The Limits of Knowledge Discussion Assignment

The Limits of Knowledge Discussion Assignment
The Limits of Knowledge Discussion Assignment
1. Which of the following is the best critical response to the claim that
one can tell that one is not dreaming by citing some experience that
distinguishes dreams from waking reality?
(A) This is not something we need to worry about, practically speaking.
(B) A benevolent God would not allow us to be so incapable of telling
the difference between dreams and waking reality in the first place.
(C) Any distinguishing experience could itself be dreamt.
(D) Waking reality is sometimes very dreamlike.
(E) There is no difference between dreams and waking reality.
2. René Descartes, in his Meditations on First Philosophy, considers several
skeptical scenarios. The contemplation of what possibility allows Descartes
to cast doubt even on mathematical knowledge?
(A) The possibility that he is just a brain in a vat
(B) The possibility that he is insane
(C) The possibility that an evil demon is deceiving him
(D) The possibility that he is dreaming
(E) The possibility that he is in the Matrix
The Limits of Knowledge Discussion Assignment
3. Which of the following best illustrates the epistemic closure principle?
(A) If p entails q, and if p is true, then q is true.
(B) If I don’t know that I’m not just a brain in a vat, then I don’t know
that I have hands.
(C) If p entails not-q, then if I know that q is true, I know that p is false.
(D) If I know that I have hands, then I know that I’m not just a brain
in a vat.
(E) If I know that p is true, and if I know that p entails q, then I know
that q is true.
4. The argument from analogy is an attempt to defuse skepticism about
.
(A) the external world
(B) abstract objects
(C) God
(D) other minds
(E) mathematical truth
5. An empiricist would most likely be skeptical about the existence
of .
(A) a posteriori knowledge
(B) objective knowledge
(C) a priori knowledge
(D) fallible knowledge
(E) subjective knowledge
6. G. E. Moore, early 20th-century defender of common sense, attacked
skepticism about the external world with these famous words:
(A) “Doubt makes sense only in a context of non-doubt.”
(B) (Uttered while kicking a rock) “I refute it thus!”
(C) “God’s perfect benevolence would not allow me to be so deceived in
belief that the external world exists.”
(D) “Here is one hand, and here is another.”
(E) “If it can be sprayed, it’s real.”
The Limits of Knowledge Discussion Assignment
7. The kind of skepticism displayed in Descartes’s works is best described
as .
(A) scientific skepticism
(B) ordinary skepticism
(C) methodological skepticism
(D) Pyrrhonian skepticism
(E) academic skepticism
8. David Hume is famous for raising skeptical doubts about all but which
of the following?
(A) Causality
(B) The self
(C) The external world
(D) Miracles
(E) Mathematics
Epistemology ❮ 125
9. According to Hilary Putnam’s famous article “Brains in a Vat,” if you
experienced your life exactly as you normally would, but you were actually
a brain in a vat, .
(A) you would not be able to tell that you were a brain in a vat
(B) you would not be able to truthfully say, “I know that I am not a brain
in a vat”
(C) you would not be able to tell that you were not a brain in a vat,
even if you weren’t a brain in a vat
(D) you would not be able to truthfully say, “I am a brain in a vat”
(E) you would be able to tell that you were a brain in a vat
10. “If I know that I have hands and that having hands entails that I am not
just a brain in a vat, then I know I am not a brain in a vat. I don’t know
that I am not just a brain in a vat. Therefore, I don’t know that I have
hands.” This skeptical argument relies on which of the following
principles?
(A) The principle of sufficient reason
(B) The closure principle
(C) The principle of alternate possibilities
(D) The anthropic principle
(E) The principle of substitutivity
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