Origins of Western 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.
Stoics on fate and freedom
- 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 type
- 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
- Nature of god for the Stoics
- How god ensures that what he fates will occur
- The 'lazy argument'
- Chrysippus on 'co-fating'
- Why deliberation and action still make a difference when everything is fated
- The end and nature; different senses of 'nature'
- Oikeiosis-what is it?
- Different stages of oikeiosis; 'social oikeiosis'
- Virtue and happiness
- Why only virtue is good and only vice bad
- 'Indifferents' of various sorts
- Role of wealth, health, etc., in the happy life.
- Epictetus on
- What is in our power
- What we should desire, and why we should desire it
- What attitude to take toward the death of friends and family
- 'Reservation' in Stoic ethics.
Return to final exam possible essay questions.
- 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.)
- How the skeptic achieves 'suspension of judgment.'
- How skepticism is supposed to lead to tranquility.
Return to the Ancient Philosophy page.