Philosophy 180 Final Exam Study Questions

Four of the following questions will be on the test.  One will be randomly selected from each of the five groups.  Each question will be worth 25 pts. The exam is worth 100 pts.  Note that this exam is optional and has specific eligibility requirements.  Please review this information in the syllabus before taking the exam.  


Your answers to these question will be evaluated on how well they are formulated and also how much knowledge of the readings they reflect.  You will note that some of the questions within the individual groups clearly have overlapping content.  Be sure to write thorough answers in all cases. In other words, do not fail to provide relevant information or background simply because it seems to be more relevant to a question that was not selected. 

 

 

Group 1


a.  Carefully summarize an interesting argument that naturalism is self-refuting.  Evaluate this argument.


b.  Carefully summarize an interesting argument that naturalism undermines the normative aims of philosophy.          Summarize the significance of this conclusion on the assumption that the argument is sound, then evaluate the argument


c.  Carefully summarize an interesting argument against the possibility of a priori knowledge.  Summarize the significance of this conclusion on the assumption that the argument is sound, then evaluate the argument.


Group 2


a. Carefully summarize two interesting arguments  that knowledge requires the ability to participate in social practices.  Evaluate both arguments.


b.  Consider the question:  Do non human animals have knowledge? Summarize the significance of Darwin's theory of evolution for this question and explain how it bears on the answer to the following question:  Do humans have knowledge?


c.  Summarize the role of intuitions in philosophical inquiry from (1) a non naturalistic perspective and (2) a naturalistic perspective.  Show how this distinction results in two different views about the nature and significance of philosophical inquiry.


Group 3


a. Discuss the difference between internalism and externalism in terms of the significance of introspection for knowledge.


b. What is the difference between coherentism and foundationalism?  What significant naturalistic criticisms apply to both views? 


c. Summarize an interesting  argument that reliability is not a natural kind.   Summarize  the significance of the conclusion on the assumption that the argument is sound, then evaluate the argument.


d. Summarize an interesting argument that truth-conducive belief formation processes are (a) typically favored by natural selection and (b) to be preferred even by cognitive systems that do not have truth as an intrinsic value.


Group 4


a.  Explain how Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities raises difficulties for the view that science is the attempt to describe the true nature of external reality.


b. Explain how Kant's attempt to address the problems raised by Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities fails to provide an adequate account of scientific inquiry.


c. Explain the significance of Carnap's distinction between internal and external questions and summarize Quine's reasons for thinking it fails to provide an adequate account of scientific inquiry.


d.  Explain how Second Philosophy differs from First Philosophy with respect to our ability to evaluate scientific methods.  Explain how this difference bears on the project of  understanding the relation between the Manifest Image and the Scientific Image.


 

 

 

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