I will be brief for most of the questions and I won’t be posting the questions since you were allowed to take them out of the exam hall. Click through to see…
- Question 1
There are three distinct things to keep in mind: Determinism, Free Will, Moral Responsibility. The person believes that Moral Responsibility is incompatible with Determinism—so we know that he can’t agree with (C). But we don’t know if he also thinks that Moral Responsibility requires Free Will—so we don’t know if he would agree with (A), or (B). Maybe he would, maybe he won’t. He does believe that Moral Responsibility is a “perfectly coherent” concept, i.e., he doesn’t buy Galen Strawson’s Regress Argument—so for him, Moral Responsibility is at least possible, as long as the universe is not deterministic, hence (D). Just over half got this right.
- Question 2
Only (B) follows from the fact that we “inescapably feel free”. Most got this right.
- Question 3
(A) is out for reasons similar to why the wrong options are wrong in Question 2. (C) is neither here nor there—whether or not the universe is deterministic doesn’t directly answer the question as to whether moral responsibility is compatible or incompatible with determinism. If (D) is true, then moral responsibility is impossible; which would hardly “support the idea that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism”. Only (B) remains, and the connection is this. Intuitively, if determinism is true, then we don’t have free will. This means that if moral responsibility requires free will, then moral responsibility becomes incompatible with determinism. However, it moral responsibility exists even though we don’t have free will—as (B) says—then moral responsibility can exist even if the universe is deterministic, i.e., it is compatible with determinism. Most got this right.
- Question 4
It boils down to the reason cited for not torturing the person. The reason cited in (A) is what would be effective in getting the information; the reason cited in (B) is about what people would think about the government; the reason cited in (C) is about how the opposing side will derive ammunition from what we do—all are about consequences and effectiveness of our actions. Only (D) cites deontological a reason (to do with a duty not to violate the rights and dignity of people, including our enemies). Most got this right.
- Question 5
(C) is clearly false—both the Deontologist and the Consequentialist can pay attention to virtues of character. They just don’t accord it the same importance in their theories. Many were distracted by (D), which basically is another way to say that the Deontologist and the Virtue Ethicist are not Conseqentialists about virtue, which is true. Majority got this right.
- Question 6
Only (A) is a problem (briefly explored with my “Pedro” story in the lecture) for Deontology. Most got this right.
- Question 7
The answer is (A). Some were distracted by (D), which is not as good a fit since Norcross’ argument deliberately steered away from worrying about bringing in an explicit Utilitarian basis for our agreement with his premises. Most got this right.
- Question 8
As formulated in the lecture, there are two premises to the argument (see slide L04 #27), (A) targets premise 2 while (C) targets premise 1—both might well be a sufficient condition for showing that the argument is unsound, but neither is a necessary condition for doing that. (B) is also not necessary, since Norcross deliberately frames his argument without a direct reference to Utilitarianism. The answer is (D). Less than a third got this right, which tells me that a lot of students are still unclear about necessary vs. sufficient condition.
- Question 9
Only (D) works here. If factory-farmed animals don’t feel pain, then premise 2 of Norcross’ argument goes out of the window immediately. Most got this right.
- Question 10
(A) and (B) are exactly what Singer wants to argue against. Singer didn’t argue against (C), but it would be really strange for him to endorse it. (D) is the right answer is basically something that Singer argued for. Most got this right.
- Question 11
Remember, the question asks which one Singer “need not agree with”, i.e., he doesn’t have to agree with it. He has to agree with (A)—it follows from the basic concept of what it means for something to be supererogatory. He has to agree with (C)—it follows from his position that if more than a $10 contribution is needed from you for the refugees to be provided, then you would be failing to do what is right when you do only that much. He also has to agree with (D)—in a cohort of 1 million where everyone else gave $15, even without your contribution, much more than enough has already been collected; thus, you are not required to give to the relief fund (you might be required to attend to other needs round the world, sure, but not this relief fund). Some were distracted by (D). Only (B) is something he doesn’t have to agree with—the option implies that you are obliged to give even beyond what you actually have in total. Singer argues that you only have to give until the point where a cent more will cause you more unhappiness than any happiness you can create. A majority got this right.
- Question 12
(A) is not exactly the sort of thing most Utilitarians will say out loud, but it’s entirely compatible with their position. (B) and (D) are also compatible with Utilitarianism—they introduce more nuanced way of calculating effects on the net happiness of the world. (C) is only one that is not compatible with the position—it entails that the clear calculation of the net effect on the world’s happiness doesn’t matter after all, i.e., giving up on Utilitarianism. Most got this right.
