PHL 101 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus
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PHL 101 – SAMPLE MID-TERM EXAM
I. True or False?
1) If something is valuable only because of its consequences, its value is merely intrinsic. F – When
something is valuable in this way, its value is merely extrinsic.
2) Socrates’ attempt to discover the nature of morality depends on the assumption that individuals and
societies can be morally evaluated by reference to a single standard. T – He’s trying to discover this by
looking at how morality develops in a society. If there are different standards of morality for
individuals as opposed to societies, the results of his inquiry won’t apply to morality in individuals.
3) Socrates’ principle of specialization is this: if you specialize in a given art, you must also be an expert
in whatever is contrary to that art. (For example, doctors must be experts not only in preventing disease
but also in “secretly inducing” it.) F – Socrates does say this, early on, but this is not the principle of
specialization. The principle of specialization = the principle that people should perform only the
one role in society for which they are naturally suited. (So, for example, people suited to guarding
the community should specialize in doing that. They shouldn’t be both guardians and farmers, or
guardians and merchants.)
4) Socrates says that an expert (in the strict sense of the term) is concerned only with the interest of the
weaker party over which he has power. T – This was how he attacked Thrasymachus’s claim that
rulers in the strict or precise sense of the term are concerned with their own interests only, and not
concerned with what is in the interest of the people they rule.
5) This claim of Socrates is meant to imply that rulers (in the strict sense) are never concerned with what
is in their own interest. T - It’s meant to imply this because this is how Socrates hopes to refute
6) According to Socrates, a completely immoral community is impossible (because it would cease to be a
community at all). T – Remember his example of a gang of thieves: if they weren’t at least somewhat
fair in dealing with each other, they couldn’t co-ordinate themselves to carry out their thievery.
This is meant to illustrate his view that immorality depends on morality. A person or a community
has to be somewhat moral to function at all. Immorality is possible only on that basis.
7) Cephalus says that he’s happy in his old age because it has freed him from the intense desires he
experienced as a young man. T
8) Socrates says that the guardians of his ideal community will have to be democratically elected by an
informed public (i.e., a public that has been trained in philosophy). F – Socrates has said nothing about
democracy, so far, and as we’ll see, he doesn’t think that it’s a good political system.
II. Multiple Choice
1) Socrates says that true expertise is always concerned with
i. the interests of both the stronger and the weaker party.
ii. enlightened self-interest.
iii. the interest of the stronger party.
iv. the interest of the weaker party. (Remember that part of his argument was that every art or
form of expertise has power over its subject matter, and is directed at the good of its subject matter.
For example, the medical art has power over the human body, and is directed at the health of the
v. None of the above
2) What is a doctor in the strict sense, according to Socrates?
i. Someone who has studied medicine at a properly accredited institution.
ii. Someone who knows how to earn a living from the practice of medicine.
iii. Someone who is acting according to the principles of medical expertise. (There may be other
skills associated with doctoring – skill at earning money, say – but Socrates thinks those are not part
of the medical art or expertise in and of itself.)
iv. Someone who is concerned with the well being of society as a whole.
3) Polermarchus proposes that morality is this:
i. Helping one’s friends and harming one’s enemies.
ii. Giving to everyone what you owe to them.
iii. Helping those people who one believes to be good and who actually are good, and harming those that
one believes to be bad and who actually are bad.