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Flashcards in Reason And Experience Deck (47):

What is an analytic proposition? Example

One which is true or false just in virtue of the meaning of the words. EG. All bachelors are unmarried men


What is a synthetic proposition? Example

One which is not analytic. If it is true or false in virtue of the way the world is. EG. Ripe tomatoes are red


What is an a priori proposition? Example

They are either innate or based on logic. They do not require sense experience to be known to be true. EG. A²+B²=C²


What is an a posteriori proposition? Example

They are based on experience. EG. Snow is white. (That can only be established through experience).


What must all analytic propositions be?

A priori, because they are true or false just in the meaning of the words


What's rationalism? Example

It gives an important role to reason and claims that we have synthetic a priori knowledge of how the world is outside the mind. EG. Maths or morality. We have those concepts without relying on sense experience


What is empiricism? Example

It disagrees with rationalism. Many mental states are synthetic EG. I feel sad. But they don't require sense experience to be known


What do rationalists believe about how we acquire knowledge?

That we either have a form of rational 'intuition' or 'insight' which enables us to grasp certain truths intellectually or we know them innately.


Locke was an empiricist. What did he believe?

That all ideas are derived from sense experience. The mind is tabula rasa at birth. He believes that we must be conscious of an idea for it to be part of the mind


A self evident truth

Is logically consistent (all bachelors are unmarried men)


Necessarily true

A priori truth (irrespective of experience. Dealing with concepts EG love can't picture it


Contingently true

A posteriori truth (after experience) - ideas: picture thinking


A priori foundation of...



A posteriori foundation of..



A prioris sole principle

I think therefore I am


Certain structures in our brain that organise our senses

Conceptual schemes - we don't experience a world with out mediation. This is counter initiative (agains common sense)



When the senses become one rather than above



Theory of knowledge



A dictator believes one way of democracy - one ideology



True knowledge



Belief that values value for nada



Every opposition has an equal opposition


What's the difference between a priori and innate knowledge?

A priori doesn't need experience to be known. Innate - born with the ability to do something (learn a language)


What is a principle?

A self evident truth that is either true by definition or deduction


2 a priori self evident truths

I think therefore I am. God is perfect.


What are the 2 foundations of knowledge?

A priori propositions and a posteriori propositions


What is synthetic a priori?

Categories of the understanding and intuitions. Every event has a cause


Descartes skeptical method

Experience can't be the foundation of all our ideas because the senses are fallible. We could be dreaming or being deliberately manipulated by an evil genius


Descartes I think = I am as an argument for not being tabula rasa

Maths is always necessarily true/false and I have a "clear and distinct" idea of it. I have a clear and distinct idea of myself. Trademark argument - knowledge of god as a "clear and distinct idea". It is innate a priori and necessarily true Something greater cannot come from something lesser


The Cartesian circle

Whatever I perceive "clearly and distinctly" is true. They are true because god exists and is no deceiver, who would not allow me to be mistaken. This depends on Descartes earlier proof of the existence of god. Descartes cannot know that this proof doesn't contain an error unless he assumes that his clear and distinct perception depends on the assumption that god exists etc


Locke's theory of how we imagine god

We have experience of authority figures and merely imagine an ultimate version


Hume - all ideas can be traced back to simple ideas

Impressions: perceptions (outward sentiment) and sensations (inward sentiment). Simple ideas are less vivid copies of impressions- compound, transpose,augment, diminish. Complex ideas - golden mountain


Hume's criticism of himself

The missing shade of blue


Berkeley bringing out the absurdity at the heart of empiricism

"To be is to be perceived" - strict empiricists cannot prove the experience of the physical world when it's not being perceived


GE Moore: ethical non-naturalism

There are no moral facts in nature that can be verified true or false therefore morality is not empirical. Justice like yellow difficult to explain.


Plato - maths principles exist independently of us

The meno salve boy deduces Pythagoras without any prior knowledge of maths. Mathematical principles exist independently of us and can be discovered in physical objects


Locke - counter argument for Plato "slave boy"

If knowledge of number or deduction is innate, why can't children/idiots reason?"


Hune's fork - 2 parts of reason

Reasons of idea and matters of fact


Reasons of idea: Hume's fork

Analytic a priori propositions demonstrate the relation between ideas and qualities that define that idea
Necessarily true/false
A>B B>C therefore A>C
Maths doesn't give us new knowledge of the world


Matters of fact: Hume's fork

Synthetic a posteriori propositions are continent knowledge claims about a state of affairs in the world
Verified true/ false through empirical evidence
"The sun is 92.9 million miles away from the earth"
Continently true (could change)


What is utilitarianism?

Greatest good for the greatest number of people


What is Chomsky's universal grammar?

That we are born with the innate capacity to acquire language. Children are able to construct original sentences from a poverty of stimulus. All children acquire language in the same manner


Kant's a priori categories of understanding

Synthetic a priori. Causation, quantity, time, space, substance etc are all conditions of possibility for experience itself. "Concepts without intuitions are empty but intuitions without concepts are blind"


Sapir whorf hypothesis

We are born a blank slate and our knowledge of the world is dependent on our language.


What is linguistic determination?

The particular language we learn determines how we experience the world


What is cultural relativism?

All cultures have different ideas and values which are historically specific. EG piraha Indians who have no past or future tense


The Cartesian circle (easy)

Clear and distinct ideas cannot be fallible as god is no deceiver, yet this is based on the fact that god exists to make clear and distinct ideas necessarily true.