Philosophy Midterm


What are the two main views of philosophy?

1. The love of Wisdom (Broad View)
2. The exercise and use of reason. We analyze arguments and positions (Narrow View)

What were the philosophers called that were pre Socrates?

Ionian Philosophers

When did philosophy begin?

6-3rd century BCE

Who were two famous Ionian philosophers

Thales and Anaximander

What type of philosophy sought knowledge for their own sake?

Pre Socrates (Ionian Philosophers)

Who were two Ionian philosophers that were obsessed with change?

Thales and Anaximander

In what ways were Ionian philosophers viewing change?

1. Change between death and life
2. Changes of matter

In the pre Socrates era was there a distinction between Philosophy and the Empirical Sciences?


What did Plato and Aristotle focus on?

Focused more on nature of humans and ethical life

What was Plato very interested in? What is his most famous book?

Citizen and its relation to the state. his most famous book is the Republic

What was Aristotle famous for?

Pursuing scientific endeavors and developing and formalizing logic.

What happened in the period from 4th to 16th century CE?

1. This period was marked by Theological construction
2.Adoption and then abandoning of Aristotelian thought
3. Not much separation between Theology and Philosophy

What type of philosophy was adopted from the 4th to 16th century CE?

Medievil Philosophy

What era is considered Modern Day Philosophy?

from 16th century CE to present time

What are the two main changes of modern day philosophy compared to the other forms of philosophy?

1. Philosophy and the empirical sciences become more separated
2. Philosophy starts to throw out the reasoning of God

What question does philosophy ask about science? What order of questioning is this?

Philosophy asks the question "If all of our actions are physically determined, are we free?"
This is a second order question

What question does science ask about the world and behavior? What order of questioning is this?

Question: "Why do things that go up always come down?
First order questioning

What was Russells worry about science and induction?

His worry is that scientific laws are based on things that have always occurred a specific way in the past but are those laws completely reliable for the future?

What is the term "justification of Science and its Practices" used to describe?

Science cannot be successful without giving us a reason to believe in its success.

What are the two reasons Science uses to justify itself?

1. Induction
2. Inference to the best explanation.

What is the reasoning of induction?

This is the reasoning that we make assumptions about the future because of what has happened in the past.

What is a major problem with inductive reasoning?

In the end science uses the reasoning of induction to justify induction.

What are the 5 principles that guide science in telling them a new theory is better than an old theory?

1. Simplicity
2. Coherence
3. Explanatory Power
4. Explanatory Scope
5. Predictive Power

Can science justify itself? If not what does it need?

Science cannot justify itself therefor it cannot stand alone. It needs reasoning behind its logic.

What was the argument brought up in class about science and justification?

1. If science is in need of justification
2. Then it either comes from science itself. divine intervention, or some other reason/explanation
3. It neither comes from science itself or divine intervention
4. Therefor it must come from something else.

What is an argument?

An argument attempts to give reasons for a particular conclusion.

What term is given to the reasons that are used to support the conclusion?


What is the term given to the move from premise to premise to conclusion?


What kinds of arguments are there?

1. Deductive
2. Inductive

What is a deductive argument?

The premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion

What is an inductive argument?

The premises make it more likely that the conclusions is true rather than not.

What kind of logic is this:
1. If Grant is male, then someone is male.
2. Yet, if someone is male, it doesn't mean Grant is male

Deductive Logic

What sets apart a deductive argument from an inductive argument?

Deductive arguments have to do with formal inference patterns like using words such as ALL.

What makes a good argument?

It will have the correct inference pattern.

What does it mean to have a correct inference pattern?

A correct inference pattern will preserve the truth of the conclusion through the form of the inference pattern

What is validity?

If the premises are true then the conclusion must also be true.

What makes an argument invalid?

If the premises are true but the conclusion is false.

Determine whether these arguments are valid or invalid:
1) All students wearing fayettchille shirts are fashionable
2) Shondra is fashionable
3) Therefor, Shandra is a student wearing a fayettchille shirt.

Invalid because even though premise 1 and 2 are true the conclusion is false.

