PHL A10 - Exercise I
1. If you want to say what philosophy is, why isn't it enough to give a list of examples of philosophical
Simply giving examples is not enough to justify what philos ophy is because citing examples does not explain
what philosophy is. Philosophy is abstract and controversial. It encompasses varying subgroups -- ranging from
science, art, religion, etc. -- which all have different values, but together, they help to explain how the world fits
together. As stated by Sober, it is necessary to have a set of theories with merit along with examples, to support
the definition of philosophy in order to truly define i t. These theories include: fundamental questions of
justification, solipsism, and clarifying concepts. Four central philosophical problems are God, knowledge, mind,
2. Explain what philosophical skepticism is.
Philosophical skepticism refers to a critical attitude, which systematically questions the notion that absolute
knowledge and certainty are possible; either in general or in particular fields. Philosophical skepticism raises
propositions about the limitations of knowledge, obtaining knowledge through doubt and continual testing,
arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values, intellectual caution and suspended judgment, and lack of
confidence in positive motives for human conduct. There is a difference between believing something and
knowing something. Everyone has beliefs, and although some may be true, there may be a lack of knowledge.
3. What is the problem of free will?
The problem with f ree will is that perhaps i t is just an elaborate illusion. Perhaps the issue of freedom is used as a
defense against the truth that the choices we make encompass factors that are beyond our control. The question
concerning free will asks whether one can exercise control over their actions and decisions. Despite having to
make choices everyday “at your own free will”, the actions one performs or abstain is not dependent of the
freedom of choice.
4. What is the doctrine of solipsism?
The doctrine of solipsism says that the mind is the only thing that exists. A philosophical question of solipsism
characteristically suggests why one should believe that anything exists outside the mind. Solipsism states that all
that is truly knowable is the mind, and that anything that seems to be outside is a projection of the mind. In other
words, only the mind exists and everything else is merely an image. A more recent meaning of solipsism is
described as a self-indulgent attitude. Philosopher Rene Descartes developed the concept of solipsism as an
inquiry into the nature of reality. The word is a combination of two Latin words: solus, meaning alone; and ipse,
5. What's the difference between the objective and the subjective?
The objective exists independently of what anyone believes. Objectivity is a feature of scientific investigators and
of scientific inquiry itself. To be objective is to adhere strictly to truth; conducive methods in one’s thinking,
particularly, to take into account all available information, and to avoid any form of prejudice, bias, or wishful
thinking. Science is objective, whereas philosophy can be objective and subjective. Subjectivity is the concept of
taking a personal point of view, which is dependent on an individuals belief and intellectual insight.