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Class Schedule (subject to significant change – check back):

August                   22          Logistics, Intro to Philosophy
August                   24          Intro to Philosophy

August                   29          Logic - Claims and Logical Form
                                                      http://dornsife.usc.edu/USCLogicWeb - Tutorials 2, 3
August                   31          Logic CTD - Truth Conditions

September            5            Logic CTD - Validity and Soundness
                                                      http://dornsife.usc.edu/USCLogicWeb - Tutorial 1
September            7            Logic CTD - Extracting Arguments
                                                      http://dornsife.usc.edu/USCLogicWeb - Tutorial 4 (mandatory), Tutorial 5 (optional)

September            12          Metaphysics Introduction
September            14          Philosophy of Time Introduction - Ontology

September            19          Philosophy of Time Introduction - A/B Theory, Persistence
September            21          A/B Theory CTD

September            26          ---MIDTERM---
September            28          Persistence Intro

October                 3            Persistence:  Statues, Fission, and Cats Without Tails.
                                                      Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP):  Temporal Parts
                                                      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/
October                 5            Persistence: The Reductio Argument

October                 10          Persistence: Responses to the Reductio - Nihilism and Overdetermination
October                 12          Persistence: Responses to the Reductio - Problem of the Many, Statue/Lump

October                 17          Persistence: Responses to the Reductio - Fission, 4Dism
October                 19          ---NO CLASS---

October                 24          The Problem of Change over Time
                                                      http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~kleinsch/TI.docx
October                 26          The Problem of Change over Time CTD

October                 31          ---MIDTERM---
November             2            Time Travel Intro
                                                      https://www3.nd.edu/~sbernste/NowhereMan_Final.pdf
                                                      Optional: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time-travel/

November             7            Time Travel Intro, Continued
                                                      Optional: http://tedsider.org/papers/ab_travel.pdf
November             9            ---NO CLASS---

November             14          Extra Dimensions Intro
                                                      http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/
November             16          Extra Dimensions Continued, Incongruent Counterparts Introduced

November             21          Extra Dimensions: Kant on Incongruent Counterparts
November             23          ---THANKSGIVING BREAK---

November             28          Extra Dimensions:  van Inwagen, “Changing The Past”
                                                      http://andrewmbailey.com/pvi/Changing_the_Past.pdf
November             30          Extra Dimensions:  responses to van Inwagen
                                                      (article linked to: here)

December             7            ---FINAL EXAM--- (2-4pm, in our classroom)

 

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Exam Study Questions: FINAL - STUDY GUIDE

 

Note:  bring a blue book!  Do not mark on it: you will be exchanging it for a blue book stamped by the Philosophy department.

 

The Essay Section:

1.  Explain (in your own words) the 3 different sorts of time-travel to the past that we discussed; give a diagram to accompany your description of each.  Explain the difference between causing something and changing it; give examples to accompany your explanation.  Explain the difference between causing something and determining it, and give examples to accompany your explanation.  State the Nowhere Argument in premise/conclusion form.  Say which premise you think is weakest, and fully explain what one may take to be wrong with that premise.  (Do this even if you think the argument is ultimately successful.)
            i.  Explanation of a first kind of time-travel to the past, with a diagram.
            ii.  Explanation of a second kind of time-travel to the past, with a diagram.
            iii.  Explanation of a third kind of time-travel to the past, with a diagram.
            iv.  Explanation of causing past events vs. changing past events, with examples.
            v.  Explanation of causing vs. determining, with examples.
            vi.  State the Nowhere Argument in premise/conclusion form.
            vii.  Say which premise you think is weakest, and fully explain what one may take to be wrong with that premise.

2.  State what hyperspace is, and then give an intuitive description anyone on campus would understand.  Kant takes there to be three logical possibilities for what handedness is had in virtue of.  State and explain each in your own words.  Finally, describe the Hyperspace Hand-Flip Argument in your own words:  say which view it’s arguing against, and thoroughly give the basic idea behind the argument in a way anyone would understand (do not present it in premise/conclusion form - but I do recommend including the diagram we went over in class).
            i.  State what hyperspace is.
            ii.  Description of hyperspace in your own words, accessible to anyone on campus.
            iii.  Statement and explanation of the first account of handedness.
            iv.  Statement and explanation of the second account of handedness.
            v.  Statement and explanation of the third account of handedness.
            vi.  Thoroughly describe the Hyperspace Hand-Flip Argument in your own words.

