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Friday, March 24, 2006

Sweet relief, for now

Well, I finished my PhD qualifying exams this morning. The first one on the history of modern philosophy was yesterday and went well. I answered the three questions that I was really hoping were going to be on the exam:
  1. What is the charge of circularity against Descartes in the Meditations and how could one defend Descartes against this charge?
  2. Explain the view of creation as held by Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza. Be sure to include Descartes' discussion of the creation of eternal truths, Leibniz's divine calculus, and Spionza's necessitarianism.
  3. What is Locke's view on the primary/secondary quality distinction? How does he argue for this distinction? How does Berkeley critique Locke's view? Does Berkeley misunderstand Locke?

This morning I took the exam on metaphysics and epistemology and, again, the questions I wanted to be on the test most were there:
  1. What is the ontological argument for the existence of God and what are the objections to it? How does it stand up to those objections?
  2. What is (are) the main problem(s) of free will? What is a compatibilist response to the problem(s)? How does compatibilism stand up to objections raised against it?
  3. What is Gettier's objection to the traditional account of knowledge? What are the possible responses to that problem? How do the responses fair to objections?

I feel really good knowing that I answered everything that I wanted to and don't think I forgot anything that was crucial to the arguments. My only concern is that in preparing my notes and outlines, I may have overlooked or forgotten something important and because of that, it didn't end up on the exam. I don't think that is a real plausible scenario, but it is plausible at least.
So, I leave with another request. Please continue to pray for favor among the 5 professors that will be grading the exam. I need to get a 'high pass' to continue in the program. I'll keep you updated.

Grace and peace,

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