(All of these questions were set as part of the Examen Philosophicum for English-speaking students at the University of Oslo, (between 1975 and 1984)

Consider the following exchange of views between two speakers representing opposing political factions at an encounter on a television interview about the issue-statement: "Increased world trade is a necessity for future world peace."
Mr. A: 'No one of any intellectual ability can deny that world trade is of great benefit to mankind'.
Mrs. B: 'Mr. A is trying to beg the question. World trade is not a benefit to all nations, for many grow yearly relatively poorer because of it. Their resources are tapped by international monopolies and they have to buy over-priced imports in return.'
Mr. A: 'That's absurd. Mrs. B holds an unrealistic view of the conditions that prevail for poor countries also profit by trading.'
a) Consider the underlined portions of the above with regard to whether these are relevant to the issue-statement under discussion. Do you regard A's last statement as an evasion of the issue? Explain relevance.
b) Point out whether emotive terms or expressions are used, suggesting more cognitively-neutral alternative terms or expressions where possible,
c) Set out the cognitive arguments that remain after your criticisms as an ordered argument survey. Indicate how the tenability of these arguments can be evaluated.

During a panel discussion upon the subject 'State power is necessary for democracy' the following views were exchanged:-
Official speaker: In our complex modern democracy, the State must use its power to ensure the nation's continued economic growth and welfare. Nobody who is properly informed would deny that.
Member of Audience: I deny both your statements, for real welfare arises in a society where people can decide more for themselves than the present State allows.
Official speaker: The last speaker is therefore not properly informed. It's evident she invites a return to the economic miseries of past times.
a) Point out which principles of efficient communication are broken in the above discussion, giving reasons.
b) Do you find any infringement of the principle of valid implication? If so, state the fallacies you find and explain them.
c) Does irrelevance occur in the official speaker's last two statements? Explain your view, referring to the principle of relevance.

Consider the following exchange of views:-
A: Manufacture of the neutron bomb for N.A.T.O. is a threat to world peace.
B: It's not. For in giving N.A.T.O. the strongest deterrent it helps persuade the U.S.S.R. to stop the nuclear arms race.
A: That is unlikely, for it is itself a new move in the nuclear arms race.
B: But it will at least maintain the balance of power.
Briefly answer each of the following questions:-
a) Order the above discussion as in an ordered argument survey clearly indicating which is the issue-statement, which are pro-or contra-arguments and of which order you consider the arguments to be.
b) Forward not more than three arguments of your own for or against either the-issue-statement or any of the arguments in the survey.
c) Explain what is meant by tenability and by relevance. How are they to be evaluated here, using B's first argument as an example.

Consider the following discussion between two economists upon the problem of used and waste products in a consumer society:-
A: Recirculation is frequently uneconomical.
B: No. On the contrary, recirculation is never a waste of resources.
A: But in many cases recirculation is not financially profitable.
B: Yes, I know that, but we must make it profitable by altering social and economic policy radically.
A: In my youth I also held such idealistic beliefs.
a) Does pseudo-disagreement occur in the above discussion? Give grounds,
b) Do you find the break of any principle of reason or efficient communication in A's last comment? Give grounds.
c) Upon the basis of the above discussion, suggest a definition of the term economical' that night have improved communication between A and B.

The following exchange of views that might take place on the issue-statement: "All people are law-breakers sometimes in their lives."
Businessman: I disagree that we are all law-breakers.
Only those who do not respect the rights of person and property are law-breakers.
Politician: But the law is not only what you suggest. A law-breaker is anyone who does not act in regard for the spirit of the law, whatever the actual wording of the laws in question.
Lawyer: All that is far too vague. By ' law-breaker' one means 'anyone convicted of an offence against the Iaw' .
Sociologist: That legal definition is just in principle but seldom in practice. Lawbreakers who get convicted tend to be those whose financial and other resources for defense are few, while many higher status persons who commit offences are either not summonsed or convicted. So I suggest that 'law-breaker' should be defined as 'anyone who acts so as to commit an offence against the legal statutes, whether convicted or not'.
a) Consider the underlined statements above. Which types of definition do each of them represent? Give reasons, referring to the four main types in the textbook.
b) Regard each of the defining terms in the above definitions from the viewpoint of requirements for efficient prescriptive definitions and point out weaknesses you find. in any of them.
c) Which of the definitions given by the Iawyer and the sociologist do you consider to be the more operational? Explain operationality briefly as part of your answer.

