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PHL 550 Final: Final Exam Questions + Review

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PHL 550
Jullien Bellard

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Exam Date: April 19 , 2017 Final Exam Notes PHL 550 FINAL EXAM QUESTIONS 1. According to Clifford, it is always wrong to believe anything on insufficient evidence. James disagrees. Explain the reasons that each philosopher gives for his opinion. Do you think that either of them is right, or more right than the other? Why, or why not?  Clifford: Ship owner who does not do maintenance on his ship and everyone dies. But if everyone didn’t die, it would still be wrong. Belief against self-interest.  Clifford: Prosecutor accusing a group of individuals of wrong-doing. When they turn out innocent, the group’s image is ruined. It is wrong to not do the appropriate investigation before making assumptions.  According to James, decisions are: o Live or dead for a person (if one has nothing to do with a decision, then that decision is dead to them) o Forced or avoidable (some decisions are avoidable and some decisions must be made) o Momentous or trivial (some decisions are so important that they must be made right away, while other decisions can be made and taken back if not important)  Religions belief to James is forced and momentous. Believes that faith is sensible though not rationally demanded.  James argues that one does not choose one’s beliefs, but one just has them and we look to our leaders and authority figures to model our beliefs after theirs. Usually, we accept what we’re told. 2. Plantinga argues that some religious beliefs may be properly basic. Some might object that, if Plantinga is right about these religious beliefs, then any belief--however silly or irrational or groundless--might be properly basic. Explain this objection and Plantinga's reply to it. Do you think his reply is convincing? Why, or why not?  According to Clifford and ‘evidentialists’, even if it is true that god exists, one is unjustified and irrational for believing this due to lack of evidence.  Only beliefs that are properly basic (those that are self-evident or obvious) do not require evidence. But why can’t belief in God be properly basic?  Plantinga argues: o There are other things we believe without evidence that we are entirely justified in believing (for example, the world is older than 5 minutes). o There is no evidence that only propositions that are self-evident and incorrigible are properly basic. The theory fails its own test. 1 Exam Date: April 19 , 2017 Final Exam Notes  According to Plantinga, justification is easy to come by because it’s warrant that is important for knowledge. In order for something to be warranted: o Cognitively, the person must be sound. o The cognitive environment must be appropriate. o The purpose of the knowledge is aimed at producing true beliefs. o The probability of the belief being true is high.  Discussion with the Great Pumpkin objections. An objection that states it could lead to radical relativism. Plantinga says that they are still being lied to, so they possess no warrant.  Plantinga argues that any belief, no matter how silly or irrational, can be justified in their belief, but not warranted. 3. What is the self-defeat argument for (belief in) phenomenal conservatism? Do you think that belief in any rival theory (i.e., any theory inconsistent with phenomenal
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