Greek Phil final Exam 2017
There are six questions on this exam. You must answer all six questions. Your answers will add up to 2,000 words maximum, distributed as follows:
- 125 words maximum for questions 1 and 2
- 250 words maximum for question 3
- 500 words maximum for each of questions 4, 5 and 6
Use your word allotment wisely, i.e. be concise and show me what you know (hide what you don’t know).
Your exams are due on Monday, October 30 by 11:59pm. You can submit them through Turn It In on our LS page under “Assessment Submission.”
***You are welcome to use your notes, your texts, and the lecture recordings to answer these questions. But the answers must be your own. Cite Plato’s dialogues and Aristotle’s text in order to substantiate your claims. Do not use anyone else’s ideas or phrases without proper citation.***
- (125 words max.) Based on Socrates/Plato’s definition of justice in the Republic (e.g. IV.433a-b), do you think that it would be right to say that well-running clocks are just?
- (125 words max.) Given that Aristotle grounds his conception of happiness and ethics in the idea of human beings having a fixed rational nature (EN7 1098a7-8), how do you think that his ethics fares in light of what we now know about evolution and the way that natures are adaptive and mutable?
- (250 words max.) Aristotle says that happiness (eudaimonia) is the “first principle and cause of good things” (EN12 1102a3-4). What does he mean when he says that?
- (500 words max.) In Book II of the Republic, after Socrates has begun describing Kallipolis, Glaucon and Adeimantus raise their concern that the inhabitants of this ideal city do not seem to have a very large share of happiness (IV.420b). Socrates responds by saying that he is concerned about the happiness of the whole city, not the happiness of a single group or individual. But in any case, he says, the citizens of this city will have that “proportion of happiness which nature assigns to them” (IV.421c). Why does Plato think that there is a different share of happiness appropriate to different people?
- (500 words max.) Socrates/Plato suggests in the Republic that an individual is justified in ruling over others if and only if that individual has a certain kind of knowledge (Books 6 and 7). What is that knowledge and in what ways, if any, does it differ from the kind of expertise that Aristotle discusses in the Nicomachean Ethics (particularly Book 6)?
- (500 words max.) At 6.13 of the Manichean Ethics, Aristotle says that “it is impossible to be good in the strict sense without practical wisdom, nor to be practically wise without character virtue” (1144b30ff.). Why does Aristotle think that intellectual and character virtue must be mutually complementary in this way? If John Doris and other skeptics about character virtue turn out to be right, do you think that Aristotle’s conception of intellectual virtue is also threatened?