From Hobbes to Hume

10.1 Hobbes

  • Define justice, distributive justice, and social contract theory.
  • Summarize the main features of Hobbes’s social contract theory.
  • Understand Hobbes’s view of human nature.
  • Explain Hobbes’s definition of justice and how justice can come into being as the Leviathan assumes power.
  • Know the three main similarities between Hobbes’s and Locke’s social contract theories and enumerate the dissimilarities.

10.2 Locke

  • Summarize Locke’s arguments against the notion of innate ideas.
  • Explain Locke’s reference to the mind as unmarked “white paper.”
  • Explain in what way Locke is an empiricist.
  • Understand the misgivings that philosophers have about cognitive relativism.
  • Summarize the main criticism that both rationalists and empiricists have of Locke’s theory of knowledge.

10.3 Berkeley

  • Know the meaning of Berkeley’s famous phrase, “To be is to be perceived.”
  • Explain how Berkeley’s theory of knowledge differs from Locke’s.
  • Understand why Berkeley asserts that there are no material objects.
  • State and evaluate Berkeley’s logical argument that material objects cannot exist.
  • Understand how Berkeley brings in the concept of God to explain how knowledge is possible.

10.4 Hume

  • Define principle of induction.
  • Explain Hume’s distinction between relations of ideas and matters of fact.
  • Explain why Hume concludes that theological and metaphysical speculations are worthless.
  • Trace Hume’s reasoning that ultimately leads him to strong skepticism.
  • State Hume’s argument against the principle of induction.

10.5 Spinoza

  • Define pantheism.
  • Understand what Spinoza attempts to do by laying out his arguments in “geometrical order.”
  • Grasp Spinoza’s reason for thinking that humans can have free will.
  • Understand why Spinoza’s view has been labeled a form of pantheism.

10.6 Leibniz

  • Understand Leibniz’s reasoning that led him to conclude that monads exist.
  • Explain the meaning of Leibniz’s notion about our wills being inclined by God but not necessitated.
  • State and evaluate Leibniz’s belief that this world is the best of all possible worlds.
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