Review Sheet for Midterm Exam for Philosophy 32


Bacon, Galileo, Boyle

1. General Themes
rejection of the assumption of the isomorphism of thought and being
the priority of epistemology over metaphysics
the rejection of final causes and the privilege of efficient causation
the development of the mechanical philosophy (matter in motion)

2. Bacon
criticism of Aristotelian science
Four Idols
proper scientific method (induction)

3. Galileo
the "no perceivers" argument against heat as a sensible quality
the "no need" argument against heat as a sensible quality

4. Boyle
the special intelligibility/clarity of mechanisms


1. Descartes's goals in the Meditations

2. Descartes's project and method

3. Meditation I

normal perceptual error,

the dreaming argument,

possibility God deceives,

possibility something less than God creates me,


4. Meditation II

Three absolute certainties: I exist, a thinking thing exists, I am essentially a thinking thing (whenever I am thinking)

the nature of what exists (former thoughts--a) rational animal and b) mind and body--present thoughts--a thinking thing),

the mind is better known than body (since body is known by the intellect's grasp of body)

three faculties of knowledge,

the wax example (we know wax through our intellect, and we know several essential features of the wax).

5. Meditation III

attempt to discover a general rule of truth (i.e. of cl. and d.),

classification of ideas into types and sources to determine truth,

two theistic proofs, objections and replies,

innateness of idea of God,

argument that God is not a deceiver.

Cartesian Circle and Resolution

6. Meditation IV

problem of evil
nature of error as a privation (not a reality)

rejection of final causes
source of error (faculty mismatch)

possible complaints against God and replies,

way of avoiding error,

proof of clarity and distinctness as criteria of truth.

7. Meditation V

properties that describe the nature of material bodies,

innate ideas, true and immutable natures, and argument for ideas of bodies being innate,

theistic proof, objections and replies,

dependence of all other knowledge on knowledge of God.

8. Meditation VI

proofs of external world (from imagination and from sense),

proofs of distinctness of mind and body,

mind-body union

the ̉truthÓ of sense ideas,

how sense ideas can nonetheless err,

resolution of dream problem.