Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Backup Quiz Oct.27/28

1. According to John Locke, all our knowledge comes from _____; hence, the mind of a newborn is a ______. (fill in one for full credit, take a bonus credit if you got them both) LH 82

2. Locke said _____ continuity establishes personal identity (bodily, psychological); Thomas Reid said identity relies on ______ memories, not total recall. LH 85-6

3. Bishop George Berkeley was a metaphysical idealist because he believed all that exist are ____; he was an immaterialist because he denied that ______ exists; he was an _______ because he said all knowledge comes from experience. LH 88, 90

4. Esse est percipi means what?

5. According to Dunn, Locke ______ (supported, opposed, invented) religious toleration and the separation of church and state? PB 85

6. (T/F) Campbell disagrees with Locke about the independent existence of secondary qualities like sound and color. PB 95

BONUS: What famous Londoner and lexicographer tried to refute Berkeley by kicking a stone?

BONUS+: What's the function of brains, according to Campbell?  

BONUS++: Whose birthday does Dr. Oliver note in today's post?


1. If the inner world of a newborn is a "blooming buzzing confusion," as William James said, does that show Locke to be right about the contentlessness of the natal mind? Does the mind really start from scratch, an empty vessel? Or might people like the linguist Noam Chomsky and psychologist Steven Pinker be right, to say that the human mind comes equipped with specific, evolved structures for learning language and other things?

2. What's your earliest stored memory? How do you know you're the same person you were before your first recorded memory? Would this be an especially frightening question if you had Alzheimer's? If you ever experience significant or total memory loss, will that be the end of you?

3. Do you notice a difference in the quality of your various experiences. such that some feel immediate and direct (a sunset, an interpersonal encounter, an "epiphany" etc.) while others are more remote, filtered, or "mediated" (a televised sunset, an online chat, a familiar thought)? Is that feeling of immediacy real? What do you think you are encountering, when you have an immediate experience: sensations, perceptions, concepts, ideas... or the world that causes them?

4. How would you fill out the phrase Esse est ____, To be is to be _____? 

5. Do you support separation of chuch and state? Do you value and practice "toleration"? Or is even that too mild an acceptance of others' freedom? Would you want to live in a society whose rules were imposed by Imams, Ayatollahs, or the pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church? 

6. What do you think of Morpheus' speech in The Matrix, when he says if you think of things you can touch, feel, hear, see etc. as "real," then reality is just electrical signals in the brain? Agree? Does that make you a skeptic? Can you draw the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, as Locke did, without becoming either a skeptic or a metaphysical idealist like Berkelely? If you did agree with Berkeley, how would that change your daily life and experience? Is this ultimately a distinction (Primary & Secondary Qualities) without a difference, hence irrelevant from a pragmatic POV?

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