Philosophy Athenian Democracy Questions

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Question 1: In what sense, was Socratic philosophy a result of the rise of Athenian democracy?  Was Socrates a good *Athenian* democrat?  Give one argument for and one argument against.  What would Socratic questioning look like in our contemporary, possibly democratic, world?

Question 2: Why is the examined life the only concept of the good that can qualify after Socrates puts in place his two main principles (“I know for sure that I know nothing for sure” and “To know the good is to do the good” [a.k.a. when I act, I unavoidably make a claim to know the good]).

Question 3: Choose four distinct steps in Descartes methodology of doubt in Book 1 of the Meditations, list them in order, and then show how each step is a more intense level of doubt.  You get more credit here, the more you show the logic of the transitions.

Question 4: What are the differences and similarities between Socratic, Cartesian, and Hobbesian introspection? Offer at least one similarity and one difference for each contrasting pairing (Socrates-vs-Descartes, Socrates-vs-Hobbes, Descartes-vs-Hobbes)

Question 5: Despite Hobbes sometimes getting called an authoritarian philosopher, his philosophical vision is also linked to the democratic tradition.  Offer an interpretation of the “state of nature” argument from ‘Leviathan’ that shows how Hobbes’s theory could explain the rise of a democratic state, i.e.  a democratic “sovereign.”

Question 6: Describe how Kant’s idea of shifting questions about individual human life to questions about the historical human “species” as a whole allows him to keep some of the doubts from Socrates and Descartes (on the limitations of individual knowledge), while also allowing him to offer a different vision for reason and politics than Hobbes.

Question 7: In the final section of Kant’s essay on “Universal History,” Kant describes what he thinks the role of the philosopher in society is.  Explain Kant’s idea here and contrast it with either Socrates, Descartes, or Hobbes.

Philosophy Athenian Democracy Questions

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Philosophy Athenian Democracy Questions

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Philosophy Athenian Democracy Questions

  

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