LIBERTY PHIL 201 - Study_Guide_Lesson_11 (4 pages)

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Study_Guide_Lesson_11

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Liberty University
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Phil 201 - Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas
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PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE LESSON 11 Acquiring Knowledge Lesson Overview In our introductory lesson in epistemology we defined knowledge as justified true belief In our last lesson we discussed the truth aspect of this definition In this lesson we want to examine the belief element Knowledge begins by adopting beliefs and one question philosophers have deliberated about for centuries has to do with the source of our beliefs where do they come from That is the subject of our reading and our presentation There is some overlap between these but consider one as expounding upon the other Tasks View and take notes on the presentation How are Beliefs Acquired According to Plato how do we learn things Rationalism Two worlds world of being world of becoming Encounter forms Born with knowledge and learning is then a process of recollection of what we already know How did Descartes arrive at the existence of God Matter God Based on the fact that I exist and that I have a concept of God God in fact also must exist The ontological argument Matter I can t doubt it because I God God would not deceive me of what I clearly and distinctly perceive My senses tell me that matter is there and therefore that matter must be there The reason why I know it s there is because I deduce what my senses tell me is in fact there because God depends upon that Explain Kant s combination of empiricism and rationalism and his radical conclusion We are born with innate categories of understanding that help us understand this sense experience And that some of these things that we call knowledge like causality or time and space are not really knowledge Reality provides the raw data called the noumena through our senses But then our mind takes that and manipulates that and organizes that into knowledge which he called the phenomena of what we know Read and take notes on Chapter 3 of How Do You Know A Short Introduction to the Issues of Epistemology Where Does Knowledge Come From As you do consider the following questions and points 1 List the 5 sources for knowledge o Reason used by rationalists pg 32 o Experience pg 37 o Testimony pg 42 o Revelation pg 44 o Faith not a source some use it pg 45 2 Explain Plato s doctrine of the forms and the 2 worlds and why Plato was hesitant to build a theory of knowledge on the physical world Plato argued that ultimate reality was not in physical objects of experience which constantly change but in the metaphysical entities known as forms Hesitant to build a Page 1 of 4 PHIL 201 theory of knowledge on the physical world due to physical objects being subject to change and felt knowledge should be based on things that are fixed causing us to use reason and reflection to consider the forms themselves pg 33 3 How do we gain true knowledge according to Plato Knowledge was gained only when one considered the forms and not when one considered the physical world pg 34 4 Explain Plato s divided line The horizontal line divided reality into 2 different realms The metaphysical and the physical Then he added a vertical line which illustrated the dominant role that reason plays in his theory of knowledge pg 34 5 What was Descartes searching for and how did he conduct that search Descartes has 2 questions 1 How do we know what we know 2 Can we have any certainty 3 He mostly wanted was a way to establish his knowledge with absolute certainty He decided he would doubt everything except for those ideas which were clear and distinct in his mind 6 Why can Descartes be certain about is existence He could doubt the esistance of his body but could not doubt that he himself existed pg 36 7 What is the distinction between hard and soft empiricism Hard empiricism claim that knowledge comes only from the sense Soft empiricism claim that most knowledge comes to use through the senses pg 38 8 How does the epicurean view of reality affect their epistemology Because they believed the physical world was all there is to reality knowledge of any kind must be about the physical only Where our senses give us direct information about the world Epicureans thought we were obliged to accept it as true pg 38 39 9 Contrast the deductive method with Bacon s inductive scientific method Deductive method Aristotelian Scientists started with general ideas that were held to be true and then interpreted their observations about nature through the lens of the general axion Bacon s inductive scientific method novum organum emphasized thorough experimentation observation of the physical world at the heart of the scientific enterprise pg 39 10 Explain Locke s empiricism including his division of simple and complex ideas Locke states that at birth the mind was a blank slate and that all ideas and knowledge come to us through our senses and experiences Locke made a clear distinction between simple ideas and complex ideas For Locke simple ideas consisted of mental representation of one single quaslit unmixed with any others For complex ideas are built from many different simple ideas presented to the mind 11 Explain Hume s radical empiricism including Hume s Fork and the conclusion he reaches based on the egocentric predicament Hume s radical empiricism is viewed as skepticism because of the restrictions he placed on what we can claim to know Hume s fork are the relations of ideas and matters of fact Relations of ideas are those propositions that are logically true and therefore certain but tell us nothing about reality Matters of fact are impressions of reality based on sense perceptions Hume concludes that all sorts of metaphysical claims as knowledge including religious claims are rejected And that all we can claim to know are the phenomena of our own experiences but not any reality outside these experiences Page 2 of 4 PHIL 201 12 Why are epistemologists suspicious of testimony as a source for knowledge One must be careful when relying on testimonial evidence because it is not a firsthand source of knowledge Also the possibility of forgotten details because of misinformation or incompetence is still viable 13 Why is divine revelation an important source of knowledge about God It is an important source of knowledge about God because it gives us data to base our claims on Pg 44 45 14 Is faith properly understood as a source of knowledge Why or why not When properly understood faith is not a source of knowledge because it does not give us any new information or knowledge Terms Make sure you fully understand the following terms and


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