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PHILOSOPHY 101

MIDTERM #1 PRACTICE EXAM


INSTRUCTOR: WILBURN
SPRING 2008

101 EXAM #1

Note: Implicitly take each of the following questions to be prefaced by the phrase
"According to Schick and Vaughn in "Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through
Thought Experiments." That is, to allow for unique answers, the following questions are
about what the authors say and conclude in the textbook we are using for the class.

This exam is very much like the actual in-class exam you will take, both in terms of style
and the kind of content covered. It is a little longer than the in-class exam, however, to
provide you with extra practice.

Chapter 1 - The Philosophical Enterprise

True/False

1. It is logically possible for an triangle to not have three interior angles. (F)

2. Is it logically possible for a brick to float in the air. (T)

3. Is it logically possible for pigs to fly. (T)

4. Is it logically possible to live to be 900 years old. (T)

5. Theories cannot be tested in isolation. (T)

6. Positive instances cannot conclusively confirm a theory. (T)

7. Philosophical theories cannot be tested in any way. (F)

8. Philosophical problems are unsolvable because there are no better and worse answers in
philosophy. (F)

9. A thought experiment can be criticized if a variable other than the one under investigation
could have produced the result. (T)

10. Thought experiments are used in science as well as in philosophy. (T)

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Multiple Choice (Correct answers are marked with an asterisk.)

11. Which of the following statements is a test implication for the theory that "all birds can fly"?
*a. If all birds can fly, then penguins can fly.
b. Helicopters should be considered birds.
c. Penguins are not birds.
d. Penguins are birds or they can fly.
e. No insects are birds.

12. Philosophical problems arise from the realization that some our most fundamental beliefs __
each other.
a. reinforce
b. are disconnected from
*c. are inconsistent with
d. provide explanations for
e. are derivable from

13. Thought experiments transform our intuitive understanding into a theoretical one by
a. produce results that yield wide-spread agreement
*b. identifying the conditions for applying a concept
c. always contradicting common sense
d. none of these

.14. "Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity." is called


*a. Occam's razor
b. law of noncontradiction
c. natural theology

15. Warren's Moral Space Travler thought experiment shows that


*a. it's possible for a nonhuman to be a person.
b. humans have a higher moral status than persons.
c. you need a soul in order to be a human.
d. humans cannot be agents.

16. Scientific theories try to explain how it is __ possible for an event to take place.
a. logically
*b. causally
c. socially
d. politically
e. psychologically

17. Which of the following is not one of the criteria of adequacy for an Inference to the Best
Explanation?
a. Consistency
*b. Complexity
c. Scope

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d. Conservatism
e. Fruitfulness

18. Not all conceivable situations (e.g., time travel) are logically possible because they may
*a. contain hidden contradictions.
b. violate the laws of nature.
c. contradict the teachings of the world's great religions.
d. violate human rights.
e. none of these

19. If two of our beliefs contradict one another, then we know


a. nothing.
b. that both are true.
c. that both are false.
*d. that at least one of them is false.

20. The study of value.


a. metaphysics
b. epistemology
*c. axiology
d. logic
e. none of these

21. Causal possiblity is a __ for logical possibility.


a. necessary condition
*b. sufficient condition

22. Being a reptile is a __ for being a lizard.


*a. necessary condition
b. sufficient condition

23. “80% of all engineers are male. Terry is an engineer. Therefore, Terry is male.” This
argument form is:
a. modus tollens.
b. hypothetical syllogism.
c. disjunctive syllogism.
d. enumerative induction.
e. analogical induction.

24. “If you have SARS, then you will experience shortness of breath. You are experiencing
shortness of breath. Therefore, you must have SARS.” This argument form is
*a. invalid.
b. modus ponens.
c. modus tollens.
d. hypothetical syllogism.

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e. disjunctive syllogism.

25. “If it rains, then the golf course will be closed. It is raining. Therefore, the golf course will be
closed.” This argument form is
a. invalid.
*b. modus ponens.
c. modus tollens.
d. hypothetical syllogism.
e. disjunctive syllogism.

26. “Either John is lost or his girlfriend is wrong. John is not lost. Therefore, his girlfriend is
wrong.” This argument form is
a. invalid.
b. modus ponens.
c. modus tollens.
d. hypothetical syllogism.
*e. disjunctive syllogism.

