This test has two separate sections, A and B. In this test, we are focusing on Section A and in particular looking at questions on the theme of Philosophy

Section A : Multiple Choice

This section is divided into 12 subsections; each subsection has between 3 and 4 questions.

You should answer all 25 multiple choice questions in section A, selecting one of the possible answers listed for each question.

Once you have completed all 25 questions, you will be presented with an Item Review Screen giving you the opportunity to review your responses. Once you are happy with your responses you should select ‘End Review’ and move to the next review screen.

Time allowed: 56 minutes 50 seconds

 

Solution Feedback Review

This screen shows all questions and your response as correct or incorrect. You may not change your response.

You may view solutions to each question by selecting the ‘Explain Answer’ button in the top left corner of the question.

Britain is a country built on moral principles. The nation is held together by the values of equality, freedom, popular sovereignty, tolerance, the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, and the rule of law. These values have been used to decipher whether an act is right or wrong, and have helped to guide our course during moments of crisis and when inspiration is needed to take us forward. Yet, here and abroad, morality is disappearing from political life and these principles are under attack.

The attack, undertaken by politicians, uses the familiar tactics of false promises, scapegoating, scaremongering, diversion and concentrating on short-term concerns. Lying is barefaced and commonplace. The rule of law is repeatedly challenged and the judiciary attacked. By these means, strongly supported by elements of the press, our government achieves widespread acceptance of the erosion of democratic structures, widening inequality and causing inaction on climate breakdown.

From the top down, public morality is corroded. If morality, not to mention competence, were valued by the electorate, the approval ratings of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) would surely have plummeted, but they haven’t. As others have noted, for many people truth has become unimportant. Selfishness is assumed and encouraged, and opponents, dissenters and people seen as “other” are denigrated and worse. The most important thing is one’s own short-term interest.

What can be done about the crisis? Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected, the divisions and the damage done to public morality will need to be repaired. Just as there is a need to promote physical and mental wellbeing, so morality could be promoted by means of the concept of moral wellbeing.

For physical wellbeing, we have the dietary advice of five-a-day; for mental wellbeing the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing, as used by the NHS. For moral wellbeing there is a similar framework that could be useful: the psychological model developed by James Rest, outlining the four components of moral reasoning.

This is a framework for improving thoughtfulness and clarity about moral matters. The first stage is moral sensitivity – recognising when an issue is one of morality, rather than a personal preference or practicality. The second component is moral reasoning. Having identified that a question is one of right and wrong, you then decide what the right thing to do would be. Third comes moral motivation – acknowledging other interests and motives that influence your thinking about the issue, and then weighing up the conflicting motives. The fourth and final stage is moral implementation, which means bringing moral reasoning and moral motivation together to make and act on a decision.

As particular assumptions and attitudes (including moral attitudes) are assimilated, familiarity grows, habits form, and it becomes increasingly easy to use fast thinking to make decisions related to them. But fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.

Most people want to do the right thing, but the right thing is sometimes not even properly considered. The diversions and scapegoating employed by government ministers are often intended to draw attention away from the right thing. As the evidence supporting the five ways to wellbeing campaign shows, doing good for others is good for one’s own wellbeing. In the longer term, concern and respect for others beyond one’s immediate circle, along with thoughtfulness and truthfulness, benefit all of us.

1. What would be the most appropriate title to this piece?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This title summarises the theme of the piece, and the author’s original contribution (his four step plan to review)

    A. The author wants the public to make changes not just change government

    B. Correct

    C. The author wants the public to make changes not just change government

    D. This misses the criticisms that the author makes of government

    E. This gets the author’s point wrong

    (Roger Paxton)

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    Britain is a country built on moral principles. The nation is held together by the values of equality, freedom, popular sovereignty, tolerance, the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, and the rule of law. These values have been used to decipher whether an act is right or wrong, and have helped to guide our course during moments of crisis and when inspiration is needed to take us forward. Yet, here and abroad, morality is disappearing from political life and these principles are under attack.

    The attack, undertaken by politicians, uses the familiar tactics of false promises, scapegoating, scaremongering, diversion and concentrating on short-term concerns. Lying is barefaced and commonplace. The rule of law is repeatedly challenged and the judiciary attacked. By these means, strongly supported by elements of the press, our government achieves widespread acceptance of the erosion of democratic structures, widening inequality and causing inaction on climate breakdown.

    From the top down, public morality is corroded. If morality, not to mention competence, were valued by the electorate, the approval ratings of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) would surely have plummeted, but they haven’t. As others have noted, for many people truth has become unimportant. Selfishness is assumed and encouraged, and opponents, dissenters and people seen as “other” are denigrated and worse. The most important thing is one’s own short-term interest.

    What can be done about the crisis? Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected, the divisions and the damage done to public morality will need to be repaired. Just as there is a need to promote physical and mental wellbeing, so morality could be promoted by means of the concept of moral wellbeing.

    For physical wellbeing, we have the dietary advice of five-a-day; for mental wellbeing the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing, as used by the NHS. For moral wellbeing there is a similar framework that could be useful: the psychological model developed by James Rest, outlining the four components of moral reasoning.

    This is a framework for improving thoughtfulness and clarity about moral matters. The first stage is moral sensitivity – recognising when an issue is one of morality, rather than a personal preference or practicality. The second component is moral reasoning. Having identified that a question is one of right and wrong, you then decide what the right thing to do would be. Third comes moral motivation – acknowledging other interests and motives that influence your thinking about the issue, and then weighing up the conflicting motives. The fourth and final stage is moral implementation, which means bringing moral reasoning and moral motivation together to make and act on a decision.

    As particular assumptions and attitudes (including moral attitudes) are assimilated, familiarity grows, habits form, and it becomes increasingly easy to use fast thinking to make decisions related to them. But fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.

    Most people want to do the right thing, but the right thing is sometimes not even properly considered. The diversions and scapegoating employed by government ministers are often intended to draw attention away from the right thing. As the evidence supporting the five ways to wellbeing campaign shows, doing good for others is good for one’s own wellbeing. In the longer term, concern and respect for others beyond one’s immediate circle, along with thoughtfulness and truthfulness, benefit all of us.

    2. What is the meaning of the phrase ‘From the top down, public morality is corroded.’?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Eroding from the top down means that the government’s morality and political decisions trickle down to the public and make an impact of reducing morality in the public sphere

    (Roger Paxton)

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    Britain is a country built on moral principles. The nation is held together by the values of equality, freedom, popular sovereignty, tolerance, the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, and the rule of law. These values have been used to decipher whether an act is right or wrong, and have helped to guide our course during moments of crisis and when inspiration is needed to take us forward. Yet, here and abroad, morality is disappearing from political life and these principles are under attack.

    The attack, undertaken by politicians, uses the familiar tactics of false promises, scapegoating, scaremongering, diversion and concentrating on short-term concerns. Lying is barefaced and commonplace. The rule of law is repeatedly challenged and the judiciary attacked. By these means, strongly supported by elements of the press, our government achieves widespread acceptance of the erosion of democratic structures, widening inequality and causing inaction on climate breakdown.

    From the top down, public morality is corroded. If morality, not to mention competence, were valued by the electorate, the approval ratings of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) would surely have plummeted, but they haven’t. As others have noted, for many people truth has become unimportant. Selfishness is assumed and encouraged, and opponents, dissenters and people seen as “other” are denigrated and worse. The most important thing is one’s own short-term interest.

    What can be done about the crisis? Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected, the divisions and the damage done to public morality will need to be repaired. Just as there is a need to promote physical and mental wellbeing, so morality could be promoted by means of the concept of moral wellbeing.

    For physical wellbeing, we have the dietary advice of five-a-day; for mental wellbeing the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing, as used by the NHS. For moral wellbeing there is a similar framework that could be useful: the psychological model developed by James Rest, outlining the four components of moral reasoning.

    This is a framework for improving thoughtfulness and clarity about moral matters. The first stage is moral sensitivity – recognising when an issue is one of morality, rather than a personal preference or practicality. The second component is moral reasoning. Having identified that a question is one of right and wrong, you then decide what the right thing to do would be. Third comes moral motivation – acknowledging other interests and motives that influence your thinking about the issue, and then weighing up the conflicting motives. The fourth and final stage is moral implementation, which means bringing moral reasoning and moral motivation together to make and act on a decision.

    As particular assumptions and attitudes (including moral attitudes) are assimilated, familiarity grows, habits form, and it becomes increasingly easy to use fast thinking to make decisions related to them. But fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.

    Most people want to do the right thing, but the right thing is sometimes not even properly considered. The diversions and scapegoating employed by government ministers are often intended to draw attention away from the right thing. As the evidence supporting the five ways to wellbeing campaign shows, doing good for others is good for one’s own wellbeing. In the longer term, concern and respect for others beyond one’s immediate circle, along with thoughtfulness and truthfulness, benefit all of us.

    3. Which of the following can be deduced from the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author says ‘Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected’ this suggests that he would vote labour as the best available option. This is a deduction, it is not explicitly stated in the text like the other options.

    (Roger Paxton)

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    Britain is a country built on moral principles. The nation is held together by the values of equality, freedom, popular sovereignty, tolerance, the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, and the rule of law. These values have been used to decipher whether an act is right or wrong, and have helped to guide our course during moments of crisis and when inspiration is needed to take us forward. Yet, here and abroad, morality is disappearing from political life and these principles are under attack.

    The attack, undertaken by politicians, uses the familiar tactics of false promises, scapegoating, scaremongering, diversion and concentrating on short-term concerns. Lying is barefaced and commonplace. The rule of law is repeatedly challenged and the judiciary attacked. By these means, strongly supported by elements of the press, our government achieves widespread acceptance of the erosion of democratic structures, widening inequality and causing inaction on climate breakdown.

