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 do Voltaire's letter criticizing France formulate in the French people?

2. How does every society and government ruins itself?

3. What is the first of four books written by Spinoza?

4. How is Plato's early life best described?

5. At first, what medium does Voltaire use to give humorous expression to his ideas?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Plato differentiate between emotion and knowledge?

2. Describe the idols Bacon identifies and wants to eliminate.

3. Describe the origins of stoicism and Epicureanism in Greek philosophy.

4. How does Plato see population as a political problem of war that can be controlled?

5. Describe Spinoza's synonymous dichotomies.

6. What is a common criticism of Voltaire?

7. Describe Spinoza's identification of three ethical systems.

8. Explain why Spinoza gives up everything for philosophy.

9. How does Voltaire research his writing?

10. Explain Aristotle's definition of God.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on skepticism. Define the term and give examples of ideas philosophers might be skeptical about. Approach this subject objectively showing how skepticism does not only apply to religion but science as well. Use the disagreement over teaching Darwinism in our schools to show skepticism on both sides of the issue.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on philosophy and women's rights. In your essay include Aristotle, Nietzsche, and other philosophers and their position on women. Include how the women's rights issue has changed in modern times and what changes still need to be made.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on philosopher-kings. Include in your essay the way proponents of philosopher-kings probably saw themselves as able to govern justly. Explain why the theory that sounds well never worked well in reality.

(see the answer keys)

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