Determine whether the argument is valid or invalid:
1. If Mary is a mother, she must be a woman
2. Mary is a mother
4. Therefore, Mary is a woman

Valid because all premises are true and the conclusion is also true.

Determine if this argument is valid or invalid:
1. All dogs are animals
2. All cats are animals
3. Therefore, all dogs are cats


What does validity ensure?

Validity ensures that the argument will preserve the truth throughout the whole argument.

What is soundness?

When all the premises of an argument are true and it is valid.

Determine if this argument is valid and sound:
1. If I wash, I will pollute the water
2. If I don't wash, I will pollute the air
3. Therefore, whatever I do, I will be a polluter

Valid but Unsound

Determine if the following argument is valid and sound:
1. If Harry Potter foes to Hogwarts, then he is educated in magic
2. Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts
3. Therefore, he is educated in magic

Valid and Sound

Determine if the following argument is valid and sound:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. The Universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe had a cause

Valid and Sound (Only if the second premise is true)

What is the antecedent?

The "IF" statement

What is the consequent?

The "THEN" statement

What is disjunctive syllogism?

1. P vs Q
2. Not Q
3. Then it must be P

What types of invalid forms of reasoning are there?

1. Affirming the consequent
2. Denying the antecedent

Can an argument be sound and invalid?


What is inductive reasoning?

Where the premises render the likelihood of the conclusion to be more probable than not.

What is the term given to explain this argument:
1. The universe looks designed
2. Things like motors, building, and computers look designed as well
3. These require a designer
4. Therefore the universe must require a designer.

Reasoning by analogy

What is Inference to the best explanation? What other term can be used to describe this form of reasoning?

If the probability for H under A is high then we can infer A from H
Beyesion Reasoning

What is determinism?

All events are causally necessitated by prior events combined with the laws of nature.

What is indeterminism?

Some but not all events are causally necessitated by prior events combined with the laws of nature. (All events do have a cause or explanation but not all events are causally necessitated by prior events)

What is PAP (Principle of Alternative Possibilities)

It must be the case that for an action to be considered free, the agent must have had the ability to do otherwise

What two kinds of avoidance are there?

1. Categorical
2. Hypothetical

What is categorical avoidance?

An action is avoidable such that no causal sufficient conditions for its occurrence.

What is hypothetical avoidance?

If the agent had chosen to do otherwise, he would have done otherwise.

What is compatibilism?

Free will is compatible with determinism.

What is Incompatibilism?

Free will is incompatible with determinism.

What is Freedom of action vs Freedom of will?

Meaningfulness of an action and success of an action depend on forces beyond out control.

What is Hard Determinism/Incompatabalism

Free will is an illusion. We are really not morally responsible for what we do.

What is Libertarianism/Incompatibilism

We have free will. Determinism is false

What is Soft-Determinism/Compatibilism

Free will and determinism are compatible

What is the argument for determinism?

1) If determinism is true, then we can never do other than when we do; hence, we are never responsible for what we do.
2) If indeterminism is true, then some events - namely, human actions - are random, hence not free; hence, we are never responsible for

What are the three options in regards to free will?

Three options:
Compatibalists deny the first premise and say that we can have free will and be responsible for our actions yet determinism is true.
Libertarians/Incompatibalists deny the second premise and say that there are actions that are uncaused yet

What problem exists between the compatabilist point of view that is strictly Humean?

Animals likely choose an actions by means to achieve a specific desire and yet they are not moral agents.

What problem exists between Compatibilists modification argument?

Imagine a moral saint who never has a contrary inclination or desire. This person does not have free will.

What is the Compatibilist modification argument?

Modification: Let the rational part dictate which desires to pursue. Only pursue the good ones and don't let the bad one's take over.

What two problems exist with this compatibilist argument: Free will has to do with deliberation over one's choices as a means to fulfilling one's desires and values. These are supposed to aim at what is good. It is distinctively human that we can be aware

Problem #1: Certain obsessive desires can dominate and guide our choices but we would not consider ourselves free.
Problem #2: Assumes a certain conception of human nature.

What is the 3rd view of the compatibalist?

