Phl 126 01 Winter 2012 Test One


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Tuesday, 28 February, 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.

Suppose someone you know were to object to Sellars' account of philosophy as follows: "Sellars thinks philosophy is so much more special than any other discipline, as if philosophers were the only ones who see things the way they really are while the investigations of those in the so-called special disciplines only deal with tiny little parts of the picture. What do philosophers know anyway? All they do is sit around and make up whatever they want to believe!"

Clearly this person is wrong about what Sellars says. Explain and correct the mistakes in what the objector says using what you know about what Sellars actually believes.

Janet is a pharmacist of ten years. In addition to knowing and following the proper procedures for his profession, she also makes an effort to understand the neighborhoods from which her customers come. She gets to know the people she sees on a regular basis and she does what she can be trustworthy to them. For example, there are many Spanish-speaking people in her neighborhood so she makes an effort to learn Spanish. Apart from her Spanish classes, Janet also goes to night school at the local community college to take classes in psychology, sociology, communication, and social work—not because she intends to leave her job for a better-paying one, but because she believes that such general knowledge will make her better at what she does.

Without adding any details to the account just given, explain how you think Sellars would evaluate Janet's efforts to make herself a better pharmacist through the study of other disciplines. Is Janet's approach to being a better pharmacist 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.

Dr. Chad Cerveau, a leading neuroscientist, claims to have invented something remarkable. Here's how it works. The brain of a lemur is implanted with an incredibly high number of sophisticated, microscopic devices that record, in detail, all the electro-chemical patterns in the lemur's brain. The signals from all these devices are sent via a bundle of cables to a powerful computer. The computer translates the signals from the lemur's brain into electro-chemical signals that are processable by a human brain. These signals are then transmitted, via a sophisticated helmet, to the brain of a human test subject.

According to Nagel, would the human test subject know what it's like to be a lemur after the experiment? Why or why not?

Amir thinks that the conclusion of Nagel's arguments in "What is it Like to be a Bat?" are that physicalism is false and that substance dualism (the theory that both physical stuff and non-physical "mental" stuff exists) is true. Explain, in as much detail as you can, exactly why Amir's interpretation of the conclusion of Nagel's arguments is incorrect. Support your explanation.

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