The Ethics of Ambiguity; Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Beauvoir characterize the response of Western women when the structures that shelter them seem to be in danger?
(a) They become confused and bewildered to the point of despair.
(b) They drive themselves further into the subjection that makes them child like.
(c) They become harder, more bitter and even more furious or cruel than their masters.
(d) They become detached and unemotional.

2. How does Beauvoir explain what Descartes meant when he said that the freedom of man is infinite, but this power is limited?
(a) That man's mind has no limits in thought, but his physical body does not have the ability to follow the thoughts.
(b) That man is free to believe all things, but achieving them is subject to the physical universe.
(c) That the will is defined only by raising obstacles and by the contingency of certain obstacles that let themselves be conquered and others that do not.
(d) The individual man has the power to follow his desires until his pursuit is obstructed by a more power man.

3. What does Beauvoir report to be the child's situation?
(a) He is cast into a universe which he has not helped to establish and appears as an absolute to which he can only submit.
(b) He is subject to accept all things based upon what others tell him.
(c) His ambiguity is compounded by his ignorance of right and wrong.
(d) He faces the reality that his freedom is continually reduced by his growing knowledge.

4. What does Beauvoir claim to protect the child from the risk of existence?
(a) His inability to comprehend the consequences of decisions.
(b) His budding existentialist belief that only thoughts matter.
(c) His obedience to adults.
(d) The ceiling which human generations have built over his head.

5. Upon what does Beauvoir claim that a child's freedom is based?
(a) Upon ignorance that makes all his decisions meaningless.
(b) Upon his willingness to trust adults without question.
(c) Upon his inability to grasp the concept of cause and effect.
(d) Upon adults whom he is only to respect and obey.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Beauvoir suggest a child has a state of security?

2. In what sense does Beauvoir claim that every man is free?

3. What irony does Beauvoir suggest contributes to the most optimistic ethics.

4. How does Beauvoir suggest that a child console himself when confronted with personal imperfection?

5. What does Beauvoir identify as the irony of the serious man?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are two descriptions that Beauvoir gives to man at the beginning of Part I, Ambiguity and Freedom?

2. How does Beauvoir claim one can avoid nihilism?

3. How does Beauvoir define the child's world?

4. How does Beauvoir claim that man can rise to a higher moral freedom?

5. To what does Beauvoir credit the development of many different philosophical world views?

6. How does Beauvoir explain that nihilism becomes the desire for power?

7. How does Beauvoir characterize Materialists?

8. With what quote from Descartes does Beauvoir begin Section II?

9. How does Beauvoir explain that willing bad is possible?

10. What type of adults does Beauvoir claim stays in an infantile world?

(see the answer keys)

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