Quiz 1 (Angel-format input file)
Define the following. 1 point each SELECT:3 Q: Define: general term POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER: A term is a word or phrase that designates a class or set. There are three kinds of terms: general terms, singular terms, and non-denoting terms. A general term, like "dog," denotes a class that has more than one member. When you call something a "dog," you're saying this thing is a member of the class of dogs. A singular term, like "the Eiffel Tower," denotes an individual thing. Proper names and definite descriptions are examples of singular terms. A non-denoting term designates the null set; it does not refer to anything. Examples of non-denoting terms include "mermaid" and "unicorn." Some problems in metaphysics are really debates over whether terms (like "God") are singular or non-denoting. Q: Define: axiology POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER: Axiology is the branch of philosophy that investigates value judgments. There are three branches of axiology: ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy. Ethics investigates value judgments about human duties and obligations (e.g., "You should treat your family and friends better than you treat strangers"). Aesthetics investigates value judgments about works of art (e.g., "Michelangelo's sculptures are better than those of Rodin"). Political philosophy investigates value judgments about political and social organizations (e.g., "Socialism is better than capitalism"). Q: Define: epistemology POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:The branch of philosophy that investigates the nature, source, and limits of knowledge. Knowledge in epistemology is primarily construed as "knowledge that" a statement is true or false. Q: Define: denotation POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:The set of things a term correctly refers to. For example, the denotation of the general term "dog" is the set containing all the dogs. The denotation of the singular term "Bill Clinton" is the set containing only Bill Clinton. (In math it is okay for a set to have only one member.) The denotation of the term "mermaid" is the null class (the class with no members). Q: Define: metaphysics (aka ontology) POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:Usually, synonymous with "ontology": the branch of philosophy that investigates the general nature of being or reality, especially the being of the sensible world, God, freedom, and souls. Sometimes used in a broader sense as "the branch of philosophy that attempts to construct a general, speculative worldview; a complete, systematic account of all reality and experience, usually involving an epistemology, an ontology, an ethics, and an aesthetics." (From Donald Palmer, Looking at Philosophy, p. 410.) Q: Define: aesthetics POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that investigates value judgments about works of art (e.g., "Michelangelo's sculptures are better than those of Rodin"). Q: Define: PreSocratic philosophy POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER: Philosophy before Socrates. PreSocratic philosophers inlude Thales, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and others. Q: Define: paradigm POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:A very good example of something. Open concepts are defined by paradigms. Q: Define: closed concept POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:A concept is closed if one can specify precisely the conditions for membership in its denotation. This set of membership conditions is called the term's connotation. For example, the concept "square" is closed because we can specify its connotation exactly: we can say exactly what properties a thing must possess in order to be a square: it must be (1) equilateral and (2) rectangular. Anything that is both equilateral and rectangular is a square; and anything that is a square is equilateral and rectangular. Closed concepts are opposed to open concepts. If a concept is open, we can't precisely specify the membership conditions for the denotation, but we can still identify paradigms of the concept in question. Q: Define: open concept POINTS: 1 TYPE:ES ANSWER:A concept is open if we cannot precisely specify its connotation, i.e., the membership conditions of its denotation. For example, concepts such as "educated person" or "art" or "obscenity" are open concepts. We can't say exactly what characteristics someone must have in order to be properly called an educated person. However, we do recognize paradigms of educated people, and we give arguments by analogy with paradigms for borderline cases. True or False? 1 point each SELECT:3 Q: Heraclitus says change is impossible. Answer: False TYPE:TF Q: Most concepts in ordinary language, such as "red" and "person", are closed concepts. Answer: False TYPE:TF Q: Your team making three more total points than the other team is a necessary condition for your team winning a football game. Answer: False TYPE:TF Q: Philosophers use the term "Modern Philosophy" to designate the philosophy of the 21st century. Answer: False TYPE:TF Q: Parmenides thought everything in the universe could be explained in terms of mathematical measurements and formulas. Answer: True TYPE:TF Q: Pythagoras says all being is One; there are no individual beings. Answer: False TYPE:TF Q: Being male is sufficient in order to be a parent. Answer: False TYPE:TF SECTION 3: Fill in blanks. 