    From the top down, public morality is corroded. If morality, not to mention competence, were valued by the electorate, the approval ratings of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) would surely have plummeted, but they haven’t. As others have noted, for many people truth has become unimportant. Selfishness is assumed and encouraged, and opponents, dissenters and people seen as “other” are denigrated and worse. The most important thing is one’s own short-term interest.

    What can be done about the crisis? Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected, the divisions and the damage done to public morality will need to be repaired. Just as there is a need to promote physical and mental wellbeing, so morality could be promoted by means of the concept of moral wellbeing.

    For physical wellbeing, we have the dietary advice of five-a-day; for mental wellbeing the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing, as used by the NHS. For moral wellbeing there is a similar framework that could be useful: the psychological model developed by James Rest, outlining the four components of moral reasoning.

    This is a framework for improving thoughtfulness and clarity about moral matters. The first stage is moral sensitivity – recognising when an issue is one of morality, rather than a personal preference or practicality. The second component is moral reasoning. Having identified that a question is one of right and wrong, you then decide what the right thing to do would be. Third comes moral motivation – acknowledging other interests and motives that influence your thinking about the issue, and then weighing up the conflicting motives. The fourth and final stage is moral implementation, which means bringing moral reasoning and moral motivation together to make and act on a decision.

    As particular assumptions and attitudes (including moral attitudes) are assimilated, familiarity grows, habits form, and it becomes increasingly easy to use fast thinking to make decisions related to them. But fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.

    Most people want to do the right thing, but the right thing is sometimes not even properly considered. The diversions and scapegoating employed by government ministers are often intended to draw attention away from the right thing. As the evidence supporting the five ways to wellbeing campaign shows, doing good for others is good for one’s own wellbeing. In the longer term, concern and respect for others beyond one’s immediate circle, along with thoughtfulness and truthfulness, benefit all of us.

    4. The author thinks that …
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The author expresses this opinion in the lines ‘fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.’

    (Roger Paxton)

    Post Comment

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    Britain is a country built on moral principles. The nation is held together by the values of equality, freedom, popular sovereignty, tolerance, the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, and the rule of law. These values have been used to decipher whether an act is right or wrong, and have helped to guide our course during moments of crisis and when inspiration is needed to take us forward. Yet, here and abroad, morality is disappearing from political life and these principles are under attack.

    The attack, undertaken by politicians, uses the familiar tactics of false promises, scapegoating, scaremongering, diversion and concentrating on short-term concerns. Lying is barefaced and commonplace. The rule of law is repeatedly challenged and the judiciary attacked. By these means, strongly supported by elements of the press, our government achieves widespread acceptance of the erosion of democratic structures, widening inequality and causing inaction on climate breakdown.

    From the top down, public morality is corroded. If morality, not to mention competence, were valued by the electorate, the approval ratings of Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump) would surely have plummeted, but they haven’t. As others have noted, for many people truth has become unimportant. Selfishness is assumed and encouraged, and opponents, dissenters and people seen as “other” are denigrated and worse. The most important thing is one’s own short-term interest.

    What can be done about the crisis? Of course a new government is needed, but even if a Labour government is elected, the divisions and the damage done to public morality will need to be repaired. Just as there is a need to promote physical and mental wellbeing, so morality could be promoted by means of the concept of moral wellbeing.

    For physical wellbeing, we have the dietary advice of five-a-day; for mental wellbeing the New Economics Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing, as used by the NHS. For moral wellbeing there is a similar framework that could be useful: the psychological model developed by James Rest, outlining the four components of moral reasoning.

    This is a framework for improving thoughtfulness and clarity about moral matters. The first stage is moral sensitivity – recognising when an issue is one of morality, rather than a personal preference or practicality. The second component is moral reasoning. Having identified that a question is one of right and wrong, you then decide what the right thing to do would be. Third comes moral motivation – acknowledging other interests and motives that influence your thinking about the issue, and then weighing up the conflicting motives. The fourth and final stage is moral implementation, which means bringing moral reasoning and moral motivation together to make and act on a decision.

    As particular assumptions and attitudes (including moral attitudes) are assimilated, familiarity grows, habits form, and it becomes increasingly easy to use fast thinking to make decisions related to them. But fast thinking is less like what is ordinarily recognised as thinking – and more like assuming, or jumping to conclusions. The value of the four-component approach to moral reasoning is in slowing down moral judgments to make them deliberative and logical rather than automatic.

    Most people want to do the right thing, but the right thing is sometimes not even properly considered. The diversions and scapegoating employed by government ministers are often intended to draw attention away from the right thing. As the evidence supporting the five ways to wellbeing campaign shows, doing good for others is good for one’s own wellbeing. In the longer term, concern and respect for others beyond one’s immediate circle, along with thoughtfulness and truthfulness, benefit all of us.

    5. At what level does the author think morality should be improved?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author states that public morality is corroded from the top down, and that electing a new government would be a start. But then, he lays down a strategy for the public to use to preserve morality, hence C is the answer.

    (Roger Paxton)

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    In normal times, a row between the EU, the UK and a private company over the timely delivery of a contract would be of interest to few apart from the two sides’ lawyers. But these are not normal times, and this is no ordinary contract.

    The battle over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine raises deeper ethical questions about who deserves priority access to a life-saving drug. It’s a discussion many countries have already had in a domestic context, where a consensus hasn’t been hard to reach: priority should be given to those who are most likely to catch or die of Covid-19, and therefore stand to benefit the most from a jab. But who should be prioritised for vaccination in the global context?

    Vaccine Nationalism is the approach of the UK government so far: if the EU has problems with the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, then tough luck. This argument finds justification in communitarianism, the philosophy that argues our identities and values are intricately linked to the communities we belong to, and therefore our moral obligations are first and foremost to those who belong to our community – in this case, our political community.

    But according to a different, more cosmopolitan, approach, moral responsibility doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. The value of a person’s life isn’t dependent on where they live: everyone has equal moral worth. Utilitarianism, the moral philosophy that measures the value of an act by measuring its impact on overall wellbeing, doesn’t discriminate between British, French or Brazilian wellbeing. It sees the preferential treatment of those close to us as immoral, and as an unfortunate feature of human nature. According to this framework, the UK shouldn’t prioritise its own citizens, but treat the citizens of the EU, and indeed of the rest of the world, as equally deserving of the vaccines it has secured. The most vulnerable from around the globe should, as in the domestic case, take priority.

    So, which of the two ethical frameworks gets it right?

    One way that philosophers assess ethical principles is by testing them in thought experiments. Imagine a neighbour asks you for a favour, say to help them move, and a stranger asks you the same. Would it be immoral to prioritise your neighbour? That doesn’t sound quite right. In fact, the special ties you have with your neighbour make helping them seem like a kind of obligation, one you don’t have towards a stranger. Now imagine a different scenario: your neighbour is again asking for help with moving, but a stranger is at the same time crying for help, drowning in the lake next to your house. Here your moral duty is to help the stranger, not your neighbour.

    Both the ethical principle that says we should always prioritise those we have ties to, as well as the one that suggests it is always wrong to do so, have their limitations. No one moral rule can capture the particularities of every ethical conundrum; each case deserves its own attention. So, what about the particular situation the UK and the EU have found themselves in? By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults. This means the proportion of people still highly vulnerable to Covid is much greater in the EU than in the UK. Should Britain let its neighbours have some of the 100m AstraZeneca doses it has secured?

    Let’s consider the extreme cases. If, say, the UK had vaccinated exactly the same percentage of people as the EU, there wouldn’t be any moral demand for the UK to share its vaccines. But if the UK had managed to vaccinate all of the groups most vulnerable to Covid, while the EU was still lagging behind, there would be a good argument for the UK to allow some of its vaccines to be diverted to the EU. Doing so would almost certainly save more lives.

    Given the current situation, and the fact the UK is suffering one of the world’s highest number of deaths relative to population size, there is a moral argument for prioritising its people. But it’s important to keep in mind that even though the political leadership of the country is democratically accountable only to its citizens, its moral accountability doesn’t stop with them. If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.

    6. If the UK had vaccinated 6.5 million of a 65 million population, and at the same time the EU had vaccinated 8 million people – what was the population of the EU?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    This is a maths question based on this line ‘By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults’. Hence, 8 million = 2% so 100% is 400 million people

    (Alexis papazoglou)

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    In normal times, a row between the EU, the UK and a private company over the timely delivery of a contract would be of interest to few apart from the two sides’ lawyers. But these are not normal times, and this is no ordinary contract.

    The battle over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine raises deeper ethical questions about who deserves priority access to a life-saving drug. It’s a discussion many countries have already had in a domestic context, where a consensus hasn’t been hard to reach: priority should be given to those who are most likely to catch or die of Covid-19, and therefore stand to benefit the most from a jab. But who should be prioritised for vaccination in the global context?

    Vaccine Nationalism is the approach of the UK government so far: if the EU has problems with the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, then tough luck. This argument finds justification in communitarianism, the philosophy that argues our identities and values are intricately linked to the communities we belong to, and therefore our moral obligations are first and foremost to those who belong to our community – in this case, our political community.

    But according to a different, more cosmopolitan, approach, moral responsibility doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. The value of a person’s life isn’t dependent on where they live: everyone has equal moral worth. Utilitarianism, the moral philosophy that measures the value of an act by measuring its impact on overall wellbeing, doesn’t discriminate between British, French or Brazilian wellbeing. It sees the preferential treatment of those close to us as immoral, and as an unfortunate feature of human nature. According to this framework, the UK shouldn’t prioritise its own citizens, but treat the citizens of the EU, and indeed of the rest of the world, as equally deserving of the vaccines it has secured. The most vulnerable from around the globe should, as in the domestic case, take priority.

    So, which of the two ethical frameworks gets it right?

