PHIL 1101: Introduction to Philosophy Exam 2 guide Exam format and directions The format of this exam is the same as that of the first. There are three question sets below that you should answer in about 300 -450 words each, for a total of 900 -1350 words over the entire exam. Point values for each question set appear in italics. As with the previous exam , you may use the readings, handouts, assignments, and class notes when preparing your answers. Use online sources sparingly , and preferably not at all. A folder is available in the Assignments section of D2L for the exam. That folder will close at 5:00 pm on Monday, May 13. Like the term paper, you may submit your exam after that time. I will accept late exams until 5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 15. A ten -point penalty will apply to late exams . I will not accept exams after the evening of the 15 th. I will hold additional office time during the week of May 6 during our normal class meeting time. You are not required to visit with me for the second exam, though I strongly encourage you to do so anyway if you have any questions. Meeting with me is also a good opportunity to discuss your term paper before you submit it. Questions 1. Descartes presents some skeptical arguments in the first Meditation that challenge the truth of many of the beliefs we have. The madman and dreaming arguments address our empirical beliefs, and the evil demon argument undermines our a priori beliefs. How do those arguments challenge the truth of our beliefs? Why do the challenges those arguments pose disqualify those beliefs from being the foundation of our knowledge? How does the foundational belief Descartes identifies in the second Meditation , his belief in his own existence, avoid the challenge t hre e skeptical arguments pose? [20 points] 2. Consider two explanations of the way the human species originated. One explana tion is that a god created some first humans when that god created the world 6000 years ago, those first humans reproduced with one another, and that explains why all of us exist today. The second explanation is that genetic mutations occurred in non -human species over several million years of the Earth ’s existence . T hose mutations along with the process of natural selection eventually led to the earliest humans who then reproduced, and thus all of us exist today. Popper’s criteria for distinguishing scienc e from pseudoscience will hold that the first explanation is not scientific and the second explanation is. How can Popper argue that the first explanation is pseudoscientific and the second explanation is scientific? Why does the distinction of science and pseudoscience rely on the idea that there are objective facts ; that is, why will Popper’s criteria for a theory being scientific not apply if all facts are relative ? [20 points] 3. Jennifer Saul’s essay ‘Just go ahead and lie’ presents several arguments in favor of the idea that it is morally worse to lie than it is to mislead or deceive. Saul presents objections to each of those arguments, ultimately concluding that there is no ethical difference between lying and misleading/deceiving. How does one of the a rguments in favor of the difference support the idea that lying is worse, and how does Saul object to that argument? Why is it impossible to lie if there are only relative, non -objective facts ? [10 points]
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