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Questions and Answers, Lesson 1 thru 5

Know each of the six characteristics of philosophy

1. Philosophy rarely deals with facts themselves and philosophical problems are rarely solved by appeals to facts.
2. Philosophy is more often concerned with method than with content.
3. One of the chief goals of philosophy is clarification.
4. Philosophy examines and evaluates everything, nothing is taken for granted.
5. Philosophy is usually concerned with foundational issues that have been around for ages.
6. Philosophy often appeals to systems of principles or guidelines that we regard to be true.

Know the characteristics of a Fundamental Idea

most likely to invite philosophical investigation
-is one upon which the truth of many other, more specific ideas depends
-are ususally general
-they are pervasive. (matter of degree, depending upon the extent)
-are found in such diverse areas as religion and science.

Know two types of logical relations

Type 1: Logical Incompatiblilty-if two beliefs are incompatible, then both cannot be true. If one is true, than the other must be false;
Type 2: Logical implication (assumptions or consequences)
Two beliefs imply each other when the truth of one requires the truth of the other

Know 2 characteristics of empirical claims

-Empirical issue is one that can be solved by experience either directly by observation or indirectly by experimentation.
-Empirical claims are verifiable AND falsifiable

Explain the relationship between empirical facts and philosophical arguments

One or more empirical premises are usually included in a philosophical argument.
Every philosophical argument must contain at least one nonempirical premise

List the three elements of a worldview

1. Internal Consistency: Are there any contradictions within my world view?
2. External Comprehensiveness: Can my world view account for new knowledge and beliefs outside of it?
3. Correspondence: Do the beliefs in my worldview cohere together and mutually support one another?

II Cor. 10:5

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Col 2:8,9

"See to it that no one takes you captive through vain philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." We need to be aware of vain and deceptive philosophy.

I Peter 3:15

We are to be prepared to make a defense to those who challenge us (you do not need to memorize the passage, just know the point I was making)

Know the four reasons he gives why Christians are often hostile to philosophy and his reply.

1. The claim is made that human depravity has made the mind so darkened that the noetic effects of sin render the human intellect incapable of knowing truth.
2. It is sometimes claimed that faith and reason are hostile to each other, and whatever is of reason cannot be of faith.
3. Colossians 2:8, as evidence against philosophy.
4. 1 Corin. 1-2, are cited as evidence against philosophy. Here Paul argues against wisdom of the world and reminds his readers that he did not visit them with persuasive words of wisdom.

o Know the three reasons Moreland gives for why Philosophy is absolutely essential for the task of Integration

1. Philosophy can point out that an issue thought to be part of another discipline is really a philosophical issue.
2. Philosophy undergirds other disciplines at a foundational level by clarifying, defending or criticizaing essential presupposiitons of that discipline.
3. Philosophy can aid a discipline by helping to clarify concepts, argument forms and other cognitive issues internal to a field.
4. Philosophy provides a common language or conceptual grid wherein two disciplines can be directly related tone another and integrated.
5. Philosophy provides external conceptual problems for other disciplines to consider as part of the rational appraisal of theories in those disciplines.

Know the three misconception's of philosophy's purposes

-it is not the purpose of philosophy to compete with science
-it is not the purpose of philosophy to compete with theology
-it is not the purpose of philosophy actively to promote individual or socal change.

List three ways philosophical examination is practical

-it can increase your intellectual independence
-tolerance for different points of view
-freedom from dogmatism

Explain the "need for certainty" and "just personal beliefs" objections and responses.

-attacking a person character or personal circumstances rather than his or her arguments
-it often takes the form of a tendency to predict and valuate a person's philosophy in relation to his or her personality.
Two responses:
-the psychology behind a person's commitment to a certain theory is irreleveant to the arguments supporting it.
- they hypothesis of "psychological conditioning factors" is overly speculative (if not false) since it is impossible to specify all the factors leading to the adoption of any given view

Critical thinking

Is purposeful, goal directed thinking that follows a principled, resoned track- is meant to accommodate all conceptions, like principled thinking and reasons.


has to do with manipulating beliefs and with developing beliefs from experiences. Thinking is getting from point "A to B" thinking. It is "problem solving" thinking.

Explain what Woodhouse means by a "spirit of critical thinking"

It means using that skill-set each time a problem presents itself, and it means accepting the result of that work. To have a spirit to think critically is more than an assent to the worthiness of engaging in critical thinking (to use the skills of critical thinking); it is more than willingness to engage in critical thinking . To have a spirit of critical thinking is to have the habit of engaging in critical thinking

Mere Belief

does not support either the truth or falsity of a proposition

True Belief

a belief that has evidence and is proven

List two themes of critical thinking

-problem solving thinking/reason
-Principled thinking

Know the three major branches of philosophy


four categories of metaphysics

Cosmological: Origin and Purpose
Theological: Existence of Supernatural
Anthropological: Being Human
Ontological: Existence Itself

the two sub-branches of axiology


Denotative definition

to carify meaning by giving examples

Connotative definition

presents properties that something must have inorder to belong to a certain class.

Reportive definition

states the meaing (or meanings) of a concept as it is used in our language.

How to test the reportive?

The method of counterexample.

Reformative definition

are intended to improve upon existing definition, to be better explanations of the meaingin of the concept in question.

Know the two benefits of logic

Increase of confidence that our arguments make sense and that we have good reason for our beliefs.
An ability to critically evaluate others arguments

List the three different parts of an argument

Premises: reasons
Conclusion: belief that one is trying to support
Inference: the relationship between the premises and the conclusion

Truth Value

- refers to the quality of the propositions in the argument; arguments are valid or invalid (or strong or weak) but propositions are true or false

Validity/ Strength

- refers to the structure of an argument; an argument is considered valid/strong if the conclusion follows from the premises; it is invalid/weak if the conclusion does not follow (non-sequitur).

Know the meaning of "fair use of evidence"

Good arguments use evidence fairly and avoid suppressing evidence in favor of a particular position.

Know the first step in analyzing an argument

Find the conclusion by distinguishing between the premises and the conclusion.

List three types of logical consequences

-an empirical hypothesis
-a valid deductive argument
-a philosophical thesis

Know the five informal fallacies

-question-begging arguments
-Ad Hominem Fallacy
-Genetic Fallacy
-Straw Man
-Slippery Slope

Compare and Contrast Philosophy and Religion

Both philosophy and religion are searching for the "Ultimate."
-Religion generally appeals to some form revelation as authoritative to discover truth
-Philosophy uses rational inquiry to discover religious truths

Compare and Contrast Philosophy and Science

Both Science and Philosophy are attempting to understand reality.
-Science examines physical reality
-Philosophy goes beyond physical reality
-Science deals only with first order questions
-Philosophy deals mostly with second order questions

Compare and Contrast Philosophy and Art

Philosophy and Art are often concerned with similar topics
-Purpose of art is usually to merely express a particular view
-Philosophy attempts to find a rational justification for a particular view

Deductive Arguments

-Form of Logic made up of arguments where (if valid) the conclusion follows necessarily from, or is guaranteed by, the premises
-Deductive arguments are judged as valid or invalid. A valid deductive argument is one where, if we assume the premises are true, it is impossible for the conclusion to be false.
-The formal procedure for writing out a deductive argument is called the syllogism.

Inductive Arguments

-Logic made up of arguments which can lead only to a probable conclusion, not a necessary one. No inductive argument can arrive at an absolutely certain conclusion
-Two elements of inductive arguments
-Inductive arguments are measured in degrees of probability.
-High degree of probability = strong
-Low degree of probability = weak
-The key ingredient to a successful inductive argument is the number of particulars gathered

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