Study guide for the final examination for “Philosophy: The Art... This is intended as a guide only. Its purpose...

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Study guide for the final examination for “Philosophy: The Art of Thinking”
This is intended as a guide only. Its purpose is just to indicate some of the most important issues that will be
covered on the final exam (100 multiple-choice questions, similar in format to the questions on our quizzes). If you
understand these topics, you should do well on the exam, even though there may be some detailed questions on the
exam not directly addressed in this study guide.
Arguments:
Validity/invalidity; soundness/unsoundness.
Socrates:
Athenian politics and economics, Sophists, Socrates’ motivation, Socratic method & democracy, views of wisdom
& learning.
Plato:
Metaphysics (physical objects, Forms, Form of the Good, interpretation of being); on philosophy; virtue as
knowledge; views of soul and arguments for these views.
Aristotle:
Metaphysics (primary substance, 4 causes, interpretation of being); ethics (virtue, happiness, “incontinence”);
virtues of character vs. virtues of thought; different kinds of thought & parallels with Aristotle’s physics &
astronomy.
Augustine:
Manicheans; problem of evil; nature of and arguments for the existence of free will; Pelagians.
Descartes:
Method of doubt, reasons for doubting 3 main classes of beliefs, what he thinks we can know for certain,
explanation of error.
Marx and Engels:
Classical liberalism & laissez-faire economics, manorialism, capitalism, dialectical materialism, theory of society,
alienation of labor, “fetishism of the commodity”, communism, interpretation of being.
Nietzsche:
Will to power, values, genealogy of morals (for ancient Greece, Judaism, Christianity), nihilism; comparison with
J.D. Crossan’s interpretation of the historical Jesus.
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