Greek Philosophy Exam Reviews

Greek Philosophy Midterm Review

Temple of Artemis EphesusThe Midterm Exam will consist of multiple choice questions and short answer questions.  You can study for both types by reviewing the material in accord with the topics below.  At the end of the topics is the guide and list for short answers.

Origins of Ancient Greece: Cosmology, interconnected ancient world, polytheism to monotheism/monism, stack of elements, Egypt and slavery, chemistry, Plato loves Egypt, Greece between Persia and Egypt, Persian and Phoenician influence, Cyrus, Zoroastrianism, Renaissance gives way to idea of the West, modern mythology of reason/freedom/History/Science

sapphoIdentity, Mythology & Tragedy: Dogmatism vs. Skepticism, philosophy/wisdom as deep questioning, Ionians and Dorians, Dorian invasion theory, Ionian rebellion, Miletus as center, Delian League, political vs. personal freedom, poets Homer and Hesiod, common Homeric culture, prose vs. lyrical poetry/song, epiphany and theory, Archilochos and rhythm of life, Sappho and what one loves, tragedy & hamartia, Agamemnon & Antigone

anaximander-1-sizedThales: Milesian school, trade center, falls into well, olive press monopoly, easy travel to Egypt, all things are full of gods, teleological view, magnets & amber, water as arche

Anaximander: injustice & retribution, infinite/apeiron as arche, element arche would have unbalanced cosmos, hot/cold & wet/dry, gnomon, steady earth vs. Aristotle’s hungry/thirsty man, map of world with Med/Delphi center, mythic snow/fire people, water cycle & life

Anaximenes: air as arche, dissipation and concentration, blowing on hand hot/cold, felt

Pythagoras BustPythagoras: theorem & pyramids, first ‘philosopher’, influenced Plato, supposedly divine, reincarnation, secret society, mathematics as origin, harmony of the spheres, the One & the tetractys, ratios/rational & intervals, set of opposites, sayings w/ secret morals, Pythagorean Y

Xenophanes: ridicules fellow philosophers, critical of honoring athletes, Homeric gods are immoral, incapable of cosmic order, Ethiopians/Thracians/Horses/Oxen, gods unborn, no hierarchy, one immobile infinite that shakes all things, no one will know the truth, optimistic skepticism, figs & honey, water/earth & fossils

heraclitus bustHeraclitus: renounces throne, similar to Buddha, weeping philosopher, critical of Ephesians/experts/poets/philosophers, wet vs. dry soul, never same river twice, we are & are not, flux/becoming as being & nonbeing, fire as arche, desire & satisfaction, thunderbolt, Logos, awake vs. asleep, criticism of experts, wisdom as unity of mind, inquire within, opposites work together, influence on Nietzsche, humans as apes

Parmenides: Eleatic school, agrees with Xenophanes being doesn’t move, Plato reveres, apocalyptic journey, ways of night/day, truth vs. opinion, oneness shared by all, ex nihilo, time/motion/difference as illusion, Einstein & block time

parmenidesZeno: beloved of Parmenides, reductio ad absurdum, dialectic shows we can’t understand without contradiction, paradox of nonbeing, paradox of place, paradox of motion, Tortoise & Achilles, arrow in flight

Melissus: return to Xenophanes, source of Eleatics, One is full/eternal, Neoplatonic hyperousia, similarity with Buddhist thought

Anaxagoras: sided with Persians, brought philosophy to Athens, heretical idea of sun/moon as blazing stone, charged with impiety, everything contains traces of everything, Parmenides is right about total difference as relative illusion, arche as self-ruled nous/mind, no splits with an axe, deus ex machina, parallel criticism of Euripides, mind/body problem

EmpedoclesEmpedocles: champion of the poor, healing powers, god rebirth via volcano, fall of souls from original pure state, Zeus/Hera – Hades/Persephone, four classical elements, love & strife in cosmic cycles, pre-human pairs, vegetarian, cycles of reincarnation, critical of animal sacrifice, reason superior to perception as wisdom superior to knowledge, Badiou vs. Dawkins

Democritus: laughing philosopher, the mocker, atomism, infinite beings & void/nonbeing, reaction to Eleatic challenge, mind as many fire atoms, impressions as images/idols, critical of animal omens, man is what we know, wisdom as medicine, much thought over much learning, balance and moderation, improve rather than pray, skepticism, truth is in the depths/opinion

Alexander and DiogenesDiogenes: defacing the currency, Antisthenes after Socrates, cosmopolitan, begging in tub at center of town, toughens self, smashes bowl, carries lamp, practice over theory, cynics are ‘dog-like’, bites his friends, courage/nature/reason over wealth/custom/passion, obscenity, criticism of Plato’s idealism, criticism of Alexander, Christians & shamelessness

Short Answers

Pick four topics from the list below.  For each of your choices, write a half page in each of the spaces provided.  You should demonstrate that you understand the concept and can connect it to other material from the class.  If you demonstrate each of these and complete the required page length, you will get full points for your answer.

