PHL 126 03 Fall 2014 Test One


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Tuesday, 28 October, 2014. 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.

Angel has decided to become an Elementary School math teacher. Suppose Angel further wishes to pursue this path in the manner of Sellars' ideal of the "philosophically minded" practitioner of a special discipline. Explain this ideal. What would Angel have to do to accomplish this goal? Support your answer.

Eisha, a determinist, and Frankie, a libertarian, are discussing the problem of free will. Eisha argues that indeterminism would actually diminish free will, because it would entail that human actions are completely random. Frankie is a student of Kane's work on free will. Using Kane's essay as background, describe an argument Frankie could use to counter Eisha's argument. In your answer, make sure that you describe the role the luck principle plays in their debate.

Since childhood, Charlie has dreamed of nothing else except becoming a doctor. This is a goal Charlie has pursued all through school, struggling through the necessary science and math classes for his College pre-med major. In two months Charlie will take the MCAT (the graduate entrance examination for medical school). Despite all the effort thus far, Charlie is worried about attaining a high enough score to get into a good medical program because the math and science courses in the pre-med major have been so difficult. One day Blair, a fellow pre-med student who has a reliable inside connection with the MCAT grading board offers to sell Charlie the answers to this year's test for $300. Charlie can afford this easily, and Blair's connections make his chance of getting caught near to zero. Charlie now faces a choice: buy the answers and cheat, or do the test honestly.

Are the conditions of Charlie's dilemma right for his action to be an SFA, in Kane's sense? Why or why not? Be thorough and detailed in your answer.

Consider the following argument against hard determinism:

1. If hard determinism is true then every event happens because of non-human causes (i.e. because of biological or chemical or other physical causes outside of human choice or control).
2. If every event happens because of non-human causes, then humans cannot be held responsible for their actions.
3. If humans cannot be held responsible for their actions, then no one is ever deserving of praise or blame.
4. If no one is ever deserving of praise or blame, then all of morality is destroyed.
5. We should reject the total destruction of morality.
6. Therefore, we should reject hard determinism.

Which premise of this argument would Smilansky reject, and why? Be as thorough as you can in your answer.

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