State and illustrate the Socratic Method of questioning, explaining why it is of such importance to Socrates. Given an example from one of the dialogues of an exchange during which the Socratic method is used.
How does scientific reasoning differ from reasoning in the humanities? Give examples of each.
What are some of the arguments for and against the claim that a machine can be constructed that has the capability of consciousness and thought?
What are some prominent theories concerning the relationship between language and the world?
Explain the distinction between syntax and semantics and how Searle uses this distinction to argue against strong AI.
Explain the “problem of induction” in philosophy of science. What does Karl Popper propose as an alternative? Does his alternative work? Why or why not?
Compare and contrast at least two proposed criteria of demarcation between science and non-science.
What is a ‘paradigm’ according to Thomas Kuhn? Give an example of a paradigm shift. In your answer, be sure to explain the terms ‘incommensurable’ and ‘theory-ladenness of observation.’
How can anyone seriously believe in evolution? I certainly don’t. How can you take seriously a theory that claims humans are just monkeys with less hair and that our ancestors were apes?
This commits the Straw Man fallacy. Evolutionary theory just doesn’t claim that humans are monkeys with less hair. That’s a vast oversimplification of the theory, hence you’ve created a ‘straw’ version of the original theory.
If you don’t get to bed early, you’ll be too tired to do well on the GRE tomorrow. If that happens, you won’t get accepted into a decent graduate school. You’ll end up a washed-out alcoholic living in a trash-bin.
This is a pretty clear instance of the slippery slope fallacy. A whole load of ‘if-then’ claims are made here (and some others seem to be assumed), that together make a very weak case for the ultimate conclusion of the argument.
Undemocratic societies kill the human spirit. The reason is clear: unless the people have the power in their society,the human spirit withers.
This is a pretty standard instance of begging the question. The conclusion seems to be that undemocratic societies kill the human spirit, but the only reason we are given to believe this is essentially that same conclusion in different terms.
Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that, a theory. Theories are just speculation with no evidence behind them. We don’t want our children to learn theories with no evidence behind them, so we shouldn’t allow the theory of evolution to be taught in school.
This commits the fallacy of equivocation. We do sometimes use the word ‘theory’ to mean a speculation with little or no evidence behind it, but that’s not the way we’re using the word when we describe the theory of evolution as a theory. Hence, a word is being used in 2 quite distinct ways here, but the arguer is acting as though he is using the word consistently throughout the argument.
What Peter Singer said about us needing to give more to charity can’t be right. After all, Singer is just another one of those obnoxious freaks.
This is a case of a clear ad hominen fallacy. Singer’s argument isn’t attacked here, Singer is.