Philosophy of Love (Fall 2009) - Midterm

Answer four (4) questions. All key terms, theories, and named objections must be explained.

Answer one question from 1-2. (Friendship)

1. What's the Muttnik Principle? Explain what Branden thinks is the value of love and friendship.

(This question does not ask for evaluation. Be as clear and concrete as possible. Try to be convincing.)

2. Evaluate Montaigne's argument for the pessimistic view that the ideal form of friendship--a union of soul and body--is not realizable.

(This question requires evaluation. Make sure that you explain the argument as clearly as you can before you evaluate it.)

Answer question 3. (Symposium)

3. Explain the ascent of love. According to Diotima, what is the highest form of love? How do we get there?

(This question does not ask for evaluation.)

Answer one question from 4-5. (Union Theory)

4. Why does Nozick think that changes to the well-being of our beloved can directly impact our own well-being? Make sure to distinguish direct from indirect and coincidental models of impact.

(This question does not ask for evaluation. Feel free to include diagrams if they help.)

5. Explain the Problem of Self-Sacrifice for the Union Theory of romantic love.

(To answer this question you will have to first explain the theory before you introduce the problem.)

Answer one question from 6-7. (Concern Theory and Emotion Theory)

6. Explain the Problem of Cat Love for Frankfurt's notion of care. You must first explain his theory of care. How does care differ from desiring something or thinking that something is valuable?

(I don't want you to defend the view. Simply present the problem.)

7. Explain why Hamlyn thinks that love and hate are different from other emotions such as fear and anger.

(You'll have to explain the cognitive theory of the emotions in order to answer this question.)

Bonus (optional, 1 point)

8. Draw one of the creatures in Aristophanes's myth, prior to the split.

Note: In order to evaluate a theory, you must first explain the theory. When explaining a counter-example to a definition, you need to specify whether the example shows that a proposed condition is not necessary, not sufficient, or neither. If you are evaluating an argument, you need to build up the argument and then show where it might go wrong. To build up an argument, you must do more than merely offer a formalization. You must explain the argument. Typically, showing where an argument goes wrong will require arguing that one of the premises is false. When providing your own evaluations, be sure to consider obvious, compelling replies to your objections. If you think an argument is good, then you will need to defend it against the strongest objections that you can think of.

Note: Keep quotations to an absolute minimum. Never use a quotation to speak for you.

Due Date

Thursday 10/29/2009


The complete midterm should be no more than 2,100 words. This is approximately 7 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.

Please skip a line or two between your answers. Include the question number at the start of each anwer. Do not copy the questions.


You don't have much space, so you will need to be clear and to the point. Clarity should be your chief goal in writing the midterm. Pick your words carefully. Write to be understood. Assume that you are writing the paper to be read by someone completely unfamiliar with the issues.

I want you to explain the theories and objections as clearly as you can within the space allotted. I do not want papers that are longer than the word limit. The space limitation is designed to force you to practice verbal economy. That said, it is impossible to write a set of adequate answers in much less space. You'll have to use most of the space, and use it well.


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 paper 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 Pryor's "Glossary of Philosophical Terms."