
18) What is induction and how does it differ from deduction
Induction is the first form of thinking that a human may do. It involves thinking from what is particular to a general perspective. Deduction on the other hand takes two propositions and an accompanying conclusion.
19) Define compounding, relating & abstracting as used by Locke. Give examples of each of them in action
Compounding is the capacity of the mind to manufacture new ideas from some simple components. Compounding involves putting together ideas from different perspectives and the making them work together. Relations on the other hand involve putting together closely related ideas and then finding the interconnection that may exist between them. Abstracting is the capability of making general use of particular ideas in a more general form.
20) What is Locke’s theory of primary and secondary qualities? What is the problem with it?
The primary qulities of any kind of body can be said to be the features that Locke took to be inseparable from it. While according to Locke the secondary qualities were held to be nothing in the object but just some casual power that can be used to produce ideas in some kinds of laid procedure. Lockes theory of primary qualities includde: solidity, mobility, number, texture, figure and extension while the secndary qualities include colors, tastes, sounds, smells, cold and heat. The main problem with these qualities as proposed by Locke is that they lead to systematic lies and people are likely to be misguided by the existing notion.
21) How does Locke relate the concepts of reflection & sensation?
Locke was able to give a distinction between sensation and reflection through making a reference to their objects. Ideas of sensation are acquired through the casual operation of some external objects and the ideas of reflection are acquired through the internal senses which are the awareness of our own intellectual operations that may be in our bodies.
22) How do they relate to ideas?
Locke says that all that we know and everything that we believe and any kind of thought that we can be able to entertain is made up of ideas of sensation and reflection only. They are used to describe the way in which our senses are conversant with some particular kinds of sensible objects.
23) How does Locke relate simple and complex ideas?
Simple ideas can be related through compounding whereby the mental capacity manufactures some new complex ideas through the use of the simple ideas/components.
24) Give Locke analysis of perfection and infinity
According to John Locke, the necessity of pursuing happiness is through the foundation of liberty. He adds that the utmost perfection of intellectual nature can be achieved through constant pursuance of solid happiness.
25) What does it mean for knowledge to be internal to Experience Vs External to Experience according to Hume?
Hume believed that all the contents of the mind are drawn from experiences alone. The experiences can either be external or internal experiences.
26) What do we know according to Hume?
According to Hume we know that the course of nature will remain to be uniformly the same without any much hindrance.
27) How does Hume explain the uniformity of nature, casualty, custom and the self?
According to Hume, the uniformity of nature is the principle that the course of nature will continue to be uniformly the same. According to Hume on casualty, for all effects, there is a cause and cause preceded the effect.
28) What is the argument for rationalism over empiricism as described by Chomsky or Pinker?
According to Chomsky or Pinker, there are significant ways in which concepts and knowledge are gained independently from the sense of experience. They also claim that empiricism involves having a sense experience and this is what forms the ultimate source of all the concepts and knowledge.
29) Can empiricism be tested? Yes it possible for empiricism to be tested.
What does a rigorous empiricism need to be a complete theory? Rigorous empiricism can be used to produce more adequate knowledge than the standard methods. It however needs to have a sense of experience so as become a complete theory.
G. Kant’s Epistemology
30) Explain the Copernican revolution
The Copernican Revolution refers to a prototype shift away from the Ptolemaic model. This model represents the earth at the center of the galaxy and the sun being the center of the solar system. It marked one of the starting points of the scientific revolution of the 16th century.