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History of Philosophy

Philosophy lecturer Peter Westmoreland challenges you to remember your humanities classes. Grab a pencil and see how well you do for a chance to win a free T-shirt!


Question 1

Socrates argues in Apology that only a few, say, the trainers of horses can actually improve horses, and likewise for the youth. Socrates makes this argument to demonstrate that his accuser at trial brings charges against him frivolously. What kind of argument is this?

(a) Circular argument
(B) Argument by analogy
(C) Cartesian

Question 2

In the Meditations, René Descartes famously engages in skepticism, doubting all of his beliefs in order to secure a firm foundation for the sciences. “I am, I exist” is necessarily true every time I utter it or conceive it in my mind.” This is the first unshakeable truth Descartes discovers. What is the last major truth Descartes discovers in the Meditations?

(a) The mind exists
(B) Corporeal things exist
(C) God exists

Question 3

Whereas Thomas Hobbes depicts “the life of man” as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau sees him “satisfying his hunger under an oak, and his thirst at the first brook … all his wants are completely supplied.” What reason does Rousseau give for rejecting Hobbes’ view?

(a) Humans have natural pity or empathy toward others
(B) Humans are far too rational in their natural state to understand the prisoner’s dilemma
(C) Voltaire’s Candide has solved the problems
Hobbes raised

Question 4

In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir famously asks,
“What is a woman?” Which of the following is an answer that she gives?

(a) She is the Other
(B) She is the rational conception of moral law
(C) She is an abstract concept lacking in situatedness