Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, final exam topics
This is just a list of terms, examples, concepts, etc. that you ought to be familiar with, and some questions you should be able to address. Simply memorizing terms isn't sufficient for understanding the class material, of course, but this might be of some use to you as a start to approaching what you ought to know. This list is in addition to the items mentioned explicitly in the essay questions; I've haven't included all those items here, for the sake of saving time and space. Look over the list of possible reading response paper too to get a handle on what we've covered.
- Similarities to Aristotle's starting-place for ethics
- Psychological and ethical hedonism
- Proofs of hedonism
- Types of pleasure: kinetic/static, bodily/mental, relationships between these types
- Good vs. choiceworthy, bad vs. to be avoided
- Types of desires, characteristics of each types
- The virtues, relationship of each to prudence, reasons for endorsing them
- Value of wisdom, both practical and theoretical
- our preconception of justice
- basic form of the justice contract
- reason for entering into it
- justice and animals, other countries
- motives for acting justly, value of justice
- justice and relativism
Sextus/Pyrrhonian skepticism Stuff covered in essay question, plus
- Why we have incorrigible knowledge of our own experiences
- Why we cannot know anything about what the external world is like
- Why we cannot know what the experiences of other people are like
- Pleasure and NOT happiness as the highest good
- Bodily pleasures as better than mental pleasures
- That lack of pain is not a pleasure
Determinism, bivalence and freedom. Stuff covered in essay question, plus
- Sextus' responses to the "self-refutation" objections against the skeptic.
- How one can consistently live as a skeptic, according to Sextus. (The 4 things the skeptic uses to guide his life.)
- Differences between Pyrrhonian skepticism and the Cyrenaics.
Return to final exam possible essay questions.
- Careneades on teh 'voluntary motion of the mind'
- Carneades on the gods and foreknowledge.
- Foreknowledge and a god not limited to the present
- The Stoics on why freedom is not a matter of choosing among open options.
Return to the Ancient Philosophy page.