Exam I Help
Exam II Help
Exam III Help
Exam IV Help

Exam II Overview

The test will be be some combination of matching, multiple choice, fill in the blank, and essay questions drawn from the following two sections.

Each exam section will be drawn from what follows.  Thus, you should have definitions of all the terms and arguments on this review sheet memorized.

It is both permissible and indeed very desirable for you to memorize definitions and arguments word for word from the notes. It's fine if you put the arguments in your own words in the tests, but they premisses, conclusions, and reasoning of your arguments must express the same content of the arguments given in the notes.

There are many different techniques for this kind of memorization. When taking a test of this sort, I personally copy the notes by hand, separating out the important definitions and arguments. Then I make a list of these and test myself by looking at the terms (or names of arguments) and  trying to repeat the definition (or argument). Given that there will be no surprises on the test, you should consult the notes and text and write out answers for all of the following questions, and then memorize your answers. One of the best tests for understanding is the ability to explain the material to a friend who is not in the class.
 
Key terms to be able to define
1. sense data
2. sensation
2. idealism
3. begging the question
4. invalidity of an argument (note: you may need to consult the on line resources mentioned in the syllabus for this one and the next)
5. validity of an argument
6. soundness of an argument
7. knowledge by acquaintance
8. knowledge by description
9. analytic
10. synthetic
11. a priori
12. a posteriori
13. Kan'ts principle of significance
14. analytical behaviorism
15. intensional equivalence thesis
16. semi-intensional equivalence thesis
17. extensional equivalence thesis
18. final version of functional state identity theory in response to Block and Fodor's criticisms

 

 
Things to be able to explain and critique thoroughly. [Note: critiquing an argument requires first stating the argument in its entirety and then evaluating (a) whether or not the premisses are true, and (b) whether the premisses provide support for the conclusion. Evein if you conclude that the argument in question is sound, you must present the strongest possible case to the conclusion that the argument is unsound.]
1. Jaegwon Kim's reconstruction of Hempel's argument for analytical behaviorism.
2. Putnam's circularity objection to analytical behaviorism (as reasoning by analogy about Polio).
3. Skinner's initial argument for methodological behaviorism, and Skinner's separate argument for premise 2 of the initial argument.
4. Chomsky's Equivocation Objection and Poverty of Stimulus Argument against methodological behaviorism.
5. The Zombies and Cartesian Intuitions arguments, and themanner in which the they would (if correct) undermine the intensional and semi-intensional equivalence theses, but not the extensional equivalence thesis.
6. Reasons for believing the multiple realizability thesis and the manner in which multiple realizability undermines the intensional equivalence thesis, but not the semi-intensional or the extensional equivalence thesis.
7. As discussed in class, the manner in which the actual existence of angels would undermine the extensional equivalence thesis.
8. Block and Fodor's criticism that Functional State Identity Theory individuates psychological types in too finely a grained fashion [Note: Kim makes a similar criticism against Ramsey sentence functionalism, which might be worth reading to get clearer about Block and Fodor's critique].

 

 

