PHIL 1000 Fordham University Philosophy of Consciousness of The Mind Discussion

i need help answering this questions based on St Thomas Aquinas , Descartes, Plato and consciousness of the mind

Descartes
-why does Descartes consider mathematics a more ‘secure’ foundation of knowledge
than natural philosophy?
-what does Descartes mean when he famously says, “I think therefore I am” ?
-why doesn’t Descartes think that the senses are a good foundation for knowledge?
-what is the epistemological theory of reliabilism and how is it relevant to a (possible)
critique of Descartes’ views?
-Descartes insists that there is one thing that he cannot possibly be deceived about.
What is it?
Plato
-why is Socrates at the courthouse?
-why is Euthyphro at the courthouse?
-consider a couple of ways that Euthyphro defines piety
-what is Socrates’ main complaint with the way that Euthyphro defines piety?
-who is Meno?
-what is Meno’s initial question to Socrates?
-why does Socrates not like Meno’s initial way of defining virtue?
-what is the relevance of the slave boy’s geometry experiment?
-what is Meno’s paradox?
-what is the relevance of Mary the Color Scientist to Socrates’ theory of knowledge?
-what is the relevance of ‘recollection’ to Socrates’ theory of knowldge
-how does Socrates define death?
-how does the notion of ‘triangularity’ help to articulate Plato’s idea of forms?
-what is the relevance of the forms to Socrates’ (Plato’s) understanding of the
immaterial/immortal soul?
-why does Socrates say that the philosopher should ‘welcome death’ ?
-what is the ‘argument from opposites’ at 71a ff, and how does it show that the soul is
immortal, according to Socrates?
-what is the relevance of Noam Chomsky’s idea of language (as mentioned in the
lecture) to Socrates’ idea of the soul?
Aquinas
-why does Aquinas thinks that God’s existence is not self-evident?
-what is Anselm’s argument for God’s existence, and why does Aquinas think it doesn’t
really work?
-what are the two arguments that Aquinas thinks form the only two real and relevant
objections to God’s existence?
-what is the first way, and how does the first way make use of the distinction between
potency and act?
-what is the second way, and how does it make use of the notion of efficient
causation?
-what is the third way, and how does it make use of the idea of contingency and
necessity?
-what is the fifth way, and how does it differ (in some respects) from modern ‘intelligent
design’ theory?
-what is the difference between Aquinas and Descartes’ idea of the soul?
-what are the three different kinds of souls that Aquinas assumes?
Philosophy of Mind and Nature
-what is mechanical reductionism?
-what is the Chinese Room thought experiment, and how does it put pressure on
mechanical reductionism?
-what does it mean to say that Aristotelianism says that the nature is composed of
irreducible substances?
-what is the theory of ‘emergence’ and how do materialists hope that this idea can
‘solve’ the problem of consciousness?
-what is intentionality, and why is this an especially difficult problem for materialist
understandings of the mind?
-what is transhumanism, and how can it be thought to be the ‘end game’ of
mecahnical reductionism?
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35818.PHIL1000W02.202120 Spring 2021 – Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL-1000-W02)
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QUESTION 1
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Aquinas thinks that it is possible to prove the existence of God because
God’s existence is self-evident
such philosophical arguments rely on respected scientific fields, like microbiology and cultural anthropology
such philosophical arguments concerning God’s existence are actually prior to any faith claim concerning God’s
nature
everything is an illusion, at the end of the day
QUESTION 2
John Searle argues, through the Chinese Room thought experiment, that there is no essential di erence between a
brain and a complicated computer
True
False
QUESTION 3
While Aquinas and Descartes have very similar understandings of the body, they nevertheleass break down the
powers of the immaterial mind in the exact same way
True
False
QUESTION 4
Thomas Aquinas argues that God can be shown to exist through
ve ways. What is the
rst way, and how does the
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wayand
make
use of the
distinction
between
potency
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that an infinite essential causal series of actualized potencies is impossible, and that there must be an Unmoved mover
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that there definitely must be a beginning in time, because it’s impossible for time to go forever backward
that God is essentially the ‘banger’ of the big Bang—the knocker of the first domino
all of the above
QUESTION 5
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Why does Socrates say that the philosopher should ‘welcome death’ ?