1 point each SELECT: 5 Q: The mythical mode of thought is usually opposed to the scientific or philosophical mode of thought, which Palmer calls A. logos ANSWER: A, logos POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The philosopher associated with the notion of "family resemblance" among the members of a class denoted by a term (e.g., "game") is A. Wittgenstein ANSWER: A, Wittgenstein POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The branch of philosophy concerned with forms of correct reasoning (what Palmer calls "valid inference") is called A. logic ANSWER: A, logic POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: Thales, Anaximander, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and others are collectively known as the A. PreSocratics B. PreSocratic philosophers C. Pre-Socratics D. Pre-Socratic philosophers ANSWER: A, PreSocratics, B, PreSocratic philosophers, C, Pre-Socratics, D, Pre-Socratic philosophers POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The scientific or philosophical mode of thought is usually opposed to the mythical mode of thought, which Palmer calls A. mythos ANSWER: A, mythos POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The set of things a general term correctly applies to is called its A. denotation B. extension C. reference ANSWER: A, denotation, B, extension, C, reference POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The branch of philosophy concerned with the nature, source, and limits of knowledge is called A. epistemology ANSWER: A, epistemology POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB Q: The branch of philosophy concerned with the general nature of being or reality is called A. metaphysics B. ontology ANSWER: A, metaphysics, B, ontology POINTS: 1 TYPE:FB SECTION 4: Essay 2 points SELECT:1 Q: Philosophers don't worry very much about formulating a strict definition of "philosophy" because they understand philosophy to be an open concept. What does "open concept" mean? Why is philosophy an open concept? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Philosophers realize philosophy is an open concept. We know the paradigms of philosophy (e.g., Plato's Republic, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason) and philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, etc.), and we know the paradigms of non-philosophy (e.g., the phone book) and non-philosophers (e.g., Michael Jordon), but there is still a gray area in the application of those concepts. Is Ayn Rand a philosopher? Is Adam Smith a philosopher? Are the novels of Tolstoy philosophy? Philosophers argue about these last ones. TYPE:ES Q: Explain the difference between a necessary and a sufficient condition. (Don't plagiarize! It is okay to quote sources if you give proper credit, but your answer must consist primarily of your own words.) POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: An event or state of affairs A is necessary for another event or state of affairs B if B can't occur unless A occurs. For example, you can't get an official WVC transcript if you don't enroll in WVC, so enrolling in WVC is a necessary condition for getting an official transcript. Being enrolled in WVC is not a sufficient condition for getting an official transcript; many students who enroll drop out and never ask for a transcript. An event or state of affairs A is sufficient for another event or state of affairs B if B happens whenever A happens. For example, getting 3 strikes in baseball is sufficient for being out. But it's not necessary: you can be out in other ways, too. TYPE:ES Q: Explain the difference between open and closed concepts, giving examples. For full credit, you must demonstrate correct usage of the vocabulary of the assigned reading (terms like "term", "general term", "connotation", "denotation", "necessary condition", "sufficient condition" and "paradigm"). Don't plagiarize! It is okay to quote sources if you give proper credit, but your answer must consist primarily of your own words. POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: A concept is closed if you can specify exactly what properties a thing must have to be a member of the class of things denoted by the concept. In other words, there is no gray area in the application of the concept: something either is a member of the denotation or it's not. Math concepts such as "square" are closed, because you can say exactly what properties a thing must have to be correctly called a square: a thing must be both equilateral and rectangular. Both these characteristics are necessary conditions for membership in the denotation; together they are sufficient.
Most concepts in ordinary language are open. This means there is general agreement about what is definitely a member of the class of things denoted by the concept (what are the paradigms of the concept); there is also general agreement about what is definitely NOT a member of the class. But when a concept is open, there can be arguments about borderline cases, because we can't give an exact specification of the membership conditions. For example, a concept like "art" is open. We know the paradigms of works of art (e.g., Michelangelo's David, the Mona Lisa, etc. And we know what's NOT art (an eraser, an amoeba, etc.). But there is controversy about the gray area (Thomas Kinkade, B-movies, etc.). TYPE:ES Q: Palmer says Thales (6th c. BCE) was the first Western philosopher. What about Thales' thought was original and of lasting importance? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Palmer gives Thales credit for the transition in Western thought from mythos (high affect, low focus, atemporal, ahistorical, magical, chaotic, supernatural, non-discursive, etc.) to logos (low affect, high focus, historical, discursive, logical, naturalistic, orderly, etc.). TYPE:ES Q: What's the difference between "philosophy of" specialties (like philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, philosophy of law, etc.) and other areas of philosophy (like metaphysics)? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: The more general areas of philosophy — metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic — critically analyze presuppositions of ALL disciplines, such as real and unreal, true and false, good and bad, logical and illogical. All disciplines make use of these general presuppositions. "Philosophy of" areas investigate the particular presuppositions of other non-philosophical disciplines (science, law, religion, art, etc.). TYPE:ES Q: What are the names and approximate dates of the major periods of Western philosophy? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Usually, philosophers use four groupings: Ancient (before the fall of Rome), Medieval (Dark Ages to early Renaissance), Modern (Renaissance through Kant or Hegel or Nietzsche), and Contemporary (20th century to present). Philosophers don't agree on precise groupings, but it's not a big deal. It's important for you to remember that the "Modern" period is over, so when someone talks about a "modern" philosopher, you can assume that philosopher has been dead 100-200 years. See the file "Chronological List of Western Philosophers". TYPE: ES