Test Review Sheets

Test 1: Philosophy of Life

Important Concepts: be able to characterize and give examples.

philosophy   sophist
ad ignorantiam   principle of charity
ontology   metaphysics
epistemology   axiology
æsthetics   ethics
practical mind   philosophic mind
synoptic   not-Self
enlargement of self   ``arrest of life"
decoy of life   irrational knowledge
existentialism   undermine
the absurd   eluding

Important Essays : be able to explain in depth

  1. What is philosophy? Discuss the main divisions of philosophy and an example problem from each division.
  2. What does it mean to say that facts are theory-dependent?
  3. What is the point of Calandra's barometer story? How can this story be related to Scudder's experience with Agassiz?
  4. What is the Socratic Paradox and what is paradoxical about it?
  5. What is Socrates' argument that death is a good? Why doesn't Socrates believe in hell?
  6. According to Russell, what are the main goals of philosophy?
  7. How does Russell distinguish philosophy from science? What are the aims of philosophy?
  8. Characterize Tolstoy's use of faith and the characteristics he ascribes to faith. Why, according to Tolstoy, cannot philosophy and science provide a meaningful life?
  9. Explain how the meaning of ``truth'' changes throughout Tolstoy's essay.
  10. According to Camus, how can one find the meaning of life? What does Camus mean by the absurd?

Important Distinctions: Be able to list differences and give examples.

  1. ethics, morals
  2. fact, theory
  3. faith and reason
  4. practical and philosophic mind
  5. science and philosophy
  6. philosophy and religion
  7. rational and irrational knowledge

Test 2: The Philosophy of Religion

Important Concepts: be able to characterize and give examples.

a priori   a posteriori
ontological   cosmological
existential import   BTWNGCBC
philosophy of religion   natural theology
efficient cause   Occam's Razor
Great Chain of Being   polar concepts
teleology   rational decision theory
prescriptive law   descriptive law
problem of evil   personalists
theodicy   nonmoral evil

Important Essays: be able to explain in detail and give possible objections.

  1. Anselm's Ontological Argument with objections
  2. Aquinas' Argument From Motion (Change) with objections
  3. Aquinas' Argument From (Efficient) Cause with objections
  4. Aquinas' Argument From Necessity with objections
  5. Aquinas' Argument From Gradation (Great Chain of Being) with objections
  6. Aquinas' Argument From Governance (Teleological Argument) with objections
  7. Paley's Watch Argument with objections
  8. Pascal's Wager with objections
  9. The Problem of Evil (See Hick notes and Dostoevsky section ``Topics Worth Investigating #1.)''

Important Distinctions: be able to list differences and give examples.

  1. a priori and a posteriori statements
  2. material, efficient, formal, and final causes
  3. potentiality and actuality
  4. prescriptive and descriptive law
  5. design and chance
  6. moral evil and nonmoral evil

Test 3: Ethics and Philosophical Ethics

Important Concepts: be able to characterize and give examples.

determinism (hard)   determinism (soft)
predeterminism   fatalism
predestination   indeterminism
chance   free will
egoism   egotism
selfishness   self-interest
Ring of Gyges   other-regarding motives
altruism   existence
essence   existentialism
psychological egoism   ethical egoism

Important Essays: be able to explicate the following questions.

  1. What is the mental health objection to ethical relativism?
  2. What is the argument from moral progress (against ethical relativism)?
  3. What are the main points of Nietzsche's ethics?
  4. What is the linguistic refutation of psychological egoism? How does it refute the Myth of the Ring of Gyges.
  5. Why can't ethical egoism be universalized?
  6. How are we ``condemned to be free''?

Important Distinctions: be able to list differences and give examples.

  1. selfishness and self-interest
  2. master and slave morality
  3. ethical nihilism and ethical skepticism
  4. essence and existence
  5. anguish, forlornness, and despair

Lee Archie 2011-01-05