PHIL 350:  FINAL EXAM REVIEW QUESTIONS

 

The final exam will take place in Loew 102 at 2:30 pm on Fri., March 21.  PLEASE BRING ONE OR MORE BLANK EXAM BOOKS AND A PEN TO THE EXAM.  EXAM BOOKS WITH NOTES WRITTEN ON THEM OR WITH PAGES MISSING WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Please answer all questions completely, but concisely.  Answer in complete sentences.  In preparing for the exam, you are encouraged to discuss these questions with other members of the class, and to discuss what the relevant considerations would be in answering them.  However, each student is expected to develop his/her own answers to the questions.  You should not discuss the wording of an answer or attempt to come up with an agreed upon answer.  If you draft answers to the questions, you should not show your draft answers to others, nor should you read or copy someone else's draft answers. 

The final exams exam will be available for pick-up in the Philosophy Department Office, Savery 361, during the first week of spring quarter.  If you would like your exam mailed to you, please provide me with a sufficiently large, stamped, self-addressed envelope.

 

            1.  Explain the following distinctions as they are used in this course (you may use examples):

(a) internalism/externalism with respect to epistemic justification (not knowledge)

(b) World-to-Belief sensitivity/Belief-to-World reliability

(c) separable/non-separable sources of beliefs

(d) linear/non-linear model of justification

(e) habit memory/episodic memory/factual memory

(f) knowledge skepticism/justification skepticism

(g) global/local skepticism

(h) reliabilism/virtue reliabilism

 

            2.  (a) What is internalism with respect to epistemic justification?  [Hint:  What is the internalist constraint on epistemic justification?]  (b) If internalism with respect to justification is true, do animals and children have justified beliefs?  Explain.  (c) If internalism with respect to justification is true, do normal human beings have justified beliefs about the past or future of justified beliefs about the external world)?  Explain.  (d) If internalism with respect to justification is true, do epistemology students and epistemology professors have justified beliefs about the past or future of justified beliefs about the external world)?  Explain. 

 

            3.   (a) What is reliabilism?  Explain the following problems for reliabilism:  (b) the Evil Genius; (c) Mr. Truetemp; (d) the generality problem.

 

            4.  Use an example to explain the following problems for internalism about justification:  (a) the problem of the unreliability of some kinds of introspection; (b) the problem of forgotten evidence; (c) the intuitive judgment of the art critic; (d) the problem of biased beliefs. 

 

            5.  For each of the following kinds of belief, explain one significant way in which at least some beliefs of that kind resemble a basic foundational belief and one significant way in which beliefs of that kind do not:  (a) belief in other minds; (b) beliefs based on testimony; (c) beliefs based on memory.

 

            6.  (a) Pojman claims that his belief that he had cereal with banana for breakfast is a basic belief for him.  What does it mean to say that the belief is basic?  (b) Would BonJour agree that Pojman's belief about what he had for breakfast is basic?  Explain.  (c) What would BonJour identify as the basic belief that supports Pojman's belief about what he had for breakfast?   (d) In your opinion, which position on memory beliefs is more plausible, Pojman or BonJour's?  Explain. 

 

            7.  (a) What is the argument from analogy for other minds?  (b) What is the main problem for it?

 

            8.  (a) What is logical behaviorism?  (b) What is the logical behaviorist solution to the problem of other minds?  What is the main problem for it?

 

            9.  (a) What is the inference-to-the-best-explanation solution to the problem of other minds?  (b) What is the main problem for it?

 

            10.  (a) What is the evolutionary solution to the problem of other minds?  (b) Why is it an externalist account?  (c) What is the main problem for it?

 

            11.  (a) What is epistemic circularity?  (b) What is the epistemic circularity problem for justifying beliefs based on memory?  (c) What is the foundational solution to this problem?  (d) Why would BonJour object to this sort of solution?  (e) Does BonJour believe there is any way to justify our most fundamental memory beliefs?  [Hint:  Does he think we can avoid skepticism about our most fundamental memory beliefs?]

 

            12.  Is testimony a non-separable source of belief for you?  Explain. 

 

            13.  (a) What is psychologism in epistemology?  (b) BonJour identifies three roles for psychology in epistemology that are unobjectionable.  He refers to them as minimal psychologism, conceptual psychologism, and the meliorative epistemological project.  Explain each.  (c) Why would BonJour regard the use of psychology to reply to a skeptic as question-begging?  (d) How might the naturalistic epistemologist best reply to this objection?

