philosophical argument

1. The word, philosophy, literally means

a. “that which is done freely”
b. “he who seeks shall find”
c. “hope springs eternal”
d. “love of wisdom”
e. “filling the mind full”

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1. Which branch of philosophy studies ontology, or the nature of being itself?

a. mathematics
b. metaphysics
c. epistemology
d. ethics
e. logic

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1. Often a philosophical argument is given in support of a position on an issue. What, in the sense used in philosophical argumentation, is an issue?

a. An issue is a generic name for a psychological problem.
b. An issue is whatever assumption must be made in order for an argument to be advanced.
c. An issue is any claim or statement that may be called into question.
d. An issue a logical problem translated into ordinary language.
e. An issue is when someone is given an argument but does not accept it.

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1. For Plato, the third level up on the Divided Line, the realm of “lower forms,” represents

a. “lower” forms of impure substances like hair, mud and dirt, or anything else undignified and worthless.
b. relative ignorance stemming from illusions based on partial perception.
c. purely physical forms, which are things that are “one of a kind.”
d. pure intellectual or dialectical understanding and first principles.
e. hypothetical or conceptual knowledge based on axiomatic assumptions.

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1. Descartes starts the application of his method of doubt by

a. refusing to accept that he has any beliefs.
b. positing the existence of an “evil genius.”
c. considering the certainty of each of his beliefs, one by one.
d. attacking the foundations of all of his current beliefs.
e. inferring his existence as a thinking thing.

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1. Descartes’ most important contribution to philosophy was his

a. analysis of dreams.
b. inductive proof for the existence of God.
c. work in analytic geometry.
d. method of examining problems.
e. ability to make daring inferences.

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1. The Cogito Argument proves to Descartes that

a. he exists as a thinking thing, at least while he is thinking.
b. he exists, and he is identical with his body.
c. an Evil Deceiver exists to trick him into false beliefs.
d. a non-deceiving God exists.
e. he and all other people exist, but we will never understand the true nature of human existence until we die.

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1. In Book IV of the Republic, Socrates tells the story of a man who, on his way to town, saw some dead bodies that had been left on the ground after having been executed. He was torn because he both wanted to look at them, yet he also was horrified and repulsed by the scene. He tried to keep his eyes closed as he got near, but he could not resist the temptation and gawked at the sight anyway, ended up disgusted with himself. What point is Socrates illustrating with this story?

a. It is always best to directly confront what we fear or are repulsed by in order to learn about ourselves.
b. Death is not to be feared; it is only the destruction of the body, which is only the container or “cage” of the person inside; that person, the soul, goes on living.
c. Anger or passion, the spirited part of our nature, can sometimes be in conflict with our desires or appetites.
d. One should never assume that things are always going to turn out well or be to one’s liking.
e. Ignoring evil will not make it disappear.

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1. The criteria of truth offered by Descartes in Meditation II are

a. certainty and reliability.
b. being clear and distinct.
c. skepticism and solipsism.
d. rationalism and empiricism.
e. reason and sense perception.

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1. In Bertrand Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy, he starts out by making an important point about the nature of our knowledge of external, physical objects, like tables, chairs, trees, rocks, rivers, bodies of other living things, and so on. Which of the following best captures what Russell says?

a. If there is a real table in front of me, I will know it immediately and completely, simply by perceiving it.
b. If there is a real table in front of me, it is not the same as what I know immediately through sensory experience–I know the real table only through inference.
c. Almost all philosophers are in agreement that the existence of physical objects is relative to perception; what really exists depends on who is doing the perceiving and thinking.
d. Our doubt about the real physical existence of the table is caused by our doubt about the existence of sense-data related to the table.
e. The best place to look for certainty about the external world is in that world itself, not in our minds.

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1. In the “Allegory of the Cave,” Plato is illustrating

a. how prisoners should be punished.
b. the difference between heaven and hell.
c. the education of the soul.
d. “group think.”
e. the death of the soul.

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1. Plato’s Image of the Divided Line represents a main division between

a. philosophy and psychology
b. the visible world and the invisible world
c. mathematics and science
d. heaven and hell
e. the sun and the moon

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1. Which of the following best characterizes or defines what an argument is, in the philosophical sense of the term?

a. An argument is a set of claims in which one or more claims is advanced in support of another claim.
b. An argument is a true statement.
c. An argument is a valid statement.
d. An argument is a disagreement between the “pro” and “con” sides in a debate.
e. An argument is a rational attempt to change other people’s minds.

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1. As moral and epistemological absolutists, Plato and Socrates believed that

a. reality, truth, wisdom, and goodness are the same everywhere, for everyone, at all times and under all circumstances.
b. time, place, and circumstance must always be taken into account when searching for the truth.
c. at the highest level of reality, objects actually come into and go out of existence.
d. what a person perceives is the best evidence for ascertaining truth about reality.
e. although physical reality is the same for everyone, moral truth depends on culture and training.

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1. The two basic epistemological problems raised by Descartes were:

the Cogito and the tabula rasa.
the problems of how experience is possible and how we are able to share our subjective experiences with others.
the problems of certainty and the sources of knowledge.
the problems of empirical truth and rational justification.
the problems of making religious truths cohere with philosophical truths and the proper kind of education for children.

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1. The purpose of Descartes’ “thought experiment” with the lump of wax was to show that

a. the senses, in fact, do not lie.
b. the evidence of the senses sometimes agrees with the insights of reason.
c. that wax, like other material substances, has no permanent properties.
d. the was has infinite properties and is therefore unknowable.
e. knowledge must be founded on reason, on the understanding, rather than on sense perception.

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1. According to Descartes, material substance (matter)

a. is all that really exists.
b. does not really exist.
c. is extended in space.
d. can become mind in the act of thinking.
e. is more knowable than mind.

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1. To say that an argument is valid means that

a. it is widely accepted.
b. its premises are both plausible and probable.
c. its conclusion is true.
d. its premises are all true.
e. its conclusion is true if its premises are all true.

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1. Which of the following from Descartes’ Meditations introduces the most extreme level of skeptical doubt?

a. the “Dream Argument”
b. the “True Friends” argument.
c. the “False Friends” argument.
d. the “Evil Deceiver” argument.
e. the “Ball of Wax” argument.

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1. What does Bertrand Russell say about our ability to have knowledge of the external world?

a. For Russell, there is no such thing as an “external” world. Therefore, there can be no such knowledge.
b. Russell agrees with Berkeley; what we know is ideas and all ideas are in some mind or other, so it is simply the mind’s ability to have ideas that enables us to have knowledge in the first place, and it only those ideas that we know in the external world.
c. Russell asserts that we can never truly judge that something with which we are not immediately acquainted in fact exists. Therefore our knowledge of the external world requires communicating with others about their sense data and and then comparing their reports with our own sense data.
d. The relation consisting of the mind’s acquaintance with something other than the mind is the main characteristic of the mind and is the foundation of our ability to have knowledge of the external world. We are justified in inferring the existence of both sides of this relation, and this is the form our knowledge of the external world takes.
e. Russell claims that it is irrational to go any distance beyond our immediate sensory grasp of the external world and make a leap to asserting the existence of anything beyond the sense-data of subjective experience, so we can only have certainty about the subjective side of reality. We can never know reality in itself.

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1. This is the Week One Pre-Test.



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