Page 3 of 3PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE: LESSON 14 The Intellectual Virtues Lesson Overview In the lesson, we introduce a highly two important issues in epistemology: intellectual virtues and virtue epistemology. We first introduce virtue itself and then go on the show how they can be applied to our intellectual pursuits. After this, we show how specific intellectual virtues like humility, honesty, courage, and carefulness helps us gain an accurate understanding of reality. Tasks Read Chapter 8 of How Do We Know: An Introduction to Epistemology. As you do, consider the following questions and points: ∙ Aside from Epistemology, which area of philosophy do discussions of virtues and vices arise? ∙ How was Aristotle’s understanding of happiness different from hedonistic understandings of it? ∙ How should we define virtue? ∙ What is a vice and how does it compare to virtue? ∙ Describe Aristotle’s understanding of the Golden Mean. ∙ What are the two kinds of vices that Aristotle mentions? ∙ How did Aristotle say that virtue develops in a person? ∙ What is an Intellectual Virtue? ∙ According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between moral and intellectual virtues? ∙ What are the 5 ways that Wood says moral and intellectual virtues are parallel to each other? ∙ Describe the way each of the intellectual virtues work towards helping us find the truth. ∙ How might virtue epistemology help us with the Gettier Problem? Terms Make sure you can explain the following terms and concepts:
∙ Virtue ∙ Vice ∙ Moral Virtues ∙ Intellectual Virtues ∙ Virtue Epistemology ∙ Eudaimonia ∙ Hedonism ∙ Golden Mean
∙ Vices of Excess ∙ Vices of Deficiency ∙ Studiousness ∙ Humility ∙ Honesty ∙ Courage ∙ Carefulness
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PHIL 201PHIL 201 STUDY GUIDE: LESSON 15 Skepticism and Certainty Lesson Overview Throughout the history of western society, people have been on a search for certain knowledge about things. Many philosophers have given up hope for finding certainty and therefore, have taken the view that one can never really claim to know anything. This view is called skepticism and it comes in many shapes and varieties. Yet the question may be asked, “Is certainty necessary for knowledge?” Can we say we know and yet be less than absolutely certain? This lesson examines the polar opposite views of skepticism and certainty, and attempts to answer the question of where does knowledge fit in this scheme. Tasks View and take notes of the presentation, “The Challenge of Skepticism.” ∙ Much of this is repeated in the reading, but note the list of problems with skepticism on the last slide, especially the question “Is certainty necessary for knowledge?” Read Chapter 10 of How Do We Know? “How Certain Can We Be?” As you do, make sure you understand the following points and questions: ∙ Why is common sense skepticism actually epistemically healthy? ∙ Explain the difference between a global and local skeptic. ∙ Contrast and compare the different forms of skepticisms. ∙ What kind of skeptic was Pyhrro of Ellis? ∙ Why did Sextus Empiricus adopt skepticism? ∙ How did Descartes employ skepticism to arrive at certain knowledge? ∙ Explain Descartes’ evil demon hypothesis. ∙ What kind of skeptic was Hume? ∙ Explain the process by which Hume denied the principle of causality. ∙ What did Kant’s skepticism cause him to deny that we could know on the basis of pure reason? ∙ On what basis did Kant believe we were justified in believing in God? ∙ Explain 3 causes of skepticism. ∙ What is 1 benefit of philosophical skepticism? ∙ Explain 4 problems with skepticism. ∙ What are some reasons why certainty is so elusive? ∙ Is certainty necessary for knowledge? ∙ What causes the different variations of certainty? Page 1 of 2PHIL 201 Terms Make sure you can explain the following terms and concepts:
∙ Skepticism ∙ Common Sense Skepticism ∙ Global Skepticism ∙ Local Skepticism ∙ Mitigated Skepticism ∙ Unmitigated Skepticism ∙ Methodological Skepticism ∙ Metaphysical Skepticism
∙ Pyhrronian Skepticism ∙ Systematic Doubt ∙ Principle of Causality ∙ Epistemic Humility ∙ Logical/Absolute Certainty ∙ Probabilistic Certainty ∙ Sufficient Certainty ∙ Defeasibility
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