 

            14.  (a) What does Quine mean by:  "[E]pistemology in its new setting is contained in natural science, as a chapter of psychology”?  (b) What are the two main objections to considering epistemology to be contained in natural science? Explain each.

 

            15.  What is the metaphor of Neurath's raft?  Why does it apply to Quine's epistemology? 

 

            16.  (a) What is Quine's evolutionary defense of induction?  (b) What is the Garcia experiment that Pojman cites as casting doubt on this defense?  (c) In your opinion, does it cast doubt on Quine’s defense?  Explain.

 

            17.  Quine regards skepticism as "an offshoot of science."   What does he mean by this?  [Give an example to illustrate your answer.]

 

            18.  (a) BonJour argues that naturalized epistemology can say nothing to distinguish science from occult beliefs such as astrology.  Is this true?  (b) How would a naturalist epistemologist best reply? 

 

            19.  (a) BonJour claims that if naturalized epistemology includes arguments for its claims, it is self-referentially inconsistent.  What does this mean?  (b) Why does BonJour think that it is true?  (c) How would the naturalized epistemologist best reply?

 

            20.  The thesis (or principle) of epistemic closure is the claim that knowledge and justification are closed under known entailment.  (a) What does this mean?  Both Nozick and Dretske hold that the thesis of epistemic closure is false.  Pick one of them and explain:  (b) Why his account of knowledge makes him a justification-denier.  [Hint:  What condition(s) does he substitute for justification in the analysis of knowledge?]  (c) Why his account of knowledge implies that the thesis of known entailment is false.  [Hint:  Use an example to explain this.]

 

            21.  (a) What is a modus ponens argument?  Explain why the reasoning is top-down.  (b) What is a modus tollens argument?  Explain why the reasoning is bottom-up.  (c) Use the distinction to explain Talbott’s response to BonJour’s skeptical arguments.

 

            22.  (a) What is the problem of the criterion?  (b) What are the two ways of solving the problem?

 

            23.  Explain each of the following responses to justification skepticism concerning our beliefs about the external world and for each one, explain why BonJour finds it unsatisfactory:

(a)  Descartes's Response

(b) The Particularist's Response

(c) The Contextualist's Response

(d) The Coherentist's Response

(e) The Reliabilist-Externalist's Response

(f) The Naturalist's Response

(g) The Pragmatist's Response

(h) Rorty's Response

(i) Your Response (either explain why Bonjour would find it unsatisfactory or explain why he would not).

 

            24.  (a) What is the crucial presumption about justification that BonJour shares with the skeptic?

(b) What are the three kinds of justification skepticism that anyone who accepts the crucial presumption, including BonJour, must surrender to?   (c) Explain why each one is unanswerable.

 

            25.  (a) What reasons does Talbott offer for giving up the crucial presumption about justification that BonJour shares with the skeptic?  What kind of reasons are they?  (b) BonJour would see them as question-begging.  Why?  (c) In your opinion, are they question-begging?  Explain.

 

            26.  (a) What is virtue epistemology?  (b) What is virtue reliabilism?   (c) Why is virtue reliabilism an example of a virtue epistemology?  (d) How does virtue reliabilism differ from simple reliabilism?  (e) According to a virtue reliabilist, what are the epistemic virtues?  Give a definition and then illustrate it with an example and explain why it is an intellectual virtue.  (f) Can those without epistemic virtues still have justified perceptual and memory beliefs?  Explain.

 

            27.  Are the following statements true or false?  Explain your answer.  If part of the statement is true and part false, explain the part that is true as well as the part that is false.  When a statement is false, it typically is a misstatement of something that is true about the relevant author’s view.  In your answer, identify that truth.

            (a) Justification-deniers are reliabilists.

            (b) Factual beliefs based on memory are non-inferential; therefore, they are basic foundational beliefs. 

            (c) Naturalized epistemologists think that all knowledge is scientific knowledge; therefore, they believe that we need to recognize a new science, the science of epistemology.

            (d) Rorty thinks that epistemology is based on a mistake.

            (e) To be a virtue epistemologist you must think that intellectual virtue is more important than truth.

 

            28.  In the terms used in this course, how would you classify your epistemological view?  Explain your view and your reasons for holding it.