Quiz #1 (on Philosophy of Science) – answers to true-false questions

Part I (75% -- 5% each) Circle T or F depending on whether the statement is true or false.

T                   1.  Both the logical positivists and Karl Popper were empiricists.

F                    2.  Both the logical positivists and Karl Popper were concerned to distinguish meaningful from meaningless claims.  (I gave half credit for an answer of "true", but Popper emphasized that he was concerned to distinguish scientific from non-scientific claims rather than meaningful from meaningless claims.)

F                    3.  The difference between analytic and synthetic statements is that analytic statements are detailed and precise, while synthetic statements are vague and speculative.  Analytic statements are true by virtue of meanings, while synthetic statements are claims whose truth or falsity depends on how the world is.

T                   4.  Both scientific realists and instrumentalists agree that scientific theories are an important part of science.  Instrumentalists take theories to be important as tools rather than denying that they are important.

T                   5. Scientific realists and instrumentalists disagree mainly about the goals of science and of scientific theorizing.

T                   6. On the assumption that statement (a) is a law, the following argument satisfies the conditions of the deductive-nomological model of explanation for why people are purchasing less gasoline now than a year ago.

                           a.  Whenever the price of a commodity or service increases the quantity people purchase decreases.

                          b.  The price of gasoline is higher now than a year ago.

                          thus  c. People are purchasing less gasoline now than a year ago.

                        c can be deduced from a set of true statements including at least one law

T                   7. On the assumption that statement (a) is a law, the following argument satisfies the conditions of the deductive-nomological model of explanation for why the price of DVDs is not higher now than a year ago.

                           a.  Whenever the price of a commodity or service increases the quantity people purchase decreases.

                           b.  People are not purchasing fewer DVDs this year than a year ago.

                           thus  c. The price of DVDs this year is not higher than a year ago.

                        c can be deduced from a set of true statements including at least one law

T                   8.  Some true synthetic universal generalizations are not laws.  For a possible example, no solid sphere of gold in the inverse weighs more than 10,000 tons.

T                   F                    9.  It is a law of nature that π is an irrational number.  I gave credit either way.  Is a mathematical truth a law of nature?

T                   10. Consider a billiard table with a mirror in the ceiling above it.  Someone hits the cue ball which collides with the 8 ball, which then moves off.  According to Hume's theory of causation the moving image of the cue ball in the mirror causes the image of the 8 ball in the mirror to move.  Given the conditions of Hume's theory, he'd have to say that the images are related as cause and effect. I'm sure he wouldn't want to say this.

T                   11. According to Hume's theory of causation, the only difference between cause and effect is that the cause precedes the effect.

T                   12.  Hume's theory of causation is motivated by his empiricism.  True.  All he can find in his perceptions are constant conjunction, contiguity (possibly) and temporal order.

F                    13. Hume's problem of induction is mainly a problem concerning how generalizations in science can be discovered.  His main concern is justification.

T                   14.  The hypothetico-deductive method is concerned with the confirmation and disconfirmation of scientific claims.  The method says how observation of particular results bears on theories.

T                   15.  According to Bayes' theorem, observing the truth of some prediction of an uncertain hypothesis should (other things being equal) increase its posterior probability more if the prediction is of something improbable.  Pr(H/e) = Pr(H).Pr(e/H)/Pr(e).  So Pr(H/e)/Pr(H) = Pr(e/H).Pr(e).  When Pr(e) is smaller then the ratios on the right-hand and left-hand side are larger.