Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Backup Quiz Oct.6/7

1. What state of mind, belief, or knowledge was Descartes' Method of Doubt supposed to establish? OR, What did Descartes seek that Pyrrho spurned? LH 63, 64

2. Did Descartes claim to know (at the outset of his "meditations") that he was not dreaming? LH 65

3. What strange and mythic specter did Gilbert Ryle compare to Descartes' dualism of mind and body? ("The  ____ in the ______.") LH

4. The view that we do not perceive objects directly and immediately, but infer them as the causes of our inner ideas or representations, is called representational _______. P 111

Primary qualities, according to John Locke, include size, shape, and movement. What kind of qualities are color, smell, and taste? P 111

5. When Samuel Johnson kicked a stone and said "I refute it thus," what view (or whose) was he trying to refute? P 116

6. The view that physical objects are just patterns of actual or possible sense experiences is called what? P 117

BONUS: The most satisfactory theory of perception so far, says Nigel, is causal realism. Its starting point is that the biological function of our senses is what? P 118-119

BONUS+: What pragmatic American philosopher was Descartes' "most practical critic"?

BONUS++: (T/F) A.C. Grayling thinks that, because Descartes was so wrong about consciousness and the mind-body problem, he cannot be considered a historically-important philosopher.


1. Is there anything you know or believe that you could not possibly be mistaken about, or cannot reasonably doubt? If so, what? How do you know it? If not, is that a problem for you?

2. How do you know you're awake and not dreaming? Is it meaningful to say "life is but a dream"? (And again: "Inception" - ?!)

3. Are you essentially identical with or distinct from your body (which includes your brain)? If distinct, who/what/where are you? How do you know? Can you prove it? OR, Do you believe in immaterial spirits? Can you explain how it is possible for your (or anyone's) material senses to perceive them?

4. Do we experience the world immediately, or are our sensations a filter or screen between our minds and the world? If the latter, what do you say to the solipsist?

5. Do you think Samuel Johnson's refutation was successful?

6. What would be the point of avoiding commitment to the existence of physical objects?

1 comment:

  1. 1. Descartes could not imagine not having a mind, but he couldn't imagine not having a body.

    2. What does "cognito ergo sum" mean?
    I think therefore I am.

    3. Who is the famous idealist who declared that "to exist is to be perceived."
    Bishop Berkley

    4. Descartes believed that we could trust our senses when determining what is certain.

    5. The Method of Cartesian Doubt is to not accept anything as true if there is any possibility that it is not.

    6. Which two arguments did Descartes use to convince himself of God's existence?
    Trademark Agreement and St. Anselm