What's Up Philosophy 192N: Naturalism

Assignment page  (Analysis 4  and 5 posted, due 12/3, 12/16 respectively.)


Rubber hand illusion day.


Your analysis 4 is due Sunday night, so no extra extra reading or journal entry due Tuesday. I'll put up a set of questions over section 5 of the book that will be due by Thursday. 

For Tuesday, your only assignment is to do the class evaluation if you haven't already.  To do it, either login to MySacState or your Saclink email and locate the invitation to evaluate this class.  There are two sections to the evaluation and in the second section there will be a couple of drop down menus asking you to identify the instructor and the class.  My name appears there as Gregory Mayes, and this course is Philosophy 192n.  Thanks!


Analysis 5 has been posted.

Read section 4 of ET.

Journal entry for 11.29.12

1.  What is necessary for agency?

2. How does Alien Hand syndrome illuminate the distinction between ownership and agency?

3. What is an affordance?  Wikipedia is helpful here.  Using this term, explain why the internet causes deterioration of your self model.  (Which, of course, is necessary if the world is to finally become one big interconnected organism.)

4.  What does Metzinger mean when he suggests that "thoughts could be models of successfully terminated actions" and why does he think this affords a solution to the mind-body problem?  Do you agree that it would?

(Note: This paper by John Campbell might help you answer this question.  If you love it, and want to write your fifth analysis on it, let me know.)

5. Distinguish three forms of agency.

6. Metzinger identifies 3 pathological phenomena that pose a challenge to any philosophical account of agency. They are:

7. Discuss the idea of 'hallucinating agency' in any way you like as long as it is informed by the text. 

8.  In the section "How Free Are We?" Metzinger observes that "the harder you look at [conscious intentions] the more they recede into the background." What does he mean by this.

9.  How does Metzinger understand the function of ascriptions of moral responsibility?


Read section 3 of ET, Out of the Body and into the Mind.  I'll have questions up by Saturday afternoon.

Journal entry for 11.27.12

1.  The feeling of having a body consists in what?

2. What happens when you get good at using chopsticks?

3. How may human tool use have contributed to phenomenal ownership?

4. What is an exaptation?  Why does Metzinger mention it?

5. What is the subtle body?

6. How does the structure of episodic memory support Blackmore's explanation of OBE's?

7. Do your OBE's resemble those related in the book?

8. What does Metzinger mean when he says that during an OBE, two self models are active at the same time?

9.  How does Olaf Blanke account for OBE's?

10. How does the embedding principle explain full body illusions?

11. Why, according to Metzinger, is agency not required for the feeling of being someone?

12. What, according to Metzinger, are the requirements of minimal self consciousness?

13.  What is required to go from minimal self consciousness to a first person perspective or what Metzinger calls 'inwardness'?

14. How do monkeys controlling remote robots help us to understand the nature of inwardness?

15. What does Metzinger mean when he says the brain is like a total flight simulator?l

16. How does Ramachandran's phantom limb therapy support Metzinger's view of conscious self as a form of virtual reality?


I've posted analysis 4 on the assignment page.  The following questions cover two periods.  Obviously, we will not be able to cover them all in class, but please be prepared to discuss all of them.

Read Ego Tunnel, Part One Section 2.  

Journal entry for 11.15-20.12

1. What is the classical connection between conscience and consciousness?

2. What is the one world problem?

3. Touch your nose with your finger. Notice that you feel your nose touch your finger at the same time your finger touches your nose.  Discuss.

4. Why does Metzinger describe the NCC as an island? 

5. What does Metzinger see as the necessary properties of the NCC?

6. Metzinger says that consciously perceiving entails being aware that we are consciously perceiving. "We must perceive the perceiving while it happens."  Does this seem correct to you? 

7. How does Metzinger understand the metarepresentational nature of consciousness in neuroscientific terms?

8. How have expert meditators been used to study one worldness?

9.  What is the Now problem?

10. What is the global workspace theory and how does Metzinger make use of it?

11.  Consider this:  Metzinger says that strictly speaking, there is no such thing as Now in the outside world.  Yet the present is what we are inclined to think of as the only thing truly real. Consider it, I say.