Consider the following definitions of the term "misuse of political power",
A: 'Misuse of political power' occurs when 'politicians don't act in accordance with the dominant national opinion on an issue'.
B: 'Misuse of political power' means 'instances where a person or group uses a position of political power to manipulate and exploit others to further their own interests'.
C: 'Misuse of political power' means 'instances where elected or appointed authorities use their position to act contrary to their nation's legal constitution'.
D: By 'misuse of political power' will here be understood 'actions by governments or their representatives not in accordance with their country's legal constitution, except where this constitution is in conflict with endorsed international legal conventions.
a) Point out the types of definitions each of the above might be giving reasons.
b) Discuss the defining terms in each case from the viewpoint of the requirements of efficient prescriptive definitions.
c) Which of the definitions C and D do you consider lively to prove to be most operational? Give brief grounds for your judgement.

Consider the following expression:
E0 'when capitalism is removed all exploitation will cease'.
a) Depending upon how the term 'capitalism' is defined, the above expression could be made into an analytic or a synthetic statement by inserting the defining terms in the expression (i.e. in place of the term 'capitalism'). Therefore, consider which of the following three definitions make EO synthetic, valid analytic or invalid analytic, giving reasons:-
Definition a) 'Capitalism' shall mean 'That, the removal of which would not cease all exploitation'.
Definition b) 'Capitalism' shall mean 'That, the removal of which would cease all exploitation'.
Definition c) 'Capitalism' shall mean 'the system of economic organisation in which the means of production are not owned by the productive workers'.
b) Is the expression EO categorical or hypothetical? Explain the distinction between these classes of statement.
c) Is the expression EO descriptive or prescriptive? Explain the distinction between these classes of statement.

Consider a debate in which the following views are forwarded:-
A: The governments of the world ought to plan for the international abolition of the use of all forms of nuclear reaction. My ground for this is that all atomic technology involves radiations that can endanger the health and the life of living beings in the present or far into the future.
B: I disagree. Then the development of highly-industrialised civilisation would be seriously affected. In wanting to abolish all nuclear technology, A is clearly prejudiced against scientific advance. What about the medical uses of radiation in the cure of diseases like cancer?
a) Order the above discussion as in an ordered survey, clearly indicating which is the issue-statement, which are pro- or contra-arguments and of which order you consider the arguments to be.
b) State your evaluation of the tenability and relevance of one pro- and of one contra-argument, giving grounds.
c) Which principles of efficient communication or of reason do you consider 3 might be breaking in his last two statements (underlined)? Give reasons.

Consider the following exchange of views:
A: In present-day Western countries, 'democracy' usually refers to a form of government by central figures in large-scale party or other interest organisations.
B: No. Democracy is simply the holding of free elections, unlike the undemocratic system of Eastern bloc nations.
C: By the word 'democracy' we ought to think of the organisation of local bodies through which individuals govern only by winning consent from those whom their policies will most likely affect.
a) Identify the types of definition that each of the above statements may be said to be, giving grounds.
b) Point out weaknesses and advantages in each of the three statements in so far as they may be taken as definitions relevant to the issue of 'political freedom'. You could give both technical, semantical grounds and general evaluations of the statements' tenability and relevance to the issue.

Consider the following statements in the current debate on the Moscow Olympics:
A: Members of superpower nations ought to be allowed to participate.
B: They ought to be authorised as their nation's official competitors.
C: They ought to be permitted only to compete unofficially as individuals, because then the original sporting spirit would thereby be recognised rather than any particular nation's political propaganda.
a) State clearly how speakers B and C interpret A's term 'allowed to participate'. Do you regard their interpretations as more precise than A's term? Give reasons.
b) Clearly indicate the argument forwarded by C by ordering it as a pro- or contra-argument to the issue-expression to which it most directly refers.
c) Explain how you evaluate the tenability and the relevance of C's argument. If you wish, you may forward any second-order arguments you think relevant to C's argument.

