Phl 276 01 Summer 2014 Test Two


1. This test will be held in class at the start of class on Thursday, 31 July 2014. The test period will be from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM or when the last person present at 8:30 finishes, whichever comes first. 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. 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 QUESTION VERY CAREFULLY and break it into its composite parts before attempting to answer.

The following dialogue contains a shift in type. Read the dialogue and answer questions (a)-(d) about it. Explain your answers in detail and support them well. Use the numbers at the left to refer to specific places in the dialogue.

1 Sammie: Have you seen the news about the light rail proposal?
Devon: No. What does it say?
2 Sammie: They say that they can connect Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Detroit by light rail by the end of 2015, and that they won't have to raise taxes to pay for it.
Devon: That sounds like a good idea. It would help people in urban centers find work in the suburbs.
3 Sammie: Maybe. Business in the suburbs have to be supported too in order for there to be jobs to get to in the first place. Anyway, the notion that they can do it without raising taxes doesn't strike you as ridiculous?
Devon: No. They could finance the project with municipal bonds. It might even be a good way of bringing jobs and industry to our area.
4 Sammie: Municipal bonds?! You must be some kind of idiot. Who is going to buy bonds from our bankrupt state anyway? We're not talking about monopoly money here.
Devon: The state's not bankrupt. You're making it sound worse than it is. What do you have against light rail anyway? What is wrong with helping people in urban centers get jobs? But then I guess you don't care about them, do you.
5 Sammie: I never said that! I said the proposal was ridiculous because there wasn't any money for it. You aren't listening to me at all, are you?
Devon: I'll bet you wouldn't be so grim about it if the money was going to be for business investments instead of something that would actually help working people. You "free-market" types are all alike!

(a) At what point, exactly, does the dialectical shift occur?
(b) Is it a licit (i.e. legitimate) or illicit shift?
(c) Does it happen according to a deplacement or a glissement?
(d) The dialogue begins as an information-seeking dialogue. What type of dialogue is it at the end? What makes it this type of dialogue?

Kris and Dusty are neighboring farmers who want to go in together to construct water-retention system for their land. Neither one has any prior knowledge of how to construct such a system or what the project will involve. What overall type of dialogue should they have, and why? Assuming they stay focused and good-tempered, what shifts in dialogue types might they experience along the way? Why?

3. Consider the following argument and answer the questions that follow:

If the US credit rating falls through then no one's gonna buy our bonds and the economy is gonna be in deep trouble. There's no two ways about it. Look, if the US credit rating goes down there will be less incentive for people to buy government bonds. And if there is less incentive for people to buy government bonds, they will eventually stop buying them and the economy will suffer. So if the US credit rating goes down, the bonds won't get sold and our economy is going to be in the tank.

a) Write the argument in standard form.
b) Is this argument valid or invalid?
c) Does this argument have a famous form? If so, what is it?

4. Read the following argument from authority and answer the questions that follow:

Kermit Folderol is an expert theoretical physicist at a major private research facility engaged in the study of sub-atomic particles. Folderol says in his recent best-selling book that federal funding should not be used for religious charities because religion is based on the mistaken and absurd belief in God. Therefore, federal funding should not be given to religious charities.

(a) Is this argument from authority legitimate or not? Why?
(b) If this argument from authority is legitimate, then evaluate the argument and support your evaluation.
(c) If this argument from authority is NOT legitimate, then say what type of failed argument from authority it is, and defend your judgment.

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