Phil 102A F18: Final Exam Study Guide

The Final Exam will consist of two essays, each worth 50% of the final grade. You will need to bring your own paper to the exam. A bluebook or your own notebook paper is fine. Each essay should be 2-3 pages in length. The prompts are below:

Essay I'Kevin' and Free Will. For this essay you must take the situation of 'Kevin' as described in the Radiolab clip we listened to in class (here is a link if you want to listen again) and analyze it in terms of the three theories of free will we discussed in class.  These theories are Hard Determinism, Soft Determinism/Compatibilism, and Libertarianism. For each of the three theories you must explain the theory and then explain what a proponent of that theory would say about 'Kevin's' situation, with a particular emphasis on how a proponent of that theory would or would not blame 'Kevin' for what he did. 

Essay IIWriter's Choice. Compare and contrast the views of two authors we studied this semester. You may pick whatever authors you want, but one must be from Unit I and the other from Unit II. The units are listed below. In answering this questions you should explain the positions of the authors you discuss and identify at least two differences and two similarities between them. 

Unit I: Epistemology
  • Socrates, "The Apology"
  • Descartes, "Meditation I"
  • Berkeley
  • Hume
  • Ayer
  • Gettier
Unit II: Metaphysics
  • Descartes, "Meditation II"
  • Churchland
  • Nagel, "What is it like to be a bat?"
  • Turing
  • Searle
  • Hinduism and the Self
  • Buddhism and the Self
Extra Credit: There will also be an Extra Credit question on the philosophy of religion. 

Grading Criteria for Exam Essays: The goal for the student is to provide evidence that s/he has read and considered the course material and is able to write intelligibly about the concepts covered therein. You want to identify the prompt to which you are responding and provide evidence that you have understood the material. 

To earn an A, your responses provide evidence of the ‘B’ standards below, plus that you have really thought about the concepts covered in the reading and lectures: 
  • You use very original examples to illustrate the concepts of the reading. 
  • You apply very specific events or discussions from the reading to some new situation. 
  • Your writing is excellent and/or your style is very interesting 
To earn a B or higher, your responses provide evidence of your having read and comprehended the material. In addition to the ‘C’ standards below: 
  • You apply ideas from the reading to correspondent ideas presented in the classroom. 
  • You use examples from the lectures to illustrate the concepts in the reading. 
To earn a C or higher, your responses provide evidence of your having read and comprehended the material. 
  • You answer correctly all basic questions about the main ideas and characters. 
  • You show recognition of all main ideas or characters’ names and their respective associations. 
  • You correctly identify all concepts introduced or reviewed in the reading. 
  • You correctly identify and apply all terms from the reading and lectures. 
  • Your writing is relatively free from spelling and grammatical errors. 
  • You use examples from the reading or lectures to illustrate your answers. 
To earn a D or higher, your responses provide some evidence of your having read, thought about, and comprehended the material: 
  • You answer correctly some but not all basic questions about the main ideas. 
  • You show some recognition of main ideas or characters’ names. 
  • You correctly identify some but not all concepts introduced or reviewed in the reading and lectures. 
  • You correctly identify and apply some but not all terms introduced or reviewed in the reading and lectures. 
To earn an F, you provide hardly any or no evidence of having read, considered, and comprehended the material.