Philosophy 201 Midterm

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  1. Who said "Changing, it rests"?
    A. Xenophanes
    B. Heraclitus
    C. Pythagoras
    D. Democritus
    B. Heraclitus
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  2. Democritus said: By convention, sweet; by convention, bitter; by convention, hot; by convention, cold; by convention, color; but in reality, ______ and _______"
    atoms, void
  3. Despite their differences, both the early Milesians and the Eleatics are classified as monists. As monists, what do they have in common?
    They all believe in a "One," or an arché
  4. Explain one of Zeno's arguments against motion
    The arrow has to reach every midpoint before it reaches the end. But for each midpoint it reaches, there is a new midpoint between it and the end. Therefore, it never reaches the end
  5. Point to one way in which Empedocles's philosophy exhibits sensitivity to Parmenides's philosophy (or, in other words, shows that they did not simply ignore or dismiss Parmenides).
    Empedocles claimed that there were 4 basic elements (fire, earth, water, air). He believed that there was no "coming into being" or "beginning." This relates to Parmenides because Parmenides spoke about how we cannot understand a coming into being out of nonexistence, so Empedocles just believed that everything just always was.
  6. The goddess of Parmenides' poem says "There is need for you to learn all things - both the unshaken heart of well-persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals, in which there is no true reliance." Explain the difference between what the goodness describes as the "Truth" on one hand, and the "opinions of mortals" on the other.
    • The "Truth" is "that it is, and that which is not possible for it not to be." This means that something either exists or doesn't but not both. We cannot understand anything outside of what exists.
    • The "opinions of mortals" are that things can both exist and not exist, like man coming into existence out of nonexistence, then not existing again after death.
  7. Thales is considered the first philosopher. What distinguishes Thales' account of nature from that of, say, Hesiod, the author of the Theogony, such that the former counts as philosophical but the latter doesn't? In answering this question, discuss at least one of Thales' doctrines regarding nature.
    • The Theogony just tells a story and makes the gods and concepts anthropomorphic. It cannot be debated, it is not an idea or theory, just a story.
    • Thales gives a theory/idea, that water is the arché (base, most basic element) because the earth rests on water and all things come from water. His theory can be discussed or debated because it is not simply a story, it is an idea stemming from Thales' observations.
  8. Which group is best known for "making the weaker argument the stronger"?
    The Sophists
  9. Given what you know about the "Presocratic" philosophers (and about Greek religion), why would "investigating things in the heavens and beneath the earth" (one of the first set of charges against Socrates) be associated with atheism?
    To investigate these things would be to question the gods. If you felt compelled to investigate, that implies that you did not believe the Greek religious teachings
  10. What makes Socrates wiser than everyone else?
    He acknowledges that he knows nothing. When he went to find someone wiser, he realized that nobody else knew/acknowledged their ignorance
  11. Socrates believes that it is impossible for someone to knowingly bring harm to themselves. How does he use this as a basis for a defense against the charge of (intentionally) corrupting the youth?
    If he were corrupting the youth, the people around him would turn bad, which would bring bad things upon himself. He knows this would be the aftermath, so he wouldn't knowingly do it.
  12. Addressing his fellow Athenians, Socrates says, "I believe that no greater good for you has ever come about in the city than my service to the god." In what way does Socrates believe that his service to the god benefits the city? (Your answer should say what is wrong with the city from Socrates' perspective)
    • The people of the city think that they are wiser than they are, and they need to question things more. Socrates was trying to "wake them up" and help them become aware of their ignorance so that they will question and explore things.
    • (Inhabitants lack virtue)
  13. Why does Socrates think it is a mistake to fear death?
    To fear death would be to fear what you do not know or understand, which would be ridiculous. He guesses that death is either a dreamless sleep, or a change of state to be with the gods and everyone else
  14. When invited to propose a proper sentence for his crime, Socrates say that he deserves "free _____ in the Prytaneum."
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Philosophy 201 Midterm
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