    One way that philosophers assess ethical principles is by testing them in thought experiments. Imagine a neighbour asks you for a favour, say to help them move, and a stranger asks you the same. Would it be immoral to prioritise your neighbour? That doesn’t sound quite right. In fact, the special ties you have with your neighbour make helping them seem like a kind of obligation, one you don’t have towards a stranger. Now imagine a different scenario: your neighbour is again asking for help with moving, but a stranger is at the same time crying for help, drowning in the lake next to your house. Here your moral duty is to help the stranger, not your neighbour.

    Both the ethical principle that says we should always prioritise those we have ties to, as well as the one that suggests it is always wrong to do so, have their limitations. No one moral rule can capture the particularities of every ethical conundrum; each case deserves its own attention. So, what about the particular situation the UK and the EU have found themselves in? By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults. This means the proportion of people still highly vulnerable to Covid is much greater in the EU than in the UK. Should Britain let its neighbours have some of the 100m AstraZeneca doses it has secured?

    Let’s consider the extreme cases. If, say, the UK had vaccinated exactly the same percentage of people as the EU, there wouldn’t be any moral demand for the UK to share its vaccines. But if the UK had managed to vaccinate all of the groups most vulnerable to Covid, while the EU was still lagging behind, there would be a good argument for the UK to allow some of its vaccines to be diverted to the EU. Doing so would almost certainly save more lives.

    Given the current situation, and the fact the UK is suffering one of the world’s highest number of deaths relative to population size, there is a moral argument for prioritising its people. But it’s important to keep in mind that even though the political leadership of the country is democratically accountable only to its citizens, its moral accountability doesn’t stop with them. If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.

    7. What is the purpose of the thought experiment provided?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The point of thought experiments in the question are to provide simpler ethical answers which we can then apply to think through bigger and more difficult conundrums, like the vaccine issue

    QUESTION TIP! Remember that the question is ALWAYS relevant to the text, and answer which bears little resemblance or reference to the passage is likely to be incorrect

    (Alexis papazoglou)

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    In normal times, a row between the EU, the UK and a private company over the timely delivery of a contract would be of interest to few apart from the two sides’ lawyers. But these are not normal times, and this is no ordinary contract.

    The battle over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine raises deeper ethical questions about who deserves priority access to a life-saving drug. It’s a discussion many countries have already had in a domestic context, where a consensus hasn’t been hard to reach: priority should be given to those who are most likely to catch or die of Covid-19, and therefore stand to benefit the most from a jab. But who should be prioritised for vaccination in the global context?

    Vaccine Nationalism is the approach of the UK government so far: if the EU has problems with the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, then tough luck. This argument finds justification in communitarianism, the philosophy that argues our identities and values are intricately linked to the communities we belong to, and therefore our moral obligations are first and foremost to those who belong to our community – in this case, our political community.

    But according to a different, more cosmopolitan, approach, moral responsibility doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. The value of a person’s life isn’t dependent on where they live: everyone has equal moral worth. Utilitarianism, the moral philosophy that measures the value of an act by measuring its impact on overall wellbeing, doesn’t discriminate between British, French or Brazilian wellbeing. It sees the preferential treatment of those close to us as immoral, and as an unfortunate feature of human nature. According to this framework, the UK shouldn’t prioritise its own citizens, but treat the citizens of the EU, and indeed of the rest of the world, as equally deserving of the vaccines it has secured. The most vulnerable from around the globe should, as in the domestic case, take priority.

    So, which of the two ethical frameworks gets it right?

    One way that philosophers assess ethical principles is by testing them in thought experiments. Imagine a neighbour asks you for a favour, say to help them move, and a stranger asks you the same. Would it be immoral to prioritise your neighbour? That doesn’t sound quite right. In fact, the special ties you have with your neighbour make helping them seem like a kind of obligation, one you don’t have towards a stranger. Now imagine a different scenario: your neighbour is again asking for help with moving, but a stranger is at the same time crying for help, drowning in the lake next to your house. Here your moral duty is to help the stranger, not your neighbour.

    Both the ethical principle that says we should always prioritise those we have ties to, as well as the one that suggests it is always wrong to do so, have their limitations. No one moral rule can capture the particularities of every ethical conundrum; each case deserves its own attention. So, what about the particular situation the UK and the EU have found themselves in? By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults. This means the proportion of people still highly vulnerable to Covid is much greater in the EU than in the UK. Should Britain let its neighbours have some of the 100m AstraZeneca doses it has secured?

    Let’s consider the extreme cases. If, say, the UK had vaccinated exactly the same percentage of people as the EU, there wouldn’t be any moral demand for the UK to share its vaccines. But if the UK had managed to vaccinate all of the groups most vulnerable to Covid, while the EU was still lagging behind, there would be a good argument for the UK to allow some of its vaccines to be diverted to the EU. Doing so would almost certainly save more lives.

    Given the current situation, and the fact the UK is suffering one of the world’s highest number of deaths relative to population size, there is a moral argument for prioritising its people. But it’s important to keep in mind that even though the political leadership of the country is democratically accountable only to its citizens, its moral accountability doesn’t stop with them. If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.

    8. What is vaccine nationalism?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    Nationalism means the feeling that we are part of a nation united in a special and particular way which means our nation is better than/ should be prioritized over other nations. Applying this to vaccination, the concept is one which says ‘our country first’ in the vaccination programme.

    A. This is the author’s argument and not vaccine nationalism

    B. Correct

    C. This is the opposite

    D. This does not properly explain the concept

    E. The concept is not about production

    (Alexis papazoglou)

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    In normal times, a row between the EU, the UK and a private company over the timely delivery of a contract would be of interest to few apart from the two sides’ lawyers. But these are not normal times, and this is no ordinary contract.

    The battle over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine raises deeper ethical questions about who deserves priority access to a life-saving drug. It’s a discussion many countries have already had in a domestic context, where a consensus hasn’t been hard to reach: priority should be given to those who are most likely to catch or die of Covid-19, and therefore stand to benefit the most from a jab. But who should be prioritised for vaccination in the global context?

    Vaccine Nationalism is the approach of the UK government so far: if the EU has problems with the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, then tough luck. This argument finds justification in communitarianism, the philosophy that argues our identities and values are intricately linked to the communities we belong to, and therefore our moral obligations are first and foremost to those who belong to our community – in this case, our political community.

    But according to a different, more cosmopolitan, approach, moral responsibility doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. The value of a person’s life isn’t dependent on where they live: everyone has equal moral worth. Utilitarianism, the moral philosophy that measures the value of an act by measuring its impact on overall wellbeing, doesn’t discriminate between British, French or Brazilian wellbeing. It sees the preferential treatment of those close to us as immoral, and as an unfortunate feature of human nature. According to this framework, the UK shouldn’t prioritise its own citizens, but treat the citizens of the EU, and indeed of the rest of the world, as equally deserving of the vaccines it has secured. The most vulnerable from around the globe should, as in the domestic case, take priority.

    So, which of the two ethical frameworks gets it right?

    One way that philosophers assess ethical principles is by testing them in thought experiments. Imagine a neighbour asks you for a favour, say to help them move, and a stranger asks you the same. Would it be immoral to prioritise your neighbour? That doesn’t sound quite right. In fact, the special ties you have with your neighbour make helping them seem like a kind of obligation, one you don’t have towards a stranger. Now imagine a different scenario: your neighbour is again asking for help with moving, but a stranger is at the same time crying for help, drowning in the lake next to your house. Here your moral duty is to help the stranger, not your neighbour.

    Both the ethical principle that says we should always prioritise those we have ties to, as well as the one that suggests it is always wrong to do so, have their limitations. No one moral rule can capture the particularities of every ethical conundrum; each case deserves its own attention. So, what about the particular situation the UK and the EU have found themselves in? By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults. This means the proportion of people still highly vulnerable to Covid is much greater in the EU than in the UK. Should Britain let its neighbours have some of the 100m AstraZeneca doses it has secured?

    Let’s consider the extreme cases. If, say, the UK had vaccinated exactly the same percentage of people as the EU, there wouldn’t be any moral demand for the UK to share its vaccines. But if the UK had managed to vaccinate all of the groups most vulnerable to Covid, while the EU was still lagging behind, there would be a good argument for the UK to allow some of its vaccines to be diverted to the EU. Doing so would almost certainly save more lives.

    Given the current situation, and the fact the UK is suffering one of the world’s highest number of deaths relative to population size, there is a moral argument for prioritising its people. But it’s important to keep in mind that even though the political leadership of the country is democratically accountable only to its citizens, its moral accountability doesn’t stop with them. If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.

    9. What is the author’s answer to the global vaccine rollout problem?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is E.

    As well as expressing his own opinion throughout the piece, the author summarizes it in the final line ‘If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.’ Thus the answer is clearly E.

    (Alexis papazoglou)

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    In normal times, a row between the EU, the UK and a private company over the timely delivery of a contract would be of interest to few apart from the two sides’ lawyers. But these are not normal times, and this is no ordinary contract.

    The battle over the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine raises deeper ethical questions about who deserves priority access to a life-saving drug. It’s a discussion many countries have already had in a domestic context, where a consensus hasn’t been hard to reach: priority should be given to those who are most likely to catch or die of Covid-19, and therefore stand to benefit the most from a jab. But who should be prioritised for vaccination in the global context?

    Vaccine Nationalism is the approach of the UK government so far: if the EU has problems with the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, then tough luck. This argument finds justification in communitarianism, the philosophy that argues our identities and values are intricately linked to the communities we belong to, and therefore our moral obligations are first and foremost to those who belong to our community – in this case, our political community.

