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Introduction to philosophy exam 1


For exam one, you will be choosing 4 questions from the study guide/questions list. You can only choose one question per section (eg, you cannot choose two questions from section 1).

You will write anywhere from 2-4 paragraphs for each question you choose (they can be longer!).

You will be uploading your finished exams to canvas before the due date. In total, your exam should  be around 1300-1500 words (but can be longer!).

The answers should follow the instructions on the top of the SG. But here are a few pointers:

In writing your answers, you should keep in mind that you are talking to a fellow student who is not taking our class. So, you will need to give context, explain ideas, and even source/cite material. Like as if you were writing a really good (academic) blog post.

You will use all the relevant material from our first unit/module. This means, at times, you will be using multiple sources in your answers. I don’t demand actual citations, but referencing lectures, texts (textbook material and the dialogues), and anything else we have covered will be crucial.

YOU CANNOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES! Only material from our textbook and canvas are allowed.

All in all, this should not be considered lightly. I have given you three weeks to finish this project and your first major paper is due the same week, so don’t let things slip!!

You will be uploading to canvas/turnitin so please avoid copy/pasta from the internet or from working with your friends (as always, some very minor overlap can happen but you must write your own work!).

General Advice: Write as if you are speaking to another student who is not enrolled in our class. They have interest but do not have the context or the background necessary to understand your answer. So, you should ELABORATE, GIVE EXAMPLES, PUT THINGS IN CONTEXT, and/or everything else that may help you explain your answer to your buddy. Don’t forget to also review the instructions on the submission page.

The Checklist:

Remember to ask yourself all the important checklist type questions:

Did I answer every part of the question?

Did I fully explain any concepts, ideas, thought experiments, arguments, etc… necessary for a layperson to understand your answer to the question?

Did I base my answers on what I learned from class (the lectures, the textbook, our discussions, related coursework, etc…)?

Did I provide reasons for my own claims (backed up my claims with evidence, logic, or sensible assumptions (depends on the context*)?

Did I avoid using sources from outside the class material?

As a shorthand (rough guide), did I write 2 paragraphs (6 to 10 sentences each) or more?

Did I use examples to illustrate points or concepts?

For awesome answers: Did I cite the textbook or primary readings? Did I draw connections between course subject matter and my life/literature/culture/society/etc…? Did I write a minimum of 3-4 long/detailed paragraphs or more?


Possible Exam Questions:
Section One (Pick One):
1.What is the “Wondering” conception of philosophy? If it’s deficient, explain how (that is, explain what it’s missing). Give examples of both (the conception itself and an example of the deficiency if it has one). In the end, if this conception does not capture it, what is philosophy?
2.What is the “Enduring Questions” conception of philosophy? If it’s deficient, explain how (that is, explain what it’s missing). Give examples of both (the conception itself and an example of the deficiency if it has one). In the end, if this conception does not capture it, what is philosophy?
3.What is the “Dialectical” conception of philosophy? If it’s deficient, explain how (that is, explain what it’s missing). Give examples of both (the conception itself and an example of the deficiency if it has one). In the end, if this conception does not capture it, what is philosophy?
4.What is one end-view or goal of the philosophy (and explain it)? Your answer should include an example from your life or the Socratic dialogues that you are able to connect to the end-view
5.What is an inductive /deductive argument? Name one KIND of each argument then give an example of each.
6.What is soundness/validity? Can we have one without the other? Give an example of each.
7. Pick two fallacies and explain them using/with your own examples (can be news, real-life, fiction, etc…).
Section Two (Pick One):
1.By what means does Socrates attempt to investigate the world? What are his methods? How does these methods reflect a commitment to critical thinking, if at all?
2.In the Apology, we read that Socrates prefers death to acting unjustly. Why? Is this a standard we should hold ourselves to? Why or why not?
3.In the Apology, Socrates maintains that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” And yet it seems to be the case that many – if not most – human beings live their lives without ever spending any time reflecting on the meaning and purpose of their lives. What are the implications of Socrates’ position? Why do you think he felt it was so important to be able to critically examine one’s life?
4.Socrates argues that the person who knows how little they know is wiser than the one who thinks she knows it all. Explain his argument/position. Does this position make any sense? Why or why not?
5.In the Apology, Socrates argues that the good person need not fear death. What is his argument(s)? Do you think that this is true? Why or why not?

