11 Philosophy Short Answer Questions

timer Asked: Jan 27th, 2019
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Short Answer Questions

1.What was the method that Socrates used in his discussions, and how did his approach differ from that of the Sophists? How would you compare Socrates' method from that of Russell, or that of Descartes?

2.What is unique about the method used by Descartes in his search for knowledge? What results does his use of the method bring?

3.How would Russell describe the differences between “philosophy” and the fields of "math" and “science”? Give details from Russell's work

4.What is the distinction between “induction” and “deduction”? Can you give definitions and describe a detailed example of each of these types of argument?

5.Compare Descartes and Hume on the “self.” After giving details from their readings, argue your own best answer to this question: What “object” does the “self” relate to? Mind, Brain, Body, etc.?

6.How does Plato make the distinction between appearances and reality? What analogies, allegories (including the Myth of the Cave), and diagrams does he use to explain the distinction? Explain the distinction as completely as you can, making use of Plato’s terminology and descriptions.

7.When Russell talks about things like “prejudice” and “common sense”, what does he mean? How does it relate to “thinking critically” and “seeing all sides of the issues”?

8.After reading Descartes’ Meditations, discuss the “Method of Doubt.” Is it a good method for getting at basic, certain truths or not? Explain your answer referring to the text.

9.Discuss Locke’s idea of knowledge coming from sensory experience, and Descartes from reason.

10.How does Descartes move from the reasons to doubt (the evil demon/evil genius and the vivid dream examples) to the Cogito Ergo Sum (I think, therefore, I am)? What else might make us doubt that we exist?

11.Describe the Allegory of the Cave from Plato’s Republic. Explain the parts or stages inside and outside the cave, interpreting them in terms of the theory of knowledge (what is real and what is appearances.)

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School: University of Maryland


Running Head: Philosophy Short Answers


Philosophy Short Answers
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Philosophy Short Answers

Question 1

In Socrates discussions, the method used is Socratic Method, which involved discussion in which
the defense on one side is questioned and another participant may contradict the defendant in some
way thus weakening the defender’s point of argument. The Socrates differed from sophists
approach in the disagreement on whether or not a truth (fact) which might be absolute in a
discussion. The Socrates method primarily differs from Descartes in that the Socrates exhibit
passionate discourse on morality and ethics directed to the audience while the Descartes were
based on personal undertone.
Question 2
The unique thing about Descartes is that they believed in a set of rules which were easy and certain
and whoever followed the rules will never make an assumption of a false fact being true or waste
mental efforts but would gradually advance in knowledge attainment. The result of this method
was the attainment of an understanding of the things that lie within his powers and the method lead
to “truth”.
Question 3
According to Russell described philosophy as ...

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