Philosophy 1301: Introduction to Philosophy

Review for First Examination
Spring, 2012
Curtis Brown

The first exam is scheduled for Friday, February 17 Monday, February 20. The examination will have two parts. The first part will have approximately five relatively short questions that you should be able to answer in about a paragraph. The second part will have two longer essay questions that may require several paragraphs to answer. Answers should show familiarity with the texts as well as class lectures. Answers will be evaluated on the basis of their clarity, accuracy, completeness, and cogency. The first and second parts will each count for approximately half of the total grade. Bring a blue book! (I will trade the one you bring for one that I have marked prior to the exam. Only the blue books I hand out will be acceptable.) I expect students to remain in the classroom until they have completed the exam. (If you finish early, you are welcome to turn it in and leave.) No mp3 players, cell phones, etc. -- all you should have out is a blue book and something to write with.

Terms and concepts you should be familiar with: Essay questions

Essay questions will ask you to explain and evaluate an argument we have discussed in class. To explain an argument, you should say what the premises are, what the conclusion is, what sort of argument it is, and how the premises are supposed to support the conclusion. To evaluate the argument, you need to consider objections to the argument and explain why you think they are or are not justified. An objection to an argument may be either a reason to think one or more of the premises is false, or a reason to think that the premises do not support the conclusion.

Essay questions may be either general (for example: "Explain Aquinas's cosmological or first-cause argument. Then explain and evaluate two of the objections to the argument discussed in class and/or the text") or more specific (for example: "explain and evaluate the free will response to the problem of evil").

Main arguments you should be prepared to write about: ontological argument, cosmological argument, argument from design, problem of evil, the skeptical arguments of the First Meditation, Descartes' argument that he can be certain of his own existence, the "piece of wax" argument in the Second Meditation, and Descartes' first argument for the existence of God in the Third Meditation.

Last update: February 15, 2012.
Curtis Brown  |  Introduction to Philosophy  |  Philosophy Department  |   Trinity University