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POP study guide.docx

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Boston College
ENGL 1010
Laura Sterrett

Philosophy Study Guide I. Exam Structure a. Short answer b. 2 essay questions i. Short one ii. Long one (about Beauvoir) II. Thinking like a Philosopher a. Dialectical Thinking- i. It proceeds from uncertain premises ii. Proceeds by giving and responding to reasons for and against (it’s a process) iii. It is always in some way a dialogue—dialogic b. Distinction b/w Demonstration and Dialectic i. In demonstration something when you make an argument based upon something clear/seen/agreed upon ii. Dialectical argument-the premises themselves are not certain c. Hermeneutics-the theory of text interpretation d. The Hermeneutic Circle-It refers to the idea that one's understanding of the text as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole. Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. e. How hermeneutics / reading is like archaeology i. Search for the right questions in order to effectively read a text ii. The right question that you put to a text doesn’t have a truth value —it is right or wrong depending on whether it allows the text to open up f. Collingwood's distinction b/w Right and True i. Right-anything that allows the dialectical discussion to continue g. [Def] Epistemology h. Criteria of Relevance and theAnalogy b/w everyday figures you would consult about a moral decision and relevant positions to consider in the history of ethics. i. Idea is you have to have a sense of all the possible alternatives ii. The criteria that will help you determine which of all the many possible alternatives are the ones that you should be talking about III. Ethics of the SocialAnimal a. Distinction between the Good and the Right i. Ancient ethics-discovering the good 1. Focuses on the value that all our actions should be means towards ii. Modern ethics-what is the right thing to do 1. Focuses on the actions themselves 2. The right thing to do rather than the ultimate end b. Distinction between the meaning of the “words” (logos) and “deed” (ergon) in a Platonic dialogue i. Logos-word ii. Ergon-deed c. Meno's Paradox i. Question of ignoranceknowledge ii. How can you search for something if you are ignorant, you don’t know what to look for. iii. If you know what to look for, what do you need to learn? d. Aristotle's definition of the highest good / happiness i. Acting according to reason over the course of a whole life e. What are “heuristic” and “ostensive” definitions? i. Ostensive-something shown or known ii. Heuristic-a definition that allows you to refer to something f. How doesAristotle's discussion of means and ends support his opinion that there is only one highest good? g. Aristotle's “function argument” i. The way to find out what the highest good of humanity is to find their function ii. The way to find out the function is to find out what is unique to humans iii. Reason is unique to humans iv. Therefore the highest good of humanity is to act with reason IV. Ethics of the Creature a. Distinction b/w intellectualism and voluntarism b. Euthyphro's problem (about piety) i. Do the god’s love the pious because its pious, or is the pious pious because the god’s love it c. Aquinas's definition of Law i. It is a measure of action connection to the common good ii. Intellectualist—law doesn’t have the kind of connection to God’s will that it would if he were a voluntarist 1. Isn’t determined by god’s will, just is the common good d. Distinction (for Luther) b/w Law and Gospel i. Law-commands of god that humans aren’t able to live up to— useless in terms of determining moral thing to do—purpose is to create guilt ii. Gospel guides us to act out of love for christ e. You should also have thought about how bothAquinas and Luther would have felt aboutAristotle's “function argument” i. Aquinas agrees with the function argument but believes it is insufficient because you still need God ii. Luther totally rejects the function argument because he believes that human reason has been fatally corrupted since the fall into sin V. Ethics of the Motivated Individual a. The state of nature (for Hobbes) b. What’s distinctive about Hobbes’s voluntarism i. Voluntarism before him (i.e. Luther) was religious—morality will of god ii. Hobbes is a secular voluntarist--says the will of the sovereign c. What motivates people (for Hobbes) d. Distinction between “is” and “ought” i. SEE CLASS NOTES e. Why Hume thinks we can never derive an ought from an is i. SEE
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