NATS 1690 Study Guide - Final Guide: Atomism
Course CodeNATS 1690
Phil 2010 – Origins of Western Philosophy – Anna Greco
Guide to the Final Exam - Thursday, December 8th, 7:00-9:00
pm – ACW 004
Make sure you bring your student ID to the Exam. No notes,
books, computers, phones, or other electronic devices –
Format of the Exam
The Final Exam will include ten (10) short-answer questions (5 pts.
each) and two essay questions (25 pts. each).
The answer to a short-answer question should be no longer than three
or four sentences – I expect you will devote no more than 5-6 minutes
to each. The answer to an essay question should be as long as the
issue requires, and such that you can comfortably write within 20-30
minutes – not volumes, but not a skimpy answer either.
Below is an essay question pool, consisting of two lists. The day of the
Final Exam I will select two of the questions in each list, and you will be
required to select and answer one out of those two for each list.
1. Some or all of the following constitutes the only fragment of
Anaximander’s writing: “The things that are perish into the things
out of which they came to be, according to necessity, for they
penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice in
accordance with the ordering of time” (McKirahan 5.19, DK12B1).
Analyze, explain, and discuss.
2. Analyze, explain, and discuss the following excerpt from
Parmenides’ writing (McKirahan 11.8, DK 28B8, lines 34-41):
Thinking and the thought that it is are the same.
For not without what is, in which it is expressed,
will you find thinking; for nothing else either is or will be
except that which is, since Fate shackled it
to be whole and unchanging; wherefore it has been named all
mortals have established, persuaded that they are true –
to come to be and to perish, to be and not <to be>,
and to change place and alter bright color.
3. Anaxagoras claimed that “all things have a portion of
everything” (13.6). What did he mean by this, and how did he
account for how ordinary things (a) differ from one another,
(b) appear to come into being and cease to exist (substantial
change), and (c) change qualities (qualitative change)?
1. The only fragment by Leucippus, the older of the two Atomists,
reads: “No thing happens at random but all things as a result of a
reason and by necessity” (16.29). Explain this claim with specific
references to the Atomists’ physical theory.
2. Compare and contrast the cosmological theories of Anaximenes
and Diogenes of Apollonia.
3. What was the nomos-phusis debate within the Sophistic
movement? In that context, compare and contrast the
arguments and conceptions of nomos and phusis presented by
Antiphon and the Anonymous Iamblichi, respectively.