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-Philosophy 2010 Final Exam Review THE FINAL EXAM QUESTIONS: Compare and contrast each philosophers positions

on the mind. Make sure you know their arguments! What are the weaknesses and strengths of each positions? Give arguments!

Compare and contrast Utilitarianism and Deontological Ethics. Discuss Bentham and Kants views, and explain how each of these may be applied to famine problems. What are the weaknesses and strengths of each position? Give arguments!

Philosophy of Minds (50%) Study questions Based off Descartes (136-141)


I think, therefore I am o Certain that he had a mind Existence of other minds? o Solipsism- only sure ones own mind exists, cannot know for sure if other minds exist Features of the Mind o Private (Only I have direct access) o Immaterial o Non-Spatial o Indubitable Features of the Body o Public (Common reference) o Material o Spatial o Dubitable Problem with mind/body is how they interact

1. What is Russells argument for knowing other minds? (What Cartesian assumptions about the mind are assumed?) (248-250)

Uses Descartes distinction between private (mind) and public (bodies)

Use public bodies to make inferences about the private mind (Cartesian assumption) Mental events cause Physical events Russell argues that we know, from observation of ourselves, a casual law of the form A causes B, where A is a thought and B a physical occurrence. We sometimes observe a B when we cannot observe any A; we then infer an unobserved A. Crucial to understanding Russells argument is understanding that he is suggesting that we are INFERRING the causes of other peoples behavior based on our own. Probabilistic inferences is what Russell bases his theory, or postulate, of off. Likely other minds exists o Argument by analogy- the casual law governing my behavior have to do with my thoughts, same law must govern others behaviors too A causes B A is thought; B is a physical occurrence it is not necessary that we should know A is the only cause of B; it is enough if it is high probable. Common form in science We know lightning causes thunder, and we have heard thunder a hundred times. If we hear it again, but dont see lightning, we are justified to believe it exists. I know which thoughts cause my actions When I observe someone yelling, I infer theyre mad, because when Im yelling, Im mad. Rebuttals o How do we know only A causes B? or how do we know if something is highly probable enough to infer that the cause of B is A. o Never specifically tells how mind and body interact, only that other minds exist o assumption: All people have analogous responses to causes similar to that of our own.

2. What is Ryles argument against the Cartesian concept of the mind? (Discuss the Ghost in the Machine. Explain Ryles version of Behaviorism. How does Ryles Behaviorist perspective render other minds scientifically knowable? Explain how Ryle disagrees with Russell. How does Ryles perspective allow the mind to be an object of scientific inquiry?) (251-257)

Ryle criticizes Descartes and Russell, on the basis of assumptions Mind is the ghost, body is the machine Not in favor of absolute separation of mind and body o This would involve a separate body of interaction Not proper use of language Category Error o Example: University

Someone new to a university has seen all of the buildings and asks where the university is Conceptual Error o Mistake a whole for the part Descartes incorrectly separated mind from body o Theyre not two different kinds of things, but rather two different types of behavior Physical and Mental behavior Talk about mind in terms of physical behavior Translate fear into disposition to behave in a certain way

3. Give Churchlands argument(s) for eliminative materialism. (Discuss Folk Psychology, and his short analysis of the history of folk concepts. What are the objections Churchland raises against his own views. How does he respond to these criticisms? With what science and with what nomenclature ought the folk psychological concepts of the mind be replaced?) (280-284)

Response to the Mind/Body problem Arguments for eliminative materialism: o the most central things about us (sleep, learning, intelligence, mental illness) are unknown to us through folk psychology despite having over 2,000 years to further develop o folk psychology has simply survived for so long not because it is correct in its representations, but because it covers such a difficult topics that any useful handle on them will not be displaced easily or quickly o folk psychology does not allow one to one match up of what is actually occur in our minds and how we communicate it, if we were to revise folk psychology with neuroscientific terms this would not be as successful as starting a new system with solely neuroscience Churchland solves the mind problem by saying that you have to remove the mind terminology or folk psychology because the terms are not correct and we do not fully understand it. o Folk Psychology: common place terms to describe or explain actions o Eliminative Materialism looks to eliminate folk psychology When we study the mind, we study the brain by rejecting the mind and using neuroscience to study the mind. One could criticize Churchland by arguing that just because the brain is damaged that does not imply that the brain is the cause of the body. (Churchland suggests that we Replace terms of belief and knowledge with neuroscience) Arguments against eliminative materialism: o Even if you could correlate thoughts and brain states, doesnt prove causation o Introspection is enough (I know I have pain, whatever it may be) Rejects: conceptual framework needs to be changed

