1910 9.0 Science and the Humanities 2011-12
Study Questions for Final Exam
Your final exam in 1910 9.0 Foundations course, Science and the Humanities, will count
for 20% of your final grade. It will draw upon material from both terms. It will be closed
book – bring only your identification and pencils or pens. It will consist of three sections.
There will be choice in all sections. Part I is a short answer section with two kinds of
questions: a) names and terms; b) explanation of quotations. It is worth 30 %. Parts II and
III of the exam are each worth 35%. You will answer one essay question in each of Part
II and Part III. The possible essay questions for each of Part II and III are listed below.
We will select from these two lists for the exam, giving you three choices of essay
questions in each section.
The instructions for Parts II and III will be identical:
“Answer one of the following questions in a thoughtfully argued essay. You must use
complete sentences, proper paragraphs and a clearly structured argument. A good answer
will draw upon relevant historical information and course materials, including written
texts and films, and lecture and tutorial notes. Be as specific as possible in discussing the
course materials. When we grade the exam, we will look for a) your understanding of the
question and the issues it raises b) your ability to construct an analytical thesis or an
argument in the essay c) the detail and appropriateness of the evidence that you use to
support your argument. Before you begin each essay, clearly indicate which question you
are answering in your exam booklet.”
You should prepare thoroughly for your essays in the exam. Develop thesis arguments
and detailed examples from course materials. We recommend you practice writing timed
answers as part of your preparation and we encourage you to work collectively in
studying for the exam and thinking about possible examples, arguments and evidence.
We do not expect exact references to texts (we do not expect you to memorize page
numbers or long quotations, for example) but we do expect detailed and specific
examples that show your thorough understanding of the course materials.
Please note as well: The list of possible quotations for Part I(b) will be posted on the
Moodle site. A selection from that list will be on the exam, and you will choose three to
answer. Part II Three of the following questions will be on the exam. You will
have to choose one to answer on the exam.
If you had lived in 1600, would you have accepted the Copernican system? Explain why
or why not. Write your answer from the perspective of an educated individual with some
knowledge of the debates about astronomy and their significance.
Both Fontenelle in Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds and Darwin in Voyage of the
Beagle (his encounters in Tierra del Fuego) make rich use of metaphors. Discuss the use
of metaphor in both texts, focusing on a couple of primary examples from each. Some
key questions to consider are the following (you may introduce additional
considerations): What do the metaphors add to the texts? How do they enrich the image
of nature each author is trying to convey? How do the metaphors affect the reader?
In “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant states: