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. How does Burke use the word "delight?"

2. What does Burke mean by the word "Taste?"

3. What examples does Burke use to prove that people agree upon sensory observations?

4. Which method of teaching does Burke think best?

5. What term does Burke use to reflect uncertainty relative to the sublime?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the passions belonging to society, as Burke introduces them.

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

3. What is astonishment, according to Burke, and why is it important?

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

5. According to Burke, why can grief be considered pleasurable?

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

7. How does Burke describe sympathy?

8. What does Burke argue about tastes that deviate from causes other than habit or use?

9. What motivated Burke to write "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful"?

10. What significance do obscurity and clarity have to the sublime?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define obscurity and clearness, or clarity, as Burke uses them. What significance do obscurity and clearness have to the sublime? How does the imagination interact with obscurity and with clarity? Which passions does Burke associate with obscurity, and which with clarity? Define the aspects of dimensionality Burke uses (vastness, infinity, and magnitude). How do these relate to the sublime? What qualities of "magnificence" are sublime? Use examples like what Burke uses to support your points.

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

Summarize Locke's idea of the nature of darkness and Burke's idea of the nature of darkness. Where do they differ? Why does Burke think differently than Locke, and what examples does he use to support his opinion? How does darkness affect the body and the mind, according to Burke? Do you think the cultural associations we have with darkness (the general theme of it and the common things it symbolizes) can be relevant to our view of darkness, in addition to or instead of Burke's opinion of darkness' nature?

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