Comps Study Set: Contemporary

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  1. What is utilitarianism all about?
  2. Mill talks about some people who think wealth is the highest principle, or integrity. What is his answer to these candidates as possible alternatives to utility?
  3. What does Mill say about higher and lower pleasures?
  4. Compare Mill and Aristotle on virtue.
  5. Does Mill have a problem negotiating between the greatest happiness principle and the principle of freedom of thought? Do they conflict? How would you resolve this?
  6. What stood out for you in the Dialectic, i.e., which section would you like to talk about?
  7. One of the parts of the Odyssey that Adorno & Horkheimer mention is the Sirens. Who do they relate this to?
  8. As the bourgeois landowner gets closer to a particular thing, the more he distances himself from it. What is it that he's distancing himself from?
  9. What connections can you make between Dialectic of Enlightenment and Rousseau?
  10. Is the whole enterprise of epistemology essentially Cartesian? (And if so, is that a bad thing?) Or is there a whole different way of doing epistemology, not subject to the limitations of Descartes’ approach?
  11. Does Kant give us a successful synthesis of empiricism and rationalism?
  12. What is the place of scepticism in epistemology? Is epistemology essentially a sceptical enterprise? Or is epistemology essentially a response to scepticism, a defense against it?
  13. Some people think that the task of epistemology is to tell us what we can and cannot know, and that if epistemology tells us that we cannot really know things that up until now we thought we knew, we have to accept the loss of these beliefs. Other people, however, think that the task of epistemology is to accept our beliefs and explain how they are, for the most part, justified. Which side has the better part of the argument?
  14. What are the main questions or issues that political philosophy has to deal with?
  15. Should political philosophy take for granted the contemporary first-world nation-state? Or should political philosophy try to speak about politics in more universal terms that go beyond the nation-state? Or are there different brands of political philosophy corresponding to different political forms?
  16. What are the pros and cons of thinking of society as a collection of individuals?
  17. It is commonly thought that there is a major difference between classical political philosophy and modern political philosophy, with classical political philosophy focusing on the achievement of common goods by communities, and modern political philosophy focusing on the avoidance of evils and especially on the protection of individuals and their rights from encroachment by other people or by the state or by society. Is that correct? Assuming that it is correct, which approach is preferable?
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Comps Study Set: Contemporary
2017-05-22 18:08:18
philosophy contemporary mill dialectic enlightement
Comps study set for Master's exam
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