Exam III Overview
 
Key terms to be able to define
 
1. sense data
2. sensation
3. idealism
4. begging the question
5. invalidity of an argument (note: you may need to consult the on line resources mentioned in the syllabus for this one and the next)
6. validity of an argument
7. soundness of an argument
8. knowledge by acquaintance
9. knowledge by description
10. analytic
11. synthetic
12. a priori
13. a posteriori
14. Kan'ts principle of significance
15. analytical behaviorism
16. intensional equivalence thesis
17. semi-intensional equivalence thesis
18. extensional equivalence thesis
19. final version of functional state identity theory in response to Block and Fodor's criticisms
20. coextensionality claim
21. divine command theory
22. mystic's coextensionality claim
23. Platonist Truth Definition
24. Platonist Construal of A Priori Knowable Propositions
25. Platonist Construal of A Posteriori Knowable Propositions
26. The inductive principle
27. rationalist
28. empiricist
Things to be able to explain and critique thoroughly. [Note: critiquing an argument requires first stating the argument in its entirety and then evaluating (a) whether or not the premisses are true, and (b) whether the premisses provide support for the conclusion. Evein if you conclude that the argument in question is sound, you must present the strongest possible case to the conclusion that the argument is unsound.]
1. The Argument from Design, Pascal's Wager, and William James' Will to Believe argument.
2. The two arguments we considered against the existence of God.
3. Theological ethics versus the coextensionality thesis, The Euthyprho dilemma, the problem of discerning what God commands, the mystic's coextensionality claim.
4. State and evaluate the mathematical epistemic and mathematical semantic arguments.
5. State and evaluate the argument from perceptual reports.
6. State and evaluate the argument from comparisons.
7. State and evaluate Russell's arguments for the claims that the inductive principle is neither refutable nor verifiable from experience.
8. State Russell's arguments to the conclusion that ethical truths and mathematical truths are not provable from experience.
9. Why are synthetic a priori truths more philosophically problematic than analytic a priori or synthetic a posteriori claims? Are Russell and Kant right in thinking some claims are synthetic a priori (note: you must consider Russell's arguments)?
10. State and evaluate Russell's criticism of Kant.
11. Explain and evaluate how Platonism solves the problem of synthetic a priori truths for Russell (this material is from Chapter IX; you will want to restate Platonist Construal of A Priori Knowable Propositions in this answer).
12. State and evaluate the problems with the theory of forms discussed in class and given on the handout
 
Exam 4 Overview
 
You will be asked the following four questions and be able to pick three to answer.
 
1. Define verifiability in practice, verifiability in principle, strong verifiability, and weak verifiability. Show why Ayer choses weak verifiability in principle as being necessary for a claim's truth. State and evaluate our non-questionbegging reformulation of Ayer's argument to the conclusion that there are no synthetic a priori claims. Evaluate
 
2. Give examples of a logical truth, conceptual necessity, scientific law, mathematical truth, geometrical truth, general moral truth, specific factual claim and general non-lawlike claim. Then state how Kant, Mill, and Ayer categorized these different kinds of claims. Evaluate Ayer's argument to the conclusion that there are no synthetic a priori truths. Why did Ayer reject Mill's views? How does Ayer characterize analytic-a priori such that he can defend an empiricism stronger than Mill's? Evaluate
 
3. What is the Quine Duhem hypothesis, and why should anyone believe it (for credit here you must explain Ayer's picture of scientific theories as well as his characterization of synthetic-a posteriori claims)? Define the five traditional virtues of scientific theories and describe how they allow one to respond to the Quine Duhem hypothesis. Evaluate
 
4. Show how logical positivism allows one to be an intellectually respectable anti-platonist. (note: answering this will require discussing and evaluating: (1) why the existence of synthetic a priori truths would lead one to be a platonist, (2) problems with the Kantian and Platonist account of synthetic a priori truths, (3) the positivist critique of the synthetic a priori, (4) the positivist account of the analytic apriori such that it is reasonable to say that mathematical claims are analytic apriori, (4) the positivist account of the synthetic aposteriori such that it is reasonable to say that claims in physics are synthetic a posteriori, (5) the positivist use of the resulting edifice to render metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics meaningless). How should the Platonist and Kantian respond? Either defend one of the three views, or sketch a third position which is not pray to the weaknesses of both. Evaluate.
 
Key terms to be able to define
1.  sense data
2. sensation
3.  idealism
4.  begging the question
5.  validity of an argument
6.  invalidity of an argument (note: you may need to consult the on line resources mentioned in the syllabus for this one and the next)
7.  validity of an argument
8.  knowledge by acquiantance
9. knowledge by description
10. Platonist Truth Definition
11. Platonist Construal of A Priori Knowable Propositions
12. Platonist Construal of A Posteriori Knowable Propositions
13. The inductive principle
14. a priori
15. a posteriori
16. rationalist
17. empiricist
18. analytic
19. synthetic