6.Socrates says that he cannot be held responsible for the conduct of those who have talked with him or heard him speak. Why not? Do you agree? (Please explain the context)
7. What are the charges brought against Socrates by Meletus? What is Socrates’ response to these charges? Enumerate and explain.
8. What does Socrates take to be the meaning of the Delphic oracle? What distinction in wisdom/knowledge (are there different kinds?) does he draw? What is human wisdom, according to Socrates? What do you consider to be human wisdom? Do you agree with Socrates (explain why or why not)?
9.Why has Socrates avoided public office? How could we say that even though he is not part of politics, he is still “political”? -Please give examples of your own on how someone can be political and not take part in politics to help make your point-
10.Why does Socrates not appeal to the Assembly for mercy? How would this undermine his commitment to being a critical thinker?
11.Why does Socrates believe that the unexamined life is not worth living? What constitutes human virtue/good, according to Socrates? What is the relationship between human virtue and human happiness, on his view? Does this make sense to you? Why or why not?
12.Why does Socrates believe that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit it? Why does he maintain that a good man cannot be harmed?
13. In the Apology, Socrates claims that “[t]he true champion of justice, if he intends to survive even for a short time, must necessarily confine himself to private life and leave politics alone.” Do you agree with Socrates here? Is this true in some sorts of societies in particular? Is it true in the USA today? (Maybe read “survive” in not so literal a fashion.)
14. Why does Socrates think that the Athenians would be harming themselves rather than harming Socrates if they put him to death? What service has he provided the city of Athens by philosophizing there?
15. Do you think Socrates is wise to disregard the possibility that he may die if he does not please the court?
16 .How does Socrates interpret the pronouncement of the Oracle of Delphi that no one is wiser than he? Do you think that the sort of wisdom he claims to possess is really wisdom? How does he use the realization from the Oracle to defend himself against the charge of impiety?
17 .What is Socrates’ argument for the claim that it is impossible that he corrupts the young willingly? Is his argument convincing? Why or why not?

18.Socrates says that he cannot be held responsible for the conduct of those who have talked with him or heard him speak. Why not? Do you agree? Please give parallel modern day examples that help make your point.
Section Three (Pick One):
1. What are Euthyphro’s various attempts to define piety (or holiness) and what are Socrates’ objections to these definitions? Who gets the better of the argument? Why? What definition for piety would you give Socrates?
2. If no satisfactory definition is proposed, what is the use of the entire discussion in this dialogue? How could you claim that the dialogue was still, in a way, a success?
3.What exactly is wrong with Euthyphro’s first definition of piety? What kind of account of piety would satisfy Socrates? Can you give me an example with a different concept?
4.What is The Euthyphro about (what’s the back story, what’s the issue)? Who are the interlocutors? How do they meet?
5.What difference does it make whether the pious is loved by the gods because it is pious, or pious because it is loved? Which does Socrates believe is the right fork to go down? Why? How does one side of the fork amount to an appeal to authority and why is this problematic? Please give examples using your own concepts (eg, “chair”)
Section Four (Pick One):
1. Can we be certain that the way the world appears corresponds to the way it really is? Why or why not?
2. Does knowledge require certainty? Why or why not?
3. How does Descartes try to close the gap between appearance and reality? Is he successful? Why or why not?
4. What is the Cartesian circle? Is there a way out? What is it?
5. How does Berkeley try to close the gap between appearance and reality? Is he successful? Why or why not?
6. How would Berkeley deal with this question: If a tree fell in a forest and no one was around to hear it, would it make a sound?
7. Is it inconceivable for something to exist unconceived? Why or why not?