Consider a newspaper debate on the arms race between U.S.A. and the U.S.A. and which the following was written:-
A: The balance of power is essential to world peace.
B: Only if A meant that the balance of power is essential to the avoidance of major nuclear conflict do 1 agree.
A: As B himself agreed, the balance of power is essential to peaceful co-existence, which means that we must continue to develop nuclear arms.
a) Do you find pseudo-agreement in the above exchange of views? Give grounds for your answer.
b) Discuss whether any of the principles of effective discussion are broken in A's last remarks, giving reasons.

Consider the issue-statement: "All immigration restrictions ought to be lifted in industrialised nations". Arguments for and against the issue-statement are forwarded in the text that follows:-
'If that were done then many more social problems would arise than would be solved, both for industrialised nations and immigrants. This is partly because high unemployment rates result from a large influx of immigrants in hard economic eras. This would occur in industrialised nations at present because jobs are scarce and those wising to immigrate are too many to absorb. It is also argued that large-scale immigration leads to improved understanding between people of different nations and races. Yet this argument overlooks the fact of increased job-discrimination in practice and that there are other effective ways of improving understanding between peoples.'
a) Make an ordered survey of the above, indicating clearly which arguments are for or against, the issue-statement and which order they are (i.e. label the main-and sub-arguments).
b) Explain tenability and judge the tenability of the arguments ordered. In so doing you may add one or two arguments to the survey that you find would increase their tenability or weaken it.
c) Consider whether the following additional argument for the issue-statement is relevant to it:- "Therefore it would be better that industrialised nations lift some but not all immigration restrictions. Give grounds and state whether it should be included in an ordered survey.

Consider the following exchange of views on the issue of what political freedom primarily consists in:
A: Political freedom is what arises through the strict enforcement of egalitarian laws that organise society for the common good.
B: On the contrary, most people would understand political freedom to mean the absence of any State whose laws strictly enforce individuals to serve State purposes.
C: Such vague and general terms as 'political freedom' cannot be defined reasonably by your suggestions, A and B. It can only be made clear if we agree to limit its meaning to the right of all adult individuals in a nation to vote for whatever fora of government they choose.
B: But the electorate could be manipulated into voting for A.'s almost totalitarian sort of State and so lose their political freedom.
a) State clearly the definitions made in the above and evaluate what types of definitions they could be, giving reasons.
b) Assess the effectiveness of each of them In clarifying the Issue under discussion* giving reasons.
c) Discuss the relevance of B's last statement. If it were taken as an argument against the issue-statement "Political freedom Is dependent on strict enforcement of egalitarian laws that organise society for the common good". Explain relevance.

In his speech of 28th October on the situation in Grenada, President Reagan stated the following:-
E0 "The events in Grenada and Lebanon are closely related".
In the B.B.C.'s broadcasts of a long excerpt of the recorded speech, the President gave no further explanation of the specific events to which he was referring, nor how he regarded them as being related.
On the basis the current state of affairs in Lebanon and Grenada and the President's views generally, consider the following interpretations (derived expressions) of E0 as follows:-
parties in Lebanon or in Grenada.
c) Explain the concept of tenability, using your ordered survey to illustrate your answer. Further, attempt to judge the tenability of E2 on the strength of the main arguments stated. You Bay include any sub-arguments you wish if this aids in deciding the tenability of the arguments.
(Note: Your answers will not be judged on political grounds, only on semantical grounds)

Consider the following exchange of views:-
Local politician: "I'm all in favour of the acceptance of foreigners."
Immigrant: "So am I, but perhaps we understand this differently."
Local Politician: "Well. The acceptance of foreigners is essentially no less than providing immigrants with the means to become fully integrated according to the standards and way of life common to the natives of this country."
Immigrant: "I disagree with that because foreigners are not without standards of their own. Rather one should understand the acceptance of foreigner to mean the recognition that all immigrants have a right to maintain their own social customs and cultural norms, providing they respect the law."
a) State whether or not you consider pseudo agreement occurs in the above passage. Give grounds for your answer.
b) Clearly state the two definitions given of the term 'acceptance of foreigners' Explain what type of definition each may be.
e) Evaluate each definition as to its effectiveness in setting the terms of a debate between immigrants and politicians native to this country. Give reasons.
d) If you can, briefly suggest a more effective definition of acceptance of foreigners.