getting at truth is impossible, death is just as logically reasonable as being alive
since death is the separation of the soul and the body, when the philosopher dies he is free from the impediment of the senses
just before the philosopher dies, he will receive clarity
since death is the entry to the void of nothingness, the philosopher will no longer have intellectual anxiety
QUESTION 6
The Fifth way (Summa Part 1, Q 2, Article 3)
is quite similar to arguments made by proponents of Intelligent Design
isn’t about complexity at all
is often misunderstood as being the same as the arguments set forth by modern Intelligent Design philosophers
is about motion/change
QUESTION 7
What Descartes famously says, “I think therefore I am” , he means that he cannot be deceived about the fact that he
exists, because he thinks that he does
True
False
QUESTION 8
The fourth way in Summa Par 1, Question 2, Article 3
assumes the complexity of biological strata
assumes the objectivity of goodness, truth, and beauty
assumes the relativism of human experience
assumes the reality of motion/change
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QUESTION 9
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What is mechanical reductionism?
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the metaphysical position that all mechanisms can be reduced to immaterial souls
the political position that the world must reduce to mechanical jurisprudence for the sake of fairness
the metaphysical position that mechanisms are irreducible wholes, and that the world itself can be reduced to a sort of macro-level soul
the metaphysical position that everything in nature is able to be understood mechanically, and that all higher-level features of of a
thing are explainable by way of the mechanically rendered parts of that thing
QUESTION 10
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Descartes argues that the contents of our sensed experience cannot initially provide a good foundation for
knowledge.
True
False
QUESTION 11
How does Socrates de ne death?
the end of all consciousness, and an entrance into the void of nothingness
a mystery that we cannot say anything philosophically interesting about, one way or another
a deep sleep that one can awake from with proper philosophical study
the separation of the soul and the body
QUESTION 12
What is Meno’s paradox?
it’s the argument that whenever we try to explain behavior by way of nature, there seems to be something about nurture that can
explain it just as well, and vice versa
it’s the idea that as much as we might rely on nature to make sense of virtue, it might well be true that we are being deceived by an
evil demon about what nature in fact is
it’s the argument that if we don’t know what virtue is, then we won’t know if we’ve hit upon it when we’ve found it
it’s the argument that we can never actually know if our life was happy until after we are already dead
QUESTION 13
How does the ‘argument from opposites’ at 71a
show that the soul is immortal, according to Socrates?
what goes up must come down
opposites attract
what goes around comes around
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life comes from non-life
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QUESTION 14
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For Aquinas, evil is
a wasting disease on being
a nothingness
something that has no meaning per se
all of the above
QUESTION 15
One di erence between the Thomistic and the Cartesian conception of the person is that
Cartesianism insists that the essential materiality of the human person, whereas the Thomist has an entirely
immaterial conception of mind
Cartesianism is based on scripture, whereas Thomism is based on Aristotelian philosophy only
Thomism, unlike Cartesianism, is very explicit in its insistence on a hylomorphist conception of the human
substance
Cartesianism is much more scientifically applicable than
QUESTION 16
What is Meno’s initial question to Socrates?
what is the meaning of life?
can virtue be taught or is it acquired in some other way?
what is the definition of piety?
what is justice, and how do we set up society so that we can instill justice in citizens most effectively?
QUESTION 17
How does the notion of ‘triangularity’ help to articulate Plato’s idea of forms?
a triangle is particularly beautiful, which helps us to understand what the eternal forms are in relation to our material, temporal
reality
triangles have three sides, and there are precisely three eternal forms: goodness, justice, and beauty
no written triangle is ever a perfect triangle, but we count on the existence of a perfect triangle to make sense of every (imperfect)
written triangle
while some triangles can be doubled to form perfect squares, some cannot, thus showing us the complicated nature of perfection
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Intentionality is the aboutness of thought
True
False
QUESTION 19
Who is Meno?
