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Final Study Guide

by: Mallory Wahlstrom

Final Study Guide PHI332

Marketplace > Arizona State University > PHI332 > Final Study Guide
Mallory Wahlstrom
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Based off of Dr. Watson's suggested study guide the lectures, and previous quizes. .
Dr. Watson
Study Guide
Metaphysics, Dr. Watson
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Mallory Wahlstrom on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHI332 at Arizona State University taught by Dr. Watson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views.


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Date Created: 03/01/16
To study, you'll want to review for the final:  Lowe's discussion of Zeno's paradoxes (All from Lecture 6C The Paradoxes of motion)  Paradox of the racecourse- In order for a runner to run 10 miles, first runner has to run 5 miles, but before he can run the next five miles, the runner has to run 2.5 miles, but before that…how does he ever hit the finish line? But really how does motion really work? It seems like you could never start/end if there were an infinite series of tasks to complete, each one slightly smaller than the previous task. According to Zeno “motion is impossible.”  Achilles’ Paradox - Achilles vs. the tortoise (who is ½ as slow as Achilles). The tortoise starts one hour before Achilles. In half an hour Achilles has covered ½ the distance the tortoise has covered, but in the half an hour the tortoise has covered more distance. In the next ¼ hour Achilles has caught up with where the tortoise would have been, but the tortoise has covered more distance…. the tortoise will always be one step ahead of Achilles.  What assumptions could we reject?  Space is continuous rather than discrete. There are no natural numbers between 5 and 6, but there are a finite amount of numbers between 1 and 23476. But between 5 and 6 there is 5.5 and between 5 and 5.5 there is 5.25 and between…. The natural/real number line is infinitely long, but also infinitely thick or continuous. Meaning not only are there an infinite amount of numbers, there are an infinite amount of numbers between numbers. If space were made up of quanta or chunks of discrete space or fundamental blocks that cannot be divided any further, then there is no longer a problem.  It is impossible to complete an infinite series of tasks. But calculus can prove that it won’t take an infinite amount of time for Achilles to overcome the tortoise. Even if time is continuous and not discrete.  There is no such thing as motion. Things do not move and things do not change. What is real when it comes to time are particular states of the world. There is no need to cross-worlds, or continuum. Just distinct states of the world with its own being. Reject motion.  Maybe space is discrete, and chunky not further divisible.  Paradox of the Arrow- Arrow fired, frozen in a specific time and space needs a velocity, compared to a stationary arrow. There is no difference; one has different relations to future locations in space in a different time. But no difference at that time. But at a moment how can something have an instantaneous velocity at a specific time, when velocity is defined in terms of other moments of time. So motion is just jumping from one block to the next means, there is no velocity or movement because there is no instantaneous velocity.  Paradox of the nine moving blocks- Three A’s move to the left, three B’s stay stationary, and three C’3 move to the right. How can it be that A3 passes both C2 and C3 while only passing B2? Assume that movement consists of jumping from one point to the other with no time and space in between. In that single jump how did it pass C3, did it pass C2 first? Simultaneously, it must have passed C2 before it passed C2 but there is no smaller unit of time or space, so it is a contradiction that A3 passed C2 and then C3. So surely time is continuous and not discrete. Super tasking must be possible according to Lowe, or to complete an infinite series of tasks in a finite amount of time. That’s what you’re committed to if you believe in motion. Every day every moment you complete an infinite series of tasks. Endless series, yet in spite of this, it takes place in a finite series.  How is motion possible?  Time and space are discrete not continuous. I don’t agree with this.  