Project #1084 - Question Paper

A. Factual Questions (answer all) – 5 marks

Allocate less than 10 minutes for this section. Answers should ordinarily require only a word or a few words, rarely a full sentence.

1. Which simile represents the soul at the opening of Socrates’ second speech in the Phaedrus?

2. Name the three parts of the tripartite soul described in Phaedrus and Republic (you could use any translation from our text, or the Greek words often used in lectures).

3. According to the view that Plato attributes to Socrates in Phaedrus, which property of the soul guarantees its immortality?

4. Name one of the “good” forms of madness that Socrates describes between his first and second speeches in Phaedrus.

5. According to Socrates early in the Phaedrus, which form of knowledge must precede all other pursuits?

B. Short-Answer Questions (answer both) – 10 marks

Allocate 15-20 minutes per answer. A typical short-answer question will require about a paragraph (not more than 200 words), but use your judgement. Good short-answer answers should be clear and structured, and should explicitly reference evidence from the relevant primary sources (do include direct citations, e.g. 103B, where they are relevant to your answer). Particularly strong answers might compare multiple texts or ideas, and demonstrate facility for critical argument and evaluation.

1. Briefly summarize the structural and methodological shortcomings that Socrates identifies in the opening speech of Lysias (see his analysis later in Phaedrus, circa 464C). Do you agree with Socrates that these features are shortcomings of Lysias’ speech, measured as a philosophical discourse? (You may find it useful to define up front – although you will not have room to defend your definition – what you take the goal of a “philosophical discourse” to be).

2. If you combined the narrative of Symposium with Socrates’ second speech in Phaedrus, can you describe the condition of Alcibiades’ “charioteer and horses” in his speech praising Socrates? What do you take to be the condition of Socrates’ “horse”?

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C. Long-Answer Questions (Essays) (choose 1) — 15 marks

Allocate about 25-35 minutes for your answer. A typical answer will require about 500-600 words, but use your judgement. Essays should begin with, and defend from the primary evidence, a clear thesis. An excellent essay should consider and evaluate alternative viewpoints or counterarguments.

1. Read Socrates’ analysis of philosophical speeches late in the Phaedrus (beginning near 264C). What concerns motivate his advocacy of speech as a “living being” that can be “carved at the joints”? In your estimation, are Socrates’ guidelines, if adopted, likely to yield fruitful and useful philosophical discourse? Why, or why not?

2. Analyze the argument attributed to Socrates for the immortality of the soul (psukhĂȘ) in his second speech in the Phaedrus. Can you identify the premises and assumptions in the argument (some of which may not be explicitly stated in the text)? If we accept the premises, does the conclusion validly follow?

3. Consider the arguments found in Republic IV 435C-441C for the multiplicity of the soul (the “tripartition”, echoed in the chariot ). Do you find these arguments compelling as an ancient treatment of psychology and human motivation? Why, or why not?

4. Analyze one of Plato’s myths: either the core of the second speech in the Phaedrus, or the Myth of Er in Republic X, or the myth of the end of the Gorgias. In your view, what philosophical views does Plato present in this myth? (or: why does he use myth to express them?)

5. Compose a short speech in the mould of Lysias’ and Socrates’ speeches on love in the Phaedrus, in which you defend (or reject) the position that the beloved should favour the lover. Endeavour to satisfy both Socrates’ basic criteria for a philosophical discourse “carved at the joints” and using clearly defined key terms, as well as our overlapping criteria above for a typical “long-answer question” in PHIL 310A. Your speech could be configured according to the social norms of any culture you choose (not necessarily ancient Greece). 

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/04/2012 09:00 pm
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