PHL 202 01 Fall 2012 Test Two


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Thursday, 13 December, 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 Explain Russell's logical atomism by demonstrating how it would apply to the analysis of this sentence: . "A single, bright red apple is sitting in the center of a small table." Why did Russell think that such analyses were better than plain language descriptions of what is or is not the case?

2. Annie, a Cartesian skeptic, has just read the sentence "A single, bright red apple is sitting in the center of a small table." As it happens there actually is an apple sitting in the center of a small table of the room in which she has read the sentence. Just the same, she refuses to believe that the sentence is true because there is always a chance that we are in a Cartesian demon world. Until we can prove that we are not in such a world, she thinks, we have no right to believe that statements like the one about the apple on the table can be true. How could Annie's friend Beth use Moore's arguments from "A Defence of Common Sense" to respond to Annie's skepticism? (Hint: you will be more successful at this if you describe Moore's argument before applying it to Annie's case!)

3. Cnute is devoted follower of the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle. To pass his time he sorts propositions according to the positivists' verification principle of meaning. Today, he is working on sorting the following three statements:

(1) "A single, bright red apple is sitting in the center of a small table."
(2) "A single, bright red apple is sitting under glass at the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean."
(3) "God has placed a single, bright red apple in the center of a small table in order to make philosophers morally better people."

Using the verification principle, which of these will Cnute classify as meaningful? Why or why not? Be as detailed as you can in your answer. (Hint: you will be more successful at this if you describe the verification principle of meaning first!)

4. Destinee is a friend of poor Cnute, who cannot bear to see him in thrall to such a wrongheaded theory of meaning as logical positivism. The next time they get together for coffee she intends to try to talk him out of his position using Quine's arguments from "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and perhaps Popper's argument that the verification principle of meaning is self-defeating. Select any two of these arguments and explain them in as much detail as you can in order to help Destinee save her friend from his positivistic fate.

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