The Socrates System Was the Socratic Method Study Guide

The Socrates System Was the Socratic Method Study Guide

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?

  • What is unique about the method used by Descartes in his search for knowledge?  What results does his use of the method bring?
  • How would Russell describe the differences between “philosophy” and the fields of “math” and “science”? Give details from Russell’s work
  • What is the distinction between “induction” and “deduction”? Can you give definitions and describe a detailed example of each of these types of argument?
  • 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.?
  • 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.
  • 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”?
  • 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.
  • Discuss Locke’s idea of knowledge coming from sensory experience and Descartes’s idea as coming from reason.
  • 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?
  • 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.)
  • Multiple Choice Questions.  There will be 20 questions in multiple choice format asking about key terms like those below on the midterm:

12. The Socratic method, the method used by Socrates, dialogue, dialectical method

13. Descartes’ method, the method of doubt, skepticism

14. What does “skepticism” mean in philosophy

15. Philosophy as a form of critical analysis and reason

16. Definitions of ethical terms in Socrates, like definitions of holiness or piety, “essential” definitions

17. Socrates and the unexamined life or the examined life

18. The kinds of answers math and science gives compared to the answers philosophy gives

19. The self in Descartes compared to the self in Hume

20. Philosophy and general questions, use of reason and analysis, clarification of concepts, and fundamental questions of justifying beliefs

21. Deductive arguments and true premises related to a conclusion

22. Validity in arguments

23. Arguments that are question-begging (the fallacy of “begging the question.”)

24. The subfields or sub-disciplines of philosophy

25. Knowledge vs. opinion in Russell

26. Issues in ancient Greece because of the sophists, problems Socrates was concerned with in ancient Greece

27. How was Socrates different from Sophists

28. Fallacies of distraction, Red Herring

29. Materialism, Idealism, Rationalism, Empiricism

30. Definition of Cartesian Dualism; Descartes’ mind-body dualism

31. Mind-Brain Identity Theory

32. Problems or objections to mind body dualism – how does the mind affect the body and vice versa how does the body affect the mind

33. Personal identity and memory in Locke’s theory of self

34. Descartes and the senses, do the senses deceive us

35. Descartes argument for the existence of God, God as the cause of an infinite idea

36. Descartes and clear and distinct perception

37. Locke’s theory of identity of humans as compared to persons

38. Method of doubt in Descartes and how he realizes he exists as a thinking thing

39. a priori reasoning in Hume

40. Hume and habits, Hume and inductive inferences

41. Idealism vs Dualism

42. Hume’s personhood and causation

43. Personhood and memory in Locke

44. Logic and arguments in philosophy


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