Test Preview

Some, but not all, of the following questions will appear on the in-class test on Tuesday, June 11.


Define each of the following terms.

Method of doubt


Idealism (Berkeley)

Primary and secondary properties

Relation of ideas

Deductive and inductive reasoning

Problem of induction

Short Answer

Answer all of the following questions. A short paragraph will suffice.

  1. What is Descartes' aim in the Meditations? How much of this aim does he accomplish in the first two Meditations?
  2. What three premises or assumptions does Stroud identify in Descartes' dreaming argument? What problem does he see for the "straightforward response" to the dreaming argument? (You will have to define the "straightforward response".)
  3. What is the point of Descartes' wax example? What does it aim to show, and how does it show this?
  4. What does Berkeley mean by "material substance" or "matter"? Is it the same as what we mean by "matter" in contemporary science? If it is different, what is the difference?
  5. Explain Berkeley's relativity argument against the mind-independent reality of primary properties. (You may choose an example of a primary property, and give the relativity argument specific to your choice.)
  6. How does Berkeley object to the view that all sensible qualities are mind-dependent, but nevertheless caused by matter. (Choose whichever objection seems strongest to you.)
  7. What is the role of God in Berkeley's idealism? Does he have an argument for God's existence? If so, what is it?
  8. Explain the objection to Berkeley's idealism from unobserved objects. What is Berkeley/Philonous's response?
  9. How does Berkeley explain optical illusions? Use the example of an oar sticking out of some water, which appears bent.
  10. Why can't we use deductive reasoning to justify induction?
  11. Why can't we use inductive reasoning to justify induction?
  12. According to Hume, what is the source of our reasoning about cause and effect?