Review for Midterm Exam (PHIL 341 Fall 2012)—Second Draft

Changes since the first draft are in dark-red font.

Contact: Dr. Jan Garrett

Last Revised Date: October 8, 2012

The midterm is scheduled for Monday, October 15, at class time.

The following should give you a pretty good idea of the structure and topics of the exam. I reserve the right to make modest changes between now and exam date.

Part I. The objective questions, worth collectively 40 points of 100, will draw from this material:

Match the MC and EC with the Presocratic philosophers. (This will take the form of a chart with a line for each philosopher and blanks to be filled in. MC and EC are abbreviations of terms Aristotle used in analyze scientific explanations.)

MC = ultimate elements or constituents of the universe or the source from which the visible cosmos emerges

EC = controlling deity or causal source of the rearrangement of material elements

Options include: Love, Strife, Nous, the apeiron; divine air; unbounded water; divine fire; EWAF (earth, water, air, and fire); the atoms; infinitely divisible elements (IDE) like salt, water, gold, hair (in the commonsense understanding of these things).

Match the following Greek terms with their translations

The terms are:

apeiron, kosmos, nous, krasis, atomon, logos
Match the following concepts with the best definition from the available options:
condensation and rarefaction
conceptual anachronism
the void
modal logic
reference theory
copulative meaning of "to be"
existential meaning of "to be"
the identity-related meaning of "to be"
legitimate knowledge (Hussey, ch. 6)
bastard knowledge (Hussey, ch. 6)

Attributes of what-is according to Parmenides: True or False

For example: subject to change; whole; brightly colored

Attributes of atoms according to Leucippus and Democritus: True or False

For example: possess size; undergo internal change; have shape

Part II. Essay Questions — Write two essays for up to 30 points each, one from Section A, one from Section B. Each essay should be 250-350 words and should be as complete as possible under the time constraints. (If need be, you can go over 350 words.)

A. Write about one of the following philosophical perspectives. Do not duplicate your first paper topic.

1. Heraclitus. What assumption about truth in language does Heraclitus seem to make? How is this exhibited in his style of writing? What is more important—hidden or obvious structure? What do we learn about Heraclitus' notion of the (supreme) deity—is he alive? intelligent? Inside or apart from the physical universe? What is his point about the oracle at Delphi? (fr. 93, Hussey p. 37) What are some of the main meanings of logos in Heraclitus? What general points are being made in the fragments suggesting unity of opposites? What is the significance of the "war" fragments? What version of the Map paradox seems present in Heraclitus' theory of the role of fire as logos?

2. Anaxagoras. How is his philosophy of nature influenced by Parmenides? How does he understand the material elements? Are they infinitely divisible or not? How does he explain apparent change? Movement? Is there a divine controlling principle in his philosophy? What is its relationship to the physical kosmos? Why do we sometimes experience things as having definite qualities, like hair, nail, bone, flesh, gold? Why does "new" nail appear to emerge from flesh at a certain place on a finger? (What is happening to the elements in the finger?)

3. The Atomists. Is there a distinct controlling divinity in their cosmology? In what respect do they agree with Parmenides? Differ from Parmenides on what-is-not? What are the atomists' basic constituents like? How do the atomists disagree with Anaxagoras on the basic constituents? Do all a___s share common features? (Supply the three missing letters.) If so, what? In what ways can a___s of one kind differ from a___s of another kind? Why are they called a___s? How do atomists explain apparent material change? perception?

B. Write about one of the following dialogues by Plato. (30 points) If you have not previously written essays in other courses on all three dialogues, please do not write your essay on a dialogue on which you have written an essay in another course.

1. Crito. About what principles of former agreement does Socrates remind Crito? How does one of them undercut Crito's concern for what "other people" may think? How do others figure as premises in Socrates's arguments for not fleeing Athens? Explain the argument that relies on a causal connection between what Socrates' parents did for him and "the laws" of Athens and/or an analogy between his parents and the city. What general duty seems to be invoked to explain Socrates' specific duty in this case? Explain the argument based on the idea of an agreement between city and citizen.

2. Euthyphro. How does Euthyphro try to define the pious (or piety) and how does Socrates refute these definitions? Give two definitions, one from the early part of the dialogue (one definition early in the dialogue, before the conversation-partners agree to define the pious as a kind of justice and then try to specify what kind of justice it is, and one definition after they agree to that procedure).

3. Phaedo. Arguments for the Pre-existence of the Soul from the Phaedo. (Summarize the logic of both arguments or do an especially thorough job presenting the logic of the second.)

How does Socrates argue for the existence of the soul apart from the body prior to this life beginning from examples like the hot becoming cold and vice versa?

How does Socrates argue for the pre-existence of the soul while "proving" that learning universals is really a kind of recollection? (Start from the difference between equal material things, on the one hand, and the equal itself, on the other hand.)