Consider the following exchange of views on whether euthanasia should be made legal:-
A: Euthanasia means painlessly ending the life of incurably-ill individuals.
B: But I think euthanasia also sometimes means ending the life of criminally-violent persons with serious mental deficiencies.
A: I think that would be wrong to do. I am only in favour of mercy-killing when it means discontinuing artificial life-support systems for seriously brain-damaged patients who are without the possibility of regaining consciousness.
B: That's too narrow a view, for what about terminating medical treatment for incurable and suffering patients who express the wish to die?
a) Clearly state the four definitions of the term 'euthanasia' given in the above passage. Substitute each of the four defining terms (the four definiens) in the following expression:-
E0: "(Euthanasia) should be legalised".
b) Consider which of the resulting four interpretations are likely interpretations of E0. In this connection explain how the assertion that each of these expressions can make may differ, pointing out and discussing which terms are important for differences of interpretation. Give reasons for or against the likelihood of the four interpretations, as the case may be.
c) State which of the likely interpretations of E0 can be shown to be more precise than E0. Give grounds, explaining the principle of sufficient precision.

Consider the following arguments for and against the issue-statement I0:
"The direct manipulation of genes ought to be made illegal".
Some people think the risk is too great because then one may produce uncontrollable and dangerous new strains of bacteria and that these could cause epidemic illnesses, whether plants, animals or humans art involved. This is not impossible, but surely it is relevant to add that dangerous and uncontrollable new strains of bacteria can arise without genetic manipulation.
El "Interventions by U.S. Forces in Lebanon and Grenada are strategically related in U.S. policy".
E2 "Communist-inspired acts of infiltration in Grenada and Lebanon are closely connected."
a) Argue whether or not El and E2 are likely interpretations of EO. As part of your answer briefly explain the principles of sufficient equivalence and appropriateness of expression.
b) Taking E2 as a descriptive issue-statement, arrange the following arguments in an ordered survey:-
'The military coup in Grenada was indirectly engineered by the U.S.S.R. acting through Cuba. There is no known liaison between the coup-makers in Grenada and communist organisations operating in Lebanon. It's an unfounded belief that the U.S.S.R. has any real influence on the aggressive So my chief point is that such genetic research may help us to counteract epidemics by understanding their causes. If direct manipulation of genes were banned, then the advantage of developing disease-resistant and productive new strains of plant would be lost to future agriculture. Those who argue that such developments have long been possible by traditional breeding methods are also those who fail to understand that a ban would seriously hinder medicine in combating genetic diseases in humans.
a) Reformulate the arguments in the above passage in an ordered survey, clearly labeling which are pro- or contra- arguments and of which order they are.
b) Explain the distinction between descriptive and normative statements, making clear under which of these categories the issue-statement (I0) above falls. State whether the first-order arguments in your ordered survey are normative or descriptive.
c) Explain how the tenability and relevance of first order arguments is evaluated and attempt an evaluation of each of the first-order arguments in your survey.

Consider the following arguments for and against the issue-statement Io "Demonstration can be an effective means of bringing about bilateral nuclear disarmament."
Demonstrations have never been the cause of nuclear disarmament in the past, but this does not prove that they will not in future, not least because the latest developments in armament technology give rise to greater dangers than ever before. Demonstrations have increased the pressure on politicians to seek serious negotiations for arms reductions, yet not in the Eastern bloc countries, while the Western powers have not so far sought serious negotiations again. Western leaders have allowed the stationing of Cruise and Pershing missiles despite large demonstrations.
a) Reformulate the arguments in the above passage in an ordered survey, clearly labeling which are pro- or contra- arguments to indicate also of which order they are.
b) Briefly explain what tenability is and how one judges the tenability of a first-order argument.
c) Add not more than two sub-arguments of your own so as to help to demonstrate how any one of the first-order arguments in your ordered survey is either tenable or untenable.
d) Briefly explain how one decides whether an argument is relevant or not when the issue-statement is descriptive.

