PP111AFall Term 2010
Terminology List for Final Exam
The following names, terms, and expressions all appear on your final exam; if you are familiar with them, then you should
be able to understand the questions on the exam.
Alan Turing- The Turing Test/ The Imitation Game (1950)- Designed a test to see if a machine is actually thinking or
just simulating thinking?
1. Requirements can’t be too strong
2. Requirements can’t be too weak
3. Must not impose requirements that are not understood well enough to decide whether something actually meets
4. Requirements should not assume in advance that “having a mind” is an all or nothing affair
The Imitation Game
Interrogator asks questions to determine which room has the woman and which room has the man.
Then a computer is in one room and person is in the other- which is which?
Theological Objection- Thinking is a function of man’s immortal soul. God has given an immortal soul to every man and
woman but not to animals or machines. Therefore no animal or machine can think.
The “Heads in the Sand” Objection- The consequences of machines thinking would be too dreadful. Let us hope and
believe that they cannot do so.
Neither of these are strong arguments
1.Amachine can only reply to our questions with answers that we have clearly programmed it to give; as a result,
2. We- the programmers- could predict in advance what answers it would give
Argument from Popularity- the fact that a belief is widely held can sometimes be a reason for thinking the belief is
likely to be true, but only when people who share it acquire it independently. Just because everyone believes it- does not
make it true.
Argument from Authority-
Argument from Contingency- least familiar version of CosmologicalArgument- “Why is there anything at all” and
“Why is there something rather than nothing”
Contingent things are things that exist, but could have not existed ( they didn’t have to exist)
If there is nothing that has to exist, then there has to be some reason why each thing does exist.
Principle of Sufficient Reason- There is an adequate explanation (whether known or unknown) for everything
The argument for Contingency is reasoning from the fact that there is any world at all to the conclusion that God exists. In
other words, we need a God to explain why there is something rather than nothing.
Objection-AChain Suspended from Heaven- Samuel Clarke
Argument from Design (The TeleologicalArgument) Another Cosmological Argument- claims there is intelligent design in nature, and concludes that there must have been an
intelligent designer of nature
1. Wherever there is intelligent purpose or design there is an intelligent designer responsible for it
2. Nature exhibits intelligent purpose or design
3. So, there must be an intelligent designer responsible for nature
Seeing design in nature might need to focus on what can see quite remarkable- that so many things can be constructed to
fulfill or achieve a certain purpose (teleological= purposeful or goal directed_)
Objections- David Hume
1. The design of many things is far from perfect (needing eyeglasses or having back pain)
2. Atheists can too easy provide alternative explanations- if any other explanation can be given for the design we
find in nature, than the first argument is incorrect (Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection)
Diests might point to the fact that nature as a whole seems to be governed by laws, the laws of physics themselves
describe a kind of pattern, or design that runs through all things. God created natural selection.
The argument of Design is not likely to convince an atheist; the argument depends on there’s being no alternative
explanation of natural order and perfect design.
The Two Tables- he sees a common sense table and a scientific table
Believes that our senses give us faulty representation of the world (The sun looks tiny in the sky, but it is actually huge)
Because our common sense view if the world clashes with our scientific view, and because our common sense view is
derives from sense experience, then sense experience itself clashes with our scientific view of reality. They are not saying
that we need to observe things more carefully, rather observing isn’t the right way to know reality at all.
Atheism- do not believe God exists and do not believe it is a reasonable to believe God does exists
Atoms/ Atomism- (Democritus) Proposed a view of the world that was conspicuously materialist (only matter exists,
with one qualification..) but which allowed for both flux and constancy to coexist.According toAtomists
1. All matter consists of simple, indestructible parts called atoms which can no parts themselves
2. All change- the flux- consists of rearrangements or recombinations of the atoms
Unlike Parmenides, believed that both Beings (atoms) and Non- Beings (the Void) exist.
Banal/Banality of Evil (HannahArendt)
Banal- So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring. Many of the greatest contemporary moral evils are a result
of our living morally superficial lives, acting thoughtlessly, doing what’s easiest... The intentions and choices behind such
actions are “banal” or mundane, not evil and there is no realistic sense inwhich these evil doers are choosing evil over
good. Evil is banal because its sources are utterly boring and commonplace.
