the Introductory Philosophy Quiz
My officemate Ryan and I devised this test to hang on the wall of our office,
where people could gawk at it. The web is very much like the wall of
our office, in certain respects, so when it came time to take it down in the office
I decided to put it up here.
The test is divided into three parts, in order of decreasing
- Multiple Choice
- Short Answer
- Lab Practical
Section 1: Multiple Choice
- On Russell's theory of definite descriptions, "The present King
of France is bald" is equivalent to
- Socrates is a man.
- Socrates is mortal.
- All swans are white.
- Anything follows from a contradiction.
- The cat is on the mat.
- If I could do something besides take this exam, I would prefer
- Intuit an essence.
- Analyze a concept.
- Dissect a brain.
- Have a beer.
- A deconstruction of the concept of will shows the bankruptcy of
the very notion of choice, so a fortiori of multiple choice.
Section 2: Short Answer
- Define reality. Give two (2) examples.
- Using only basic first order logic, develop a rational foundation
from which to prove the truth of radical relativism.
- Analyze the fundamental nature of being. Introduce new distinctions
and obfuscatory neologisms.
- Escape the hermeneutic circle with only fishing line and a Swiss
- Demonstrate the validity of the fallacy of composition.
- Evaluate the following argument: "If conventionalism is true,
it must be true by convention. We do not believe in conventionalism.
Therefore, we should change our beliefs because conventionalism
- Translate Heidegger's Being and Time into Latin and Aramaic. Provide an analysis of the nature of
translation which explains why neither translation makes sense.
- Assume solipsism to be correct. Explain why more people aren't
- Explain the Cartesian distinction between res cogitans and res extensa without going into any intentional states, e.g. thinking of Descartes.
- List three beliefs held by eliminative materialists.
Section 3: Lab Practical
When you have completed each problem, wait for an instructor to
come and inspect your work.
- On the bench you will find a slave boy. Prompt him to remember
the Pythagorean theorem.
- Next to the slave boy you will find a cave. Break free of your
shackles, climb into the light, and behold the form of the Good.
When you're done, return to the cave and wisely rule your fellows.
- On the bench you will find the thing-in-itself. Treat it as a
limiting conception and say nothing further about it.
- Next to the cave, you will find a brain in a vat. Determine its
principles of operation. Determine what philosophical problems
remain after you have done so. Write down several dozen of them.
- By staring at the brain, you will be provided with sense data.
Arrange and combine them so that everything you know can be expressed
in terms of them.
- Amidst the sense data you will find the Given. Debunk myths about
it. Show its equivalence to the Taken-away.
- In addition to the beings on the bench, you will find Being as
such. Use it to explain the difference between temporality and
Temporality. Then use it to boil an egg.
- After having found Being you will find Nothing. Determine who
this is presenting himself as Nothingness on the grounds of the
nihilation of the bench.