PHL 225 01 Winter 2014 Test Two


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Thursday, 1 May, 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.

Ariel is a film critic. For Ariel movies spark intense, immediate reactions. These reactions then become the subject of reflection: Ariel weighs them against what she knows about film history and the technical ins and outs of making movies. She also considers what other knowledgeable people say about the movie before making her final judgment. Ariel's process of film criticism is very like Hume's description of moral judgment. Consider the act of volunteering to work in a soup kitchen. Explain how, in Hume's terms, the moral evaluation of this act would be similar to the way that Ariel evaluates films.

Blair argues that Mill's moral philosophy is deeply flawed because it counts only pleasure as morally important. Blair thinks that this is a problem because there is more to morality than just physical pleasure. We can see this, Blair argues, because if maximizing physical pleasure really was all there was to morality then the morally right thing for people to do would be to live like pigs. Unfortunately for Blair, this argument against Utilitarianism is based on a mistaken understanding of Mill's moral philosophy. Identify the mistake in Blair's account, and explain how it undercuts Blair's argument.

Chris's three year old daughter is a diabetic. Unfortunately, through 20 months of unemployment as a result of downsizing at work, and the departure of her spouse, Chris has just become homeless too. She has exhausted every form of help for which she qualifies. Passing a "mom and pop" drug store one day while wandering through her city, she takes her daughter inside to warm up. Her daughter runs off to play in the toy aisle and she notices a clerk preparing an order of diabetes medication for a child. (The order is supposed to be picked up later—the intended customer is nowhere in sight.) The phone rings and the clerk goes to answer it. No one else is in the store. The order is completely unwatched.

Chris could easily take the medicine and leave without any adverse consequences (or so let us imagine, for purposes of the case), but she doesn't. Chris, you see, is a thoroughgoing Kantian. Explain, in detail, the reasoning that would guide Chris in her Kantian judgement not to steal the medicine.

Dana and Eddie are having a difference of opinion about Nietzsche. Dana argues that Nietzsche's notion of "transvaluation of values" includes the idea that all values are a complete sham—nothing more than fashionable nonsense. According to Dana, Nietzsche was a nihilist (i.e. someone who thinks that there really is no such thing as moral value). Eddie disagrees, holding that the idea of "transvaluation of values" is really about how it is sometimes healthy and necessary to try to change the values of society. Which one of them is closer to being right: Dana or Eddie? Why? Make sure that you explain the ideas you use from Nietzsche's philosophy as thoroughly as you can in supporting your answer.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License