    But according to a different, more cosmopolitan, approach, moral responsibility doesn’t stop at a country’s borders. The value of a person’s life isn’t dependent on where they live: everyone has equal moral worth. Utilitarianism, the moral philosophy that measures the value of an act by measuring its impact on overall wellbeing, doesn’t discriminate between British, French or Brazilian wellbeing. It sees the preferential treatment of those close to us as immoral, and as an unfortunate feature of human nature. According to this framework, the UK shouldn’t prioritise its own citizens, but treat the citizens of the EU, and indeed of the rest of the world, as equally deserving of the vaccines it has secured. The most vulnerable from around the globe should, as in the domestic case, take priority.

    So, which of the two ethical frameworks gets it right?

    One way that philosophers assess ethical principles is by testing them in thought experiments. Imagine a neighbour asks you for a favour, say to help them move, and a stranger asks you the same. Would it be immoral to prioritise your neighbour? That doesn’t sound quite right. In fact, the special ties you have with your neighbour make helping them seem like a kind of obligation, one you don’t have towards a stranger. Now imagine a different scenario: your neighbour is again asking for help with moving, but a stranger is at the same time crying for help, drowning in the lake next to your house. Here your moral duty is to help the stranger, not your neighbour.

    Both the ethical principle that says we should always prioritise those we have ties to, as well as the one that suggests it is always wrong to do so, have their limitations. No one moral rule can capture the particularities of every ethical conundrum; each case deserves its own attention. So, what about the particular situation the UK and the EU have found themselves in? By the time the UK had vaccinated over 10% of adults, including the vast majority of over-80s, the EU had vaccinated only 2% of adults. This means the proportion of people still highly vulnerable to Covid is much greater in the EU than in the UK. Should Britain let its neighbours have some of the 100m AstraZeneca doses it has secured?

    Let’s consider the extreme cases. If, say, the UK had vaccinated exactly the same percentage of people as the EU, there wouldn’t be any moral demand for the UK to share its vaccines. But if the UK had managed to vaccinate all of the groups most vulnerable to Covid, while the EU was still lagging behind, there would be a good argument for the UK to allow some of its vaccines to be diverted to the EU. Doing so would almost certainly save more lives.

    Given the current situation, and the fact the UK is suffering one of the world’s highest number of deaths relative to population size, there is a moral argument for prioritising its people. But it’s important to keep in mind that even though the political leadership of the country is democratically accountable only to its citizens, its moral accountability doesn’t stop with them. If and when the UK finds itself in better epidemiological shape than other countries, it will be time to help them out.

    10. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The text raises question and prompts the reader to think for themselves, hence thought provoking is the most appropriate answer

    (Alexis papazoglou)

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    Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

    Our job is to persuade by argument, not by wielding influence.

    Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatformingof philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. I refused to sign, because I believe that petitions, regardless of their content, compromise core values of intellectual inquiry. Here’s why.

    Whether you call it a “petition,” an “open letter” or a “public statement,” this type of document is distinguished by the fact that after stating and arguing for a position, it lists the names of people who endorse the position. The petition aims to effect persuasion with respect to what appears in the first part not only by way of any argument contained therein but also by way of the number and respectability of the people who figure in the second part. Such a document tries to persuade you to believe (that it is right to do) something because many people, some of whom are authorities, believe it (is the right thing to do). It is not always wrong to believe things because many people believe them, but it is always intellectually uninquisitive to do so.

    The problem here is not that what many believe can be false, though that is a problem. The problem is that even if it’s true, the fact that many believe it doesn’t shed any light on it why it’s true — and that is what the intellectually inquisitive person wants to know. Is this problem mitigated by the fact that the list is not about sheer numbers because authorities appear on it? I think intellectually inquisitive people do gravitate toward those with expertise, because they are in an especially good position to answer our questions. But this goes only for experts taken severally. One expert is a learning opportunity; being confronted with an arsenal of experts is about as conducive to conversation as a firing squad.

    There is something aggressive about the way in which voices gain strength and volume by being joined together. Numbers generate a pressure to believe that isn’t grounded in explanatory force, because having more and more adherents to a view doesn’t give rise to better and better accounts of why the view is correct. Philosophers ought to be especially sensitive to introducing this element of belief imposition into our culture. As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.

    The idea that “the many” cannot be philosophical goes back to Plato’s dialogues: Socrates’ interlocutors frequently resist his counterintuitive conclusions as violations of “common sense,” and Socrates regularly replies, “why should we care so much for what the majority (“hoi polloi”) think?” (Crito 44c.) Socrates wants to know why the view is true, not who or how many hold it.

    Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm. It is unacceptable for a doctor to use — or even advise someone to use — a medically unsound procedure. Persuasion by majority or authority is an unsound way to inquire; the employment of such a procedure constitutes a kind of philosophical malpractice.

    Philosophical argument may not always bring about the largest number of mind-changes in your audience — the award on that front would go to mass propaganda of some kind — but it represents the kind of belief acquisition that we as philosophers are committed to: intellectually honest, conducive to knowledge, nonaggressive, inquisitive, respectful.

    There is no greater threat to intellectual culture than the thought that when it really counts, when it actually matters to us, we philosophers give up on doing philosophy. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, no one else will either.

    11. Which of the following adheres to the author’s understanding of a ‘philosophical influence’
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The answer to this question is located in the lines ‘As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.’

    (Agnes Callard)

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    Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

    Our job is to persuade by argument, not by wielding influence.

    Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatformingof philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. I refused to sign, because I believe that petitions, regardless of their content, compromise core values of intellectual inquiry. Here’s why.

    Whether you call it a “petition,” an “open letter” or a “public statement,” this type of document is distinguished by the fact that after stating and arguing for a position, it lists the names of people who endorse the position. The petition aims to effect persuasion with respect to what appears in the first part not only by way of any argument contained therein but also by way of the number and respectability of the people who figure in the second part. Such a document tries to persuade you to believe (that it is right to do) something because many people, some of whom are authorities, believe it (is the right thing to do). It is not always wrong to believe things because many people believe them, but it is always intellectually uninquisitive to do so.

    The problem here is not that what many believe can be false, though that is a problem. The problem is that even if it’s true, the fact that many believe it doesn’t shed any light on it why it’s true — and that is what the intellectually inquisitive person wants to know. Is this problem mitigated by the fact that the list is not about sheer numbers because authorities appear on it? I think intellectually inquisitive people do gravitate toward those with expertise, because they are in an especially good position to answer our questions. But this goes only for experts taken severally. One expert is a learning opportunity; being confronted with an arsenal of experts is about as conducive to conversation as a firing squad.

    There is something aggressive about the way in which voices gain strength and volume by being joined together. Numbers generate a pressure to believe that isn’t grounded in explanatory force, because having more and more adherents to a view doesn’t give rise to better and better accounts of why the view is correct. Philosophers ought to be especially sensitive to introducing this element of belief imposition into our culture. As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.

    The idea that “the many” cannot be philosophical goes back to Plato’s dialogues: Socrates’ interlocutors frequently resist his counterintuitive conclusions as violations of “common sense,” and Socrates regularly replies, “why should we care so much for what the majority (“hoi polloi”) think?” (Crito 44c.) Socrates wants to know why the view is true, not who or how many hold it.

    Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm. It is unacceptable for a doctor to use — or even advise someone to use — a medically unsound procedure. Persuasion by majority or authority is an unsound way to inquire; the employment of such a procedure constitutes a kind of philosophical malpractice.

    Philosophical argument may not always bring about the largest number of mind-changes in your audience — the award on that front would go to mass propaganda of some kind — but it represents the kind of belief acquisition that we as philosophers are committed to: intellectually honest, conducive to knowledge, nonaggressive, inquisitive, respectful.

    There is no greater threat to intellectual culture than the thought that when it really counts, when it actually matters to us, we philosophers give up on doing philosophy. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, no one else will either.

    12. Why is the opinion of Socrates relevant to the piece?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The answer is B, the example of petitions (the main topic of the piece) fits in to the wider argument of Socrates’ therefore providing authority to the author’s point

    A. This is not a counter argument

    B. Correct

    C. This is the wrong way around

    D. This is not relevant 

    E. This is false

    (Agnes Callard)

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    Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

    Our job is to persuade by argument, not by wielding influence.

    Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatformingof philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. I refused to sign, because I believe that petitions, regardless of their content, compromise core values of intellectual inquiry. Here’s why.

    Whether you call it a “petition,” an “open letter” or a “public statement,” this type of document is distinguished by the fact that after stating and arguing for a position, it lists the names of people who endorse the position. The petition aims to effect persuasion with respect to what appears in the first part not only by way of any argument contained therein but also by way of the number and respectability of the people who figure in the second part. Such a document tries to persuade you to believe (that it is right to do) something because many people, some of whom are authorities, believe it (is the right thing to do). It is not always wrong to believe things because many people believe them, but it is always intellectually uninquisitive to do so.

    The problem here is not that what many believe can be false, though that is a problem. The problem is that even if it’s true, the fact that many believe it doesn’t shed any light on it why it’s true — and that is what the intellectually inquisitive person wants to know. Is this problem mitigated by the fact that the list is not about sheer numbers because authorities appear on it? I think intellectually inquisitive people do gravitate toward those with expertise, because they are in an especially good position to answer our questions. But this goes only for experts taken severally. One expert is a learning opportunity; being confronted with an arsenal of experts is about as conducive to conversation as a firing squad.

    There is something aggressive about the way in which voices gain strength and volume by being joined together. Numbers generate a pressure to believe that isn’t grounded in explanatory force, because having more and more adherents to a view doesn’t give rise to better and better accounts of why the view is correct. Philosophers ought to be especially sensitive to introducing this element of belief imposition into our culture. As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.

    The idea that “the many” cannot be philosophical goes back to Plato’s dialogues: Socrates’ interlocutors frequently resist his counterintuitive conclusions as violations of “common sense,” and Socrates regularly replies, “why should we care so much for what the majority (“hoi polloi”) think?” (Crito 44c.) Socrates wants to know why the view is true, not who or how many hold it.

    Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm. It is unacceptable for a doctor to use — or even advise someone to use — a medically unsound procedure. Persuasion by majority or authority is an unsound way to inquire; the employment of such a procedure constitutes a kind of philosophical malpractice.

    Philosophical argument may not always bring about the largest number of mind-changes in your audience — the award on that front would go to mass propaganda of some kind — but it represents the kind of belief acquisition that we as philosophers are committed to: intellectually honest, conducive to knowledge, nonaggressive, inquisitive, respectful.

    There is no greater threat to intellectual culture than the thought that when it really counts, when it actually matters to us, we philosophers give up on doing philosophy. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, no one else will either.

    13. What is the meaning of ‘epistemic’
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    You can deduce this answer from the line ‘Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm’. You are looking for a word which relates to philosophers in the same way that ‘bodily harm’ relates to doctors. Doctors try to preserve the body just as philosophers try to preserve the validity of knowledge.

    (Agnes Callard)

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    Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

    Our job is to persuade by argument, not by wielding influence.

    Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatformingof philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. I refused to sign, because I believe that petitions, regardless of their content, compromise core values of intellectual inquiry. Here’s why.

    Whether you call it a “petition,” an “open letter” or a “public statement,” this type of document is distinguished by the fact that after stating and arguing for a position, it lists the names of people who endorse the position. The petition aims to effect persuasion with respect to what appears in the first part not only by way of any argument contained therein but also by way of the number and respectability of the people who figure in the second part. Such a document tries to persuade you to believe (that it is right to do) something because many people, some of whom are authorities, believe it (is the right thing to do). It is not always wrong to believe things because many people believe them, but it is always intellectually uninquisitive to do so.

    The problem here is not that what many believe can be false, though that is a problem. The problem is that even if it’s true, the fact that many believe it doesn’t shed any light on it why it’s true — and that is what the intellectually inquisitive person wants to know. Is this problem mitigated by the fact that the list is not about sheer numbers because authorities appear on it? I think intellectually inquisitive people do gravitate toward those with expertise, because they are in an especially good position to answer our questions. But this goes only for experts taken severally. One expert is a learning opportunity; being confronted with an arsenal of experts is about as conducive to conversation as a firing squad.

    There is something aggressive about the way in which voices gain strength and volume by being joined together. Numbers generate a pressure to believe that isn’t grounded in explanatory force, because having more and more adherents to a view doesn’t give rise to better and better accounts of why the view is correct. Philosophers ought to be especially sensitive to introducing this element of belief imposition into our culture. As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.

    The idea that “the many” cannot be philosophical goes back to Plato’s dialogues: Socrates’ interlocutors frequently resist his counterintuitive conclusions as violations of “common sense,” and Socrates regularly replies, “why should we care so much for what the majority (“hoi polloi”) think?” (Crito 44c.) Socrates wants to know why the view is true, not who or how many hold it.

    Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm. It is unacceptable for a doctor to use — or even advise someone to use — a medically unsound procedure. Persuasion by majority or authority is an unsound way to inquire; the employment of such a procedure constitutes a kind of philosophical malpractice.

    Philosophical argument may not always bring about the largest number of mind-changes in your audience — the award on that front would go to mass propaganda of some kind — but it represents the kind of belief acquisition that we as philosophers are committed to: intellectually honest, conducive to knowledge, nonaggressive, inquisitive, respectful.

    There is no greater threat to intellectual culture than the thought that when it really counts, when it actually matters to us, we philosophers give up on doing philosophy. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, no one else will either.

    14. What is the author’s main argument?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The overall gist of the piece is that philosophers, as representatives of intellectual culture, should not support petitions because petitions do not support inquisitive reasoning but mass persuasion

    A. Correct

    B. This is too extreme to be the main point

    C. ‘Always’ takes the author’s point too far

    D. This is the opposite of the argument

    E. This misses the point of the text

    (Agnes Callard)

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    Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Sign Petitions

    Our job is to persuade by argument, not by wielding influence.

    Recently I was asked to sign a petition opposing the deplatformingof philosophers on the basis of their views on sex and gender. I refused to sign, because I believe that petitions, regardless of their content, compromise core values of intellectual inquiry. Here’s why.

    Whether you call it a “petition,” an “open letter” or a “public statement,” this type of document is distinguished by the fact that after stating and arguing for a position, it lists the names of people who endorse the position. The petition aims to effect persuasion with respect to what appears in the first part not only by way of any argument contained therein but also by way of the number and respectability of the people who figure in the second part. Such a document tries to persuade you to believe (that it is right to do) something because many people, some of whom are authorities, believe it (is the right thing to do). It is not always wrong to believe things because many people believe them, but it is always intellectually uninquisitive to do so.

    The problem here is not that what many believe can be false, though that is a problem. The problem is that even if it’s true, the fact that many believe it doesn’t shed any light on it why it’s true — and that is what the intellectually inquisitive person wants to know. Is this problem mitigated by the fact that the list is not about sheer numbers because authorities appear on it? I think intellectually inquisitive people do gravitate toward those with expertise, because they are in an especially good position to answer our questions. But this goes only for experts taken severally. One expert is a learning opportunity; being confronted with an arsenal of experts is about as conducive to conversation as a firing squad.

    There is something aggressive about the way in which voices gain strength and volume by being joined together. Numbers generate a pressure to believe that isn’t grounded in explanatory force, because having more and more adherents to a view doesn’t give rise to better and better accounts of why the view is correct. Philosophers ought to be especially sensitive to introducing this element of belief imposition into our culture. As a philosopher, I want my influence to be philosophical, which is to say, I want to bring people to believe only what they, by their own lights, can see to be justified; I don’t want them to believe something because (I am one of the) many people who think it.

    The idea that “the many” cannot be philosophical goes back to Plato’s dialogues: Socrates’ interlocutors frequently resist his counterintuitive conclusions as violations of “common sense,” and Socrates regularly replies, “why should we care so much for what the majority (“hoi polloi”) think?” (Crito 44c.) Socrates wants to know why the view is true, not who or how many hold it.

    Just as doctors must commit to not doing any bodily harm, philosophers must commit to not doing a certain kind of epistemic harm. It is unacceptable for a doctor to use — or even advise someone to use — a medically unsound procedure. Persuasion by majority or authority is an unsound way to inquire; the employment of such a procedure constitutes a kind of philosophical malpractice.

    Philosophical argument may not always bring about the largest number of mind-changes in your audience — the award on that front would go to mass propaganda of some kind — but it represents the kind of belief acquisition that we as philosophers are committed to: intellectually honest, conducive to knowledge, nonaggressive, inquisitive, respectful.

    There is no greater threat to intellectual culture than the thought that when it really counts, when it actually matters to us, we philosophers give up on doing philosophy. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, no one else will either.

    15. What is the tone of the piece?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author tries to persuade philosophers not to sign petitions, and to persuade the reader to appreciate the ways in which petitions do not fit in with philosophical thinking

    A. The piece is not satirical

    B. The piece focuses more on persuasion than criticizing philosophers who do use petitions

    C. Correct

    D. Convoluted is not a tone

    E. The piece is not comical

    (Agnes Callard)

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    Socrates on the Moral Authority of the State

    In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the moral authority of the state, which might even seem to be inconsistent both with another fundamental claim he makes in the Crito and with certain claims he makes in the Apology. I shall argue that although these claims seem to be in some tension with each other, the crucial claims about the authority of the state in the Crito can plausibly be interpreted in such a way as to remove any real inconsistency with the other claims. 

    The first, rather striking claim about the moral authority of the state occurs at 51b of the Crito. Socrates argues that, because of the state’s role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its “offspring and servants”; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state’s laws or orders, he “must either persuade it or obey its orders,” even if the latter amounts to suffering death. The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence–even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter. 

    The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

    Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes. Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that “one must never do wrong” (49b). Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito. But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong? 

    Secondly, it might be objected that Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when ordered by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution, and with what he says he’d do if ordered by the state to cease practicing philosophy (both from the Apology). When the Thirty ordered him to capture Leon, he refused, on the grounds that this would have been wrong (unjust and impious). (Apology, 32c-d) This seems to be a recognition that one is morally obligated or at least permitted to disobey the state when what it commands is wrong–even if one fails to persuade it of its wrongness. And similarly, Socrates makes clear that he would disobey the state and continue philosophizing if it were to order him to stop–again, on the grounds that it would be wrong for him to stop philosophizing (recall that he saw philosophy as his life’s mission, given him by the god). (Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders. 

    I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology. To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do, and (b) what the law might require you to endure. With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito

    (i) Citizens must obey any law or order of the state, whatever it asks them to do or to endure

    (ii) Citizens must endure whatever any law or order of the state says they must—but citizens need not and morally should not do what is prescribed by an unjust law.

    16. Which of the following is explicitly consistent with Socrates claim in 51b?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The passage explicitly says that if someone disagrees with a law they must either obey it (not on the list of answers) or persuade for it to be changed (answer option C)

    (Taken and edited  from sas.rcohester.edu) 

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    Socrates on the Moral Authority of the State

    In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the moral authority of the state, which might even seem to be inconsistent both with another fundamental claim he makes in the Crito and with certain claims he makes in the Apology. I shall argue that although these claims seem to be in some tension with each other, the crucial claims about the authority of the state in the Crito can plausibly be interpreted in such a way as to remove any real inconsistency with the other claims. 

    The first, rather striking claim about the moral authority of the state occurs at 51b of the Crito. Socrates argues that, because of the state’s role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its “offspring and servants”; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state’s laws or orders, he “must either persuade it or obey its orders,” even if the latter amounts to suffering death. The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence–even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter. 

    The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

    Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes. Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that “one must never do wrong” (49b). Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito. But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong? 