Basic belief- a) basic beliefs might be used to justify other beliefs even though basic beliefs are not justified
themselves. In this case, basic beliefs would be unjustified justifiers (Abasic turtle could support other turtles, but nothing
or b) basic beliefs might also be justified, so that they can support other beliefs, but they do not acquire their own
justification from any further beliefs. In that case basic beliefs would have to be self justifying. (The basic turtle at the
very bottom of the pile is supported, but he supports himself)
Blaise Pascal- offered famous “prudential argument” for why God exists. The reason he gives for believing in God has
nothing to do with whether or not the belief is true or false. That is, Pascal’s argument for believing that God exists is an
argument for why it is prudent to believe that God exists even if He does not.
Bet One: you wager one dollar on a coin toss; if tails comes up you get to keep your dollar; if heads comes up you will be
tortured and executed. (heads = burn in hell)
Bet Two: you wager one dollar on a coin toss; if tails comes up you get to keep your dollar; if heads comes up you win ten
billion dollars (heads = eternity of bliss in heaven)
Pascal’s conclusions are a) it is prudent for us to believe in God and b) once we realize this we can get ourselves to
believe in God by subjecting ourselves to indoctrination.
1. Pascal’s Wager has nothing to do with whether there is actually a God
2. Pascal is wrong to thing we stand “to lose nothing: if we take his wager
3. Abelieve for which we only have prudential grounds will be inherently unstable
4. To believe in God without good justifying reasons is immoral
C. D. Broad (Experiences of God) provides an analogy to help us understand how justification could be provided to
others by the testimony of people who have religious experiences. Blind people compared to people to have suddenly
acquired sight. Broads crucial claim is that those who have has religious experiences make “ethical discoveries” that those
who lack religious experiences cannot make for themselves, but can confirm to be true.
Objection Any genuinely novel moral truth that could have only been acquired by God will automatically be one that we
(who are blind) cannot already, and independently, recognize as a moral truth rather than a false hood.Any moral truth we
can confirm on our own does not need divine help to discover.
Certainty- a belief is certain when (and only when) it is not possible that it is false
Descartes thinks that the foundations of knowledge must consist in things we know with absolute certainty.
Charles Darwin- Theory of Natural Selection
Chauvinism- in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, belligerent patriotism and a belief in national
superiority and glory. Mind Brain Identity Theory- means that the theory has the consequence that any creature who is not
very physically like us cannot have any of the same mental states that we have. (Aliens cannot think) Problem gets even
worse for Reductionist Materialism- multiple realizability- (Sally’s brain functions different than mine, so Sally is
incapable of thinking)
Chinese Room Thought- (John Searle) Locked in a room given a batch of Chinese writing and a decoder.. Although
Searle might have been successful in translating Chinese messages, he still has no understanding of Chinese- he is merely
Objection (The System’s Reply)
Searle is only one part of the system, he himself does not need to understand Chinese.
If Searle is able to quickly and accurately translate then yes, he does know Chinese because he has internalized it. Closure of Physical Laws- physical events will have explanations that appeal only to the physical realm. Non
physical thing cannot interact with physical things. (Objection to Interactionist Dualism)
Cogito- (Rene Descartes) I am, I exist. I think, therefore I am. Cogito ergo sum. Example of a self justifying thought.
Cogito is a fully justified belief, but needs no other belief to get its justification. Furthermore it can be known with
complete certainty. It is exactly what a basic belief ought to be. The Cogito is exactly the sort of belief needed to serve as
an “axiom” in Descartes geometrical organization of our knowledge.
Conclusion- Arguments are intended to persuade or convince their audience of the conclusion by using premises to
justify their conclusion. (Is it the same ship or a different ship?)
David Hume on the Self
1. Something that persists continuously, uninterrupted, the whole course of our lives
2. Something that is simple, not divisible into parts
3. Something that we are, or can be, conscious of whenever we direct our attention to it
Believes in a fictious self
Hume and the Limits of Reason
Like Locke, Hume accepted both the Empiricist Theory of Justification and the Empiricist Theory of Concepts, but Hume
draws much more radical consequences from his empiricism.
Impressions and Ideas- Following Locke’s lead, Hume distinguishes between simple and complex ideas. Simple ideas are
received directly from experience, while complex ideas are constructed by us from simple ideas. But Hume also
distinguishes between our ideas and the experiences from which our ideas are acquired. He refers to those experiences as
impressions. Our ideas are faint images left by impressions.
Hume’s Principle- all our simple ideas in their first appearance are derived from simple impressions. That is, all ideas are
ultimately derived from experiences.