3.  State what incongruent counterparts are (it’s okay if this is in your own words, but you must explain incongruence and being counterparts).  Here is the Lone Hand Argument:
The Lone Hand Argument

  1. It's possible for a right hand to be alone in the universe, and it's possible for a left hand to be alone in the universe.
  2. If (1), then it can’t be that objects have handedness in virtue of relations to other things.
  3. So, objects don’t have handedness in virtue of their relations to other things.

Give the basic idea behind the argument in a way anyone on campus would understand, then present the justifications for each of the premises (a diagram may be a helpful addition to your explanation of the justification for premise 2).  Fully explain the way of rejecting premise (1) that we described in class, using the analogy of a p or q alone in space.
            i.  State what incongruent counterparts are.
            ii.  Give the basic idea behind the Lone Hand Argument.
            iii.  Present the justification for premise 1.
            iv.  Present the justification for premise 2.  (Be sure to really fully explain this.)
            v.  Fully explain the way of rejecting premise 1 that we described in class (see above).

4.  The argument for the Impossibility of Changing the Past says:
Argument for the Impossibility of Changing the Past

  1. If changing the past is possible, then it is possible for some past time, t, to be F, and for someone to cause t to be not-F.
  2. Necessarily, if some time, t,is F, and then t is caused to be not-F, then t is F and not-F.
  3. Necessarily, nothing can be F and not-F.
  4. So, changing the past is not possible.

We discussed Leibniz’s Law in relation to the Problem of Change.  Tell me, in 4-6 sentences:  Why won’t most of the responses we gave to the Problem of Change help us in responding to the Changing the Past argument?  (Illustrate your point with an example of a response to the Problem of Change that does not help, and explain why it doesn’t.)  In 4-6 sentences (and with a diagram, if you want), describe van Inwagen’s picture of time-travel to the past.  In 4-6 sentences, explain how appeals to hypertime might allow us to modify responses to the Problem of Change so that they can help us avoid violations of Leibniz’s Law in cases of changing the past.  (Include an example of a modified response, and show how it helps with the problem.)
            i.  Explain why most responses to the Problem of Change won’t help with this argument.
            ii.  Explain van Inwagen’s picture of changing the past.  (See above.)
            iii.  Explain how appeals to hypertime let us modify responses to the Problem of Change to respond to this argument (include an example of one such modified response).

5.  Fully describe any two of the following objections to Peter van Inwagen’s view of time-travel (diagrams are encouraged).  The mass murder objection; the objection that we can get stuck in a loop; the objection that the view shouldn’t appeal to Growing Block theory.  When explaining each objection, first present why Peter van Inwagen’s view has the features the objection attributes to it, then explain why it is problematic for Peter van Inwagen’s view to have these features (that is, why we should think that, if the view has these features, then the view is false.  Or, if this applies instead: how the view should be modified and which benefits the modification would give us).
            i.  Fully describe one of the objections to Peter van Inwagen’s view of changing the past.
            ii.  Explanation of why it has the features ascribed to it in (i).
            iii.  Explanation of why having these features is problematic for his view (see above).
            iv.  Fully describe another objection to Peter van Inwagen’s view of changing the past.
            v.  Explanation of why it has the features ascribed to it in (iv).
            vi.  Explanation of why having these features is problematic for his view (see above).

 

The Logic Section:
In preparing for the short-answer section of the exam, you should know:

  • what it is for an argument to be valid
  • what it is for an argument to be sound
  • how to translate claims into their logical form
  • the main argument forms, and which ones are valid

I recommend looking through the arguments we discussed when covering Logic.  You should be able to recognize when arguments of that sort (of the logical forms we covered) are valid and when they’re invalid.

If you have questions about the exam, I encourage you to meet with me or your TAs during office hours.

Finally, an important note:  prepare for every one of the essay questions.  It’s not uncommon for students to tell me, “I studied for every question except the one you asked!”  Don’t take chances.  Any questions (or combination of bits of questions) could be on the exam.