1.What senses of the word “know” does Sober discuss in his first chapte

*Terms and Concepts
Epistemology
Philosophical skepticism
Non-inferential justifications
The fallacy of equivocation
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Foundationalism
Descartes’ method of doubtCogito, ergo sum (Je pense, donc je suits)
The “clear and distinct” criterion of truth
The reliability theory of knowledge possibility
 Logical
 Nomological
 CircumstantialThe principle of the uniformity of nature (PUN)
*topic questions: choose 1 question
1.what senses of the word “know” does Sober discuss in his first chapter on epistemology, and which one is of primary epistemological concern?
2. What three “ingredients” must be present in any legitimate claim to know something? Putting the same question differently, on the traditional philosophical account, what is knowledge?
3. Are knowledge claims legitimate only if they are justified by a deductive, inductive, or abductive argument?
4. What are Gettier cases and what is their relevance to the traditional account of what knowledge is?
5. What is Descartes’ purpose in applying his method of doubt? 6. What two large categories of belief does Descartes find it possible to doubt?
7. What does Descartes say that it is impossible to doubt?
8. Is the Cogito an argument? If not, what is it?
9. What are the two difficulties with the Cogito?
10. Does the certainty of the Cogito by itself provide us with a secure foundation for all knowledge? If not, what other premise is needed, according to Descartes, and how does he use it?
11. How does Descartes argue in favor of God’s existence?
12. Under what circumstances are our beliefs true, according to Descartes?
13. What is the so-called Cartesian Circle
14. What does it mean for knowledge to be “internally certifiable

*Philosophy 100 study guide writing paper
An essential part of doing philosophy is getting clear about what an argument is asserting. The paper assignment in this class aims at giving you practice in achieving such clarity. After our initial three discussions, the ones concerning logic, each study guide will include a topic for you to write on, giving the pages in the Sober text that I want you to (potentially) engage with. Your assignment is simple: paraphrase what Sober says as accurately and fully as possible in about three or four pages. This means restating his argument in your own words with the object of convincing me that you have understood Sober’s main points. Additionally, at the end of each paper, you will be asked to answer a question intended to stimulate critical reflection on some aspect of what Sober has said. For instance, I might ask, “In the face of what Sober says about St. Thomas Aquinas’ first argument for God’s existence what might Aquinas say in rebuttal?” So each short paper will have two parts: a longer, descriptive part where you recount what Sober has said, and a shorter, critical part where you respond to a question I pose and you give a brief justification of why you have responded as you have. The point of these papers is twofold: first, to give you practice with the easy-to-state but often not so the easy-to-accomplish task of attaining a clear understanding of philosophical arguments, and second to give you the opportunity to begin the process of critical interaction with such arguments.
1. In paraphrasing Sober, use only your own words. Do not quote Sober, even once. I want to see the sense that you make of what he says. Imagine sitting with another student who has read the pages in question and says, “I just don’t get it! What’s this guy trying to say?” Your task is to tell him or her. If a reference to the relevant primary sources in the textbook or online – the actual words of Hume, Plato, or Kant – will help, you may quote them – sparingly. That is if something Plato or Hume said in the relevant readings helps you to make clear what you want to say, you may use the philosopher’s words but you must put those words inside quotation marks and cite the page from which they are taken!
2. In answering the critical question I will pose, don’t simply say, “Well, Sober (or Hume or Kant or whoever) has his opinion and I have mine;” justify what you say. Give supporting reasons. My expectations in this area are modest since you are just beginning the philosophical journey, but practice in attaining critical insight into the thought of others is important. And here is where you begin.

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