PHL126 01 Fall 2012 Test One


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Monday, 5 November, 2012. The test period will begin at 10:30 and end at 11:45 AM or whenever the last person present finishes. Do NOT be late! No late or make-tests will be scheduled. There will be no exceptions.

2. The blue book you provided will be returned to you with appropriate identification. You may use a pencil or blue or black pen to complete the test. No notes, books, handouts, dictionaries, electronic devices, or any other materials of any kind may be used.

3. Do not write your name anywhere on your test. Please also “double-space” your answers, and write only on the front of the pages. (Don’t worry—you will have plenty of space.)

4. Your test answers should be your own work. Any detectable collaboration will be considered cheating. So will absences from the test longer than five minutes. Cheating will not be tolerated. In keeping with Marygrove College’s academic honesty policy, sanctions up to and including automatic failure of the course may be applied in cases of cheating.

5. This is NOT a research assignment. You are NOT to use outside sources. Usage of verbatim quotations from the textbook and paraphrasing of the textbook are to be used sparingly and kept under three lines per occurrence. If you must use quotations, know that all verbatim quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks. All such quotations, and any paraphrasing of material from the text, must be followed by an appropriate citation. The following simplified format may be used: ([author’s name], [page number from which the text is taken]). The following is an example of the minimally acceptable citation format:

For a verbatim quotation: “Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, far the greatest is the possession of friendship.” (Cahn & Markie, p. 183)

For paraphrasing: Epictetus says that friendship is the most important thing for a blessed life. (Cahn & Markie p. 183)

Failure to cite quoted or paraphrased works properly is plagiarism—the misrepresentation of other’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. In keeping with Marygrove College’s academic honesty policy, the first instance of plagiarism will merit a grade of “0” on the test and the notification of the student’s advisor. Repeated offenses will be met with more serious sanctions. Lecture material does not need to be followed by a citation.

6. Be sure that you address all parts of the question. Be efficient, clear, and thorough in your writing. Keep in mind that this is a test of your understanding of the material, not a solicitation of a manifesto of your own personal philosophy. Stay focused on simply and directly answering the questions.

7. Your answers should be substantive and your points should be supported with evidence (from the text), lecture material and independent argument. All technical philosophical terms (e.g. ‘psychological continuity’, ‘substance’, etc.) should be defined. Charts, graphs, and drawings should not be used. Your answer must be correct and clear. It need not be rhetorically pleasing. That said, basic issues such as grammar, spelling, and structure will all count towards your grade. Clear writing and clear thinking go hand in hand.

8. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at any time. I do not give provisional grades to test answers but I will answer questions about the test insofar as I can without conferring an unfair advantage on anyone.


On the day of the exam the instructor will return your blue book to you with your student number on the outside cover. On the day of the test one of the questions below will be allotted to each student via a random procedure. This means that you have an equal chance of getting any one of the four questions below. The question assigned to you will truly be the luck of the draw. Not even the instructor will know which of the questions you will answer before the day of the test. You will be responsible for answering ONLY the question assigned to you. Do NOT answer the others. No extra credit of any kind will be given.

Below are the questions. These questions will not be altered in any way prior to the exam. They will occur exactly as they are written here. READ EACH QUESTION VERY CAREFULLY and break it into its composite parts before attempting to answer.

1. Armin is a law enforcement officer of ten years. In addition to knowing and following the proper procedures for his profession, he also makes an effort to understand the neighborhoods he routinely patrols. He gets to know the people he sees on a regular basis and he does what he can be trustworthy to them. For example, there are many Spanish-speaking people in his district so he makes an effort to learn Spanish. Apart from his Spanish classes, Armin also goes to night school at the local community college to take classes in psychology, sociology, political science, communication, and social work—not because he intends to leave the force, but because he believes that such general knowledge will make him better at what he does.
Without adding any details to the account just given, explain how you think Sellars would evaluate Armin's efforts to make himself a better police officer through the study of other disciplines. Is Armin's approach to being a better policeman philosophical, according to Sellars? Why (or why not)? Support your answer, be specific and clear, and be sure to make correct use of Sellars' terms and ideas where they apply.

2. Breanna is a libertarian mostly because she thinks that morality would be impossible in a deterministic world. One day she reads Smilansky's article. She completely rejects his reasoning that the deterministic agent would be morally pure on the grounds that she thinks it is inconsistent with Smilansky's assertion that determinism would make the substantive part of morality meaningless. Clearly, Breanna has made a critical mistake. Explain her mistake, and then give a correct account of why Smilansky thinks that the determined agent would be morally pure. Don't omit any relevant details!

3. Since childhood, Charlie has dreamed of nothing else except becoming a doctor. She has worked toward this goal diligently all through college, struggling through the necessary science and math classes for her pre-med major. She will take the MCAT (the graduate entrance examination for medical school) in two months. She is worried about attaining a high enough score to get into a good medical program. One day David, a fellow pre-med student who has a reliable inside connection with the MCAT grading board tells Charlie that he has the answers to this year's MCAT and offers to sell them to her for $300. Charlie can afford this easily, and David's connections make their chances of getting caught near to zero. Charlie now faces a choice: buy the answers and cheat, or do the test on her own.

Are the conditions of Charlie's dilemma right for her action to be an SFA, in Kane's sense? Why or why not? Be thorough and detailed in your answer. (Hint: in order to answer this question you will need to explain in detail what an SFA is.)

4. Eduardo and Faisal are having a discussion about free will. Eduardo's argument for determinism goes like this:

Premise (1): Every event either has a deterministic cause in the physical world or is random.
Premise (2): Human actions are events.
Premise (3): So human actions either have deterministic causes in the physical world or are random.
Premise (4): Human actions are not random.
Conclusion (5): Therefore human actions have deterministic causes.

Faisal has been reading Kane's essay. Which premise of Eduardo's argument would be best for him to challenge using Kane's ideas, and why? Which ideas of Kane's should he use, and how should he use them in his challenge? Be thorough!

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