27. “Vancouver is located on the Pacific coast of North America, it is near the 49th parallel, and
it is cold in January. Seattle is located on the Pacific coast of North America, and it is near the
49th parallel. Therefore, Seattle is cold in January.” This argument form is
a. modus tollens.
b. hypothetical syllogism.
c. disjunctive syllogism.
d. enumerative induction.
*e. analogical induction.

28. In a conditional statement of the form ("If p, then q"), the p is called the
a. consequent.
*b. antecedent.
c. primary clause.
d. pre-clause.
e. none of these

29. A valid deductive argument that contains only true premises.


a. cogent
b. uncogent
*c. sound
d. unsound
e. none of these

30. A deductive argument in which the conclusion logically follows from its premises.
a. strong
b. weak

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*c. valid
d. invalid
e. none of these

Chapter 2 - The Mind/Body Problem

True/False

31. A Cartesian dualist believes that the mind is dependent for its existence on the body. (F)

32. Descartes was an idealist, because he believed that all reality is mental. (F)

33. Idealism is the doctrine that all that exists are minds and their contents. (T)

34. Materialism is the doctrine that only material objects are valuable. (F)

35. Parallelism is the doctrine that the mental and physical states run adjacent to each other but
do not interact. (T)

36. The identity theory is the doctrine that mental states are brain states. (T)

37. Empiricism is the view that the only source of knowledge about the world is sense
experience. (T)

38. Idealism maintains that all that exists are minds and their contents. (T)

39. According to Gilbert Ryle, it is a mistake to think that minds exist in the same sense that
bodies exist. (T)

40. Intentionality is the property of mental states that makes them of or about something. (T)

41. According to eliminative materialism, all reference to mental states should be eliminated
from our scientific theories. (T)

42. The identity theory is materialist theory. (T)

43. Ryle calls dualism the “dogma of the Ghost in the Machine.” (T)

44. The behaviorist and identity theorist both accept the premise that human being is an entirely
physical organism. (T)

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Multiple Choice (Correct answers are marked with an asterisk.)

45. Which of the following do Cartesian dualists reject?


a. that minds and bodies exist.
b. that minds and bodies can exist independently of each other.
c. that minds exist in time.
* d. that minds exist in space.

46. For Descartes, cogito ergo sum is


a. a proof for the existence of God.
* b. an indubitable truth.
c. an obvious falsehood.
d. a way to make money.

47. Descartes cannot conceive of


a. existing without a body.
* b. existing without a mind.
c. existing without a brain.
d. existing without a heart.

48. One of the problems with Cartesian dualism is that


a. it cannot explain perception.
b. it cannot explain emotions.
c. it cannot explain reason.
* d. it cannot explain mind/body interaction.

49. The theory that claims that the body affects the mind, but the mind does not affect the body is
known as
a. Occasionalism
b. Interactionism
* c. Epiphenomenalism
d. Dualism

50. According to empiricism, our only source of knowledge about the world is
a. reason.
* b. sense experience.
c. God.
d. the Bible.

51. According to logical positivism, a sentence is meaningful only is


a. it is logical.
b. it is not negative.
* c. it is verifiable.
d. it is believable.

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52. “Parallelism” is a kind of explanation designed to apply to which theory?
a. Materialism
b. Idealism
* c. Dualism
d. Neutralism

53. According to Ryle, the mind cannot affect the body because
a. the mind is an immaterial thing and the body is a material thing.
b. it’s impossible to detect the mind.
c. minds are theoretical entities.
* d. minds, unlike bodies, are not things.

54. Skinner believes that psychology can be a science only if it studies


a. thoughts.
b. brains.
c. feelings.
* d. behavior.

55. Logical behaviorism claims that mental states are


* a. behavioral dispositions.
b. behavioral propositions.
c. behavioral acquisitions.
d. behavioral subdivisions.

56. If two things do not have the same properties, they are not
a. different.
* b. identical.
c. ideal.
d. real.

57. Which of the following is not consistent with the identity theory:
a. mental states are physical states.
b. minds are material objects.
c. to have a mind is to have a certain composition.
* d. to have a mind is to behave in a certain way.

58. According to strong AI, minds are to brains as


a. blood is to the heart.
b. bile is to the liver.
c. modems are to the Internet.
* d. software is to hardware.

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59. Functionalists believe that in order to determine whether a computer has a mind, we must
determine:
a. whether it behaves like it has a mind.
b. whether it has a brain.
c. whether it has a soul.
* d. whether it’s inputs and outputs are similar to ours.