    Secondly, it might be objected that Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when ordered by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution, and with what he says he’d do if ordered by the state to cease practicing philosophy (both from the Apology). When the Thirty ordered him to capture Leon, he refused, on the grounds that this would have been wrong (unjust and impious). (Apology, 32c-d) This seems to be a recognition that one is morally obligated or at least permitted to disobey the state when what it commands is wrong–even if one fails to persuade it of its wrongness. And similarly, Socrates makes clear that he would disobey the state and continue philosophizing if it were to order him to stop–again, on the grounds that it would be wrong for him to stop philosophizing (recall that he saw philosophy as his life’s mission, given him by the god). (Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders. 

    I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology. To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do, and (b) what the law might require you to endure. With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito

    (i) Citizens must obey any law or order of the state, whatever it asks them to do or to endure

    (ii) Citizens must endure whatever any law or order of the state says they must—but citizens need not and morally should not do what is prescribed by an unjust law.

    17. Socrates’ reasoning in (49b) and 51(a) would lead to different conclusions in which of the following scenarios?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    A law exists which requires murder. John believes this is morally wrong but fails in his attempts to persuade the lawmakers to change the law.

    51 (a)  requires John to follow the law if he cannot persuade lawmakers to change the law, hence it requires him to kill

    49 (b) requires John to never do wrong. Hence this requires John not to kill.

    The two citations require John to do opposite things in the same situation and hence are inconsistent

    TOP TIP! It might help to write out your reasoning on your whiteboard like I have to help give clarity to your thoughts.

    (Taken and edited  from sas.rcohester.edu) 

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    Socrates on the Moral Authority of the State

    In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the moral authority of the state, which might even seem to be inconsistent both with another fundamental claim he makes in the Crito and with certain claims he makes in the Apology. I shall argue that although these claims seem to be in some tension with each other, the crucial claims about the authority of the state in the Crito can plausibly be interpreted in such a way as to remove any real inconsistency with the other claims. 

    The first, rather striking claim about the moral authority of the state occurs at 51b of the Crito. Socrates argues that, because of the state’s role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its “offspring and servants”; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state’s laws or orders, he “must either persuade it or obey its orders,” even if the latter amounts to suffering death. The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence–even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter. 

    The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

    Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes. Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that “one must never do wrong” (49b). Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito. But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong? 

    Secondly, it might be objected that Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when ordered by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution, and with what he says he’d do if ordered by the state to cease practicing philosophy (both from the Apology). When the Thirty ordered him to capture Leon, he refused, on the grounds that this would have been wrong (unjust and impious). (Apology, 32c-d) This seems to be a recognition that one is morally obligated or at least permitted to disobey the state when what it commands is wrong–even if one fails to persuade it of its wrongness. And similarly, Socrates makes clear that he would disobey the state and continue philosophizing if it were to order him to stop–again, on the grounds that it would be wrong for him to stop philosophizing (recall that he saw philosophy as his life’s mission, given him by the god). (Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders. 

    I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology. To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do, and (b) what the law might require you to endure. With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito

    (i) Citizens must obey any law or order of the state, whatever it asks them to do or to endure

    (ii) Citizens must endure whatever any law or order of the state says they must—but citizens need not and morally should not do what is prescribed by an unjust law.

    18. What is the tone of the text?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The text is analytical, carefully working through different lines of reasoning and criticizing and trying to understand Socrates’ works.

    (Taken and edited  from sas.rcohester.edu) 

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    Socrates on the Moral Authority of the State

    In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the moral authority of the state, which might even seem to be inconsistent both with another fundamental claim he makes in the Crito and with certain claims he makes in the Apology. I shall argue that although these claims seem to be in some tension with each other, the crucial claims about the authority of the state in the Crito can plausibly be interpreted in such a way as to remove any real inconsistency with the other claims. 

    The first, rather striking claim about the moral authority of the state occurs at 51b of the Crito. Socrates argues that, because of the state’s role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its “offspring and servants”; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state’s laws or orders, he “must either persuade it or obey its orders,” even if the latter amounts to suffering death. The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence–even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter. 

    The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

    Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes. Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that “one must never do wrong” (49b). Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito. But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong? 

    Secondly, it might be objected that Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when ordered by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution, and with what he says he’d do if ordered by the state to cease practicing philosophy (both from the Apology). When the Thirty ordered him to capture Leon, he refused, on the grounds that this would have been wrong (unjust and impious). (Apology, 32c-d) This seems to be a recognition that one is morally obligated or at least permitted to disobey the state when what it commands is wrong–even if one fails to persuade it of its wrongness. And similarly, Socrates makes clear that he would disobey the state and continue philosophizing if it were to order him to stop–again, on the grounds that it would be wrong for him to stop philosophizing (recall that he saw philosophy as his life’s mission, given him by the god). (Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders. 

    I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology. To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do, and (b) what the law might require you to endure. With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito

    (i) Citizens must obey any law or order of the state, whatever it asks them to do or to endure

    (ii) Citizens must endure whatever any law or order of the state says they must—but citizens need not and morally should not do what is prescribed by an unjust law.

    19. In the fifth paragraph, the author suggests Socrates was somewhat …
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    The author suggests Socrates is somewhat hypocritical when he says ‘Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when’ – if Socrates’ actions do not fit with his words then this is ‘hypocritical’

    (Taken and edited  from sas.rcohester.edu) 

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    Socrates on the Moral Authority of the State

    In the Crito, Socrates makes some surprisingly strong claims about the moral authority of the state, which might even seem to be inconsistent both with another fundamental claim he makes in the Crito and with certain claims he makes in the Apology. I shall argue that although these claims seem to be in some tension with each other, the crucial claims about the authority of the state in the Crito can plausibly be interpreted in such a way as to remove any real inconsistency with the other claims. 

    The first, rather striking claim about the moral authority of the state occurs at 51b of the Crito. Socrates argues that, because of the state’s role as a provider of security, education, and various important social institutions (such as marriage), the citizens of the state are its “offspring and servants”; and from this he concludes that citizens are subordinate to the state and its laws to such an extent that if a citizen ever disagrees with the state’s laws or orders, he “must either persuade it or obey its orders,” even if the latter amounts to suffering death. The implication for his own case is clear: Socrates had tried to persuade the court of his innocence and of the injustice of his execution (as detailed in the Apology), but he had failed; therefore, he argues, he must now obey the court and accept his death sentence–even though he still thinks that he is in the right on this matter. 

    The second, closely related claim, comes only a few paragraphs later, in 51e and 52. Socrates there argues that by virtue of remaining in the state, a citizen enters into an implied contract with it to obey its commands. More precisely, the claim is again that a citizen who has a disagreement with the state must either persuade it that it is wrong, or else obey it. In the voice of the personified laws: “either persuade us or do what we say” (52a). The implication, again, is that if one fails to persuade the state to change its mind, for whatever reason, then one must obey its orders. A citizen has no moral right to continue to resist the state, even if he is convinced that he is in the right and the state is in the wrong.

    Now as mentioned above, these claims seem directly opposed to certain other claims Socrates makes. Most importantly, earlier in the Crito itself, Socrates had stressed that “one must never do wrong” (49b). Indeed, this serves as the driving principle behind the rest of his argument in the Crito. But is this really consistent with maintaining that one must always obey the state, if one fails to persuade it that something it orders is wrong? 

    Secondly, it might be objected that Socrates’ view of the moral authority of the state is inconsistent both with what he did when ordered by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution, and with what he says he’d do if ordered by the state to cease practicing philosophy (both from the Apology). When the Thirty ordered him to capture Leon, he refused, on the grounds that this would have been wrong (unjust and impious). (Apology, 32c-d) This seems to be a recognition that one is morally obligated or at least permitted to disobey the state when what it commands is wrong–even if one fails to persuade it of its wrongness. And similarly, Socrates makes clear that he would disobey the state and continue philosophizing if it were to order him to stop–again, on the grounds that it would be wrong for him to stop philosophizing (recall that he saw philosophy as his life’s mission, given him by the god). (Apology, 29c-d) Again, this seems to contradict what he says in the Crito about the supreme moral authority of the state and its laws and orders. 

    I believe, however, that it is possible to read the crucial passages about the authority of the state in the Crito in such a way as to render them consistent with Socrates’ exhortation never to do wrong, and with his remarks about disobedience in the Apology. To see this, it is necessary to distinguish first of all between two issues: (a) what the law might require you to do, and (b) what the law might require you to endure. With this distinction in mind, consider the following possible interpretations of Socrates’ claim about the moral authority of the state in the Crito

    (i) Citizens must obey any law or order of the state, whatever it asks them to do or to endure

    (ii) Citizens must endure whatever any law or order of the state says they must—but citizens need not and morally should not do what is prescribed by an unjust law.

    20. Which of the following expresses the distinction between a law which requires someone to endure something vs someone to do something respectively?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is C.

    An ‘endure’ law means to put up with something (from the examples given this includes allowing others to speak and accepting that verdicts arrived at through proper procedures must be carried out)

    A ‘do’ law requires you to actively do something (e.g. to steal or to pay tax)

    Option C gives a correct example for each category and provides them in the correct order

    QUESTION TIP! The word ‘respectfully’ indicates that order is important

    (Taken and edited  from sas.rcohester.edu) 

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    So the prime minister says that with the removal of Covid restrictions we will now be able to make our own “informed decisions” about what we will and will not do. Generally, we might feel it’s a sign of a good government and a good society that it allows and enables its members to make their own informed decisions about how they want to live their lives. But it’s hard to rejoice at the removal of most Covid restrictions with the current dramatic rise in new infections. When more than 100 experts have signed an open letter in the Lancet calling the full easing of restrictions “dangerous and premature”, it can feel less like relief and freedom, and more like we’re being released into a wild unknown – and one that comes with ever-increasing ethical burdens on us as individuals.

