PHIL 350A: Study Questions for Week #1

 

1. Explain the following distinctions (you may use examples):

(a) knowledge by acquaintance/competence knowledge/propositional knowledge.

(b) occurrent/dispositional belief.

 

2. What is epistemology?

 

3. Give an example of something that you know. If you cannot, explain why not.

 

4. What is BonJour's distinction between the criteria for knowledge and the source or basis of knowledge? Compare it with Quine's distinction between the elements of epistemology: conceptual and doctrinal. What does Talbott propose to add to the doctrinal element?

 

5. What does it mean to say that something is a necessary condition for knowledge? Give an example of something that is a necessary condition for knowledge and explain why it is. What does it mean to say that something is a sufficient condition for knowledge? Can you give an example of something that is a sufficient condition for knowledge? Explain.

 

5. What is the traditional definition of knowledge?

 

6. How did Plato and Descartes distinguish knowledge from mere opinion? In this course, do we assume that Plato and Descartes were correct?

 

7. Explain the following principle: Kp KKp. Is it true?

 

8. What is a proof? What is a philosophical explanation? How does a philosophical explanation resemble a proof? How are they different?

 

9. What does Pojman mean by noetic structure? [Hint: Check the glossary.]

 

10. Can someone know something without believing it? Explain.