Begging the question In order for Eliminative Marterialist to assert their ideas they must have some belief in it, with intention to communicate it, with knowledge of the language to explain it in. all of which are folk psychological words. therefore it is self contradicting when he uses the words he is attempting to dispel to prove his theory. Churchland rebuttal- he is using these words in different meaning than what it is in FP. to consider it being used in the old FP sense would be questioning the validity of the framework at issue. Introspection reveals directly the existence of pains, beliefs, desires, fears, etc. Churchlands rebuttal: all observation occurs within some system of concepts and our observation judgments are only as good as the conceptual framework they are expressed in. and FP isnt a good framework to express these observations (basically this is his entire argument) Too harsh (making mountains out of molehills): Eliminative Materialist dont recognize the success of FP. Maybe matured neuroscience will REVISE FP but to think it would eliminate it is far fetched Revisionary Materialism Churchland ponders this may be true but he is attempting to show us that a revolution in our conceptions needs to be made.

4. What is Searles argument against Strong Artificial Intelligence? (The Chinese Room Argument) How does syntax and semantics play a role in the argument? Is AI still possible if Searle is correct? (298-310)

On the basis of Schanks experiment o What separates a machine from a mind is its ability to understand what isnt explicitly stated Example: You go to a restaurant and order a hamburger. When it arrives, it is burnt to a crisp. You storm out without paying. As human minds, we can infer that we did not eat the hamburger, even though it wasnt explicitly stated Could Schanks machine understand? o Strong AI: computer explains the mind o Weak AI: rejects the idea that a computer explains the mind Searles argument is against strong Artificial Intelligence (AI). o Chinese Room Experiment shows why Strong AI doesnt exist Non-native Chinese speaking man given Chinese instructions and asked to translate it using English manuals Results are indistinguishable to a native Chinese speaker, but there is no evidence of non-native UNDERSTANDING what they translated

Just because someone always gives the correct answer does not mean that they understand the answer they gave. Undermines strong AI because while it is indistinguishable, it doesnt have same capacities Computer isnt sufficient for human understanding o Stronger vs. Weaker AI: Stronger AI is not possible because it is not actual intelligence, but rather a complex program. Weaker AI is possible because you are understanding the concept. Example: Computers are useful in testing the hypotheses about the mind but minds are not computers so computers do not actually understand the minds words. Computers are just syntax (programming) and the semantics is understanding the concepts of the words which computers lack. How it relates: AI is a form of dualism o Program is distinct from the matter it substantiates Example: A table can be made of wood or steel, but still serves the purpose of a table Materialists could believe the mind arises in specific types of matter. In other words, one does not need to be a dualist in order to be a materialist. But strong AI tends to adopt a dualist position.

5. What is Nagels argument against reductive materialism? (In order to do this, you need to discuss the problem of consciousness. What thought experiment is employed in order to make his argument? What limits on human knowing (especially in respect to other species) are established by his argument? How are the distinctions between the subjective and the objective drawn? How are these distinctions correlated with scientific cognition? (311-317)

Criticism of Churchland, friendly of Descartes Certain features of consciousness cant be reduced to material causes o thought science can objectively describe things (facts), the subjective nature of imagination should also be acknowledged. Nagel acknowledges that objectivity drives towards a greater understanding, and by studying the subjectivity it makes it harder and more difficult to understand. but regardless he believes that it plays a part in the study of consciousness and subjectivity of imagination should be looked at. o Argument against reductive materialism, which looks to explain everything by the brain o thought we can study the mind to determine its workings, with regards to neurons and other mental functions, we still do not have an explanation for consciousness (how it opposses churchland) You can only have a subjective experience via one single point of view (human point of view)

An objective experience is not dependant on points of views o Strive for this o Independent of perception Any conscious being has certain experiences o They know what its like to be Phenomenological features of experience Bat example thought experiment shows a problem with materialism, which looks to explain things objectively o Imagine youre a bat Impossible, because species have different views The human experience is different from the bat experience of sonar Thinking of a human being as a bat, not a bat as a bat Only possible through imagination

Ethics (50%)

