SOLUTION: Philosophy Empiricism and Global Skeptic Questions

Midterm Exam
1. S’s belief that p is a BEB, according to empiricism, if S is justified in believing that p—T or F?
2. According to Descartes, the evil-demon standard of justification doesn’t entail Global Skepticism.—T or F?
3. One popular misconception about philosophy is that it does not make real progress like the hard sciences.
What would you say to someone who voiced such a misconception?
4. Another popular misconception about philosophy is that it is all just opinion. Why might someone think this
and what would you say in response?
5. Global Skeptics claim that no one knows anything. Some have said that this is self-refuting. But what is the
obvious response of a committed Global Skeptic going to be?
(a) Refutation is possible, but not self-refutation (since there is no self).
(b) Claiming that x is the case is obviously not the same as claiming that one knows that x is the case.
(c) Well, then there is just one thing I cannot know.
(d) Most epistemologists agree that Gettier cases undermine the JTB analysis of knowledge anyway.
(e) None of the above.
6. The defeasibility theory of knowledge holds that knowledge is undefeated justified true belief. The case of
the demented Mrs. Grabit purports to show, however,
(a) that the defeasibility account of knowledge is too narrow.
(b) that there are cases where defeated true belief counts as knowledge.
(c) that the defeasibility account of knowledge is too broad.
(d) a and b
(e) b and c
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7. Imagine that your mother claims that your father has cancer on the basis of the fact that she heard 3 knocks
on the door and no one was there. If you think that the reason for her claim fails to support her claim, then that
is enough to be a local skeptic.—T or F?
8. Does the Gettier problem claim that the traditional account of knowledge is too broad (in the way that the
definition of “bachelor” as “unmarried person” is too broad)? Or does the Gettier problem claim that the
traditional account of knowledge is too narrow?
9. Perform a Moorean Shift on the following argument from ignorance.
1. If I do not know that I am not a BIV, then I do not know that I have hands.
2. I do not know that I am not a BIV.
Therefore, I do not know that I have hands.
10. According to empiricism, S is justified in believing that p if and only if S’s belief that p is a BEB—T or F?
11. In “B only given that A,”
(a) A provides a necessary condition for B.
(b) B provides a sufficient condition for A.
(c) A provides a sufficient condition for B.
(d) A provides both a necessary and sufficient condition for B.
(e) a and b
12. When you believe something and hold it to be true and also have solid justification, how many of the
traditional necessary conditions for knowledge have been met?
13. The theory of perception problem raised against empiricism says, in short, that no matter what theory of
perception empiricism chooses it is bound to run into trouble. But why does empiricism even need to have a
theory of perception?
(a) Every philosophical theory needs a theory of perception
(b) Knowledge, as everyone will agree, requires perception as a necessary condition
(c) Perception is all-important to skepticism and rationalism
(d) A theory of perception is needed to rule out the possibility of the evil demon scenario
(e) None of the above
14. If Empiricism adopts a naïve realism theory of perception, then what problem does it face?
(a) Such a theory seems to allow that objects have incompatible properties.
(b) Such a theory denies that there are material objects, which is counterintuitive.
(c) Such a theory endorses a distinction between primary and secondary properties, which is untenable since
primary properties are as variable as secondary ones.
(d) all of the above
(e) none of the above
15. Justification is a sufficient condition for knowledge.—T or F?
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16. If Empiricism adopts an indirect realism theory of perception, then what threat does it face?
(a) Such a theory of perception holds that the world is not always how it appears. For example, most indirect
realists hold that apples are colorless. This is a problem for empiricism because the belief that the apple is
colorless does not seem to be a basic empirical belief and it is difficult to see how such a belief is derivable
from basic empirical beliefs.
(b) Such a theory of perception holds that the world is how it appears to be. This is an obvious problem
since the world is not always how it appears to be. There seems to be a lake up ahead, for example, but I
find out later that it was just a mirage.
(c) Such a theory of perception usually distinguishes between primary and secondary qualities, that is,
between those properties independent of the perceiving mind and those properties dependent on the
perceiving mind. However, it seems that the paradigm primary properties—shape and motion, for
example—are mind dependent in that they seem to vary as the constitution of the perceiving subject
changes.
(d) If the indirect realist holds (as is usual) that, for example, shape is objective property, then indirect
realism seems to allow that objects can have incompatible properties (the coin is round and not-round, say).