- Question 13
(A) is the answer. It’s the whole point of the “Tony” arguments in the lecture. Almost all got this right.
- Question 14
(C) is the answer, again keeping in mind the spirit of the “Tony” arguments (see L06 Slide #29-30). Most got this right.
- Question 15
(A) is only a problem for the “actual/explicit consent” version of the Social Contract. (B) relates to the “implicit consent” version, and it’s not even a problem. (C) relates to the “hypothetical consent” version, and it’s also not even a problem. The answer is (D)—none of the others poses a problem for “every version of the Social Contract Theory”. Most got this right.
- Question 16
(C) is the answer. The reason why (D) isn’t the answer is this. Let’s say that both the Leibniz/Clarke Cosmological Argument, and the Problem of Evil Argument are sound. The first would have proven that a self-existent being exists, one whose activities explain the being of the rest of the universe. The second would have proven that, assuming evil exists in the world, there no being who is both all- powerful and all-good exists. I hope you can see that these aren’t exactly incompatible claims.
- Question 17
(A) is not the answer because even Janes doesn’t have to think that the Leibniz/Clarke Cosmological Argument is sound for her to be a theist. She might think that some other argument is sound, she might believe in theism on the basis of faith against reason, etc. Similarly, (B) is not the answer as she might think that even though she can’t prove that Atheism is false, she has defensive justification for believing in Theism; or maybe she believes it on the basis of a faith against reason, etc. (C) is also not “definitely true” about her–theists are divided on this issue. (D) is the answer. Only a plurality (or just under half) got this right.
- Question 18
Only (D) is clearly incompatible with the Principle of Sufficient Reason as set forth by Rowe—it asserts the existence of an entity whose existence is unexplained. A majority got this right. Some were distracted by (A)–only the Kalam version of the Cosmological Argument requires that the causal chain (into the past) not go on without end. A majority got this right.
- Question 19
(A) is the answer. Most got this right. Some were distracted by (B), but the Logical Problem of Evil is not about what is probably the case.
- Question 20
(C) is the answer; it’s basically the “overcoming of evil is itself a good thing” point (see L08 Slide #19ff). Some were distracted by (B)–but that’s not as good a fit in this case. The evil that is being overcome is not a means to the good that is being achieved but part and parcel of the good achieved itself. A majority got this right.
- Question 21
(B) is the answer; taking the foul tasting medicine is the necessary means for getting well, and having a coercive government around is the necessary means for there to be law and order. Most got this right.
- Question 22
(C) is the answer. Most got this right.
- Question 23
(D) is the answer. These are the three (jointly exhaustive) options given, and all are meant to be bad options—as befits their status as the “horns of the trilemma”. Most got this right.
- Question 24
(C) is the answer—if some (even if “only some”) of our beliefs are justified without reference to other beliefs, then at least one horn of the trilemma is immediately resolved. This is the idea implied by the Foundationalist and Contextualist solutions. Some were distracted by (B), which is not a good answer, at least as stated. The Regress Argument is meant to be neutral with respect to your conception of what justification consists in, beyond the point that if a belief is justified, it is justified by appeal to another belief (that is also justified). Others were distracted by (D), which is also not a good answer as justification, rather than truth, is the main issue for the argument (see also Question 22). A plurality of just under half got this right.
- Question 25
(A) is the answer (see L10 Slide #20). Almost all got this right.
- Question 26
(B) is the answer (see L10 Slide #38). Most got this right. (C) and (D) are true statements, but they are not part of the conclusion of Nagel’s argument. A majority got this right.
- Question 27
(B) is the answer (see L10 Slide #22). Most got this right. (A) is wrong–if Nagel thought that there is something it is like to be a bat, he surely thinks the same for the factory-farmed pig. (C) is wrong as Nagel is not a Substance Dualist. (D) ended up distracting some students. Nagel’s point is exactly we can’t get to imagine what it is like for the bat to be a bat by doing the things mentioned. At best, all that we managed to do (see L10 Slide #26) is to imagine what is it like for us humans to feel or behave like a bat, which is not even the same as imagining what is it like for us humans to be a bat.
- Question 28
(D) is the answer. (A) only lists two of Bostrom’s three options, the missing only being captured in (B) by itself. (C) is also even something that Bostrom agrees with (the Simulators can always tell us), apart from it’s not being the conclusion of his argument. Most got this right.
- Question 29
(C) is the answer. Most got this right.
- Question 30
(D) is the answer because, for all we know, we are already living in a simulation, and we can entertain the thought, right? (C) is wrong because we can’t find out “on our own”. Most got this right. [Note: This question will turn out differently given the longer Bostrom reading.]