Free will seems to imply we have control over our actions

What is regulative control? What viewpoint about free will does it correspond with?

I have the ability to chose alternative courses of actions. I am morally responsible to the extent that I had the ability to chose a different course of action (Libertarian View).

What is guidance control? What viewpoint about free will does this correspond with?

(Compatibilist View) - I have the ability to guide my actions through reason responsive mechanisms. I am morally responsible to the extent that an action issues from me and I take ownership of the reason responsive mechanism like practical reason.

What is the fourth compatibilist point of view about free will?

It is possible that one can't avoid a particular action yet still be held morally responsible for that action

Who came up with the 4th compatibalist point of view?


What was Frankfort's argument?

He claims that we can still be morally responsible for an action even if we don't have a choice. He claims that moral responsibility is about responding to certain kinds of mechanisms and taking ownership of those.

What is First Order Desire?

A desire to do or not to do one thing or another

What is will?

A first order desire that moves a person to act

What is a second order desire?

A desire to desire or be moved to do or not to do one thing or another

What is a second order violation?

A desire to have a particular first order desire move one to act

Which of the following has the ability to from second order violations, persons or wanton?


What is the addiction example used to describe a second order violation?

The addict has a conflicting first order desires. She wants to take the drug but also doesn't want to take it. The desire to take the drug wins out!
Unwilling addict: wants the desire to refrain from taking the drug. Wants that to become part of her will.

Which of the following correspond to Frankforts idea of free will, Guidance Control or Regulative Control?

Guidance Control

What are three questions that pose a problem with Frankfort's idea of free will?

1. Are there third order and fourth order desires?
2. Can you chose to not have a particular desire at all? Is that determined?
3. But why not identify oneself with one's cluster of second order desires? This is where the action is.

What is foundationalism?

All of our knowledge rests on a foundation of non-inferentially justified "basic" beliefs.

What did Descartes believe about beliefs based on the senses?

He believed that they are not foundational

What is cartesian skepticism?

Descartes stated that everything he knows he has learned from the senses or through the senses but, he says sometimes the senses deceive him so he is skeptical to trust them.

What is Descartes wax argument?

This argument is basically stating that if you take a piece of wax and melt it, even though it doesn't have any of the same characteristics we somehow know that it is the same material. So even though our senses tell us one thing we believe another.

What is Descartes conclusion about the wax argument?

He concludes that true knowledge of the wax neither comes from the senses or imagination so it must come from something else. But the true knowledge of the wax comes from a clear and distinct mental perception of its nature.

What is the term that Descartes concludes of how we get our knowledge?


What is Descartes Rationalism?

We learn things by exercising our power of reason

What is the cartesian circle?

Descartes said that we come to know things by our clear and distinct mental perceptions.
But how do we know those are reliable?
He ends up saying that a perfect God made us who has not deceived us.
And now one can ask how one knows that a perfect God has

What is the value theory?

Values are what makes a life go well

What is normative ethics?

What are our moral duties?

What is metaethics?

What is the status of ethics?

What type of eithics is this question:
What are our fundamental moral duties?

Normative ethics

What type of ethics is this:
Who should our role models be?

Normative Ethics

What type of ehics is this question:
What is the good life?

Value Theory

What type of ethics is this:
What is worth pursuing for its own sake?

Value Theory

What type of ethics is this:
How do we improve our lot in life?

Value Theory

What type of ethics is this:
What is the status of moral claims and advice?


What type of ethic is this:
Can moral claims and theories be true or false?


What type of ethics is this:
Can we have moral knowledge?


What is the first view of moral skepticism?

The enterprise of moral philosophy is bankrupt, and all ethical views are equally plausible.

What are some problems with the first view of moral skepticism?

It may lead to Ethical Relativism, which is widely rejected by many philosophers.
Ethics may be worth studying even if it is not objective.

What is the moral theory?

Moral theory: a general principle, or set of principles, that tells us what is morally right in a wide variety of cases.

What is a Modus Tollens argument?

This is an argument that denies the consequent

What is a Reductio Ad Absurdum argument?

Reducing to absurdity - Assume some proposition to be true and derive a contradiction showing the proposition to not be true.