Explain the method of doubt and Descartes’s main reasons for adopting it. Is the
method well-suited to Descartes’s purposes? Is it good for other purposes: for
example, use in everyday life or a court of law?
Descartes gives three arguments against knowledge: one about misperception (or
“deception by the senses”), one about dreams, and one about an “evil demon”.
Explain any one of these arguments and how it calls some of our knowledge into
question (be sure to say which kind/kinds of knowledge it calls into question).
Finally, explain why, according to Descartes, the argument does not call into question
the statement ‘I exist’.
Explain Hume’s copy principle. Then explain the missing shade of blue example and
how it relates to the copy principle. Do you personally find the copy principle
plausible? Why or why not?
Provide a circular justification of induction (one of those discussed in lecture) and
explain why it is circular. Suppose one were to then conclude that every justification
of induction is circular on the basis of that one circular justification. Would that be a
good argument against induction? Would more instances of circular justifications
strengthen that argument against induction?
Explain Anselm’s “ontological argument” for the existence of God and Guanilo’s
parody of it. Who gets the best of this debate, Anselm or Guanilo? Why?
[See next page for criteria of evaluation]
Criteria of evaluation
degree to which things are reasoned out
strength of argument
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