respected statesman and friend of Socrates
a noted disciple of Socrates, known for his astute philosophical analysis
a politician and soldier from Thessaly
an entirely fictional character made up by Plato, the dialogue’s author
QUESTION 20
Socrates uses a geometry lesson with a slave boy to illuminate his theory of radical skepticism about mathematical
truth
True
False
QUESTION 21
Some ideas that Aquinas adopted and tweaked from Aristotelianism include
the Force, karma, yin and yang, nirvana
yoga
emanation and the Divine Ideas
hylomorphism, potency and act
QUESTION 22
How can transhumanism be thought to be the ‘end game’ of mechanical reductionism?
it seeks to entirely eliminate all life from the face of the earth
the movement is mostly motivated to protect the rights of machines
the movement relies on Aquinas’ conception of irreducible wholes, thus showing once and for all the failure of mechanical
reductionism
the movement explicitly sees life and all biological material as mechanical and therefore replaceable by other more ‘advanced’
material
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QUESTION 23
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Plato thinks that the soul is immaterial and survives the death of the body
True
False
QUESTION 24
To say that Aquinas held to a participatory as opposed to a pantheistic explanation of God is to say that
we participate in every natural thing
everything participates in the being of God, which is different than saying that everything is God
because the God is rational and nature is intelligible, nature is God
nature has nothing to do with God—God merely set up the program of the world
QUESTION 25
What are the three di erent kinds of souls that Aquinas assumes?
introspective, illuminative, expository
vegetative, sensate, rational
sensual, emotional, intellectual
good, evil, and mixed
QUESTION 26
Descartes insists that there is one thing that he cannot possibly be deceived about: that he is a
human being
esh and blood
True
False
QUESTION 27
Raymond Tallis mentions our memory as being particularly vexing from a materialist conception of mind
True
False
QUESTION 28
Why does Descartes consider mathematics a more ‘secure’ foundation of knowledge than natural philosophy?
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unlike natural philosophy, mathematics is particularly difficult, and it’s a discipline that attracts smart people
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unlike natural philosophy, to learn mathematics is to acquire a level of self-assurance that affects not just one’s mental confidence,
but confidence in one’s own physical strength
unlike natural philosophy, mathematics concerns how we can logically spatialize material reality, but a in way that relies on selfevident truths
natural philosophy is too old fashioned, unlike mathematics, which is always cutting edge and modern
QUESTION 29
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Descartes thinks that he cannot be wrong about the fact that he is a thinking thing
True
False
QUESTION 30
Socrates’ main complaint with the way that Euthyphro de nes piety is that Euthyphro doesn’t defer to the right god
True
False
QUESTION 31
John Searle argues that David Chalmers seems to suggest the following unpalatable position:
panpsychism
eliminativism
atheism
Cartesian dualism
QUESTION 32
John Searle thinks that brains and computers are essentially the same sort of entities
True
False
QUESTION 33
The four causes in Aristotle’s philosophy of nature are
expedient, notional, volitional, and ablative
formal, nal, material, and e
cient
emanation, self-evident, demonstrable, and paradoxical
equivocal, analogical, semantic, and immanent
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QUESTION 34
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The ‘hard problem’ is that the properties of consciousness seem to elude any exhaustive physical explanation
True
False
QUESTION 35
The best way to think of the Unmoved mover is
A pure act behind any essential series of actualized potentialities
the rst domino
banger of the big bang
a grand, stationary force in the universe
QUESTION 36
Meno’s Paradox is the idea that when a tree falls in the forest, we have no idea whether or not it made a sound
True
False
QUESTION 37
One way to articulate the idea of e
cient causality is to say that
e
cient causality speaks to the ways that nature always saves time
e
cient causality is about the irreducible powers of substances
e
cient causality is only about how various things push and pull and bump other things in nature
e
cient causality is about the material that makes up a substance
QUESTION 38
Descartes doesn’t think that the senses are a good foundation for knowledge because empirical investigations are
impractical and costly and undemocratic
True
False
QUESTION 39
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Aquinas insisted that God’s existence is self-evident
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QUESTION 40
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Euthyphro is at the courthouse to indict Socrates
True
False
QUESTION 41
Socrates argues that knowledge isn’t so much learning something ‘new’ as un-forgetting what we already knew
True
False
QUESTION 42
At the beginning of Plato’s dialogue The Euthyphro—why is Socrates at the courthouse?