12. Metzinger makes an interesting observation about daydreaming.  I didn't notice Gopnik discussing this at all, but it now strikes me as an interesting omission.  No?

13. Why is there no immediate contact with reality?

14. What is the reality problem?

15. What does Metzinger mean by the transparency of phenomenal representation and how does he think it is created?

16.  Metzinger says that whatever is available for deliberately detected attention is what is consciously experienced.  Does this seem fully compatible with what he says in 6. above?

17. "Why are the walls of the neurphenomenological cave so impenetrable?"

18. What is the ineffability problem?

19. What does Metzinger mean when he says that qualia have never existed?

20. How is the ineffability problem a particular challenge for science?

21. What does Metzinger seem to think about eliminativism as the answer to ineffability?

22. What is the evolution problem?

23. How does Metzinger's approach to answering the problem connect to Gopnik?

24. What is the Who problem?


Analysis 3 due Sunday night.

The Ego Tunnel: Introduction and Part One Section One: The Emergence of a World.  Also, clear away an hour of quiet time to listen to  this Radiolab podcast.  I won't ask you specific questions about it, but it's riveting and highly relevant to ET and PB.  Book questions will be up by Saturday or Sunday. 

Also, remember that we won't have class on Thursday  I will put up questions, however, as well as questions for the following Tuesday.  

Journal entry for 11.13.12

1.  What is the difference between a being that is conscious and a being that has a PSM?

2.  If light is consciousness, how long ago, according to Metzinger, did God say:  "Let there be light." ?

3. What distinguishes human PSM's from non human PSM's?

4.  Metzinger thinks feeling God is harder for us today.  Why?

5. What is the importance of Metzinger's point that reduction is a relation between theories?

6. Use the word 'disenchantment' in a single sentence, but with two distinctly different meanings.

7.  The Radiolab episode makes reference to Proust's comparison of consciousness to a "rope let down from heaven".  Here is a longer excerpt containing it from Remembrance of Things Past.

I lost all sense of the place in which I had gone to sleep, and when I awoke at midnight, not knowing where I was, I could not be sure at first who I was; I had only the most rudimentary sense of existence, such as may lurk and flicker in the depths of an animal’s consciousness; I was more destitute of human qualities than the cave-dweller; but then the memory, not yet of the place in which I was, but of various other places where I had lived, and might now very possibly be, would come like a rope let down from heaven to draw me up out of the abyss of not-being, from which I could never have escaped by myself: in a flash I would traverse and surmount centuries of civilisation, and out of a half-visualised succession of oil-lamps, followed by shirts with turned-down collars, would put together by degrees the component parts of my ego.

How does this compare to Metzinger's description of waking up in the morning?

8.  What, according to Metzinger, is the apricot pink of the setting sun?

9.  How are you a tunnel driller?

10.  "The fire is neural dynamics."  Explain.

11.  Interesting, or not, that our two naturalists (Gopnik and Metzinger) both make important use of the Plato's allegory?


Journal entry for 11.09.12

Chapter 9 PB

No new journal questions, but bring at least one interesting observation or criticism of final chapter.

If you are having trouble identifying a critical perspective for your analysis due on Sunday, there are a few papers worth looking at. Don't worry that they are older than the article you are reading. Most of what Gopnik and Wellman are relating is a description of the last 20 years of research. All of the articles below are online and easily found with a Google search.

1. Children's Theories and the Drive to Explain, by Eric Schwitzgebel
(Note: this article is not critical of Gopnik's view, but tries to show what changes need to be made to a more traditional notion of 'theory' in order to accommodate it.)

2. The Baby in the Lab-Coat: Why Child Development Is Not an Adequate Model for Understanding the Development of Science, by Faucher et al

3. The Mind’s “I” and the Theory of Mind’s “I”: Introspection and Two Concepts of Self, by Shaun Nichols.

4. The theory theory thrice over: The child as scientist, superscientist or social institution?


Journal entry for 11.06.12

Chapter 8 PB.  

