PHIL 303: Draft Review for Final Exam Spring 2008

This page last revised: May 2, 2008.

The first part of the Final Exam has been given in class on Friday, May 2. (See Section II, Essays, of this Review for more information.)

The remainder of the Final Exam is scheduled for the regular exam time, Thursday, May 8, at 10:30 a.m..

"HPL" below refers to the "High Priority Lectures" Section of the Course Website

Review your primary material in MP on Kant, plus the separate readings from Marx, Dewey, and Sartre, and the corresponding Study Questions and lecture notes. Be sure to review your lecture notes also on Hegel.

You are also responsible for the ideas contained in the material below, especially if it has been also covered in lectures.

Lecture Notes on Hume (HPL) (if provided)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (diagram, handout)
Sketch of Hegel's System (diagram, handout)
Very Basic Notes on Kant (HPL)
Kant Glossary (HPL)
Kant's Prolegomena: a 44-Point Summary (HPL)
Hegel: An Overview (HPL)
Notes on Hegel's Intro to Phil. of History (HPL) (if provided)
Lecture Notes on Marx (HPL)
Notes on Marxist Economics (HPL)
Lecture Notes on Dewey (HPL) (if provided)
Background to Sartre's "Existentialism . . . " (HPL)

I. Matching (40 points)

A. Match the Kantian term with its correct definition

B. Match the Hegelian term with its correct definition.

C. Match the Marxist term with its correct definition.


analytic judgment
synthetic judgment
a priori knowledge
a posteriori knowledge
intuition / sensibility
reason, ideas of
thing in itself
cosmological idea
psychological idea
theological idea
a priori concepts
a priori forms of intuition
metaphysics (two senses)
(Absolute) Idea
Nature (in Hegel)
Spirit (in Hegel)
in itself, for itself, in and for itself
negation of negation
Subjective Spirit
Objective Spirit
Absolute Spirit
Law (moment of Obj. Spirit)
Morality (moment of Obj. Spirit)
Social Ethics (moment of Obj. Spirit)
Family, Civil Society, State (moments of Social Ethics)
dialectical opposition
class struggle
productive forces
relations of production
mode of production
surplus value
labor power
philosophical reconstruction
ideas as tools (instead of objects of contemplation)

A few Sartrean terms may be added.

II. Essays (60 points)

I will probably require up to three, drawing in some way from each of the groups. I may eliminate one or two options listed below. (Do not do an essay on a specific topic if you did your second major paper on this topic.)

Group A. (The first part of the exam will consist in an essay related to Hume or Kant, drawn from these three.)

1. How, starting from the classical empiricist perspective, does David Hume call into question our knowledge of cause and effect? Why does this seem so devastating for the empiricist project of grounding a system of knowledge upon sense-experience?

2. How, according to Kant, is knowledge of nature possible? Be sure to account for the role of sense perception and concepts. In what way does Kant include aspects previously associated with rationalism and empiricism?

3. Does Kant think we can know whether the soul is immortal? Does he think that the idea of the immortal soul makes sense? Explain. (Alternately, does Kant think that the human will is free? that knowable nature follows deterministic laws? Can we know that the human will is free? Explain.)

Group B.
4. What is dialectical method for Hegel? Be sure to discuss the "moments" of the dialectical process in general and the nature and role of Aufhebung, and illustrate how Hegel applies this in two or three different areas of his philosophy, e.g., his Logic or his Philosophy of Objective Spirit.

5. Discuss Hegel as a philosopher sensitive to history. How is his view similar to the theological doctrine of preparationism? What is the connection of Freedom, Spirit, and History in Hegel's thought? How does Hegel's philosophy correspond to a European civilization on the verge of establishing global colonial empires?

6. Discuss either (a) Marx's theory of the role of nature and role of ideology, and of bourgeois ideology (and the concepts of liberty, equality, and justice) in particular or (b) the way in which Marx transforms the Hegelian dialectic so as to produce a theory of historical development and points to the possible end of class oppression.

Group C.
7. Dewey is critical of the main assumptions and claims of Western philosophies influential in the premodern and early modern periods. Focus on his criticism of metaphysical idealism (say, Platonism or Scholasticism) or epistemological idealism (Kant)? What are his chief criticisms of this view and what are the main characteristics of the approach Dewey wishes to substitute for it?

8. How does Dewey's "reconstruction" of the notions of experience and reason show his intention to do justice philosophically to Darwinism and modern physical science? Or, how does this "reconstruction" relate to early modern empiricism. Use this as an opportunity to show your grasp of this central area of Dewey's philosophy. (You may draw on the "Logic" chapter as well as the "Experience and Reason" chapter.)

9. What are the chief features of Dewey's view of ethics? Pay close attention to how Dewey's approach differs from more familiar approaches in the history of ethics (say, Plato, the Stoics, Thomas Aquinas, Bentham, and/or Kant). What traditional dichotomies (conceptual oppositions) does Dewey challenge? How?

10. Discuss' Sartre's views (as they existed ca. 1946) by addressing at least two of the following. Explain what Sartre means by "there is at least one being whose existence precedes essence". By "man is in anguish." By "the existentialist finds it extremely embarrassing [disconcerting?] that God does not exist." How does existentialism agree with and disagree with Descartes? How does Sartre as an existentialist relate to Marxism in his time?