Reasoning from Experience – This is Hume’s famous attack on the idea that reason empowers us the know things beyond
what we are currently experiencing, or beyond what we remember of experiences we have already had. When Hume
refers to arguments of experience he means reasoning in which we learn what will happen from our past experiences
of what has happened. Hume’s argument is thus a challenge to what many refer to as “inductive reasoning” “Just
because the sun rose today doesn’t mean it will rise tomorrow”
Deism- People who believe that God exists and who believe this is a rational belief
Democritus- Materialist who believed in atomism (see Atomism)
Derek Parfit- (Brain – Fission)
1. Carol’s brain is transplanted into man’s body. Will the resulting person be me or the other person? The “man” who
remains after the transplant will have my personality, memories, desires.. The resulting person will not be the
same woman as me, since he is a man, but what makes him the same person is me is that he thinks, she has all my
2. Myrtle has half of her brain removed (she has had a stroke). Parfit maintains that she will still be the original
person, although may now suffer from psychological deficits)
3. Myrtle’s body has also been disfigured, so her half of a brain is being transplanted into the empty head of
Michelle’s body. Parfit maintains it is still Myrtle. 4. Sydney’s brain is split in two and each half in put into another empty head. What is the result?
Three possible outcomes:
1. I am both the resulting people
2. I am only one of the resulting people; or
3. I am neither of the resulting people
Plato believes that there is a contrast between the soul and the body, whereas Diotima believes a man is the same person in
his old age as in his infancy, yet although we call him the same every bit of him has changed.And the same thing happens
not only to his body but also his soul. Therefore Diotima believes in a flux that runs through person’s body and soul- we
are a new person every single day. Agrees with Heraclitus (the sun is new each day)
Direct Realist Theory of Perception-
1) Direct Realism: We perceive ordinary physical objects, which exist independently of our perception of them.
2) The Representational Theory of Perception: We perceive sense-data- which cannot exist apart from our awareness
of them. So,
a) In perception, we are directly aware of sense-data and
b) By inference from sense-data we are indirectly aware of the external objects that cause our experiences
Dualism- is the view that the mind and body are two very different sorts of substances- the body is material and the
mind is immaterial.
Interactionist Dualism- minds can affect bodies, bodies can affect minds
Epiphenomenalisim- bodies can affect minds but minds cannot affect bodies
Eliminative Materialists- they think that modern neuroscience has discovered that there really are no minds, so there
are no feelings of amusement and so on. There are only electrochemical events in the inferior temporal gyrus. Do not
confuse this with Mind- Brain Identity. The Mind- Brain Identity theorist us saying that mental states and events- our
beliefs, desires, hopes.. are all very real things. They are physical states and events involving our brains. For
Eliminative Materialists brains are very real things, but minds are mythological things. These two theories both agree
minds are really just brains but are very different.
Empiricism- the view that all ideas and all justifications for belief derive from sense experience (perception)
The Empiricist Theory of Knowledge:All justifications for beliefs come from experience and
The Empiricist Theory of Concepts:All ideas (concepts) originate in experience
Enthusiasm- (John Locke) Enthusiasm is not Genuine Faith. Enthusiasts are just fanatics, zealots or bigots who
genuinely believe their views are matters of faith.
Locke’s explanation of Enthusiasts reasoning
1. I strongly believe that some proposition is true
2. That this proposition is true cannot be known by reason or observation
3. So, that is proposition is true could only be known by faith
4. So, my strong conviction must be a matter of faith
5. But, if something is revealed by God, then it is true 6. So, my strong conviction is true
Epiphenomenalism- see Dualism
Epistemology- theories of knowledge
Explanation- tells us why a person has a belief, but it may have no direct bearing on whether the belief is true; there are
perfectly good explanations for false beliefs.
Faith- what distinguishes faith from other forms of belief is the source of, or basis for, the assent we give to a
proposition. The term faith is usually reserved for an assent to the proposition when our assent to the proposition is not a
result of reason. (see William James and Soren Kierkegaard )
Fallacy- is incorrect reasoning in argumentation resulting in a misconception
Fallacy of circular reasoning- it is a fallacy to assume or presuppose the truth of the conclusion that is supposed to
be supported by those premises. If your premises could only be found plausible by people who already accept your
conclusion, you should worry that you might be in circular reasoning.
Fallacy of composition- it is a fallacy to infer that from the premiss that a) all the parts of a whole ) or all the
members of a group) have some characteristic, to the conclusion that b) the whole (or the group) also has that same
Fallacy of equivocation- it is a fallacy to support a conclusion by relying on the fact that a word or sentence will be
interpreted in more than one way in order to make the argument plausible.
Fideism- the doctrine that it is impossible or inappropriate to make religious beliefs accountable to reason or evidence
Flux- the id