PHL 225 03 Fall 2014 Test One


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Monday, 20 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.

Alex and Bilal are debating over the value of a college education. Alex argues that the value of a college education lies only in its usefulness in getting a job after graduation. Bilal holds that while this is true, it is also true that being educated has value in and of itself. Explain their difference of opinion using the technical terminology we used when discussing our reading from Plato's Republic. Which position, that of Alex or Bilal, most resembles Socrates' position on justice? Defend your answer with good reasons.

Chris is studying for an exam on Plato's Republic. On Glaucon's view of justice, Chris's notes say the following:

Glaucon thought that the many value justice for its own sake, and they make agreements and laws to convince everyone that doing good leads to a good life for all, even when doing good goes against self-interest.

Clearly, Chris has made a number of unfortunate errors about Glaucon's view here. Explain and correct Chris's mistakes.

Charlie lives a pleasure-seeking life. When it comes down to any sort of choice, rational deliberation is the last thing Charlie wants to do. It would be fair to say instead that Charlie just follows whatever desire happens to be strongest at the time. According to Aristotle, would Charlie's behavior be in keeping with the proper function of humanity? Why or why not?

Dara has been working at a new job for nearly a year. One day Dara is going through the accounting books and discovers a billing loophole. Exploiting the loophole could give Dara a chance to steal a great deal of money from the company without anyone knowing. Instead of taking the money, Dara reports the loophole to the boss. The boss asks Dara why, and Dara responds "Because stealing is wrong. It's as simple as that." Later that night Dara is telling the story to a group of friends at dinner. None of them can believe Dara except for Eleán, who happens to have been Dara's friend since childhood. "It's true", says Eleán, "In 30 years, I've never seen Dara act any differently."

In revealing the billing loophole to the boss, has Dara exhibited the characteristics of a virtuous person, according to Aristotle? Support your judgment using Aristotle's moral theory.

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