    For in this new chapter, we need to recognise that the transfer of decision-making powers from government to us is not just about practical decisions but also about important ethical ones. We’ll make decisions about what we choose to do as we continue to spread a harmful new disease to one another causing various kinds of harms. And the risk of dangerous variants increases with each new infection. Let’s not forget that the Alpha variant was created in the UK and quickly spread around the world. So the possibility of us creating new variants also has global implications.

    One kind of ethical decision is how to balance risks and benefits. Many people, from those marching in anti-lockdown demonstrations to Lord Sumption, a former supreme court justice, have been decrying the unjustnessof Covid restrictions. A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.

    While critics of the lockdowns respond to national policies, individuals can and will instinctively apply a similar kind of reasoning in thinking about how to go about their day in the new reality. On an hourly basis, we have the gift, or burden, of balancing risks and benefits with respect to ourselves, our household and beyond. Are the thousands of people who are deleting the NHS contact tracing app ahead of 19 July clearly showing that they value doing whatever they want – their freedoms – more than the potential harms to themselves or others from their actions, not to mention the social resources that may be affected? Or perhaps they don’t trust in its accuracy?

    Another way to think about the ethics of our decisions is to recall the early part of lockdowns last year. The phrase “we are all in this together” reflected the idea that we are all vulnerable, and all of us must cooperate to contain the threat and minimise harm. Laws and regulations imposed restrictions to ensure that everyone fell into line. But how key were they? Perhaps many people would have adjusted their behaviour in order to protect themselves and one another with just a strong request from the relevant authorities. While we value personal freedoms, we also value staying alive, good health and the wellbeing of others.

    However, it would be a mistake to think that changing the ethical norms of how we relate to one another is easy. As people become emboldened to do what they want, there will undoubtedly be greater interpersonal conflicts, as one person feels that their health is being put at risk by another’s activities.

    In the face of unknown dangers, people may withdraw from social interactions. They will be less willing to go out or use public facilities if social distancing and masks are no longer obligatory. Then there is the burden of shame for doing the wrong thing. That is, shame for not protecting oneself better or for being identified as causing the illness in others. People will become more reserved in speaking with neighbours and social networks for fear of revealing too much of the “risky behaviours”, with the social censure that follows.

    Without laws and regulations coordinating people’s behaviours, how effective we’ll be in protecting ourselves and others will depend, yes, on the ever-changing dynamics of the virus but also on the ethical values we express in dealing with one another.

    Let’s remember this pandemic spreads through human interaction and the extent of the spread tracks not only government aptitude but also the nature of our relationships.

    Do we want our social ethics to support personal freedoms, no matter the cost to ourselves and others. Or, do they support mutual respect, care and concern? We can come out of this pandemic stronger as individuals who take more control of our own health; we can also do justice to those who have died by building a fairer society. To achieve both, perhaps more than ever it’s wise to act like we are all in this together.

    21. Which of the following best summarizes the difference between the ‘generous’ and ‘Extreme’ version of the anti-lockdown view?
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    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The answer comes in the lines ‘ A generous understanding of this view is that the costs … are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.’. This demonstrates that one view is about balance, the other is about an ‘untouchable’ quality.

    TIMING TIP! Texts in the LNAT will often include long sentences. You will understand the text better if, when re-reading the line, you ignore any examples and continue on the the rest of the sentence 

    E.g.  A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. 

    • This is long and tricky to understand

    Vs  A generous understanding of this view is that the costs are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. 

    • This cuts out the examples and gets to the main point of the line

    (Sridhar Venkatapuram)

    Post Comment

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    So the prime minister says that with the removal of Covid restrictions we will now be able to make our own “informed decisions” about what we will and will not do. Generally, we might feel it’s a sign of a good government and a good society that it allows and enables its members to make their own informed decisions about how they want to live their lives. But it’s hard to rejoice at the removal of most Covid restrictions with the current dramatic rise in new infections. When more than 100 experts have signed an open letter in the Lancet calling the full easing of restrictions “dangerous and premature”, it can feel less like relief and freedom, and more like we’re being released into a wild unknown – and one that comes with ever-increasing ethical burdens on us as individuals.

    For in this new chapter, we need to recognise that the transfer of decision-making powers from government to us is not just about practical decisions but also about important ethical ones. We’ll make decisions about what we choose to do as we continue to spread a harmful new disease to one another causing various kinds of harms. And the risk of dangerous variants increases with each new infection. Let’s not forget that the Alpha variant was created in the UK and quickly spread around the world. So the possibility of us creating new variants also has global implications.

    One kind of ethical decision is how to balance risks and benefits. Many people, from those marching in anti-lockdown demonstrations to Lord Sumption, a former supreme court justice, have been decrying the unjustnessof Covid restrictions. A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.

    While critics of the lockdowns respond to national policies, individuals can and will instinctively apply a similar kind of reasoning in thinking about how to go about their day in the new reality. On an hourly basis, we have the gift, or burden, of balancing risks and benefits with respect to ourselves, our household and beyond. Are the thousands of people who are deleting the NHS contact tracing app ahead of 19 July clearly showing that they value doing whatever they want – their freedoms – more than the potential harms to themselves or others from their actions, not to mention the social resources that may be affected? Or perhaps they don’t trust in its accuracy?

    Another way to think about the ethics of our decisions is to recall the early part of lockdowns last year. The phrase “we are all in this together” reflected the idea that we are all vulnerable, and all of us must cooperate to contain the threat and minimise harm. Laws and regulations imposed restrictions to ensure that everyone fell into line. But how key were they? Perhaps many people would have adjusted their behaviour in order to protect themselves and one another with just a strong request from the relevant authorities. While we value personal freedoms, we also value staying alive, good health and the wellbeing of others.

    However, it would be a mistake to think that changing the ethical norms of how we relate to one another is easy. As people become emboldened to do what they want, there will undoubtedly be greater interpersonal conflicts, as one person feels that their health is being put at risk by another’s activities.

    In the face of unknown dangers, people may withdraw from social interactions. They will be less willing to go out or use public facilities if social distancing and masks are no longer obligatory. Then there is the burden of shame for doing the wrong thing. That is, shame for not protecting oneself better or for being identified as causing the illness in others. People will become more reserved in speaking with neighbours and social networks for fear of revealing too much of the “risky behaviours”, with the social censure that follows.

    Without laws and regulations coordinating people’s behaviours, how effective we’ll be in protecting ourselves and others will depend, yes, on the ever-changing dynamics of the virus but also on the ethical values we express in dealing with one another.

    Let’s remember this pandemic spreads through human interaction and the extent of the spread tracks not only government aptitude but also the nature of our relationships.

    Do we want our social ethics to support personal freedoms, no matter the cost to ourselves and others. Or, do they support mutual respect, care and concern? We can come out of this pandemic stronger as individuals who take more control of our own health; we can also do justice to those who have died by building a fairer society. To achieve both, perhaps more than ever it’s wise to act like we are all in this together.

    22. Which of the following is not suggested by the author as an influence on the spread of the disease?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is D.

    Economic status of the country may be a true answer, but it is not one found in the text. All the others can be found in the text and, hopefully, this question allows you to remember.

    (Sridhar Venkatapuram)

    Post Comment

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    So the prime minister says that with the removal of Covid restrictions we will now be able to make our own “informed decisions” about what we will and will not do. Generally, we might feel it’s a sign of a good government and a good society that it allows and enables its members to make their own informed decisions about how they want to live their lives. But it’s hard to rejoice at the removal of most Covid restrictions with the current dramatic rise in new infections. When more than 100 experts have signed an open letter in the Lancet calling the full easing of restrictions “dangerous and premature”, it can feel less like relief and freedom, and more like we’re being released into a wild unknown – and one that comes with ever-increasing ethical burdens on us as individuals.

    For in this new chapter, we need to recognise that the transfer of decision-making powers from government to us is not just about practical decisions but also about important ethical ones. We’ll make decisions about what we choose to do as we continue to spread a harmful new disease to one another causing various kinds of harms. And the risk of dangerous variants increases with each new infection. Let’s not forget that the Alpha variant was created in the UK and quickly spread around the world. So the possibility of us creating new variants also has global implications.

    One kind of ethical decision is how to balance risks and benefits. Many people, from those marching in anti-lockdown demonstrations to Lord Sumption, a former supreme court justice, have been decrying the unjustnessof Covid restrictions. A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.

    While critics of the lockdowns respond to national policies, individuals can and will instinctively apply a similar kind of reasoning in thinking about how to go about their day in the new reality. On an hourly basis, we have the gift, or burden, of balancing risks and benefits with respect to ourselves, our household and beyond. Are the thousands of people who are deleting the NHS contact tracing app ahead of 19 July clearly showing that they value doing whatever they want – their freedoms – more than the potential harms to themselves or others from their actions, not to mention the social resources that may be affected? Or perhaps they don’t trust in its accuracy?

    Another way to think about the ethics of our decisions is to recall the early part of lockdowns last year. The phrase “we are all in this together” reflected the idea that we are all vulnerable, and all of us must cooperate to contain the threat and minimise harm. Laws and regulations imposed restrictions to ensure that everyone fell into line. But how key were they? Perhaps many people would have adjusted their behaviour in order to protect themselves and one another with just a strong request from the relevant authorities. While we value personal freedoms, we also value staying alive, good health and the wellbeing of others.

    However, it would be a mistake to think that changing the ethical norms of how we relate to one another is easy. As people become emboldened to do what they want, there will undoubtedly be greater interpersonal conflicts, as one person feels that their health is being put at risk by another’s activities.

    In the face of unknown dangers, people may withdraw from social interactions. They will be less willing to go out or use public facilities if social distancing and masks are no longer obligatory. Then there is the burden of shame for doing the wrong thing. That is, shame for not protecting oneself better or for being identified as causing the illness in others. People will become more reserved in speaking with neighbours and social networks for fear of revealing too much of the “risky behaviours”, with the social censure that follows.

