A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Burke assert about sensory observation?

2. What example does Burke give for a sublime sound?

3. To which other passions is the idea of power closely related, according to Burke?

4. What does Burke warn his readers about in the Second Preface?

5. Why are certain drugs enjoyable, according to Burke?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the main difference between light and dark relative to the sublime.

2. What is "magnificence," according to Burke?

3. What causes Burke to offer a second edition of "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful"?

4. Briefly describe the significance of human judgment to the faculty of taste.

5. What is Burke's idea of "artificial infinity?"

6. Why, according to Burke, are the principles of reason and taste the same in all humans?

7. What is the significance of the imagination, to Burke?

8. What is the difference between taste and knowledge, according to Burke?

9. Describe the types of dimensional greatness Burke notes are part of the sublime.

10. What, according to Burke, is sublime about religion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the role of the senses in producing the effect of the sublime. How does Burke describe the differences between light and dark, relative to the sublime? What types of colors are productive of the sublime, and which colors are not, according to Burke? What qualities of sound produce the sublime? How can certain smells and tastes be sublime? Use examples to reinforce your points, and explain how each example is relevant.

Essay Topic 2

Select three examples from anywhere in the text of what you would consider scientific methodology in Burke's writing. These may be specific examples he cites (such as his personal anecdotes or the selections from literature he reads), the structure or progression of his subjects or thought process in a section on a specific topic, or his tone as he considers the nature of things beautiful or sublime. Consider how Burke's methodology is, in itself, rather scientific in nature. For each example you selected, write a synopsis of why the selection seems scientific in nature to you. To be "scientific" in nature is, for example, to test one's theories somehow, to consider other theories in relation to one's own, to give evidence that supports one's theories, to maintain a tone of professional, instead of personal, interest, and so on.

Essay Topic 3

In the Introduction on Taste, Burke qualifies his purpose of defining the origins of the sublime and the beautiful. What, according to Burke, is the main problem with creating prescribed definitions, especially taste? What do definitions essentially do, and in what ways can they limit rather than enlighten? Considering Burke's mission regarding and methods used in the "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful," do you find anything ambiguous or undermining about Burke's reservations on definitions? Do you find inconsistencies here that make you think differently about reading "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful"?

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