Review for PHIL 350 Midterm Fall 2010

by Dr. Jan Garrett

Revised October 22, 2010

Midterm date: (Monday, October 25, 2010

For your information: How to Prepare for Essay Exams

Essay Questions

You will likely be asked to write essays on two of the following topics, not repeating the topics on which you wrote your short paper or first major paper. I will probably group the topics into two groups, from each of which you must select one. I may delete one or two of these questions.

1. Reading between the lines of the Euthyphro, what criteria would a satisfactory account of the holy have to possess? (Of course, you need to be familiar with the Euthyphro, but you may find useful the "Search for a Definition" and "Proper Relations" sections of Homer's Gods, Plato's Gods).

2. Explain Plato's model of the soul in Republic, his view of wisdom and justice in the soul, and how this material constitutes a reply to Glaucon's challenge to prove that justice is not merely desirable as a means, but also desirable for its own sake.

3. Consider Aristotle's account of happiness or the human good in NE I 7 and then again in NE X 7-8. Compare the two accounts and discuss how we should conceive their relationship.

4. What is Aristotle's definition of moral virtue in NE ii? Since it consists of several Aristotelian technical terms, explain the various parts of the definition so as to avoid confusion.

5. Why does Epictetus make such a big deal about the distinction between what is in our power and what is not? If passions are in our power, how can we avoid them? What kinds of things are truly evil and what kinds of things most people regard as evil are indifferent?

6. How does Thomas Aquinas understand the human good? How does he disprove claims that the human good consists in physical pleasure? Wealth? Acts of the moral virtues? Acts of prudence?

7. How does Thomas Hobbes' understand human nature? How does he think human beings are motivated? What is the natural condition of mankind like? In what do good and evil consist in the natural condition? Explain the difference between Hobbes' right of nature and Hobbesian laws of nature? What is the first law of nature? From where does the authority of the sovereign derive?

8. Summarize Locke's theory of the social contract and compare/contrast it with Hobbes' views.

9. Describe Hume's treatment of the origin of justice and closely associated virtues. How does his treatment of these virtues differ from his treatment of virtues like benevolence? Why does he sometimes call justice an artificial virtue? Does he derive it from a social contract in the manner of Hobbes? Explain. What is the source of the favorable attitude we have toward justice? Is this source closely associated with human nature? Explain.

10. What does Hume think of the theory of human nature now known as "psychological egoism" (although he gives it another label)? Is it adequate to explain human motivation? The regard human beings have for the "meritorious qualities" such as justice, benevolence, frugality, and courage? Present one or more argumebnts for his position on the view known now as "psychological egosim."

Terms and Concepts

You ought to be able to match the term with the best definition or description of its meaning for the philosopher indicated.

Hume terminology (See Hume Glossary and your answers to the Hume Study Questions!)

a. reason
b. sentiment
c. justice
d. sympathy
e. immediately agreeable
      f. useful
g. self-love
h. benevolent principle
i. sentiment of humanity
j. conditions of justice

Aristotle terminology
Unqualifiedly final end
Self-sufficient end
Proper function of a living type
External goods
Internal goods
The human good (defined in NE I)
Moral virtue
      Intellectual virtue
States of character
Intermediate relative to us
Practical wisdom
Happiness (primary sense) in NE X

Plato terminology

Justice (for Glaucon's majority)
Justice (for Plato's Socrates)
Ruling class of ideal state
Courage in ideal state
Temperance in the good soul
      Ruling part in the good soul
Spirited part of soul
Location of acquisitive desires in the person
What the rational part of the soul naturally desires
What the spirited part of the soul naturally desires

Thomas Aquinas terminology (See Thomas Glossary)

concupiscible appetite
      moral virtue
proper good
irascible appetite

Epictetus Stoic terminology

Appropriate action
Indifferent things Things in our power

Other Terms

Psychological Egoism