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    Hello, I thought I make a thread for philosophy a2 for current students to share tips, predictions and so on. This shall be the first exam of this specification and it will be on the 9th June. The topics are ethics; utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics and ethical language. and philosophy of mind; substance dualism, property dualism, behaviourism, eliminative materialism, type mind brain identity theory, functionalism. The exam is out of 100 marks, composed of 3, 5, 5, 12, and 25 mark questions for each module. Feel free to post anything
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    I hope utilitarianism or deontology will come up as the twenty five markers as I think these essays are pretty straightforward and likewise, substance dualism or behaviourism for mind. Does anyone know if emotivism or prescriptivism will come up solely as a 25 mark question, or would it be more general like is there a moral reality?
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    Do you believe that a 25 marker on ethical language will come up?
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    In particular, Aristotelian non-naturalism?
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    (Original post by ollie1801)
    In particular, Aristotelian non-naturalism?
    Ohmygosh I don't even know what that is I have just been following the specification and knowing everything that is listed on there. But if there is a question regarding ethical language hopefully it will be something broad so we can evaluate it with like emotivism and error theory etc etc.
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    Could anyone give me advice on how the essay questions should be written? The 12 and particularly the 25 marker? My teacher has actually not given me advice on this besides simply saying that it relies on more evaluation. What do these extra marks require? How would you structure it? Any help is appreciated.

    And while I'm asking, does anyone have a good example essay? I couldn't find an official one from AQA.
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    (Original post by qosin)
    Could anyone give me advice on how the essay questions should be written? The 12 and particularly the 25 marker? My teacher has actually not given me advice on this besides simply saying that it relies on more evaluation. What do these extra marks require? How would you structure it? Any help is appreciated.

    And while I'm asking, does anyone have a good example essay? I couldn't find an official one from AQA.
    Hello, there are sample essay answers for virtue ethics and type mind brain identity theory your teacher should have access to them on the AQA site, so if you ask them I'm sure they will be happy to give them to you, if they don't for whatever reason, message me I can take pictures of mine it is just that they are handwritten.
    I'm not entirely clear what to do for the 25 or the 12 markers either. For the 25 marks, I will state a brief introduction unless it is something like Bentham's utilitarianism in which case, I would have to explain the utility principle and the felicity calculus, but I find that if I do this I will run out of time for the main body of the essay. In the introduction, write what you will argue eg I will argue that it is not a sufficient theory for morality. Then I will explain an objection and then state what I think about utilitarian's position after this objection. and then do this 2 or 3 more times, and then my conclusion. I may be wrong so if anyone has any suggestions please say! The timing is so strenuous to be honest I'm not sure what is going to happen to me in the exam.
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    These questions came from the specimen paper so topics such as cognitivism and non-cognitivism (which was a 5 marker on the paper) will likely come on our paper in a different form (i.e. a 12 marker)

    What does it mean to say an ethical theory is deontological? (3 marks)
    Briefly explain ethical naturalism (5 marks)
    Explain the difference between cognitivist and non-cognitivist theories of ethics (5 marks)
    How might a utilitarian attempt to justify preventative imprisonment (imprisoning someone to prevent a crime rather than because they have committed a crime)? (12 marks)·
    How is Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean useful for making moral decisions? (25 marks)
    -
    What are qualia? (3marks)
    Briefly explain the philosophical zombie argument for property dualism (5 marks)
    Briefly outline Descartes’ indivisibility argument (5 marks)·
    What are the similarities and differences between interactionist dualism and epiphenomenalist dualism? (12 marks)
    Are mental states ontologically reducible to brain states? (25 marks)

    Predictions for 25 markers:

    Assess property dualism
    'The mind is behaviour'. Is this claim true?
    Is the mind physical?
    Assess utilitarianism
    Assess the claim that moral language expresses facts about the world.
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    Does anyone know how we go about this question?

