AS/POLS 2900B Mid-Year Examination Study Questions, Dec. 2013 Prof. S. Newman
The exam will be held on Tuesday, December 17 in the Rexall Centre starting at 9:00 a.m.. The exam will consist of three
Part 1. Short Answer Essays (40%)
Part 1 consists of short answer essay questions. Your answers should be concise and to the point (roughly 250 to 350 words
each). There will be questions about each of the four thinkers you’ve read this term: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and
Hobbes. The questions are designed to test your knowledge of the texts. You must choose one question on each of three
thinkers. You must also answer a fourth question, but you may choose among any of the remaining questions. Thus
you have the option of answering one question on each of the four thinkers, or you may write about only three by answering
two questions concerning one of them. Your answers are worth ten points each.
Part 2 is worth 10% and consists of precise questions, each of which can be answered in one or a few words. You are to
answer any ten questions. Each answer is worth 1%. Here is a sample question from a previous year’s exam: “To whom
did Machiavelli dedicate The Prince?”
Part 3. Long Essay (50%)
This part of the exam will feature three or four questions. You are to answer any one (1) question in a carefully thought out
essay. There is no word limit. The essay questions that appear on the exam will be drawn from the questions listed below.
1. Both Aristotle and Machiavelli warn against the pernicious effects of “faction,” which is seen as detrimental to the well
being of the city and a cause of what Aristotle calls “political change” (i.e., insurrection or revolution). Compare and
contrast Aristotle and Machiavelli on the causes of faction and what can be done to prevent it or at least mitigate its effects.
2. To differing degrees, Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli consider political science to be a sort of “craft knowledge” that
rulers and statesmen must master if they are to govern successfully. Choose any two of these thinkers and explain (a) what
they take to be the essential “craft kno