1.  What is the connection between empathy and imitation?

2. How, according to Gopnik, do mirror neurons facilitate empathy in humans?

3. How does empathy motivate altruism?

4. How does empathy motivate vengeance?

5. Are children utilitarians or deontologists? Explain. (Note: This isn't about the trolley problem.)

6. How does psychopathy illuminate infant morality?

7. In a large lecture students are randomly assigned to wear either a blue bandanna or a white bandanna for the entire semester. (If they forget it on any given day, they lose a point.)  What will happen?

8. Because that's just the way we do things around here.  Explain.

9. What's the evidence that children are better at following rules than doing logic?

10. Why am I asking you if MSG is bad for you? 


Chapter 6 & 7 PB.

Journal entry for 11.01.12

From 6

1. Gopnik formulates the traditional problem of personal identity as a question, and then proposes to examine another question relating to the longitudinal effects of childhood experiences.  What are they?  Do they seem strongly or weakly related to you?  Explain.

2.  When a trait is heritable it means that it is due to a person's genes.  Yes?

3.  What is the upside and the downside of the human ability to create our own environment?

4. How do genetic risk and environmental risk multiply each other?

5. How do early childhood intervention programs affect the home environment?  

From 7

6. Gopnik distinguishes a few different types of babies in terms of their causal love maps. Summarize.

7. How, as adults, do our internalized theories of love affect our relationships with other adults?

8. How can being a philosopher help you overcome having been inadequately loved as a child?

9. Would you predict that philosophically inclined adults were loved less as children than  others?

10. What is the significance of social monogamy and alloparenting?

11. Why is it interesting that most human females live long after their reproductive years are over?

12. Why, according to Gopnik, do people think of our past experiences as an essential part of who we are?


Chapter 5 PB.

Journal entry for 10.30.12

1.  Who is H.M. and why is he interesting?

2.  Episodic memories are especially vivid and therefore far more likely to be accurate than non episodic memories.  Yes?

3.  Why do children say 'nothing' when their parents ask what they did today?

4. What sorts of things do three-year-olds have a harder time remembering than adults?

5. How does Povinelli's experiment provide evidence that young children have limited autobiographical memories?

6. What is the connection between executive control and autobiographical memory?

7. What does Gopnik mean when she suggests that children inner consciousness may be more like wandering than voyaging.

8. Is there any sense in which the absence of source memory, autobiographical memory and executive control is useful to babies?

9. What does Gopnik mean when she says that what we know about children supports Dennett's views on consciousness?


Chapter 4 PB.

Journal entry for 10.25.12

1.  Gopnik poses the question "What is it like to be a baby?" which echoes Nagel's famous article "What is it like to be a bat?"  Nagel's point was that there is something that it is like to be a bat, and that this something is a fact that science in its current state is not equipped to answer. Before getting into this chapter it is worth pausing to consider how Davidson's paper on conceptual schemes relates to Nagel's perspective.  Write anything you like.

2. What is the difference between exogenous and endogenous attention?

3. Can you voluntarily put yourself into a state of maximum awareness of your environment?

4. Either put yourself or think about yourself in what you would describe as a state of maximum awareness or consciousness.  Can you attach any meaning to the idea of being even more conscious than that?

5. Gopnik compares the Big Story of Consciousness to the Big Story of Life.  What would it be to solve the BSC the way we allegedly solved the BSL?

6. Gopnik says "...the younger you are, the more novelty and unexpectedness you will experience, both in the external and the internal worlds. Both the objects around you and your own internal feelings will start out being unexpected."  Does this make complete sense to you?

7. What are the basic differences between adult and baby attention?

8. Neurologically speaking, what makes a movie good?

9. What does Gopnik mean when she claims that babies may be more conscious than adults?

10. Gopnik uses travel and meditation to illuminate the distinction between spotlight consciousness and lantern consciousness, claiming that lantern consciousness is more indicative of what it is like to be a baby. Do you think this supports her claim that babies are more conscious than adults? (You can write any other thoughts you have about this basic idea instead.)


