Monday, January 07, 2008

Pop Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to the questions I previously put up.


1. Which early modern philosopher said of the Bible that "it is an ev­erlasting guide to true wisdom, one that not only agrees with the speculations of a perfected reason but sheds new light on the whole field surveyed by that reason, illuminating what still remains opaque to it"?

[Immanuel Kant: 1789 letter to Jung-Stilling]


2. What four books did David Hume recommend that Michael Ramsay read in order that he might more easily understand "the more metaphysical parts" of Hume's reasoning in Book 1 of the Treatise?

[Malebranche's Search, Berkeley's Principles, Bayle's Encyclopedia (some of the more metaphysical articles), and Descartes's Meditations (if Ramsay could find it): 1737 letter to Ramsay]


3. Which early modern philosopher relates this story in a letter?

I myself saw and conversed with a woman at Genoa, a reputed Saint, whose head I met three years after, encircled with rays, to be sold among other pictures in the great square of Leghorn. This same Saint appeared to me very manifestly a vile lying hypocrite, though much extolled and admired.


[Berkeley: 1741 letter to Sir John James]


4. Whom did John Norris call "the great Galileo of the Intellectual World" in his 1701 work An Essay Towards the Theory of an Ideal or Intelligible World?

[Nicolas Malebranche]


5. Which early modern philosopher says that "a right care had of Education, is the only humane means of making People truly Vertuous"?

[Lady Damaris Masham: Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian Life (1705).]


6. The following sentence is found in which work of which author?

The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion.


[David Hume's Natural History of Religion]


7. What is the reason John Locke gives in A Letter Concerning Toleration for treating atheists as an exception to the general principle that error should be tolerated?

[That denial of God's existence makes sacred oaths, promises, and covenants impossible, thus deteriorating the bonds of society; and atheism, not being a religion, cannot claim the privilege of religious toleration.]


8. Famously, Kant says in the Prolegomena that David Hume aroused him from his dogmatic slumber. In a 1798 letter to Garve, what does Kant say aroused him from his dogmatic slumber?

[Discovery of the antinomy of reason]


9. In Siris, George Berkeley suggests that the world has a "Vegetative Soul or Vital Spirit". What does he identify as this world soul?

['Aethereal fire', i.e., light]


10. Leibniz distinguishes between things in relation to which God's power and wisdom are shown and things in relation to which God's goodness is shown. In relation to what is God's goodness shown?

[The city of God, consisting of intelligences in the image of God: cf. Monadology 86; Theodicy 146ff; and Abridgement of the Theodicy, Objection 2]

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