Consider the two definitions of 'totalitarian State' given below:-
A: "one in which no rival loyalties or parties are permitted"
B: "a total form of government where all citizens' actions are controlled by a dictatorial clique or '3ig Brother' hierarchy"
a) Which of the above definitions do you consider would be most effective as the basis for a debate on the differences between totalitarian and non-totalitarian forms of government? Give reasons, indicating which of the requirements for effective definition nay be lacking.
b) Consider the following definition: "For most people, 'totalitariarism' means the same as 'fascism' does". Explain what type of definition this may be making, giving reasons. Explain also whether the gives statement above is descriptive or prescriptive, giving grounds for your answer.

"In the current debate upon nuclear technology it has been asserted that nuclear power plants are a serious danger to world security. It is argued that their spread is societies followed by the spread of atomic weapons. This is supported by the case of India and also probably in the case of Israel and South Africa. Further, terrorist and criminal organisations are likely to obtain fissionable materials for making weapons. Many State authorities, however, tend to deny any serious dangers and hold that such risks are minimal due to the technical excellence of security systems surrounding nuclear technology. Only the possibility of human error makes them fallible."
a) Discuss whether, in the above passage, the issue-expression:
"Nuclear power plants are a serious danger to world security." makes a normative or descriptive statement. Give reasons.
b) Order the above arguments in a pro-aut-contra survey, clearly indicating pro- and contra-arguments. You may add one first-order argument of your own, if you wish.
c) Explain tenability and relevance, evaluating it in the case of each of your first-order arguments. Give reasons.

Consider the following exchange of views:-
A: Only all those who are genuinely-unemployed should receive unemployment benefit.
B: That depends on how you define 'genuinely unemployed' for this sort of purpose. Do you include those who would like reasonable employment but cannot find it?
A: Well, under ' genuinely unemployed' I would include only those who actively seek some sort of work and who have been employed, for at least about 2 months in the course of the last two years, as well as anyone who has left school within the previous year or so.
a) Clearly indicate the definition with its three parts made by A. Explain what type of definition it may be and give reasons for your judgement of type.
b) Analyse the definition from the viewpoint of effectiveness, giving clear reasons why it would have weaknesses if employed in a serious debate on unemployment in this country.
c) Attempt to reformulate the definition on the basis of your own criticisms.

Consider the following exchange of views:
A: Artificial parenthood should be banned.
B: Does that include the bearing of children by a surrogate mother through ovary insemination?
A: No. I'm saying that external conception of children through external insemination of sperm in a test-tube should be made internationally illegal.
B: I disagree, because then couples who are childless and infertile would not be able to become parents.
A: Yes they would. Adoption is a way of becoming a parent.
B: But adoption is not parenting one's own genetic children.
A: Also, childless couples may become parents through the aid of a surrogate mother, as you yourself accepted.
a) Clearly identify the two interpretations of the term 'artificial parenthood' that occur in the above, explaining whether you accept them as likely interpretations of this term. Make clear what is meant by the term 'likely interpretation'.
b) Explain the principle of sufficient precision and apply it to the two interpretations indicated under point a).
c) Taking the underlined words in the above as an issue-statement, arrange the subsequent discussion as an ordered survey of arguments, labeling each of them clearly.
d) Explain what 'tenability' means and show how it is decided by evaluating the tenability of one first-order argument in your survey.


