100-07-08 term test with answers

100-07-08 term test with answers - UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO Faculty of Arts and Science Department of Philosophy December 11, 2007 PHL 100Y (Boyle’s Section) Duration – 2 hours No Aids Allowed Part I: Answer ten of the sixteen questions in this part; each answer should take about six minutes and is worth 5 marks for a total of 50 marks for this part: 1. In what way is Unger’s skepticism wide but not deep? Why does he think it is wrong to think we know even basic things like simple arithmetic? This skepticism is wide in that it applies to all human cognitions whatsoever. It is not deep because, although it rejects knowledge because of the certitude that implies, it does not deny that some positions are more reasonable to accept than others. It is wrong to be certain about even simple things because we should always be ready to reconsider in the light of further information. 2. What prompts Russell to raise the question: “Is there a real table at all?” What are sense-data? What do the Idealists believe, according to Russell, and how do they relate to this discussion? This question arises naturally when we notice that what we are aware of directly are not physical objects but sounds, smells, feels, noises and so on. There is some distance between such things and physical objects. These direct objects of experience are sense data. Idealists think that the physical objects we come to know out of sense data are themselves mental or ideal in character and not material after all. Even idealists hold that there are physical objects distinct from any human beings perceptions, so the reality of material objects is retained, though their character is redefined as something ultimately mental. 3. Both Russell and Descartes claim to prove the existence of an external world. Are they each equally sure of its existence? Do they use the same kind of argument (i.e., inductive or deductive)? Both have confidence that there is an external world, but they have different levels of confidence because of their different arguments. Descartes initially doubts this, but after the cogito argument and proving that that a good God creates everything, he accepts the existence of the external world as certain. This is obviously a deductive argument, and given D’s beliefs about the certainty of the premises, he is
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very certain that there is an external world. Russell’s approach also begins with skepticism based on the fact that we experience sense data directly and infer or construct a material world from them. His weaker argument is that there is no reason to think that there are only sense data, and that the existence of physical objects fits common experience best, an inductive argument to the best explanation. So, Russell’s conviction on this is weaker than Descartes’.
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100-07-08 term test with answers - UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

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