Chapter 3 PB.  Assignment 3 is posted, due November 11th.  Give yourself lots of time to read the paper.

Journal entry for 10.23.12

1. The first section of this chapter starts with Plato's allegory of the cave and ends talking about Bayes rule and causal maps.  What's the connection?

2. What evidence (from scientsts other than herself) does Gopnik provide that babies can use statistical patterns to make causal inferences?

3. How do Gopnik's Blicket detection experiments provide such evidence?

4. On what basis does Gopnik claim that babies do experiments?  

5. How did Schulz's and Legare's experiments provide evidence that children are learning through experimentation rather than just amusing themselves?

6. What evidence does Gopnik provide of babies being designed to learn from the actions of others?

7. Gopnik says that babies go beyond simply imitating other people to recognize complex causal relationships among human goals, actions and outcomes.  But one might argue that imitating any kind of human behavior already requires that.  Can you explain why?

8. How do children use statistical patterns to understand other minds?

9. How do children perform psychological experiments to explore mental phenomena?

10. What evidence does Gopnik provide that developing causal maps of other minds requires language? 


Chapter 2 PB.  

Journal entry for 10.18.12

1. What, according to Gopnik, is the developmental value of imaginary friends?

2. What's a paracosm?  Did you have one?

3. Gopnik identifies several levels of sophistication with respect to infant/child understanding of the minds of others.  Give 3 examples at different levels.

4. What kind of useful counterfactual knowledge results from having causal maps of other minds?

5. How do we use causal maps to control our own minds?

6. Think about Descartes in answering this question. Do children learn about their own minds before or after learning about the minds of others?

7. Gopnik characterizes the evolutionary value of imaginary friends, but she also notes that adults across cultures don't approve of them. Do you think there could be some evolutionary benefit to this as well?

8. What, according to Gopnik, is the most significant difference between causal maps of the mental and physical world?

9. Gopnik says that children are useless on purpose.  What does she mean by that?


Assignment 2 is due Sunday night.  For Tuesday read Philosophical Baby Chapter 1. 

Journal entry for 10.16.12

1.  What is the upside of the human ability to think counterfactually?

2.  What is the downside?

3.  What evidence does Gopnik produce that infant problem-solving goes beyond trial and error?

4.  What evidence does Gopnik produce that young children can imagine alternative pasts?

5.  What's interesting about "no?"

6.  What's interesting about giggling?

7. Do you, as an adult, ever pretend?  If so, why?

8. Gopnik makes a point of saying that children know they are pretending.  But what would it mean for someone to pretend without knowing it?

9.  Write a single sentence that relates all these concepts in an interesting way:   possibility, counterfactual, causation, intervention.

10.  What is the significance of the distinction between maps and blueprints?

11.  How do blickets provide evidence for the theory that children make causal maps?


Re-read Maddy Part 2 Section 5 and finish and fill out questions from that section.  Finish reading Davidson article and come with at least one question about it. 


Read Maddy Part 2 section 5.

Journal entry for 10.9.12

1. How does Wright's minimalism differ from deflationism?

2. How does the concept of truth-aptness figure into Wright's minimalism?

3. What of interest does Wright's view of comic discourse reveal about his notion of truth?

4. Why does Maddy describe Wright's view as pluralistic and inflationist?

5.  What is an Error Theory and how does it bear on Wright's view?

6. How does mathematical truth challenge Wright's view?

7. How does Wright deal with the challenge?

8. Why is 2p unconvinced by Wright's minimalism? 


Read Maddy Part 2 section 4.

Suggestion:  Read the whole chapter before answering any of these questions.

Journal entry for 10.4.12

1. What does Maddy mean when she says "where the correspondence theorist sees robust referential relations, the disquotationalist sees local epistemology."

