PHIL 202 study guide3

PHIL 202 study guide3 - PHIL 201 Study Guide Lesson 3...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
PHIL 201 Study Guide Lesson 3: Thinking Critically Points 1) Be able to state common objections and questions often raised against philosophical reasoning and how one might respond to them: a) Quibbling over Words: Philosophy is little more than quibbling over the meaning of words – key terms of an issue are often defined in the views of the philosopher / It all depends on how you define your terms = Response - Yes, often it does ~ Question is “what reasons are there for preferring one definition to the other” – one’s definition is not always as good as another’s > further debate determines adequacy b) Need for Absolute Certainty: it may seem most of the solutions to philosophical problems can be supported with good arguments and, in addition, are open to significant objections – a matter of personal preference / Response - assumption that philosophical truth is an all-or- nothing proposition – just because critics always seem to have objections, it does not follow that there are no reasons for preferring one theory over its rivals – the rational acceptability of any philosophical thesis is primarily a matter of degree * a theory that is relatively free from ambiguity, supported with sound arguments, and does not lead to highly dubious consequences, is preferable to one that does not have these attributes (much ground between absolute certainty and complete skepticism) c) Philosophical Relativism: “although for Smith theory X is false, X is nevertheless true for me. Because the truth is relative to our own beliefs, each of us is correct” > earth cannot be both flat and not flat + same thing cannot be both flat and spherical / Response - failure to distinguish between mere belief and true belief / you must work your way through the evidence, not try to get around it just by declaring that the view in question is “true for me” d) Just Personal Beliefs: the claim that the choice between two competing theories is determined by an individual’s conditioning and instincts – the use of arguments in philosophy is really just a process of rationalizing the beliefs, commitments, and unconscious forces already at work in our lives / underlies the use of ad hominem arguments (attacking a person’s character or personal circumstances rather than his or her arguments – tendency to predict and evaluate a person’s philosophy in relation to his or her personality / * 2 Responses – a) the psychology behind a person’s commitment to a certain theory is irrelevant to the arguments supporting it – psychology does NOT make that commitment less important or less in need of critical examination and b) the hypothesis of “psychological conditioning factors” is overly speculative (if not false), since it is impossible to specify all the factors leading to the adoption of any given view – even if it is true, it applies to everyone, not only to philosophers – psychological and social conditioning should therefore affect the claims of art critics, mathematicians, theologians,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 4

PHIL 202 study guide3 - PHIL 201 Study Guide Lesson 3...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online