Take-Home Exam

Exams are due in your TF's mailbox on the second floor of Emerson Hall by 5 PM on Wednesday May 15 (which is the last day of reading period). It is essential that you turn your exams in on time.

These questions will be graded as short essays. We don't just want you to give us certain information. We want your answers to be written clearly and to be well-structured.

Your exams must conform to these guidelines: Type them. Make them double-spaced and use wide margins. Number the pages. Start each question on a new page. Make sure the following information is on the first page: your name, your TF's name, and a list of which questions you answered. Make sure the following information is on the top of every subsequent page: your name, and the page number.

Your TFs and Prof. Pryor will NOT answer individual questions about the exam. You are free to consult your notes, the readings, and the course notes on the web in answering these questions. You also welcome to get together and discuss the questions. But we expect that the answers you submit will be your own.

You should answer exactly one question from each of the following groups. There are 65 points total (no extra credit).

GROUP 1 (5 points, answers should be 1-2 paragraphs)

1a. In a few sentences, explain the difference between a role state and a realizer state.

1b. In a few sentences, explain the differences between substance dualism, property dualism, and orthodox functionalism.

GROUP 2 (10 points, answers should be 1-3 pages)

2a. Explain the difference between sense-datum theory and intentionalism.

2b. Explain the differences between intentionalism, functionalism, and externalism.

GROUP 3 (10 points, answers should be 1-3 pages)

3a. Explain the charge that functionalism is "too liberal," and give an example of an argument for that charge. Explain the charge that functionalism is "too chauvinist," and give an example of an argument for that charge.

3b. In this class, we've looked at two categories of mental states: (i) propositional attitudes, and (ii) states with phenomenal qualities like pain and perceptual experiences. Consider thought-experiments like Searle's Chinese Room and Block's Homunculi-head. Do they pose more of a threat to functionalist accounts of one of these categories of mental states than they pose to functionalist accounts of the other category? Why or why not?

3c. There is a prima facie conflict between externalism about mental content and functionalist accounts of the mental. Explain how this conflict arises, suggest one way a functionalist might try to respond to the conflict, and say whether or not you take the functionalist's response to be satisfactory. Defend your answer.

GROUP 4 (20 points, answer should be 3-5 pages)

4. In your view, when Jackson's super-scientist Mary comes out of the black-and-white room, does she learn something new? What is it that she learns? If you are right, would Jackson's thought-experiment show that qualia aren't indentical to any physical properties? Defend your answers.

GROUP 5 (20 points, answer should be 3-5 pages)

5. An important feature of our mental states is that they cause our behavior. If you go to the ice-cream shop, in part that will be because you believe that there is ice-cream there. On the face of it, your belief that there is ice-cream at the shop is among the causes of your behavior. How well do the different views about the nature of mental states account for mental causation of this sort? In particular, compare: dualism, orthodox functionalism, and Lewis.

 


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