2.  What is the Success Argument, and how does Maddy's 2p disquotationalist respond to it?

3. What does Maddy mean when she says, after her discussion of  phlogiston "it is the indication relations of our beliefs, not their truth or falsity, that explains our success"?.

4.  What is the Critical Stance argument, and how does Maddy's 2p disquotationalist respond to it?

5. Why does referential indeterminacy in our own language seem to pose a special problem and how does Maddy propose to solve it?

6. A well-known argument for scientific realism is that the approximate truth of scientific theories is the best explanation of their success. Given the above, how would you expect Maddy to respond to this?

7. Are you now a disquotationalist?  Why or why not?


Read Maddy Part 2 section 3.  

Journal entry for 10.2.12

 What is Mechanism and why was it rejected?

2.  In what sense is Physicalism the successor to Mechanism?

3.  Why does Maddy say that Field's criticism of Tarski rests on a different sense of the term 'physicalism' than represented in (2)?

4. Why is Maddy skeptical of Field's physicalism as a condition on scientifically acceptable theories?

5.  Briefly summarize what Maddy has to say about the strength of Field's analogy between the theory of valence and the theory of truth.

6.  What does Maddy mean when she says the debate over reference seems takes place in an 'explanatory vacuum?'


Journal entry for 9.27.12

1.  How does Tarski understand the task of providing a definition of truth?

2.  How does Tarski's definition accomplish that task?

3.  In what sense does Field deny that Tarski's theory is satisfactory?

4.  On what basis does Field deny that Tarski's theory is satisfactory?

5.  What sort of theory does Field think is still required?

6.  Given an example of such a theory (Kripke's).

7.  On what basis might one claim that nothing more that Tarski's analysis is required? (disquotationalism)

8. What does the disquotationalist mean when she says that truth is a device for handling infinite conjunctions and disjunctions?

9. What is the point of Maddy's discussion of Quine's problem of the indeterminacy of translation?

10. Does this discussion appear to be resolved in favor of the disquotationalist or the correspondence theorist?

11. How does the disquotationalist understand the significance of the the causal word-world relations deemed significant by causal theory of reference?


Read Maddy Part 2 section 1 & 2. Read Section 2 carefully.  Questions about it will be posted before Tuesday, but they won't be due until Thursday.

Journal entry for 9.25.12

1. Maddy says in II.1  "The primary reason there remain so many jobs for the Second Philosopher is quite simple: There are important questions (typically classified as philosophical) that don't fit within a single scientific discipline."  What do you think of this?


No new text reading.  Finish reading the article "Naturalism and Common Sense," if you haven't already.  We'll discuss Putnam, your paper due Sunday, and as many of the questions below as we have time for.

Journal entry for 9.20.12

1. Briefly summarize the difference between the Second Philosopher and Hume with respect to what Hume called the Science of Man.

2. Why, according to Broughton, did Hume approach the Science of Man in the way he did?

3. Why is Hume's skepticism typically explained in terms of his acceptance of the Theory of Ideas?

4. On what basis does Maddy doubt the explanation from (3)?

5. How does the approach of Reid's Philosopher of Common Sense differ from Hume's Scientist of Man?

6. What is Reid's first objection to the Theory of Ideas?

7. Reid gives 3 objections to the Theory of Ideas.  Which do you take to be most interesting and why?



Read Maddy Part 1 Section 7. 

You can find complete instructions for your first assignment, due 9/23, under the Assignment Page link above. This week on Thursday we will talk some about the article (though typically we will not) and answer any questions.  Be sure you have read it carefully by then.  A significant number of students in the class have written this analytical assignment for me in the past (e.g., Hans Baker, Dylan Popowicz, Derek Hartkopf and Preston Tillotson) and would be an excellent source of peer advice to those who find it baffling the first time through. (Note: Everyone finds it baffling the first time through.)

