A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful Test | Final 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 has Burke observed in himself regarding the passions and the body, in Section IV?

2. What does Burke term "compounded abstract" words?

3. What does NOT make certain objects or experiences affect us the way they do?

4. What, to Burke, is "great and amazing beyond conception?"

5. What has Burke personally observed about human beauty?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why, according to Burke, are humans readily affected by the passions of others?

2. What does Burke propose to study in Part IV? What caveat does he offer his readers?

3. What does Burke identify as the three effects of words?

4. What is beautiful in feeling, according to Burke?

5. According to Burke, why is the taste of sweetness pleasant, and how does he decide this?

6. What types of sounds, smells, and tastes can be considered beautiful, according to Burke?

7. Why, according to Burke, is proportion not the cause of beauty in vegetation and animals?

8. What does Burke mean by "fitness," and why is fitness not, according to him, the cause of beauty?

9. What are the physical effects of fear and pain, and what is the difference between fear and pain, as observed by Burke?

10. To what effect does Burke use the example of Campanella?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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"?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the ways in which "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" is a gendered text. Is the role of women in the text obvious or subtle, and in what ways? How does Burke's near universal usage of masculine or second person pronouns affect the way you read the text? How is Burke's use and inclusion of women reflective of the role and status of women in mid-18th century English society? What is your reaction to Burke's characterization of and use of women in the text? How can you apply what you know of feminist critical theory or gender theory to approach "A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful"?

Essay Topic 3

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.

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