LIBERTY PHIL 201 - Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 11 (4 pages)

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Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 11



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Philosophy Study Guide Lesson 11

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4
School:
Liberty University
Course:
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 o Rationalism Two worlds world of being and 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 o Geometric method ca know something through intuition and deduction Doubted everything only existence can t be doubted Explain Kant s combination of empiricism and rationalism and his radical conclusion o Kart s combination of Ratonalism and Empiricism is an agreement with Hum sreasoning in sense knowledge but not Hume s conclusion Kant believed that he could know some things about the world He also believed that we were born withan innate category of understanding that helps us to understand sense experience 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 List the 5 sources for knowledge 1 Reason 2 Experience 3 Testimony 4 Revelation 5 faith 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 o That ultimate reality was not in the individual physical objects of our experience which are subject to constant change but in the metaphysical entities know as forms The forms are unchanging abstract metaphysical entities that transcend Page 1 of 4 PHIL 201 time and space are unmixed with any other entities or qualities and are the model for all physical objects that resemble the form itself How do we gain true knowledge according to Plato o By approaching an object with thought alone without associating any site or dragging in any sense perception Explain Plato s divided line o That reality itself might be split into two different realms the physical below and the metaphysical What was Descartes searching for and how did he conduct that search o The father of modern philosophy He was searching for a way to establish knowledge with absolute certainty He went about this by doubting everything except for those ideas which were clear and distinct in his mind Why can Descartes be certain about is existence o He began to doubt almost everything including his own body but realized that he could not doubt his existence He noticed that by doubting he was therefore thinking and if he was thinking then he must actually exist to be thinking I think therefore I am What is the distinction between hard and soft empiricism o Hard empiricists claim that knowledge comes ONLY from the senses Soft empiricists believe that MOST knowledge comes to us through the senses How does the epicurean view of reality affect their epistemology o Enormous implications for both ethical and moral issues Epicureanism is known for its claim that pleasure is the purpose of life Contrast the deductive method with Bacon s inductive scientific method o With the old method of deduction scientists started with certain general ideas or axioms that were held to be true and then interpreted all of their observations about nature through the lens of the general axiom This method had a lack of emphasis on through experimentation and observation It moved to quickly past particular details The inductive method emphasized thorough experimentation and observation Explain Locke s empiricism including his division of simple and complex ideas o Simple ideas consists of a mental representation of one single quality such as the qualities of a coffee mug White hot smell Complex ideas would be the coffee mug itself Other examples are beauty gratitude a man an army the universe Explain Hume s radical empiricism including Hume s Fork and the conclusion he reaches based on the egocentric predicament o Radical sense knowledge is the only kind of knowledge there is all we can know is the phenomena of our own senses Rejected metaphysical claims of knowledge not sensually experienced causality mind space and time Why are epistemologists suspicious of testimony as a source for knowledge o Personal testimony is not a firsthand source of knowledge like reason or experience Also because people sometimes lie exaggerate or are motivated by selfishness Why is divine revelation an important source of knowledge about God Page 2 of 4 PHIL 201 o Because general revelation is not enough Our trust in the Bible as a source of knowledge rests on the authority and trustworthiness of Jesus Christ who affirmed the old testament as scripture Is faith properly understood as a source of knowledge Why or why not o No because it does not give us any new information or knowledge Rather it is a response to the knowledge or information that we receive about God from divine revelation Terms Make sure you fully understand the following terms and concepts Rationalism At least some knowledge of reality can be acquired through reason independent of sense experiences Rationalists rely on the mind and reason to discover and investigate truth they believe that reason is the best source of knowledge A priori The kind of knowledge associated with rationalists it is knowledge that one can or does have apart from experience of the external world Form The forms are unchanging abstract metaphysical entities that transcend time and space are unmixed with any other entities or qualities and are the model for all physical objects that resemble the form itself World of Being One of the two realms of existence proposed by Plato World of being is the metaphysical realm and is populated by the forms archetypes of the objects in the physical realm World of Becoming One of two realms of existence proposed by Plato World of becoming is the Physical realm in which objects experience continual change Divided Line That reality itself might be split into two different realms the


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