1. Explain some of the benefits a student may gain by studying philosophy.
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While studying philosophy, a student can gain a range of benefits because of learning the principles of developing and analyzing the knowledge which can have different sources, including objective and subjective reality. As a result, knowing the key philosophical theories and concepts, a student can develop his or her critical thinking abilities, understand relationships between processes and phenomena, and develop skills in reasoning.
2. Explain the Socratic Method of Teaching. Is this a useful way for students to learn?
The Socratic Method of Teaching is based on the idea of providing individuals with questions to explore and answer without giving them direct responses and solutions. Teachers are expected to use probing questions to help students find more answers in the process of their analysis of a problem. As a result, students develop their skills in searching for information, analyzing and synthesizing it, thinking critically, and examining the problem from all possible perspectives. From this point, this approach can be discussed as useful because of providing a student with the required hints to develop one’s thoughts and find answers to the question.
3. Explain how critical thinking can be used to analyze a philosophical issue.
While analyzing a philosophical issue, a student needs to apply his or her critical thinking because of the necessity to evaluate premises related to this issue. Thus, thinking over the question means evaluating the provided reasons, assumptions, and facts. When the evaluation is completed, it is possible to state whether the conclusion associated with the philosophical issue is reasonable and persuasive.
4. Compare and contrast induction, abduction, and deduction.
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Induction, deduction, and abduction are methods of reasoning which have certain similarities and differences. Induction is based on using premises that can be relevant to support the conclusion, but they still can fail to prove it. Deduction is also based on discussing premises, but in contrast to induction, these premises are viewed as valid to prove the conclusion because of their true nature. Abduction is based on the idea of providing the best possible explanation for the observed phenomenon. In this case, premises can fail to prove the conclusion.
5. Explain some of the different areas of philosophy which will be discussed in this course.
Several important areas of philosophy will be discussed in the course, and Logic, Metaphysics, and Epistemology are among them. Furthermore, there is also information on such important topics as Philosophy of Religion, Eastern Philosophy, and Political Philosophy. Moreover, the study of philosophy should also include key theories related to Aesthetics and Ethics.
6. Compare and contrast various views on substance, such as materialism, dualism, and idealism.
Substance can be viewed from different perspectives, and it is important to focus on materialism, idealism, and dualism. Materialism is based on the vision that objects around people are of a physical nature. As a result, the reality is physical, and people should be perceived with reference to their physical nature. In contrast to materialism, idealism is based on viewing objects as non-material or non-physical. Consequently, minds and ideas are more important than people’s physical nature. Dualism combines visions typical for both views and states that objects and people have material and non-material qualities. Furthermore, objects and phenomena in the world can also be divided into material and non-material ones.
7. Evaluate the 4 views as to the nature of universals and particulars.
The key four views regarding the nature of universals and particulars are Platonic or extreme realism, exaggerated realism, conceptualism, and extreme nominalism. According to Platonic realism, the focus should be on universals or ideas. Universals exist in a unique separate reality where objects or particulars serve as reflections of these universals. Exaggerated realism is based on the idea that universals and particulars coexist in one reality, and universals are usually connected with particulars. Conceptualism explains universals through the notion of “concept”. People develop certain concepts as a result of observing particulars. According to extreme nominalism, only particulars exist, and there are no universals in any reality. The principles of exaggerated realism and conceptualism are most applied to the modern vision of ideas and objects.
8. Explain and evaluate the views of Anaximander regarding the nature of substance.
Anaximander supported the idea that no existing substance could be discussed as the primary one because the original substance was rather unlimited and boundless. He called this primary substance “Apeiron”. It gave origin to all other natural substances observed in the world. Anaximander’s idea can be discussed as supported by people who accept the divine nature of the substance.
9. Explain and evaluate the views of Pythagoras regarding the nature of substance.
The Pythagoras viewed numbers as the nature of the substance. They claimed that all elements in objects can be counted, and all organisms represent systems, the components of which can also be counted. Thus, they saw the order and truth in mathematical principles. While evaluating this idea, it is possible to state that it is based on logic and reasoning.
10. Explain Aristotle’s 4 causes.
Aristotle determined four causes: material, formal, efficient, and final. The material cause is associated with the physical aspects or qualities of an object. The formal cause explains the design and shape of an object. The efficient cause is associated with actions directed toward changing an object. The final cause can be viewed as the purpose of any object’s existence.
11. Compare and contrast rationalism and empiricism.
Both rationalism and empiricism are followed while understanding processes and phenomena and making conclusions. Still, rationalism is based on developing knowledge as a result of evaluating ideas and applying logic and deduction. Empiricism is based on developing knowledge with reference to experiences, perceptions, and induction.
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12. Explain the difference between A priori and A posteriori knowledge.
The difference between A priori knowledge and A posteriori knowledge can be explained the following way: A priori knowledge does not depend on a person’s experience when A posteriori depends on experience. The knowledge is regarded as “A priori” when there is a reference to a proved and well-known fact which does not require additional support. The knowledge is regarded as “A posteriori” when it is based on experience and on the process of proving some idea.
13. Compare and contrast Foundationalism and Coherentism.
Foundationalism and Coherentism are theories to explain the justification of knowledge. Foundationalism is based on the vision that certain beliefs are usually justified by other beliefs. Therefore, knowledge has its foundation in other beliefs or visions. On the contrary, Coherentism is based on the idea that the justification of a belief is usually a result of referring to a coherent network of beliefs.
14. Compare and contrast pragmatic theories of truth with the correspondence theory of truth.
The pragmatic theories of truth claim that propositions can be regarded as true if they are useful to follow. In this context, truth is relative, and the focus is on utility. On the contrary, the correspondence theory of truth claims that truth is based on facts. The proposition can be viewed as true only if it corresponds with some facts.
15. What are some of the implications of Gödel’s Theorem?
The implications of Gödel’s Theorem in relation to philosophy are based on the idea that arithmetic in its nature can be incomplete and even incorrect. As a result of focusing on this view, it is possible to reconsider the principles of logic. Furthermore, Gödel’s Theorem provides the idea that some parts of any theory will remain to be unproved because of its incompleteness. Therefore, there are always some gaps in the knowledge regarding truth.