PHL 225 01 Winter 2012 Test One


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Wednesday, 29 February, 2012. The test period will begin at 1:30 and end at 2:45 PM 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.

Amy is a college student pursuing a degree in mathematics. Amy only desires to get her education because it will lead to the kind of employment she thinks she wants to have. Thus, she sees education as having only extrinsic value. Socrates would see what Amy learns in the course of her education as a kind of knowledge. Would he agree with her that the value of the knowledge she acquires in her studies has only extrinsic value? Why or why not? If you think Socrates would disagree with Amy on this point, say which of the three categories of good you think he would put knowledge into and why.

Ben and Carlita are discussing Book II of Plato's Republic. Ben thinks that Adeimantus argues that the gods enforce a divine moral order by punishing wrongdoers in the afterlife. Carlita knows this is wrong. Explain the mistakes in Ben's account that she will she have to correct in order to set him right. What is the correct account of Adeimantus's point of view on this matter?

Imagine a police officer walking past an alleyway late at night and seeing a mugging taking place. What would the virtue of courage require from the police officer? Aristotle would say that courage would not require the same thing of a 110 pound college student with no experience of or training for violent confrontations, but he would also say that both might show courage in such a situation. In what ways is courage the same thing for both persons? Be as thorough as possible in your answer.

Erika works the checkout counter at David's local grocery store. David is attracted to Erika but he cannot think of a way to start a conversation with her. One day, at this grocery store, he sees a customer shoplifting. David is an average person when it comes to telling the truth, and has a vague sense that telling the truth is morally better than lying. In this case, he tells the truth about what he sees, reporting the shoplifter—but not because it's the right thing to do. On the contrary, David tells the truth on this occasion because Erika is working, and reporting the shoplifter gives him a way to break the ice with her.

What would Aristotle say about David's truth-telling in this case? Does it count as a virtuous action? Why or why not? Support your answers with sound reasoning based on Aristotle's moral philosophy.

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