Mosaic I (Spring 2010) - Midterm

Mosaic I - Midterm (S10)

Answer three (3) questions. All key terms, theories, and named objections must be explained.

Answer one question from 1-2.

1. At the beginning of the Second Night, Miller argues for the personality theory of personal identity. In your own words, explain the argument he presents on (roughly) pages 19-22. How does the conceivability of Kafka's metamorphosis lend support to the personality theory over the body theory.

2. At the end of the Second Night, Weirob raised an important objection to the personality theory. In your own words, explain the objection she presents on (roughly) pages 32-36. How is it a problem for the personality theory that God could make more than one heavenly being with with my personality?

(Note: Neither of the first two questions asks for evaluation. I simply want you to explain the arguments as clearly and convincingly as you can. Don't use any quotations or external sources. Your roommate should be able to understand every sentence. In answering these questions, you need to explain the concept of personal identity and the personality theory.)

Answer one question from 3-4.

3. Evaluate Freud's argument in "Our Attitude Towards Death" (posted on Blackboard; see page 289) that no one can believe, deep down, that they are going to die. Explain the argument clearly and then say why it is good or bad. (This question requires evaluation.)

4. Provide an interpretation of the scene in The Epic of Gilgamesh where Enkidu parts from the herd of gazelles. What does Enkidu lose, what does he gain? What's the significance of the way in which Enkidu is tamed?

Answer one question from 5-6.

5. Explain Freud's defense of the claim that children are sexual. You need to explain his claim clearly. This requires that you briefly discuss the meaning of "sexual" and describe some putative early sexual forms of behavior. Then you need to explain his argument against the skeptic. (This question does not ask for evaluation.)

6. If all dreams are primitive wish-fulfillment fantasies, as Freud suggests, then why do we have so many bad dreams--nightmares and, more prominently, anxiety dreams? What is Freud's explanation? You will need to explain his theory of dreams, the problem of anxiety dreams, and Freud's attempt to resolve the problem. (This question does not ask for evaluation.)

Due Date

Thursday 4/8/2010


The complete midterm should be no more than 1,500 words. This is approximately 5 pages double-spaced with Arial 12 point font.


The midterm must be typed. It should be double spaced. It should have one inch margins. You should use a 12 point font. I prefer Arial, since it is easy to read. Please follow the general paper and exam instructions under the "course documents / writing" section on Blackboard.


You are required to hand in a paper copy at the start of class on the due date. In addition you must submit the midterm through Safe Assign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on the due date. Safe Assign is a plagiarism detection tool. It will compare your paper against others available online, in journals, submitted in this class, Temple, and from all other universities that use the software.

Note: Plagiarism will result in a failing grade in the class, not just on this assignment.


Your exam should be clearly written, well-structured, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. It is practically impossible to get higher than a C if you start writing the night before the paper is due. The grading scale is as follows:

A = excellent

B = good

C = meets minimal expectations

D = bad

F = awful


Before writing this paper you must read several documents under the writing section of Blackboard. Read the following: 1. Writing Tip Sheet; 2. General Instructions; 3. Kagan's "How to Write a Philosophy Paper"; 3. Pryor's "Guidelines for Writing Philosophy Papers"; and 4. Pryor's "Glossary of Philosophical Terms."