Philosophy Exam Questions FINAL
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What objection did Thomas Reid make to Locke’s account of personal identity? On whatproperty of the relation of identity does this objection rest?
Answer one and only one of the following six questions about Locke’s Essay:
a. How did Locke distinguish between real and nominal essence?
b. What did Locke mean by saying that there are no “chasms” or “gaps” in the corporeal world? (Note that he did not mean to deny that there is empty space or vacuum). Explain why this point is relevant to his views about nominal and real essence.
c. What significance did Locke attach to the fact that different people understand the same kinds of things to have different nominal essences?
d. In what ways, if any, are Locke’s views on real and nominal essence relevant to contemporary debates on gender theory?
e. What is a “drill”? What is a “gimar”? Why did Locke talk about drills and gimars?
f. Why did Locke talk about the Strasbourg clock?
Answer one and only one of the following five questions about Locke’s Essay:
a. Explain as clearly as possible and without quotations the difference between the three degrees of knowledge (intuitive, demonstrative, sensitive) listed in Essay, Give an example of each of these three kinds of knowledge.
b. Is there a problem in considering the knowledge of real existence as an instance of agreement between ideas? Give reasons for your answer.
c. In Book IV, Chapter ii, Section 14, Locke talks about sensitive knowledge as the “perception of the mind, employed about the particular existence of finite beings without the us.” He claims that we are conscious of the difference between any idea revived in our minds by our own memory and any idea “actually coming into our minds by our senses.” The latter would provide us with evidence for the existence of things without us. He then goes on to talk about a possible objection having to do with dreams. Present this objection and discuss Locke’s answer to it.
d. According to Locke, can we have intuitive or demonstrative knowledge of the coexistence of different qualities in a material object? Give reasons for your answer.
e. According to Locke, can a suitable arrangement of matter be endowed with the power of thinking? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer one and only one of the following five questions:
a. Explain the difference between assurance and confidence according to Locke. Give examples of something you assent to with assurance and something you assent to with confidence.
b. Why did Locke mention men and elephants walking onwater?
c. If revelation tells us something that reason denies, which must we accept according to Locke and why? If revelation tells us something that reason tells us nothing about, which must we accept according to Locke and why? In your answer to these questions, give examples of theological doctrines that are allegedly revealed.
d. What would Locke say about miracles as evidence for divine revelation?
e. What would Hume say about miracles as evidence for divine revelation?
Answer one and only one of the following five questions about Berkeley’s Principles:
a. According to Berkeley how can an idea be general without being abstract?
b. According to Berkeley, what is the philosophical conclusion to be drawn from the observation of children being able to “prate together of their sugar-plums and rattles and the rest of their little trinkets”?
c. Why did Berkeley mention the method for cutting a segment of a straight line in two equal parts in the Introduction to the Principles?
d. In class I mentioned a thought experiment by Descartes that seems to show that we indeed have some abstract ideas: present this case and explain why it contradicts what Berkeley says about the impossibility of having abstract ideas.
e. Do you think Berkeley was right in the way he interpreted Locke on abstract ideas? Give reasons for your answer.