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6.1 Substance

1 .
Why does Thales believe that water is the most basic reality?
2 .
The Pre-Socratics were wrong in their various metaphysical explanations. Yet they are considered to have contributed significantly to the history of philosophy and metaphysics. How could they have contributed if they were wrong?
3 .
What inspired Kanad and his atomistic understanding of reality?
4 .
What does the Sun represent within Plato’s Allegory of the Cave?
5 .
How does Aristotle connect the acorn and the oak? What do they share?

6.2 Self and Identity

6 .
Why does the “Ship of Theseus” present a problem for identity?
7 .
What does the term “Anatman” mean? What are the implications for the self?
8 .
What is the so-called “mind-body problem”?
9 .
What is the so-called “hard problem of consciousness?”
10 .
After reading Locke’s “The Prince and the Pauper” thought experiment, do you agree that two have switched identities? Why or why not?

6.3 Cosmology and the Existence of God

11 .
The moral arguments for the existence of God rest upon the reality of objective values. Can a shared human interest preserve a sense of objective good (without needing a reference to a God)?
12 .
What does Anselm think is the difference between what exists in the mind and what exists in reality? And why does he think the idea of "that than which no greater can be conceived" must exist in reality?
13 .
In Aquinas’ arguments offered in this section, motion was not movement from one place to another but rather movement from potentiality to actuality, i.e, becoming. Using the acorn and the oak, describe what happens as a being moves from becoming to actuality within Aquinas’s metaphysics. What role does purpose play in motion? What role does God play?
14 .
Why is the existence of suffering a problem for those who posit a God?

6.4 Free Will

15 .
What is determinism?
16 .
What is the difference between hard and soft determinism?
17 .
What is libertarianism?
18 .
Is determinism compatible with moral culpability? Why or why not?
19 .
Who was Jean Paul Sartre and what was his position concerning the free will problem?
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