Quiz One, phl 236 circle the letter of each correct answer. Name



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Quiz One, PHL 236 – circle the letter of each correct answer. Name:

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1. The primary project of Descartes’ Meditations is to


  1. defend the Aristotelian picture of the Great Chain of Being.

  2. demonstrate that nothing can be known, since the Evil Genius could make us have false beliefs on every matter of fact.

  3. discover philosophical truths which can be known with absolute certainty.

  4. propose a new method of empirical reasoning according to which sense data are the only source of human knowledge.

  5. Both a) and d).

2. In Meditation 4, Descartes concludes that clear and distinct perceptions must be true because




  1. it is not within the power of the Evil Genius to make a falsehood out of an idea which seems clear and distinct.

  2. a benevolent God would not allow us to be deceived about them.

  3. they are verified by so much sensory evidence that they are impossible to doubt.

  4. they merely describe our appearances, and it’s impossible to make mistakes about how things appear to us.

  5. trick question – Descartes never said that clear and distinct perceptions must be true.

3. The long argument which I called the Cartesian Circle, stretching over Meditations 3 and 4, is circular because:




  1. It is an argument for the conclusion that clear and distinct ideas are true, but it assumes that clear and distinct ideas must be true.

  2. It is an argument for the conclusion that God exists, but it assumes that God exists.

  3. It is an argument for the conclusion that the Evil Genius doesn’t exit, but it assumes that he doesn’t exist.

  4. It is an argument for the reliability of our senses, but it assumes that our senses must be reliable.

  5. It is an argument for Descartes’ own existence, but it assumes that Descartes already exists.

4. In Meditation 5, Descartes argues that God must exist, because




  1. every chain of causation must begin somewhere, and only God could be the first cause.

  2. Descartes has the idea of God, and realizes that only God could be the author of that idea.

  3. God is perfect, and a non-existing being would be less perfect than an existing being.

  4. the world “shows evidence of purpose and design,” and only God could be its designer.

  5. trick question – Descartes doesn’t argue for God’s existence in Meditation 5.

5. At the end of Meditation 1, Descartes thought the following claims were impossible to doubt:




  1. I am awake.

  2. I have a brain.

  3. Squares have four sides.

  4. Both b) and c)

  5. none of the above.



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