    Outline substance dualism and explain the (two) materialist attacks on this view. (12 marks)

    I feel like I would need to explain Descartes' conceivability and indivisibility arguments first before going onto its objections. But that would just be too much.
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    (Original post by Bloody Stupid)
    Does anyone know how we go about this question?

    Outline substance dualism and explain the (two) materialist attacks on this view. (12 marks)

    I feel like I would need to explain Descartes' conceivability and indivisibility arguments first before going onto its objections. But that would just be too much.
    Hey I would outline either the conceivability argument or the indivisibility argument and then two of their respective criticisms, or I would do the materialist arguments and reference other theories and their arguments ie the folk psychology for eliminative materialism or the category mistake or official doctrine for behaviourism however I'm not sure which one I would do, I think the latter is more plausible for the materialist attacks
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    (Original post by Bambidear)
    Hey I would outline either the conceivability argument or the indivisibility argument and then two of their respective criticisms, or I would do the materialist arguments and reference other theories and their arguments ie the folk psychology for eliminative materialism or the category mistake or official doctrine for behaviourism however I'm not sure which one I would do, I think the latter is more plausible for the materialist attacks
    Thanks. Just worried that if I do the latter then my answer will become redundant as I tend to do more than just refer to unrelated theories. Hate how we get marked down for redundancy.
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    ~breathes air back into thread~
    the exam is in three days, would anyone like to share their thoughts or feelings about the exam, or in my case despair??
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    Hi guys, I am quite unsure about Wittgenstein's 'Private Language' Argument...could someone help me and explain what it means/what is its purpose?
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    (Original post by Bambidear)
    ~breathes air back into thread~
    the exam is in three days, would anyone like to share their thoughts or feelings about the exam, or in my case despair??
    haha, I feel quite similar to you...I just want this exam to be over and done with...its quite a tedious subject to revise for tbh. I asked my teacher about how easy do you think the exam will be, and he said that he thinks the examiners would go easy on us, since we are the first year to do this spec. Hopefully this exam doesn't have too challenging questions...
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    I'm doing religious studies (philosophy & ethics) and your spec looks so much more interesting than ours, damnit!!!
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    Oh yeah, totally looking forward to this on Thursday..

    Gotta say, ain't gonna be my finest exam this year. We finished all the spec at the end of March and I still don't understand all the Meta-Ethics stuff. Blah cognitivism/non-cognitivism..
    Gonna wing it and hope they go easy on us being the first test subjects!
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    Hopefully the answers students give will be of a wide variety, shapes and sizes that AQA will have no choice but to throw marks left right and centre. also I find it hard to argue for some of the philosophy of mind essays for example Functionalism wish the objections were simpler to understand and easier to argue for or against it because to be honest I actually could not care less about i
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    I'm sitting this exam! Just found this thread. How is everyone feeling?
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    (Original post by Bambidear)
    ~breathes air back into thread~
    the exam is in three days, would anyone like to share their thoughts or feelings about the exam, or in my case despair??
    I'm petrified. I'm meant to be taking this at uni next year!
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    Hey all, I'm David and I have a very strong interest in Philosophy. I'm doing this exam on Thursday along with you guys, and did pretty well on the AS exam last year. Thought I would contribute and provide some help to those who need it. I also have a 17-page summary of this course if you guys are interested. My answers aren't exact, obviously, but I'll try to help where I can

    ----------

    (Original post by qosin)
    Could anyone give me advice on how the essay questions should be written? The 12 and particularly the 25 marker? My teacher has actually not given me advice on this besides simply saying that it relies on more evaluation. What do these extra marks require? How would you structure it? Any help is appreciated.

    And while I'm asking, does anyone have a good example essay? I couldn't find an official one from AQA.
    12-markers shouldn't be anything more than assessing an idea or concept. It could be applying a normative ethical theory to a situation or providing a few points for or against an argument. Since the 5-markers will just be stating or describing a theory or argument, and the 25-marker will be the full essay, the 12-marker should be in between. So, like I said, either applying a theory or objecting to an argument. I don't think we'll get anything where we have to debate anything, i.e. giving two sides.

