Midterm: March 3, 2009

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Medieval Philosophy

Midterm Study Sheet

Midterm: March 3, 2009
Short Answer Section. The following list of terms is to assist you in studying for the short answer section of the exam. There will be 10 short answer questions, of which you are to answer 8 (5 points each).
Katabola movement/turning of the will

Intelligible pattern Augustine’s conversion experience

Creation God and suffering/evil

End of the world genera and species

Emanation chance

One free will and Divine foreknowledge

Inner sense ontological argument

Inner light Gaunilo’s lost island

Wisdom and number Abailard and sense/signification

Eternal (aion)/temporal (chronos) will and ethics

Experimental science

Essay Question. Two of the following three will be on the exam. You are to write an essay on one of those two (60 points).

  1. Origen argues that the term associated with the creation of the world – katabola – is improperly translated by the latin term ‘constitutio.’ Explain why this is an improper translation for Origen, and what his underlying philosophy of creation is which supports his argument. In the context of this essay, compare what Origen argues with Plotinus’s theory of emanation.

  1. Discuss the ontological argument. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this argument? Elaborate. How is what Anselm is arguing about different from what Gaunilo argues for when bringing in the example of the lost, perfect island? In the context of this discussion, be sure to bring in the distinction between necessary and contingent existence.

  1. Discuss Abailard’s contributions to the nominalist/realist debate. In particular, compare and contrast Abailard with Boethius. This debate between the nominalists and realists could also be seen as a debate between Platonists and Aristotelians. In what ways is this or is this not a good characterization of the nominalist/realist debate? Explain.

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