Philosophy of the Human Person (0122-300-05)
Spring 2002: INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE FINAL EXAM
PROFESSOR YOKO ARISAKA
Office: CA D6 Phone: 422-6424
You can choose to do an oral final exam instead of a final paper.
If you want to do an ORAL FINAL EXAM:
Please sign up on the sign-up sheet; don’t forget to put your phone number.
The final meeting will be about 25-30 min. per person in my office,
CA D6 (right by the Philosophy Dept). It will be held during Monday,
May 13—Thursday, May 17.
If you have to cancel your meeting, you have to let me know and re-schedule.
If you want to do a FINAL ESSAY:
The essay should follow the format below. 6 pages max.
The final is due Thursday, May 17, 5pm.
You can send your final in electronically, but if you do not get a reply
from me, then I cannot guarantee that I have received it.
Please keep a copy of the final. If I do not have your paper, I cannot
assign a grade.
Fill in the brackets to construct your own view of the “human person’:
In my view, the two articles/authors from the list of readings we have
done in this class which best characterize my conception of the “human
person” are [list two of the authors/articles you liked the best].
In article 1, the most significant idea is [the idea #1]. In article
2, the most significant idea is [the idea #2]. I consider these the
most interesting/helpful in my own reflections about the human personhood,
because [give reasons for each—3 points each, 6 points total]. If
I had to synthesize my own statement about what I consider to be a good
definition of what it means to be a human person, I would say the following:
[state your own definition--this need not be absolutely original, but it
could be a combination of the material we’ve studied—3 points]. However,
there are others who would disagree with me. My “opponents” would
be [two of the authors/articles you least agree with, #3 and #4].
They would say that my view is wrong, because they believe that [state
the criticisms from #3 and #4 against your view—3 points each for #3 and
#4; 6 points total]. But I would say that they are still wrong; my
reply or defense to them would be [articulate your defense against the
criticisms—5 points]. 20 points total.
Suggestions for the Oral Final
The meeting should be understood as a “philosophical conversation.”
So you need not be intimidated or feel defensive.
However, I will play a devil’s advocate and ask you to clarify your claims
(this is how philosophers converse), and proceed to demolish your argument;
that is, I will try to present a counter-argument for you to defend.
I will ask you to “explain more,” “clarify what you mean,” “turn your (or
author’s) views/opinions/ideas into an argument,” and “defend your position
against my criticism.”
This means that you should do the following:
Know thoroughly the four articles you have chosen. Ask me to clarify
any material that you are unclear about beforehand. When you come
to the meeting, I will assume that you know the material well.
Think through, and be clear about the view you want to defend.
Try to imagine counter-arguments yourself. Who would disagree, in
what way? Think about how you would go about challenging your opponent.
I will help you with the articles beforehand; however, I will not rehearse
the meeting with you prior to the appointment.
If everything goes really well, you will get the full 15 points.
If you cannot quite clarify, explain, articulate, or put together a specific
argument when I ask you for one, you will lose points. If you mischaracterize
the authors’ views, you will lose points. You will not loose too
many points if you cannot successfully defend a counter-argument, so long
as some good attempts are made.
You can bring any notes or material you want. However, if it takes
you too long to answer a clarification question because you have to flip
through your notes, I will probably think that you don’t have a good grasp
of the material. “Getting a good grasp of the material” means that
you have the fundamental concepts and the position down, so that you don’t
need to “remember” any detail.
Tips for preparing: Here’s how you imagine possible counter-arguments:
For any position A, there are criticisms or “other ways of looking at the
issue.” Try to come up with them yourself and try to meet the challenges
yourself. This will help you clarify your own ideas, interpretations,
and arguments, and possibly predict what I may say.
Print this out and bring with you to the oral final exam:
Philosophy of the Human Person
Spring 2002: Arisaka
FILL IN AND BRING THIS SHEET TO THE FINAL MEETING
THE ARTICLES I HAVE SELECTED ARE:
MY MAIN POINTS (jot down key ideas you are going to talk about, in the
order you will discuss):
Back to my main page.