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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Philosophy Mid-Term Study Guide

Kianna Cooper
Alexus Uqdah
Philosophy Midterm Study Guide

January 19

1. What approach to the story of philosophy does Anthony Gottlieb say he aims to take in The Dream of Reason?
-As a journalist relying only on primary sources, questioning everything that had become conventional wisdom, and above all, trying to explain it as clearly as he could.

2. When was western science created?
3. How did William James define philosophy?
-He defined it as peculiarly stubborn efforts to think clearly.

4. What's distinctive about philosophical thinking?
-It is unwilling to accept conventional answers.

5. What is the sequel to The Dream of Reason?
-The Dream of Enlightenment

January 24

1. What were Aristotle's followers called?

2. Who said his mind only worked with his legs?
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

3. Whose mentor called walking "gymnastics for the mind"?
-Henry David Thoreau

4. Who had a "Sand-walk"?
-Charles Darwin

5. How much does the average American walk?
-350 yards a day

6. Name a city with a "Philosophers' Walk".

January 26

1. Who labelled the early 6th & 5th century philosophers "PreSocratics," and what did they invent?

2. Aristotle said the Milesians were the first what?
-The first physici

3. Why does Gottlieb say Thales was not simply silly to suggest that H2O is the origin and essence of everything? OR, What must we do in order to refute him?
-He said he is not silly because he drew the connection between water and life. And, we have to reason with him in order to refute him.

4. What essential facet of scientific thinking did Anaximander's work exemplify?
- It exemplified that science says there is more to the world than meets the eye.

5. What famous poetic image do we associate with Pythagoras?
-Music of the Spheres’

6. What was a good Pythagorean supposed to study?
-Numbers, geometry, astronomy, and music

7. What did Bertrand Russell, echoing Pythagoras and Plato, consider the mind's "highest good"?
-The greatness of the universe, which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of the union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

8. How does Gottlieb think Aristotle was unfair to the Pythagoreans in his interpretation of their claim that numbers are the principles of all things?
-He was being too literal minded.
January 31

1. How does Gottlieb think Heraclitus would reply to Aristotle's complaint about his ambiguous syntax?
-He might have responded by saying it was the world itself that was ambiguous.

2. Why did Heraclitus compare us all to beasts, drunkards, sleepers, and children? What did he say we fail to grasp?
-Because men are deceived in the recognition of what is obvious; men fail to grasp the true logos.

3. What did fire symbolize, for Heraclitus?
-It symbolizes perpetual change and relation to the universe.

4. Who were Parmenides' famous teacher and student?
-Famous Teacher: Xenophanes
-Famous Student: Zeno

5. What was Parmenides' surprising claim (aside from the idea that everything is eternal)?
-That we cannot speak of change.

6. How did Parmenides say language and thought connect to the world?
-It is in direct contact with each other; the mind must somehow literally touch the world almost.

7. What was Zeno trying to discredit, with his famous paradoxes of motion?
-He was trying to discredit common sense views by demonstrating that they led to unacceptable consequences.

8. What did Aristotle say Zeno invented, and how did his aim differ from Socrates'?
-He said he was the inventor of dialectic, but Zeno only did so to defend his mentor. This is different from Socrates, who had constructive intentions.

9. How does Gottlieb solve the Achilles paradox?
- He says Achilles doesn’t have to cross those distances one at a time. Just like eating an egg, you don’t eat every little, fractional piece at a time. Instead, you simply just eat the egg. Basically, he’s saying he can cover more than one infinity/fraction at a time.

February 2

1. What was Empedocles' legendary "Faustian end"?
-Knowledge he had acquired made him God-like and enable him to perform magic. He is said to have jumped into the flames of Ethel and disappeared.

2. What did Empedocles identify as the universal elements whose interplay accounts for all phenomena including sexual attraction?  And, which of "our" elements does Gottlieb compare them to?
-Gravity and electromagnetism, and he compares them to the forces of love.

3. What fundamental principles of modern biology did Empedocles anticipate?
-Ideas about substances and forces

4. What was Empedocles' favorite scientific interest?
-Natural selection

5. What did Anaxagoras bring to Athens, and what was his nickname?
-Brought Ionian naturalism westward to Athens

6. Of what charge was Anaxagoras accused, like Socrates thirty years later?
- Offering scientific explanation for religion

7. How was Anaxagoras less extreme than Parmenides, with respect to reason and perception?
-For Anaxagous, judging by reason in not a matter of ignoring the evidence completely, but of trying to make better sense of it.

8. Was Anaxagoras a mind-matter dualist?

February 7

1. How was Democritus remembered after his death, and why?
-As a laughing philosopher because he scoffed the folly of mankind.

2. Why did early Christians oppose atomism?
-It tried to explain everything in terms of mechanics
-It held no life after death

3. Name two other early atomists.

4. What idea did Democritus take over from Leucippus?
-That numerable tiny atoms career around in empty space until they collide and adhere to one another creating objects in the world; living and inanimate.

5. When did ancient atomism become a mature scientific view?
-When chemist and physicists developed sophisticated ways to measure material phenomena

6. What ability was most valued in Periclean Athens?
-The ability to speak and debate persuasively before the political assembly or the juries

7. For whom was the term sophistes, Sophists, reserved in the time of Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, et al, and what subjects did they teach?
-It was reserved for people who taught for money. They taught rhetoric, political skills, and how to excel in legal and moral discourse.

