Homework 4

Phil. 125, Prof. Dowden





Answer all questions in order. Place each answer on a separate sheet of paper, and devote no more than one sheet, typed double space, to each answer.

1. Consider this remark, which takes a position on a controversial issue in the philosophy of science:

  • "Consciousness and other mental phenomena are completely caused by neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves as much features of the brain as digestion is a feature of the stomach."
  • Why do you agree or disagree with this remark? How would your opponent argue?

    2. The idea that explanations should be deductions of what is to be explained was held by Aristotle (320 BCE), John Stuart Mill (1843), and Karl Popper (1935), but it was stated most clearly by Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim in 1948 in what has now come to be called "Hempel's Covering Law Model of Explanation." Describe the main criticisms that have been made of Hempel's theory.

    3. Discuss the nature of mathematical infinities, mentioning at least the views of Aristotle, Bolzano and Cantor.