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HCOL 085 Final Exam Terms
Terms in this set (58)
the concept, introduced by Ta-Nehisi Coates, that identifies the ignorant bubble most people in America are living in. The Dream lets the privileged people live in ignorant bliss while the people at the low rungs of society must carry the Dream on their backs
The People Who Think They Are White
a social construct in America where the people who think they are white believe they are superior to other races and can live in privilege and power, people who put whiteness before any other aspect of their identity
the mindset of being able to build on your intellect vs the mindset that all the talents and intelligence you currently have will never expand
when you encounter an inconsistency in an argument
finding knowledge through logical thinking
when you can know something before experiencing it, relates to rationalism in that way
Descartes' idea that the mind and body are two separate entities that can communicate with each other but are not dependent on one another
cogito ergo sum
Descartes' main finding in his meditations, "I think therefore I am", meaning that the only thing he can know for sure is that he is thinking and therefore is existing
finding knowledge through direct experiences with the world, sense data
relations of ideas/matters of fact
relations of ideas-undeniable certainties that come from thought and don't depend on existence of universe
matters of fact- claims that are grounded from direct experience
being skeptical before you have evidence you are wrong
impressions and ideas
impressions are vivid perceptions, while ideas come from memory and imagination and are much less vivid (golden mountain example)
custom and habit
the concept introduced by Hume as a principle of association and a form of knowledge, the idea of knowing something is going to happen because it has happened in the past
the study of sign systems and how words and other signs communicate meaning
Durkheim's categories of understanding that form the basis of thought which are commonly agreed upon by a social collective
the imitation of reality through narrative
tragedy vs comedy vs epic
all elements of tragedy are found in an epic, epic is longer than a tragedy
people in tragedy are superior to normal men, people in comedy are inferior to normal men
one of the six components of the tragedy, includes all aspects of the tragedy that contribute to sensory effects, what you see
the feeling of pity or terror induced by narrative, when you cry at a good move
the act of assigning plot to historical events to create a narrate by tying together seemingly random events
canoncity and breach
canonicity is a term used by Bruner which describes the aspects of a story that confirm to the accepted narrative path while a breach is a break in the narrative and makes the story more interesting
the qualities of a story that give it the appearance of reality
how societies develop a narrative about their culture and history
how the author conveys the message of their story and how the reader interprets that message
whether a text is written to be passively read with a prepackaged meaning or for the reader to be a co-writer and weave meaning into the story
when a person is faced with too many decisions and cannot choose a single option
Rita Sharon's program of incorporating the study of the humanities into medical school in order to increase empathy of doctors
the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their current views and deny information that contradicts their beliefs
the tendency of people to judge the frequency of events by the ease with which our minds can conjure up examples of the event occuring
a cognitive bias where people categorize situations based on pattern of previous experiences or beliefs about the situation, can lead to close mindedness and stereotypes
people rely too heavily on previous unrelated information when making decisions
exposure to one stimuli can influence a response to another stimuli, whether those stimuli are related or not
people tend to conform their beliefs about disputed topics to the values that define their cultural identities
rational choice theory
the economic theory that people will rely on rational calculations to make the most rational decisions
a framework of setting changing the way that choices are presented to the consumer and studying the impact of that framework on decision making
a conscious effort to steer people's choice in a certain direction without explicitly telling them to
assumed probability of an event/situation as it fits into a narrative (computer scientist), does not follow statistics
banality of evil
Hannah Arendt argues that people are evil when they cannot think in other people's shoes, unable to empathize, they cannot make their mind to be good or evil as they are not consciously thinking
the terms used to describe Socrates by Hannah Arendt. a midwife will birth the ideas of other people but likely cannot birth those ideas themselves. a gadfly has a terrible sting that provokes people into action, like how Socrates stings people with the pursuit of knowledge
the split between me and myself, consciously of the inner voice
a story written within another story where one story is used to frame the other
a novel written in the form of a letter, like that of Frankenstein
a reliable narrator is omniscient and unbiased while an unreliable narrator tells an incomplete story from one perspective
the study of knowledge
1: Why does Hume reject Descartes' conception of the self? Explain the alternative conception of the self that Hume endorses.
- Hume rejects the rationalistic idea of self as he is an empiricist. Empiricism is the idea of gaining knowledge through the senses and Hume thinks of the self as a bundle of perceptions. Descartes is I think therefore I am.
3: To what extent do you think the text of Between the World And Me shows Coates engaged in thinking (in Arendt's sense of the term)? Use at least one specific example from the text to support your answer.
