1. In class we looked closely at three arguments by Zeno, one meant to establish that there is no plurality of real beings and the other two meant to establish that there is no motion in the world. Lay out carefully one of these arguments and then discuss a possible reply to it.
2. Discuss the two very different ways in which Empedocles and Anaxagoras tried to accommodate Parmenides's doctrine that unqualified change is impossible, i.e., that what is really real (ousia) can neither come into existence nor pass out of existence. Your answer should include a rough characterization of reductionism and an explanation of how Anaxagoras's rather strange account of the really real can be seen as a reaction to and rejection of the particular type of reductionism espoused by Empedocles.
3. In the Republic Glaucon argues forcefully for the twofold claim that (i) being morally upright (or just) is not intrinsically better than being morally wicked and that (ii), despite our protestations to the contrary, we all in fact believe that being morally upright is not intrinsically better than being morally wicked. Lay out his argument for these claims.
4. In the Republic Glaucon proposes the argument that self-love or self-interest is the fundamental motivation for human action and that, because of this, we have no reason for being morally upright when we are in a position to act unjustly without being punished for it. Formulate a Socratic answer to this argument.
5. Briefly explicate the main elements of the ruminations about the Forms found in the middle dialogues, and then discuss two of the objections that are raised against this theory by the character of Parmenides in Plato's dialogue Parmenides.
6. In the Republic Socrates claims that (i) true philosophers will invariably be unpopular in democratic societies and that (ii) it is nearly impossible for true philosophers to be produced in a democratic society. Explain his reasons for making these two claims.
7. In the Categories Aristotle claims that substance or ousia in the primary sense is that which is neither (i) present in nor (ii) said of another. Explain what this formula means, paying special attention to the difference between (i) and (ii).
8. In the Categories Aristotle insists that the two simple sentences 'Socrates is wise' and 'Socrates is a human being' are not susceptible to the same sort of analysis. Explain the reasons for this claim and show how it is related to the doctrine of substance found in the Categories.
9. Explain how, by beginning with qualified (or accidental) change, Aristotle analyzes change in terms of three principles, and then show how he uses this analysis in order to argue contrary to Parmenides, Empedocles, the atomists, and Anaxagoras that unqualified (or substantial) change is possible.
10. Compare the use of the notion of form in Plato's Phaedo and Republic with the use of this notion in Aristotle's Physics.
11. Explain Aristotle's objection to the "blind necessity" theory, i.e., the theory according to which complete scientific explanations of natural phenomena need make reference only to "blind" mechanistic causes and not to any "final causes" (purposes or tendencies) in nature.
12. In Physics II Aristotle argues against the
theories of ousia (or
substance) propounded by various of his
Explain the sense in which the theories of Empedocles and the atomists
are reductionistic, and show how Aristotle's conception of nature as
is meant to counteract this reductionism.
1. Lay out the main motives and principles of Pyrrhonian skepticism in the form revived by the likes of Aenesidemus and Sextus Empiricus. Your answer should include reference to the "Five Modes" of skeptical argument attributed to Aenesidemus's successor Agrippa (see Jordan, pp. 236-238).
2. Lay out Plotinus's view of the nature of God and of the soul's ascent to God.
3. Outline the chief elements of Stoic ethics.
4. Discuss the differences between the Epicurean and Stoic worldviews with respect to the following: (i) the nature of the physical universe; (ii) the relation between pleasure and virtue; and (iii) the notion of divine providence.
5. Lay out the main principles of Epicurean ethics and