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1. What is Hume’s Fork and why is it such a problem for Epistemology? Discuss the dilemma and provide examples of the two types of knowledge Hume thinks we can achieve and why each are unsatisfactory. How does Kant’s transcendental idealism potentially solve the Fork? Discuss Kant’s proposed solution. Do you think it is a viable solution or does Hume’s Fork signal the end to any serious epistemological progress? Explain.
2. Discuss the difference between relativism and absolutism as they pertain to morality. Why is it problematic to maintain a strictly absolutist or strictly relativistic approach to ethics? Discuss each of the major ethical theories we have covered – Aristotle’s virtue ethics, Deontology, and Utilitarianism – which are more relativistic and which are more absolutist? Why do you characterize them as such? What are problems with each of these theories? Explain with examples. What is your opinion regarding maintaining an absolutist vs. relativist stance on ethics? Explain.
3. Why do some people argue that it is possible that machines can think? Specifically, what was Turing’s original argument that machine intelligence is conceivable and how do functionalists continue to explore this possibility today? Explain his Imitation Game and how it was supposed to demonstrate A.I. How does Searle’s Chinese Room offer a serious objection to the notion that ‘Intelligence’ is a matter of imitation? Explain his argument. Based on all of this, do you think it’s possible that machines can ever think like humans? Why/why not?