Lesson 2: Assignments

Required Reading

Chapter 4 in "The Science Before Science"

Written assignment

What is fundamentally wrong with Descartes famous statement "I think therefore I am."? What is right about it? How does it connect with Godel's Theorem?

What does using Godel's theorem to say we cannot know truth tell us about our current psychological state?

In what sense does everything we know come from the senses?

Why does knowledge always have an element of immateriality to it? Hint: why can't my knowledge of a ball be similar to a ball touching another ball, making contact rather than having to be united with the thing immaterially?

Which of the nine categories of accidents has no analogy in immaterial realm; that is, which must be absent from immaterial being? Of these just listed, which is the basis for the other material accidents?

How do I get my ideas of things?

What is an idea?

Ideas are general whereas phantasms are what?

Is a mathematical circle the same as the idea of a circle? If not what's the distinction?

What does spiritual mean?

Explain the concept of essence: how does it relate to existence?

How are essence and potentiality in the general sense related?

Why is our ability to conceive a pure mathematical triangle proof of the immateriality of the human intellect?

How are the arms and legs of a man related to his substantial form?

What is truth?

In what sense are all things true? Isn't it possible to tell lies?

List the transcendentals and explain what they are.

Why cannot a unified theory of physics, a so-called theory of everything, ever be shown to be necessarily true?

Explain why the material world is the most connatural to man's intellect, yet not easy for him to understand in two other ways related to the nature of abstraction and the level of being of material things.

When we try to understand something, what are we trying to get at about it? Is not cataloging the properties of a thing (defined simply as something separate from other things) sufficient for understanding?

Give one further example of a being of reason. Give one example of a real being.

Why do we say ultimately God is Truth?

In these first lessons, why have we not used the specialized sciences, such as modern physics or biology in our discussions? Are we implicitly saying they are invalid?


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