Journal entry for 9.18.12

1. How does Putnam distinguish between internal realism and metaphysical realism? 

2. How does Putnam's rejection of metaphysical realism resemble Kant's rejection of transcendental realism?

3. Why does Maddy claim that 2p is not susceptible to the charge Putnam levels at metphysical correspondence theorists?

4. What notion of truth does Putnam extract from his own two-level approach?

5. What is Putnam's metaphysical criticism of naturalism?

6.  What is Maddy's response to (5)?

7.  What is Putnam's epistemological criticism of naturalism?

8.  What is Maddy's response to (7)?

9. What is Putnam's truth-theoretic criticism of naturalism?

10.  What is Maddy's response to (9)? 


Read Maddy Part 1 Section 6.

Journal entry for 9.13.12

1. In a short paragraph summarize what you take Maddy to have established so far in this book. If you are skeptical about any of her conclusions say what and why.

2. Would you call Carnap a rationalist, an empiricist or neither?  Explain.

3. How does the image of Neurath's boat capture Quine's philosophical outlook?

4. How does Quine understand the practice of metaphysics?

5. How does Quine understand the practice of epistemology?

6. How does Quine respond to the criticism that naturalism can't account for the normative aspect of philosophical inquiry?

7. Why does Stroud think that Quine's way of characterizing the aim of epistemology provides a basis for skepticism?

8. Why does Maddy think 2p is not susceptible to the problem expressed in (7)?

9. What is confirmational holism?

10. Why does Maddy object to confirmational holism?


Read Maddy Part 1 Section 5.  Also, begin reading Maddy's recent paper "Naturalism and Common Sense," which you can find on her website here.  This paper is an extended inquiry into the connection between Humean naturalism and skepticism (the subject of 1.4 of her book) and it will be the subject of your first analysis for this class, which will be due on 9/23.  This is a longish paper, so give yourself plenty of time to read and absorb it. Also, if you are not already familiar with the analytical essay form we use in this class, be sure to spend some time getting acquainted with it as well.  There is a link to it on the schedule page.  

Journal entry for 9.11.12

1.  How does Carnap employ the idea of a linguistic framework in support of the view that traditional metaphysical questions are pseudo-questions?

2. How does Carnap's use of the idea of a linguistic framework compare to Kant's use of the idea of space and time as a priori intuitions?

3. What, for Carnap, is the legitimate question that can be asked from outside the linguistic framework?  What is the proper form of the answer to such questions?

4. How does Carnap's system preserve the idea of the a priori?

5. How does Carnap understand the question:  Do atoms exist?

6. What does 2p think of Carnap's view as expressed in 5?

7. How does Maddy think that Carnap would reply to 2p?

8. Maddy concludes that Carnap's two level analysis is not actually intended to ground a notion of the apriori. What does she think it is actually for?

9.  Is 2p interested in this aim?  Why or why not? 


Read Maddy Part 1 Section 4

Journal entry for 9.6.12

1. Briefly summarize the problem raised by Locke's distinction between primary and secondary qualities.

2. Locke famously held that the infant mind is a blank slate. Kant argued that this could not be correct, and that some ways of ordering experience had to be innate. Explain how this leads Kant to deny that space and time are aspects of the external world. 

3. What is the harsh reading of Kant and what makes it harsh?

4. The benign reading denies that there are empirical and transcendental objects.  What does it assert?

5. What does it mean to say that space and time are empirically real but transcendentally ideal?

6. Maddy says "It's hard to see how any transcendental investigation at all is consistent with the very conclusions about thought that Kant himself draws (at the transcendental level) in the Critique."  What is she getting at?

7.  Briefly summarize the way in which 20th century developments in science challenge Kant's claim that we have a priori knowledge of the structure of space and time.

8. How does Reichenbach's claim that "There is no separate entrance to truth for philosophers" relate to the Maddy quotation in 6. above?

9. Why, according to Maddy, is 2p unimpressed by Kant's argument in support of the need for transcendental inquiry?


Read Maddy Part 1, Sec 2-3.  

