Senior Comps

The senior comprehensive exam is what the name implies, i.e. It is a comprehensive test given to seniors. Because it is a comprehensive test, it covers all the material in the required philosophy curriculum and students should demonstrate a broad and comprehensive grasp of all the course work they have done in philosophy.

Students may take the test if they:

  1. are seniors; and
  2. either are in their last semester of philosophy course work,
    or have successfully taken at least five of the seven required courses (and are currently enrolled in the last two).

The test will be given once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester. If a student passes all sections of the test except one, the student will be allowed to re-take the one section that is failed. If a student fails more than one section, he or she will need to re-take the entire test.

Essay Criteria

  • Does the essay answer the question asked?
  • Does the essay take a position and defend it?
  • Does the essay demonstrate a knowledge of the problem’s treatment in the history of thought? (Questions frequently include the instruction: "make reference to specific philosophers one has read and studied")
  • Does the essay demonstrate analytical skills and speculative syntheses that reflect the abilities of an undergraduate philosophy major?
  • Is the information factually accurate?
  • Does the essay show an awareness of positions counter to that of the author?
  • Is the essay well-constructed and are the ideas clearly presented?

Study Guide

Essay Question:  Choose One

  1. Which philosopher would you choose to be our philosopher-king? Justify your choice.
  2. What changes would you like to see in doing philosophy? Are these the changes you expect? Explain.
  3. Which discipline taught at UNC Asheville contains the most truth? Least truth? Justify your answers.
  4. Critically evaluate the claim that your life is a work of art to be judged on aesthetic grounds.

Logic

  1. Test the following categorical syllogism by means of a Venn diagram AND state whether the argument is valid or invalid: "Some M is P; All S is M; therefore some S is P."
  2. In traditional Aristotelian logic, from the truth of "All scholars are philosophers," what, if anything, can one infer about the truth or falsify of the following. Give the reason for each of your answers.
    • e. "All non-philosophers are non-scientists."
  3. State the "justification" for each line of the following formal proof that is not a premiss.