Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Test (Introduction, Chapters 1-8, Summary)

This test has been designed to assess your comprehension of (ITOE) [Expanded Second Edition, April 1990]. Questions have been formed from the Introduction, Chapters 1-8, and the Summary. It is not intended to be an open book test. There are 100 questions - each is worth 1 point. This test can be taken by students before and after reading ITOE (as a pre and/or post-test). Only reading Ayn Rand's fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This assessment can help students of Objectivism and study-group organizers determine the ideal study materials and is not intended to evaluate one's agreement with Objectivism.

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Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Test (Introduction, Chapters 1-8, Summary)

1) The central issue in philosophy is: [p.1]





2) In the history of philosophy, there are, essentially, four schools of thought on the issue of universals: [p.2]





3) Fill in the blank: Consciousness, as a state of awareness, is not a passive state, but an active process that consists of two essentials: ______________________ .[p.5]





4) Chronologically, man’s consciousness develops in three stages: [p.5]





5) Sensations, as such, are retained in man’s memory. [p.5]



6) Man is able to experience a pure isolated sensation. [p.5]



7) Fill in the blank: A _________ is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism. [p.5]





8) Percepts are the given, the self-evident. [p.5]



9) Fill in the blank: ________ is an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members. [p.6]





10) The concept “unit” is a bridge between metaphysics and epistemology. [p.7]



11) Units do not exist qua units. [p.7]



12) The conceptual level of cognition consists of two interrelated fields: [p.7]





13) The process of concept-formation is, in large part, a mathematical process. [p.7]



14) Fill in the blank: ___________ is the science of measurement. [p.7]





15) Fill in the blank: The requirements of a standard of measurement are ________________. [p.7-8]





16) Man’s mathematical and conceptual abilities develop simultaneously. [p.9]



17) Fill in the blank: ____________ is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition. [p.10]





18) Fill in the blank: ___________ is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. [p.10]





19) Fill in the blank: _________ transform concepts into (mental) entities. [P.11]





20) The term “measurement omitted” means that measurements are regarded as non-existent. [p.12]



21) Identify the following definition: The characteristic(s) reducible to a unit of measurement, by means of which man differentiates two or more existences from other existents possessing it. [p.15]





22) Fill in the blank: ________ are concepts of the characteristics of motion (or action). [p.17]





23) Fill in the blank: ________ are concepts of relationships, predominantly of spatial or temporal relationships, among existents. [p.17]





24) Fill in the blank: ________ are concepts of attributes or of characteristics. [p.17]





25) Fill in the blank: ________ belong to the category of concepts of entities. [p.17]





26) Fill in the blank: _________ are concepts of relationships among thoughts, and belong to the category of concepts of consciousness. [p.17]





27) A concept is not formed by observing every concrete subsumed under it, and does not specify the number of such concrets. [p.17]



28) The basic principle of concept-formation is the equivalent of the basic principle of algebra, which states that algebraic symbols must be given some numerical value, but may be given any value. [p.17]



29) The process of cognition moves in two interacting directions: [p.19]





30) Learning to speak consists of memorizing sounds. [p.20]



31) The concept “animal” requires more knowledge than the concept “man.” [p.26]



32) A concept consists of nothing but its distinguishing characteristics. [p.26]



33) The concept “father” requires more knowledge than the concept “man.” [p.27]



34) The formation of a concept provides man with the means of identifying, not only the concretes he has observed, but all the concretes of that kind which he may encounter in the future. [p.27]



35) The process of forming and applying concepts contains the essential pattern of two fundamental methods of cognition: [p.28]





36) Fill in the blank: On the lower levels of awareness, a complex neurological process is required to enable man to experience a sensation and to integrate sensations into percepts; that process is _____________ [p.29]





37) Fill in the blank: ___________ is a process of cognition directed outward – a process of apprehending some existent(s) of the external world. [p.29]





38) Fill in the blank: ___________ is a process of cognition directed inward – a process of apprehending one’s own psychological actions in regard to some existent(s) of the external world, such actions as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc. [p.29]





39) Two fundamental attributes are involved in every, aspect or function of man’s consciousness: _________________ [p.29-30]





40) When a man sees a woman walking down the street, the action of his consciousness is: ________________ [p.30]





41) When a man notes that the woman walking down the street is beautiful, the action of his consciousness is:_______________ [p.30]





42) When a man experiences an inner state of pleasure and approval in regard to another person, the action of his consciousness is: ____________ [p.30]





43) When a man stops to watch a beautiful woman and draws conclusions, from the evidence, about her character, age, social position, etc., the action of his consciousness is: ____________ [p.30]





44) When a man later recalls the incident regarding the beautiful woman he observed walking down the street, the action of his consciousness is: _____________ [p.30]





45) When a man projects that a woman walking down the street would look more beautiful with blond rather than brown hair, the action of his consciousness is: ___________ [p.30]





46) There is no exact method of measuring the intensity of all psychological processes. [p.31]



47) Conceptualization requires the knowledge of exact measurement. [p.31]



48) The formation of introspective concepts does not follow the same principles as the formation of extrospective concepts. [p.31]



49) Fill in the blank: In regard to the concepts pertaining to evaluation (“value,” “emotion,” “feeling,” “desire,” etc.) the hierarchy involved is of a different kind and requires an entirely different type of measurement. It is a type applicable only to the psychological process of evaluation, and may be designated as _______________________. [p.32]





