PHIL 1000: Introductory Philosophy
Take-home Exam Instructions
The exam for our course is cumulative, covering a little bit from each of the subfields we looked at this term: Epistemology, Ethics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, Aesthetics, Feminist Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Action. As you’ll see below, it consists of really short answers, short answers and summary/analysis questions ranging across all of this content.
To be successful on the exam you’ll need a combination of accuracy, argument reconstruction, and analysis – i.e., the skills we have practiced throughout the course.
In studying for and answering the exam questions, you should freely consult the course readings, the course slides, and your notes. There are three sections to the exam, and you must complete all three:
(1) Worth 24 pts. Each of the questions in the Really Short Answers section should be answered in a few sentences (50 words or less). Each question is worth 3 pts.
(2) Worth 36 pts. Each of the questions in the Short Answer section should be answered in 1 paragraph (150 words or less). Each question is worth 6 pts.
(3) Worth 40 pts. Each of the questions in the Summary and Analysis section should be answered in 1 ½ pages (approx. 500 words). Each question is worth 20 pts.
The exam is out of 100 pts. It is worth 30% of your final grade.
The absolute deadline for your exam is Thursday Dec 22. You can (and should try to) submit it before then.
You cannot use any free extension days for this exam, even if you have some left over. There are no late penalties because you cannot submit the exam late at all. The deadline above is the last possible day exams for Fall courses at Carleton can be accepted. Anything that comes in after the deadline has to receive an automatic 0. So please do not wait until the last minute (or even the last day) to submit.
Make absolutely sure that you submit the right file. Again, we cannot accept late submissions, even to correct for mistaken submissions. To prevent this: double-check your file after submission.
Submit your take-home exam only as a pdf or doc/docx file. Very clearly indicate the sections and answers you are providing (e.g., 1(a), 2(c), etc.)
Take-home Exam Questions
(1) Really Short Answers – answer each question in a few sentences (approx. 50 words). Worth 3 pts each.
(a) Epistemology – Does Descartes think his scepticism at the end of Meditation 1 affects a priori knowledge, a posteriori knowledge, both, or neither?
(b) Ethics – Mill thinks that not all pleasures are equal. What does he think makes one pleasure ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than another?
(c) Metaphysics – Come up with an example (one we didn’t use in class) to show the difference between primary qualities and secondary qualities.
(d) Philosophy of Mind – What is the mind-body problem? And how does it relate to the one unbreakable law of metaphysics?
(e) Philosophy of Religion – What is the difference between epistemic rationality and practical rationality?
(f) Feminist Philosophy – Okin thinks we have been too quick to assume that there is no tension between which two things?
(g) Political Philosophy – According to Nussbaum, what is the right sort of equality for us to focus on?
(h) Philosophy of Action – What is compatibilism?
(2) Short Answer – answer each question in 1 paragraph (approx. 150 words). Worth 6 pts each.
(a) Ethics – Explain Enoch’s idea that the so-called ‘spinach test’ helps us understand something important about the nature of moral disagreements.
(b) Metaphysics – Monists and pluralists disagree about how to characterize Cop and Pen. Why does Yablo say that monists think there is one thing in the box and pluralists think there are (at least) two things in the box?
(c) Philosophy of Religion – Anselm thinks that existing in the mind alone is less perfect than also existing in reality. How does he use this distinction to argue for the existence of God?
(d) Aesthetics – Hume thinks that ‘true judges’ are needed for us to explain the true standard of taste. Who are these true judges, and how does they help reveal the standard of taste and beauty?
(e) Feminist Philosophy – Beauvoir argues that “a man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex; it goes without saying that he is a man” (15). Explain what Beauvoir means by ‘woman’ being presented as ‘other’.
(f) Political Philosophy – What are Rousseau’s two arguments for why force or might does not make right?
(3) Summary and Analysis – answer each question in 1 ½ pages (approx. 500 words). Worth 20 pts each.
(a) Philosophy of Religion – Clifford argues in favour of a view that’s now come to be called ‘evidentialism’. He says that “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence” (89). Explain this view, noting how the case of the ship-owner helps illustrate Clifford’s point, and then provide a short analysis.
(b) Political Philosophy – Hobbes thinks the State is justified (in principle) because it arises as a way out of the state of nature. Explain why Hobbes thinks the state of nature is so terrible, how the Leviathan provides a way out of it, and then provide a short analysis.
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