1. What is the distinction between complex mode (e.g. triangle, beauty, drunkeness) and
sortals (e.g. human being, lion, animal, living thing)
a. Complex modes are like attributes: they cannot exist by themselves
1. What would the properties of a perfect being be?
a. Descartes comes to the idea of a perfect being by negating himself or building
i. He can come up with the idea of infinity by negating his
Hobbes: humans are complex machines
Humans can set up reminder signs, linguistic signs
Humans can generalize in a way animals cannot
Descartes: animals are machines (don't have minds)
By speaking to fellow humans you recognize t
The corpuscular/mechanical philosophy (revival of ancient Atomism):
All change in nature is the consequence of the motion of particles
The only relevant qualities that particles have are motion, figure, size,
orientation, rest, order and texture (
1. Since Descartes is using logical inference to discover that he exists (MP) why can't he
be deceived about it as with geometry?
a. We could be constitutionally incapable of drawing correct conclusions
Bayle and Berkeley
1. Is scepticism dangerous or not dangerous for religious beliefs of common people?
a. Scepticism is only minimally dangerous to religious. Those who have grace will
still have religious belief despite their sce
The project of Meditations 4:
To determine the causes of error to avoid future error
Is not to resolve a problem of intellectual evil
As if there was some tension between the existence of God and my error in
Aims of Meditations 5:
Determine what we can know about our ideas (as opposed to what we can know about
Demonstrate the existence of God
Show that all other demonstrations depend on a prior demonstratio
Hobbes Part 2
1. What accounts for the vivacity of certain old memories?
a. Some motions are stronger than others
b. It is an illusion that you are able to call up memories at will
i. The only reason you call up motions is because
Hobbes Part 3
1. What does Hobbes mean by last desire and last aversion?
a. Last desire: that last desire that convinced you to move
i. Desires are appetites for pleasure
b. Last aversion: the last aversion that convinced you not
Hobbes Part 1
Types of spirits:
1. Legitimate spirits: gas, vapour, liquids (usually volatile)
2. Illegitimate spirits: incorporeal spirits (e.g. ghosts)
Sleep preparation: It is important to prepare yourself for sleep (e.g. brush your teeth, put your
Principles of Cartesian Physics:
1. Body is essentially just extension
a. It can be conceived to lack all other qualities, yet still exist
2. Extension is likewise always the extension of some body
a. There is no such thi
1. What is Descartes argument for the mind is distinct from the body
a. Descartes can think of the mind without the body so God could create them
separately and they must be distinct. They are not essentia
1. If all our knowledge comes from the senses how can Galileo distinguish primary from
sensible qualities by saying that we know the sensible qualities through using our senses?
a. Primary qualities can be determined throu
Descartes-Discourse on Method
1. What does it take for something to be clear enough to be acceptable according to the
1st role of method?
a. Beyond a shadow of a doubt
2. Are we better off following individual reasoning or collect
Descartes Proofs of God In
Meditations Three and Five
First Proof in Meditation Three: (pp.130-39)
1. If I have an idea of a perfect being, then there must actually
exist a perfect being as its cause. (Why? Because the cause of
The Predicament of Meditations III
My own existence is beyond doubt because it is clearly and distinctly perceived
If clear and distinct perception can put things beyond doubt, then I ought to be able to
accept that 2+3=5 (since
1. Why is it that certain ideas may reoccur more often than others even though they may
be balanced in vivacity?
a. The ideas we get our a product of association not just their inherent vivacity
Lockes Enthusiasm and Bayle
1. What are the main points of agreement and disagreement between Bayle and Locke?
2. What did Bayle consider to be the foundations for belief?
a. Faith: once you understand how weak reason is you will b
Intelex Past Masters (good search engine)
Eighteen Century Collection Online (ECCO)
4 questions in the history of philosophy
1. What did they say?
2. What did they mean?
3. Was it correct? If no, why?
4. What influe
1. How do we square Hume's claim about the miracle of faith at the end of the essay on
miracles with the conclusion of part (i)
a. Hume is making normative claims
b. He is not arguing that no one believes miracles
1. Why does Hume claim that chances of success (probabilities as mathematically
calculated) are different from degrees of belief
a. Chance of success: x/y
b. Belief: (number of confirming events-number of disconfi
1. How does Hume define miracle?
a. A violation of the law of nature. A regularity that has never before be seen to be
2. Did he define "miracle" in such a way that it is impossible there could be belief in
Hume-Liberty and Necessity
1. How is Hume's position on determination of the will different form Hobbes's?
a. Hobbes defines the will as the last aversion or desire from the process of
2. What is Hume's response to th
1. What does Locke mean when he says ideas?
a. "Whatsoever is the object of the understanding when a man thinks"
i. Whatever the mind can grasp
b. Examples of ideas: red, hardness, softness, sensible qualities,
Locke-Knowledge and Existence
1. Does Locke contradict himself by saying we can have knowledge of real existence
while confusing knowledge to relations of ideas?
a. He is convinced the ideas must have some cause
b. If ideas exist,
1. What role does the soul/understanding play in attaining knowledge?
a. Locke is agonistic to whether there is a distinction between mind and body
i. He does believe there is a realm of ideas but is unsure of whet
Strict identity: being exactly the same in all respects, including being in the same place a the
Identity: being a later or earlier state of the same thing
The problem of identity:
Metaphysical: What makes something be t
Locke-Substance & Power
1. Would Locke consider emotions (e.g. happiness) to be relative ideas?
a. Seems to be a relative idea
b. Happiness is attributed to others on the basis of something else (e.g. their
i. Being hap
1. Does newton break his own rules by reasoning when he affirms the existence of God?
a. "We are to affirm nothing that is true and sufficient to explain the appearances"
i. God is sufficient to create the universe.