PHIL 450A.  FINAL EXAM REVIEW QUESTIONS

 

            The Final Exam will be held in Smith 304 Friday Dec. 13 at 2:30 pm.  PLEASE BRING ONE OR MORE BLANK EXAM BOOKS AND A PEN TO THE EXAM.  I will no longer accept pencil.  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.  The exam will consist of selections from the following questions.  You will have approximately 100 minutes to complete the exam.  To complete the exam in 100 minutes, it will be important to have thought out your answers in advance.  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.  Graded exams will be available for pick-up in the Philosophy Department Office (Savery 361) during the first week of winter quarter.  If you would like your Final Exam mailed to you, please bring a sufficiently large, stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Final Exam and insert it inside your exam book. 

 

1.  Explain or distinguish the following terms.  You may use examples to do so:

(a) Externalist/Internalist Accounts of Knowledge

(b) Externalist/Internalist Accounts of Justification

(c) World-to-Belief Reliability/Belief-to-World Reliability

(d) Unconditional/Conditional Reliability

(e) Deontological/Consequentialist/Virtue Epistemology

(f) Universalism/Parochialism in Epistemology

(g) Explicit vs. Implicit Sensitivity to Concepts

(h) Explicit vs. Implicit Sensitivity to Principles of Reasoning

 

2. (a) What is a Gettier-type example a counterexample to?  (b) Describe a Gettier-type example and explain why it is a counterexample to your answer to part (a).  (You do not have to use one of Gettier's own examples.) 

 

3.  Explain each of the following examples, then explain what the author who discusses it thinks its significance for epistemology to be, and, finally, explain whether you agree with the author about the significance of the example.  In your explanation, make sure you explain whether its significance concerns our understanding of knowledge or justification:

(a) Swain’s example of the candle at the end of the hall (discussed by Goldman).

(b) Goldman’s example of Henry and the papier-mâché barn facsimiles.

(c) Goldman’s example of brain state B

(d) Goldman’s example of Nelson

(e) Goldman’s example of the twins, Judy and Trudy.

(f) Goldman’s example of Oscar and Dack the dachshund.

(g) Goldman’s example of Jones whose parents tell him that his childhood memories are false.

(h) Lehrer’s example of Mr. Truetemp.

(i) Lehrer’s example of Mr. Raco.

 

4.  Why is Steup an internalist (or at least a quasi-internalist) about epistemic justification?

 

 

5.  Explain the following with an example:

(a) belief perseverance

(b) the Lake Woebegone Effect

(c) the four aspects of the confirmation bias

 

6.  What is BonJour’s metajustificatory requirement for standards of epistemic justification?

 

7.  (a) In Zagzebski's parallel between epistemology and ethics, what type of ethical view corresponds to Steup's internalist account of epistemic justification?  Explain.  (b) What type of ethical view corresponds to reliabilist accounts of epistemic justification in epistemology?  Explain.  (c) What kind of ethical view corresponds to Zagzebski's approach to epistemology?  (d) What are examples of traits that Zagzebski regards as intellectual virtues?  Give at least five examples.  On Zagzebski's account:  (e) What is the ultimate goal of intellectual virtues?  (f) What is a justified belief?  (g) What is a praiseworthy belief?  (h) What is an act of intellectual virtue?  (i) What is knowledge?

 

8.  (a) Why does Greco think that acts of intellectual virtue are not necessary for knowledge?  (b) Why does he think they are not sufficient for knowledge? 

 

9.  Why does Alston believe that Zagzebski's account does not work for perceptual knowledge? 

 

10.  (a) What does Kvanvig mean by propositional justification and doxastic justification?  (b) Why does Kvanvig think that Zagzebski cannot give an account of propositional justification?  (c) How does Zagzebski reply?

 

11.  (a) What does Quine mean when he says:  "[E]pistemology still goes on, though in a new setting and a clarified status.  Epistemology or something like it, simply falls into place as a chapter of psychology and hence of natural science."(292)  (b) How does this give rise to the Normativity Problem for Quine's naturalized epistemology?  (Make sure you explain what the Normativity Problem is.) 

 

12.  (a) What does Quine mean by "the old threat of circularity"?  Why does he think it is not a problem?  (b) How does Quine think that evolution can help to clarify induction? 

 

13.  What do Quine and Kornblith mean when they reject the conception of epistemology as "first philosophy"? 

 

14.  What is the normative element in Kornblith's naturalistic account?

 

15. What does Kornblith mean when he says that the reliability of our principles of reasoning is "deeply contingent"?  In your answer, explain why he believes that it is.  

 

16.  (a) What is BonJour 's argument, quoted by Kornblith, that naturalism is self-referentially inconsistent (or self-refuting)?  What is Kornblith's reply to BonJour’s self-referential inconsistency argument?