8. What are Parmenides’s arguments for the impossibility of change? Zeno’s? Do you find them convincing?
9. What is Descartes Dream Argument? Evil Genius Argument? What are they meant to do (convince us of)? Do you find them convincing?
10. The ultimate virtual reality machine would present a world so real that we couldn’t tell that it was fake. Can you know that you’re plugged into this machine right now? If not, what difference does it make?
11. Descartes assumes that we can be certain about our mental states. Is that true? Could you be mistaken about your mental states? Could you be mistaken that you are in pain? If so, what does this mean for the Cartesian project?
12. Can the epistemic principles that Descartes uses to prove the existence of the external world also be used to prove the existence of other minds? Why or why not?
13. Do you think the argument from illusion requires the postulation of sense-data? Are there other ways of accounting for illusions?
14. Must a representative realist believe that some sense-data actually resemble the qualities of material objects? Is it enough if the sense data just represent the qualities of material objects? Why or why not?
15. Do you think the argument from illusion requires the postulation of sense-data? Are there other ways of accounting for illusions?
16. Is there any difference between a perfect illusion and the real thing? If so, what is that difference?
17. Science and Faith Thought Probe in 7.1 (5th edition, pg 560-Other editions should have the same thought probe should be in other editions)
18. Constructing Reality Thought Probe in 7.1 (5th edition, pg 564-“”)
19. Hypthothesizing the Eternal World Thought Probe in 7.2 (5th edition, pg 572-“”)

In-Class Reading (also attached as a pdf):

“Why Study Philosophy?” by Peter Hacker


Extra Material:

Why (YOU SHOULD!!!) study philosophy? (Click Philosophy)

Why study Philosophy?


https://www.csueastbay.edu/philosophy/great-major.html (Links to an external site.)

https://sites.google.com/site/whystudyphilosophy/ (Links to an external site.)

https://philosophyisagreatmajor.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Why we NEED philosophy? (Cause ISIS sucks bro and they hate it! I’m kidding…)

Why We Need Philosophy (Links to an external site.)

What is Philosophy from Crash Course (his approach is commendable and well done). Ask yourself after you watch this: Why does the presenter think we should study philosophy?)

What is Philosophy?: Crash Course Philosophy #1 (Links to an external site.)

Philosophy as Therapy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-relating-existing/201403/philosophy-therapy (Links to an external site.)

Is Philosophy Stupid? (No, but sometimes — It depends on how you do it!)

Is Philosophy Stupid? – Richard Carrier – Skepticon 6 (Links to an external site.)


What is Philosophy?

Lecture related links:


Aristotle on being

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-metaphysics/#RoleSubsStudBeinQuaBein (Links to an external site.)]

Talking about nothing

Enduring Issues/Questions

Freedom vs Security: Freedom at any cost? (Links to an external site.)

Living a Good Life: Aristotle on ‘Flourishing’ (Links to an external site.)

More What is….

What is Philosophy?: Crash Course Philosophy #1

Branches of Philosophy (Links to an external site.)

The Ends of Philosophy

What Is a Good Life?: Crash Course Philosophy #46

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra1Dmz-5HjU (Links to an external site.)


How philosophy can save your life | Jules Evans (Links to an external site.)

Arthur Schopenhauer Philosophy: He Made Me a Pessimist. But Then He Helped Me Enjoy Life (Links to an external site.)


Intro to Arguments:

Please check out these websites/videos for review in addition to DOPH 1.2

PreClass: http://people.umass.edu/ klement/100/logic.html (Links to an external site.)

PostClass: http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ded_ind.html (Links to an external site.) <— You can start here and finish the subsequent page (to review Truth, Validity, and Soundness) also.

