A Blog by Virgilio Rivas

Take Home Exams on Presocratics

Instructions: Answer all items. For each item, write your 300-word maximum answer, times new roman, font size 12, single space. (highlight the test questions with your cursor to view them)

  1. Explain how Parmenides’ Theory of the One challenged the existing pattern of philosophical investigation.]
  2. How did later Philosophers respond to Parmenides’ challenge? Show how each of the pluralists attempted to accommodate the Eleatic demands in their philosophical systems. Which demands did each of them accept? Which did they reject, and why?
  3. How did Xenophanes arrive at his skeptical conclusions about the capacity for human knowledge?
  4. In what sense was Thales the first philosopher? In what ways could we say that his thought was continuous with that of his poetic predecessors, and in what ways did he offer a new and revolutionary way of investigating nature?
  5. Identify the physis of each of the Milesian philosophers. How did each philosopher most likely argue for his conclusions?
  6. Trace the rising levels of trust in pure reason from Thales through Parmenides.
  7. Explain the notion of “nous” in the thought of Anaxagoras.
  8. Trace the notion of opposites through the thought of Anaximander through the thought of the Atomists. Which philosophers made use of this notion? What similarities and differences can we find in these treatments?
  9. Both Heraclitus and Parmenides were obsessed with change. Explain how change fits into each of their philosophical systems. Are there any similarities in their two accounts?

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