In Descartes’ argument for the existence of the body, what guarantees its independence from the mind and what guarantees that one’s perception of it is not a mere product of some deceitful schemes? Explain your answers. Give accounts of Descartes’ explanation for mind-body interaction and the problems with such an explanation.
2. For Descartes, what form of knowledge can be proven as incorrigible through methodical doubt? Why is it incorrigible? What is the relevance of such proof in establishing the existence of the mind as something that exists independently of the body? How can we use his proof of its incorrigibility as an illustration for the rationalist claim that reason (not the senses) is the sufficient guide to truth? How can the foundations of scientific and mathematical knowledge be considered corrigible through methodical doubt?
3. In your own words, briefly state Papineau’s causal argument for materialism. What is the abstract claim that he considers to be a necessary presupposition of his argument? Why is it important for him to presuppose such a claim? What is his general response to any objection that denies any of his premises?
4. Give an account of Jackson’s possible objection to Papineau’s abstract claim. Based on Jackson’s knowledge argument, give an account of his case for his objection. Critics of Jackson’s epiphenomenalism generally point out that there is something counterintuitive about the claim that mental states do not causally interact with physical states. Give an account of Jackson’s response to such critics.
5. Give an account of Kant’s critique of rationalism and empiricism. Give an account of Kant’s epistemological theory that, in some sense, attempts to reconcile rationalism and empiricism. Rationalists generally argue that, since there are principles that are universally agreed upon by all humans, such principles must have been based on innate ideas. Give an account of Locke’s response to such argument and his case for the sensible or experiential ground of the use of reason
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