The final exam will have two sections: Definitions and Essays. In the first section, you will be given a list of terms; you must provide definitions of all of them. In the second section, you will be given essay topics divided into two groups; you must write an essay on exactly one (1) topic from each group. That is, you will write a total of two essays, one from each group.
The lists below of terms to be defined, and of essay prompts, are longer than the lists you will find on the final exam. However, the final exam will not include any terms to be defined, or essay prompts, other than those listed below.
Define all of the following terms. A short paragraph will suffice for each.
Method of doubt
Problem of induction
Primary and secondary properties
Internalism and externalism
A Gettier case is a type of counterexample to the analysis of knowledge as justified true belief (JTB). More specifically, it is a counterexample to the sufficiency of JTB for knowledge: in a Gettier case, someone has a justified true belief that p, but (intuitively) does not know that p. For example, suppose I believe that the person who got the job has 10 coins in her pocket because I believe with good evidence that Mary got the job, and that Mary has 10 coins in her pocket. But in fact, I am mistaken, and Cindy got the job; coincidentally, Cindy has 10 coins in her pocket, though I have no evidence of this. Then, intuitively, I have JTB but not knowledge of the proposition that the person who got the job has 10 coins in her pocket.
A. Write an essay responding to one (1) of the following prompts.
i. What is Hume's argument against induction? How does Haack extend this argument? What does she mean by the "optimistic" and "pessimistic" conclusions one could draw from her arguments?
ii. What does "cogito ergo sum" mean? Explain the importance of this sentence for Descartes. You will need to explain the method of doubt test, and Descartes' foundationalism.
iii. Present one of Berkeley's arguments against mind-independent matter. Present and evaluate one objection to it.
B. Write an essay responding to one (1) of the following prompts.
i. Explain Goldman's causal theory of knowing. How does it deal with Gettier cases? Present and evaluate one objection to the theory.
ii. Explain Lehrer and Paxson's defeasibility analysis of knowledge. How does it deal with Gettier cases? Present and evaluate one objection to the theory.
iii. Explain (a) the Moorean and (b) the contextualist responses to skepticism. Give a reason why each of these is unsatisfying as a response to skepticism. Evaluate the objection you present.
iv. Explain DeRose's bank cases, and explain how they are meant to provide support for contextualism. Present and evaluate an alternative, invariantist, explanation of the cases.
v. Explain Lewis's account of knowledge. Is Lewis's account fallibilist? Present and evaluate one objection to Lewis's account.