8. What were Plato's & Aristotle's stated objections to the Sophists?
-They said that sophists’ art was the semblance of wisdom without the reality.
-The sophist is one who makes money from an apparent, but unreal wisdom.
-They were unprincipled and worthless men.

9. What playwright satirized Socrates and the Sophists indiscriminately?

10. Which Sophist embraced subjectivity and said "Man is the measure of all things"?

February 9

1. What was Socrates' "faith"?
-Devotion to argumentative reason

2. How does Gottlieb account for Socrates' appeal to the "high society" of Athens, given his humble background and poverty?
-Through his remarkable power of conversation

3. What did Alcibiades see in Socrates?
-He seen his inner beauty

4. with what request did Socrates typically commence a philosophical conversation? What was his method called?
-He started by requesting an enlightening definition of whatever was being discussed and that method was called ‘Dialectic’

5. Why were the defenders of Athenian democracy uneasy about Socrates?
-Because they didn’t have a strong democracy since they had been overthrown by the Thirty Tyrants.
-Socrates the legitimacy of the democratic state by making his own Gods.

6. In what way did the Oracle mean that Socrates was wise? Did Socrates accept the Oracle's authority at face value?
-He was wise in the way that he alone is aware to how little he knows and isn’t afraid to admit what he doesn’t know. And n, he didn’t accept the Oracle’s authority at face value, he continued to search for the answers himself.

7. What was Socrates' basic motive for philosophizing?
-That is seemed to him the right thing to do.

8. Why did Socrates say it's unwise to fear death?
-Because man doesn’t know what comes after death and by fearing it we are assuming what comes after death is bad. We can’t fear what we don’t know.

9. In what different ways were Socrates and Plato "unworldly"?
- Socrates was unworldly because he kept a sharper focus on the duties and blessings of the world. Plato was unworldly because he thought philosophy was this ladder to this elevated world of the forms.

10. What form of life did Socrates say is not worth living? OR, Do the "authentically Socratic" dialogues usually settle on a final conclusion?
- An unexamined life

February 14

1. What kind of conversation did Socrates consider a success?
-A conversation that ended in everyone realizing how little they knew

2. What was wisdom, for Socrates?
-It was understanding the true nature of our existence, including the limits of what we could know.

3. With what Platonic theory does the parable of the cave connect?
-The perfect circle platonic theory

4. In Plato's Symposium, what does Socrates say Diotima taught him about love?
-everything he knows about love

5. What nagged Plato about the academic way of life?
-He was nagged by a doubt about the academic way of life: “ I fear to see myself at last altogether nothing but words, so to speak a man who will never willingly lay hand to any concrete task.”

6. What analogy does Socrates/Plato drawn between the parts of the city and the parts of the soul?
- They draw an analogy saying that a just city should mimic the imperative, spirited, and rational parts of the soul.

February 16

1. What did Aristotle mean by "one swallow doesn't make a summer"?
-The point he was making was that just as t takes more than the arrival of one swallow to prove that summer has come, and more than a single warm day, so a few moments of pleasure don’t add up to true happiness.

2. What does eudaimonia mean?
-Happiness, but is most often referred to as flourishing or success.

3. How can we increase our chance of eudaimonia?
-By developing the right kind of character.

4. Eudaimonia can only be achieved in relation to what?
-In relation to life in a society.

5. What is "truth by authority"?
-I t is believing something must be true because an important ‘authority’ figure has said it is.

6. How is authority hostile to the spirit of philosophy?
-Because philosophy challenges conventional thinking and you’re relying on someone else’s authority is conventional.

February 21

1. What did Aristotle set up in 335 BC?
-A research institute known as Lyceum. It was in Athens.

2. What was dearer to Aristotle than Plato?
-The Truth

3. What was the fundamental difference between Aristotle and Plato, and how was it reflected in his attitude towards the "cave"?
- Plato was more pessimistic and Aristotle was more optimistic in comparison. While Plato wanted to leave the dark cave of physical reality and find something better, Aristotle said that the cave wasn’t so bad once you turned on the lights.

4. What three things did Aristotle say are always involved in change?
- Something which changes, a state to which it changes, and a state from which it changes.

5. What was Aristotle's name for God, and what did he say He thinks about?
-Unmoved Mover, and he thinks about himself.

6. How does Aristotle's view of the fundamental type of existence contrast with Plato's theory of Forms?
-The fundamental type of existence for Aristotle is not to be found in Plato's self-subsisting world of eternal Ideas or Forms, it's just ordinary things - trees, rocks, plants, animals.

February 23

1. According to Epicurus, fear of death is based on what, and the best way to live is what?
-The Fear of death is based on bad logic and the best way to live is have a very simple lifestyle, be kind to those around you, and surround yourself with friends.

2. How is the modern meaning of "epicurean" different from Epicurus's?
-Epicureans prefer eating fine foods and indulging in luxury, and sensual pleasure. Whereas Epicurus prefer much simpler things.

3. What famous 20th century philosopher echoed Epicurus's attitude towards death?
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

4. What was the Stoics' basic idea, and what was their aim?
-We should only worry about things we can change and they aimed for a calm state of mind

5. Why did Cicero think we shouldn't worry about dying?
-He believed that the soul lived forever and so old people shouldn’t worry about dying

6. Why didn't Seneca consider life too short?

-Life is usually long enough to get enough done if we make the right choices.

1 comment:

  1. Western science was created when a few Greek thinkers— those who are known as the first ‘philosophers’— were perverse enough to ignore the usual talk of gods and to look instead for natural causes of events.