He was consciously thinking and not blindly following societal norms. Coates time at Howard and his time of reflection destroying world view about his home life, showing him that there was more, expanding his mind. Royal black woman has black slaves, people who think they are white. Trying to find meaning through his writing.
4: How does thinking, in Arendt's sense of the term, bear resemblance to (indeed, perhaps even exemplify) the Socratic method of inquiry?
- Socratic method of inquiry is when questions are asked to stimulate thinking
- Thinking, in Arendt's terms, is about a quest for meaning but it doesn't usually achieve a conclusion, but instead reveals more questions
- The only thing I know is that I know nothing
- If you get an idea that is wrong, you need to change it
- Socrates points out the aporia in arguments which helps to lead people towards more questioning of their beliefs
5: Does Hume's suggestion that human thought often proceeds on the basis of custom and habit anticipate Kahneman's discussion of the role that system one plays in human cognition? Why or why not?
- System one is not thinking, instinct, habit
- Hume is indicating, with his work on custom and habit, that people often believe that something is going to happen because it has happened in the past
- Hume's idea of custom and habit does anticipate the idea of System One because both rely on not thinking and making assumptions from the past.
7: Of the writers and speakers you encountered in the second half of the course, who would Descartes most take issue with? Why? or Of the writers and speakers you encountered in the second half of the course, who would Descartes find the most affinity with? Why? (Just choose one option for your answer to this question.)
- Schwartz: wrong way of thinking to base things only on empirical evidence- Why Facts Don't Change Our Mind
- Even if there is factual evidence that our opinions are incorrect, our mind will override this proof because Descartes argues that all you know to be true is what you can rationalize and think
10: What is Arendt's distinction between thinking and knowing and how might it apply to Victor Frankenstein?
- Knowing is building things, thinking is destroying
- Victor pursues knowledge without thinking
- Destroys the idea of humanity by challenging nature
14. How does "reason" as an evolutionary adaptation compare to "reason" as an innate human power?
- Evolutionary adaptation is system 2, but thinking at higher power does not benefit survival, innate human power, people can reason through things.
- The reason as an innate human power is speaking of Descartes; it is all we have
- Kahneman said that reason is an evolutionary adaptation, we only need system one at first and then system 2 evolved over time
15. How can thinking be both resultless and dangerous?
- "thinking is not knowledge, therefore thinking produces no knowing outcome"
-resultless because when we are done thinking we are not left with something new
-Thinking is destructive in the way that it does not yield any conclusion or result
- dangerous because it cannot yield any results
16. Why, according to Martha Nussbaum, does the world citizen need literature?
- Reading literature gives insight into other people's feelings and lives
- helps people understand different perspectives, helps the people become better citizens and respond empathetically to others.
- Inspires a sense of empathy
- understanding people who are not given a voice
18. Explain why Durkheim finds Hume's and Descartes' theory of knowledge insufficient. How does his theory overcome these shortcomings?
- Descarte isolates the self and hume empiricism, only seeing things, they are both individualistic. Durkheim's thinks about people as a whole, social things
- the social ties ties together empiricism and rationalism by accounting for the effect that people's thoughts and perceptions have on others
20. In volume II of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the creature describes his first two years of existence. How do his early experiences reflect Hume's theory of how we learn. Give at least two examples and explain them in Humean terms.
- He learned through observations and experiences. We learn from experiencing the world directly and not necessarily from logical rationale within our mind.
- One of the inhabitants of the house is a foreigner and the other inhabitant teaches her the language of their native tongue and the monster learns linguistic tools from experiencing the world
- The monster also sticks his hand in a fire once and learns that fires are hot and not an enjoyable experience
- Learned how to eat by trial and error, learned very empirically, hume, starts with nothing, reflected on books and his experiences
21. A college professor asked his students to list ways to improve the course. He varied the number of required improvements. The students who were asked to list a higher number of possible improvements rated the course higher than the students who were required to list fewer. Explain why this is using Kahneman's terms.
- Kahneman describes this phenomena as availability bias
- As you are asked to list more possible improvements, it gets harder to extract examples from your mind
- This makes you think that there are less bad things about the class because you can't think of them
- When you are asked to list less items and can easily retrieve them, you feel a lot better about your confidence in your opinions
- Priming, if given 10 then that is what you are aiming for.
23. According to Barry Schwartz, what is most likely to determine our decisions? How would Durkheim explain this?
- we have traditions that we think we have freedom in but in reality, we have cultural and societal constraints.
- we tend to make the same decisions over and over again when we have too many options
- Durkheim would relate this to the social because custom and habit are influenced by social interactions
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