PHILO Exam Notes
1 q Dennett
1 q Hume
1 q Quine
2 Short answers Sellars
• There are unobservable causes for phenomena\
• Analyzed metaphysical ideas (causality, substance and god) in terms of sensory
• Only way to know truth is through perceptual experience
• Memory mimics or copies original sentiment, these memories represent the object
in so lively a manner that we could say we almost feel or see it.
• Two classes of perceptions of the mind
Less lively perceptions, being conscious of something.
Lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love or hate or
desire or will.
• Thinking is derived from concepts we understand
• Our mind and inner sentiments help ideas arise.
• Every Idea is copied from and impression
• Without sensations there are no ideas, ie. Blind man cannot conceive colours
• looking for relation of cause in effect, ask what is the impression behind that
• Two Objects fo Human Reason
• Relation of Ideas
o Mathematical facts 2x2=4 • Matters of Fact
o Relation of cause and effect
o Reasoning on a fact, is another fact
• No object ever discovers, by the qualities which appear to the senses, either the
causes which produced it or the effects which will arise from it; nor can our
reason, unassisted by experience, ever draw any inference concerning real
existence and matter of fact
o Causes and effects are discoverable not by reason but by experience
• Every effect is a distinct event from the cause
• From causes that appear similar we expect similar effects.
• Simliar powers will be conjoined with similar sensible qualities
• Custom: whatever the repetition of any particular act or operation produces a
propensity to renew the same act or operation without being impelled by any
reasoning or process of the understanding we always say that this propensity is
the effect of custom.
• Determined by custom alone to expect one from another, heat from flame
• All inferences are effects of custom not of reasoning.
• Insists theories of meaning should be based on data consisting of overty
• Indeterminacy of translation and inscuritbility of reference lead to the conclusion
that there is no absolute way to say what a language is about.
• Thus ontological claims are always relative
• There is no place for prior to experience in philosophy.
• Two parts to understanding a word
• Phonetic Part: being able to be familiar with a sound and reproduce it
• Semantic part: knowing how to use the word, must use overt behaviour of the
speaker in order to understand, must use speakers understanding, borrowed
• To understand meaning of natives word must observe his behaviour, • Cannot use ostension (pointing ) for gavagai
• With ostension, cannot tell if referring to whole rabbit, or an undetached rabbit
• Cannot use ostension to describe the world Alpha
• Deferred ostension when pointing at gauge to show gas level not actual apparatus
• Bare matter is inscrutable: that things are indistinguishable except by their
o Answers only make sense relative to the question.
• Questions of reference only make sense relative to a background language, so
questions of background language only make sense relative to another
• Manifest Image: a network of beliefs that originally centred on the concept of a
• Scientific Image: consists of a description of reality derived from the fruits of
postulational theory construction.
• Sellars interprets a variety of historically important philosophical positi