VCE Philosophy: Unit 3 practice questions

Below I have compiled a list of practice questions for Unit 3 of VCE Philosophy. While these VCE Philosophy practice questions follow the same format as those on the exam, they are not drawn from past exams. This means they make an excellent addition to your exam revision because they haven’t been used on past exams.

Why should I incorporate practice questions into my Philosophy exam revision?

Practice questions are a great way for all VCE students to revise – no matter the subject they’re studying. Firstly, they’re great way to test your knowledge. They help you identify which areas you know well and which areas you need to improve on. This helps you revise more efficiently. Secondly, practice questions help deepen your understanding of the content by forcing you to think about the topic from different angles. Thirdly, practice questions give you the opportunity to practice writing under time conditions.

When it comes to Philosophy, practice questions are especially important as short and medium questions make up 2/3rds of the exam. As such, being able to write a coherent, insightful answer is crucial to doing well on the VCE Philosophy exam.

How can I use practice questions to revise for the VCE Philosophy exam?

Begin by reading through the questions. Use a tick to mark the questions you know the answer to and a cross to mark the questions you’re not sure about. Then, revisit the texts to find the answers to the questions you placed a cross next to.

Once you’re confident that you can answer all of the revision questions, try to practice writing those answers by hand under timed conditions.

VCE Philosophy Unit 3 Practice questions

For a downloadable PDF of this resource, please click here: VCE Philosophy Unit 3 Practice Questions PDF

  1. Outline Descartes’ wax argument and explain what he is intending to demonstrate. Is this a good argument? Provide a reason for your answer (3 marks)
  2. Armstrong says that he agrees with one aspect of Descartes’ theory. What is the one thing that Armstrong and Descartes agree upon? (2 marks)
  3. Which philosophy of mind do you think is best supported by modern science, Descartes’ or Armstrong’s? Provide reasons for your opinion (2 marks)
  4. Armstrong argues that his theory of mind can also explain consciousness. Outline Armstrong’s account of consciousness. Do you agree with this account of consciousness? Provide a reason for your answer (4 marks)
  5. Is artificial intelligence a philosophical possibility? Outline and evaluate the alternative viewpoints on this contemporary issue (4 marks)
  6. What two aspects of Behaviorism does Armstrong agree with? (2 marks)
  7. Descartes lists four possibilities about what sort of thing the “I” is and then he rejects three of them. What are the three possibilities that Descartes rejects and what reason does he give for rejecting each one of them? (4 marks)
  8. Armstrong claims that mental states are the inner causes of behaviour. What reasons does Armstrong give for this claim? Do you agree with him? Provide a reason for your answer (4 marks)
  9. “Science will never be able to fully explain the nature of the mind”. Discuss this statement in relation to the views of Armstrong, Descartes, and Socrates (6 marks)
  10. Examine and evaluate the Materialist claim that the mind is nothing more than the brain. In your response, refer to the views of Armstrong (4 marks)
  11. Do you agree with the dualist claim that all human beings consist of a separate mind and body? What implications does this dualist view have for issue of freewill? (4 marks)
  12. Why does John Locke reject the view that the body constitutes identity? Do you think his argument is a good one? (2 marks)
  13. Nagasena gives two examples to substantiate his claim about collocation of successive dharmas. What are they? Outline both (2 marks)
  14. Outline Hume’s argument for the illusion of personal identity (2 marks)
  15. How would Hume respond to Locke’s argument that personal identity is constituted by memory? Whose view would you agree with? (4 marks)
  16. Nagasena claims that the name ‘Nagasena’ is just an appellation and that the real Nagasena cannot be apprehended. What does he mean by this? (2 marks)
  17. What role do Skandhas play in Nagasena’s theory of identity? (2 marks)