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Philosophy Sections 7.1 & 7.2 Essay

1. What are the requirements for knowledge?
4.What is Plato’s allegory of the cave supposed to demonstrate?
Plato’s allegory of the cave is supposed to demonstrate not only the human situation in general but Socrates’ life in particular. Socrates glimpsed the true nature of reality and tried to convince the inhabitants of Athens that they didn’t know what they thought they knew.

The objects that cast shadows on the wall represent what Plato considers to be the truly real objects: the forms. 5.What is Descartes’ dream argument?

Descartes’ dream argument is as followed:
1) We can’t be certain that we’re not dreaming.
2) If we can’t be certain that we’re not dreaming, we can’t be certain that what we sense is real.

3) If we can’t be certain that what we sense is real, we can’t acquire knowledge through sense experience. 4) Therefore, we can’t acquire knowledge through sense experience. According to Descartes, you can’t rule out the possibility that you’re dreaming so you’re senses can’t give you knowledge of the external world. 8. Why do empiricists believe that there are no synthetic a priori truths?

Empiricists believe that there are no synthetic a priori truths because they believe that sense experience is our only source of knowledge of the external world. 9.How does Kant explain the possibility of synthetic a priori truths?

Kant explained the possibility of synthetic a priori truths by examining the method of inquiry used by mathematicians. Kant found that what makes it possible for mathematicians to discover such truths is that they study the principles the mind uses to construct mathematical objects.

Section 7.2 (3 and 4)
3. What is representative realism?
Representative realism is the doctrine that sensations are caused by external objects and that our sensations represent these objects. 4. What is the distinction between primary and secondary qualities?

The distinction between primary and secondary qualities is that while secondary qualities exist in the mind not in the actual object, primary qualities are possessed by material objects.


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