It is possible to complete an infinite or endless series of tasks in a finite period of time. I agree with this theory most out of the choices that I have. I think that this is true from some of my very basic knowledge of anatomy, I apologize if some of this information is wrong, it has been a while since I have taken anatomy. For example, in order to take a breath of air, which is a reflexive motion for us, not something voluntary that we even have to think about, our diaphragm muscle needs to fire, which happens from synapses in our brains shooting chemical reactors down to the muscle fibers inside of the muscles letting those fibers know to contract, pulling our lungs down, allowing the esophagus to open, drawing in fresh clean air, that starts to get cleaned by the little hairs in our noses, taking out dust particles and solids that don’t belong in out lungs. Once the air gets into our lungs little hair like follicles take absorb all the good stuff our bodies need from the oxygen, the brain receives a message from neurotransmitters letting us know that we have received an appropriate amount of oxygen and it is now time to release carbon dioxide. The brain sends more chemicals to make the diaphragm relax and compress the lungs back up, ejecting the excess gas out of our bodies. Not to mention all the other functions our bodies are preforming in the amount of time it takes to take one breath, we can forget about the beating of our hearts to propel blood throughout our bodies, or the lymphatic system that pushes clean fluid throughout or bodies to fight infection, and the extremely complex nervous system, that allow you to complete whatever task it is you are completing in that breath.  Or reject there is motion. Nah  Explain a series that continues infinitely yet there is something after that.  Lowe's discussion of types of causal over determination  An example of a fail-safe case of over determination “Suppose that I call my mom and have a conversation with her about gardening. If I had not called my mother she would have called me a minute later and I would have still had the conversation with her about gardening. So its not true that had I not called my mother, I wouldn’t have had a conversation with her about gardening.”  An example of a pre-emption causal determination “Suppose that I throw a chair through my window, a second later a kid playing baseball hits a ball through my window. The window is already broken by the time the ball goes through the window. My throwing the chair caused the window to break, not the ball, however it’s not true that had I not thrown the chair, the window wouldn’t be broken.”  (Lecture 4A) Suppose the world is deterministic, the world will go the way the world will go. Rule out free will, and random occurrences. If this were true then there would be no counterfactual conditionals. To solve this problem, go to the closest possible world that is the same the world up to that temporal time, with the laws of nature that are as close as possible to ours.  Lowe's discussion of the different analyses of counterfactuals  What would have been different?  (Lecture 4A) Conditional real world “if this, then that.” Subjunctive condition is how things would be in some other world “if this, then that.” Truth conditions? There is a possible world where p then q. What is the nearest possible world where those two events occurred together? Which scenarios are more significant for our purposes?  (Lecture 4A) “If it weren’t for p then q,” one is about one possible scenario and another is about all possible scenarios. These subjunctive/counterfactual conditionals are nothing like indicative conditionals.  (Lecture 4A) Conditional excluded middle- “for all p and q; if it were p, then it would be q; or if it would be p, then it would not be q” some worlds might be worlds with q and some will be worlds without q. “If p then q” does not = “if p then not q.”  (Lecture 4A) If you agree with counterfactual excluded middle, then there is the possibility for the might conditional “it had ben the case that p then it might have been q.”  One objection to the possible worlds account of the meaning of counterfactual conditionals is that determining which possible world is closer requires a judgment about similarity to the actual world, which is partly subjective.  My Lectures on the argument(s) against free will and rebuttals against them  See below.  Definitions of major views. Reviewing old quiz questions from Units 2-6 will help.  endurantism, perdurantism  Someone who holds that only part of a persisting object, its current temporal part is present right now is a perdurantist.  Someone who holds that a persisting object is wholly present at every time at which it exists is an endurantist.  presentism, eternalism  A presentist holds the view that the only statements ascribing qualities to objects that can strictly be true are those that ascribe those qualities now to objects that exist now.  eternalsim  necessity of identity; rigid designator  A rigid designator is a term, which designates the same object in every possible world in which it designates anything at all.  Necessity of origin, an objects origin is essential to it, less mysterious than a haecceities.  accounts of possible worlds and their applications  If other possible worlds are concrete realities like our own, then according to Lowe, there is no transworld identity, only a counterpart relation.  possibilism; actualism  Actualisnm is not the view that the essence of a thing is constituted by uts voluntary activity (actions) rather than by what occurs to it passively.  theories of transworld identity  if a=b and b=c then a=c  Individual essences or haecceities  types of conditionals  Indicative conditional-“if Lily is barking, then someone is at the door.”  