Journal entry for 9.4.12

1. How does Stroud's Descartes differ from Broughton's?

2. How does 2p (Second Philosopher) initially respond to the problem of dreaming?

3. 2p (and we) want to say something like this: Yes, I agree that I can not be absolutely certain that I am not dreaming.  After all, this is a judgment based on experience, and experience is fallible. But beliefs do not have to be certain in order to be reasonable, they only need to be probable."  Explain why this is not an adequate response. (Even Maddy agrees that it is not.)

4. 2p regards the initial challenge to distinguish dreaming from wakefulness as a significant but answerable one.  On the other hand, she regards the second challenge, while unanswerable, as also much less significant.  Why?

5. How does Stroud's distinction between the conditions for knowing and the conditions for asserting that we know function as a response in defense of the skeptic?

6. Does Maddy think that the idea of a "sliding scale of stringency" lends credibility to the perspective of Stroud's Descartes?  Exolain.

7. How does 2P differ from G.E. Moore?

8. At the beginning of section 3 Maddy distinguishes two different routes to skepticism.  What are they and which one will be of most concern to 2p?

9. Summarize how Humean skepticism may be seen as arising from an incompatibility in our cognitive norms.

10. Stroud understands Humean naturalism as originating in a rejection of a traditional conception of human rationality.  Summarize the traditional conception.

11. Maddy observes that it is odd that Hume's rejection of the traditional conception of human rationality should in skeptical despair.  How does Maddy explain this result?



Hey, if this is your first time here, read everything under the 8/28 entry and do what it says.

On Thursday 8/30 we'll be discussing the first chapter of Maddy's book Second Philosophy.  What follows below is your first journal assignment.  Copy everything inside the box, including the heading "Journal entry for 8.30.12" and paste in into the top of the Google Doc page you've shared with me per the instructions below. Don't copy the box, just the text inside.  Next time there won't be a box.

You will post every new journal entry at the top of the page, above the preceding one.  Unfortunately, when you do this, it will be white print with black highlight, but this is easily corrected by clicking on the the text and background color icons in the toolbar.  Please do this.

Remember that these are always supposed to be finished by the next class meeting, and you will be expected to be able to articulate your answers to them in class.  If you ever make late entries, do them in a blue font so that I can easily distinguish those that were done on the basis of your reading comprehension and those that benefited from class discussion.

Journal entry for 8.30.12

1. What, according to Maddy and Janet Broughton, is the point of Descartes' method of doubt?

2. How does Maddy assess the success of the Cartesian project?

3. Maddy introduces an inquirer distinct from Descartes' meditator.  How does she differ?

4. What does Maddy's inquirer think of the method of doubt?

5.  Einstein is supposed to have said that common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.  Try relating that remark to Descartes' concerns about scholasticism.

6.  True or false?  Why?:  Maddy's inquirer completely rejects Descartes' attempt to establish the first principles of scientific inquiry with certainty as incoherent.

7.  What, if anything, makes Maddy's second philosopher a philosopher rather than just a scientist?


Hi and stuff

Hey everyone, this What's Up page is the one you will check regularly to find out about your daily assignments.  Please read what follows, super carefully and do what it says to do. 

First, you should have received an e-mail already telling you that we will not meet the first day of class. (This is just an odd thing due to a personal situation.)  If you didn't receive the e-mail, it is probably because you aren't checking the one you have on file with the school, so you should be sure to do that.

Second, before Thursday make sure to:
  • Read the syllabus, carefully.  I won't go over it in class except to answer questions.
  • Get your books.
  • Read Second Philosophy, Part 1, sections 1-3.
  • Make your Google Doc journal page according to the instructions below. (Note: you will not have a journal assignment due until Thursday 8/30.)

Instructions for creating your Google Doc

Click here for the instructions for making and sharing your Google Doc journal with me.  You must have this document created by Friday at the latest. If you don't have it done by Friday I will take that as an indication that you are not in the class and you may be disenrolled in order to make room for others.  Be sure to follow every step very carefully. When you have shared the document with me correctly I will put my initials 'grm' on the page.  If you do not see these 24 hours, it means you have done something wrong.