Phil 145: Midterm Structure

Phil 145: Midterm Structure

Prof. Eliasmith

The exam will consist of 7 sections. Descriptions of each section can be found below. The test is worth 25% and you will have 80 minutes to write it in class.

Section 1 (2%): Identifying the premises and conclusions of arguments. Determine if there is an argument present and identify the premises (Pn) and conclusion (Cn). Label only those premises relevant to the conclusion(s). All cases will be based on exercises 1A and 1C.

Section 2 (2%): Determining validity and invalidity. For each example, a) identify if there is an argument, and if so, the premises and the conclusion, b) determine if the argument is valid, and c) say why it is or is not sound. All cases will be based on exercises 1E and 1F.

Section 3 (5%): Constructing arguments. Construct arguments for two of the following views. Your arguments should have at least 5 premises, at least one of which is a conclusion from preceding premises. Name the valid form(s) you have used. Do not use the same forms for both arguments. Do not use Modus Ponens or Tollens more than once per argument. On the test, 3 of the following options will appear and you must pick 2.

  1. Marijuana should [not] be legalized.
  2. The theory of evolution is [not] true.
  3. Abortion is [not] wrong.
  4. God does [not] exist.
  5. Speeding is [not] immoral.
  6. Knowledge is [not] power.

Section 4 (2%): Detecting equivocations. For 4 of the following 6 examples, identify the conclusion of argument and say whether the argument is valid. If not, note and analyze the equivocation being made. All cases will be based on exercise 3A.

Section 5 (6%): Identifying informal fallacies. For 6 of the following 8 examples, name or describe the fallacy committed and analyze the difficulty it introduces. All cases will be based on exercise 4F.

Section 6 (2%): Evaluating analogies. For 2 of the following 4 examples, identify the source, target, and any connecting principles evident. Construct one disanalogy based on the similarities provided. All cases will be based on exercises 5A.

Section 7 (6%): Paragraph length answers. Three of the following questions will appear on the test. You must answer two of them.

  1. Describe both the formal and psychological approaches to critical thinking. Name two strengths and one weakness of each. Describe how they compliment each other.
  2. What is the difference between necessary and sufficient evidence? Give an example of each. Which evidence on the 2x2 table is necessary and which sufficient? What is the illusion of validity? When are people better at resisting it?
  3. What is the clustering illusion? How can the illusion be overcome? What role can it play in generating belief? What is the problem of representativeness? How is the clustering illusion a case of that problem?
  4. What is the regression effect? Give one example not in the text or notes. How well do people account for regression. Explain your answer with respect to the previous example. What is the regression fallacy? How is this effect related to representativeness?
  5. Give two general features of human reasoning that are displayed in the 'hot hand' example. Why are they each a problem? Is this related to the Sports Illustrated Jinx? Why or why not?