"Artificial parenthood" is interpreted by A. as meaning "External conception through external insemination of sperm in a test-tube" and by B. as meaning "Bearing of children by a surrogate mother through ovary insemination"
(Note: for ovary "insemination" substitute the biologically more correct "ovum insemination")
A.'s interpretation is judged likely, because 'artificial parenthood' is frequently used to refer to non-natural means of having offspring, which is clearly what external insemination in a test-tube is.
B.'s interpretation is also likely in that insertion of an ovum in another womb is not a natural occurrence. Thus it is fair to call it 'artificial'. B's interpretation refers to a state of affairs which also necessarily involves the removal of an ovum, but which may not necessarily involve external insemination as such. This is because an ovum can be fertilized in the original position, both naturally and artificially by 'injection from outside the womb'. The term 'insemination' indicates only non-natural means.
It can be argued that A's and B's interpretations are not sufficiently-equivalent in meaning because A's includes a wider class of states of affairs than does B's, (referring as it does to all cases where insemination occurs outside a womb), whereas B's interpretation refers specifically to surrogate motherhood, which may or may not involve 'external insemination'.
From a second viewpoint, one may argue that the state of affairs B's interpretation must refer to can also be included under what A's interpretation must refer to. I.e. it can be the same states of affairs, hence they can have the same meaning. The two terms may thus function as sufficiently equivalent in meaning in the given communication situation, though they would not be sufficiently equivalent for a legal or medical debate.
Demonstration of sufficient precision - or the lack of sufficient precision - would depend upon
a) knowing enough about the communication situation in question. Thus, A's and B's interpretations would not be sufficiently precise for a medical/legal debate, though they may be so for a layman discussion of the underlying ethical issues,
and b) the extent of one's knowledge of the possible states of affairs referred to. The degree of one's knowledge of medical techniques (eg. whether or not 'test-tubes' must be used for external insemination etc.) will affect one's judgement of sufficiency of precision.
One may accept that A's and B's interpretations do not demonstrate that each are more precise than 'artificial parenthood' provided arguments are forwarded showing the difficulty of distinguishing A's and B's interpretations because of the states of affairs to which both can refer (see above).
A's interpretation is more precise than 'artificial parenthood', even if it is left undemonstrated. The same applies to B's, of course. 'Artificial parenthood' is taken by some to mean 'adoption', though this seems in general to have low likelihood as an interpretation - esp. due to difficulty in showing sufficient equivalence of meaning. It cannot, however, be excluded. Thus it is a different likely interpretation of 'artificial parenthood' to A's and to B's interpretations and serves to demonstrate precision.


I0: External conception of children through external insemination of sperm in a test tube should be made internationally illegal.
C1 then couples who are childless and infertile would not be able to become parents.
ciC1 but adoption is a way of becoming a parent.
ciciC1 but adoption is not parenting one's own genetic children.
c2C1 but childless parents may become parents through the aid of a surrogate mother.
The principle of tenability states: A statement is tenable when 1) there is adequate evidence that its assertion is in accordance with the state of affairs to which it refers and 2) its expression is not misleading to its recipients. Tenability is likelihood of truth.
C1's tenability depends on evaluation of the grounds for and against its likelihood of holding true or for or against its relevance to the issue. CiCI attempts to weaken C1's tenability by showing an alternative way in which couples could become parents. It is true that most couples could adopt children, if the motivation is strong enough. No argument against ciCI's tenability is given, hence it is tenable. If it is relevant, it must therefore weaken C1. However, ciciC1 argues that ciC1 is irrelevant to C1. While it is true that adoption is not parenting one's own genetic children, C1 does not state that childless, infertile couples would not then be able to become genetic parents (i.e. have their own genetic offspring So ciC1 is relevant to C1 and does weaken it. Had C1 been a better argument (stating clearly that the issue is bearing children of one's own stock) then ciciC1 would have been decisive against ciC1. One may argue that C1 is insufficiently explicit.
c2C1 also attacks the tenability of C1. Its own tenability depends on whether or not couples barred from external conception (by law see footnote) can nevertheless parent children through a surrogate mother. If surrogate motherhood depends on external insemination, then c2C1 is untenable. If not, then it may be tenable. For example, an ovum fertilised by normal means might be removed from the womb and 'transplanted' in a surrogate mother. This, however, would prove that the couple was fertile in the normal sense of the word (even if the mother were unable to bear the child). Another eg. - an ovum fertilised in the mother's womb, but by injection of sperm, could subsequently be transplanted (perhaps?). This would make c2C1 tenable. In the lack of sufficient well-informed arguments for or against c2C1, it must be judged uncertain.
However, being uncertain as regards tenability, c2C1 is - strictly speaking - also uncertain as regards relevance. It may be relevant or not.
If tenable and if this also affects the tenability of C1, then relevant.
If untenable, then irrelevant to C1.
I judge this question as a whole to be difficult. Its practical solution depends upon understanding a good deal about the various states of affairs under consideration and also considerable maturity of logical insight and semantical judgement or evaluation. However, the 'formal' aspects of the question are no more difficult than usual (i.e. explaining ordering, labeling arguments, explaining tenability and how it is decided).
Footnote: the tenability may well depend upon the likelihood of an illegal market for external conception arising