60. The inverted spectrum problem tries to show that being in a functional state
* a. is not sufficient for being in a mental state.
b. is not necessary for being in a mental state.
c. is not a relevant condition for being in a mental state.
d. is not a significant condition for being in a mental state.

61. Searle's Chinese Room thought experiment is designed to indicate whether passing the
Turing test
a. requires intelligence.
b. requires understanding.
c. requires a knowledge of semantics.
* d. all of the above.
e. none of the above.

62. The intentional content of a mental state is


a. what it is trying to accomplish.
b. what it contains.
* c. what it is about.
d. what it is made of.

63. Eliminative materialists maintain that


a. there are no material objects.
b. there are no abstract objects.
c. there are no physical states.
* d. there are no mental states.

64. For which theory of mind is an inverted spectrum a problem?


a. Cartesian dualism.
b. Identity theory.
c. Behaviorism.
* d. Functionalism.

65. Folk psychology is the view that


a. most folks need psychological help.
b. most psychological problems are caused by other folks.
* c. actions can be explained in terms of beliefs and desires.
d. actions can be explained in terms of reward and punishment.

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Sample Essay Questions and Answers

1. Describe the difference between what philosophical and scientific theories,


respectively, try to explain.

Answer: Where philosophical theories try to explain how certain things are logically
possible by providing definitions, which lay out connections between concepts, scientific
theories try to explain how certain things are physically possible by laying out causal
explanations for their occurrence.

2. What are the criteria of adequacy that good theories should meet?

Answer: Consistency: the degree to which the theory coheres with other beliefs we hold,
both within and without the theory in question.

Simplicity: the degree to which additional assumptions can be avoided.

Scope: the amount of diverse phenomena explained by the theory.

Conservatism: the degree to which the theory fits with what we already know.

Fruitfulness: the ability of the theory to generate novel and unanticipated predictions.

3. What is the difference between deductive and inductive arguments?

Answer: In the case of deductive arguments, the truth of the premises would be enough to
guarantee the truth of the conclusion, whereas in the case of inductive arguments, the truth
of the premises would be enough to render the conclusion probable.

4. Explain the inverted spectrum problem.

Answer: This is a graphic demonstration of the absent qualia objection. We are asked to
imagine a being which is just like us except that its visible spectrum is inverted 180
degrees. Since it will acquire color language and beliefs exactly as we do (i.e., calling the
same things “red” that we call “red”), it will be in a state of seeing a certain shade of blue
when and only when we see a certain shade of red. Functionalism tells us that these two
states are identical because they play the same causal roles relative to inputs and outputs
(including other mental states). But, intuitively we want to say that seeing blue just feels
vastly different from seeing red.

5. What does Searle's Chinese room thought experiment show?

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Answer: The Chinese room allegedly does for intentional states what the inverted
spectrum thought experiment shows for phenomenal states. It has us envision a situation in
which a human being serves essentially the same function as the CPU of a digital
computer which is running a simulation program for understanding Chinese. And yet, we
intuitively want to say that neither this person nor the system of which she is a part
actually understands Chinese.

6. (a) What is Block's pained madman thought experiment? (b) How does it attempt to
undemine functionalism?

Answer: (a) The pained madman thought experiment has us imagine someone who is in a
state of pain, even though the states which cause this state and states which it in turn causes
(including other related mental states) are very different than those which correspondingly
occur in us. (b) If this thought experiment is successful (i.e., clearly imaginable) then it
would show that being in a certain functional state is not necessary to being in a certain
brain state. Since fuctionalism requires that being in a certain fuctional state is both
necessary and sufficient for being in a certain mental state, this would show that
functionalism is false.

7. a) What is Searle's brain replacement thought experiment? (b) How does it


undermine logical behaviorism?

Answer: (a) In this thought experiment, Searle has us imagine each and every neural
circuit in one's brain replaced with a silicone chip that serves precisely the same switching
function. (b) If successful (i.e., clearly imaginable), this thought experiment undermines
logical behaviorism to the following extent. One might imagine the result of this procedure
being that one is left completely paralyed, but otherwise unaffected. Such a situation would
clearly be one in which one has mental states without any associated dispositions to
behavior. Since logical behaviorism defines mental states in terms of such dispositions to
behavior, logical behaviorism is thus shown false.