Midterm Oral Examination (Philosophy of Man)

Coverage:  From Ancient Philosophy to Early Medieval Period

 1.       Socrates once said of the unworthiness of living an unexamined life.  How is this related to his critique of the ways of the Sophists? Does it mean self-examination? A purely intellectual exercise of knowing one’s self?

2.       How is the so-called Word of the Greek Logos enforced during the medieval?

3.       St. Augustine’s improvisation of Plato’s theory of participation is one of the most important doctrines of Christianity.  The participative nature of the relationship between the One and the Many, however, tends to the side of the structurally superior.  How is this related to the principle of regulation in one of these critical reflections upon the nature of participation, say between God and Man?

4.       The difference between the Stoic and the Cynic is a matter of emphasis on the capacity of the self vis-à-vis evil, pain, and corruption.  Discuss the views and beliefs they share.

5.       The homo mensura principle is both enabling and unduly glamorizing the individual to take on self-emancipating projects.  Christ once exemplified an inimitable stoic resolution as did to a considerable degree the famous Socrates.  In recent history, we have seen the enormity of the homo mensura principle in the infamous projects of mass extermination, the gas chamber, summary executions, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and protracted violence both committed by the State and its enemies.  How is this related to the Socratic critique of Sophistry?

6.       The god of both Plato and Aristotle is regarded as a regulative limit. How does it differ with the Christian god?  In which of the two crucial conceptions of god can Man find a comfortable place as a being of free choice and free will, give and take the negative and positive implications of those views?

7.       Discuss how Aristotle’s theory of participation related to the form-giving function of civilization, morality or ethics with regard to instincts which can resemble the description given to matter as potency.  Act and potency, in a related discussion, indicates among other things that pure potency is empty of act.

8.       How would you resolve the problem of evil in Plato’s theory of participation.  Did god create evil? 

9.       What is meant by the self-diffusiveness of the Good?  What can Plotinus contribute to the Augustinian notion of the intellectus spiritualis?

10.   How is the awareness of existence arrived at through the double-aspect of the process of wondering?


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