PHI 151: Intro to Philosophy
Review for Midterm Exam
What is the Socratic Method? How does it work? What is the goal? What does Socrates
mean when he refers to himself as the gadfly of Athens?
o 1. Socratic Method: a method used by Socrates that involved interrogation
and conceptual analysis.
o 2. It works by asking questions (mainly definitions and pointing out
incoherence) and then used the definitions to determine whether the answer
is correct or not.
o 3. The goal is to prove that the person being questioned actually knows what
they’re talking about.
o 4. The gadfly bites the horse and wakes it from sleeping; Socrates is the
same way in that he questions people and wakes them from their intellectual
slumber (reality check); tries to get them to think about truth, wisdom, and
In what sense does Socrates claim that he is wiser than most people?
o Socrates claims to be wiser than most people because he KNOWS he is
ignorant while others are also ignorant but falsely believe they have
What is Euthyphro’s first replies to the question of what piety is? Why does Socrates
object to that?
o 1. “doing as I’m doing; that is to say, prosecuting anyone who is guilty of
murder or sacrilege”
o 2. Socrates objects because it is an example, not a definition.
What is Euthyphro’s final definition of piety? What challenge does Socrates present to
this definition? (Be sure to explain both sides of the dilemma.)
o 1. Final definitionPious is unanimously god-loved; impious is
o 2. The gods love something and that makes it pious (but then ANYTHING
could be pious) or a thing is pious and that makes the gods love it but it
doesn’t explain what sort of things inspire the gods’ approval.
How does Socrates argue that he would not have intentionally corrupted the youth?
o Socrates would not intentionally corrupt the youth because then they would
have turned around and harmed him (because he harmed them first), and if
Socrates had harmed someone, the family would have complained, but no
families had complained.
Why does Socrates think it would be unjust to ignore the law and escape from prison?
(He gives two general reasons.)
o 1. It is unjust to harm innocent people and violate a fair agreement; laws
protect citizens (which means if he disobeyed the laws, then everybody
would disobey and undermine the laws and people would get harmed) and
Athens protected him, so he obeys (never had a reason to complain about his
life in Athens so he can’t complain about his punishment)
In what sense did Socrates agree to obey the laws of Athens? Explain.
o He compares his relationship to Athens with a child and parents. Athens
gave him benefits and protected him, so he is respectfully obligated to obey
the laws of Athens. Plato (Phaedo):
According to Plato, what is knowledge? What it true knowledge of?
o Knowledge of the forms
Why does Plato say that the true philosopher separates his soul from his body?
o MAIN thing: the body is an obstacle to TRUE knowledge (true knowledge is
of the forms; abstract); concrete (physical) things are just imperfect copies
of the forms
o Only through intellect alone
Explain the distinction between the forms and particular physical things.
o Forms are abstract (ideas, but Socrates believes they are real)
o Physical things are imperfect copies
o Dog-ness (the essence of being a dog); dogs, dogs, dogs (copies of the idea)
What is learning, according to Plato? Explain.
o Learning is just recollection. You already have the knowledge when you’re
born, but you recall the knowledge as you go along.
What does this say about the nature of the soul?
o The nature of the soul is superior to the body, and it’s not physical.
Therefore, because you already have all the information you need to know,
you soul is superior to any physical properties.
What happens to the soul of one who spends his life indulging in physical pleasure? How
does one ensure that one’s soul will escape the physical world?
o Their soul will take on quasi-physical properties, reincarnated etc.
o Soul exists even when the body is destroyed
Explain the “inverted spectrum problem”
o The inverted spectrum problem is the problem that we cannot experience
someone else’s experiences unless we ARE that person. It’s impossible to
know how someone else experiences something, even if they tell us.
What if scientists could discover perfect correlations between mental processes and brain
processes? Would that solve the mind-body problem? Why/not?
o I don’t think it would because correlation does not equal causation. Just
because there is a correlation between the two does not DEFINITELY define
the causes between the two.
What is the most prominent objection to interactive dualism?
o It violates the laws of conservation; if non-physical event cause a physical
event, then new energy would enter the system but the laws of conservation
states that energy can only be converted, not made new or destroyed.
Is there any scientific evidence that could prove dualism to be true? Explain.
What is “qualia”?
o Qualia is the felt quality of subjective experience; p