Stack of the Elements                Dogmatism vs. Skepticism

Political vs. Personal Freedom        Hamartia & Antigone

Anaximander vs. an Element as Arche    Xenophanes’ Horses & Oxen

Heraclitus’ Being & Nonbeing        Heraclitus vs. Experts who Separate

Parmenides Eleatic Challenge        Parmenides Truth vs. Opinion

Parmenides vs. Heraclitus            Zeno’s Paradoxes of Motion

Anaxagoras vs. Democritus            Anaxagoras’ Deus Ex Machina

Empedocles’ 4 Elements/Gods        Empedocles’ Cosmic Love & Strife

Empedocles’ Reason over Perception    Atomists vs. Eleatics

Diogenes’ Live as a Dog            Diogenes’ Criticism of Plato



Greek Philosophy Final Review 

The Final Exam will consist of multiple choice questions and short answer questions.  You can study for both types by reviewing the material in accord with the topics below.  At the end of the topics is the guide and list for short answers.

Plato HeadSocrates & Plato:  Early vs. Late Dialogues & Socrates, Socrates following the oracle, Not knowing as wisdom, daemon & intuition, Plato the broad, Socrates’ apology vs charges of impiety, Crito’s rejected offer, social contract with Athens, symbolic death, Meno vs Socrates on universal good, Socrates as stingray, teaching as recollection, leading slave boy through geometric proof, Symposium & Pausanias’ lust vs passion, Eryximachus’ cosmic love as harmony, Aristophanes’ dual beings of sun & moon, Socrates’ love as philosopher, pregnant in body & mind, platonic love, Alcibiades’ unknown ignorance vs Socrates known ignorance, Republic & Socrates vs Thrasymachus, Parmenides/Pythagoras over Heraclitus, optimistic vs pessimistic skepticism, three part individual & city as form of justice, common good vs private property/family, one person one job, noble lie, cave & philosophers, Timaeus Atlantis story, real vs unreal, the One & the Demiurge as Nous & Logos, four elements & pyramid, Socrates vs Parmenides on forms, paradoxical exercises of the One & the many

AristotleAristotle:  student of Plato, tutor of Alexander, Lyceum & Peripatetics, barbarian in Athens, aetherial above, four causes (form, material, efficient & final), metaphysics as rules of the rules, Plato’s Socrates as pinnacle, ideas and One as supreme substances, sight as highest sense, noncontradiction vs skepticism, square of opposition, inclusive vs exclusive or, four forms of perfect syllogisms, intellectual/moral/nutritious virtue, doctrine of the mean, distribution & correction, political animal by nature, diamond shape of forms of government, workers excluded from politics, city as achieving the noble

pyrrhoPyrrho & Skepticism:  Pyrrho as painter & inquirer, debt to Democritus, journey with Alexander, withholding judgement, tranquility (ataraxia), relativising assertions, Timon & appearances as lies & truth, Aenesidemus’ ten tropes, cause & effect as association, Sextus as skeptical doctor, skepticism as ability to think, standards as processes not convictions, Apelles’ sponge, against providence, animals as rational, individuals vary in body & mind, rare as meaningful, two modes of in-itself and in-another

BEN85219Epicureanism:  Epicurus & his egalitarian garden, pleasure as good vs hedonism, reciprocity, wise life is the happy life, atomism with chaotic wandering, problem of evil, death is nothing vs Aristotle, arguments against skepticism, influence on modern European thought

Stoicism:  Zeno of Citium & Cynicism, pot of lentil soup, speaking less, cosmic fire & pantheism, acceptance of fate, hand metaphor as grasping, ignorance vs logic as tranquility, conforming to cosmos, meditation, egalitarianism & cosmopolitanism, Epictetus’ leg, Marcus Aurelius quotes

Short Answers:  Pick four topics from the list below.  For each of your choices, write a third to a half page in each of the spaces provided below.  You should demonstrate that you 1) understand the meaning of the concept, 2) that you can connect it to other material from the class, and 3) that you can apply it to examples.  If you demonstrate each of these three things and complete the required page length, you will get full points for your answer.

Plato’s Early vs. Late Dialogues               Socrates’ Not Knowing as Wisdom

Crito vs Socrates on Jailbreak                Apology vs Meno on (Not) Knowing

Symposium & Socrates vs Alcibiades     Republic & Socrates vs Thrasymachus

Optimistic vs Pessimistic Skepticism      Form of Just Individual & City

Plato vs Aristotle on Private Property     Plato’s Cave

Forms & Third Man Argument                Plato vs Aristotle on Forms

Aristotle vs Skeptics on Contradiction    Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean

Skepticism as Continuous Inquiry          Apelles’ Sponge

Problem of Evil                                          Stoic Acceptance of Cosmic Fate

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