All CLEP Humanities Resources
Example Question #93 : Nonfiction And Philosophy
The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote the philosophical treatise __________.
Being and Nothingness
Phenomenology of the Spirit
The Critique of Pure Reason
The Critique of Pure Reason
Immanuel Kant was the most important philosopher of the late eighteenth century. His 1783 work The Critique of Pure Reason established his view that rationality and thought could sufficiently form the basis of morality. In particular, Kant stressed that a prirori, or given as true, knowlegde is all synthetic.
Example Question #1 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
The author of the influential eighteenth century work of economics and moral philosophy The Wealth of Nations was __________.
The 1776 work The Wealth of Nations proved a highly influential work on the theory and philosophy behind capitalism. Its author, Adam Smith, introduced the concept of the invisible hand, the notion that a free market will regulate itself. The book set a course for economic theory and philosophy at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Example Question #2 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Which mathematician and philosopher wrote the series of musings known as The Pensées?
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz
The Pensées were published posthumously, after their author, Blaise Pascal, had died from a long illness in 1662. The jottings and musings on religion and philosophy were beginning to be compiled into some form by Pascal, but it is unclear how close he came to a finished version. The famous concept known as "Pascal's Wager," which asserts a proposition for belief in God, is found in The Pensées.
Example Question #3 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Who is the enlightenment philosopher who wrote the book Emíle, or on Education?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1762 book Emile, or on Education is a rumination on the proper way to educate a child, which focuses on a boy named Emile who follows Rousseau's ideal model. Rousseau advocates allowing a child to discover himself so that the innate natural goodness of man will not be corrupted by society. Rousseau's attacks on the Catholic church saw his book banned at publication, but Emile helped provide a basis for education in Revolutionary France.
Example Question #4 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Who is the philosopher famous for his Two Treatises of Government?
John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, published after England's Glorious Revolution of 1689, attempts to defend a system government based on natural rights and contract theory. Locke's work argued against absolute monarchy and for a form of representation. The work proved highly influential, with many of its ideas being foundational for the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
Example Question #5 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Which of the following philosophers is well known for opening his Ethics with a discussion of how God is the only substance?
You might be tempted into picking one of the medieval authors as an answer for this question (i.e. Thomas Aquinas or Duns Scotus), but this is not the case. Instead, the correct answer is the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). Spinoza built upon the ideas of René Descartes but was also very well schooled in the scholastic philosophy of his day, which had roots in many medieval discussions including that of the great Jewish Philosopher, Jurist, and Theologian Moses Maimonides. He was also influenced by Hellenistic philosophers, especially the Stoics.
In his Ethics, Spinoza uses certain, shall we say, less than perfect scholastic formulations of the notion of substance. This leads him to say that God can be the only substance. Everything else is just a mode or attribute of this one substance. This is a kind of extreme pantheism—meaning that God is everything. Some actually accused Spinoza of being an atheist—precisely because he equated God with the world.
Example Question #6 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Which of the following persons was NOT an author of the Federalist Papers?
None of these
The Federalist Papers were a series of public essays written variously by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, all as an attempt to help gain support for the ratification of the US Constitution. The papers dealt with a variety of issues about the new federal government itself, the status of the citizens in that government, and the rights of the states in that federal union. During the time of the drafting of the Constitution, Jefferson was abroad in France as a minister plenipotentiary. He most certainly could not be an author of these papers! (He was, however, a close friend of Madison and did, in fact, help Madison craft a reading list to prepare for thinking about the many matters pertaining to the Constitution's drafting.)
Example Question #7 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Which philosopher is known for teaching the "Categorical Imperative" in his moral philosophy?
John Stuart Mill
In his work The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant works through in detail what he believes is the very foundational for morality as such. In the course of dense and Teutonic prose, he works out an argument that there is an imperative that applies to all actions and is required for there to be any morality whatsoever. Actually, he believes that there are three forms of this same imperative, the interrelation of which he explains in the course of the Groundwork. These three forms were very influential for the philosophy that came after him and remain the subject of discussion in many philosophical circles to this very day. Put in a simplified form, they are:
- Your reason for acting must be able to be set up as a universal law without implying some kind of contradiction.
- Persons can never be treated as merely means to some end.
- You must act as though you are always a kind of legislator in a kingdom of persons who are ends in themselves, thus making universal laws for action.
Example Question #8 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
For which of the following works is Jean-Jacques Rousseau known?
Two Treatises on Government
Meditations on First Philosophy
The Ethics of Common Life
The Social Contract
The Social Contract
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is well known for the opening lines of his The Social Contract: "Man is born free and is everywhere in chains." The work The Social Contract became a mainstay of modern political thought, inspiring revolutionary forms of democratic government. The general problem faced by Rousseau in the text is how it is that a group comes to constitute a political unit freely, constituting a "General Will." His account was significantly influenced by his life in Geneva, Switzerland and always works on a kind of "small scale." While the general notion of social contract is common to many modern forms of governance and statecraft, not every democratic nation formed in modernity owes its origins to Rousseau's thought. (For instance, he was not powerfully influential on American thought.) Still, his work remains an important part of the canon of Western political philosophy and deserves reading by anyone wishing to express a learned opinion on such matters.
Example Question #9 : Identifying Titles, Authors, Or Schools Of Seventeenth And Eighteenth Century Nonfiction And Philosophy
Who is missing from this famous triad: John Locke, George Berkeley, and __________________?
Alexis de Tocqueville
The famous Anglophonic, philosophical triad runs: John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. Berkeley famously critiqued Locke's view of knowledge and of mind-independent substances. He held that Locke's overall worldview encouraged us to posit an unknown entity (substance) that never could be known. Only various accidents of that substance (i.e. its various qualities) could be known. For Berkeley, this spelled a disaster—one that led ultimately to a kind of skepticism and atheism. He therefore, proposed that everything is an idea—and that there is no substance. God was the creator of every one of these ideas, thus saving philosophy from atheism—or so he thought.
The Skeptical Scotsman, Hume, believed that Berkeley himself was a father of skepticism. Hume took over Berkeley's ideas and furthered them into a very subjectivistic theory of knowledge, discussed in this Treatise on Human Nature and Essays Concerning Human Understanding. Very often, when these men are listed, they are listed as a triad: Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.