(e) a, c, and d
17. Rationalists hold that my justification for believing that red things are colored things is a priori because
(a) this belief is justified only with reference to sense-experience.
(b) even if I had to acquire the concept of a red thing through sense-experience, once I understand the
concept I do not need to consult sense-experience to see that it is true.
(c) my justification for believing that red things are square things is a priori.
(d) I do not have to keep checking with sense-experience to grasp that red things are colored things.
(e) b and d
18. A common objection to rationalism is that
(a) a priori statements seem typically to be trivial/uninformative
(b) statements cannot be justified a posteriori.
(c) it is rare for a statement to be justified a posteriori.
(d) a and c
(e) a and b
19. Many tend to agree that it is impossible for Global Skepticism to be true even if we accept that the evildemon version of the argument from ignorance is sound. Why?
(a) Even if I am the puppet of some demon, it is indubitable that an experience of some sort is happening
when I seem to see my hands in front of me; no hypothetical scenario can undermine my justification for
believing that experience of some sort is occurring when it seems to me that 2 + 3 = 5.
(b) A disjunction is a compound statement affirming either that one statement is true or that another
statement is true
(c) Either the deductive argument is an argument in which the conclusion must be true if the premises are
true, in which case it is valid, or the deductive argument is an argument in which the conclusion need not be
true even if the premises are true, in which case it is invalid.
(d) Hypothetical scenarios are not real: demons, gods, brains-in-vats—all that is silly.
(e) Precisely your conceiving of a supposedly unconceived object undermines all hope that it exists
unconceived.
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20. Describe the difference between primary and secondary properties.
(a) Secondary properties do not vary as the conditions of perception vary.
(b) Primary properties are intrinsic to objects just as much as a tickle is intrinsic to a feather
(c) All primary properties (except smell, of course) would disappear were all perceiving subjects to
disappear.
(d) Although all primary and most secondary properties can be perceived by more than one sense, only
secondary properties—not primary properties—would disappear were all perceivers to disappear.
(e) None of the above.
21. Idealists have argued that the primary-secondary property distinction is untenable. Why do they think so?
(a) X does not mind being mocked by B. Why doesn’t X mind? Well, B is obviously going to remain in her
meth-infested trailer park, working retail registers alongside mom, even though B is now going to “college.”
Therefore, (i) X is happy to see B get some sort of pleasure out of an otherwise bleak existence and (ii) her
mocking further illustrates—thank God!—that X is not B and not of B’s trash kind.
(b) The following scenario is just too far-fetched (no one could be this pathetic in real life): D complains
that she doesn’t understand the material—complains while the teacher is lecturing, thus making sure that
she does not understand the material and thus intensifying her complaining! (The only thing that could be
more pathetic is if, by her complaining, she was trying to make others not understand too.—In many
countries, that would be grounds to call in an exorcist on this evil SOB.)
(c) The cause of your panic disorder is the one dominating you: the spotlight-craving one who preys on
weak girls like you to feed his over-inflated ego (each attack gives him more strength, more security, more
confidence; he’s a vampire—run away!)
(d) Primary properties, like secondary properties, seem to vary as the conditions of perception vary.
(e) None of the above.
22. Which one expresses the fallacy of affirming the consequent argument form?
(a) If A, then B; Not A; It follows that not B.
(b) If A, then B; Not B; Therefore, and without a doubt, not A.
(c) A only if B. A. So, B.
(d) B. And, of course, A only if B. Thus, and without a doubt, it has to be that A is true.
23. If the following argument is one of the 7 forms we covered (5 famous valid forms or 2 famous invalid
forms), then write the name of the form and say whether the form is valid or invalid. If the argument is not one
of the 7 forms, then write “unnamed form.”—If Frodo is saved, Gollum will lose his precious ring. Therefore,
Gollum will lose his precious ring given that Sam makes it through Shelob’s lair. This is because Sam makes it
through Shelob’s lair only insofar as Frodo will be saved.
Scheme of Abbreviation
Q: Gollum will lose his precious ring.
P: Frodo is saved.