Kant (504-520) o Assumes that morals exist due to freedom o Good will is good because it is acting out of duty for duties sake, not acting out of inclination (inclination- doing something because it makes you feel good or because you hope to gain something from it) o Deontological Ethics- The judgement or morality of actions based on rules o Categorical Imperative: Act only on that maxim which you could make universal law Perfect Duties Negative (donts) Refrain from making false promises and killing yourself out of self love Tells you how you ought not treat others and yourself which leads to a contradiction in conception because you cannot make an inconsistent duty a universal law o Concept wouldnt make sense if universalized o Is in itself absurd Imperfect Duties Positives (dos) Help others achieve happiness and develop natural faculties o Inherent mental/physical powers can only develop over time in human species o Imperfect does not lead to a contradiction in conception, but rather, it is inconsistent with the general will Less stringent than negative duties o The good will is dependent on motives, not consequences If it is due to self-interest, not the good will

The good will has value in itself

Bentham (457-460) o Form of consequential ethics o founder of Utilitarianism o The principle of utility tells us to act on those things which produce pleasure or happiness, and not on those things which produce pain or unhappiness. How much and what kinds based off hedonistic calculus Factors: pleasure, intensity, duration, purity, remoteness, certainty/uncertainty, and extent (# of ppl affected) Can be extended to communities (happiness for greatest number, govt.) Dependent on consequences, not motives

Singer (495-502) o Utilitarian with regards to famine relief (Bengali Relief Fund) o Assumptions Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care is bad If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought to do it We would save a kid from drowning because getting our clothes ruined doesnt outweigh the life of a child o Looks to redefine acts of charity: we ought to look down upon those who dont help, because it would be preventing the death and suffering of others o Strong: give up to the point of marginal utility o Moderate: give until youd be sacrificing something morally significant o Rebuttals Trickle-down economy Why are wealthy nations, like the US, affluent in the first place? Trying to do away with capitalism? o Consumer economy would shrink

ONeil (538-543) o Kantian with regards to famine relief o Never treat people as mere means for sake of our ends- basically dont use people for selfish desires Categorical Imperative treats people with intrinsic value o Must perform duty at some point (less stringent than Singer)- but when and where are not specified

Greater distinction between duty and charity the obligations of those who live with or near famine are undoubtedly stringent and exacting; for those who life further off it is rather harder to see what a Kantian moral theory demands

Ethics: Deontological Ethics + Utilitarianism: Deontological Ethics: Kant + ONeil: Utilitarianism: Bentham + Singer Points: Should we want to do parallel what we want to do? For instance: should we analyze and critique the Germans for killing the Jews or say that they should/shouldnt do. By telling them that they shouldnt , then they ought not to commit genocide, though they want to. Assumes that morals exists due to freedom: How ought I use my freedom? If youre (not) free then youre (not) autonomous. Were free and rational. Categorical Imperatives: act on maxim that can be universalized. Maxim: expressing a rule of conduct. Duties Duties: Perfect Duties: Negative duties (donts): Refrain from acting on maxims that result in logical contradiction when universalizing them. A: It is permissible to steal; false promise; self-love (suicide)- would result in contradiction in conceivability. Universalizing A will logically negate the proposition. These are blameworthy if not met.

Imperfect Duties: Positive duties (dos) Help others achieve happiness and develop natural faculties. Does not lead to contradiction in conception, rather inconsistent with the general will. Differentiated by perfect duties since they are never truly completed: ex: cultivating ones own talents. The good will is dependent on motives, not consequences. If it is duet to self interest, not the good will. The good will have value in itself. ONeil: Never treat people as mere means for sake of our ends - dont use people for selfish desires. Categorical Imperative: treat people with intrinsic value. Must perform duty at some point: Greater distinction between duty and charity. Arguments: Would it be morally wrong for you to ignore everyones needs but your own? How extreme should we go: should we give up a day at the amusement park, or going to the movies to help others because it is more important? In a way, we are being used for others. Is the person who is assisting the dependent becoming a means to the person whose action is accepting the charity. they are benefiting from it. ---------------------------------------------------------Utilitarianism: The principle of utility tells us to act on things that produces pleasure and/or happiness and not those that produces pain or unhappiness. The value for any action is different for every individual. Without goals, you are considered useless. Pleasure > pain = good. Hedonistic Calculus: factors- type of pleasure, intensity, duration, extension, purity, remoteness, certainty/uncertainty. Dependent on consequences, not motives. Singer: 1st assumption: suffering from famine, lack of shelter, etc is bad. 2nd assumption: if we could prevent something, then try to fix it without being morally compromised. Saving a drowning child should outweigh our concern with ruining our clothes. Looks to redefine acts of charity: we ought to look down upon those who dont help,

because it would be preventing the death and suffering of others. Marginal Utility: give until youd be sacrificing something morally significant. Arguments: Trickle-down economy: Why are wealthy nations, like the US, affluent in the first place? Trying to do with capitalism = consumer economy would shrink.