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ANSWER all of these questions.. the book we were using for this class is Words of Wisdom: Introduction to Philosophy, by Jody Ondich (an Online Educational Resource)

Our textbook is located at this URL:

1a. You must explain both the causal adequacy argument from Meditation 3 and the ontological argument for God’s existence in Meditation 5. You’d do well to explain each separately and then develop what you see as their relationship beyond the fact that they both are arguments for God’s existence. What I am really asking is how is that they work together? You may equally draw from my notes and the primary readings of the Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) and the videos embedded in the Syllabus. How is this an example of Descartes’s rationalism? In fact what is rationalism? Explicitly define it (1.5 pages minimum).

1b. Define Hume’s empiricism. In Section 1 of the Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Hume is very suspicious of metaphysics? Why is he suspicious of metaphysics? You’d do well to show some textual support about what he thinks about religion and metaphysics from Section 1. Next, in Section 2, he talks about the origins of our ideas (which relates to the definition you just gave of Hume’s empiricism), where does the idea of God come from in Hume? Explicitly explain his argument. Who is right: Descartes or Hume? And when you judge who is right, you cannot simply appeal to tradition, how you were raised, but instead write from the perspective as to whom has the better argument. Recall we are students of philosophy. Give reasons for why you think Descartes or Hume has the better argument (1.5 pages minimum).

2. In section 3, Hume draws a distinction between relation of ideas and matters of fact. Explain them as the central distinctions in Hume’s epistemology. Next, compare and contrast where Hume thinks mathematical ideas come from with Descartes. Draw specific attention to Meditation 5 where Descartes is drawing a distinction between formal reality and objective reality. Why is it that mathematics exemplifies an innate idea for Descartes, but not for Hume? (1.5 page minimum).


3. Bonus Questions: You can do any of them or all of them (no limit). If you screwed up royally on previous exams, this will be a way to lessen the impact of those previous (possibly failing) efforts. At this point, you should gauge on your own how long it takes to answer each of these questions. As students, you may have to struggle on your own in future classes with what it truly takes to answer questions, so judge for yourself the length of response you want to give. As these are bonus questions, professors almost always expect the best with bonus work.

A: Is Existentialist ethics possible? Why or Why not? What is the most powerful idea in existential ethics? You’d do well to target some aspect in the online article.

B: Watch any of the later videos on the ontology of race that we didn’t get to. Do any of these answers explain the metaphysical nature of race? Why or why not? You’d do well to draw from your own lived-experience.

C: Explain the focus on love in The Letter from the Birmingham Jail (1963) and while it’s only somewhat obvious, draw out what King thinks of community and how love is related to justice. Is he right or is he wrong? You’d do well to cite passages that lend evidence to your interpretation of what King thinks that relationship is between love and justice as these two themes relate to community.

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