Study Guide for the Finals The Modern Mind Dr T

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					Study Guide for the Finals                                        Scheduled on Wednesday, May 5, 2004
202 The Modern Mind (Dr. T. Hoffmann)                              10:30 am–12:30 pm, in our classroom
Descartes
Discourse, part 2 and 4 entirely (pp. 6–13; 18–22), and the text passages indicated here in parentheses!
• Why does Descartes insist on using a method in order to know the truth? (pp. 1–2)
• Why does Descartes want to get rid of all opinions, in other words, for what reason does he doubt? Is it possible
  to free oneself entirely of previous opinions? Should everyone get rid of all opinions? (pp. 8–9)
• How does Descartes prove the existence of the soul? (p. 18)
• How does Descartes prove God’s existence? (pp. 19–22)
• Why can we be assured of the existence of our body, of the stars, the earth and the like? (pp. 21–22)
• How do we know that our perception of the world is not just a dream? (pp. 21–22)
• How does Descartes explain the difference between human beings and machines? (p. 32)
• What is the goal of Philosophy, in other words, what is the goal of knowledge? (p. 35)

Hume
Enquiry, § I (only pp. 6–7), § II – § V/1 (pp. 9–31); § VII/2 (pp. 49–53); § X/1 (pp. 72–77); § XII/3 (pp. 112–114)
• Compare Descartes and Hume on the role of thought and experience (or sense perception). What comes
  first, what comes second, how are they related?
• What is the goal of Hume’s Enquiry? (pp. 6–7)
• What is the difference between thoughts or ideas and impressions? (§ 2)
• How are our ideas generated? (§ 2)
• How do we get from one idea to the other (i. e. how are ideas connected)? (§ 3)
• What is the difference between relations of ideas and matters of fact? (§ 4)
• What are reasonings a priori? (§ 4/1)
• Why cannot we know the connection between cause and effect by way of understanding? (§§ 4–5)
• If it is not by the force of understanding and argument that we make conclusions about cause and effect, by
  what principle do we make these conclusions? (§ 4/2 – § 5/1)
• What is Hume’s definition of “cause”? (§ 7/2, esp. p. 51)
• When and why do we trust historians and witnesses? (§ 10/1, pp. 74–75)
• Why does Hume not believe in miracles? (§ 10) Is his argumentation reasonable?
• When is a scientific book worthless? (§ 12/3)
• What is the meaning of the following terms: perception, impression, thought/idea, relation of ideas, matter of
  fact, and particularly: experience and custom?

Kant
Grounding, pp. 1–15; 30–32; 35–39.
• What is the difference between practical anthropology and metaphysics of morals? (p. 2:388f.)
• Why is the will the highest good, the “good without qualification”, higher even than virtue? (pp. 7–9:393–396)
• What is the moral value of the consequences of actions (pp. 7–8:394)?
• What are the three formulations of the practical law? (1st: p. 30:421; 2nd: p. 36:429; 3rd: p. 38:431)
• Understand these important distinctions: (1) “in accord with duty” vs. “from duty”; (2) “from inclination” vs.
  “from duty.” Can an action be done from inclination and from duty? Can an action be done from duty and in
  accord with duty? (pp. 10–11:397–398).
• What makes an action morally worthy? (p. 11:398)
• Why is it wrong to commit suicide? (pp. 30–31:421–422; pp. 36–37:429)
• Know the meaning of these notions: duty, maxim, law, categorical imperative, autonomy of will.

Nietzsche
On the Advantage, (pp. 7–32; 58–64).
• Why do you think that knowledge should serve life? Can one truly care for life and neglect philosophy?
• How does Nietzsche characterize the monumental, antiquarian and critical kind of history, how does he
  describe the persons or attitudes that correspond to each type?
• What are the advantages of each type? What are their limitations or dangers?
• You may be asked to comment upon a text passage from On the Advantage.

				
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