Week Two Study Questions on web-linked readings
From the "Meditations"
1) How does Descartes propose to discover (determine) what is “true”—what method does he describe in this synopsis?
2) How does Descartes explain the relationship between the Mind and the Body?
3) Think about Descartes' arguments regarding the method to find truth and regarding the Mind-Body distinction: based on Descartes' ideas, how would we go about trying to understand what is “true” in nature? (Remember, we are reading this to understand the Scientific revolution and the Enlightenment.)
Voltaire, "Religion" from The Philosophical Dictionary at http://history.hanover.edu/texts/voltaire/volindex.html
made Voltaire contemplate the "problem" of God?
was the point the "archangel" showing Voltaire bones?
does Voltaire consider the aim of religious wars?
What point was Voltaire trying to make in the "discussion" with Socrates, Jesus, etc.?
Kant, "What is Enlightenment?" (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/kant-whatis.html),
How does Kant define Enlightenment and its purpose?
What is the "categorical imperative"?
What does Kant mean by freedom?
Does Kant think that Enlightenment should be "safe"? Explain!
Locke, "Introduction" to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Philosophy/Locke/echu/
is the aim of this essay?
to Locke: where do our ideas come
IF YOU DECIDE TO READ ON (Book 1, "Neither Principles nor Ideas are Innate"), then consider these questions:
is the difference between propositions that are according to reason, above
reason, and contrary to
is the difference between faith and reason?
Locke, "State of Nature" in his Second Treatise of Government at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1690locke-sel.html
What is Locke's view of the "state of nature"?
Did Locke see nature as wild and irrational?
For Locke, why was government necessary and what was the nature of the social contract?
Hume, "On Miracles" (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/hume-miracles.html)
does Hume say that "a miracle is a violation of nature"?
How does he prove this?
Smith, The Wealth of Nations (pick and read selections) (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/adamsmith-summary.html)
to Smith: what are the advantages
of the division of labor?
does the market shape or limit division of labor?
gives commodities their price/value?
is the difference between "natural" and "market"
IF YOU DECIDE TO READ BEYOND THE SYNOPSIS, then answer these questions:
is the source of a nation's wealth?
Why do people produce?
What did Smith mean by the "invisible hand"?