University of Kansas, Fall 2006
Philosophy 666: Rational Choice Theory
Preview of test on social choice theory
The test will be given during the officially scheduled final-exam period on
Wednesday, December 13. This two-and-a-half-hour period starts at 10:30 a.m., but
we will use only the first 50 minutes of it, with the test being given from
10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. You do not need to
bring anything, except for something to write with; this will be a closed-book,
closed-notes test, and you will be provided with paper on which to write your
answers. At the beginning of the testing period, the following instructions will be
written on the board:
- Please put away everything except for something to write with.
- This test may be graded on a curve.
- Please number each of your 10 answers
Also, you will be asked to close and/or put away all books, notebooks,
newspapers, calculators, computers, cell phones, and other possible sources of
inappropriate aid. The
instructions at the top of the test will read as follows:
- Answer all of the following questions on the answer sheets provided. You can write on this
questions, but credit will be awarded only for answers written on answer
- Do not access any book, notebook, newspaper, calculator, computer, cell
phone, or other possible source of inappropriate aid during the test, do not
leave the room before you are finished taking the test, and be sure to finish
the test within this 50-minute testing period—no credit will be given for any
work done after you access any possible source of inappropriate aid, after you
leave the room for any reason, or after the end of the testing period.
- When you are finished, be sure your name is written on each of your answer
sheets, and turn them in. You do not need to turn in this list of questions.
Then there will be 10 questions of equal weight.
- Each of questions 1–6 will be a yes-or-no question or a multiple-choice question about
one of the
six conditions on social welfare functions that we discussed.
- Questions 7 and 8 will be about majority rule and the Condorcet cycle (also known as—and referred to by Resnik as—the voting paradox).
- Question 9 will be a big-picture question about the proof of Arrow’s
- Question 10 will be a fine-grained question about how to prove one of the
seven cases covered by the proof of the claim that a citizen who is almost
decisive for some pair of alternatives is decisive for every pair of
If you would like to have your test returned to you after I grade it, please
bring to the final-exam period a 9-by-12-inch envelope bearing your address and
adequate postage. (You should be fine with $1.11 of postage—for which
three 39-cent stamps would suffice—unless you might use more than 17 answer
sheets, in which case your envelope will probably end up weighing more than the
4 ounces for which $1.11 is adequate. Add 24 cents for each additional five
answer sheets or so.) If you have a mailbox in the Philosophy
department office and you do not provide me with an envelope, I will put your
graded test in your mailbox. Tests can also be picked up during the spring
semester; any tests I still have in my possession as of July 1, 2007 may be
discarded then or afterwards.