Practice Questions

for D. Palmer's Visions of Human Nature

Instructions: The following practice questions are designed for "instant gratification." As soon as you enter an answer you will receive the results of your test. If you take the quiz with an open book and most of your answers are correct, try taking the quiz again with the book closed in an hour or so. On the other hand, if you did not do well, spend some more time with the book and then do the entire quiz again with an open book. Complete the exercise before the chapter is discussed in class (see the schedule of readings), so that when we meet together you'll have control over the information and concepts presented in the chapter. Important: Don't forget to click the "REPORT" button at the bottom of this page when you have finished taking the test.

Chapter 2 - The Aristotelian Vision of Human Nature

1. The Greek city-states considered Macedonia a mere bunch of "barbarians" because
(a) It was governed by a line of hereditary kings that had not changed in hundreds of years.
(b) It did not organize its economic structure and labor around slaves or serfs.
(c) It was neither a democracy nor an oligarchy.
(d) It was much smaller than the Greek city-states.
(e) All of the above except D.

2. Aristotle, upon his return to Athens in 335 B.C.E., opened a school for the Athenians called
(a) the Lyceum.
(b) the Macedonian School.
(c) the Academy.
(d) the Peripatos.
(e) the Entelechy.

3. For Aristotle, the greatest tragedy imaginable for human beings is
(a) Death.
(b) Low birth.
(c) Ugliness.
(d) Missing the true goal of human life.
(e) None of the above.

4. Which of the following is true about Aristotle's view of human beings?
(a) Human beings should seek moral goodness as their final end.
(b) Aristotle's inquiry ends with the conclusion that all men desire happiness.
(c) Human beings are the free, rational animal.
(d) It is impossible for human beings to err in their lives because all things have an in-built purpose.
(e) Humans are essentially featherless bipeds with broad nails.

5. Which of the followings is true about Aristotle's conception of the development of moral virtue?
(a) Moral virtue is the result of revelation by a divine figure, the Prime Mover.
(b) Moral virtue can be obtained solely by contemplation of the pure form of the good.
(c) Moral virtue is the result of a combination of education and biological inheritance.
(d) Moral virtue derives from habit, or ethos.
(e) Moral virtue arises from an established happiness.

6. Aristotle's most famous pupil was
(a) Socrates.
(b) Plato.
(c) Himself.
(d) Alexander the Great.
(e) None of the above.

7. In Aristotle's four-part division of the soul, the part that deliberates over which actions are to be performed in specific circumstances is
(a) The appetitive soul.
(b) Pure reason.
(c) The calculative reason.
(d) The nutritive soul.
(e) None of the above.

8. Aristotle declares that the highest goal of human life, in which the happiest human being is engaged, is
(a) Philosophical contemplation.
(b) The Golden Mean.
(c) The proper development of the nutritive soul.
(d) Practical wisdom.
(e) The satisfaction of the appetitive soul.

9. For Aristotle, practical morality - the ability to seek the "Golden Mean" between excess and deficiency - has what character?
(a) It is found through a scientifically exact mathematical method.
(b) It results from contemplation of the eternal form of the Good.
(c) It is something that is inherited in the aristocracy - true morality cannot be learned by common laborers.
(d) It is found through a careful study of philosophical texts.
(e) It is experimental, resulting from engagement with life.

10. Teleology is a key concept for Aristotle, the dominating concept of his entire philosophical system. What is teleology?
(a) The study of goal-oriented behavior.
(b) The study of knowledge and how we come to possess it.
(c) The empirical study of the natural world.
(d) The study of human beings and their nature.
(e) The study of the beautiful and the sublime.

11. Although Aristotle began by following Plato's teachings, he eventually came to believe that true philosophy is empirically grounded, i.e., based on observation of this-worldly experience.

12. Aristotle's view of human happiness does not include a place for pleasure.

13. Aristotle believed that only humans possess an entelechy, or a goal-oriented mechanism of self-actualization.

14. Aristotle defined the function of man as "an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue".

15. According to Aristotle, so-called "material needs" and "moral luck" are not relevant to achieving true blessedness and happiness.

Here are some short answer questions you might consider.

16. What is the essential difference between Aristotle's teleology and Darwin's theory of evolution?

17. What are, according to Aristotle, external or material goods required for one to achieve happiness?

18. What is Aristotle's major objection to Plato's metaphysics?

19. What is the relation between practical and speculative wisdom?

20. What are the characteristics of Aristotle's "great-souled" man?

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