Study Questions for Exam

Study questions—note for each that as you reconstruct arguments or present theories, you should also be prepared to evaluate those arguments/theories:

What are the “intellectual attributes and assumptions” that make it possible for us to group the “presocratics”? In what way do they demonstrate a “spirit of …rational inquiry” ? Give examples from several including the Milesians, the Plutalists, etc.

Discuss the fundamental or defining ideas of Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides.

Who were the Sophists and what is their significance?

What connections do you see between the presocratics and Plato’s theories?

What were the charges against Socrates in the Apology and how does he respond to them?

How does Socrates present himself and interact with the jurors in the Apology? With other interlocutors in other dialogues? What is the significance of that interaction?

What is Plato’s theory about the nature of the polis and the relationship of the individual to the polis?

What is the nature of philosophy and who is the philosopher as defined by/practiced by Socrates?

What are the arguments for and against Socrates leaving prison in the Crito?

What is the nature of knowledge according to Plato—what do we know when we know something? What is the difference between knowledge an opinion? How do we acquire knowledge? What is its value?

What is the nature of the natural world or “reality” according to Plato? How is Plato’s ontology related to his epistemology?

What is the significance of the following: Socrates as a gadfly, the parable of the cave, Socrates as a “stingray,” the different speeches about eros as a God,

What is the nature of the human being according to Plato? The purpose of human life?

What are Plato’s arguments for the immortality of the soul?

What is Plato’s theory of virtue? Beauty? Love?

What are the fundamental questions or issues posed in each of the Crito/Meno/Symposium—are these answered, and if so how?

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