M: Sam makes it through Shelob’s lair
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24. If Williams wins the election, recycling will become mandatory. Jarboe wins the election only provided that
universal garbage collection will become mandatory. Since Williams will win the election or Jarboe will win it,
it follows that either recycling or universal garbage collection will become mandatory.—This argument is:
(a) invalid
(b) inductive
(c) valid, but none of the five famous forms
(d) disjunctive syllogism (valid)
(e) constructive dilemma (valid)
25. Put the following in standard form (at both the statement and argument level).—Ugly babies do not learn to
drive. Why? Here are the reasons, one by one. (1) Either John does not like French women or John does not like
girls. (2) John is overzealous if he does not like French women. (3) John does not like girls only on the
assumption that he does not like police radar. (4) Primary prevention is not considered a chief priority.
Scheme of abbreviation
U: Ugly babies learn to drive.
F: John likes French women.
G: John likes girls.
Z: John is overzealous.
R: John likes police radar.
P: primary prevention is considered a chief priority.
26. Analytic statements are said to be trivial because the predicate of such statements are not contained in the
subject of such statements.—T or F?
27. Construct a good counterexample in order to show that the following argument is a substitution instance of
an invalid argument form. (Remember, “or” is used in an inclusive sense.)—Either Jones is at home or Jones is
in his car. Jones is at home. Therefore, Jones is not in his car.
28. What is the central attraction that rationalism has over empiricism?
(a) Empiricism holds that S is justified in believing that p if and only if S’s believe that p is built up from
basic empirical beliefs (BEBs). The problem is, BEBs are indubitable. Hence empiricism has too high of a
standard of justification and thus instances of knowledge become rare on empiricism.
(b) Rationalism is the older of the two views in the history of philosophy and, unlike empiricism, little threat
that rationalism is self-defeating.
(c) Beliefs justified a posteriori are more easily subject to doubt than beliefs justified a priori.
(d) A necessary statement is a statement whose falsity is not logically possible.
(e) none of the above.
29. “The moon orbits the earth” is not necessary statement.—T or F?
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30. Using the relevant tools for evaluating inductive arguments, determine whether the following argument is
successful. Make sure to explain how your use of these tools led to your answer.
Istvan’s new car is bright blue, has fabric upholstery, and gets decent gas mileage. John’s new car is also
bright blue and has fabric. Therefore, it probably gets decent gas mileage as well.
31. Using the relevant tools for evaluating inductive arguments, determine whether the following argument is
successful. Make sure to explain how your use of these tools led to your answer.
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn says that homosexual behavior is rampant in the Oklahoma school system. It is
likely that this is true, therefore (after all, Oklahoma is Coburn’s home state and surely he knows about the
schools in his own home state).
32. Using the relevant tools for evaluating inductive arguments, determine whether the following argument is
successful. Make sure to explain how your use of these tools led to your answer.
Chad, a beer sommelier (that is, an expert on beer), says that the new Hudson Valley beer, Gerbil triple IPA,
is extremely bitter. Thus Chad finds Gerbil triple IPA disgusting
33. Using the relevant tools for evaluating inductive arguments, determine whether the following argument is
successful. Make sure to explain how your use of these tools led to your answer.
On four separate occasions (across 2 years) I drank a can of Gerbil Triple IPA beer and found it bitter.
Probably I would find every can of Gerbil Triple IPA beer bitter.
34. Describe the so-called “problem of induction” that threatens empiricism.
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35. Using the relevant tools for evaluating inductive arguments, determine whether the following argument is
successful. Make sure to explain how your use of these tools led to your answer.
Out of 100,000 surveyed voters from Orange County California (a county that is overwhelmingly
Republican), 71 % reported that they would vote republican in the next governor election. Clearly the
Republican candidate for governor will be elected.
36. Construct a good counterexample to show that the following argument is a substitution instance of an
invalid argument form.
If evolution by natural selection is not a myth, then animal species are not fixed and immutable. Since
animal species are not fixed and immutable, it follows that evolution by natural selection is not a myth.
Scheme of Abbreviation
E Evolution by natural selection is a myth
A: Animal species are fixed and immutable
37. What might one who endorses the argument from ignorance say in response to the Moorean Shift that you
provided above?
38. The words “for,” “because,” “as,” and “for the reason that” are all conclusion-indicating words.—T or F?
For questions 39-42 fill in the blanks with “necessary” or “sufficient” to make the following statements true.
Afterwards, translate that statement into a standard-form conditional. (If you get both parts right of each
question, then you get two points. If you get only one part of each question right, then you get only one point.)
