Phil 203 2007 - UKZN: Philosophy - University of KwaZulu

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UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG
SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS
SUBJECT: MODULE & CODE : Philosophy 203: Ways of Reasoning (PHIL203 P1)
EXAMINATION : June 2007
DURATION : 3 Hours
TOTAL MARKS : 300
INTERNAL EXAMINER:
Dr D Farland
MODERATOR:
Ms Julia Clare
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College
INSTRUCTIONS:
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This paper consists of 4 pages. Please ensure that you have them all.
This paper divides into four sections. Please answer all sections.
Section A: Please answer FIVE of the EIGHT questions in this section.
Section B: You have a choice: EITHER do Part I OR do Part II.
Section C: Answer ALL questions in this section.
Section D: You have a choice: answer ONE of the questions.
SECTION A
Please answer FIVE (of eight) questions in this section
1) Explain Hodges’ assertion that logic is about the study of consistent beliefs.
[10]
2) What are borderline cases and how do they pose a problem for logic?
[10]
3) Explain the distinction between validity and soundness.
[10]
4) Consider the following material implication:
If the moon is made of green cheese, then George Bush has murdered Osama Bin Laden.
Given what you know of the facts, say whether this claim is true or false and explain why it is. [10]
5) Explain the difference between the inclusive and the exclusive sense of ‘or’. Use truth tables and
examples to make your point.
[10]
6) What does it mean to say that two biconditionals are logically equivalent? How would you demonstrate
that they are?
[10]
7) Explain the difference between a simple and a compound proposition.
[10]
Question 8 on Page 2
UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG
SUBJECT: MODULE & CODE: Philosophy 203: Ways of Reasoning (PHIL203 P1)
EXAMINATION: June 2007
Page 2 of 4
8) Using what you have learnt about truth-functionality, explain the difference between the following two
claims:
a) If she dresses like that, then she is a porn star.
b) If she is a porn star, then she dresses like that.
[10]
Total 50 marks
SECTION B
Please answer EITHER PART I, OR PART II
EITHER
PART I
1) Translate the following argument into symbolic notation:
If the Mosaic account of the cosmogony is strictly correct, then the sun was not created until the
fourth day. And if the sun was not created until the fourth day, it could not have been the cause of
the alternation of day and night for the first three days. But either the word ‘day’ is used in
Scripture in a different sense from that in which it is commonly accepted now or else the sun
must have been the cause of the alternation of day and night for the first three days. Hence it
follows that either the Mosaic account of the cosmogony is not strictly correct or else the word
‘day’ is used in Scripture in a different sense from that in which it is commonly accepted now.
[5]
2) Use truth-tables to reveal whether the following arguments are valid or invalid:
i)
ii)
If the conclusion of a deductive argument goes beyond the premises, then the argument is invalid;
if the conclusion of a deductive argument does not go beyond the premises, then the argument
brings nothing new to light. The conclusion of a deductive argument must either go beyond the
premises or not go beyond them. Therefore deductive arguments are either invalid or else they
bring nothing new to light.
[15]
If someone could not have done otherwise than they in fact did, then they are not responsible for
their action. But if determinism is true, it is true of every action that the agent could not have
done otherwise. Therefore, if determinism is true, no-one is ever responsible for what they do.
[15]
3) Prove the validity of the following arguments using any method you like. If you choose to do formal
proofs, use the rules of replacement that appear (on the next page) after the arguments.
