PHIL_Study_Guide_Test2 - PHIL Test 2 Study Guide KEY TERMS...

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PHIL Test 2 Study Guide KEY TERMS cogito, ergo sum —“I think therefore I am.” Said by Descartes; the starting point of modern philosophy. Substance – The unchanging essence of something, what reality is made of. Materialism – Reality is made of only one substance, matter. (Hobbes) Dualism – Reality is made of two substances, mind and matter. (Descartes) tabula rasa – “Blank tablet.” Said by Locke; everyone is born with a blank slate, and knowledge comes from the senses. Idealism – Reality is made of only one substance, the mind. (Berkeley) esse est percipi – “To be is to be perceived.” Said by Berkeley; it was a statement of his idealism, all that exist are minds and ideas of minds. QUESTIONS 1. What were Descartes’ two primary aims in the Meditations on First Philosophy ? In Meditation One why does Descartes begin to doubt all of his previous knowledge? Why does he imagine that he cannot consider the difference between dreaming and waking life? What is the point of the evil genius hypothesis? 2 Primary Aims : Provide a foundation for knowledge o To defeat the skeptics o Prove that knowledge was possible for humans To resolve the conflict between science and religion In Meditation One Descartes starts the Demolition faze. He wants to bring down everything he thought he knew, pulling out the foundation so that it may all come down. The way he did this was through the Doubt Method; if he found even a small hint of doubt he dismisses it completely as totally false. Descartes' point here seems to be that for any experience you have, no matter how much it seems to indicate that you are awake, it would also be possible for you to have that experience while dreaming. There are no experiences that you can only have when you're awake. Any course of experience whatsoever might be dreamt. So even if you're awake, there is no test you can use to prove that you're not dreaming. No matter what test you appeal to, the possibility will always remain open that you are merely dreaming that you have performed the test, and that it delivered the results it did. Descartes develops his Evil Genius theory to bring doubt to all senses and hence making them false. The theory says that it is possible that there is someone (an evil genius) who is controlling our mind. If so we wouldn't be sure whether or not what we see was reality or not. 2. What is the “one small thing” that Descartes discovers in Meditation Two to be certain and unshakeable? What is this “self” that Descartes is now so certain exists? Having found the certain
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foundation for knowledge, what is the epistemological problem Descartes set up for modern philosophy? At the beginning of the second meditation, having reached what he considers to be the ultimate
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Curtis,b during the Spring '08 term at University of Hawaii - Hilo.

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PHIL_Study_Guide_Test2 - PHIL Test 2 Study Guide KEY TERMS...

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