HISTORY

brief answer 20 philosophy questions BASED ON CHAPTER 13 &14. Textbook info: Philosophy A Historical Survey with Essential Readings, by Fisher and Stumpf Study Questions 1.Kant held a middle ground between rationalism and empiricism. Describe what that middle-ground position is and whether you think his position is preferable to that of either the rationalists or the empiricists. 2.Philosophers commonly claim that mathematical statements such as “5 plus 7 equals 12” are “analytical a priori,” that is, true by definition and known without experience. Kant, though, argued that mathematical statements are “synthetic a priori,” that is, non-experiential knowledge that is not true by definition. Explain the difference between synthetic a priori and analytical a priori, and which of these you think mathematical statements fall under. 3.Explain Kant’s “forms of intuition” and “categories of thought” and how they spontaneously organize data from experience. 4.Explain Kant’s distinction between the phenomenal and the noumenal realms. 5.There is a skeptical way of looking at Kant’s philosophy: our knowledge is trapped within the phenomenal realm and how our mind organizes experi-ences through “forms of intuition” and “categories of thought.” But these are only products of our mind, sort of like secondary qualities, and may not resemble actual objects in the noumenal world at all. How might Kant respond to this criticism? 6.According to Kant, antinomies arise when we try to push reasoning about the self, the cosmos, or God beyond our limited capacities and into the nou-menal realm. Explain the points of conflict in each of these antinomies. 7.Kant argued that the traditional proofs for God’s existence failed. Pick one of these proofs, explain Kant’s critique, and discuss whether you agree with Kant. 8.Kant held that true moral commands cannot be expressed as hypotheti-cal imperatives, but only as categorical imperatives. Explain the difference between these two types of imperatives and discuss whether moral com-mands could be properly expressed as hypothetical imperatives, contrary to Kant’s claim. 9.Take one of the formulations of Kant’s categorical imperative and show how it would tell us that we have a duty to help others who are in need. 10. Explain Kant’s notion of a “disinterested” judgment of aesthetic beauty, and discuss whether it is possible for any judgment of aesthetic beauty to be completely disinterested. 11. Fichte argued that Kant’s view of an unknowable noumenal realm was not plausible. Explain and discuss his point. 12. Using your own example, explain Hegel’s dialectic process of thesis, antith-esis, and synthesis. 13. Discuss Hegel’s view that the concepts of being and nonbeing are so inter-twined that the one immediately leads to the other. 14. Discuss Hegel’s view of the dialectic process that begins with conflict between nations and ends with the development of freedom and whether you agree with his fundamental point. 15.Discuss Hegel’s view of the dialectic process that moves from aesthet-ics (thesis) to religion (antithesis) to philosophy (synthesis), and whether you agree with his view regarding the similarities and differences between religion and philosophy 16. Hegel’s and Berkeley’s philosophies are both classified as “idealist” yet are substantially different. How do their two forms of idealism differ? 17. Hegel’s philosophy is sometimes described as “pantheistic.” Identify the pantheistic elements and compare it to the pantheistic views of Parmenides, Eckhart, or Spinoza. 18. Discuss Schopenhauer’s view that nature, and all it contains including humans, is driven by a blind and mechanical impulse, and whether you agree. 19. Schopenhauer argued that ethics and aesthetics are the only possible escapes from perpetual conflicts within nature. Discuss how they accomplish this and whether there might be other escapes that he had not mentioned. 20. Schopenhauer’s philosophy is especially pessimistic. Even if we accept his view that everything in nature is determined and driven by conflict, is there a more optimistic conclusion that we can draw from it?

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