Phil 100, Lecture 1A, Introduction to Philosophy
Scheduled time: Friday, December 21, 10:30am in Thompson 106
The exam may be taken either as a take-home exam or as an in-class exam.
It is your individual choice. The in-class exam will be given at the time
and place listed above. If you take it as a take-home, you may hand it in
at that time, or at any time before then, to your TA. (Their mailboxes are
in the hallway outside 356 Bartlett.)
In total, you will answer three essay questions, one from each of part A,
part B and part C below. Please answer the questions in essay format. Each
essay should be around a page and a half in length, but this may vary depending
on the question and your writing style. You should aim to make each essay
about three-fourths explanation of the text(s) and the rest a statement and
defense of your own views. If you have any questions about the exam, please
let us know.
Jean Paul and Simone (Aren't they cute?)
PART A: ANSWER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE QUESTIONS
1. Explain in detail Sartre's distinction between being in-itself
and being for-itself, paying particular attention to the temporal
nature of the distinction. Discuss how this relates to the human mind as a
nothingness, and to human freedom and responsibility. Do you agree with Sartre
about the nature of this distinction, and do you agree that it represents
a fundamental division between two types of entities in the world? Why or
2. Explain in detail any three of the following existentialist concepts:
(a) anguish, (b) forlornness, (c) despair, (d) shame
, as well as the philosophical conclusions Sartre reaches with them in mind.
Do you agree with Sartre that these features of experience exist and do you
agree with the conclusions he draws? Why or why not?
3. Discuss any two of the objections to existentialism that Sartre considers
and explain his response to the objections. Do you think that Sartre’s
reply is adequate? Why or why not?
PART B: ANSWER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TWO QUESTIONS
4. Discuss Beauvoir's claim that one is not born, but rather becomes a woman
(or man). What conclusions are drawn from this in terms of what gender is,
what gender is not, and what gender is disguised as being in society? How
does Butler use the example of the song "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman"
to illustrate this? What conclusions does Butler reach about whether or not
it is necessary that we have the genders that we do? Do you believe that
this theory of gender acquisition is correct? Why or why not?
5. Explain in detail two of the four "difficulties" Armstrong believes can
be found with any dualist theory. For each, why does Armstrong reach the conclusion
he does, and, for each, do you agree? Why or why not?
PART C: ANSWER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TWO QUESTIONS
6. Discuss either the theory of personal identity based on the identity
of an immaterial soul given by Sam in the First Night of Perry's dialogue,
or the theory of personal identity based on memory given by Sam and Dave
in the Second Night. Discuss how the theory is developed, what Gretchen's
objections to it are, and how they respond. (Try not to make it merely a
summary of what happened in the dialogue, however. Lay out the view systematically,
and then discuss the criticisms and possible responses.) In the end, do you
think Gretchen succeeds in arguing against the theory?
7. Describe the Julia North case considered in the Third Night of Perry's
dialogue. What are the different viewpoints on the identity of the survivor
held by Sam and Dave on the one hand, and Gretchen on the other? How does
this relate to their different views on what grounds personal identity, what
is most important about questions about personal identity, and whether or
not personal identity is a matter of convention? In light of these discussions,
what do you conclude from this case about the nature of personal identity?
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