50) Fill in the blank: ________________ deals, not with cardinal, but with ordinal numbers-and the standard serves to establish a graded relationship of means to end. [p.33]





51) Fill in the blank: A moral code is a system of ______________ which grades the choices and actions open to man, according to the degree to which they achieve or frustrate the code’s standard of value. [p.33]





52) Fill in the blank: _______________ has to be preformed in and against an enormous context: it consists of establishing the relationship of a given choice to all the other possible choices and to one’s hierarchy of values. [p.33]





53) Love is immeasurable. [p.34-35]



54) The mere observation of a man in the act of using an object will not convey the concept “property.” [p.37]



55) Is there an object in reality corresponding to the word “and”? [p.37]



56) Is there a fact in reality corresponding to the word “and”? [p.37]



57) If anything were actually “immeasurable,” it would not exist. [p.39]



58) Fill in the blank: ____________ preserve, not the chronological order in which a given man may have learned concepts, but the logical order of their hierarchical interdependence. [p.40]





59) Without exceptions, every concept can be defined and communicated in terms of other concepts. [p.40]



60) Fill in the blank: _____________ are the primary material of consciousness and, therefore, cannot be communicated by means of the material which is derived from them. [p.40]





61) One cannot communicate what color is like, to a person who is born blind. [p.41]



62) Fill in the blank: ___________ definitions are usually regarded as applicable only to conceptualized sensations. But they are applicable to axioms as well. [p.41]





63) Fill in the blank: A definition complies with the two essential functions of consciousness: ________________. [p.41]





64) Fill in the blank: The _______ isolates the units of a concept from all other existents. [p.41]





65) All definitions are contextual. [p.43]



66) A primitive definition does not contradict a more advanced definition. [p.43]



67) Metaphysically, a fundamental characteristic is the one that explains the greatest number of others. [p.45]



68) Epistemologically, a fundamental characteristic is that distinctive characteristic which makes the greatest number of others possible. [p.45]



69) The alternative of true or false is not applicable to definitions, only to “factual” propositions. [P.47]



70) Fill in the blank: A _______ is the condensation of a vast body of observations – and stands or falls with the truth or falsehood of these observations. [p.48]





71) The truth or falsehood of all of man’s conclusions, inferences, thought and knowledge rests on the truth or falsehood of his definitions. [p.49]



72) Identify the following: words that represent attempts to integrate errors, contradictions or false prepositions, such as concepts originating in mysticism – or words without specific definitions, without referents, which can mean anything to anyone. [p.49]





73) It is the simplest concepts that most people find it hardest to define. [p.49]



74) Man’s discriminated awareness begins with concepts. [p.50]



75) When in doubt about the definition o a concept, the best method of clarification is to look for its referents. [p.51]



76) There is a radical difference between Aristotle’s view of concepts and the Objectivist view, particularly in regard to the issue of of essential characteristics. [p.52]



77) Aristotle regarded “essence” as epistemological; Objectivism regards it as metaphysical. [p.52]



78) The essence of a concept is that fundamental characteristic(s) of its units on which the greatest number of other characteristics depend, and which distinguishes these units from all other existents within the field of man’s knowledge. [p.52]



79) The essence of a concept is determined contextually and may be altered with the growth of man’s knowledge. [p.52]



80) Fill in the blanks: The extreme realist (_________) and the moderate realist (__________) schools of thought regard the referents of concepts as intrinsic. [p.52]





81) Fill in the blank: __________ is the identification of a primary fact of reality, which cannot be analyzed, i.e., reduced to other facts or broken down into component parts. [p.55]





82) One cannot analyze or “prove” existence as such, or consciousness as such. [p.55]



83) Existence and identity are attributes of existence. [p.56]



84) Axiomatic concepts are a matter of faith. [p.59]



85) Identify the following concept: It consists of regarding “nothing” as a thing, as a special, different kind of existent. [p.60]





86) Fill in the blank: ________ is a method of expanding man’s consciousness by reducing the number of its content’s units – a systematic means to an unlimited integration of cognitive data. [p.64]





87) Concepts do not represent condensations of knowledge. [p.65]



88) It is crucially important to grasp the fact that a concept is a “closed-ended” classification which does not include the yet-to-be discovered characteristics of a given group of existences. [p.66]



89) Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of communication. [p.69]



90) If man was infallible or omniscient, a discipline such as epistemology would still be necessary. [p.78]



91) Skepticism and mysticism are ultimately interchangeable. [p.79]



92) Only an ineffable consciousness can acquire a valid knowledge of reality. [p.80]



93) The purpose of measurement is to expand the range of man’s knowledge beyond the directly perceivable concretes. [p.83]



94) Similarity is the relationship between two or more existents which process the same characteristic(s), but in different measure or degree. [p.83]



95) Fill in the blanks: Every state of consciousness involves two fundamental attributes: the _________ of awareness, and the ______ of consciousness in regard to that content. [p.84]





96) A definition is false if it does not specify the known relationships among existents (in terms of the known essential characteristics) or if it contradicts the known. [p,85]



97) The range of what man can hold in the focus of his conscious awareness at any given moment is unlimited. [p,86]



98) Fill in the blank: The requirements of _______ control the formation of new concepts, and forbid arbitrary conceptual groupings. [p.86]





99) The motive of all the attacks on man’s rational faculty, is a single basic premise: the desire to exempt consciousness from the law of identity. [p.87]



100) The implicit, but unadmitted premise of modern philosophy is the notion that “true” knowledge must be acquired without any means of cognition. [p.87]



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