Quick self-check quiz (Inductive and Deductive)


Quick self-check quiz (validity)


Video Review of Arguments:

Episode 1.3: Deductive and Inductive Arguments (Links to an external site.)

Wireless Philosophy – Intro to Critical Thinking Series (Links to an external site.)


Informal Fallacies:

Read DOPH 1.3 and…

Some videos for review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qb-h0sXkH4 (Links to an external site.)

Video playlist with every fallacy we’ll be going over and more!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz0n_SjOttTcxvEUVgyvuQN0vneqO917_ (Links to an external site.)

A website with good info on Fallacies:


Politicians and Logic (“How Trump and Friends Could Learn Something From Mr. Spock”):


Trump (15 fallacies in 3 mins… in 22 mins):


Yes, it’s called “Logicallyfallacious.com,” deal with it.


Cognitive biases

12 Cognitive Biases Explained – How to Think Better and More Logically Removing Bias (Links to an external site.)


Why You Should Sample Ideas You Disagree with, and Be Skeptical of Celebrity Journalists (Links to an external site.)

How not to have a conversation (about health) (Links to an external site.)

4 Ways Quacks Manipulate Their Audiences (Links to an external site.)


Epistemology – Supp_Links 1

To Begin

The Epistemic Regress Problem – Epistemology | WIRELESS PHILOSOPHY (Links to an external site.)

Ancient Rationalism:

Is Change Impossible? – 8-Bit Philosophy (Links to an external site.)

The Presocratics: Crash Course History of Science #2 (Links to an external site.)

Three Minute Philosophy: Heraclitus &amp; Parmenides (Links to an external site.)

What Is Something? (Links to an external site.)

Interested in a cool version of the Allegory of the Cave?

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave – Alex Gendler (Links to an external site.)

What is Real? (Plato&#39;s Allegory of the Cave) – 8-Bit Philosophy (Links to an external site.)

Allegory of the Cave and the Matrix:

The Matrix and the Cave YouTube (Links to an external site.)

https://vimeo.com/368881095 (Links to an external site.) – Vimeo version

Rationalism, Logic, and Math

Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS (Links to an external site.)

Don’t forget to watch this awesome video about Descartes’s Skepticism (Modern Rationalism).

Can We Be Certain of Anything? (Descartes) – 8-Bit Philosophy (Links to an external site.)

Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument (Links to an external site.)

What about another cool video about visual illusions?

PHILOSOPHY – Epistemology: Paradoxes of Perception #1 (Argument from Illusion) [HD] (Links to an external site.)

Seeing hallucinations in the brain (Links to an external site.)

Creating REAL HALLUCINATIONS Without Drugs (Links to an external site.)


Are Colors Real? (Links to an external site.)


Epistemology – Supp_Links 2


Locke, Berkeley, & Empiricism: Crash Course Philosophy #6 (Links to an external site.)

Berkeley’s Idealism | Philosophy Tube (Links to an external site.)


Abduction – Which is the best inference/theory?

Abduction (Inference to the Best Explanation) (Links to an external site.)

CRITICAL THINKING – Fundamentals: Abductive Arguments (Links to an external site.)

How to Argue – Induction & Abduction: Crash Course Philosophy #3 (Links to an external site.)


Philo. of Mind – Supp_Links 1

POM – Intro Material and Descartes’s Dualism (and more)

Where Does Your Mind Reside?: Crash Course Philosophy #22 (Links to an external site.)

The Mind Body Problem (Links to an external site.

PHILOSOPHY – History: Descartes&#39; Cogito Argument [HD] (Links to an external site.

Descartes, Keanu Reeves, and Yugioh. 

Cartesian Dualism – Philosophy Tube (Links to an external site.)

Causal Closure (of the physical)

Where Does Energy Come From? | Martin Archer | Ask Head Squeeze (Links to an external site.)

What happens to Your Atoms after you die? The Immortal Infinite Journey. (Links to an external site.)

Why Quantum Information is Never Destroyed (Links to an external site.)

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