1. Name three of your hinge beliefs — that is, beliefs that are foundational to your understanding of the world, which you consider to be true and yet can give no justification for. For example, the existence of the external world (e.g. that I’m not in the Matrix) is a hinge belief for most people. There’s no solid evidence in its favor, and yet we assume it to be true. 2. Imagine you’re on a jury and you think the defendant is guilty because they just rub you the wrong way. Further, imagine that they are, in fact, guilty. Would you say that you “know” they are guilty? Explain. You might find that answering this question hard because, on one hand, you have a reason and you are right. Yet on the other hand, your reason for thinking the defendant is guilty is a bad one. 3. Explain the distinction between sense experience and emotion. What are three differences between sense experience and emotion? Why is this distinction important? 4. Many animals experience the world very differently from the way we do. Spiders see through compound eyes, while snails only see light/dark and direction (not shape). Do you think that we humans — of all the animals — perceive the world correctly? Does that fact that various animals see differently mean that we should be distrustful of our sense experiences? Explain. (Check out this link for more on snail consciousness: http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/2018/09/are-garden-snails-conscious-yes-no-or.html.) 5. Do you believe that emotions are an important source of knowledge, like Hume or the ancient Chinese philosophy Mencius? Or are emotions are a threat to knowledge, like Kant, Russell, and Freud believe? Explain your answer using ideas from this chapter. 6. Describe a time when you had a disagreement around moral values. How was the conversation? How could the ideas in this chapter help you talk about values in the future? 7. Watch this video. Would you take the red or the blue pill? What does this distinction mean to you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE7PKRjrid4 Chapter 8 – Tools for Critical Thinking about Justification 8.1-8.5 (pp. 215-242) I attached a copy of the book
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