i)
“Since reason alone can never produce any action, or give rise to volition, I infer, that the same
faculty is as incapable of preventing volition, or of disputing the preference with any passion or
emotion. This consequence is necessary. It is impossible reason could have the latter effect of
preventing volition, but by giving an impulse in the contrary direction to our passion; and that
impulse, had it operated alone, would have been able to produce volition. Nothing can oppose or
retard the impulse of passion, but a contrary impulse; and if this contrary impulse ever arises from
reason, that latter faculty must have an original influence on the will, and must be able to cause,
as well as hinder any act of volition. But if reason has no original influence, it is impossible it can
withstand any principle, which has such an efficacy, or ever keep the mind in suspense at a
moment.” (Hume, 1978: 414- 415)
[25]
ii)
“Since morals, therefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, it follows, that they
cannot be derived from reason; and that because reason alone, as we have already proved, can
never have any such influence. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of
itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of
our reason.” (Hume, 1978: 457)
[25]
UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG
SUBJECT: MODULE & CODE: Philosophy 203: Ways of Reasoning (PHIL203 P1)
EXAMINATION: June 2007
Rules of replacement:
De Morgan’s Theorems:
Exportation:
Commutation:
Association:
Distribution:
Double negation:
Material implication:
Transposition:
Material Equivalence:
Tautology:
Page 3 of 4
~(p ∙ q) ≡ (~p v ~q)
~(p v q) ≡ (~p ∙ ~q)
[(p ∙ q)  r ] ≡ [p  (q  r)]
(p v q) ≡ (q v p)
(p ∙ q) ≡ (q ∙ p)
[p v (q v r)] ≡ [(p v q) v r]
[p ∙ (q ∙ r)] ≡ [(p ∙ q) ∙ r]
[p ∙ (q v r)] ≡ [(p ∙ q) v (p ∙ r)]
[p v (q ∙ r)] ≡ [(p v q) ∙ (p v r)]
p≡~~p
(p  q) ≡ (~ p v q)
(p  q) ≡ (~q  ~ p)
(p ≡ q) ≡ [(p  q) ∙ (q  p)]
(p ≡ q) ≡ [(p ∙ q) v (~p ∙ ~q)]
p ≡ (p v p)
p ≡ (p ∙ p)
4) Does the following argument contain a fallacy/ fallacies? If so, identify the fallacy/ fallacies and
describe how it/ they is/ are committed. If you think not, identify the fallacy/ fallacies most likely to be
alleged to be a part of the argument and show why it/ they is/ are not committed:
No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as
he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not
only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is
a good: that each person’s happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness,
therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons. (JS Mill, 1991: 168-9)
[15]
[Total marks for PART I: 100]
OR
PART II
1) The legal system relies on the doctrine of stare decisis (the appeal to precedent). From a logical point
of view, this looks as though it may be an instance of argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to false
authority). Is the legal system really committed to a fallacious mode of reasoning here?
[50]
2) Do the following arguments contain a fallacy/ fallacies? If so, identify the fallacy/ fallacies and
describe how it/ they is/ are committed. If you think not, identify the fallacy/ fallacies most likely to be
alleged to be a part of the argument and show why it/ they is/ are not committed:
a)
I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add
unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any
man shall take away from the words of the prophecy of this book, God shall take away his part
out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(God, Book of Revelation 22: 18 – 19)
[15]
b)
No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as
he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not
only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is
a good: that each person’s happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness,
therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons. (JS Mill, 1991: 168-9)
[15]
UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG
SUBJECT: MODULE & CODE: Philosophy 203: Ways of Reasoning (PHIL203 P1)
EXAMINATION: June 2007
Page 4 of 4
c)
No allegations of corruption have ever been proven against Jacob Zuma. Therefore he must be
incorruptibly honest.
[10]
d)
Successful people have expensive clothing, so the best way to become a successful person is to
start by buying some expensive clothing.
[10]
[Total marks for PART II: 100]
SECTION C
Please answer ALL the questions in this section
1) What is Hume’s account of the difference between a belief and a desire? How might we improve upon
Hume’s account?
[15]
2) Explain Nagel’s charge that the Humean is committed to an implausible account of prudential
reasoning.
[20]
3) What is Smith’s analysis of the concept of a normative reason? Comment on its plausibility.
[15]
[Total 50 marks]
SECTION D
Please answer ONE of the following questions
1) Set out Hume’s argument for the conclusion that we cannot regulate our actions by reason and then say
which of the premises of Hume’s argument is the most controversial. Then say how Hume supports his
controversial premise and whether his means of supporting it is adequate.
[100]
2) Set out Hume’s argument for the conclusion that our moral judgements cannot be produced by reason
and then say which of the premises of Hume’s argument is the most controversial. Then say how
Hume supports his controversial premise and whether his means of supporting it is adequate.
[100]
--oOo--
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