Exam 1

Exam 1

Answer ONE question; be as thorough and complete as you can. You MAY use your books, but MUST explain your answer in your own words; essays consisting mainly of quotations from the book will receive very poor grades – even if you use quotation marks. You MUST engage the readings themselves and not just the slides on Canvas.

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  1. Explain the contributions of Eastern thought to metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. Which do you think offers the most to the West?
  2. Explain at least two of the early (pre-Socratic) Greek philosophers, as well as Plato and Aristotle, on the nature of reality. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  3. What do Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz contribute to the development of metaphysics? Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  4. Explain the proofs of the existence of God offered by Anselm, Aquinas, Paley and Descartes. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  5. What role does the existence of evil and morality play in the views of Hume, Kant, James, and Augustine? Which do you think best responds to the problem posed for belief in god by the existence of evil, and why?
  6. Explain the contributions of Kant, Kierkegaard, Marx and either Nietzsche or Freud to the philosophy of religion. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  7. Explain the four theories of truth, including an analysis of one philosopher who embraces each. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  8. Explain Descartes’ rationalism, Locke’s empiricism, and Kant’s attempt to unite the two. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  9. Explain the views of Hegel, Marx, Phenomenology and Hermeneutics. Which do you find most persuasive, and why?
  10. Explain the ideas of the feminist epistemologists. What role do gender and ethnicity play in understanding truth?

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