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Sample Midterm

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Ryerson University
PHL 101
Julien Beillard

PHL 101 – SAMPLE MID-TERM EXAM I. True or False? 1) If something is valuable only because of its consequences, its value is merely intrinsic. F – When something is valuable in this way, its value is merely extrinsic. 2) Socrates’ attempt to discover the nature of morality depends on the assumption that individuals and societies can be morally evaluated by reference to a single standard. T – He’s trying to discover this by looking at how morality develops in a society. If there are different standards of morality for individuals as opposed to societies, the results of his inquiry won’t apply to morality in individuals. 3) Socrates’ principle of specialization is this: if you specialize in a given art, you must also be an expert in whatever is contrary to that art. (For example, doctors must be experts not only in preventing disease but also in “secretly inducing” it.) F – Socrates does say this, early on, but this is not the principle of specialization. The principle of specialization = the principle that people should perform only the one role in society for which they are naturally suited. (So, for example, people suited to guarding the community should specialize in doing that. They shouldn’t be both guardians and farmers, or guardians and merchants.) 4) Socrates says that an expert (in the strict sense of the term) is concerned only with the interest of the weaker party over which he has power. T – This was how he attacked Thrasymachus’s claim that rulers in the strict or precise sense of the term are concerned with their own interests only, and not concerned with what is in the interest of the people they rule. 5) This claim of Socrates is meant to imply that rulers (in the strict sense) are never concerned with what is in their own interest. T - It’s meant to imply this because this is how Socrates hopes to refute Thrasymachus. 6) According to Socrates, a completely immoral community is impossible (because it would cease to be a community at all). T – Remember his example of a gang of thieves: if they weren’t at least somewhat fair in dealing with each other, they couldn’t co-ordinate themselves to carry out their thievery. This is meant to illustrate his view that immorality depends on morality. A person or a community has to be somewhat moral to function at all. Immorality is possible only on that basis. 7) Cephalus says that he’s happy in his old age because it has freed him from the intense desires he experienced as a young man. T 8) Socrates says that the guardians of his ideal community will have to be democratically elected by an informed public (i.e., a public that has been trained in philosophy). F – Socrates has said nothing about democracy, so far, and as we’ll see, he doesn’t think that it’s a good political system. II. Multiple Choice 1) Socrates says that true expertise is always concerned with i. the interests of both the stronger and the weaker party. ii. enlightened self-interest. iii. the interest of the stronger party. iv. the interest of the weaker party. (Remember that part of his argument was that every art or form of expertise has power over its subject matter, and is directed at the good of its subject matter. For example, the medical art has power over the human body, and is directed at the health of the body.) v. None of the above 2) What is a doctor in the strict sense, according to Socrates? i. Someone who has studied medicine at a properly accredited institution. ii. Someone who knows how to earn a living from the practice of medicine. iii. Someone who is acting according to the principles of medical expertise. (There may be other skills associated with doctoring – skill at earning money, say – but Socrates thinks those are not part of the medical art or expertise in and of itself.) iv. Someone who is concerned with the well being of society as a whole. 3) Polermarchus proposes that morality is this: i. Helping one’s friends and harming one’s enemies. ii. Giving to everyone what you owe to them. iii. Helping those people who one believes to be good and who actually are good, and harming those that one believes to be bad and who actually are bad. iv. All of the above (All of these are variations on the basic idea of morality that Polemarchus is trying to defend (which he “inherited” from Cephalus).) v. None of the above 4) According to Glaucon, morality originates in i. an infantile wish to return to the safety of the womb. ii. an agreement bet
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