By Editorial Team Last updated: Oct 14, 2022


Part ONE


In one important sense, science, as a (supposedly) consistent body of knowledge about the natural or physical world, is about coherent laws that describe the natural order of things. These physical principles define reality for us; they define what is known using reason and the five senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch.

In contrast, mystical experience is about a direct experience with reality that is beyond the intellect and sensory perception. Seeking a "deeper" insight into the nature of reality, mystical experience may contradict the natural order of things. And if something contradicts the natural order of things, then it presents conflicts with a great deal of what we know about reality. But if something does not cohere with what is known, then it is not a good source of (factual) knowledge.


Action Items

  1. Using the following deductive argument, substitute some mystical experience (that you, a family member, or friend has lived) for the variable x and analyze and evaluate the resulting argument (i.e., use Critical Thinking).
  2. (1) If x conflicts with a great deal of what we know about (an area or field of) science, then x is not a good source of (factual) knowledge.
    (2) x conflicts with a great deal of what we know about (an area or field of) science.
    (3) Thus, x is not a good source of (factual) knowledge.
    Complete this in a Microsoft Word document. Your detailed response must include the following core ideas of Critical Thinking:
    • ANALYSIS: Examine the structure of the argument in detail and symbolize this structure or component parts.
    • EVALUATION: Is the deductive argument valid? Is it sound (= valid + true premises)? If sound, tell why the premises are true.


 Respond to the following items:

  1. What is the relationship between science and philosophy?
  2. Explain how one hypothesis explains the evidence and accounts for it better than another.
  3. What is the difference between direct knowledge and indirect knowledge?
  4. Describe why factual knowledge (also known as propositional knowledge, descriptive knowledge, or declarative knowledge) is important.
  5.  What besides true belief do you need in order to have knowledge?
  6.  When are you justified in believing a proposition to be true?
  7.  When do you have good reason for doubting that a proposition is True?
  8.  What are the sources of knowledge?
  9. Is faith a source of knowledge?



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