The Story of Philosophy Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Will Durant
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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 Spinoza say the language of the Bible is?

2. What drives the Jews out of their natural home?

3. What is a special element of soul in the human being according to Aristotle?

4. To what end does Socrates develop his Socratic Method?

5. What comprises Plato's writing style?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Voltaire's The Essay on Morals.

2. What is Voltaire's reaction to Rousseau's suggestion that men were responsible for the deaths in the Lisbon earthquake?

3. How can Voltaire's life be compared to that of socrates?

4. Explain the reasons for a break between Plato and Aristotle.

5. How does Bacon's reconstruction exceed the work of Aristotle?

6. How does Voltaire research his writing?

7. What is a common criticism of Voltaire?

8. How does the scope of Bacon's philosophy miss his goal?

9. Explain why Spinoza gives up everything for philosophy.

10. Why is Aristotle's philosophy often criticized as dry and uninteresting?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on the philosopher in Durant's book that you find the most interesting. Include in your essay examples of that philosopher's work that are of particular interest to you.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on Spencer's idea that a militant society exalts certain virtues and condones what other people might call crimes. Use the modern debate over the use of torture in wartime investigations as an example.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the death of Socrates. In your essay discuss the devotion of his students and why Socrates chooses not to escape Athens but drink the hemlock instead. Be sure to include the real reason Socrates is sentenced to death.

(see the answer keys)

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