Conjectures and Refutations | Online Assignment Help

1 What is Popper’s primary project in “Conjectures and Refutations”?

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· Distinguish science from non-science

· Distinguish good science from bad science

· Distinguish true science from false science

· None of the above answers are correct

2 According to Popper…

· Science is the only activity or practice that utilizes induction

· Non-scientific activities or practices can be inductive

· Astrology is never inductive

· Other activities or practices besides science utilize induction

3 Which of the following according to Popper is a genuine science?

· Relativity

· Psychoanalysis

· Marxism

· Individual Psychology

4 Popper endorses which of the following?

· Falsificationism

· Verificationism

· Faith

· Confirmationism

5 Popper favors theories that display what feature?

· Riskiness

· Popularity

· Explanatory power

· Intuitiveness

6 What should scientific tests do according to Popper?

· Attempt to show the a theory is wrong

· Attempt to show a theory is right

· Attempt to show a theory is viable

· Attempt to show a theory could be better

7 When a theory is not refuted, according to Popper, what should scientists do?

· Accept it

· Continue to try to falsify it

· Continue to try to support it

· Deny that it is scientific

8 Reinterpreting or adding to a theory that is found to be false according to Popper…

· Still results in a false theory

· Renders the theory non-scientific

· Results in a true theory

· Is impossible

9 Marxism, according to Popper…

· Never made any predictions

· Was found to be false

· Was reinterpreted by its followers

· Is clearly a science

10 What does Popper think about the origin of scientific theories?

· They must emerge from other scientific theories

· They can arise from myths or untested ideas

· He doesn’t think they are important

· None of the above

Laurie Paul, “What you Can’t Expect When You’re Expecting”

In this selection, Laurie Paul discusses a puzzle regarding momentous decision we will face during our lives which, as a result of our deciding one way or another, will result in vastly different life experiences and will change us as persons. The article serves as an brief introduction to decision theory, an application of the study of the methods by which we gain knowledge to a practical problem, and a challenge to conventional thought regarding some of our choices.

Paul’s puzzle revolves around the case of trying to decide about whether or not to have children. This choice, she argues, is one in which the decision, either for or against, merits the use of a decision-making procedure that involves an assessment of how the choice will impact our well-being. The relevant question for us is which choice is better in this sense.

However, if we are to assess the possible outcomes given our choice either for or against, we face the problem of how we could know what our lives would be like. What our lives will be like is what will give us insight into how things will go for us—what the value of each choice will be. But since we have not made the various choices yet, we have yet to undergo the relevant experiences. And, much like Mary in the black and white room, there is no other way it seems that we could garner the relevant knowledge.

Paul goes on to discuss a number of possible responses to her puzzle which include alternative methods by which we might gain the relevant knowledge other than undergoing the experience itself and different decision-making procedures we might entertain as alternatives to the normative model she discusses.


1. Compare and contrast Mary’s case with the decision to have a child? In what ways do you think they are the same? In what ways are they different? Do you think they are similar or different in ways that differ from what Paul thinks?

2. Do you think there are ways to gain knowledge of what-it’s-like (to do or undergo anything) in ways that do not involve having the relevant experience? If so what are they?

3. Paul spends some time at the end of the paper reflecting on the implications of her conclusion. What do you think are the implications of her conclusion?

Multiple-Choice Questions

1. Scenario describes…

a. Mary’s choice about whether to leave the black and white room.

b. An ideal case of rational decision-making.

c. A choice that does not involve the assessment of the values of outcomes.

d. A commonly faced difficult choice that will have profound lasting impacts on the person who makes it.

2. Which of the following are NOT important inputs into rational decision-making in the ideal case?

a. The probability of an outcome occurring given the choice to act in a certain way.

b. The value of the outcomes.

c. Allowances for false beliefs we might regarding the choice.

d. A complete determination of all the available choices.

3. What values does Paul focus on in her discussion of the decision faced by the person in Scenario?

a. What a life lived by that person will be like for them.

b. What effects their choice will have on those who are in their immediate family.

c. The quality of life of the child.

d. The impact having a child will have on the rest of the world.

4. What does it mean for an experience to be epistemically transformative?

a. It will be one that you always want to undergo.

b. It gives you knowledge of something in a way that other sources of knowledge will not be able to provide.

c. It leaves you certain about your future.

d. It changes what you care about.

5. What is the difference between an epistemically transformative experience and a personally transformative experience?

a. There is no difference.

b. Epistemically transformative experiences are easy while personally transformative experiences are difficult.

c. Epistemically transformative experiences give you knowledge in a unique way while personally transformative experiences change who you are

d. Having a child is only an epistemically transformative experience

6. What does Paul conclude about the choice in Scenario?

a. It can’t be a rational one.

b. It’s easier to make the longer you think about it.

c. It will be a choice that we won’t be able to make either way.

d. It’s not analogous to Mary’s choice.

7. Which of the following factors is NOT one Paul discusses as a reason why having a child is epistemically transformative?

a. The physicality of carrying the child and giving birth

b. Seeing a child of your own for the first time

c. Chemical and hormonal changes that occur in caring for a child

d. What other people tell you their experience of having a child was like

8. How does Paul respond to the argument that we can gain the knowledge of what it’s like to have a child of our own from other experiences?

a. No one is willing to describe what it is like

b. Other children may not be around for us to experiment with

c. Having a novel experience of a certain food is unlike having a novel experience of having a child of your own

d. The experiences you could have are not similar enough to the experiences that will give you knowledge of what it’s like to have a child of your very own

9. Which of the following alternative decision-making models does Paul NOT consider as ways to make the choice in Scenario?

a. Decide conservatively—make the safest choice.

b. Optimism—choosing the choice with the outcome that has the highest value.

c. Duplicate testing—a perfect physical duplicate of yourself undergoes the choices in Scenario

d. Randomness—just flip a coin

10. What is involved in the last decision-making procedure that Paul considers?

a. The lack of consideration of empirical evidence about the well-being of parents

b. Clear evidence that parents are happier than non-parents

c. License to contribute to the ending of the species

d. A counterintuitive directive to ignore one’s own preferences

T/F Questions

11. We’re always wrong (in that we make the choice that will make things go worse for us) no matter what we choose in Scenario.

12. Lewis thinks that the case of just being told that Marmite resembles Vegemite will impart knowledge to someone about what Vegemite tastes like.

13. Paul thinks only mothers can undergo the epistemically transformative experience of having a child of one’s own.

14. Mary is an expert on the physical aspects of the color red—she just hasn’t had the experience of seeing it.

15. In the real world, making decisions according to the Ideal Model of decision-making is often impossible since we have to make estimates about the relevant values of each outcome.

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