This exam will
count for 15% of your final grade for the course. Any quotations used from the textbook will need to be
cited by a page number (in-text citation is OK). The successful exam will demonstrate not only an
understanding of the material, but will also go a step beyond by demonstrating thoughtful reflection on the
matters and creative (though grounded in other texts or preferably in actual experience) insight.
The successful exam will also be clear in thought and writing, the responses will fully answer the question in a way in which clear understanding of the material is obvious. This exam is another tool (along with class discussions and reading of the text) to assist you in your coming to a realization of what philosophy is and how to approach it critically and in an engaged way. Presume that the person who will be reading this is of normal intelligence but has not read the texts. Imagine that you have a friend who is interested in what youve been discussing in class and this is your attempt to explain it to them.
Do not wait until Sunday evening to begin. This is a longish exam and Im giving you a week because I think
you will need it. I dont expect you to work on it every waking moment, but the more you think about the
questions before and during the writing process, the more successful you will probably be. I would suggest
looking over the essay question tonight or tomorrow and making some initial notes or an outline. Then review
your notes and the text and ruminate on the questions for a day or two. Then begin writing and use Sunday to
finish and review/revise. Furthermore, the exam does not excuse you from the continued work well be doing in
class. You are still expected to keep up with the new material that we are covering in class.
While there is no page requirement for the answer, I anticipate an excellent response would be about 6-7 pages
Once the question has been completely and thoroughly answered, please conclude with that answer. I
do not want superfluous or extraneous information just to make the response longer. You may be brief, but
brevity may be seen as a sign of less than full comprehension. It is difficult though not impossible to be succinct
and demonstrate full comprehension. The question has sub-questions which should be beneficial in helping you
to answer the primary question fully. While I am asking you to give your own analysis of the argument or
present your own argument, it is not the occasion to ramble nor to give wild unsupported opinions.
It is the
opportunity for you to add your voice to the ongoing discussion, what this entails is a well reasoned, thought out
argument which probably will draw from the readings in the class but most importantly from experience.
1) Describe Platos and Aristotles metaphysics then compare and contrast them. Be sure to explain Platos
allegory of the cave and go on to describe how he uses it to explain his metaphysics. Be sure to also explain the
divided linethe chart provided on p. 72 and its connection to the allegory of the cave and Platos
metaphysical system. Why is it that Platos metaphysics can be said to be top down while Aristotles can be
said be bottom up? For Aristotle, be sure to include notions such as substance and essential and accidental
properties in your descriiption. It may be beneficial, though not required, to make reference to and explain what
Aristotle is doing with the subject/predicate stuff and how that helps to explain his metaphysics. For Plato and
Aristotle explain the connection between particulars and universals. For both thinkers, what is the role of critical
thinking? Discuss the nature of truth and knowledge for each theory. What would these theories have to say
about post-truth? What are some strengths and weaknesses of Plato and Aristotles metaphysical positions?
Which position seems stronger or more in line with your own view and why?