Socrates has been indicted on charges of impiety and corrupting the young
Socrates always meets at the steps of the courthouse, so that he can speak with people who are about to go to court
Socrates knows that the courthouse is the only place where large questions concerning the philosophy of law can be properly
discussed
Socrates was homeless and slept on the courthouse steps
QUESTION 43
An Aristotelian philosophy of nature insists that nature is composed of irreducible substances, making this
philosophy much di erent than the sort that mechanical reductionists assume
True
False
QUESTION 44
Euthyphro initially argues that piety is not a virtue that should guide our moral decisions
True
False
QUESTION 45
What are the two arguments that Aquinas thinks form the only two real and relevant objections to God’s existence?
that knowledge of the world is mysterious, and that God’s nature is forever unknowable
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The argument from negative experience, and the argument from emotion
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that there are many different religions, and that there is endless disagreement over which religion is true
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that an infinitely good God exists and yet there is evil, and that nature can give an exhaustive explanation of reality
QUESTION 46
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Answer THREE of the following questions. You can pick ANY THREE that you wish. Write 200-300 words on each question. They are
worth ve points each, for a total of 15 points.
1)Describe Mary the Color Scientist AND The Chinese Room thought experiments, and explain their
relevance to debates in the philosophy of mind.
2) Explicate Kass’ ideas concerning the limitations of biology, and in the process, describe the debate
between pre-modern and modern conceptions of nature (i.e., mechanical readings of nature vs. an
Aristotelian substance view of nature)
3) What is Meno’s Paradox, and how does Socrates try to answer this conundrum posed by Meno?
4) How do Aquinas and Plato di er in their conception of the soul? What do they have in common?
5) Why does Aquinas argues that God’s existence is not self-evident but that God’s existence is
nevertheless demonstrable?
6) What is the First Way?
7) What is the Fifth Way?
8) Articulate the Second and Third Ways in tandem.
9) What is the relevance, for Descartes theory of knowledge, of the piece of wax that Descartes
describes in Meditation II?
10) What is intentionality, and why does Raymond Tallis argue that this feature of our mental life
shows the folly of ‘neuroscientism’?
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QUESTION 47
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Socrates argues that people willingly do things wrong, even if they know better
True
False
QUESTION 48
The idea behind the metaphysical notion of ‘hylomorphism’ is that
both artifacts and organic entities have the functions they do because of a human construction
entities can only picked out as the entities that they are if they are different than their material make-up
entities can only picked out as the entities that they are if they are more than their material make-up
both artifacts and organic entities are collections of parts and nothing more
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Why does Descartes argue that we cannot ultimately trust the contents of our sense experience, even if we know
we aren’t hallucinating or dreaming?
Descartes argues that we might be under the clutches of an evil demon, who has deceived us into thinking that we have both a
body and that our sensed reality is what it is
Descartes argues that trust is an unethical idea, and that no one person and no one thing should ever be trusted
Descartes argues that our sense experience is dangerous, as it can cause us great happiness—a true detriment to philosophical
analysis
Descartes says that sense experience can provide a reasonable foundation, as long as we are cautious and see our environments
clearly
QUESTION 50
Searle suggests that the Chinese Room thought experiment shows what?
that there is no di erence between human learning and computer programming
that there is no di erence between learning Chinese in ‘the room of rules’ and learning Chinese from
one’s parents
that there is no di erence between Chinese and English
that the mind cannot be understood as a complicated computer
QUESTION 51
What are the relevance of forms to Socrates’ (Plato’s) understanding of the immaterial/immortal soul?
Plato argues in the Meno and Phaedo that we are able to understand the immaterial forms and know about their existence because
we can have direct knowledge of them through our immaterial soul
Plato argues that just as the forms can be thought of to exist in your mind but not in reality, so belief in a soul can be lifesustaining, even if it’s a fiction
Plato argues that forms are hazy and impossible to know, just like the nature of the soul
Plato argues that the forms, like the soul, are real, but only known by being taught
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