 

17.  What does Nozick mean by the a priori view of reasons?  (b) What does he mean by the factual view of reasons?  (c) How does he propose to combine the two?  (d) How does his proposal explain why Kant thought Euclidean geometry was synthetic a priori?

 

18. (a) According to Brandom, what is the language game studied by epistemologists?  (b) According to Brandom, what are the two kinds of rules of that language game? (c) How do these two kinds of rules enable Brandom to distinguish between a subjective deontological appraisal of a speaker's statements (assertibility conditions) and an objective appraisal of them (truth conditions)?  [To answer this part, you have to explain how Brandom's account would distinguish between the meaning of "The swatch is red" and "The claim that the swatch is red is properly assertible by me now.”]

 

19.  (a) What does Street mean by the tracking account of our belief in epistemic norms?  (b) What does Street mean by the adaptive link account of our belief in epistemic norms?  (c) What is Street’s ‘Happy Coincidence’ objection to the tracking account?  (d) Explain why, if her argument against epistemic norms itself relies on a norm of theoretical simplicity, her argument would be self-referentially inconsistent.

 

20.  (a) How does Street propose to replace the epistemic norms in her argument that there are no epistemic norms?  In your answer, explain her example of how she would replace a norm of enumerative induction.  (b) What is the “Happy Coincidence’ objection that Talbott raises to her proposal?  (c) How might Street best respond to Talbott’s argument?

 

21. (a) What is mistake-correcting reasoning?  Explain it with an example.  (b) Why is it difficult to suppose that human beings could ever be in a position to reconstruct their own mistake-correcting reasoning as an inference from premises to a conclusion?  (c) How do you think BonJour would account for our ability to engage in mistake-correcting reasoning?  (d) How does Talbott account for our ability to engage in mistake-correcting reasoning?  (e) How do you account for our ability to engage in mistake-correcting reasoning?  In your answer, you should address the question of whether there are universal principles of mistake-correcting reasoning. 

 

 

22.  (a) What does Code mean by her claim that the sex of the knower is epistemologically significant?  Does she think that there are distinctly female ways of knowing?  Explain.  (b) Does Longino believe there are distinctively female ways of knowing?  Explain.

 

23.  What does Longino believe are the feminist values in inquiry?  What are the non-feminist values that she identifies?  What is the cognitive goal of feminist researchers?  What is the relation between the goal and the feminist values in inquiry?

 

24.  What are the two kinds of feminist epistemology that Haack identifies?  Which does she endorse?

 

25. (a)What is the Underdetermination Thesis?  (b) Why does Longino believe that it supports feminist epistemology?  (c) Why does Haack disagree?  (d) What is the Value-Ladenness Thesis?  (e) How might the Value-Ladenness Thesis be used to support feminist epistemology?  (f) Why does Haack disagree?  (g) Explain why Longino's feminist epistemology is parochial and why Haack's epistemology is not.

 

26.  In class we defined a spectrum of views on the metaphysics and epistemology of epistemology.  Draw a diagram of the spectrum, place the following philosophers on the diagram, and explain why you place them where you do:  (If you are uncertain where to place them, explain why you are uncertain):

(a) Socrates (of the Theaetetus)                                   (j) the later Nozick (Nature of Rationality)

(b) Immanuel Kant                                          (k) Lorraine Code

(c) W.V.O. Quine                                            (m) Helen Longino

(d) Alvin Goldman                                          (n) Susan Haack         

(e) Matthias Steup                                            (o) Robert Brandom

(f) Linda Zagzebski                                         (p) Sharon Street

(g) Laurence BonJour                                      (q) Talbott

(h) Hilary Kornblith                                         (r) You.

 

 

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.

(a) BonJour believes that for an inference from p to q to justify belief in q, it must be the case that p makes q likely to be true.  Therefore, BonJour is an externalist, reliabilist about epistemic justification.

(b) Alvin Goldman believes that there are four necessary conditions for knowledge, one of which is a justification condition.  Therefore, Goldman is an internalist about knowledge.

(c) Matthias Steup believes that J-factors are always (no exceptions) directly accessible on reflection.

(d) Linda Zagzebski believes that to have knowledge you have to be a virtuous person.

(e) Quine believes that the goal of epistemology is to answer skeptical arguments.

(f) Hilary Kornblith believes that epistemology is purely descriptive, with no normative elements.

(g) Nozick (Nature of Rationality) believes that Euclidean geometry is synthetic a priori.

(h) Sharon Street believes that Occam’s Razor is an objective epistemic norm.

(i) Lorraine Code believes that women have a special way of knowing.

(j) Helen Longino believes that simplicity (of theories) is an objective epistemic value.

(k) Susan Haack is committed to standards of truth and evidence that are the same for men and women.  Therefore she is a rationalist, not a naturalist.