USD Phil 110 S13 W: Reading Questions

General Instructions: Your answers are due at the start of class on the day for which they are assigned. They should be typed and double-spaced in a 10-12 point legible font. Each set of answers should be 2-3 pages in length. I will not accept any late homework assignments.

Due Wednesday, April 24: Please answer the following questions:
  1. What does Kant mean by the "Good Will"?
  2. How does Kant argue that it is wrong to make a lying promise?
  3. How does Mill respond to the objection that utilitarianism is a "doctrine fit only for swine"?

Due Wednesday, April 3: Please answer the following questions: 
  1. Why, according to Valadez, did the conflict between science and religion that characterizes Western thought not occur among the Mesoamericans?
  2. How is the "Legend of the Four Suns" related to human sacrifice and the need for a warrior caste?
  3. Which of the metaphysical views we studied did you like the best? Why?
Due Wednesday, March 20: Please answer the following questions:
  1. What conclusions about education does Plato draw from the Allegory of the Cave?
  2. Why did Berkeley reject the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, and why did he claim that the very notion of matter is contradictory?
  3. How would Berkeley answer the old question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Due Wednesday, February 20: Please answer the following questions:
  1. In the Second Meditation, Descartes concludes that "I am, I exist" must be true whenever he thinks it. What reasons does he give to support this conclusion?
  2. In this Meditation, Descartes also concludes that he is a thinking thing. What does he mean by this, and what are his reasons for drawing this conclusion?
  3. According to Hume, into what two categories can the "perceptions of the mind" be divided, and how are they distinguished from one another? Give an example of each.

Due Wednesday, February 13: Please answer the following questions:
  1. What is the mystic way, and what did Al-Ghazali learn from following it?
  2. How does the author distinguish among knowledge, immediate experience, and faith?
  3. How does Al-Ghazali answer the question, "Is knowledge possible?" What do you think about the answer he provides?

Due Wednesday, February 6
: Please answer the following questions:
  1. How does Socrates defend against the charge of corrupting the youth and the charge of atheism?
  2. Why did Socrates think that fearing death was unwise?
  3. If you were an Athenian juror, how would you have voted and why? With the benefit of hindsight, do you think Socrates was guilty of the charges? Why or why not?