Life, the Universe, and Everything

A Course Blog for GET1029/GEK1067

Month: October 2020 (page 3 of 4)

Answers to the two Logical Exercises in W08

Click through to see…

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A Weird Point About Logic

More bonus, optional material. The question is this–What happens when you have an “unnecessary” premise in a deductive argument? The answer is–for deductively valid arguments–nothing!

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A Couple of Points about Logic

Making explicit things that are already implied by “A Short Lesson on Arguments and Logic”; totally optional. Click through to see…

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Podcast Episode #05

About the infinite regress. We actually recorded quite a bit more, but the remaining material will likely make up two additional episodes, if I find time to do the editing…

Quiz 06 Hints

  • General advice

make sure to be absolutely clear about the difference between a sufficient and a necessary condition from “A Short Lesson”, and the ways that can be used to express those conditions (e.g., “if…then…” vs. “only if…”, etc.)

  • Question 1

Please do read “X implies Y” as saying “X is a sufficient condition for Y”. I’ve included a clarificatory note. Big hint: Please revise what it means for something to be a necessary condition for something else. Another big hint–this is actually meant to be a simpler question than many of you seem to be taking it. Everything you need is already in the question itself!

  • Question 3

Small clarificatory note added for Dave’s statement. When we say that “given P, Q, R, it can still be X”, we are basically saying that {P, Q, R} does not rule out X.

Quiz 05 Debrief

Not bad at all! The median is now 6. A few surprises (to us) though. Click through to see.

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The Illusion of Free Will

W07 Q/A

Here goes. I have also published several (longish) posts relating to the topic–they were created in response to recurring student queries from previous batches. So do browse them if you have a chance. These include–a taxonomy of the main positions in the so-called “free will and determinism debate”, a post distinguishing causal determinism from two other ideas (foreknowledge, and fatalism) that are often confused with it, and a recap of the Strawson-Hurley debate. I also added a few questions (marked with #) that came from previous years.

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Susan Hurley vs. Galen Strawson on Moral Responsibility (Long Post)

This post comes in two parts, plus an appendix. Part 1 is mainly a revision of what’s already in the lecture, talking through Strawson’s Basic Argument and the “Hurley Response” to make sure that you are up to speed. Part 2 goes beyond and is meant for those with deeper interest. The Appendix explains why I structured the Hurley response the way I did. Ok, here goes.

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Determinism’s Lookalikes

It’s one of those things that often confuse people–and not just students. Causal Determinism of the sort we talked about in class has several close-by cousins and relations which conceivably pose problems for free will and moral responsibility. But they are all different from each other, and so the the problems they pose to free will and moral responsibility aren’t the same either. Therefore, they should not be confused with each other. In this post, I will focus on just three–Causal Determinism, Predictability (or Foreknowledge), and Fatalism.

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