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JMU / Philosophy / PHIL 150 / Epistemology is the study of what?

Epistemology is the study of what?

Epistemology is the study of what?


School: James Madison University
Department: Philosophy
Course: Ethical Reasoning
Professor: Corin fox
Term: Spring 2019
Tags: philosophy, arguments, and definitons
Cost: 50
Name: Midterm Study Guide PHIL150
Description: These are all of the notes from the textbook and class that will be covered on the midterm exam, it is important to know the definitions. If you know the definitions, the application will be much easier on the test.
Uploaded: 02/24/2019
5 Pages 34 Views 3 Unlocks


Epistemology is the study of what?

Ethics - the philosophical study of morality

Morality - refers to beliefs concerning right and wrong, good and bad, beliefs that can include judgements, values, rules, principles, and theories

Philosophy - is the systematic use of critical reasoning to answer the most fundamental questions in life, it is the analysis of concepts

Logic - is the study of correct reasoning

Metaphysics - is the study of the fundamental nature of reality

Epistemology - is the study of knowledge

Critical reasoning - is the careful, systematic evaluation of statements or claims Descriptive ethics - is the study of scientific study of moral beliefs and practices (behavior)

What does normative theory mean?

Normative ethics - is the study of the principles, rules, or theories that guide our actions and judgements, it justifies moral norms/principles (practical)

Metaethics - is the study of the meaning and logical structure of moral beliefs, the purpose is the clarify assumptions (theoretical)

Applied ethics - is the application of moral norms to specific moral issues or cases, particularly those in a profession such as medicine or law (practical) If you want to learn more check out What is the most dramatic force shaping the destiny of markets and marketing?

Values - refers to the quality or characteristic of a thing that makes it desirable, useful, or an object of interest

Moral values - refers to people, character traits, motives, and intentions

Non Moral values - refers to things

Instrumentally or extrinsically valuable - refers to something being valuable as a means to something else, such as a pen or gas

How will you define divine command theory?

Intrinsically valuable - is something that is valuable in itself, a person or something like happiness

Principles - are very general an abstract

Moral principles - are very general statements or assumptions describing how we should think or deliberate in certain situations and about certain things (an example: do unto others as you would have them do unto you)

Moral rules - are a general measure or standard that prescribes how to do certain things or how to evaluate certain things

Moral theories - are justified explanations of different phenomena

Normative theories - prescribe how to act in a morally correct way

Statement or claim - is an assertion that something is or is not the case, it is true or false An argument - is an inference from one or more starting points to an end point Don't forget about the age old question of Where was the tango born?

When at least one statement attempts to provide reasons for believing another statement, there is an argument

In an argument, the supporting statements are known as premises 

The statement being supported is known as a conclusion We also discuss several other topics like What are the developmental stages in gender identity?

Indicator words - are terms that often appear in arguments and signal that a premise or conclusion may be nearby (an example: therefore)

Deductive arguments - are supposed to give logically conclusive support to their conclusions (proof is certainty)

Inductive arguments - are supposed to offer only probably support for their concluses (proof makes it probable but never 100% certain)

In a valid argument - if the premises are true then the conclusion absolutely has to be true (only applies to deductive arguments)

When a deductive argument does not offer conclusive support for the conclusion, it is invalid 

In a strong argument, if the premises are true, the conclusion is probably true (only applies to inductive arguments)

In a weak argument if the premises are true, the conclusion is not probable (only applies to inductive arguments)

A valid argument with true premises is said to be sound (deductive arguments only)

A strong argument with true premises is said to be cogent (inductive arguments only)

A moral statement - is a statement affirming that an action is right or wrong or that a person is good or bad

Non moral statements - assert that a state of affairs is actual (true/false) but do not assign a moral value to it Don't forget about the age old question of How can you tell if a protein has been extruded into a microsome from an mrna encoding secretory protein?

Concepts to Remember:

The elements of ethics:

The preeminence of reason 

The use of critical reasoning and argument helps us keep our feelings about moral issues in perspective

Feelings are an important part of our moral experience, but our unreliable guides to moral truth

Careful reasoning can inform our feelings and help up decide moral questions on their merits

The universal perspective 

Logic requires that moral norms and judgements follow the principle of universalizability, which is the idea that a moral statement that applies in one situation must apply in all other situations that are similar

The principle of impartiality 

The welfare and interests of each individual should be given the same weight as the welfare and interests of all others Don't forget about the age old question of Does the upper extremities are not a part of the axial skeleton?

We must treat equals, equally

The dominance of moral norms 

Moral norms dominate all other norms, such as legal norms

If moral principles conflict with non moral principles the moral considerations typically override

Divine Command Theory: states that right actions are those that are willed by God, that God literally defines right and wrong (false)

Morality is both accessible and meaningful to us whether we are religious or not Philosophy translation = love of wisdomWe also discuss several other topics like Multidomestic company is what?

Philosophy is striving for knowledge and certainty about life’s most important and fundamental questions

Theoretical Philosophy (non action guiding)

Practical Philosophy (action guiding)

Metaphysics - study of existence

Normative ethics

Epistemology - study of knowledge

Applied ethics

Logic - study of reasoning/ thinking

Ex. Environmental ethics

Metaethics (broader name for the above)

Ex. Social Philosophy

We use critical reasoning to determine whether a statement is worthy of acceptance, if it is true

A fundamental principle of critical reasoning is that we should not accept a statement as true without good reasons

A true argument always has something to prove. If there is not statement that the writer is trying to convince you to accept, no argument is present 

Argumentation is not the same thing as persuasion, to offer a good argument is to present reasons why a particular assertion is true. To persuade someone of something is to influence their opinion

Arguments prove something, persuasion does not 

Inference claim - premises prove or support another statement

Content claim - premises/conclusion assert something that is true

In order to evaluate the quality of inductive arguments: 

1. Evaluate the strength of the inferential claim (good inductive argument gives probable support to its conclusion)

2. Evaluate the factual claim

Moral statements or beliefs are not opinions that can’t be or should not be critically challenged (justify moral opinions and provide evidence)

Types of Inductive Arguments: 

1. Prediction

2. Arguments from analogy 3. Generalization

4. Arguments from authority

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