Mid-term in-class essay

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Mid term

In-class essay

This exam will be given in class and will be no more than 1 hour long.

Blue books will be provided.

You will only write one of the questions listed on the assignment sheet, but you will not know which one until the day of the exam, so prepare all 3.

You may bring one page of

*hand-written (only)

*notes/outlines (only)

*on the back of the assignment sheet (only)

If any of the conditions that are described above are not met, you will not be able to rely on the note sheet when taking the exam.  You are not required to make notes on the back of the assignment sheet.

All assignments sheets must be turned in with the test booklet, whether you make notes of them or not.

Each student must bring a copy of the assignment sheet to the exam as no additional copies will be provided.

THIS IS NOT THE ASSIGMENT SHEET. Do not write on it or bring it. The assignment sheet is the one titled “Assignment Sheet” and with the questions on it.

Assignment Sheet

Mid-term in-class essay

(this is the one to bring to the exam and to make notes on the back of)

You will have a choice of options, but you will only write ONE of these questions for the exam.  The exam will take no more than 1 hour, so gauge your response accordingly.

The metaphysics section included the topics of the nature of reality, knowledge of reality, freedom/free will and the meaning/meaningfulness of human life. Consider how each of these themes are displayed in ONE of the following non-philosophy sources:
The Truman Show
The Matrix
Oedipus Rex

*How are these themes manifested in these works of art?

*What would at least two of the philosophers we have studied have to say about this art work?

*What does literature/film tell us about these topics that ‘straight’ philosophy doesn’t or can’t?

Consider the differences (if any) in the kind of knowledge that philosophy gives us about the world and the kind of knowledge (if any) that fiction and/or film gives us.

*Where would J. L. Austin and Plato stand on the claim that fiction/film can give us “real” knowledge, and why?

*Where do you stand on that claim, and why?

Consider the implications of human freedom/free will on the meaningfulness of life. Think about 3 different positions: full human freedom; limited human freedom (compatibilism), no human freedom (determinism).

*Detail each position, with reference to at least one philosopher

*Argue for how each position would affect the meaningfulness of human life.

*Detail the ways in which the situation in “The Lottery in Babylon” would contribute to or detract from the meaningfulness of human life, and explain why.

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