39. (a) Being a tiger is a ______________ condition for being an animal. (b)___________________________
40. (a) Being an animal is a ____________ condition for being a tiger. (b) ____________________________
41. (a) Having a racket is a ______________ condition for playing tennis. (b) __________________________
42. (a) Burning leaves is a ______________ condition for producing smoke. (b) _________________________
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43. The following argument is invalid.—Tor F?
Since Moby Dick was written by Shakespeare, and Moby Dick is a science fiction novel, it follows that
Shakespeare wrote a science fiction novel.
44. The position in epistemology known as “externalism” holds that to know that p, strictly speaking, one must
be aware of all the factors that warrant the belief that p.—T or F?
45. A true belief is a belief that is warranted on the basis of available evidence.—T or F?
46. An argument can have 100 premises.—T or F?
47. An argument that draws a conclusion that something is true because someone has said that it is true is
typically a deductive argument.—T or F?
48. An argument that presents two alternatives and eliminates one, leaving the other as the conclusion, is an
inductive argument.—T or F?
49. According to the truth-tracking response to the Argument from Ignorance,
(a) You definitely do not know that you have hands
(b) It is possible to know that you have hands even while not knowing whether you are handless
(c) You might very well know that you have toes even if, for all you know, you are a footless creature (since,
after all, your belief that you have toes might be both (1) true and (2) truth-tracking).
(d) b and c
(e) None of the above
50. In contrast to physics and microbiology, which are not essential to many other disciplines, logic is essential
to every endeavor that involves any form of communication: the lawyer needs it to formulate arguments to a
judge or jury, the physician needs it to give a credible rationale for the use of a medication, the businessperson
needs it to write a coherent report, the anthropologist needs it to write a well-reasoned article, and literally
everyone needs it in day-to-day dealings with friends, relatives, and associates.—T or F?
Extra Credit (worth 2 points each)
1. If it is not the case that argument x is a substitution instance of a valid argument form, then it must have an
invalid form.—T or F?
2. If the belief that p can only be justified a posteriori, then p is a contingent statement.—T or F?
3. Contextualism itself is open to allowing that, in the context of the philosophy classroom where we are
speaking strictly, (1) the argument from ignorance is sound and thereby (2) we do not know that we have
hands.—T or F?
4. In light of both the class materials as well as the websites below, write a brief reflection on the following
bestiality micropoem. What is the point of the poem? Do you “agree” with it?
okay-to-proceed signals (erections, leaning in) /
do not suffice for consent, say the same people /
who chase down shrieking beasts for slaughter /
Seeking the Horse’s Consent Signals
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https://www.horsejournals.com/riding-training/general/ground-work-handling/may-i-role-consent-andpermission-horses

Does your horse have choice? An exploration of touch and consent…

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600 B.C
550 B.C.
500 B.C.
450 B.C.
400 B.C.
350 B.C.
300 B.C.
250
Pythagoras (c. 570–495 B.C.)
Lao Tzu (c. 500 B.C.)
Buddha (563–483 B.C.)
Confucius (551–479 B.C.)
Protagoras (c. 490–420 B.C.)
Herodotus (485–430 B.C.)
Cratylus (late 5th century B.C.)
Socrates (c. 470–399 B.C.)
Chuang Tzu (c. 4th century B.C.)
Plato (c. 428–348 B.C.)
Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)
Mencius (371–28
Pyrrho of Elis (c
Carneades
ENGLAND
ENGLAND
St. Anselm (c. 1033–1109)
ITALY
Pythagoras (c. 570–495 B.C.)
ITALY
GREECE
Great Philosophers
and Thinkers
500 B.C. through 1120 A.D.
GREECE
Protagoras (c. 490–420 B.C.)
Herodotus (485–430 B.C.)
Cratylus (late 5th century B.C.)
Socrates (c. 470–399 B.C.)
Plato (c. 428–348 B.C.)
Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)
Pyrrho of Elis (c. 360–270 B.C.)
Carneades (c. 214–129 B.C.)
B.C.
200 B.C.
150 B.C.
100
150
200
1050
Nagarjuna (c. 150–200)
St. Anselm (c. 1033–1109)
89 B.C.)
c. 360–270 B.C.)
Hsün Tzu (298–238 B.C.)
s (c. 214–129 B.C.)…
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