philosophy final exam study questions

  1. Reductive Materialism or Type-Type Identity has been disproved by neuroscience, according to Prof. Ball. Explain why. Many theorists who favored Type-Type Identity (Reductive Materialism) now favor Type-Token Identity (or functionalism). Explain the difference between these two identity theories.
  2. What is strong A.I. and how does the turning test attempt to prove that a computer can be conscious? What is Searle’s Chinese Room argument and why is it an attack on Strong AI? Explain how Searle uses The Chinsee Room Argument to undermine the intuitions behind the Turing Test.
  3. Lay out the teleological argument for god’s existence. How would Darwin respond to this argument? What sorts of things could we look at as evidence to help us decide between the two theories? If there is no possible evidence, explain why.
  4. Anselm provides us with an argument for the existence of God. Trace this argument. In your argument explain the difference between something existing and something exiting in the mind.
  5. In class, Ball laid out a table listing the various categories and attribute traditionally ascribed to the Judeo/Christian concept of god. Lay out this table and define the attributes. In class we identified a couple of potential contradictory attributes. Give an example of at least on of these apparent contradictions and the way we proposed to “fix” the problem.
  6. In class the following Hybrid Argument was given as a formulation of the second and third arguments given by Tomas Aquinas for the existence of God.

1) There exist contingent objects.

2) Every contingent object (x) requires a cause that is (i) other than x, and (ii) prior to x.

3) No infinite regress of causes

4):. There exists a first cause of contingent objects which is (i) not, itself, a contingent object (i.e. is a necessary being), and (ii) prior to all contingent objects. This is God.

In Way One and Way Two, there are inconsistent premises (lay out both arguments and explain the problem with each). What are they and how does the Hybrid Argument above avoid these difficulties? Explain.

  1. David Hume puts forth the problem of evil and presents it as an inconsistent triad. What is this triad? Explain why the three statements of the triad cannot possibly be true at the same time. Explain why the “Bad Tasting Medicine” theodicy does not get us out of the problem.
  2. One possible way out of the problem of evil is to redefine “all powerful” and to give an account of the relationship between good and evil. While this is a way out of the problem of evil, (i.e. all the statements in the triad can be true at the same time) it leads to the implication that this is the best of all possible worlds. Explain both the way out and this problematic implication.
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