    The 25-marker is a standard essay with a large weight on AO2, so you'll have to provide a lot of analytical points, as well as a deep insight into your thought process. I would sway away from a typical 'Introduction, Point For, Point Against, Point For, Point Against, Conclusion' kind of approach. Instead, link your points on from each other. Give a point, then give an objection to it, or maybe a point that is very closely related to it. Don't restrict yourself to a very linear style. For the points in particular, you want to rely mostly on your analysis of your argument. Begin by giving your point (e.g 'Furthermore, utilitarianism faces a strong objection from the aspect of motives of the self.' Then, provide justification for it, or an example, depending on the point. Finally, make sure your give your thoughts on it, including how significant of a threat/support it is. I also think that providing an unorthodox sort of answer or response will get the examiner on your side. Treat the examiner like an idiot, but an idiot that will probably have to read the same arguments over and over again. So try and stand out

    (Original post by ollie1801)
    Do you believe that a 25 marker on ethical language will come up?
    I doubt it. Although it is the most recent of the areas of Ethics, it's, well...very meta. Even so, seeing as it's the first year, I would be very surprised if they don't choose to go for a much more straight-forward question, like 'Is Utilitarianism a good theory to use when making moral decisions?' or 'Are mental states reducible to brain states?' (for the mind). Basically, you can't predict exactly what question AQA will choose, but they're not desperate for questions, and probably wouldn't waste the essay question on ethical language.

    (Original post by lecaitlind)
    Oh yeah, totally looking forward to this on Thursday..

    Gotta say, ain't gonna be my finest exam this year. We finished all the spec at the end of March and I still don't understand all the Meta-Ethics stuff. Blah cognitivism/non-cognitivism..
    Gonna wing it and hope they go easy on us being the first test subjects!
    Yeah, us too. I guess there was only 2 people in our class, including myself, and the teacher didn't even know half of the course. Still, we went over the course again then went over Meta-ethics for a third time because we also hated it. It almost feels worthless. Like, yeah, I understand why we learn what the best way to act in a situation is, but learning about what 'good' actually means just seems like faffing about xD Oh well, we're almost there!

    (Original post by evilgeniuspinto)
    Hi guys, I am quite unsure about Wittgenstein's 'Private Language' Argument...could someone help me and explain what it means/what is its purpose?
    Ah yes, Wittgenstein. Love his name, not so much his philosophy.

    Imagine you ate a piece of toast. A day later, you ate a different piece of toast. Clearly, the qualia we experience in both cases will be similar, if not the same. But how comes? Wittgenstein claimed that we do not know for certain that we can label these two qualia as the same, even though we always do. Since this idea of a private language is incoherent, there must be only public language. And for public language to exist, there must be an external world. We can then expand this to say that there must also be other minds.

    This argument is a possible solution to the problem of other minds (Solipsism). I don't think you should stress too much about it. Wittgenstein is tricky, and I pretty much left him out last year and it was all okay! Just don't bring it up if you don't need to, unless the question specifically asks you to, which I doubt.

    ----------

    Hope that answers a few of those questions. I know I'm only another student, and I'm not exactly a know-it-all, but I really really really like this subject and I'd like to think that my reading on it helps me out, allowing me then to help other people. Since we're only a few days away from the exam now, the best thing to do is probably revise through watching YouTube videos on each topic, or read articles/commentaries on it. I suggest the prior since it's much easier :P Olly from PhilosophyTube has some great videos on certain topics, I've been using his videos to revise mostly. You can find him here:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube

    Don't be afraid to learn slightly more than what the specification lists either. Sometimes you being able to throw in an argument that wasn't listed will give you the upper hand. Also, don't just stick to one source. If you watch 5 different videos on Kant's deontological ethics, you'll have 5 different opinions and explanations of it. That will put you in a better position to filter out what you need to know and allow you to construct a solid explanation in the exam.

    Hope this helped
 
 
 
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