PHIL 437

End of Class Questions


Oct. 1, 2009:  Hume’s challenge is often stated:  You can’t derive an ought from an is.  Give a more precise statement of this challenge.


Oct. 6, 2009:  What is the Copy Principle?


Oct. 8, 2009: Consider this definition of memory:  Memory reproduces past impressions in the order in which they were perceived.  Suppose you have ideas and wonder whether they are the product of memory or the imagination.  Explain why you could NOT use the above definition to distinguish them.


Oct. 13, 2009:  Consider the inference that when Prof. Talbott pushes the button, the lights will go on.  Suppose that in your mind you have the three elements of a causal relation with respect to buttons and lights.  What is missing that would be necessary for Reason to draw the inference stated above?


Oct. 15, 2009:  Why is the memory of a fantasy (e.g., having the idea of a unicorn) a potential problem for the Transmission Principle?


Oct. 20, 2009:  Let X be something that we generally believe is typically caused by an earthquake.  However, we only seem to have experience of the effects of earthquakes (e.g., needles moving on gauges, floors shaking, dishes falling), not of earthquakes themselves.  If Hume’s account of causal inference is true, how could we have come to believe that earthquakes cause X? [In your explanation, make sure you show that you are familiar with Hume’s account of causal inference.]


Oct. 22, 2009:  In T 1.4.2, Hume argues that we could not get the idea of continued existence from our senses.  Why not?  Ground your answer in the text.   


Oct. 27, 2009:  What is the doctrine of double existence (DDE)?  According to Hume, what is the biggest mistake made by those who, like Locke, who endorse DDE?


Oct. 29, 2009:  Why does Hume think that the mistake of the ancients and the mistake of the moderns are closely related mistakes?                  


Nov. 3, 2009:  Which review question would you vote off the midterm exam?


Nov. 10, 2009:  Explain why on Hume’s theory of the self, MoJoe is a better candidate for a self than Mo.


Nov. 12, 2009:   The perpetual motion machine:  If humility is regarded as a virtue, then on Hume's account, humility would make us proud.  If pride is a vice, then on Hume's account pride would make us humble.  Whenever we feel pride or humility, why doesn't that trigger an endless cycle of pride alternating with humility?  How would Hume solve this puzzle?


Nov. 17, 2009:  According to Hume, why does our interior feeling that we can do the opposite of what someone tells us to do not show that our choices are undetermined?


Nov. 19, 2009: Why is it inaccurate to describe Hume’s view as the view that reason is the slave of the passions?


Nov. 24, 2009:  Explain why Prof. Talbott classifies Hume as a non-cognitivist about moral judgment.  Ground your answer in the text and make sure your answer shows that you understand what “non-cognitivist” means.


Dec. 1, 2009:  How would Hume respond to the cognitivist consequentialist about morality?  In your answer show that you understand what “cognitivist consequentialist” means.

Dec. 3:  Explain why compliance with property rights is a CAP, an n-person prisoners’ dilemma and explain why self-interest cannot be relied upon to motivate cooperation.


Dec. 8:  In your opinion, what is the most important idea in Hume’s philosophy?   Explain.