PHL 276 01 Fall 2012 Test Two


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Monday, 10 December 2012. The test period will be from 1:30 PM to 2:45 PM. 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. One of the questions below will be assigned to you using a random method. 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 ITEM AND THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BELOW VERY CAREFULLY. Make sure that you use the handouts to help you prepare your answers!


1) Determine whether or not the passage contains an argument.
2) If it does contain an argument, put the argument into standard form and write a detailed evaluation of it.
a) If the argument is deductive and has a famous form, name the form.
b) if the argument is dialectically invalid because a fallacy we have studied is committed, name the fallacy
c) No matter what your evaluation of the argument is, support your judgment.
3) If it does not contain an argument, write the type of non argument it is (e.g. report, illustration, etc.) and support your judgment.

1. Professional athletes get paid a lot because they don’t have very long careers, and are subject to crippling injuries that can make them unable to work. If you look at what an athlete makes in the short time they play ball, and then average that out over the time span most people’s careers cover, it’s really not that much different than what a well-paid executive makes.

2. There is no reason to think that there is any such thing as alien abduction—anyone who tells you otherwise is a crank. After all, if the descriptions of alien abductions can be explained in terms of normal brain processes, then the stranger hypothesis that aliens are abducting people has to be rated less likely. It just so happens that alien abductions can be explained in terms of activity in the brain. So, there’s no reason to think that alien abductions actually happen.

3. I have had 4 American-made cars in my life: 2 were Chevrolets and 2 were Oldsmobiles. None of the cars was entirely satisfying. One needed extensive repairs because of manufacturing defects. Three had interiors that were made of poor materials and quickly wore out. All had some other problem like paint that faded quickly, that rusted easily, or had high levels of road noise on the interstate. As a result, I conclude that all American cars are just no good.

4. Professor DiGression, the noted experimental physicist at Cal Tech, argues in his most recent book about science and popular culture that federal funding should not be given to religious charities because they promote belief in God, and belief in God is mistaken and absurd. Therefore federal funding ought not to be given to religious charities.

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