    Without laws and regulations coordinating people’s behaviours, how effective we’ll be in protecting ourselves and others will depend, yes, on the ever-changing dynamics of the virus but also on the ethical values we express in dealing with one another.

    Let’s remember this pandemic spreads through human interaction and the extent of the spread tracks not only government aptitude but also the nature of our relationships.

    Do we want our social ethics to support personal freedoms, no matter the cost to ourselves and others. Or, do they support mutual respect, care and concern? We can come out of this pandemic stronger as individuals who take more control of our own health; we can also do justice to those who have died by building a fairer society. To achieve both, perhaps more than ever it’s wise to act like we are all in this together.

    23. What is the tone of the passage?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is A.

    The tone of passage is sincere, it is serious and makes an important point. It also raises tricky questions with significant consequences.

    QUESTION TIP! ‘What is the tone’ questions don’t require you to go back to the passage, it is simply a question of the ‘gist’ that you picked up from reading the passage. Think about how the passage made you feel, or how you would feel if you were speaking to the author on this matter?

    (Sridhar Venkatapuram)

    Post Comment

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    So the prime minister says that with the removal of Covid restrictions we will now be able to make our own “informed decisions” about what we will and will not do. Generally, we might feel it’s a sign of a good government and a good society that it allows and enables its members to make their own informed decisions about how they want to live their lives. But it’s hard to rejoice at the removal of most Covid restrictions with the current dramatic rise in new infections. When more than 100 experts have signed an open letter in the Lancet calling the full easing of restrictions “dangerous and premature”, it can feel less like relief and freedom, and more like we’re being released into a wild unknown – and one that comes with ever-increasing ethical burdens on us as individuals.

    For in this new chapter, we need to recognise that the transfer of decision-making powers from government to us is not just about practical decisions but also about important ethical ones. We’ll make decisions about what we choose to do as we continue to spread a harmful new disease to one another causing various kinds of harms. And the risk of dangerous variants increases with each new infection. Let’s not forget that the Alpha variant was created in the UK and quickly spread around the world. So the possibility of us creating new variants also has global implications.

    One kind of ethical decision is how to balance risks and benefits. Many people, from those marching in anti-lockdown demonstrations to Lord Sumption, a former supreme court justice, have been decrying the unjustnessof Covid restrictions. A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.

    While critics of the lockdowns respond to national policies, individuals can and will instinctively apply a similar kind of reasoning in thinking about how to go about their day in the new reality. On an hourly basis, we have the gift, or burden, of balancing risks and benefits with respect to ourselves, our household and beyond. Are the thousands of people who are deleting the NHS contact tracing app ahead of 19 July clearly showing that they value doing whatever they want – their freedoms – more than the potential harms to themselves or others from their actions, not to mention the social resources that may be affected? Or perhaps they don’t trust in its accuracy?

    Another way to think about the ethics of our decisions is to recall the early part of lockdowns last year. The phrase “we are all in this together” reflected the idea that we are all vulnerable, and all of us must cooperate to contain the threat and minimise harm. Laws and regulations imposed restrictions to ensure that everyone fell into line. But how key were they? Perhaps many people would have adjusted their behaviour in order to protect themselves and one another with just a strong request from the relevant authorities. While we value personal freedoms, we also value staying alive, good health and the wellbeing of others.

    However, it would be a mistake to think that changing the ethical norms of how we relate to one another is easy. As people become emboldened to do what they want, there will undoubtedly be greater interpersonal conflicts, as one person feels that their health is being put at risk by another’s activities.

    In the face of unknown dangers, people may withdraw from social interactions. They will be less willing to go out or use public facilities if social distancing and masks are no longer obligatory. Then there is the burden of shame for doing the wrong thing. That is, shame for not protecting oneself better or for being identified as causing the illness in others. People will become more reserved in speaking with neighbours and social networks for fear of revealing too much of the “risky behaviours”, with the social censure that follows.

    Without laws and regulations coordinating people’s behaviours, how effective we’ll be in protecting ourselves and others will depend, yes, on the ever-changing dynamics of the virus but also on the ethical values we express in dealing with one another.

    Let’s remember this pandemic spreads through human interaction and the extent of the spread tracks not only government aptitude but also the nature of our relationships.

    Do we want our social ethics to support personal freedoms, no matter the cost to ourselves and others. Or, do they support mutual respect, care and concern? We can come out of this pandemic stronger as individuals who take more control of our own health; we can also do justice to those who have died by building a fairer society. To achieve both, perhaps more than ever it’s wise to act like we are all in this together.

    24. Which of the following is the most likely title to this passage?
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    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    B summarizes the main point, which is that the recent changes in restrictions will bring a lot of individual responsibility which the author sees as a question of morality. All of the other answer options are too extreme, they take the author’s point too far.

    TOP TIP! Be wary of answers which encapsulate the point of the text but jump to too extreme statements or conclusions

    (Sridhar Venkatapuram)

    Post Comment

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    So the prime minister says that with the removal of Covid restrictions we will now be able to make our own “informed decisions” about what we will and will not do. Generally, we might feel it’s a sign of a good government and a good society that it allows and enables its members to make their own informed decisions about how they want to live their lives. But it’s hard to rejoice at the removal of most Covid restrictions with the current dramatic rise in new infections. When more than 100 experts have signed an open letter in the Lancet calling the full easing of restrictions “dangerous and premature”, it can feel less like relief and freedom, and more like we’re being released into a wild unknown – and one that comes with ever-increasing ethical burdens on us as individuals.

    For in this new chapter, we need to recognise that the transfer of decision-making powers from government to us is not just about practical decisions but also about important ethical ones. We’ll make decisions about what we choose to do as we continue to spread a harmful new disease to one another causing various kinds of harms. And the risk of dangerous variants increases with each new infection. Let’s not forget that the Alpha variant was created in the UK and quickly spread around the world. So the possibility of us creating new variants also has global implications.

    One kind of ethical decision is how to balance risks and benefits. Many people, from those marching in anti-lockdown demonstrations to Lord Sumption, a former supreme court justice, have been decrying the unjustnessof Covid restrictions. A generous understanding of this view is that the costs in terms of loss of personal liberties as well as curtailment of so much social life, including economic activity, to lower the risk of infections are far greater than the benefits in terms of lives saved. Perhaps an extreme reading of the view would be that personal freedoms are so ethically important that nothing, no gain, is worth infringing on those freedoms.

    While critics of the lockdowns respond to national policies, individuals can and will instinctively apply a similar kind of reasoning in thinking about how to go about their day in the new reality. On an hourly basis, we have the gift, or burden, of balancing risks and benefits with respect to ourselves, our household and beyond. Are the thousands of people who are deleting the NHS contact tracing app ahead of 19 July clearly showing that they value doing whatever they want – their freedoms – more than the potential harms to themselves or others from their actions, not to mention the social resources that may be affected? Or perhaps they don’t trust in its accuracy?

    Another way to think about the ethics of our decisions is to recall the early part of lockdowns last year. The phrase “we are all in this together” reflected the idea that we are all vulnerable, and all of us must cooperate to contain the threat and minimise harm. Laws and regulations imposed restrictions to ensure that everyone fell into line. But how key were they? Perhaps many people would have adjusted their behaviour in order to protect themselves and one another with just a strong request from the relevant authorities. While we value personal freedoms, we also value staying alive, good health and the wellbeing of others.

    However, it would be a mistake to think that changing the ethical norms of how we relate to one another is easy. As people become emboldened to do what they want, there will undoubtedly be greater interpersonal conflicts, as one person feels that their health is being put at risk by another’s activities.

    In the face of unknown dangers, people may withdraw from social interactions. They will be less willing to go out or use public facilities if social distancing and masks are no longer obligatory. Then there is the burden of shame for doing the wrong thing. That is, shame for not protecting oneself better or for being identified as causing the illness in others. People will become more reserved in speaking with neighbours and social networks for fear of revealing too much of the “risky behaviours”, with the social censure that follows.

    Without laws and regulations coordinating people’s behaviours, how effective we’ll be in protecting ourselves and others will depend, yes, on the ever-changing dynamics of the virus but also on the ethical values we express in dealing with one another.

    Let’s remember this pandemic spreads through human interaction and the extent of the spread tracks not only government aptitude but also the nature of our relationships.

    Do we want our social ethics to support personal freedoms, no matter the cost to ourselves and others. Or, do they support mutual respect, care and concern? We can come out of this pandemic stronger as individuals who take more control of our own health; we can also do justice to those who have died by building a fairer society. To achieve both, perhaps more than ever it’s wise to act like we are all in this together.

    25. Which of the following is incompatible with the extremists view of personal freedoms?
  • 0
    0

    Explanation

    The correct answer is B.

    The author makes it clear that the extremist view thinks that personal freedoms are always to be maintained, hence their importance is incapable of being balanced with any other costs – no cost could outweigh their value. 

    (Sridhar Venkatapuram)

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    Philosophy Review Screen

    Instructions

    Below is a summary of your answers. You can review your questions in three (3) different ways.

    The buttons in the lower right-hand corner correspond to these choices:

    1. Review all of your questions and answers.
    2. Review questions that are incomplete.
    3. Review questions that are flagged for review. (Click the 'flag' icon to change the flag for review status.)

    You may also click on a question number to link directly to its location in the exam.

    Philosophy Section

    Final Answer Review Screen

    Instructions

    This review section allows you to view the answers you made and see whether they were correct or not. Each question accessed from this screen has an 'Explain Answer' button in the top left hand side. By clicking on this you will obtain an explanation as to the correct answer.

    At the bottom of this screen you can choose to 'Review All' answers, 'Review Incorrect' answers or 'Review Flagged' answers. Alternatively you can go to specific questions by opening up any of the sub-tests below.

    Philosophy Section

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