Counterfactual conditional-“If Lily weren’t an adorable dog, then we wouldn’t have adopted her.”  analyses of actions and events  (Lecture 5B) Actions are a particular type of events. Events are causes and effects of events, spread all over space, temporally covers a certain amount of time. Ontological distinction? What are our ontological commitments? Most of the things we refer to exist, but what is more ontologically basic or more fundamental. A criterion of an ontological commitment is a rule someone applies given a scenario in order to say what exists.  (Lecture 5B) Do actions and events exist? Maybe events don’t exist but are real that are referred to. But existence is not a question of an event; the notion of occurring is more superior than events being thought of as being. Lowe says that to be is to be the value of a variable. So first order predicate logic needs to be evaluated in order to discover what kinds of entities can be referred to. Events exist and actions are events in this criteria according to Davidson. Lowe challenges this because the translation could be different.  What are the essences of identity? Pg 221-222 Lowe  Actions and events can be distinguished from each other, because certain actions consist in agent causation, and because agent causation cannot be reduced to event causation, then actions cannot be reduced to events because agents cause actions not events. We can speak of where events occur but not where actions occur, and actions are preformed, events are not. No proof actions aren’t events.  analyses of agent-causes and event-causes  (Lecture 5A) Event to be caused vs. agent to cause an event. Explosion of bomb is an event; collapse of a bridge another event. Someone setting up the bomb, or planning the collapse of the bridge. Intuitively there is a distinction between agent causation and event causation and need to be district at least grammatically.  (Lecture 5A) Check out Pg 197 An event involving the agent causes something. An event involves an agent if the cause consists in some change of the agent. Distinguish the way in which certain actions can imply certain events, but not all basic actions imply distinct events. Basic actions as simple as waving a hand as opposed positive actions to doing something by means of something else like pushing.  (Lecture 5A) Irreducible agent causation. Analysis 1 what it is for an agent to cause some effect is an event that causes the effect which involves the agent suggested by positive actions like pushing. Basic actions seem to be cases where there is no suitable events that involve the agent, the agent does that event directly. If every action involves a means to an end then there would be no end or a viscous regress. There must be some sort of basic actions, but not with inanimate objects. When animate agents are capable of spontaneous movement of themselves, this is irreducible to any other event in the world, without cause of anything else. Pg 201 turns into the debate of free will. When I take an action, my action is not fully explainable in terms of things independent of me.  (Lecture 5A) Conceptual priority means you have to have a concept in order to understand another concept, the order in which they are given. Metaphysical priority is in reality in the nature of things that some things are more basic or fundamental. Part have some metaphysic priority over wholes, the existence of the one needs to be possible before the existence of the whole exists. Priority of agent causation over event causation, objects are the ultimate causes not events, so if objects can be considered agents then event causation can be reducible to agent causation.  free will, determinism, and compatibilism  (Lecture 5A) I was determined to take these actions based on the deterministic world laws of the world and the nature of my brain and forces outside of my control. There was no way I could have not taken this action. Nature is closed to external intervention. No way people can spontaneously act out, physics needs to rely on a predictable system where one thing leads to another thing and that thing leads to another…all of this predicting must lead to a deterministic universe. There is no other way that things could have possibly turned out given the condition of the universe. Determinism seems to be a scientific view of the world because we can predictions on it. Where event causation is concerned, every event has other events that are the causes of it and those events might be causally sufficient in ensuring that the event occurs. Some kind of causal story in terms of other events.  (Lecture 5A) If agent causation is irreducible to event causation, then it can still be the case that one event is a result of many other events, or that the event was caused from an agent taking an action freely. Because nothing about it being an action is determined by any event, because being an action is over and above being an event.


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